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Warsaw Guide 2019 header - A sunset panorama of Warsaw with Palace of Culture and Science and the business district in background Warsaw Guide 2019 header - A summer view of Plac Defilad and Palace of Culture and Science with business district in background


warsaw guide by a local

visit Warsaw (Warszawa in Polish) - a must-see city filled with history, parks, and modern, revitalized urban life; here's what you need to know.

- what are the things to do in Warsaw?
- what are the best restaurants in Warsaw?
- how does public transport in Warsaw work?





contents

view of Palace of Culture and Science and Warsaw skyscrapers at winter day

what to see

what to see
luxury restaurant in Warsaw with wooden table and scandinavian chairs

where to eat

where to eat
Holiday Inn in Warsaw outside view at night

best hotels

best hotels
two moose in Kampinoski National park near Warsaw in grass

day trips

day trips
LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner departing at Warsaw Chopin Airport with airport terminal in background

getting there

getting there
Warsaw Metro at Rondo Daszyńskiego at sunset with skyscrapers in background

getting around

getting around


CHAPTER 1

what to see in Warsaw







Grzegorz says:
Warsaw is fun to just freely roam around, but only near the center. The list below, however, forms a comprehensive walk that includes everything I would show to a friend coming to the city.




top 10 attractions in Warsaw on greyscale simple map
top 10 attractions in Warsaw on greyscale simple map

icon of number 1 with pink text and shadow Palace of Culture and Science

The Palace of Culture and Science stands 237 meters tall and defines the central point and panorama of Warsaw. It was constructed in 1955 as a gift from the Soviet Union. Today, it is mainly the center for cultural activities. You can climb up to the observation deck from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. for 20 zł [4.6 EUR].

Palace of Culture and Science official website
view of Warsaw Palace of Culture and Science and Warsaw skyline and skyscrapers view of Warsaw Palace of Culture and Science and Warsaw skyline and skyscrapers
view of Warsaw Palace of Culture and Science and Warsaw skyline and skyscrapers

Palace of Culture and Science

view from top of Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw to the southwest with modern skyscraper and central station view from top of Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw to the southwest with modern skyscraper and central station
view from top of Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw to the southwest with modern skyscraper and central station

view from the top



icon of number 2 with pink text and shadow Old Town

Warsaw's Old Town dates back to the 13th century and has been rebuilt multiple times, most recently after World War II. It is home to Warsaw's most iconic buildings, such as the medieval city walls, the Castle Square, the Barbican, and, most importantly, the Old Town Market Place. Today, it attracts tourists from all over the world as an artifact of authentic Slavic culture.
Old Town Castle Square in Warsaw with Kolumna Wazy and tenement houses in background at sunset Old Town Castle Square in Warsaw with Kolumna Wazy and tenement houses in background at sunset
Old Town Castle Square in Warsaw with Kolumna Wazy and tenement houses in background at sunset

Old Town Castle Square

Old Town Market place in Warsaw with tenement houses and cafes outside at day Old Town Market place in Warsaw with tenement houses and cafes outside at day
Old Town Market place in Warsaw with tenement houses and cafes outside at day

Old Town Market Place



icon of number 3 with pink text and shadow Łazienki Park

Warsaw's largest and Poland's most iconic park, directly translated to Royal Baths Park, located in the city's central district. It was designed in the 18th century and has been home to palaces, villas, and monuments ever since - most importantly, the Palace on the Isle. For added entertainment, the park also boasts a free-roaming peacock population. The park is available to the public and there are no admission fees.







Grzegorz recommends:
I spent most of my time out in the city in Łazienki. Of course I'm biased, but Łazienki is truly one of the most beautiful and atmospheric parks I've been to.






Palace on the Isle in Łazienki Park in Warsaw with pond and green trees and palace across the pond Palace on the Isle in Łazienki Park in Warsaw with pond and green trees and palace across the pond
Palace on the Isle in Łazienki Park in Warsaw with pond and green trees and palace across the pond

Palace on the Isle

Chopin monument in Łazienki Park with trees in background and fountain Chopin monument in Łazienki Park with trees in background and fountain
Chopin monument in Łazienki Park with trees in background and fountain

Chopin monument



icon of number 4 with pink text and shadow Nowy Świat

Directly translated to "New World"; a historic road located south of the Old Town, during the Renaissance one of the main roads in Warsaw. It was destroyed in World War II and completely reconstructed thereafter. Today, it is a beautiful broadwalk with old tenement houses, filled with bustling cafes and restaurants. Towards the Old Town, the road reaches landmarks such as the Presidential Palace, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the Nicolaus Copernicus Monument.
Nowy Świat towards the Warsaw Old Town with cafes and colorful tenement houses and church in background Nowy Świat towards the Warsaw Old Town with cafes and colorful tenement houses and church in background
Nowy Świat towards the Warsaw Old Town with cafes and colorful tenement houses and church in background

view of the street

Presidential Palace in Warsaw with monument in foreground and flags and palace in background and soldiers Presidential Palace in Warsaw with monument in foreground and flags and palace in background and soldiers
Presidential Palace in Warsaw with monument in foreground and flags and palace in background and soldiers

Presidential Palace



icon of number 5 with pink text and shadow Powiśle

A general term for the area around Warsaw's Vistula River, which today includes a promenade running along the river banks, the Copernicus Science Centre, and a beach on the Eastern side of the river. During the day, the area is filled with pedestrians, cafes, and picnics - during the night, in turn, the promenade turns into one of Warsaw's nightlife centres, with restaurants, open-air clubs, street food, and free-admission dancefloors.







