What to see in Warsaw: Top 20 places to visit

Many people perceive the capital of Poland exclusively as a transit point, from where you can cheaply fly further across Europe. And for nothing! We have found 20 reasons to stay longer, and this is not an exhaustive list. Find out what to visit if you're visiting Warsaw as a couple, with kids or in a big group.
16 november 2021

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1. Old Town (Stare Miasto)

It was completely destroyed during World War II and then reconstructed, mostly from 18th-century images by the Italian painter Canaletto. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980.


The heart of the Old Town is the Market Square (Rynek Starego Miasta) with numerous cafes and restaurants, guarded by the Warsaw Mermaid. In addition to it is worth seeing the Barbakan - one of the few surviving sections of the city fortifications of the 16th century, and the Church of St. John the Baptist - the main Catholic church of the capital.

2. Royal tract (Trakt Królewski)

The historical road leading from the Old Town to the southern suburbs of Warsaw. It is royal not only because Polish kings traveled along it, but also because it includes "royal" architectural monuments.


The route starts in Castle Square, where the Royal Castle stands, goes south along Krakowskie Przedmieście Avenue, Nowy Swiat, Aleje Ujazdowskie, Belwederska, Sobieskiego streets and ends in the Wilanów district, where the former residence of Jan III Sobieski is located. In 1994, together with the historic center and Wilanów Castle, it was declared a historical monument.

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3. Royal Castle (Zamek Królewski)

Work on its construction was completed in 1618. Until the 18th century it was the home of the king and his retainers, then the Sejm replaced them, and in the 20th century the castle became the residence of the president.

The building on Castle Square was completely destroyed during the Nazi occupation of Poland. During the large-scale reconstruction, which could be started only in the 80s of the last century, it was possible to recreate not only the appearance of the residence of Polish kings, but also its interior.


Now there is a museum where, in addition to restored rooms, furniture, paintings, ceramics, silverware and bronzes, you can see the Lankoronski collection, which includes two works by Rembrandt.

Address: plac Zamkowy 4.

Work schedule: Monday through Thursday and Saturday from 10.00 to 18.00, Friday from 10.00 to 20.00, Sunday from 11.00 to 18.00. From September 1 to April 30, the castle is closed on Mondays.

Ticket price: without a guide - 30 PLN (about 7 EUR) for adults, 20 PLN (about 5 EUR) for children and students. Entrance is free on Wednesdays.

4. POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews (POLIN Muzeum Historii Żydów Polskich)

The interactive museum is located in a neighborhood that was inhabited by Jews before the war. It was opened in 2013, on the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The postmodern glass, concrete and copper building designed by Finnish architect Rainer Mahlamäki has won several prestigious architecture awards. The museum itself was recognized as the best in Europe in 2016.


The exhibition guides you through the history of Jews in Poland, from the arrival of Jewish merchants in the 16th century to the mass repression during World War II. The exhibition is divided into 8 galleries: from the reconstruction of the everyday life of the Jewish community in Poland a few centuries ago to the corridor through which the Jews went to the gas chambers.

Address: Anielewicza 6.

Work schedule: Monday, Thursday, Friday from 10.00 to 18.00, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday from 10.00 to 20.00, Tuesday - day off.

Ticket prices: 27 PLN (6.5 EUR) for adults, 17 PLN (4 EUR) for children and students. Admission is free on Thursdays.

5. Łazienkowski Palace (Pałac Łazienkowski)

The residence of the last Polish king Stanislaw Poniatowski, built in the style of early classicism on an artificial island in Łazienki Park. The interiors, decorated with paintings by Rembrandt and Rubens, were destroyed during the war, the reconstruction was completed only in 1964.


The area of the park surrounding the palace is 76 hectares (about 120 soccer fields). More precisely, it is three parks created in different styles at different times: an 18th-century royal park, a 19th-century romantic park and a 20th-century modernist park. From May 19 to September 29, free concerts are held at the Chopin Monument, where works by the eminent composer are performed.

