Insider’s Guide: Best Things to Do in Warsaw

written by local expert Becky Rogers

Becky is an avid rock climber and outdoor enthusiast and is now living in France as an expat. When she is not writing about travel gear and various destinations she has visited during her travels, you can find her playing with her two dogs.

Warsaw stole my heart in every way possible! From the first day that I arrived here, there was just something about the city that I loved and I just couldn’t put my finger on it — I still can’t.

A few months after my first visit, I moved here in an attempt to discover why.

A city that has been through the worst that history could throw at it, Warsaw has had more than its fair share of destruction and devastation. It has, however, lived to tell the tale and has been reborn into a thriving capital that is constantly developing.

During my time here, I have discovered so many amazing things to see and do and am yet to get around it all. If you’re planning on traveling to Poland, here are just some of my favorite things to do in Warsaw.

Explore the colorful Old Town

My absolute favorite place in all of Poland is Warsaw’s Old Town.  colorful buildings in warsaw's old town

There’s just something about it — its cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and lively square with outdoor eating areas, local artists, and busking musicians. With its medieval buildings reconstructed to how they looked before WWII, this is a place that represents a piece of Polish history.

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Visit the Warsaw Uprising Museum

One of Warsaw’s best museums (and my favorite!), the Warsaw Uprising Museum traces the history of the city’s heroic but doomed uprising against the German occupation in 1944.

Not only is the museum full of interesting displays, photographs, film archives, and personal accounts, it also does a great job of commemorating all the people who were involved and makes you feel a real sense of respect for them.

Stroll around the beautiful Łazienki Park

Warsaw is an incredibly green city, with the largest park being Łazienki park. Occupying 76 hectares of the city center, this is the place to go to relax and have a quiet walk, picnic or to admire the sculptures and lakeside palace.

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Get your nerd on at the Copernicus Science Center

This large, contemporary science center has so many interactive exhibits that are a lot of fun. Whether you’re alone, traveling with a partner, or as a family, the Copernicus Science Center has something for everyone.

Indulge in a stay at Hilton Warsaw Hotel & Convention Centre

Not only is this place super fancy, but the location is amazing!

A place worthy of five stars, the Hilton Warsaw Hotel exceeds all of your needs in terms of comfort, service, and cleanliness. The breakfast buffet is a highlight of the stay (it’s so good!). You’ll also love waking up to impressive views of the city.

Devour Polish cuisine at Zapiecek

A popular chain restaurant in Warsaw, Zapiecek offers a great ambience and even better food. I’ve been here multiple times, firstly as a tourist and then with Polish friends. And every time, I leave completely satisfied.

I can highly recommend the beef goulash, Zurek (an amazing soup!), and the fried dumplings.

Wander around Castle Square

There’s always something going on in this beautiful square, so head there and see what you can find.

Busking musicians, street performances, traditional markets, or local celebrations are commonplace. As well as a great atmosphere and picturesque scenery, Castle Square is also home to the Royal Castle and Sigismund’s Column.

Admire the Royal Castle

warsaw castle

At the entrance to the Old Town, you can’t miss this stunning redbrick building that formerly served throughout the centuries as the official residence of the Polish monarchs.

The reconstructed 14th-century palace is a sight to see in itself but you can also take a guided tour of the museum inside to see the art collection and the royal apartments.

Hop on and off the City Sightseeing Bus

The big red double-decker “Hop-on-Hop-off” bus is a great thing to do in Warsaw. I have been on this recently and it’s really fascinating!
Whether you have limited time or all the time in the world, the bus takes you all around the city on two separate routes giving you a really interesting history of all the major sites.

Grab a craft beer just off the Old Town

On Nowomiejska street, you’ll find some craft beer bars that offer a great range of craft Polish beer on tap. Head to the Old Town, down the side street, and that’s your plans sorted for the evening!

