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A Weekend in Warsaw – The Ultimate Travel Guide

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When you hear about Poland, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Perhaps it’s the beautiful city of Krakow. Or maybe you think of visiting Auschwitz? Either way, I’m willing to bet that Warsaw, Poland’s vibrant capital city, isn’t the first place that pops into your head.

I’ll admit that I’d never really considered Warsaw either. But when I spotted some crazy cheap flights and a cute Airbnb, we decided to give it a go. After spending three nights in Warsaw, we absolutely fell in love with this underrated destination. And I’m here to tell you how to spend three days in Warsaw yourself.

Warsaw is a bustling metropolis with so much to offer, perfectly balancing old and new architecture across the city, with a vibrant cultural scene to match. So, if you decide to head to Poland, here’s how to spend a weekend in Warsaw with a Warsaw travel guide to the best things to see, do and experience in this historical city.

Warsaw City Skyline at Night

A Travel Guide to Warsaw, Poland

Getting to and from Warsaw Airport

Warsaw has two airports close to the city – Chopin Airport which is only 15 minutes drive from Warsaw city centre, and Modlin Airport, which is 45 minutes from the city centre.

We arrived into Modlin Airport and took the airport bus to the city centre, disembarking at the Palace of Culture and Science (also known as PKIN). Two buses serve Modlin airport – Contbus and FlixBus. You can book your Flixbus tickets in advance to ensure you are guaranteed a seat. Bus tickets cost approximately £15 for a round trip.

You can find out more information from the Modlin Airport website.

Beautiful fountain in a public gardens in Warsaw, Poland at night

10 Things to Do in Warsaw, Poland

Palace of Culture and Science

As the tallest building in Poland, the Palace of Culture and Science towers over Warsaw’s city centre and offers great views from the 30th-floor viewing terrace. Open from 10am to 8pm daily, head up after dark to see the city lit up below. The admission price is low at only 25zl per person. The viewing terrace is open from 10am till 8pm.

You can find out more information about current ticket prices and opening hours here. And you can book entry tickets here, or skip the line with a guided tour.

View from Palace of Culture and Science, PKIN, in Warsaw, Poland, one of the best things to do during a weekend in Warsaw

Warsaw’s Old Town

On our first morning, we headed straight for the Old Town, which is as picturesque and quaint as the name suggests. Just a short walk from the city centre, we arrived for breakfast and set up camp at one of the many cafes. People-watching is a great way to spend time and the Old Town offers plenty of opportunities to do just that.

A fantastic way to see the Old Town and learn more about it’s tumultuous history is to book a walking tour.

Tourist walking dark streets in Warsaw's Old Town at night

Surprisingly, the Old Town isn’t actually old at all. The majority of the historical buildings were completely flattened by bombs during World War II and have been reconstructed over the years; a true testimony to the resiliency of the Polish people. According to history books and photographs, the Old Town looks as amazing today as it did before the war.

Warsaw's Old Town Square, one of the best things to do on a weekend in Warsaw

Warsaw’s Royal Castle

A beautiful building which previously served as the official residence of the Polish monarchs. It was reconstructed after World War II when it was almost completely destroyed by the Nazis. Take the time to explore inside – it is truly jaw-dropping. You should allow at least two hours to take it all in.

The castle is closed on Mondays, but is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm. Admission is free to all permanent exhibitions on Wednesdays.

You can find more information opening hours and ticket prices here. And you can book your tickets for the Royal Castle here.

Tourist exploring beautiful rooms in Warsaw's Royal Castle

Enjoy a Chopin Concert

The legendary composer Frederic Chopin was born just six miles outside Warsaw. As such, there are countless Chopin concerts in Warsaw that allow you to enjoy beautiful piano music and an evening of culture. You can enjoy free Chopin concerts in Łazienki Park on Sundays in the summer or you can book a recommended Chopin concert here.

A woman playing piano in the ballroom of the Royal Castle in Warsaw

Łazienki Park

A nice long stroll down the river takes you to Łazienki Park, a green oasis in the midst of a bustling city. We took some time out of the city to explore some of the beautiful buildings and lakes. The perfect place to enjoy a picnic, you can relax for an entire afternoon. Be sure to check out the free Chopin concerts at the Chopin Monument held every Sunday afternoon at 12 noon throughout the summer.

For more information on visiting Łazienki Park, you can check out the official website.

Reflections on a lake of a beautiful palace in Lazienki Park, Warsaw

Nowy Swiat

On our second morning, we headed straight for Nowy Swiat, a picturesque street lined with cafes and restaurants. Strolling along this street, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d been transported to Paris. We settled down for breakfast in one of the many cafes and enjoyed the morning sun. Don’t miss Cheesecake Corner for some beautifully made cheesecakes and excellent coffee.