Grzegorz recommends:
During the weekends, Powiśle is the epicenter of authentic, modern urban life in Warsaw. It's where all the young power gathers to chill to Eastern European vibes and calm down.






Vistula Wisła River Banks in Warsaw at sunset with cafes and bars and pedestrians Vistula Wisła River Banks in Warsaw at sunset with cafes and bars and pedestrians
Vistula Wisła River Banks in Warsaw at sunset with cafes and bars and pedestrians

river banks by day

Hocki Klocki bar and club by Vistula Wisła River Banks in Warsaw at night with stadium in background Hocki Klocki bar and club by Vistula Wisła River Banks in Warsaw at night with stadium in background
Hocki Klocki bar and club by Vistula Wisła River Banks in Warsaw at night with stadium in background

river banks by night



icon of number 6 with pink text and shadow Hala Mirowska

Warsaw's bigget market, constructed in the 1900s. The complex consists of two huge enroofed market buildings, Hala Mirowska itself and Hala Gwardii. Today, they are bustling with life and filled with hundreds of stalls with fresh produce, meats, and household products. It's the place to go if you want to have a picnic with authentic Polish foods, or if you just want to experience true 20th century Poland.
outside view of Hala Mirowska in Warsaw with modern building in background and delivery car outside view of Hala Mirowska in Warsaw with modern building in background and delivery car
outside view of Hala Mirowska in Warsaw with modern building in background and delivery car

from the outside

inside view of Hala Mirowska in Warsaw with steel roof and vendors and colorful stands inside view of Hala Mirowska in Warsaw with steel roof and vendors and colorful stands
inside view of Hala Mirowska in Warsaw with steel roof and vendors and colorful stands

from the inside



icon of number 7 with pink text and shadow Warsaw Uprising Museum

Opened in 2004, the Warsaw Uprising Museum commemorates the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, during which over 200 thousand Varsovians died in a struggle to liberate the city from German occupation. The museum is very interactive and makes use of digital media and large artifacts such as aircraft. This is one of the two key museums for those who wish to explore and experience Poland's difficult history.

The museum is located in Western Warsaw and costs 25 zł [5.8 EUR] per person.
Warsaw Uprising Museum official website
exhibition at Warsaw Uprising Museum in Warsaw with old photos and artifacts exhibition at Warsaw Uprising Museum in Warsaw with old photos and artifacts
exhibition at Warsaw Uprising Museum in Warsaw with old photos and artifacts

typical exhibition

exhibition of green German military aircraft from World War II at Warsaw Uprising Museum in Warsaw exhibition of green German military aircraft from World War II at Warsaw Uprising Museum in Warsaw
exhibition of green German military aircraft from World War II at Warsaw Uprising Museum in Warsaw

German aircraft on display



icon of number 8 with pink text and shadow Hala Koszyki

Translated directly into "Basket Hall", it is a newly-renovated enroofed open space in Southern Central Warsaw, filled to the brim with interesting small restaurants and bars. There are few cuisines you will not find here - of course, there's also Polish food. It's a great place to relax, see modern urban life in Warsaw, try something new, and maybe get a beer or two.

Dishes typically cost 30 zł [6.9 EUR].
view from upper floor of Hala Koszyki with crowd of people partying and drinking at Hala Koszyki Bar view from upper floor of Hala Koszyki with crowd of people partying and drinking at Hala Koszyki Bar
view from upper floor of Hala Koszyki with crowd of people partying and drinking at Hala Koszyki Bar

upper floor

lower floor of Hala Koszyki with tapas bar and restaurants in background and people lower floor of Hala Koszyki with tapas bar and restaurants in background and people
lower floor of Hala Koszyki with tapas bar and restaurants in background and people

lower floor, restaurants in background



icon of number 9 with pink text and shadow Museum of the History of Polish Jews

Opened in 2013, the museum, often abbreviated to Polin is a highly interactive museum with exhibitions displaying the troubled life of Jews in Poland. The museum boasts highly ambitious projects, such as a full-scale recreation of a Jewish street. Apart from its educational value, it also contains a Jewish restaurant and stands proudly in Northern Central Warsaw as an artifact of modern architecture. It is one of two essential Polish museums for history enthusiasts.

Admission costs 25 zł [5.8 EUR] per person.
Museum of the History of Polish Jews official website
Museum of the History of Polish Jews POLIN in Warsaw outside view of modern building and Warsaw and Poland flags and park Museum of the History of Polish Jews POLIN in Warsawoutside view of modern building and Warsaw and Poland flags and park
Museum of the History of Polish Jews POLIN in Warsaw outside view of modern building and Warsaw and Poland flags and park

the museum outside

exhibition of Jewish street at Museum of the History of Polish Jews POLIN in Warsaw exhibition of Jewish street at Museum of the History of Polish Jews POLIN in Warsaw
exhibition of Jewish street at Museum of the History of Polish Jews POLIN in Warsaw

Jewish street exhibition



CHAPTER 2

best restaurants in Warsaw







Grzegorz says:
I don't mean to undermine my own list, but I must admit that Warsaw is great for simply roaming around and finding a great, hip restaurant - though not in the Old Town.




best local cuisine

Stolica

food at Stolica restaurant in Warsaw and decor and chairs food at Stolica restaurant in Warsaw and decor and chairs
food at Stolica restaurant in Warsaw and decor and chairs


Stolica is located in the heart of the Polish old town and serves classic Polish cuisine "in a new outlook".

Dishes include pickled herring, sour soup served in bread, and duck breast in apples.

go to official website

go to menu

best affordable local cuisine

Zapiecek

food at Zapiecek restaurant in Warsaw and decor and chairs food at Zapiecek restaurant in Warsaw and decor and chairs
food at Zapiecek restaurant in Warsaw and decor and chairs


A chain of restaurants specializing in pierogi (Polish dumpings) with an authentic Polish decor and atmosphere.

