Things to do in Warsaw, Poland

Things to do in Warsaw, Poland
Things to do in Warsaw Poland

Do you need inspiration for your next travel adventure? Or you may have plans to visit Warsaw, but need more information on where you should visit, or advise and tips on traveling to Warsaw? We have simplified this for you, we detail the things to do in Warsaw, Poland, with tips and advice we have learnt from our recent visit. 

Warsaw suffered badly during World War II, with the invasion into Poland and the near on destruction. I know it is hard to believe, but due to reconstruction after the war, it is what you see today, a beautiful city! Warsaw is slowly recovering, and is one city you can no longer miss off your travel list.  

So you can really experience the diversity, culture, learn more about Warsaw history, and the affects World War II had on Warsaw, we take you to some of the top things to do in Warsaw, Poland. 

When to visit 

During the summer months of June to August, sees the hottest time of year. Whilst the shoulder months of May and September to October see cooler temperatures.  

Our advice for travel to Warsaw would be between May and June, or from September to October. You can often pick up quiet cheap flights and accommodation, whilst the weather isn’t too hot as you explore the best things to do in Warsaw. 

Currency 

Poland is part of the European Union but use their own currency called the Zloty.  

We would advise purchasing Zloty prior to your intended travel, although you can use debit/credit cards, and cash machines. Please note, you could be charged for the use of your debit/credit card, and cash machines whilst traveling in Warsaw. Please check with your bank or card provider before you travel.  

Bev & Shams in Warsaw Poland - Things to do in Warsaw
Bev & Shams in Warsaw Poland

About 

Warsaw is the capital city of Poland, with an estimated 1.8 million residents. Warsaw hasn’t always been the capital of Poland, prior to Warsaw, the capital and its administration was held in Krakow until the end of the 16th century, which is when it moved to Warsaw. 

Many famous or important people have visited here, one figure was John Paul II who visited on 2 occasions, he also held a mass service in Victory Square one year after he became pope.  

Its historical old town became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1980, and we can understand why. The city is steeped in beautiful deep coloured architecture, cafes, historical monuments and much more. 

Old Town Square - Things to do in Warsaw
Old town square in Warsaw Poland

It held the opening game of UEFA Euro 2012 in Warsaw, 2013 United Nations Climate Change Conference, and the 2016 NATO Summit.  

Things to do in Warsaw, Poland 

On our visit to Warsaw, we wanted to cover a variety of different things, from learning more about the affect World War II had on Warsaw, to the beautiful landscape views, and architecture that we had heard so much about. These are our recommendation of things to do in Warsaw Poland. 

St Anne Church Viewing Terrace 

Cost: 15zloty – £2.97 – $3.86 

Getting there: Bus and tram stop Stare Maisto, or bus stop Plac Krasinskich 

The views from the terrace are amazing, and well worth the climb up the 148 spiral steps to reach the top. On a clear day you can see panoramic views of the city, with the Royal Castle in the backdrop, and the Old Town below.  

Things to do in Warsaw Poland
Warsaw Poland

Old Town Square 

Cost: Free 

Getting there: Bus and tram stop Stare Maisto, or bus stop Plac Krasinskich 

The best way to see the attractive Old Town is by foot, as you walk through the streets, the glowing colours from the buildings around really draw you in. It may not seem real, but the Old Town and Square was severely damaged during WWII, but was rebuilt with the intention of maintain its original appearance from the 17th and 18th centuries and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Old Town Square - Things to do in Warsaw
Old Town Square in Warsaw Poland

During the summer months, food, drinks and souvenir stalls surround the Old Town Square, you never know you could pick up a bargain or two! 

In the centre of the Square is Syrenka, a mermaid statue with a sword which has since become the symbol of Warsaw. 

Barbican 

Cost: 5zloty – £0.99 $1.29 for entry to the exhibition inside the tower 

Getting there: Bus stop Plac Krasinskich, or bus and tram stop Stare Maisto 

The deep red bricks of the Barbican, were medieval fortifications which surrounded the Old Town. At the northern end are semicircular defensive towers. You can get great views of the surrounding area, and admire the fortification, as you walk along the ramparts of the Barbican. 

The Barbican - Things to do in Warsaw
The Barbican, Warsaw Poland

Some parts of the Barbican were dismantled, but following World War II, it was reconstructed, and is an appealing spot to visit. 

Little Insurgent Monument 

Cost: Free 

Getting there: Bus stop Plac Krasinskich, or bus and tram stop Stare Maisto 

This statue of the Little Insurgent Monument stands just outside the Barbican walls. The statue is a commemoration of the child soldiers who fought and died during the Warsaw Rising. This child has an expressionless face, wearing an oversized adults’ helmet, holding a weapon.  

Little Insurgents Monuments - Things to do in Warsaw
Little Insurgents Monument in Warsaw Poland

It’s quite emotional, seeing such a young figure with no emotion, fighting in a war that should not have happened!  

Just behind the statue is a plaque with the word of Warszawskie Dzieci (Varsovian Children) which was a popular song from the period.  

Royal Castle 

Cost: 30 Zloty – £5.91 – $7.71 to enter the museum inside, Free on a Wednesday. 

