9 Places to Visit in Warsaw, Poland

9 places to Visit in Warsaw, Poland

Although being Poland’s capital, Warsaw isn’t the most popular destination in this country in Eastern Europe, while the city of Krakow gets the most attention. Warsaw is sadly remembered for being almost completely (over 85%) destroyed during the war. This is indeed a city with a rich history, which is manifested by a bizarre mix of different architectural styles comprising the Warsaw of today. Whatever you are looking for — Gothic churches, medieval squares, glass skyscrapers, concrete houses of the Communist period — here, you will likely find all those. Today’s city is proud of its numerous museums, renowned restaurants, advanced bar culture and vibrant nightlife. In this guide, we try to persuade you that there is a lot to see and try in Warsaw for everyone.

1. The Old Town

The Old Town

The heart of Warsaw features nice colourful houses, narrow streets and spacious cobbled squares. This area was subjected to bombings during World War II, which caused much damage. Luckily, most medieval buildings had been reconstructed by the year 1962, and now the old town looks as beautiful as it did before the war. This rebirth was such an incredible event that the Old Town was granted UNESCO World Heritage status. Don’t miss the Mermaid statue on the Old Town Market Square. This small statue is the city’s coat of arms and depicts a woman with a fishtail holding a sword and a shield. The mermaid serves as a symbol of Warsaw’s courage and independence. Following the street Royal Route, you can get to the modern city centre.

2. The Royal Castle and its gardens

The Royal Castle

This place is situated at the entrance to the old town, so you won’t have to walk a long distance to get there. The castle, built in approximately 1620, is a former residence of the Polish monarchs. Like the old town, the castle was nearly destroyed during the war and has undergone a thorough restoration. Now, this is a splendid museum with plenty of majestic interior designs, as well as a hotspot for art lovers with its classic paintings and sculptures. Admission is free on Wednesdays; for the rest of the week, the entrance fee is 40 PLN, which is around 8£. The gardens surrounding the castle can be visited free of charge, which makes them a popular place for recreation. To avoid crowds, you better visit it in the morning.

3. The Lazienki Park

The Lazienki Park

The 76-hectare park, designed in the 17th century, is an excellent place for walks and picnics. Here, you find the summer palace of Poland’s last king standing on an artificial island in the middle of the pond. The park includes three gardens: 18th century Royal Garden, 19th century Romantic Garden, and 20th century Modernist Garden. There are plenty of pavilions scattered throughout the territory where you can hold a picnic. Free Chopin concerts are held here every Sunday afternoon, so if you fancy classical music, be sure not to miss this event. There is even more to visit within the park — two orangeries, a planetarium, an amphitheatre, and regular outdoor activities.

4. The River Vistula


Take a boat trip along the Vistula, the longest river in Poland, to embrace the city’s views from a new angle. On one bank, you will see a nature reserve, and on another — the centre of Warsaw. If the weather is favourable, book a tour and enjoy the ride. Besides, devote some time to exploring the beaches along the river — National Geographic named them the best urban beaches. If you visit Warsaw in summer, you can participate in multiple activities held on Vistula’s beaches, including free concerts called «urban playing». As an alternative to a boat trip, you can take a bike trip or a walk along the left bank of Vistula stretching from the Bridge of Poniatowskiego and the Lazienki Park to Rondo Waszyngtona.

5. The Palace of Culture and Science

The Palace of Culture and Science

A 237-meter (778-foot) 42-storied imposing building, the second tallest both in the city and in Poland, one of the most characteristic places of interest around Warsaw, was built in 1955 as a gift from the Soviet Union. Initially, it was named after Joseph Stalin, on behalf of whom the skyscraper was built. On the 30th floor, it has a viewpoint from where you can have a spectacular view of Warsaw. Nowadays, the building functions as a cultural hub with museums, theatres, exhibitions, cinemas, libraries, and even university faculties and authorities. The palace is surrounded by sculptures depicting various outstanding personalities of culture and science.

6. The Praga District

The Praga District

If you don’t like popular tourist places and prefer to explore the authentic city, head to the Praga district, named «the dark side» of Warsaw. It is located on the other side of Vistula from the central part of the city and, therefore, wasn’t bombed so heavily during World War II. So, some historic buildings remained unchanged. This district has always been home to the poorest citizens; moreover, it was known for its black market for some time. Even now, Praga is considered one of the most dangerous parts of the city. Despite not being a particularly touristy place yet, the Praga district has some tourist attractions, such as chocolate and vodka factories. Compared with the fully restored «old town», Praga is genuinely old, with rundown buildings and the authentic look of pre-war Warsaw. This is also a cool place for those admiring street art in particular and underground culture as a whole.

