Top 20 places to visit in Warsaw – landmarks, historic sites and must visit places (Updated 2023)
There are so many fantastic things to do in Warsaw and wonderful Warsaw attractions to discover on your visit to this dynamic city in Poland. The best places to visit in Warsaw are located mostly in the historic district and easy to visit on foot while some of the outlying Warsaw attractions can be reached by uber or taxi if you are interested in seeing more of the unique spots around Warsaw not just in the central district.
The Best places to visit in Warsaw, Poland
Warsaw, Poland is such a cosmopolitan and urban city with lots of character, fascinating old neighborhoods mixed in with new attractions and architecture to explore these fantastic places in Warsaw. I found a visit to the capital of Poland quite inspiring and worthwhile, even though the city was completely demolished by the Nazis during World War 2. The industrious Poles have rebuilt the entire historic center, brick by brick, including some of the outlying neighborhoods of the city. With painstaking detail and hard earned work, they have rebuilt the city to up its glorious past, and have been awarded a Unesco World Heritage certification for all their efforts. It is a beautiful and cosmopolitan city and here are my top 20 places to visit in Warsaw, Poland.
Warsaw Poland FAQ
Why you should visit Warsaw, Poland?
Warsaw is such a cosmopolitan city and a fantastic urban city to explore and spend some time soaking in the rich culture, history, art and even the delicious Polish and local foods from the region. This metropolitan city is easy to get to by airport, train or even the vast network of buses or highways you can travel from. The city’s hip vibe, popular hang out areas, historic center and museum and art scene makes it a rich and beautiful city to explore and spend some time enjoying this vibrant and colorful city.
Even though the old city was completely bombed in WWII, the historic district was meticulously rebuilt from the rubble to exact standards and received a rare unesco certification for their Old city center which is not typical, but since they did an excellent job in rebuilding the area is significant and amazing to explore.
The best time to visit Warsaw, Poland?
Probably the best time to visit Warsaw is during their peak season from June to August when average temperatures range from the mid 60s to mid 70s during the day time. Visiting the shoulder season in spring to May or fall after September is also pleasant with temperatures ranging in the 40s to 60s. When you travel the shoulder season here in Warsaw, everything is cost effective from hotels, tours and activities being more cost competitive across the city.
Is Warsaw worth seeing?
One of the most historic cities in Poland, Warsaw was bombed during World War ll but with meticulous reconstruction of its historic city center using old materials and built to exact standards, the old town of Warsaw still received a certification as a Unesco World Heritage site with this beautiful reconstruction of the city center and many other historic sites of the city.
How many days should you take for visiting Warsaw?
Taking two days to visit Warsaw is the perfect amount of time to explore all the highlights of the city including the Old city center, beautiful parks and landscapes and important museums and other attractions. It’s fun to try the local food specialties and hang out in the many popular spots where locals also congregate.
The best 20 places to visit in Warsaw’s cool neighborhoods and attractions
Just outside of the city center, the city is filled with vibrant neighborhoods, large green belts and beautiful parks, plenty of shopping/trendy places for locals and tourists to enjoy the day-to-day scenes in the city. Warsaw is really is a beautiful city and worth visiting when traveling through Poland, and there is plenty of places in Warsaw, fun activities and attractions to keep you busy and entertained while exploring the capital.
1. Palace Square in Old town
One of the cool Warsaw attractions to visit is Palace Square in the Old Town. Located in the heart of the central district and fronting the royal city palace, Palace square also known as Plac Zamkowy . Filled with outdoor cafes, fountains and shops, the square is a fantastic area to just soak in the atmosphere and enjoy people watching or even trying out some local dishes from the area.
Here’s a fascinating tour of the Palace and grounds in Warsaw
2. Street art in the city
You’ll find street art popping up in so many areas especially on a large scale format. You will find lots of building sized street art (not graffiti) throughout the city and especially around the university area and shopping promenades in the city. If your interested in street art, you can pick up a visit Visit Warsaw map which shows a walking tour of some of the most popular and even prominent street art in the city that is a fun way to explore the city on foot.
Check out the Street art scene in Warsaw
3. The Warsaw Neon Museum
A cool place to visit in Warsaw is the Neon Museum. This is a fun and colorful place to visit and check out many of the historic and old neon memorabilia that have been preserved in this museum. You can check out many of the old Soviet signs that were all over the city and later stored in this large factory and eventually converted into a neon museum. You can check out the Warsaw Neon museum website here for more details.