Address: Agrykoli 1.

Operation schedule: the park is open daily from dawn to dusk, the palaces, greenhouse, theater and school podhorunzhih can be visited from Tuesday to Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 10.00 to 18.00, Friday - from 10.00 to 20.00. Monday is a day off.

Ticket price: admission to the park is free, every Friday you can also visit all the buildings on its territory for free (without a guide). On other days, adult tickets cost 10-25 PLN (2.5-6 EUR), children and student tickets cost 5-18 PLN (1.2-4.2 EUR).

6. National Museum (Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie)

The largest art museum in the Polish capital, founded more than 150 years ago. The collection includes works of art from antiquity to the 20th century: paintings, sculptures, engravings, drawings, coins, medals, books, photographs and icons. Temporary exhibitions are held.


Address: Aleje Jerozolimskie 3.

Work schedule: Tuesday-Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 10.00 to 18.00, Friday from 10.00 to 21.00. Monday is a day off.

Ticket price: permanent exhibition - 20 PLN (about 5 EUR) for adults, 12 PLN (about 3 EUR) for children over 7 years old and students; temporary and permanent exhibitions - 25 PLN (about 6 EUR) and 15 PLN (3.5 EUR) respectively. The permanent exhibition is free on Tuesdays.

7. Zachęta National Art Gallery (Zachęta Narodowa Galeria Sztuki)

One of the oldest, largest and most prestigious contemporary art galleries in Poland. It has exhibited works by Malevich, Picasso, Cézanne and other postmodern masters, and now the gallery seeks out and promotes young Polish artists. In addition to exhibitions, there are workshops, including workshops for families with children.


Address: plac Stanisława Małachowskiego 3.

Work schedule: daily except Monday, from 12.00 to 20.00.

Ticket price: depends on the event. Admission is free on Thursdays.

8. Palace of Culture and Science (Pałac Kultury i Nauki)

A "gift" to Poland from Stalin, which 9000 workers built for three years. The inhabitants of Warsaw feel ambivalent about it: on the one hand, it is an integral element of the cityscape, on the other hand, it is a symbol of Soviet domination.


Now inside are a movie theater, four theaters, museums of evolution and technology, a shopping mall, coffee shops and restaurants, and a swimming pool. But tourists are primarily attracted to the observation deck on the 30th floor, where they can enjoy panoramic views of the city.

Address: plac Defilad 1.

Office hours: 10.00 to 20.00.

Ticket price: 20 PLN (about 5 EUR) for an adult, 15 PLN (3.5 EUR) for a child or student. From May 1 to September 30 on Friday and Saturday you can go up to the terrace at nightfall for 22 PLN (about 5.5 EUR).

Readers' Tips

"I can say you don't need to visit it - it's a viewpoint of the Center of Culture and Science, which we stood in a long line, paid 20 PLN for entrance and were very disappointed with what we saw; everything is in bars, high fence, to take a photo you have to put your hand through the bars. The view of the city is the most ordinary, much more beautiful is the view from the tower of the old town for 6 zloty," Alina Bor

"The rooftop garden at the Copernicus Science Center (20 Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie St., Free admission). More Royal Route," Elena Pavlenko

9. Wilanów Palace and Park (Muzeum Pałacu Króla Jana III w Wilanowie)

The complex is located about 10 kilometers from the historic center, here leads the Royal Route. In 1805 the first museum in the country was opened here.


The Baroque suburban residence of King Jan III Sobieski, called the "Polish Versailles", is surrounded by a French-style park. In good weather it is filled with tourists and residents of Warsaw, it is a popular place to relax and meet friends.

Address: Stanisława Kostki Potockiego 10/16.

Work schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 9.30 to 18.00, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9.30 to 16.00.