Dishes include dumplings with meat, lentils, poppy seeds, and apples - as well as many more other types.

go to official website

go to menu

best international cuisine

Rusiko

food at Rusiko Georgian restaurant in Warsaw and decor and chairs food at Rusiko Georgian restaurant in Warsaw and decor and chairs
food at Rusiko Georgian restaurant in Warsaw and decor and chairs


A centrally-located authentic Georgian restaurant. Perhaps except Georgia itself, Warsaw is the best place to eat Georgian.

Dishes include broth-filled dumplings, stuffed eggplant, and flatbread wth cheese.

go to official website

go to menu

best affordable international cuisine

Mama Pho

food at Mama Pho Vietnamese restaurant in Warsaw and decor and chairs food at Mama Pho Vietnamese restaurant in Warsaw and decor and chairs
food at Mama Pho Vietnamese restaurant in Warsaw and decor and chairs


Due to the large Vietnamese population in Poland's biggest cities, Warsaw's Mama Pho may be the best pho in Europe.

Dishes include Pho with chicken or beef, spring rolls, and tom yum.

go to official website

go to menu

best luxurious restaurant

Amber Room

food at modern luxurious Amber Room restaurant in Warsaw and decor and chairs food at modern luxurious Amber Room restaurant in Warsaw and decor and chairs
food at modern luxurious Amber Room restaurant in Warsaw and decor and chairs


A beautifully-located luxurious European restaurant, especially admired for its affordable lunches.

Dishes include salmon carpaccio, venison loin, black rice risotto and Polish cabbage soup.

go to official website

go to menu

best cheap restaurant

Bar Bambino

food at milk bar Bar Bambino restaurant in Warsaw and decor and chairs food at milk bar Bar Bambino restaurant in Warsaw and decor and chairs
food at milk bar Bar Bambino restaurant in Warsaw and decor and chairs


A relic of communism - a "milk bar", offering extremely affordable classic Polish meals in Warsaw's city centre.

Dishes include pancakes with cheese, schnitzel, vegetable soup and cottage cheese.

go to official website

go to menu

best cafe

Pijalnia Czekolady Wedel

food at Pijalnia Czekolady Wedel cafe restaurant in Warsaw and decor and chairs food at Pijalnia Czekolady Wedel cafe restaurant in Warsaw and decor and chairs
food at Pijalnia Czekolady Wedel cafe restaurant in Warsaw and decor and chairs


Poland's largest chocolate producer's very popular chain of chocolate tasting parlors.

Dishes include compositions of drinkable chocolate, pralines, and ice cream.

go to official website

go to menu

best bar

PiwPaw

food at Piw Paw craft beer bar in Warsaw and decor and chairs food at Piw Paw craft beer bar in Warsaw and decor and chairs
food at Piw Paw craft beer bar in Warsaw and decor and chairs


A very unique bar offering more than 300 types of beer, with an option to taste any kind for 1 zł [0.23 EUR].

Drinks include ciders, bottled beers, barrel beers, as well as snacks to elevate the flavors.

go to official website

go to menu

best bakery

Galeria Wypieków

food at Galeria Wypieków Polish bakery in Warsaw and decor and chairs food at Galeria Wypieków Polish bakery in Warsaw and decor and chairs
food at Galeria Wypieków Polish bakery in Warsaw and decor and chairs


A large chain of classic Polish bakeries with an amazing assortment of freshly-baked breads and cakes.

Dishes include Polish yeast-cake sweet buns, tarts, rolls, home-made pizzas, and full breakfasts.

go to official website

go to menu

best breakfast

Bułkę przez Bibułkę

food at Bułkę Przez Bibułkę bagel and sandwich and breakfast restaurant in Warsaw and decor and chairs food at Bułkę Przez Bibułkę bagel and sandwich and breakfast restaurant in Warsaw and decor and chairs
food at Bułkę Przez Bibułkę bagel and sandwich and breakfast restaurant in Warsaw and decor and chairs


A very charming breakfast/lunch restaurant chain in Warsaw, focused on bagels and good atmosphere.

Dishes include scrambled eggs, smoked salmon bagels, croissants, and coffee.

go to official website

go to menu


CHAPTER 3

best hotels in Warsaw







Grzegorz says:
There are literally hundreds of hotels in Warsaw, and it can be a real waste of time looking through them all. Those are my choices for every type of traveler. No need to book long in advance.





our super low-budget picks


it's no bed of roses; it's no pleasure cruise - but these picks get the job done with dignity for a penny on the dollar.

Press
Hostel

interior of Press Hostel in Warsaw inside interior of Press Hostel in Warsaw inside
interior of Press Hostel in Warsaw inside


rooms of Press Hostel in Warsaw inside rooms of Press Hostel in Warsaw inside
rooms of Press Hostel in Warsaw inside


A charming dormitory-style hostel in Northwestern Central Warsaw with an old-Polish decor.

Prices start at 23 zł [5.3 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com

The Warsaw Hostel

interior of the Warsaw Hostel in Warsaw inside interior of the Warsaw Hostel in Warsaw inside
interior of the Warsaw Hostel in Warsaw inside


rooms of Press Hostel in Warsaw inside rooms of Press Hostel in Warsaw inside
rooms of Press Hostel in Warsaw inside


An basic & extremely cheap dormitory-style hostel in the heart of Warsaw's old town.