Enjoy this fun and unique neon museum in Warsaw below
4. Visit some of the gorgeous parks in Warsaw
Warsaw has so many cool parks to hang out in the city including Lazienki park where you can take some sweet swan boats all around the large lake fronting the summer palace. Closer to the center of the city are the Saxon gardens with beautiful fountains, statues and gorgeous blooming gardens to explore and photograph.
Here’s a view of the Saxon gardens in the historic district and worth a visit or just a rest
5. Hala Mirowska
This is a very popular, local market located in a beautiful historic building. The Hala Mirowska is an old world style marketplace is where you can shop for quality meats, fish, specialty Polish products and various fresh produce at very affordable prices. There are many flower vendors, delicatessen and dessert shops that make this a fun place to explore and try out some of the specialties from the area. To find out more about the Hala Mirowska, you can visit their website here.
6. Hang out at the Barbikan
A historic area when you visit Warsaw is the old Barbikan. The Barbikan are the remains of the old city ramparts and towers – they represent the remaining relics of the historic fortifications that once encircled Warsaw. You can actually walk through many of the ramparts around the Barbikan and enjoy views outside and into the old town itself.
Here’s a tour of the Barbikan and rampart areas in Warsaw
7. Palace of Culture and Science in downtown Warsaw
When you visit Warsaw, you’ll see the impressive Palace of Culture and Science dominating the downtown district. A gift to the city from Stalin, the Palace of Culture and Science is now a multi purpose center with cinemas, museums, exhibition centers, book shops and conference halls. Also you can take an escalator to the 30th floor for panoramic views of the entire city center and beyond for 20 PLN.
** you can check out the Palace of Culture and Science and vistas here for more information and entry.
You can get to the top for views above of the city
8. Warsaw Rising Museum
One of the things to do in Warsaw is visit museums and the Warsaw Rising Museum is one of the most popular. A must see attraction in the city, this museum is one of the most popular museums in Poland which chronicles the various time frames of Warsaw’s past and specifically before and after World War 2 when Germany invaded Poland and eventually destroyed over 90 percent of the city.
9. Tomb of the Unknown soldier at Freedom Square
Grob Nieznanego Zolnierza, just inside freedom square is located the tomb of the unknown soldier – it is in the center with a simple covered pavilion with two guards quietly standing guard. A very contemplative space, the beautiful baroque fountain and park behind it are lovely to explore with all the colorful annual flower beds in the Saxon gardens.
10. Warsaw’s Fryderyk Chopin Museum
Located in a stately Neo Classic building opposite of the university, the Chopin museum is dedicated to Warsaw’s famous composer. The museum has collections of his autographs, musical scores, photographs and personal items from his life with details about his time in Warsaw and of course listen to some of his famous compositions.
** you can check out the Fryderyk Chopin Museum here for more information and entry.
Or experience this unique Chopin concert including a drink here for an exceptional Chopin experience to this city he loved.
Here’s a visit to the Fryderyk Chopin Museum below
11. Chopin monument at Lazienka park
At the entrance to Lazienka park, the large bronze statue fronting a small pond with colorful annual flowers is a quiet place to relax and even take in some free classical music on the weekends. From the monument, you can climb down a set of stairs to explore the rest of the expansive natural park below including the thermal spa and the summer Lazienka palace and some of the other landmarks.
**Check out this unique Chopin tour around Warsaw here for more inspiration and a fun guided tour.
12. Visit the Warsaw palace at Plac Zamkowy
Located centrally at Plac Zamkowy – the royal palace was completely ruined and rebuilt by the Nazis, the replica was painstakingly recreated to exact standards. All the rooms were decorated in the typical Baroque style that was very popular during the timeframe the city was built. The palace is now a museum where you can visit most of the royal chambers and other assembly rooms on an open tour or with a docent. For more information and details on a visit, you can check out their website here.
13. Warsaw’s multi media fountain park
A cool Warsaw attraction is the multi media fountain park. Located on the outskirts of the old town and fronting the Vistula River. You can enjoy a multi media presentation in the evenings with a water fountain and laser light extravaganza accompanied by popular artists like Lady Gaga and transitioning to famous composers like Chopin. You can check out the schedule of water performances here.
Here’s a fun highlight experience of the Multi-Media fountain below
14. Copernicus Museum
For those interested in Science and technology, this museum has many interesting exhibits and even some experiments that you can conduct on your own. You can check out more information on their website and events here.
