During World War II, much of Warsaw was destroyed, but over the years, the city has risen again and it definitely is a beautiful city to visit.
Take in the historic Old Town, or wander at the grand Royal Castle. If you’re anything like us and want to learn more about World War II, then there are plenty of museums to spend hours in.
If you like to indulge on a little Polish food and drinks on holiday, then you won’t be disappointed.
We have the 15 best things to see and do in Warsaw, that shouldn’t be missed off your budget friendly getaway.
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15 Best Things to See and Do in Warsaw That you Shouldn’t miss
This budget friendly city is packed with plenty of things to see and do, whether you want to learn more about World War II, take in the view, or wander around a museum or two. These are the 15 Best Things to See and Do in Warsaw.
St Anne Church Viewing Terrace
Price: 15zloty – £2.79 – $3.53 – €3.27
Address: ul Krakowskie Przedmieście 68
Climb the 148 spiral steps to reach the top of St Anne Church. A viewing platform at the top offers stunning panoramic views of Warsaw and the landscape surrounding the city.
Look down on the grand Royal Castle and the old town.
Price: 6 Zloty – £1.11, $1.39, €1.31 (Museum open during the summer months. To walk through the gates and along the walls its free)
Address: Nowomiejska 15/17
This imposing medieval fortification was built in the 16th century and would have once surrounded the Old Town of Warsaw.
The northern section of the Barbican, is the best place to walk the walls and through the gate, with incredible views of the landscape.
During World War II, some sections of the Barbican were dismantled, before it was later reconstructed.
You can learn more about the city’s defenses and history, at the exhibition in the Barbican (only open during the summer months).
One of the top tourist spots to visit in Warsaw and one not to be missed off your itinerary
The Royal Castle
Price: 40 Zloty (includes audio guide) – £7.43, $9.28, €8.70
Address: plac Zamkowy 4, 00-277 Warszawa
Walk in royal footsteps, at The Royal Castle. Explore the different floors and exhibitions. Art lovers will love admiring Rembrandt’s work, while history buffs will learn more about the history of this castle.
Like many other buildings in the city, much of the castle was destroyed. In the very first days of World War II, the castle was ablaze, with firemen and citizens attempting to extinguish the flames.
The final blow to the castle was back in 1944 during the Warsaw Uprising which destroyed much of the castle.
The reconstruction of the castle is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and a popular tourist spot.
You can book your tickets on the official website here.
Warsaw Uprising Museum
Price: 25 Zloty – £4.67, $5.84, €5.44
Address: Grzybowska 79, 00-844 Warszawa
The Warsaw Rising Museum provides a detailed account of the 1944 Warsaw uprising, through interactive displays, photography, video, artifacts, written accounts and more.
Points of interest within the Warsaw Uprising Museum has to be the large wall on the ground floor. Place your ear up to the wall, to hear the sound of a beating heart. The sound represents the life in Warsaw in 1944.
The audio guide, will help you navigate the museum and provide more information on the Warsaw Uprising.
This is definitely one of the best things to do in Warsaw, if you want to learn more about World War II.
You can book your tickets online through the official website here.
Price: 27 zloty+ – £5.00, $6.30, €5.88+
Address: Plac Konesera 1, 03-736 Warszawa
No holiday can be complete without trying the local food and drink. Well in this case it’s the Polish alcohol.
Vodka is Poland’s national drink, so you should make a point of taking a Vodka tour in Warsaw.
A guide will take you around the interactive museum, where you will learn about the history of Vodka and how it has become so famous.
At the end of your tour, you get the chance to taste some of the delicious clear beverage.
Polish Vodka’s come in all different flavours and colours.
This is definitely one thing you must do in Warsaw.
Fun fact: Did you know, that Vodka will not freeze, making this the ideal drink to store in the freezer, before pouring it on a hot summer’s day.
You can book your tickets for the popular Polish Vodka Museum Tour with Tasting here.
Warsaw Pub Crawl
Price: 100 Zloty+ – £18.72, $23.35, €21.78
Address: Various pubs in Warsaw
If you want a good night out, without trying to find the best bars and clubs in the city, then this pub crawl needs to be added to your list of things to do in Warsaw.
A local guide will take you around a couple of bars and a club, where the first hour you’ll receive free drinks and a further few shots as the night goes on.
This is a great way to meet likeminded travelers on holiday.
You can book your tour for the popular Warsaw Pub Crawl with Free Drinks
Polish Food Tour
Price: 290.40 Zloty – £54.28, $67.80, €63.24
Address: meeting point ościół Akademicki św. Anny, Krakowskie Przedmieście 68, 00-322 Warszawa.
Combine a walking tour with a food tour, with this awesome and popular Traditional Food Tour with Old Town Sightseeing
Not only will you be taken around some of the Old Town and must-see things to do in Warsaw, but you can taste 13 different Polish dishes, from starters, mains and desserts.
Be taken on a Polish culinary tour and become an expert in Polish food.
This awesome tour, will be a great start to your short trip in Warsaw.
You can book your tickets for this popular Traditional Food Tour with Old Town Sightseeing here.
Warsaw Walking Tour
Price: 100.15 Zloty – £18.72, $23.38, €21.81
Address: Meeting point Copernicus Monument at the start of Krakowskie Przedmieście Street.
A walking tour of Warsaw is a great way to see the top tourist attractions and some hidden gems, that are a little off the trodden path.
