There are so many things to do in Warsaw, one of Europe’s criminally underrated capital cities!
Warsaw is a beautiful city and is a great place to visit for a weekend break. Many tourists often neglect Warsaw, opting instead to travel to the more popular city of Krakow. Don’t be one of these travelers!
Warsaw is one of the most beautiful Eastern European cities I have visited, and thus I declare that should be on everyone’s bucket list. And, oh yeah, Warsaw is a great destination for backpackers, too. Accommodation, food and beverages are all very reasonable if you know where to look, meaning it is a great place to visit if you are traveling on a budget.
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Things to do in Warsaw
With that in mind here is a list of things to do in Warsaw when you visit Poland. Which you should be doing. Trust me.
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Explore the Historic Center
Over 80% of the old town of Warsaw was completely destroyed during the Second World War. This part of town was later rebuilt to the exact replica it was before. As you enter the old town you feel as if you have gone back in time. The buildings look new yet there is a traditional feel to the architecture in this part of Warsaw. The buildings here are so beautiful it is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Explore the narrow streets, pick up a souvenir at the market in the main square and soak in the atmosphere of this old part of town.
Get Good Luck From the Wishing Bell
In the Cannon (Kanonia) square in the old town there is a bronze bell in the middle of the square. The legend goes if you touch the top of the bell and circle it three times it will bring you good luck.
Behind this bell is also the location of the thinnest house in Warsaw, which is a cool little oddity to check out while you’re there.
Views of Warsaw From the Tallest Building in Poland
Go to the viewing platform on top of The Palace of Culture and Science where you can see the City of Warsaw for miles. I did this on my last day in Warsaw and it was a great way to end my trip to this beautiful city. Taking in this view is definitely one of the top things to do in Warsaw!
The building itself is probably the most iconic in the entire city, and you’ll be seeing its tower while exploring other parts of the center.
Experience a Night Market
There are many markets that take place across the city throughout the year. My favorite market is the Nocny Market (Literally means Night Market).
The Night Market in Warsaw takes place in Warszawa Główna, a closed-down railway station. There is plenty of food stalls with music and drinks. There is even a pop-up tattoo parlor if you are in the mood to get inked while visiting Poland’s capital!
Have Breakfast at the “Targ Śniadaniowy” Market
If you are looking for a more traditional market the “Targ Śniadaniowy” also known as the Breakfast Market is a great start to a day of exploring.
From local cakes and traditional Polish snacks to more adventurous cuisines such as snails and charcoal-based Pizzas, there are many options to choose from. There is also a craft fair within this market which also has different workshops and demonstrations.
This market takes place throughout the year but changes to an indoor market during the winter months. Check out their website to find out about the various locations before you visit.
Experience a Fountain Light Show at Night
Every summer the fountains at the Multimedialny Park Fontann come alive at night with a beautiful light show.
This park is located between the old town and the Vistula River. The show takes place every Friday and Saturday at 9 pm from May until the end of September. So if you are visiting during the summer make sure to check it out!
Be Dazzled by Signs in the Neon Museum
The Neon Museum opened in 2005 and is involved in restoring old neon signs that were popular during the avant-garde movement between the 1950s to the 1970s. Visit the museum and learn how neon signs were made, and why. View some of the old Polish neon signs and discover their significance to artistry during the Eastern Bloc era.
Have a Hot Chocolate in the Official E. Wedel Chocolate Lounge
Chocolate lovers, this one is for you guys.
E. Wedel is a famous Polish confectionery company, producing many varieties of high-quality chocolates, cakes, and snacks. Visit the lush E. Wedel Chocolate Lounge and have a cup of delicious hot chocolate. Pretty great on a cold day!
Relax at One of Warsaw’s City Beaches
Did you know that Warsaw has many “beaches”? During the summer six beaches are placed along the riverside where locals congregate to enjoy the summer sun. There are many sporting activities that take place on the beaches as well as pop up cafe’s and bars.
A great way to spend a few hours enjoying the summer sunshine, and one of the more relaxing things to do in Warsaw during the summer months!
Take in Panoramic Views of the Old Town From St Anne’s Church
It is one of the few churches that escaped the war with only minor damage. Visit this beautiful church, take the winding stairs to the top where you will see beautiful views of the old town and the Royal Palace.