7. The Neon Museum

9 Places to Visit in Warsaw, Poland neon museum

This quirky museum is a spectacular collection of 200 neon signs from the Cold War situated in the Praga district. During the years of the Communism regime, those signs were rather helpful to shops or companies to advertise and promote their products — the so-called «neonisation campaign». Decades later, in 2004, when people decided to get rid of them, Polish residents David Hill and Ilona Karwinska began obtaining neons, then restored them and made an exhibition out of them. These activities continue. The neon museum is a really photogenic place with a retro feel, and its motto says, «Where history meets art, and darkness meets light». Working days are Wednesday to Monday, 12 to 18, the regular price is 18 PLN (3,5£), and the privileged price is 15 PLN (3£).

8. The Museum of Communism

The Museum of Communism

Another «Praga’s» place worthy of attention is the museum depicting life in Poland during the Communist era — from 1944 to 1989. Though a relatively small space, around 260 sqm, this museum has lots to offer, from old household items and packing to a fully furnished room and a restored car. Here, younger generations get a chance to learn about the past of their parents and grandparents and see the way they lived in the People’s Republic of Poland. The museum’s location is also symbolic — the Constitution Square, a prominent example of communist architecture. The museum is open every day, from 10 AM to 6 PM, except on Fridays, when it is open till 8 PM. The regular ticket costs 28 PLN (5,5£), and the reduced ticket is 18 PLN (3,5£).

9. Creative places

All of these spaces are objects of regeneration, a global trend that has spread over the last decade. Items reclaimed from disused buildings are carefully treated to be repurposed and become elements of new institutions. In this way, historic spaces are revived and reshaped into urban landscapes — the combination of history with modernity gives birth to a new concept.

Browary Warszawskie used to function as a beer brewery in 1846, being one of the largest in Europe. In 2005, beer production in Warsaw was stopped, yet the factory building is still used to place multiple restaurants, cafes, and bars.

Browary Warszawskie
Koszyki, commonly known as the «People’s Bazaar,» is another industrial-styled space built in 1908. Since 2016, this art nouveau building has been a social and culinary centre with 18 restaurants and bars, as well as shops and various services.


Elektrownia Powisle is a former power station (1904 — 2001) and a modern multipurpose complex with over 70 boutiques and 14 restaurants equipped with nice terraces (since 2016). There is also a beauty hall offering over 300 beauty services. The website says this is «a unique place where history and modernity meet and go hand in hand».

Elektrownia Powisle

Norblin Factory was once well-known for its metalworking and silver production. Nowadays, it is a creative centre comprising offices, shops, cafes, an eco-bazaar, a boutique cinema, and an open-air museum of the industrial enterprise that used to function here.

Norblin Factory

Nocny Market (Night Market) is the abandoned railway station where Warsaw’s most popular bars and street food cafes are located. The building is adorned with street art and neon signs. On evenings, the Night Market offers its guests performances by different DJs and bands.

Nocny Market

So, now we are going to inform you of the expected daily expenses in Warsaw. Backpackers, i.e., budget travellers, may expect to spend 185 PLN a day (approximately 36£). This means staying in a hostel, cooking all the meals, and engaging in cheap or free activities. Mind that drinking adds 15 to 30 PLN (3 to 6£) to a daily budget.

The mid-range budget keeps the average daily cost at 375 PLN (nearly 74£). This type of travel contemplates staying in a private Airbnb or hostel room, eating out at milk bars (canteens), sometimes getting around by taxi, and doing some paid activities.

The luxury daily budget starts at 725 PLN (142£). Of course, being a rich traveller implies staying in a hotel, eating out anywhere you like, and engaging in all the interesting activities—there is no limit.

This being said, it’s necessary to point out that Warsaw is a rather affordable city, so it’s not difficult to travel here even with a low budget — just mind some saving tips. For example, there are plenty of options for visiting museums for free — check out this website to learn them all: https://go2warsaw.pl/en/visit-warsaws-museums-for-free/.

As for accommodation options, head straight to hotelin.com — a hotel price aggregator where you can find the best price observing variants collected from dozens of booking platforms. It’s easy to operate, it has multiple filters to customise your search, and offers hundreds of accommodation options in every city worldwide. We wish you a nice trip and a wonderful summer!


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