Two days in Warsaw give you the chance to see highlights of the city, from the Old Town UNESCO World Heritage Site to the Warsaw Jewish Ghetto and other Second World War sights and still have time to pay tribute at a Nazi concentration camp. Along the way, discover Poland’s cuisine and nightlife, washed down with plenty of vodka. Here’s how.
Day 1: Warsaw Wandering
Morning: Start the day by discovering Warsaw’s charming Old Town, either on a dedicated walking tour or as part of a broader city tour. Learn about the Polish capital’s 1,400-odd years of history as you tour Old Town Market Square, Warsaw Royal Castle, St. John’s Cathedral, the Warsaw Barbican, and more.
Afternoon: Explore the lost world of Warsaw’s prewar Jewish community. Tour the site of the Warsaw Jewish Ghetto, including Nożyk Synagogue and the remains of the ghetto wall. See the Jewish Cemetery, pay your respects at the Monument of the Ghetto Heroes, and visit the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.
Night: Add a range of authentic Polish recipes to your repertoire with a hands-on cooking course, covering classics such as pierogi (dumplings) and buckwheat pancakes. Then get a handle on the city’s nightlife—as well as its vibrant beer scene—with a good old-fashioned pub crawl.
Day 2: Into the Dark
Day: Pay tribute at one of the World War II concentration camps, where millions went to their deaths during the Nazi German occupation. Treblinka is the nearest camp to Warsaw. The site where the extermination camp once stood is now a ghostly open-air memorial lined with jagged stones, although remnants of the labor camp still stand. Alternatively, travel farther to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and Memorial, site of the world’s most notorious concentration camp. The camps at Auschwitz and Birkenau are well-preserved, and the barracks house a powerful and moving museum of the Holocaust, but the site is busier than Treblinka.
Night: Slough away the darkness by immersing yourself in the music of a homegrown Polish genius, Frédéric Chopin, at a piano concert at a heritage property. Alternatively, dive deeper into the world of Polish food on a culinary tour that checks off craft breweries and bakeries alike.