Warsaw

Warsaw travel guide

The capital of Poland was completely destroyed during World War Two. The battered city emerged as a modern and vast metropolis from its ashes and is the perfect location for a city trip that is bursting with things to do.
The old city center was completely restored to its original beauty and you would almost forget that it is in fact a copy made in the twentieth century. The otherwise very modern city clearly leaves an impression on the nearly two million inhabitants, because Warsaw is a progressive and open-minded city in the rather conservative Poland.

wilanow palace warsaw

The Wilanow palace, about 30 minutes from Warsaw. Beautiful from the outside and gorgeous inside!

  Average costs in Warsaw

Stay – A five-star hotel starts at $210 / £150 / €170 per night, a four-star hotel starts around $90 / £65 / €75. The cheapest 3 star hotels start at $60 / £43 / €50 but are a bit out of the city center, something more central they cost $85 / £60 / €70.
For a youth hostel you pay between $7 / £5 / €6 and $18 / £13 / €15 per night in Warsawa. All these prices can be found on Booking.

Food – A quick bite like a croissant from a shop costs about 6 zlotys. In a restaurant you can get a main course for 30 to 40 zlotys (+/- $7 to $11 / £5 to £8 / €6 to €9). A pizza shouldn’t cost much more than 20 zloty.
Drinking a beer (big sizes!) In a club or bar shouldn’t cost more than 15 zlotys.

Transport – In Warsaw you’ll be grateful for public transport. The city that was completely destroyed during World War II was rebuilt in a very modern way and little consideration was given to pedestrians. Everything is very far apart and isn’t very easy to reach.
The bus or tram costs 4.4 zł for a single ticket or 15 zł for a 24h ticket.
From the airport I recommend to use the smartphone app Uber.
From the city center my 20-minute ride to the airport only cost 18.95 zloty.
Via this link you also get your first ride for free, and I get one free ride as well.
If you want to go to the Wilánow palace you pay 25 to 30 zlotys with uber.

warsaw jewish ghetto memorial

The memorial site of the Jewish Ghetto (Jewish Ghetto Memorial) lies opposite the interesting POLIN museum.

 Saving money in Warsaw

Free museums – Museums are free of charge once a week or once a month almost anywhere in the world. This is no different in Warsaw. Save a lot of money by checking in advance which museums are free at what dates.
POLIN and the Wilanów Palace are open for free on Thursdays. The museum about the Warsaw Uprising and the Fryderyk Chopin Museum are completely free every Sunday.

Use uber and public transport – If you want to do everything on foot in Warsaw, you’ll need to buy new shoes. A lot of tourist attractions and monuments are far apart and so you’d better rely on public transport or Uber.
I recommend that you immediately purchase a 24-hour ticket for the public transport, because it costs the same as three single trips, and you’ll definitely need more.
I would only use Uber for longer distances because they’re quicker. A ride to the Wilanow palace or the airport for example.

Drink tap water – Drink plenty of water during your city trip! Instead of buying new bottles every time, you should always refill them. It’s better for your wallet and better for the environment.

Milk Bars – Milk bars are very Polish. You’ll find tasty Polish dishes at very cheap prices. Every city has dozens, if not hundreds. You can compare it a bit with a cafeteria.

warsaw stare miasto

The old city center of Warsaw (Stare Miasto) was completely rebuilt in the twentieth century with the help of old paintings and drawings.

  Things to do in Warsaw

Stare Miasto – I personally think that the old city center is the most beautiful part of Warsaw. It consists of a few cute squares surrounded by beautiful buildings and nice eateries. Climb up the many steps of the St. Anna church for a beautiful view of the old city. For the rest, I recommend to just walk around and not to shy away from the small streets. In the end you should definitely end up on the city wall; the Barbakan Warszawski.
Fun fact: this part of the city isn’t as old as it seems. During World War Two, the entire center was destroyed by bombs. After the war, the Polish decided to rebuild the center exactly as it used to be by using paintings, photographs and memories.

Palace of culture and science – From the inside and outside, this building is quite impressive! It was donated to the then communist Poland by Stalin himself! Now you’ll find an interesting museum in the first skyscraper of Poland, and from the top floor you get the best possible view of Warsaw.

Wilánow palace – This gorgeous building is located a short distance from the city center, but I think it’s is one of the finer monuments from Warsaw. This gigantic pastel-colored palace attracts visitors with its perfectly manicured gardens and richly decorated interiors. Every Thursday it’s also free to visit!

Museums! – Warsaw has a lot of museums! Many have to do with the persecution of the Jews and the war (e.g. Polin, museum of the uprising of Warsaw, Polish army museum, …) but also more cultural exhibitions can be found. (e.g. Fryderyk Chopin museum, NEON museum, Copernicus science center, PRL museum …). A lot of museums are closed on Mondays, so keep that in mind when planning your museum visits.

Going out – Warsaw is full of nice pubs, bars, clubs and party occasions. Feel free to grab some Polish vodka and let yourself be carried away by the vibrant nightlife!

Barbakan Warszawski warsaw city walls

The Barbakan Warszawski. The city wall of Warsaw.

  Things to avoid in Warsaw

Museums on Mondays – I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more museums than residents in this city! Warsaw loves museums, but on Mondays most of these educational places are closed. So plan your museum visits on a different day!

Walking too much – If you only spend a few days in the capital of Poland, I recommend to see as much as possible with the help of public transport. The city is vast and the many museums and sights are often a few miles apart. Save time and effort and buy a day ticket on the public transport. It’s cheap and quite comfortable.

warsaw uprising museum

The ‘Warsaw Uprising’ Museum. Incredibly interesting and interactive!

 Excursions in Warsaw

Curious about what you can do in the capital of Poland? A lot! There are dozens of trips that you can plan to make your city trip perfect. Just look at these fun excursions:

 

» All tours and excursions in Warsaw

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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.
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