Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland and only for that reason, the city is worth a visit! Despite all the tourist attractions the city has to offer, Warsaw also has a beautiful old town center and places where you can go back in the past and explore a little history.
In September I went for a weekend to Poland. The first day I spent in the city Krakow and on the second day we went by train to Warsaw. If you are planning on doing the same route and combine to cities in one trip; I can definitely recommend to combine Krakow with Warsaw. These cities are not that far from each other (only approximately two hours by train) and are so different from each other! I really had a lovely time. Unfortunately I had not that much time in Warsaw as I had in Krakow, I didn’t even had 24 hours. Although I think I got a very good image of the capital of Poland. In this article I will give you some places you definitely need to visit when travelling to Warsaw! This article is all about the places which are in the city center and close to each other.
Warsaw Old Town
In my opinion, Warsaw Old Town is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Warsaw. I really love the cute, colourful houses and the little streets which lead you to cosy town squares and nice bars. I’ve spent most of the time in this part of the city. It was built during the 12th to 13th century and is surrounded by 14th century fortification walls. Nowadays, it’s the heart of the center where you can have a drink or diner in the evening and meet up with your friends. Here you can also find some street art and souvenirs. If you love museums, you can visit the Historical Museum of Warsaw or the Adam Mickiewicz Museum of Literature in Old Town.
At the market square, you can also find the St. Anne’s Church. Against a small payment, there is a possibility to climb to tower and to enjoy a nice view over Old Town and other sides of Warsaw; it’s absolutely worth it! At the entrance of the tower, you can also buy some souvenirs.
Palace of Culture and Science
In contrast to Warsaw Old Town, the Palace of Culture and Science is surrounded by modern and big buildings which the city has to offer. Close to the train station of Warsaw, you can find the palace. If you are travelling by train, this is also the ideal starting point for your tour through the city. The palace was built between 1952 and 1955 and was a gift of the Soviet people to the Polish nation, offered by Joseph Stalin himself. The Palace of culture and Science is, which has a height of 237 meters, the highest building of Poland. From the building, you can have a breath taking view over Warsaw. The most popular place to admire the view, is on the large terrace on the 30th floor of the palace.
There are many organisations situated in the building, such as private universities, institution headquarters and offices. The palace is perfect for meetings and conferences, because it has one of the largest conference facilities in Warsaw. Furthermore, you can also find a congress hall and a concert hall in the building.
Do you love to explore a little silence and nature in a large and crowded city? The Lazienki Park has a really central location in the center of Warsaw and is spread over a large surface. The park has been designed and “built” in the 17th century and is well-known for the royal buildings which can be found in the park. For example you can find the palace of king Stanislaw August at the Lazienki Lake. Around this palace and in the rest of the park you can find some stray peacocks, where you can take some beautiful photos from.
Right next to Warsaw Old Town, you can find the Royal Castle. This is a reconstruction of the old Royal Castle, because the original was destroyed during the World War II bombing. It used to serve as the residence of the royalty between the 16th and 18th century, but now it is a gallery for the portraits of the Polish Kings and a collection 18th-century paintings of Warsaw ordered by Poland’s last king, S.A. Poniatowski. There are several tours through the castle organised.
Warsaw Rising Museum
If you happen to have some extra time in the city and you’re a museum lover, than the Warsaw Rising Museum is definitely worth a visit! This museum has opened her doors in 2004 and is one of Poland’s best museum. Here you can find everything about the history of Warsaw, including the time during World War II. It offers some interactive displays, photographs, video footage and miscellaneous ehxibits.
Do you have a longer time in Warsaw and want to see more? The city offers many other impressive museums which are definitely worth the visit. You can also pay a visit to the Wilanów Palace, which is situated a little outside the city center.
Have you ever been to Warsaw before? What can you recommend as a must-visit?
This article is part of the GPSmyCity iOS app. You can download it, read this article offline and obtain travel directions (by foot, car or bicycle) to the places mentioned in this article. Click here to download it.