Poland’s capital might not seem instantly beautiful, but it does have a hidden beauty, which once uncovered will have you wanting to make repeat visits. Warsaw is fast becoming a favorite with those traveling on a budget, because a little money here does go a long way. The city has a special allure, due in no small part to the varied history and architecture which is extremely accessible. Most of the best things in the city can be seen on foot, so read on for the best free activities you can do when wandering through Warsaw.
1. Get lost in the beautiful Old Town
A visit to Warsaw would be incomplete without a couple of hours dedicated to strolling through the gorgeous Old Town. Get immersed in the fascinating history of this city, as you walk along streets which were destroyed during the Nazi Invasion of Poland, and rebuilt after the end of World War Two. This area oozes character and the cobbled streets seem like they are straight out of a movie set, lined with the iconic beautiful pastel buildings you’ll be sure to want to snap some photos of.
Warsaw Old Town
How to access: Get a bus to Pl. Zamkowy
2. Pay a visit to the Presidential Palace
This beautiful Neoclassical building has to be on your list of architectural wonders to see in Warsaw. It was originally built in the 17th-century, but it has faced many trials and tribulations since, with a huge fire almost completely destroying the building in the 19th-century. It doesn’t cost a thing to go and see the outside of the Palace, but if you are interested in exploring the inside this is also free, you just need to contact the Palace ahead of time and they organize free tour groups.
Address: Krakowskie Przedmieście 48/50, 00-071 Warszawa, Poland
Opening Hours: Varies
Contact: +48 226952900, email: [email protected]
Website: Presidential Palace
3. See the impressive remains of the Old Town Wall
It’s really an impressive sight to see the huge portions of Warsaw’s old walls still in tact. You will notice that some are reconstructions, as they look newer than other parts. Walk through the narrow cobbled streets of the Old Town and pretty quickly you’ll come face to face with the old wall. Take a walk around the wall and feel like you have been transported back in time.
Old Town Walls
Opening Hours: 24 hours
4. Stroll through the Saxon Gardens
Strolling through these gardens is great if you manage to have a dry day in Warsaw, and are looking for budget friendly activities. This huge green space is the oldest public park in the city and dates back to the 18th-century. The magnificent gardens are filled with stunning baroque statutes, chestnut trees, and even a huge man-made lake. Impressive during every season, but by far the most stunning during spring or summer.
Address: Marszałkowska, 00-001 Warszawa, Poland
Opening Hours: 24 hours
5. Cross through the City Squares
Spend some time in one of the many atmospheric squares in Warsaw. Possibly the most beautiful, is the Old Town Market Square. Feel like you are in a fairy-tale when passing through here, as it is surrounded with many different colored buildings. What’s even more impressive is that most of it was blown up during WWII and has since been reconstructed. You also cannot miss out on spending some time in the open Castle Square. Grab a coffee and sit on one of the benches, spending some time soaking up the atmosphere.
Old Town Market Square/Castle Square
Website: Castle Square
6. See the restored Royal Castle
This stunning red brick building can be found dominating the Castle Square. Like many things in the city of Warsaw, the Castle was damaged during the bombing campaign of WWII, and then later was further destroyed under Hitler’s orders. After the war anything which could be salvaged was, and reconstruction work began restoring the building to its former glory. It is impressive enough to see the Castle from the outside, but visitors can have a free castle tour on Sundays and walk through the same hallways royalty once passed through.
The Royal Castle
Address: plac Zamkowy 4, 00-277 Warsaw, Poland
Price: free on Sundays
Opening Hours: winter season on Sundays: 11am - 4pm, summer season: 11am - 6pm. Closed on public holidays
Access: can be found in Castle Square
Website: The Royal Castle
7. Revel in the Royal Łazienki Park
Walking through this glorious park in Warsaw will make you feel like royalty. There are a lot of different structures to see throughout the park, including the magnificent Palace on the Isle. It is also a venue for musical events, so it might be worth seeing what is taking place during your visit.
To find out more, read our article on Łazienki Park.
Royal Łazienki Park
Address: 01-999 Warsaw, Poland
Website: Royal Łazienki Park
8. Explore the contrasts of the New Town
The New Town is actually pretty close to the Old Town, and it was heavily destroyed during WWII and has since been rebuilt. Deceivingly, the New Town isn’t modern at all, so you may actually stumble across it by accident and not realize. It doesn’t tend to be an area that tourists flock to, unlike the Old Town, but it is great to see both and compare the contrasts. The New Town Market Square is the best place to head, to get away from the crowds.
New Town Area
Address: Bonifraterska 14, 00-001 Warszawa, Poland
9. Visit a museum
Some museums are free in Warsaw on certain days, making it an even more budget friendly city. The Warsaw Uprising Museum is one of the most popular for history buffs, and entrance is free on Sundays. At this museum, visitors can learn more about the uprising of 1944 and how these events shaped the city, through a range of interactive exhibitions.
Warsaw Uprising Museum
Address: ul. Grzybowska 79, Warsaw, Poland
Price: free on Sundays
Opening Hours: Weekdays 8am - 6pm (Thursdays till 8pm). Weekends 10am - 6pm. Closed on Tuesdays
Contact: +48 225397905
Website: Warsaw Uprising Museum
A budget friendly city!
So many free options make Warsaw an ideal place for young travelers, students or people just looking for a cheap trip away. The history of the city is accessible to everybody, and you can come away from your visit feeling as though you really became immersed in the city, and hopefully learnt something new about its fascinating past.
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