Go For a Picnic in the University Library Park
One of my favorite spots is the rooftop garden above the Warsaw University Library. This garden is brilliantly designed and gives you a great vantage point of the city. This is a great place to have a picnic and enjoy the views. Absolutely should be on your list of things to do in Warsaw.
Visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
This is a beautiful monument dedicated to all those soldiers who have given their lives for Poland. This monument is located in Piłsudski Square and is guarded by soldiers. It is constantly lit by an eternal flame and is decorated with flowers. Poland has a tragic history, especially in the 20th century, so go and pay your respects to those who fell in the defense of freedom and liberty!
Eat a Ton of Pierogi
Yummmmmmmy. Pierogi are one of the staples of Polish cuisine, and you can eat them just about anywhere in Warsaw. These flour dumplings can be served boiled or fried. You can get them stuffed with meat, or cheese, or go vegan and try sauerkraut and mushroom stuffing. You can also eat them for dessert if you order the blueberry or strawberry stuffed ones. Whatever you choose, you can’t go wrong with pierogi!
Large chain restaurants like Zapiecek or Gościniec have many locations around the city, and offer great pierogi.
We recommend ordering a cup of hot barszcz (Polish Borscht) to go alone with your delicious pierogi. Definitely one of the things you should do in Warsaw! Bon appetit!
Visit the Chopin Museum
Did you know Fredrick Chopin was originally from Warsaw?
Warsaw has fully embraced Chopin by having many monuments and events dedicated to this famous artist. One of these is the Chopin Museum which is next door to the School of Music in Warsaw where it gives you information on the life of Chopin. Visitors will discover various information about Chopin’s life, works, shown from his experiences in Poland and Paris.
Listen to Chopin’s Music in the Park
If you want to continue on your Chopin experience you can go to the Royal Łazienki Park to hear his music. Concerts are held from mid-May until the end of September with performances taking place twice on a Sunday at 12 pm and 4 pm. If you like classical music this should definitely be on your list of things to do in Warsaw!
Discover Street Art in the Praga District
This area is a bit further out from the city center but still an interesting place to visit. It has many buildings decorated with all sorts of sweet street art.
I reckon this should be on your list of things to do in Warsaw if you fancy exploring during the day by venturing further afield, and if you have even the slightest interest in cool urban art.
Go Boutique Shopping on Mokotowska Street
This street is one of the few streets in Warsaw to have survived the war relatively intact. There are many well-known brands as well as local designers along this street where you can purchase beautiful clothes, jewelry, and accessories.
Basically, if you want to give your credit card a workout, go here. If you’re traveling on a budget best avoid this, unless you enjoy window shopping.
Find Out About the Life of Marie Curie
The Maria Sklodowska-Curie Museum is dedicated to the life of Marie Curie. She is a woman most noted for her discovery of polonium and radium, winning her two Nobel prizes in physics and chemistry.
Although a lot of items were destroyed during the war, many personal items belonging to the scientist are available to view in this museum.
The Best Hostels in Warsaw!
Looking for affordable accommodations during your visit to Poland’s capital? Here are three of the best hostels in Warsaw!
Hipstel Hostel in Warsaw – Located in the heart of Warsaw, this hostel offers guests 12 unique rooms decorated by young artists from the local Academy of Fine Arts. With a plethora of attractions, shops, and restaurants nearby you will have plenty of entertainment options within walking distance. If you can’t bring yourself to leave the property after a long day out and about, the hostel offers guests cable TV, a Playstation, and board games to keep you busy.
Mish Mash Old Town Hostel in Warsaw – Located in a quiet section of Old Town in a freshly renovated beautiful old building, Mish Mash Old Town Hostel is one of the best hostels in Warsaw. Loads of fantastic restaurants, cafes, and shops surround the hostel, and the infamous Mermaid Statue is a mere 100 meters away. Guests have a kitchen, private bathrooms, and a flat-screen TV with cable channels at their disposal to make their stay super enjoyable and comfortable.
Oki Doki Old Town Hostel in Warsaw – This highly rated, new and ultra-modern, hostel is also located in the historic center of Warsaw. Each dorm bed is designed with comfort and privacy in mind. The common space, Dluga Fretka cafe, and cozy backyard give guests plenty of options to socialize in this fantastic hostel.
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Christina is a writer and owner of Dear Passerby. She loves exploring her home country of Ireland as well as parts of Europe and beyond. Dear Passerby has been featured in Feedspots “Top 100 Travel blogs to Check Out” and has been a finalist in the “Ireland Blog Awards”.