Black and white photograph of a coffee shop on a beautiful street in Warsaw

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

A touching monument dedicated to the Polish soldiers who lost their lives fighting for Poland. The tomb is situated inside the Saxon Gardens in the remains of a Saxon Palace, destroyed in WWII. The tomb is constantly guarded by two uniformed soldiers and the changing of the guard happens every hour, on the hour.

Two soldiers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Warsaw

Zlote Tarasy

While I don’t tend to do much shopping myself, I did enjoy visiting Zlote Tarasy. Located close to the Palace of Culture and Science, this modern glass building houses a huge shopping centre and entertainment complex. With plenty of places to eat and all of the best-known brands, you can spend a couple of hours shopping to your heart’s content. Or if like me, just enjoy the unique architecture from the outside.

A black and white photo of the architecture at Zlote Tarasy Shopping Centre in Warsaw

Wilanów Palace

Wilanów Palace is Warsaw’s very own Versailles! Unfortunately, we didn’t get time to head down to Wilanów and I think we definitely missed a trick. The palace managed to survive both world wars relatively unscathed and is a stunning example of pre-war architecture. To get there, you’ll need to catch a bus from the city centre, which takes about 35 minutes. Alternatively, many taxi companies will take you there from the city centre.

For more information on ticket prices, latest news and opening times, head to the official website.

Museums

If museums are your thing, Warsaw is a great place for you! With many museums covering a great range of topics, you’ll have plenty to keep you busy. Check out the Copernicus Science Centre, the Warsaw Uprising Museum, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews or the National Museum, to name but a few.

Or for something a little unusual, try this Polish vodka museum tour with tastings.

Here’s a handy guide to visiting Warsaw’s museums for free.

Tourist exploring beautiful ornate rooms of Warsaw's Royal Castle

What to Eat in Warsaw

No Warsaw travel guide would be complete without mentioning the food. From sauerkraut and sausages to Bigos stew and Pierogi dumplings, Poland has a fascinating food scene perfect for those who like to try something a little different. Bigos, Poland’s national dish, is a rich and tasty dish consisting of meat and cabbage, often cooked in a bread bowl. While Pierogi dumplings, sweet and savoury, are a traditional Polish favourite.

Pastries and cakes are also very popular in Poland so expect to see lots of cafes with beautifully decorated sweet treats on display.

A friend who grew up in Poland recommended Podwale 25 for a delicious budget-friendly lunch.

Or you can book a Polish food tour to experience the varied flavours of Polish cuisine.

Bigos Stew in Warsaw, Poland

Getting Around Warsaw

Walking around a city is always my favourite way to get around because you get to really experience the city and see as much as possible. But if you’d rather not walk, you’ll find a good public transport system which is (apparently) very easy to use.

A black and white photo of a girl enjoying the view from an Airbnb apartment in Warsaw

Where to Stay in Warsaw

While in Warsaw, we stayed in a great Airbnb apartment with an incredible view! Perfect for a quick stay in the city, it had everything we needed and enjoyed the most amazing view of the city skyline! Unfortunately, updating this post, it seems this particular Airbnb is no longer available for rental, but you can find many other budget friendly options on Airbnb.

Warsaw Accommodation

If you’re looking for a great place to stay in Warsaw, look no further…

Budget Accommodation

Fantastic – S Pokój 1 – very basic low budget apartment for 2 people from £32 per night.

Bello ApartHotel – Small capsule rooms, close to the Palace of Culture and Science in the business district, about 30 mins walk to Old Town.

Mid-Range Accommodation

Safestay Warsaw Old Town – Great hostel with private rooms close to the Old Town. Double room from £49 per night.

Jess Hotel and Spa – Gorgeous spa hotel close to the Old Town. From £80 per night.

Luxury Accommodation

Hotel Bellotto – Treat yourself to this stunning 5-star luxurious hotel in Warsaw’s Old Town.

Hotel Bristol – From only £153 per night, you can stay in this gorgeous 5-star hotel!

With just a few days, we only scratched the surface of what this interesting city has to offer. But, hopefully, this Warsaw travel guide should give you a great idea of how to spend a weekend in Warsaw.

A colourful photo of Warsaw Old Town Square filled with tourists

Have you been to Warsaw? What were your highlights? Did I miss anything from my Warsaw travel guide? Let me know in the comments what you love about Warsaw.

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5 Comments

      1. It’s not for sure yet, but we’re looking for around spring or early summer next year. What about you, any upcoming destinations?

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