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Things to do in Warsaw

Things to do in  Warsaw

Welcome to Warsaw

Warsaw has emerged from the war-torn destruction of World War II as a resplendent city, and Poland’s capital now thrums with an energy all its own. A colorful confection of 17th-century townhouses gives Old Town Square Market enchanting charm; the Warsaw Jewish Ghetto (Getto Zydowskie) is a poignant reminder of the past; and St. John’s Cathedral (Katedra Sw Jana) never fails to impress with its Gothic grandeur. See all of the visual treats and more on a sightseeing tour—explore in a Communist-era van or retro Fiat, on a Segway, or on a walking tour. Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum near Krakow, a former Nazi concentration camp, makes for an accessible day trip, and offers insight into Poland’s sobering past; while excursions to Gdansk and medieval Malbork showcase the beauty of Poland’s architecture. Music lovers can enjoy a Frederic Chopin piano concerto or visit the birthplace of the renowned composer in Masovian Country, revelers can capture Warsaw’s party spirit on a bar crawl, culture connoisseurs can learn about the city’s communist and Jewish heritage at the Life Under Communism Museum (Czar PRL), and history buffs can admire countless historic monuments on The Royal Way in Warsaw, home to the Royal Castle and Wilanow Palace.

Top 13 attractions in Warsaw

Warsaw Old Town (Stare Miasto)

Almost entirely destroyed during WWII, Warsaw’s historic Warsaw Old Town (Stare Miasto) underwent an extensive restoration that transformed the area into a vibrant riverfront hub. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the neighborhood boasts striking recreations of 17th- and 18th-century structures, as well as the Warsaw History Museum.More


Hugging the Vistula River’s east bank, Praga is one of Warsaw’s oldest, yet most up-and-coming, districts. The only part of Poland’s capital to escape destruction in World War II, this once-derelict area mixes grimy prewar streets and art nouveau blocks with a contemporary buzz evidenced in its street art and trendy restaurants and bars.More

Palace of Culture and Science (Palac Kultury i Nauki)

A towering 758 feet (231 meters) high, Warsaw’s Palace of Culture and Science was commissioned by Stalin during Poland’s communist era. Today, the country’s tallest building comprises concert halls, offices, shops, restaurants, and a 30th-floor viewing terrace.More

Warsaw Royal Castle (Zamek Krolewski)

Rebuilt following the destruction of World War II, the Royal Castle stands watch over the entrance to Warsaw Old Town. Explore beyond the brick facade to find a trove of historic furniture, artwork, and gilded decor. From the Great Apartments to the Throne Room, Warsaw Royal Castle showcases centuries of Warsaw history.More

St. John's Archcathedral (Archikatedra Sw. Jana)

Near Warsaw’s Old Town Market Square, St. John’s Archcathedral dates from the 1300s, making it one of the city’s oldest churches. The site of the 18th-century coronation of Poland’s last king—and of his tomb—this striking, neo-Gothic cathedral was revamped in the 1800s before being destroyed in World War II and rebuilt in 1960.More

Warsaw Jewish Ghetto (Getto Zydowskie)

The haunting monuments and memorials of Warsaw’s former Jewish Ghetto (Getto Zydowskie) tell the story of its tragic past—during World War II, it was the largest Jewish Ghetto in all of Nazi-occupied Europe.More

Warsaw Old Town Market Square (Rynek Starego Miasta)

Colorful buildings flank Warsaw Old Town Market Square, where centuries of history have unfolded against a picture-perfect backdrop. Christmas markets and an ice-skating rink keep the square bustling through cold-weather months. In summer, cafés open their doors for a season of outdoor dining and drinking with a view.More

Warsaw Royal Route (Trakt Królewski)

Linking Warsaw’s three royal abodes—Royal Castle, Palace on the Isle, and Wilanów Palace—the Royal Way is a historic route crowded with landmarks. Starting at Castle Square in Warsaw Old Town, the 7-mile (11.5-kilometer Royal Way runs south to Wilanów Palace, a scenic route that sparkles with lights and decorations during the holiday season.More

Warsaw Uprising Museum (Muzeum Powstania)

Set in a converted power station, the Warsaw Uprising Museum charts the World War II Warsaw Uprising, when Poland’s underground resistance tried to oust the city’s Nazi occupiers before the arrival of the Soviet army. The museum charts the unsuccessful 63-day insurrection through multimedia experiences, artifacts, and personal testimonies.More

Museum of Life Under Communism (Muzeum Zycia w PRL)

Set among the Communist architecture around Constitution Square, Warsaw’s Museum of Life Under Communism showcases life behind the Iron Curtain, from milk bars to interior design and even exercise. Previously known as Czar PRL, it's now called Muzeum Życia w PRL, which translates as Museum of Life in the Polish People's Republic.More