Getting there: Bus and tram stop is Stare Maisto, or bus stop Plac Krasinskich 

This red coloured castle started as a wooden structure in the 14th century, but in the 17th century it became a stunning royal residence. During WWII, the castle was blown up by the Germans, but was rebuilt to its original castle, it now holds period furniture and arts of work. 

The Royal Castle - Things to do in Warsaw
The Royal Castle

The Royal Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is a very popular tourist attraction in Warsaw. 

Ghetto Heroes Monument 

Cost: Free 

Getting there: Bus stop Nalewki Museum, or tram stop Muranow 5 

This large 11m sculpted monument, is to commemorate the thousands who lost their lives during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943. 

The monument is in the spot where the Warsaw Ghetto’s use to be, those somber and emotional expressions on their face, really tells you how life must have been like living in the Ghetto’s, fighting in the Warsaw Uprising. 

Ghetto Hero's Monument - Things to do in Warsaw
Ghetto Hero Monument

Just behind you, is the POLIN Museum of the History of Jews, detailing the history of Jews in Poland.  

Umschlagplatz 

Cost: Free 

Getting there: Tram and bus stop Dzika  

In this relatively quiet part of Warsaw, is Umschlagplatz. Here once stood the railway terminus, which transported many thousands of Jews to the gas chambers at Treblinka. 

Umschlagplatz - Things to do in Warsaw
Umschlagplatz

On the walls surrounding this monument, are the names of about 3,000 Jews, with a lasting message of ‘Along this path of suffering and death, over 300,000 Jews were driven in 1942-1943 from the Warsaw Ghetto, to the gas chambers of the German extermination camps.’ 

Today there are no remnants of the rail terminus, but the rectangular shape of the monument, is symbolic to the cattle trucks that would have taken the prisoners to Treblinka. 

Umschlagplatz - Things to do in Warsaw
Umschlagplatz

Warsaw Rising Museum 

Cost: 25 Zloty – £4.92 – $6.42 

Getting there: Tram stop Muzeum Powstania Warszawskiego 

This is an interesting museum, and one that should be visited! The Warsaw Rising Museum provides a detailed account of the 1944 Warsaw uprising, through interactive displays, photography, video, artifacts, written accounts and more.  

The most realistic interactive display, is the large wall in the middle of the museum on the ground floor. If you place your ear to the wall, you can hear the sound of a beating heart coming from inside. This sound represents the life in Warsaw in 1944.  

Ghetto Wall Fragment 

Cost: Free 

Getting there: Bus stop and tram stop Rondo ONZ 

These are the original fragments of a wall that would have formed part of the Jewish Ghetto. Only a few fragments of the walls have been preserved, and many are now running between properties, making it a little harder to find.  

Part of the Warsaw Ghetto Wall - Things to do in Warsaw
Ghetto Wall Fragments

Throughout the city, are marker points, these mark out the former boarders of the Jewish Ghetto. 

Tip 

To get to the wall, you have to walk through what looks like private apartments, please note, you are permitted to enter. 

At the end of Ztota which leads onto al. Jana Pawta II, between Ztota Gukiernia and Warta, is a gate. Proceed through the gate until the end, and turn right. This is the first section of the Ghetto Wall.  

Turn around and walk back the way you came, but instead of turning left to exit, continue straight, at which point you will come to another part of the Ghetto Wall. 

Where to stay 

Our advice for checking for accommodation in Warsaw are the following: 

  • Price – This always has to be within our budget 
  • Location – how easy will it be to get around Warsaw 
  • Transport links – where are the transport links to get us to and from the airport, and to different locations in the city 
  • Reviews – what are the reviews from other travelers who has stayed here 

Here are just some of the places to stay in Warsaw with the above factors in mind: 

Riverview hotel 

We stayed at the Riverview Hotel; it was perfect for public transport with the Metro station outside. It was in a very good location just opposite the Vistula River, and relatively close to the things that we wanted to do in Warsaw.  

Our room at Riverview Hotel - Things to do in Warsaw
Our room at the Riverview Hotel in Warsaw Poland

The price was very reasonable for the location, with breakfast included! The room is of a decent size, but the bathroom is a little compact. The food for breakfast was basic, serving a small selection of cold and hot dishes. On our arrival, we ordered an evening meal, which was amazing! The dish was presented as if we were in a 5* hotel and the food tasted just as good. The staff were very accommodating, even to the point of filling our water bottles in the morning and evening. 

Oki Doki Hostel 

A very popular hostel, reasonably priced, and just on the doorsteps of the Barbican. Hostels are designed for a backpacker in mind, and for travelers who are unable to afford hotel accommodation. Hostels however can be a good way to meet other likeminded travelers, and a way to travel on a budget. 

Castle Inn 

The Castle Inn is located in another prime location in the Old Town, just opposite the Royal Castle. This is a mid-range priced hotel. 

Castle Inn - Things to do in Warsaw
Castle Inn

We walked past the hotel on a number of occasions whilst we were in the Old Town, and found the exterior has character! 

We hope that you enjoy Warsaw, just as much as we did! 


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