Prices start at 29 zł [6.7 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com

City View
Łucka

interior of City View Łucka in Warsaw inside interior of City View Łucka in Warsaw inside
interior of City View Łucka in Warsaw inside


rooms of City View Łucka in Warsaw inside rooms of City View Łucka in Warsaw inside
rooms of City View Łucka in Warsaw inside


A very basic bunk-bed hostel with a great view of Western Central Warsaw and good location.

Prices start at 25 zł [5.8 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com


our low-budget picks


for those who want to spend the minimum, but not the bare minimum.


Constitution Square Rooms

interior of Constitution Square Rooms in Warsaw inside interior of Constitution Square Rooms in Warsaw inside
interior of Constitution Square Rooms in Warsaw inside


rooms of Constitution Square Rooms in Warsaw inside rooms of Constitution Square Rooms in Warsaw inside
rooms of Constitution Square Rooms in Warsaw inside


A city-centre shared-bathroom hostel with private 2-person rooms and a common kitchen.

Prices start at 60 zł [13.9 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com

Hostel
Helvetia

interior of Hostel Helvetia in Warsaw inside interior of Hostel Helvetia in Warsaw inside
interior of Hostel Helvetia in Warsaw inside


rooms of Hostel Helvetia in Warsaw inside rooms of Hostel Helvetia in Warsaw inside
rooms of Hostel Helvetia in Warsaw inside


A double-room hostel with shared bathrooms located in the heart of the Old Town.

Prices start at 60 zł [13.9 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com

LoftHotel Przychodnia

interior of LoftHotel Przychodnia in Warsaw inside interior of LoftHotel Przychodnia in Warsaw inside
interior of LoftHotel Przychodnia in Warsaw inside


rooms of LoftHotel Przychodnia in Warsaw inside rooms of LoftHotel Przychodnia in Warsaw inside
rooms of LoftHotel Przychodnia in Warsaw inside


A double-room guest house with private external bathrooms and a unique decor.

Prices start at 61 zł [14.2 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com


our mid-budget picks


you don't want to miss out on any amenities, but you're not paying extra for fancy decor - this one's for you.


Hosapartments
City Center

interior of Hosapartments City Center in Warsaw inside interior of Hosapartments City Center in Warsaw inside
interior of Hosapartments City Center in Warsaw inside


rooms of Hosapartments City Center in Warsaw inside rooms of Hosapartments City Center in Warsaw inside
rooms of Hosapartments City Center in Warsaw inside


A studio-apartment stay in the heart of Warsaw, with own bathroom and kitchen.

Prices start at 100 zł [23.3 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com

Prestige Apartments Wola

interior of Prestige Apartments Wola in Warsaw inside interior of Prestige Apartments Wola in Warsaw inside
interior of Prestige Apartments Wola in Warsaw inside


rooms of Prestige Apartments Wola in Warsaw inside rooms of Prestige Apartments Wola in Warsaw inside
rooms of Prestige Apartments Wola in Warsaw inside


Another aparthotel in Western Central Warsaw with a clean appeal and good amenities.

Prices start at 107 zł [24.9 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com

OSiR
Polna

interior of OSiR Polna in Warsaw inside interior of OSiR Polna in Warsaw inside
interior of OSiR Polna in Warsaw inside


rooms of OSiR Polna in Warsaw inside rooms of OSiR Polna in Warsaw inside
rooms of OSiR Polna in Warsaw inside


Three-star hotel in a sports complex in Central Warsaw with private bathrooms.

Prices start at 132 zł [30.7 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com


our high-budget picks


for the ones who are coming to Poland for the trip of their lives - or just for the one's who always want the best of the best.


Mamaison Hotel Le Regina

interior of Mamaison Hotel Le Regina in Warsaw inside interior of Mamaison Hotel Le Regina in Warsaw inside
interior of Mamaison Hotel Le Regina in Warsaw inside


rooms of Mamaison Hotel Le Regina in Warsaw inside rooms of Mamaison Hotel Le Regina in Warsaw inside
rooms of Mamaison Hotel Le Regina in Warsaw inside


A five-star luxury hotel near the Old Town with beautiful interiors, bathrooms, and common spaces.

Prices start at 300 zł [69.7 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com

Bez Kantów Boutique Rooms

interior of Bez Kantów Boutique Rooms in Warsaw inside interior of Bez Kantów Boutique Rooms in Warsaw inside
interior of Bez Kantów Boutique Rooms in Warsaw inside


rooms of Bez Kantów Boutique Rooms in Warsaw inside rooms of Bez Kantów Boutique Rooms in Warsaw inside
rooms of Bez Kantów Boutique Rooms in Warsaw inside


A charming boutique hotel in the Old Town with designer interiors and inspiring decor.

Prices start at 195 zł [45.3 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com

Radisson Blu Sobieski

interior of Radisson Blu Sobieski in Warsaw inside interior of Radisson Blu Sobieski in Warsaw inside
interior of Radisson Blu Sobieski in Warsaw inside


rooms of Radisson Blu Sobieski in Warsaw inside rooms of Radisson Blu Sobieski in Warsaw inside
rooms of Radisson Blu Sobieski in Warsaw inside


A more classic approach to luxury hotels with all the amenities you expect internationally.

Prices start at 289 zł [67.2 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com


CHAPTER 4

day trips from Warsaw







Grzegorz says:
Day trips are great, but I would only recommend taking them after you've seen the city itself. In Warsaw, if you think nature, think Kampinos, and if you think countryside, think Żelazowa Wola. What are you waiting for?




top 5 day trips from Cracow on greyscale simple map
top 5 day trips from Warsaw on greyscale simple map

icon of number 1 with pink text and shadow Kampinos National Park

An enormous wild forest and nature reserve 20 kilometers northwest of Central Warsaw. It is home to dense "temperate jungles", sandy areas, swamps, and a lot of bike paths, picnic areas, and old villages. It is also where you can find animals such as moose, lynxes, wolves, beavers, and dozens of bird species.