Visit the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

The POLIN Museum is massive, much bigger than I expected it to be, so make sure to clear a whole day for it. If you have time on a Thursday, even better as it is free on this day!

This detailed and absolutely fascinating museum covers the history of the Polish Jews. You can follow their story via their interactive exhibits all the way up to modern-day Poland.

Eat your heart out at Thaisty

Thai food in Poland? You may be thinking that you want to eat Polish food while you’re in Poland and I’m absolutely not discouraging you from doing that (seriously, everything you try here is amazing!), but this place is stupidly popular for a reason.

pad thai

The food will speak for itself, so book a table in advance and thank us later. We highly recommend the Iron beef!

Gaze up at the Palace of Culture and Science

A controversial building, this 1950s Soviet landmark towers in the center of Warsaw.

You’ll probably spot this beauty when you’re sightseeing around the city as you can see it from many places. But if you opt to go inside, it’s worth it! You can enjoy some theater, see the sports field, and climb up to the 30th-floor terrace for views of the city.

Listen to the musical benches

The famous composer, Fryderyk Chopin, is very prevalent all over Warsaw. Discover his benches where you can hear his music playing.

If you want to learn more about the man himself, there is a museum close to the Old Town in a beautiful reconstructed 17th-century mansion.

Insider’s Tip: Are you a Chopin fan? Don’t miss the chance to experience some of his iconic works in an intimate Chopin recital! Check out this music experience, which comes with a complimentary glass of traditional Polish mead.

Watch the display at the Multimedia Fountain Park

Between the Old Town and the Vistula River, you’ll see a spectacular show combining water, sound, and light. Spend some time after dark admiring the fountain complex boasting 367 water jets.

It’s a true visual delight!

Book a luxury stay at InterContinental Warszawa

Although this hotel provides oodles of comfort and luxury in everything that it offers, it isn’t as pricey as you might expect.

With a gym at the top floor and a swimming pool with a skyline view, get ready say “wow” a lot, if you choose to stay at the InterContinental Warszawa.

Try an escape room in Warsaw

We love escape rooms!

If you have a bit of time on your travels, consider booking an escape room experience in Warsaw. They have the typical escape-the-jail type but we recommend solving the mystery of the Gold Train.

Let off steam at the shooting range

Test your aim and fire some badass guns at some targets. An incredibly fun activity, this can be fun to do with a group of friends, just to add some healthy competition into the mix.

Admire the Wola street art gallery

Following the Dalai Lama’s visit to Warsaw, a Tibetan Gallery was created at the Tibet Roundabout in the Wola district of Warsaw.

Under the bridge, you can admire interesting paintings on the pillars holding up a flyover. It’s a fun exercise to try and decipher their meaning.

Drink some Polish Vodka

This is just something that you have to do while in Poland. Whether you take a tour, visit the Vodka Museum, buy a bottle from the local shop, or order it at any bar.

bottles of alcohol at a bar

Think you can handle your alcohol? Go shot for shot with the locals!

Wander around the up-and-coming Praga district

On the other side of the Vistula River, you will find multi-cultural and developing districts such as Praga.

Full of street art, green parks, history, hip cafes and restaurants, record stores, and the Google Campus of Warsaw, this place is definitely worth an explore.

Bungee jump from a crane in Wola District

Right next to where I live is a giant crane where people take their turn to jump from a height of 90 meters (295 feet). A thrilling activity to do while you’re in Warsaw! How much do you really want to get your adrenaline pumping?

Take a moment to see the Warsaw Uprising Monument

Dedicated to the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, this monument is considered the most important monument of post-war Warsaw.

warsaw uprising monument


The main monument depicts a group of insurgents actively engaged in combat, running from a collapsing building.

But look closer! There is also a smaller element that shows insurgents descending into a manhole. This is a reference to the use of Warsaw’s sewer system to evacuate thousands of resistance fighters from Warsaw’s Old Town.