Ticket prices: permanent exhibition plus park - 20 PLN (about 5 EUR) for adults, 15 PLN (3.5 EUR) for children over 7 and students; park - 5 PLN (1.2 EUR) and 3 PLN (70 cents) respectively.

10. Multimedia Fountain Park (Fontanna multimedialna)

During the day, you can come here to sit by the water or send the kids to the water playground. In the evening, twice a week, there is a light and music show dedicated to Warsaw, its history and legends. The best view is from the grassy slope.


In winter, instead of water jets, the main fountain is transformed into an animated sculpture on weekends. The performance is accompanied by Christmas tunes.

Address: Pomnik I Dywizji Pancernej gen. Stanisława Maczka, skwer I.

Work schedule: multimedia water show can be seen from May to September on Friday and Saturday. From May through August, it starts at 9:30 p.m., and in September it starts at 9 p.m.

Ticket price: free.

11. Geological Museum of the State Geological Institute (Muzeum Geologiczne Państwowego Instytutu Geologicznego).

Children will be impressed by the realistic stuffed dinosaur, skeletons of mammoth, woolly rhinoceros and cave bear. Fossils, fossil invertebrates, corals, minerals, samples of marine fauna and personal belongings of famous Polish geologists are also on display.


The museum's gift store offers jewelry with amber, pearls and various stones.

Address: Rakowiecka 4 (entrance from Wiśniowa Street).

Work schedule: Monday - Friday from 09.00 to 15.00, Saturday - day off, Sunday from 10.00 to 14.00.

Ticket price: free of charge.

12. Museum of the Warsaw Uprising (Muzeum Powstania Warszawskiego)

It is located in the building of the former streetcar depot, built in 1904-1908. The museum was inaugurated on July 31, 2004 on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the Uprising. Its permanent exhibition is located on four floors, covers an area of 3000 m² and includes about 800 exhibits and 1500 photographs, video and audio recordings.


In one of the halls there is a model of the British Liberator B-24J bomber, which supplied the rebels with weapons and food - here they show a movie-simulation of its flight over the city in 1945.

Next to the museum is the 156-meter-long Wall of Remembrance, which commemorates the names of 10,000 rebels who died in the fight for freedom.

Address: Grzybowska 79.

Work schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10.00 to 18.00, Thursday from 10.00 to 20.00, Tuesday - day off.

Ticket price: 25 PLN (about 6 EUR) for an adult, 20 PLN (about 5 EUR) for a child. Entrance is free on Sundays.

13. Museum of the Polish Army (Muzeum Wojska Polskiego)

Dedicated to the history of the development of the Polish armed forces from the founding of the ancient Polish state to the Second World War. It is one of the largest museums in the country - there are about 250000 exhibits, among them there are especially valuable: a gilded helmet of a warrior from the time of Bolesław I, armor and weapons of several kings, saddle and hat of Napoleon I from the time of the Egyptian campaign.

There is an exhibition of military equipment in the courtyard.


Address: al. Jerozolimskie 3.

Work schedule: Monday and Tuesday - weekends, on Wednesday the museum is open from 10.00 to 17.00, from Thursday to Sunday - from 10.00 to 16.00.

Ticket price: adult - 15 PLN (about 3.5 EUR), children (from 7 years old) - 8 PLN (about 2 EUR). On Thursdays admission is free.

14. Fotoplastikon (Fotoplastikon Warszawski)

A device for viewing alternating stereoscopic images. It is the oldest stereoscopic theater in Europe, operating at this location since 1905. As luck would have it, it survived the war and became popular after the war ended - people came to see what life was like in other countries.


The set of images is constantly changing. There are about 7,000 in the museum's collection; a viewer sees just 50 in a half-hour session.

Address: al. Jerozolimskie 51.

Work schedule: from Wednesday to Sunday from 10.00 to 18.00.

Ticket price: adult - 6 PLN (about 1.5 EUR), children - 4 PLN (about 1 EUR). Entrance is free on Thursdays.