It is free to enter the park, and you are allowed to freely walk around. It takes 30 minutes to go by car (parking is widely available), or you can take the metro to Młociny and then bus no. 210 towards Skibińskiego all the way to the end stop. This takes 50 minutes and costs 7 zł [1.6 EUR] each way.







Grzegorz recommends:
I can't recommend Kampinos enough. There's just such diversity and greenery so close to the city. If you like national parks, don't miss this one when in Warsaw.






sand dunes desert in Kampinos Kampinoski National Park near Warsaw sand dunes desert in Kampinos Kampinoski National Park near Warsaw
sand dunes desert in Kampinos Kampinoski National Park near Warsaw

the park's nature views

moose in Kampinos Kampinoski National Park near Warsaw in grass moose in Kampinos Kampinoski National Park near Warsaw in grass
moose in Kampinos Kampinoski National Park near Warsaw in grass

moose in the park

lynx in Kampinos Kampinoski National Park near Warsaw in forest lynx in Kampinos Kampinoski National Park near Warsaw in forest
lynx in Kampinos Kampinoski National Park near Warsaw in forest

a wild lynx

wetlands swamps of Kampinos Kampinoski National Park near Warsaw wetlands swamps of Kampinos Kampinoski National Park near Warsaw
wetlands swamps of Kampinos Kampinoski National Park near Warsaw

Kampinos' swamps



icon of number 2 with pink text and shadow Żelazowa Wola

A picturesque, small village located 55 kilometers west of Central Warsaw, and the birthplace of composer Frederic Chopin. Chopin's family mansion and the surrounding gardens are a great place to experience how Polish artistocracy lived in the early 1800s. Moreover, it's an area to relax, listen to live music, and perhaps have a picnic in.

It is free to enter the mansion's gardens and attend the open-air piano concerts. On Wednesdays, you can also enter the in-house museum for free. It takes 1 hour to go by car and between 1.5 and 2 hours to go by public transport. From Central Warsaw, you must first take a train to Sochaczew and then a PKS bus to Żelazowa Wola. The journey costs 20 zł [4.6 EUR] each way.

house of Frederic Chopin in Żelazowa Wola in autumn near Warsaw house of Frederic Chopin in Żelazowa Wola in autumn near Warsaw
house of Frederic Chopin in Żelazowa Wola in autumn near Warsaw

Chopin's home in autumn

house of Frederic Chopin in Żelazowa Wola in summer near Warsaw house of Frederic Chopin in Żelazowa Wola in summer near Warsaw
house of Frederic Chopin in Żelazowa Wola in summer near Warsaw

the area in summer



icon of number 3 with pink text and shadow Wilanów Palace

Warsaw's Versailles - the Wilanów Palace is a royal castle in Southern Warsaw and one of the few remarkable buildings that survived Poland's partitions and world wars. It was constructed in 1696 and boasts beautiful, French-inspired symmetric architecture, as well as large, well-kept gardens. It's a great place to walk around, sit, and wonder at the beautiful flowers without having to leave all too far from the city.

It costs 5 zł [1.2 EUR] to enter the gardens, and 20 zł [4.6 EUR] for a park+palace ticket where you can enter the building itself. It takes around 30 minutes to get there from central Warsaw by car, or around 35 minutes by public transport. Simply take bus no. 131 towards Wilanów and exit the bus at the final stop. This will cost you 4.4 zł [1 EUR] each way.
gardens of Wilanów Palace Pałac Wilanowski near Warsaw gardens of Wilanów Palace Pałac Wilanowski near Warsaw
gardens of Wilanów Palace Pałac Wilanowski near Warsaw

the gardens

front facade of Wilanów Palace Pałac Wilanowski near Warsaw front facade of Wilanów Palace Pałac Wilanowski near Warsaw
front facade of Wilanów Palace Pałac Wilanowski near Warsaw

the palace front



icon of number 4 with pink text and shadow Łódź

Łódź is Poland's forgotten city. Today, its industrial past is slowly being transformed into a hip future with old factories being redesigned into restaurants, malls, and hotels. As such, it is truly unique and has a very atypical atmosphere. It is located some 130 kilometers southwest from Central Warsaw, making it the perfect place for a day trip to enrich your trip to Poland.

To get to Łódź, you can either drive (this takes about 90 minutes) or take a train, which will take you around 90 minutes and cost around 30 zł [7.0 EUR] each way.
Poznański Palace in Łódź near Warsaw in winter Poznański Palace in Łódź near Warsaw in winter
Poznański Palace in Łódź near Warsaw in winter

Poznański Palace

Freedom Place by Piotrkowska Street in Łódź near Warsaw in summer Freedom Place by Piotrkowska Street in Łódź near Warsaw in summer
Freedom Place by Piotrkowska Street in Łódź near Warsaw in summer

Freedom Place

EP1 Science Centre experimentarium in post-industrial complex in Łódź near Warsaw in summer EP1 Science Centre experimentarium in post-industrial complex in Łódź near Warsaw in summer
EP1 Science Centre experimentarium in post-industrial complex in Łódź near Warsaw in summer

Science Centre

Łódź University of Technology in industrial building in Łódź near Warsaw in summer Łódź University of Technology in industrial building in Łódź near Warsaw in summer
Łódź University of Technology in industrial building in Łódź near Warsaw in summer

University of Technology



icon of number 5 with pink text and shadow Kazimierz Dolny

Kazimierz Dolny is a lovely small town about 120 kilometers southeast from Central Warsaw. Its location makes it an idyllic portrayal of Polish countryside. It lays on the banks of the Vistula River, among hilly terrain, and has many dozens of well-kept pre-war buildings, as well as beautiful castle ruins looking over the town. It's the perfect place for a getaway from the city, a first taste of Polish rural life, and a picnic or two.