Get them chopsticks out at Sushi Maestro

Okay, so I may be a bit biased because this is probably my favorite restaurant in all of Warsaw and it’s right around the corner from where I live, but it’s nevertheless amazing and deserves a recommendation.

The Poles LOVE their sushi. You will find sushi restaurants absolutely everywhere that you go, so if you find yourself in the Wola district, Sushi Maestro is the place to try!

Discover the amazing Maria Skłodowska-Curie at her museum

Devoted to the life and work of Polish physicist and chemist Marie Curie, who’s also a two-time Nobel laureate, this museum is a great stop for anyone interested in science and history.

You can find out all about this amazing woman, including exactly how much she contributed to the world and the knowledge we have of it today.

Go go-karting and fly around the track

In front of the national stadium, an impressive go-karting arena awaits.

go-karting at Kartingowy Narodowy

Head over to Kartingowy Narodowy and test your racing skills! A challenging compact and tight course, get competitive and kick some butt.

Save some bucks staying at Warsaw Downtown Hostel

Downtown Hostel is supposed to be one of the best hostels to stay at in Warsaw and having stayed there during my first trip here, I can wholeheartedly agree.

With comfortable, modern, and clean amenities together with super friendly service, I was really impressed by everything, considering the affordable price of a stay.

Explore the Jewish Quarter

The Warsaw Ghetto was the largest of all the Jewish ghettos in German-occupied Europe during WWII.

As all of the ghetto was destroyed during the war, it’s best to take a tour (even a free walking tour). A local guide can show you the remains of the Ghetto Wall, the Monument of the Killed and Murdered in the East, the Umschlagplatz Monument, and the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes to give you a full insight into the history.

Visit the Little Insurgent Monument

Found on Podwale Street, Mały Powstaniec is a statue of a little boy in an oversized army helmet holding a gun. This monument commemorates the child soldiers who fought and died during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944.
The statue is quite striking in itself but if you want to learn more about it, the Warsaw Uprising Museum will show you how much it really means.

Eat at a milk bar

Milk bars or “bar mleczny” have a long tradition in Poland, especially during the communist period where they were set up all over the city.

Although there aren’t as many left anymore, the ones that are around provide delicious traditional food at crazy cheap prices. One of the best is said to be Bar Mleczny Prasowy. This establishment is so beloved that it was actually saved by the locals when it was under threat of being turned into a bank.

on a pub crawl

Join a Warsaw pub crawl

Warsaw is full of great pubs, bars and clubs to drink and dance all night long so why not see a few of the greats? By joining a crawl, you can see the best of the best and pick your favorite.

Experience the thrill of indoor skydiving

Who says you can’t do adventure sports in Poland?

At FlySpot, you can jump into a wind tunnel and experience the thrill of skydiving without plummeting to the ground. In this vacuum, fly up and down for as long as you want to and live to tell the tale!

Don’t ever finish partying by staying at Patchwork Warsaw Hostel

Patchwork Warsaw Hostel was the other hostel that I stayed at during my first trip to Warsaw.

While I was in no state of mind to be social (I hadn’t slept for 36 hours due to traveling), there were plenty of opportunities to keep the party going. A funky hostel in a lively area, stay here if you wish to sleep cheaply — or not at all!

Take a day trip from Warsaw

If you have the time, consider exploring the outskirts of the city as Warsaw is a big place. With an hour or two drive from the city, you can discover many quaint towns, green spaces for hiking and cycling, and even further, the stunning Masurian Lake District.

Travel Tip: A guided tour is a great way to learn more about the history and culture of a city! A guide can provide you with context on the main historical sights and share stories only locals will know. Check out some great Warsaw tours here.

So there we go, so many awesome things to do in Warsaw! With an incredible history and a long list of fun things to do, this is one city that you’ll want to spend some time in.

What are your favorite things to do in Warsaw? Share with us in the comments!

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Things to Do in Warsaw, Poland | Heading to Poland's capital? Here are the top things to do in Warsaw that you shouldn't miss!


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