15. Saxon Gardens in the central district
One of Warsaw’s beautiful places to visit outdoors is the Saxon Gardens. Just behind the tomb of the unknown solider, this large park in the center of the city and close to the old town is a nice respite to enjoy the many beautiful gardens, statues and fountains within the park. You can also visit the tomb of the unknown soldier just in the front of the park area in an open air cement pavilion.
16. Frederic Chopin birthplace
Zelazowa Wola – which consists of his home and gardens is located at the edge of the Kampinos Forest and is a perfect getaway from the city and enjoy the area and his music being piped along the many lanes throughout the gardens
17. Warsaw Gestapo headquarters museum
A relatively small museum in a grand classical style building that was the former Gestapo headquarters. You will find the interrogation cells in the cellar and can watch some movies that document the experience and atrocities made by the Nazis when they occupied Warsaw. It’s a very somber but important part of the cities past and the messages on the cell walls tell that story well.
18. Jewish Ghetto Memorial and Jewish Museum
Fronting the Jewish museum and near the center of town is a large monument surrounded by concrete block apartments in the ghetto. The monument skillfully captures the heroic, perseverance and tragedy of the Polish Jews imprisoned in the ghetto and later deported to concentration camps. In the center of the ghetto is the contemporary Warsaw Jewish Museum which features a multi-media narrative of the Jewish community in Warsaw and celebrating over 1,000 years of existence up to the Holocaust and beyond.
Here’s a visit to the Jewish Museum and interiors below
19. Powazki Cemetery
One of the places to visit near Warsaw is Powazki Cemetery. The largest cemetery in Poland, it houses many beautiful memorials and famous Polish dignitaries and personalities. The main memorial wall by the entrance documents many of the famous people who are buried here. The expansive grounds are divided into two large sections – one primarily for Catholics, and the other for Jewish graves.
20. Warsaw’s Old town square
Lunch or leisurely drinks in any of the outdoor cafes and bars surrounding this square is a fun way to enjoy the day even late into the evening. There are many performers, musicians and even Hello Kitty and Sponge Bob were walking around the square for visitors to take pictures with.
Here’s a quick video tour visiting the Old town square of Warsaw below.
More unique experiences to do around Warsaw area
There’s so many more unique and fun things you can do on a tour experience in visiting Warsaw below.
Best areas to stay in Warsaw
If you are visiting Warsaw and all these fantastic Warsaw attractions, it is ideal to be in the city center and around the historic district so you can easily walk around the popular things to see in Warsaw and in walking distance. Check out these popular hotels in the area here you can stay at in Warsaw and some of the other top picks below.
Air Hotel – good value with comfortable clean and modern rooms, close to shopping center and free shuttles to town.
Polonia Palace Hotel – In the city center in a classic building, comfortable, clean, great breakfast service, spacious rooms and very friendly front desk service.
PURO Warsaw Centrum – located in the city center with artistic touches, modern style and comfortable rooms with spacious beds, excellent service and friendly staff.
Check out these well rated Trip Advisor hotels and inns here for current prices, reviews and availability.
Where to eat in Warsaw
If you are craving traditional Polish food, street food or delicious restaurants to check out, try some of these local favorite foodie experiences below.
Where and what to eat in Warsaw
Street foods in Warsaw
Where to go for brunch, snacks and dinner in Warsaw
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More details to visiting Warsaw
Getting around the city
You can easily get around the city using public transportation with local buses, subways or trams. Or for quick rides you can easily catch a taxi or Uber ride. Many of the historic sites and attractions are easy to reach and walk to each other in the city center area.
** Consider using the Hop On Hop Off bus system here to see more attractions in a limited time and visit many of these fantastic locations.
Weather is variable
Always dress in layers especially from day to night where you want to be able to take off or put on layers depending on the temperatures that range from day t me to night.
Wear comfortable shoes
This is a city where you will be doing a lot of walking and having sturdy shoes or tennis shoes is best with cobblestone streets and many uneven road surfaces that you have to walk through and it is always important to keep your balance.
Further places to visit in Poland
Conclusion on Top 20 places to visit in Warsaw
Yes, there’s so much to see and do in Warsaw from old historic district to the newer sections in the downtown area and modern part of town. All these fantastic Warsaw attractions are fun to explore in the city on foot or a short uber ride away.
So you can see that there are plenty of things to do and explore in Warsaw. I hope you enjoyed this post on my Top 20 places to visit in Warsaw. If you like it, can you please share the post with any of the social media buttons located around the post. Thank you so much and I hope you have a fantastic visit to Warsaw, Poland.
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