It will take you about 2 hours to get there by car, or about 3 hours by bus - but we definitely think that it's worth it. The bus is operated by TransBus Express and costs 30 zł [7.0 EUR] each way. about
Main Square of Kazimierz Dolny Old Town near Warsaw with fog over Vistula Wisła river in background Main Square of Kazimierz Dolny Old Town near Warsaw with fog over Vistula Wisła river in background
Main Square of Kazimierz Dolny Old Town near Warsaw with fog over Vistula Wisła river in background

main square

Ruins of Castle near Kazimierz Dolny Old Town near Warsaw view from above Ruins of Castle near Kazimierz Dolny Old Town near Warsaw view from above
Ruins of Castle near Kazimierz Dolny Old Town near Warsaw view from above

castle ruins



CHAPTER 5

travel to Warsaw







Grzegorz says:
Warsaw is the beating heart of Poland, and it is very well connected. I would recommend flying to Warsaw and then exploring the rest of the country by train - just don't fly domestically.




plane

The most popular way of getting to Warsaw is by plane. There is a number of things you should know in relation to that. Firstly, Warsaw has two airports.

To learn about the standards of Polish airports, as well as about destinations, go to our transport by plane article.

Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW)

This is Warsaw's main airport, with connections to most large European cities, as well as a dozen long-haul intercontinental connections. It is divided into the North Hall and the South Hall (which form Terminal A), and has 45 passenger gates.
landside view of terminal at Warsaw Chopin WAW airport landside view of terminal at Warsaw Chopin WAW airport
landside view of terminal at Warsaw Chopin WAW airport

Warsaw Chopin landside

airside view of terminal and gates at Warsaw Chopin WAW airport airside view of terminal and gates at Warsaw Chopin WAW airport
airside view of terminal and gates at Warsaw Chopin WAW airport

Warsaw Chopin airside

getting to the city centre

There are a number of ways you can get from Chopin Airport to the city centre. Firstly, you can take an urban rail train towards Modlin or Sulejówek-Miłosna and exit at Warszawa Centralna or Warszawa Śródmieście. This takes about 30 minutes. Secondly, you can take bus no. 175 towards Pl. Piłsudskiego and exit at Centrum bus stop. This takes 25 minutes. Both these options will cost you 4.4 zł [1 EUR] each way.

Thirdly, you can get an Uber for 25 zł [5.8 EUR] or a taxi for around 40 zł [9.3 EUR]. This will take around 20 minutes.

Warsaw Modlin Airport (WMI)

Warsaw's much newer and smaller airport servicing Ryanair flights to European destinations, located 35 kilometers northwest of Central Warsaw. Like most budget airports, it is comprised of a single terminal and has 10 gates.
landside view of terminal at Warsaw Modlin Airport near Warsaw with car rental booths landside view of terminal at Warsaw Modlin Airport near Warsaw with car rental booths
landside view of terminal at Warsaw Modlin Airport near Warsaw with car rental booths

Warsaw Modlin landside

airside view of terminal at Warsaw Modlin Airport near Warsaw with gates and adverts and signs airside view of terminal at Warsaw Modlin Airport near Warsaw with gates and adverts and signs
airside view of terminal at Warsaw Modlin Airport near Warsaw with gates and adverts and signs

Warsaw Modlin airside

getting to the city centre

This is a bit more time-consuming and costly than for Warsaw Chopin Airport. You basically have two viable options: the first is to take the single public bus that goes to the airport to Modlin railway station, and then take a local carrier train towards Warszawa Lotnisko Chopina (Warsaw Chopin Airport) and exit at Warszawa Centralna. This will cost you 19 zł [4.4 EUR].

The other option is to take a dedicated bus (called OKBus) directly from the airport, which will cost you 33 zł [7.7 EUR]. For this bus, it's best to book beforehand.

OKBus also runs services between the two airports for 39 zł [9.1 EUR].




train

The other fastest, though much less conventional way of getting to Warsaw, is by train. This is a great option if you're coming to Warsaw from a different Polish city, but can also be done internationally if you're all about train travel.

You can learn everything there is to know about the standards of Polish trains, as well as about types of trains, buying tickets, and destinations by going to our transport by train article.









Grzegorz recommends:
Don't underestimate the train - travel by train is great in Poland, and it will make your journey much more convenient, cheaper, and more memorable.






stations

Warsaw has 3 main long-haul stations, out of which one is by far the largest - Warszawa Centralna (Warsaw Central). The other two are Warszawa Wschodnia (Warsaw East) and Warszawa Zachodnia (Warsaw West).
underground view of Warsaw Central Station platform with pendolino train and Warszawa Centralna sign underground view of Warsaw Central Station platform with pendolino train and Warszawa Centralna sign
underground view of Warsaw Central Station platform with pendolino train and Warszawa Centralna sign

Warsaw Central Station

outside view of Warsaw East Warszawa Wschodnia train station with neon sign and lighting modern buiding outside view of Warsaw East Warszawa Wschodnia train station with neon sign and lighting modern buiding
outside view of Warsaw East Warszawa Wschodnia train station with neon sign and lighting modern buiding

Warsaw East Station

destinations and prices

domestic

  • Cracow - 4:30h | 62 zł [14.4 EUR]
  • Łódź - 1:30h | 31 zł [7.2 EUR]
  • Poznań - 4:00h | 55 zł [12.7 EUR]
  • Gdańsk - 3:30h | 62 zł [14.4 EUR]
  • Wrocław - 5:00h | 65 zł [15.1 EUR]
  • Katowice - 4:00h | 62 zł [14.4 EUR]
  • Szczecin - 6:30h | 72 zł [16.7 EUR]
  • international

    All relevant international connections to Warsaw, along with their prices and times, can be seen in the transport by train article.



    bus

    As long-haul buses re-gain popularity with the rise of companies like Flixbus, so does traveling to Warsaw by bus. However, with the availability of cheap flights to Warsaw, travel to Warsaw by bus makes the most sense from other Polish cities.

