If you’re spending a couple of days in Warsaw and you want to see as much as possible, pre-organised events like guided tours can be the best way of getting to know a new place. Here is an overview of some of the key attractions for visitors to Warsaw.
Warsaw has one of the most fascinating histories of any European city. From the Renaissance grandeur of the (reconstructed) Old Town and the Romantic era of Chopin to the successive turmoil of the 20th Century, Warsaw really has seen it all. A guided tour gives an insight only a knowledgeable local can. Tour guides are friendly, fun, and their understanding is usually much deeper. It really is a world of difference.
Events booked through a service like Get Your Guide will make your trip a great deal easier. You can book through the app, with no need for printers or postage, and entry fees are included in the price. You’ll get clear instructions on where to meet and what to expect, so all you’re left with is to enjoy yourself. The prices are honestly fantastic value for money as well. Highly recommended.
Here is an overview of the key tours on offer and other events. The choice is always changing, so take a look at Get Your Guide for what’s currently available and see our Visit Warsaw page for information about how to plan for your visit.
Warsaw City Tour
Warsaw is a large city, so walking tours are generally confined to specific areas and attractions. The most comfortable way to get to grips with the whole city is via a 3-hour afternoon out in an air-conditioned coach. The excursion is flexible but will usually pick you up at your accommodation and you’ll get to see all the key landmarks, including the Old Town and Royal Castle, the former Jewish Ghetto, the Holy Cross Church where Chopin’s heart rests, the Monument of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, and plenty more.
Warsaw Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
If you’d prefer to tour the city to your own timetable, you can buy a hop-on hop-off bus ticket to last anywhere between 24 and 72 hours. There are two routes available, both starting at the mighty Palace of Culture and Science and covering different areas of the city. You can leave the bus whenever you find something you’d like to explore and rejoin once you’re ready. Both itineraries include the Old Town and all buses have a running commentary. Destinations include the excellent Warsaw Rising Museum and the National Museum, as well as Warsaw Zoo and the Chopin Museum.
Traditional Galar Cruise On The Vistula River
A Galar is a traditional wooden sailboat and this 1-hour tour along the Vistula gives a new perspective on Warsaw’s changing skyline. It’s an amazing thought that this river stretches right through Poland and down to Kraków, and once formed a key trading route for amber and other materials. You’ll learn all about the ancient history that gave rise to Poland’s fascinating fortunes as part of the ride.
Palace of Culture and Science Tour
No journey to Warsaw is complete without a visit to the viewing terrace of the 1952 Soviet tower known as the Palace of Culture and Science. This is one of the city’s most visible landmarks and, until recently, was the highest building in Poland. A tour will give you access to the majestic ballrooms and conference suites, the mighty marble staircases and, of course, the observation terrace itself, with views across the city. A guide will talk you through the history of the building with stories and insights you’re unlikely to get from a guidebook. This is really an essential activity.
POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews
Opened in 2013, on the site of the former Warsaw Ghetto, the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews is a stunning state-of-the-art experience covering a thousand years of Jewish history. You are advised to buy a ticket in advance and a tour is recommended. These come in different shapes and sizes, sometimes offering a hotel pickup or combined with other attractions, but most will last around three hours. The museum is large, so a guide helps focus on the highlights and gives context to the overwhelming range of exhibits. As with the Oskar Schindler museum in Kraków, this is an imaginative and awesome experience, in the truest sense of the word.
Chopin Concert in the Old Town
One of Poland’s most famous sons, composer and virtuso pianist Frédéric Chopin is a national hero. There are daily performances, last about an hour, in the atmospheric Gothic chamber of the Royal Castle. These recitals feature a different performer and themed repertoire each day, with an introduction and explanation of the music. You’ll also be treated to a glass of traditional Polish honey wine during the interval. These intimate events are amongst the most popular in Warsaw and likely to sell out.
Warsaw Pub Crawl
If you’re new in town and want to get to know the nightlife, an organised pub crawl can be a great way to meet people. These come in various shapes and sizes, but usually last around four hours before continuing in a club. The hosts will know where to go and how liven things up with drinking games. You might start in one venue with an open bar, for example, before moving on to a succession of different bars to try a shot of something special in each. At the end of the night, you’ll get instant access to a club, where you can dance the rest of the night away.
Polish Vodka Museum Tour With Tasting
For something a little more refined, try a 70-minute tour of Warsaw’s Vodka Museum. The qualified guide will talk you through the history and methods of Poland’s complex vodka culture, before a tasting session of three different varieties. Finally, there’s a cocktail bar on the third floor, where the mixer can talk you through some recipes. The museum is in the Praga district, which itself is of cultural and historical interest, and well worth an afternoon.
See our dedicated site for Warsaw travel, WarsawVisit.com, for a Google map of Warsaw’s essential attractions and further information about the city.