The local guide will share their knowledge of Warsaw, offering tips and facts about each place you stop, including the Old Town, the Royal Route, the Royal Castle and the lesser-known burial of Chopin’s Heart.
Start your holiday off with a walking tour of Warsaw.
You can book your tickets for this popular tour of The City in a Nutshell Small Group Walking Tour here.
Treblinka Concentration Camp
Price: 503 Zloty – £93.97, $117.44, €109.54
Address: Treblinka Concentration Camp
Visiting any concentration camp or death camp is very emotional, but a visit to Treblinka Concentration Camp is an emotional education.
Learn about the tragic history that went on here, who was sent to Treblinka, or just go to pay your respects.
We visited Auschwitz-Birkenau, which was the worst death camps in Europe, with an estimated 1.1 million deaths, Treblinka followed second worst, with around 800,000 deaths.
You can book your tickets to Treblinka Concentration Camp here.
Polish Cooking Class
Price: 180.00 Zloty – £33.69, $42.03, €39.20
Address: Pierogi & More at 3 Stawki Street, 00-193 Warsaw
If you have been eating your way through pierogi in Poland, then why not learn how to make this popular Polish dish, with this Polish cooking class.
You can continue your holiday or just impress your family and friends, when you cook these on your own back home.
This is definitely a unique thing to do in Warsaw.
You can book your unique tickets to this popular Polish Dumplings Cooking Class here.
Free Things to do in Warsaw
On a tight budget, then check out these free things to do in Warsaw:
Old Town Square
Address: Rynek Starego Miasta
This popular and beautiful Old Town Square is surrounded by large and colourful merchant houses. But most of the grand houses were destroyed during the bombing in World War II.
Following the War, the Old Town Square was rebuilt, maintaining its original period features and appearance. It has since become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
During the summer, relax back and watch the world go by as you enjoy a delicious Polish dish and a cooling beer at the many restaurants that surround the square.
In pride of place is the mermaid statue with a sword, right in the middle of the square. This has become the symbol of Warsaw and definitely one of the best free things to do in Warsaw.
Little Insurgents Monument
Address: Podwale, 00-001 Warszawa
Just a short distance from the Barbican is the Little Insurgents Monument.
A commemoration to the child soldiers who fought and died during the Warsaw Rising. The child statue, has an expressionless face, wearing an oversized adults’ helmet and holding a weapon.
This statue not only paints a picture that it wasn’t just men fighting but young children too. It’s certainly interpreted that this child was unsure of what will happen, if they would return to their families alive, but fighting in a war of uncertainty and one that only adults should be fighting for.
Just beyond the statue is the plaque that reads Warszawskie Dzieci (Varsovian Children) which was a popular song from the period.
If you are keen to learn more about World War II, then this is a poignant place to visit in Warsaw.
Ghetto Heroes Monument
Address: Ludwika Zamenhofa, 00-153 Warszawa
The sculpture is a commemoration to the thousands of Jewish Pols who lost their lives during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943.
The monument is in the area that was once the Warsaw Ghetto. The somber and emotional expressions on the faces on the statues, portray how life must have felt, living in the Ghetto’s and fighting in the Warsaw Uprising. You can find out more about the Warsaw uprising at the Warsaw Uprising Museum.
You can learn more about the history of Jews in Poland at the POLIN Museum of History of Jews, which is next to the Ghetto Heroes Monument.
Address: Stawki 10, 00-178 Warszawa
One of the most emotional things to do in Warsaw, is to visit Umschlagplatz.
This quiet area in Warsaw was once the railway terminus, that would have transported many thousands of Jews to Treblinka Concentration Camp.
It doesn’t look like a busy terminus now, with all remnants removed. Instead, a rectangular shape monument, that symbolises a cattle truck that would have taken the prisoners to Treblinka.
Surrounding the monument walls are only a small portion of the names of the Jews that were sent to the concentration camp. The last message inscribed into the wall is “Along this path of suffering and death, over 300,000 Jews were driven in 1942-1943 from Warsaw Ghetto, to the gas chambers of German extermination camps”.
A reminder of the tragedies during World War II.
Ghetto Wall Fragments
Address: Various locations around Warsaw
Only small sections of the Ghetto Wall have been preserved, many running between private property.
You can locate the Wall Fragments at the following places in Warsaw:
- Sienna Street
- Ztota Street
Markers around the city, indicate the points where the Warsaw Ghetto Wall once stood.
This is definitely a hidden gem and far less touristy than the main spots in the Old Town.
To help you locate the Wall Fragments, then don’t forget to check out our video:
If you are looking for inspiration on where else to visit in Poland, then how about Gdansk? You could easily include visiting Warsaw and a trip to Gdansk. Want to know more? Then check out How to Visit Gdansk in a day.
Whether you want to learn more about World War II, or just visit a budget friendly city for a short 3-day vacation, then Warsaw is definitely the place to visit.
We have included a wide variety of things to do in Warsaw, from the best museums in Warsaw, wandering around the Old Town and the Royal Castle, to taking a bird’s eye view of Warsaw from St Anne Church Viewing Terrace.
We love the delicious food Poland has to offer and we have recommended not only a food tour in Warsaw, but also a cooking class on how to make pierogi. That is definitely something you must do in Warsaw.
Poland is one of our favourite countries to visit and can’t wait to get back there.
We hope you enjoy Warsaw as much as we did.
Have you visited Warsaw? Is there somewhere you visited in Warsaw that we didn’t include? Maybe you haven’t visited Warsaw yet? Let us know about it, by leaving a comment below.
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