15. Praga Koneser Center

The site of a former distillery is now a complex of residential, office and entertainment facilities. Here you will find fashion stores, 4 art galleries, museums of costume jewelry and illusions (soon to open a museum of Polish vodka), a hotel and a Google center for startups. There are regular workshops, music and food festivals, fairs, exhibitions, concerts, public screenings of movies and plays. The poster can be found on the website, and admission to most events is free.

Address: Plac Konesera 2.


16. Zoo (Ogród Zoologiczny)

On an area of 40 hectares there are more than 3500 animals of 553 species. Some of them are unique for Poland, which are not found in any other zoo in the country: anteaters, cheetahs, gazelles and others.

The zoo has a Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center. Every year about 1,500 birds become its patients - more than half of them, having recovered, return to freedom.


It is also home to Poland's only Free Flight Hall, where you can watch birds soaring overhead and listen to them singing against the sound of the waterfall, surrounded by greenery.

Address: Ratuszowa 1/3.

Open hours: in December and January the zoo is open from 9.00 to 15.30 (on Saturdays and holidays - until 16.00), in February and November - daily from 9.00 to 16.00, in March and October - daily from 9.00 to 17.00, from April to September - from 9.00 to 18.00 (on Saturdays and holidays from May to September - until 19.00).

Ticket price: adult - from October to March 20 PLN (about 5 EUR), from April to September 30 PLN (about 7 EUR); children (from 3 years old) - 15 PLN (about 3.5 EUR) and 20 PLN (about 5 EUR) respectively.

17. Bar Mleczny

The first place with this name (translated as "milk bar") opened in Warsaw in 1896, at that time the menu was dominated by dairy dishes. Now you can get a full lunch for the price of a coffee at Starbucks: soup, main course and a drink will cost 4-5 EUR.


"Milk bars" are plentiful in the city, but the most authentic are considered:

- Sady (Krasińskiego 36)

- Bambino (Hoża 19)

- Prasowy (Marszałkowska 10/16).

18. Pawilony

This is the bar district at the end of Nowy Świat Street, a stone's throw from the touristy Royal Route. Here lurk 25 small bars, identical in layout but different in design, 4 hookah lounges, a Chinese restaurant and (suddenly) a lamp store.


The trick is that the area is hidden from prying eyes, so it's mostly locals who relax here. To get there, you have to walk through the archway of houses 22, 24 or 26, which you're unlikely to do by accident - the buildings are unattractive from the outside.

Address: Nowy Świat 22/28.

Schedule of work: daily from 15.00 till the end.

19. Piw Paw Bar.

"No one needs that many beers," they were told. "Let's prove the opposite," decided the founders of the now iconic establishment. Now there are three bars in Warsaw + one in Łódź - their concept is appreciated by locals and tourists alike.


The 24-hour PiwPaw Parkingowa (Zurawia 32/34) offers 57 draught beers and 200 bottled beers, PiwPaw BeerHeaven (Foksal 16) has 95 taps serving IPA, AIPA, RIS, stout, porter and so on + it bakes pizza with American hops in the dough. PiwPaw Mazowiecka (Mazowiecka 9) is a clubby establishment that serves hard alcohol in addition to beer.

20. Wedel Chocolate Shop (E. Wedel Chocolate Lounge Staroswiecki Sklep)

The oldest chocolate manufacturer in the country. The history of the factory began in 1851, when Karol Wedel moved to Warsaw from Berlin and started selling hot chocolate in a small store near the center.


In 1865, the family business was taken over by his son, Emil, who moved the production to premises on Szpitalna Street. The factory now operates at a different address, and here you can find the oldest Wedel store in Poland and a cozy café serving hot chocolate, chocolates and various desserts.

Address: Szpitalna 8.

Work schedule: Monday-Friday from 8.00 to 22.00, Saturday from 9.00 to 22.00, Sunday from 9.00 to 21.00.

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