    To learn about bus companies in Poland, as well as about how to find buses, buy tickets, and about the quality of buses, head to our transport by bus article.

    bus stations

    In Warsaw, long-haul bus typically stop at Młociny Metro Station, Warszawa Zachodnia (Warsaw West Station), Warszawa Centralna (Warsaw Central Station) or Marymont Metro Station. All those stops are very easily accessible by public transport.
    flixbus long-haul bus standing at Młociny Metro Station in Warsaw with flixbus employee flixbus long-haul bus standing at Młociny Metro Station in Warsaw with flixbus employee
    flixbus long-haul bus standing at Młociny Metro Station in Warsaw with flixbus employee

    Flixbus at Młociny Metro Station

    long-haul and PKS buses at Warsaw West Warszawa Zachodnia train station Polonus and Mobilis buses long-haul and PKS buses at Warsaw West Warszawa Zachodnia train station Polonus and Mobilis buses
    long-haul and PKS buses at Warsaw West Warszawa Zachodnia train station Polonus and Mobilis buses

    buses at Warsaw West Station

    direct destinations

    domestic

    Currently, from Warsaw you can go to all major Polish cities via direct connections.

    international

    The main direct bus destinations from Warsaw are Berlin, Dresden, Nurnberg, Mannheim, Prague, Minsk, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Vilnius, Riga, Copenhagen, Paris, Amsterdam, Milan, and many, many more.



    car

    Taking a road trip to Poland, or to Warsaw in this case, is a great idea, especially from Germany. Everything you need to know is explained in our transport by car article.




    CHAPTER 6

    public transport in Warsaw







    Grzegorz says:
    Look, you can rent a car and drive around the city, but if you want to be like a real local, you need to get up close and personal with trams and buses. It may seem scary at first, but it's super intuitive. Here's how I do it.




    tickets

    To learn about ticket validation in a given vehicle, as well as how to check how long your journey will be, head to the vehicle's dedicated article.

    There are a number of types of tickets in Warsaw, with the main difference between them being validity time and zone validity. There are also reduced-fare tickets, but because of the inconsistency of the information given on the website with the information given by ticket controllers, we do not recommend buying reduced-fare tickets no matter your status.

    It's important that we first underline that all public transport tickets in Warsaw are valid on all means of public transport (which does not include regular trains - not urban rail - and WKD trains).

    Warsaw's zones

    Warsaw is divided into two public transport zones - the inner zone, called zone 1, which includes the entire city of Warsaw, including Warsaw Chopin Airport. The second zone includes orbital towns, cities, and villages, but not Warsaw Modlin Airport.



    types of tickets

  • 20-minute ticket - zones 1 and 2 - 3.4 zł [0.8 EUR]
    This ticket is great for just a quick trip to the city centre from your hotel. In 20 minutes, you can travel through all of Central Warsaw by metro, and most of it by tram or bus.
  • 75-minute ticket - zone 1 - 4.4 zł [1.0 EUR]
    This is the ticket to buy if your journey is over 20 minutes, but only in zone 1 - this covers the entirety of Warsaw.
  • 90-minute ticket - zones 1 and 2 - 7 zł [1.6 EUR]
    The perfect ticket for when you are travelling from a location in zone 2 to Central Warsaw or vice versa. 90 minutes is enough for most of such travel.
  • 10-person 75-minute ticket - zone 1 - 22 zł [5.1 EUR]
    This is the 10-person variant of the regular 75-minute ticket described above.
  • 24-hour ticket - zone 1 - 15 zł [3.5 EUR]
    A very good choice for someone who wants total freedom to travel and not have to worry for an entire day.
  • 24-hour ticket - zones 1 and 2 - 26 zł [6.0 EUR]
    For those who need a 24-hour ticket, but will be commuting a lot across the zone border or live in zone 2 and want to explore Central Warsaw.
  • 72-hour ticket - zone 1 - 36 zł [8.3 EUR]
    When you only want one ticket for your entire stay in Warsaw, and that stay happens to be less than 3 days, this is the ticket to buy.
  • 72-hour ticket - zones 1 and 2 - 4.4 zł [13.3 EUR]
    This is a combination of the regular 72-hour ticket and the circumstances described in the two-zone 24-hour ticket.
  • weekend ticket - zones 1 and 2 - 24 zł [5.6 EUR]
    This ticket is valid from 7 p.m. on Friday to 8 a.m. on Monday, no matter when it was validated. Great for a weekend stay in Warsaw.
  • 5-person weekend ticket - zone 1 - 40 zł [9.3 EUR]
    The 5-person variant of the regular weeeknd ticket. Great for families traveling on weekends.