Żoliborz is one of Warsaw’s northern districts, located on the left bank of the Vistula River, directly north of Warsaw’s city center. Żoliborz is the smallest district in Warsaw and gets its name from the French words, joli bord, which mean "pretty bank" or "beautiful embankment."Żoliborz began really developing oncePoland regained independence in 1918. New houses, parks and squares filled the area, mostly in modernist architecture styles. One notable area is Żoliborz Oficerski, a higher-end spot built up with villas for Polish Army officers and other figures.During the Warsaw Uprising, Żoliborz was a place of conflict but the district was fortunately spared the damage seen in many other parts of Warsaw.Today, Żoliborz is a quiet neighborhood. It’s gaining some popularity with expats, despite not having an international school nearby, and Kepa Potocka Park hosts summer concerts and is the ideal spot for a quiet afternoon getaway. One of the main sights is the Citadel (Muzeum X Pawilony Cytadeli), built during the 19th-century Russian occupation.Another important sight is St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, which contains the tomb of the blessed Jerzy Popiełuszko, a Roman Catholic priest murdered by Polish communist intelligence agents. He has since been recognized a martyr, and his tomb has seen over 20 million visitors.More
Katyn Museum (Muzeum Katyńskie)

Katyn Museum (Muzeum Katyńskie)

A moving memorial to victims of the 1940 Katyn massacre, the Katyn Museum is housed in the 19th-century Warsaw Citadel that was commissioned by Tsar Nicolas I to house Russian troops. Personal effects, documentation, and portraits evoke the Second World War tragedy, while an audio guide fills in missing pieces of history.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 1 Day in Warsaw

How to Spend 1 Day in Warsaw

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Recent reviews from experiences in Warsaw

Fantastic night out
sean_s, Mar 2023
#1 Pub Crawl Warsaw with Premium Open Bar
Meeting great people and getting to visit great warsaw bars .
Great Tour
John_T, Mar 2023
Private Tour: Warsaw's Jewish Heritage by Retro Fiat
The tour was excellent and Marcin's English is perfect.
Fariba_S, Dec 2022
Private Tour: Warsaw City Sightseeing by Retro Fiat
It was the best way to see Warsaw and learn about its history considering that it was freezing cold outside.
Outstanding Historical Exposure
Alex_H, Dec 2022
Private Tour: Warsaw's Communist History by Retro Fiat
He was extremely knowledgeable, fluent in English, and offered a flexible and entertaining itinerary.
Passionate tour guide but no food stops
C_W, Nov 2022
Small-Group Historical Guided Tour of Warsaw with pick up/drop off. Public Tour.
This tour has made me excited to visit Warsaw again.
DEFINITELY a must-do.
Darrell_C, Nov 2022
Private Historical Tour of Warsaw by a Retro Fiat with Pickup
We very much wanted to see the parts of Warsaw that gave us a sense of the Warsaw Uprising, and I feel confident in saying that we would not have found several of these sites without Martin.
The best your ever
Scott_F, Oct 2022
Krakow & Auschwitz day tour from Warsaw by private car with Lunch
It is a very somber experience to see the site, the pictures, and the place where this atrocity took place!
Superb short tour. Recommended
Sandra_C, Sep 2022
Warsaw Morning, Guided, Panoramic View, public city tour with hotel pick up
The perfect way to see Warsaw if you are on a tight schedule.
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All about Warsaw

When to visit

Warsaw celebrates summer with a jam-packed roster of outdoor festivals such as Midsummer’s Eve, Warsaw Fashion Street, and Summer Jazz Days. Be sure to pack an umbrella as, even in summer, rainstorms are likely. In early fall, crowds disperse and hotel prices drop, and October sees the Warsaw Film Festival kick off.

Polish Zloty (PLN)
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People Also Ask

What is Warsaw known for?

Warsaw is known for Warsaw Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was lovingly rebuilt after its destruction in World War II, the Warsaw Royal Castle, and parks and palaces. Highlights include the high-rise socialist realist Palace of Culture and Science, fascinating museums, and a world-class craft beer scene.

How many days do you need in Warsaw?

Warsaw deserves at least three days. Explore palaces and castles following the Royal Route; take a walking tour of Warsaw Old Town; and learn about WWII at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews and the Warsaw Rising Museum. A Chopin concert and a beer or vodka tasting are well worthwhile.

What do people do in Warsaw?

Warsaw is a capital city replete with culture, nightlife, museums, galleries, restaurants, and city parks, not to mention craft beer bars and microbreweries. Activities run from exploring Warsaw Old Town and the Royal Route through to cooking classes, beer tastings, vodka discovery, and enjoying green spaces like Łazienki Park.

Is Warsaw better than Krakow?

Warsaw is more than twice the size of Krakow, but both cities are well worth visiting. Krakow is much better preserved than Warsaw, which was destroyed by the Nazis after the Warsaw Rising, so is prettier and feels more historic. Warsaw, as Poland’s capital, has better bars, clubs, shops, restaurants, museums, and galleries.

Is Warsaw worth visiting?

Yes. Besides UNESCO-listed Warsaw Old Town and the historic palaces and parks that make up the Royal Route, Warsaw is home to a wealth of museums and galleries, great restaurants, and world-class beers and vodkas. The Praga district offers spectacular street art murals, a neon museum, and a riverside beach.

Is Warsaw in Germany or Poland?

Warsaw is the capital of Poland and sits almost 300 miles (480 kilometers) east of the German border. Warsaw is not in Germany and has never been part of Germany, although the Prussians briefly ruled the city around 1800 and Nazi Germany occupied it during WWII.


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