Believe it or not, visiting Warsaw, as Poland’s capital, will probably give you the least of a cultural shock, so it’s a good place to start experiencing all that the country has to offer.
This town, with an eventful past and modern attractions, is a place where business meets culture. From fancy restaurants, shopping malls and luxurious SPA, to humbling history lessons on monarchy, World War II and communism - you will leave the city with your tummy full of good food, and your mind full of perspective-changing information.
We have prepared a list of attractions for you to book, too - so if you’re planning on doing that, remember to do it as soon as possible, as prices and dates may vary!
Brief Warsaw Facts
Warsaw (Warszawa in Polish), with the river Vistula (Wisła) going right through it, is both the capital and the largest city of Poland. It has a population of about 3 million people. The history of the town goes back to about the 12th Century or prior, with the etymology of the name not scientifically confirmed.
The city represents a mix of the old, the new and all in between, with beautiful architecture taking you back centuries. What is special about the city is the fact that after its historical part had been almost completely shattered to pieces in World War II, parts of it have been reconstructed with old plans back to their prior state. It is important to mention that Warsaw was also the place to hold one of the most infamous World War II ghettos.
Today, the city is blooming as an economic, political and cultural center of the country.
And when visiting during summer, you can expect it to be mildly hot - so do bring a thin sweater for some nighttime walks around the town.
As there are many events in Warsaw all year round, it would be good to keep an eye on the website offering etickets for different concerts and happenings called eBilet - you will most likely come across something of your interests.
Day 1: Warsaw Old Town
On your first day in Warsaw, you will hopefully have rested after your flight, and as you might be fighting a little bit of a jet lag situation, we suggest you take it slow, and go on a walk or explore a sightseeing tour, to learn more about your whereabouts.
Sights not to miss are:
- The Old Town (Stare Miasto)
Warsaw Old Town, also known as Stare Miasto or Starówka, is the oldest part of the city, with beautiful buildings known as kamienice. There is plenty to see here and this part of town has a lot of restaurants to offer, so you will easily spend the whole day wandering around. Don’t miss the story of the Warsaw Mermaid (Syrenka Warszawska), and delicious ice cream at the Barek Kawowy Lucyna Hoduń coffee store - you will know it by the line that forms in front of the entrance. And when it comes to food, this is the place to try traditional Polish food, which most restaurants offer.
We suggest you hop on one of the tours of Stare Miasto, either by bike, segway or by foot. Check them out here. You can also hop in to the Royal Castle (Zamek Królewski) and explore the museum in a 2 hour tour.
And to learn more about this part of the town - check our article here.
Now, the city center is not far from the Old Town - Nowy Świat Street, close by, is where you can do some shopping and hop by a beautiful patisserie called A. Blikle.
You can continue your walk to Złote Tarasy, a shopping center, and get some Polish foods and goods, and take beautiful photos in front of - or from the top of Warsaw’s Palace of Science and Culture.
Day 2 & 4: A Field Trip
If Warsaw is the only city in Poland you plan on visiting, then it is worth your while to opt for a day or two away.
- An All-Day Trip to Auschwitz
There are one day tours that will take you to Auschwirtz - Birkenau, the infamous concentration centre of the Holocaust. Though this option may be quite tiring, it is important for everyone to experience, especially if you are not planning another trip to Poland anytime soon. Explore your booking options here.
- A Half A-Day Trip to Wilanów
Another idea is to go to Wilanów, nichnamed the little Versailles and being the museum of King Jan III’s, giving a great insight into the life of royals of the 17th Century. Though actually not far from the city, it does require a dedication of a few hours to enjoy the grounds of this beautiful place.
Day 3 & Day 5: Museum Day
Out of seven days at one place of rich heritage as Warsaw, at least two should be dedicated to museums. After all, the city has been through a lot, often staying at the forefront of great historical events and developments.
Whatever you choose to see, you will be amazed at all the history each of them has to teach you!
Day 6: Food, Drinks and Walks
When in Poland - you won’t go hungry!
But to start up your appetite, we suggest taking a stroll through Łazienki Królewskie, a royal park open to public, filled with beautiful nature - the sounds, the smells and even the squirls! The Museum inside, in honor of this place which used to be royal residency used for vacation, is a charming place for you to explore beautiful interior design.
Then, it would be a great idea to go on a Polish food tour. This will give you the best perspective on all the delicious tastes that Poland has to offer. Lasting half a day with dinner included, you will fall asleep happy as a baby.
Day 7: Spa Day
What’s summer without a day at the pool?
Check out the offers on some Warsaw spa, or opt to go to Tężnia in Konstancin-Jeziorna, a refreshing place for outdoor inhalation.
You can also use this day to go to the Warsaw ZOO, or organize a one-day trip to the seaside.
Things to Consider When Visiting Poland
As mentioned before, due to Warsaw’s oceanic climate, the weather is mostly quite nice in the summer. Occasional heath waves might occur, but they are rare, and you will find visiting the city in the summer time to be perfect - it shouldn’t be too crowded as local people tend to use that time to go on vacation themselves.
As mentioned in other articles, it would be a good idea to change your money to Polish Złoty, even though most Polish venues do accept cards. To do so, try to exchange your money a little further from the city center, to get the most worth out of it.
Hope you enjoyed our little guide, and don’t forget to check our shop for some cool Polish things to remind you of your stay there!