  • As you can see, there are a lot of types, but they are well-designed and catered to both tourists and locals. All of the tickets above can be purchased in any location that sells tickets.

    public transport tickets in Warsaw collage

    buying tickets

    In Warsaw, the only sensible way to buy public transport tickets is using the ticket machines located all over the city. Whenever you will need to use public transport, you will easily find a machine. If not, there are also in-vehicle machines in most trams and buses. You can read more about buying and validating tickets in the dedicated articles of the various means of transport.



    metro

    We have an entire article dedicated to Warsaw's metro. For all information except for tickets (which can be read about in this chapter), go to our metro article.
    modern metro station in Warsaw view from platform on metro train with open doors modern metro station in Warsaw view from platform on metro train with open doors
    modern metro station in Warsaw view from platform on metro train with open doors

    metro station underground

    overground view of Nowy Świat Uniwersytet metro station on M2 line in Warsaw with old buildings in background overground view of Nowy Świat Uniwersytet metro station on M2 line in Warsaw with old buildings in background
    overground view of Nowy Świat Uniwersytet metro station on M2 line in Warsaw with old buildings in background

    metro station overground




    tram

    To learn about ticket validation, standards in bus in Poland, finding routes, and the types of tram stops, head to our tram article.

    Warsaw has the second largest tram system in Poland, with 26 lines and over 130 kilometers of tracks. According to Barometr Warszawski, the system services 51% of the population of the city, which means that, in all likelihood, it will be convenient to take the metro at some point during your stay. Below is a metro-style map of the system.

    metro-style tram map in Warsaw ZTM map

    what are trams in Warsaw like?

    Most of them are quite modern, especially those on more popular routes, meaning the routes you are more likely to take as a tourist. Moreover, most Varsovian trams have in-tram ticket machines.
    Warsaw modern yellow and red tram near Arkadia Dworzec Gdański in Warsaw Warsaw modern yellow and red tram near Arkadia Dworzec Gdański in Warsaw
    Warsaw modern yellow and red tram near Arkadia Dworzec Gdański in Warsaw

    Warsaw tram outside

    interior and red seats of moden tram in Warsaw interior and red seats of moden tram in Warsaw
    interior and red seats of moden tram in Warsaw

    Warsaw tram inside





    bus

    There is nothing unique about the bus system in Warsaw. For everything you need to know, head to our general city bus article.









    Grzegorz recommends:
    I hate saying this, but, if you can, take the tram over the bus. It's not a huge hassle to take the bus, but there's a reason why trams exist in the first place.






    outside view of yellow and red modern city urban bus in Warsaw line 227 with other bus in background outside view of yellow and red modern city urban bus in Warsaw line 227 with other bus in background
    outside view of yellow and red modern city urban bus in Warsaw line 227 with other bus in background

    bus outside

    modern Warsaw bus inside with red seats and ticket validation machine modern Warsaw bus inside with red seats and ticket validation machine
    modern Warsaw bus inside with red seats and ticket validation machine

    bus inside




    urban rail

    To learn about ticket validation, standards of urban rail in Poland, finding routes, and stations, head to our urban rail article.

    Essentially, there are two completely independent urban rail systems in Warsaw: Szybka Kolej Miejska (SKM) and Warszawska Kolej Dojazdowa (WKD). Below are the maps of each of them.

    Warsaw SKM map

    ZTM Warsaw map of SKM urban rail Szybka Kolej Miejska system with all lines metro-style

    Warsaw WKD map

    WKD Warszawska Kolej Dojazdowa urban rail system metro-style map

    For reference, the SKM network is kept entirely within the bounds of the 2 public transport zones of Warsaw. This means that all generic public transport tickets work in SKM trains like they do in any other means of transport.

    On the other hand, WKD trains don't work this way. In WKD trains, there are 3 types of tickets, depending on how long you're going. Up to 19 minutes of travel, you pay 3.6 zł [0.8 EUR]. Between 19 and 38 minutes, you pay 4.8 zł [1.1 EUR]. For above 38 minutes, you pay 7 zł [1.6 EUR].
    SKM Szybka Kolej Miejska urban rail white and red train on tracks in Warsaw outside view SKM Szybka Kolej Miejska urban rail white and red train on tracks in Warsaw outside view
    SKM Szybka Kolej Miejska urban rail white and red train on tracks in Warsaw outside view

    SKM train

    SKM Szybka Kolej Miejska urban rail train inside red seats view SKM Szybka Kolej Miejska urban rail train inside red seats view
    SKM Szybka Kolej Miejska urban rail train inside red seats view

    SKM train inside




    bike

    Warsaw's bike sharing system (Veturilo) and bike rental scene is very generic. Everything you need to know can be found in the bike article.

    Veturilo bike sharing system in Warsaw rental station next to modern building Veturilo bike sharing system in Warsaw rental station next to modern building
    Veturilo bike sharing system in Warsaw rental station next to modern building

    Veturilo rental station

    Veturilo bike sharing system in Warsaw bicycle on bridge in Warsaw Veturilo bike sharing system in Warsaw bicycle on bridge in Warsaw
    Veturilo bike sharing system in Warsaw bicycle on bridge in Warsaw

    Veturilo bike




    taxi/Uber

    Read all about calling taxis and Ubers, as well as the prices in Poland, in our taxi/Uber article.

    Our recommended taxi company, Ele Taxi, is reachable under +48 228 111 111, and costs 8 zł [1.8 EUR] initiation fee and 2.4 zł [0.5 EUR] per kilometer.
    man with tatoo enters black ele taxi in Warsaw through rear door man with tatoo enters black ele taxi in Warsaw through rear door
    man with tatoo enters black ele taxi in Warsaw through rear door

    good availability in Warsaw

    ele taxi black car on parking lot in Warsaw ele taxi black car on parking lot in Warsaw
    ele taxi black car on parking lot in Warsaw

    typical Ele taxi