A perfect city getaway – Warsaw City Break.
Please see below some information which may be useful for your trip:
Exchange rate: £1 = 5.23 Zloty (checked on 18/07/16 at 13:37 hrs)
Exchange bureau is called “KANTOR”.
Exchange in the city centre Kantor gives favourable rates compare to airports and tourist institutions.
Transport in Warsaw: Please follow the link here.
*Please note: Remember to validate your single tickets or time-tickets just after getting on a tram/bus (time-tickets need to be validated only once, not on every ride).Ticket validating machines are provided in the buses/coaches/trams. Tickets are generally time- tickets rather than destinations i.e. 30 minutes, etc. Please ensure you buy tickets to complete your journey within the time specified on your ticket.The journey time starts when the ticket is validated. Failure to validate your tickets will result in a penalty imposed by the transport authorities.
Buses are packed during rush hours so please take care of your belongings/wallets.
Please only use licensed Taxis with metered fare when getting around city. We would recommend to agree on fare before you get into the taxi.
Free Walking Tour in Warsaw: Link.
Things To Do:
Museum, galleries and palaces abound alongside a burgeoning gastronomic scene and an increasing reputation for edgy nightlife.
Warsaw was all but destroyed in World War II and then fell under Soviet occupation until the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. Thankfully many of the city’s historic monuments and districts have been restored and its austere Communist architecture largely reduced to tourist curiosities.
Although three days can barely scratch the surface of Warsaw as it rises phoenix-like from its ashes, following this three-day itinerary will guide you straight to the city’s beating heart.
- Warsaw is a Catholic city and visitors should always dress respectfully when visiting the many churches; cover bare shoulders and legs.
- There is one metro line in Warsaw, running between Młociny and Kabaty, with the stops between Ursynów and Bielany of most use to tourists.
Warsaw Uprising Museum
The Warsaw Uprising Museum is housed in a former tram yard, leading visitors through the military and political events leading up to the uprising of 1944, which were pivotal in the destruction of the city by the occupying Nazis as revenge. Crammed with informative video interviews, stark black-and-white images showing the damage inflicted on the city, and flickering movies, the museum details the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939, events that led to the city rebelling against their rule, and the consequences of Soviet occupation following World War II. It’s the perfect springboard to understanding the psyche of modern-day Warsaw.
- Take trams 1, 22 or 24 to the museum from the city center. It is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday 8am–6pm; Thursday 8am–8pm; Saturday and Sunday 10am–6pm.
- Entry to the Warsaw Uprising Museum is free on Sunday.
“Warsaw’s historic Stare Miasto (Old Town) is a tangle of gaily painted, gabled townhouse interspersed with cobbled squares. Largely annihilated during World War II, it was reconstructed in the 1970s under Soviet rule and is now UNESCO listed for its clutch of ornate Baroque churches, defence walls and fine architectural restoration”
- Take a horse-drawn carriage ride to explore the Old Town or venture into the elegant, adjacent Baroque New Town (largely 16th and 17th century) to explore its palaces and churches.
Old Town Market Square
“The heart of the Stare Miasto (Old Town) is the vast market square, with its origins in medieval times and now surrounded by a photogenic mishmash of Baroque townhouses. There’s a market most days with stalls selling painted eggs, glassware and amber jewelry, and the piazza is lined with buzzing restaurants serving Polish specialities and bars offering local beers and potent cocktails”.
- Try one of Warsaw’s best traditional restaurants for lunch; Fukier serves up typical Polish dishes such as “bigos” (a hearty meat stew) and “pierogi” (stuffed dumplings) in cosy surroundings.
- If you’re after unusual souvenirs, glassware, hand-painted eggs, and amber jewellery are the best bets as they are both well priced and decorative.
“The handsome, red-brick Zamek Królewski (Royal Castle) was originally built in the 15th century and was once home to the Polish monarchs. It was another victim of World War II but today its spectacularly opulent, refurbished apartments are once more stuffed full with ornate furniture, stucco decorations and marble corridors; they were all painstakingly restored after the war. The castle’s fine art collections were largely plundered during Nazi and Soviet occupation of Warsaw, but many paintings have been returned, including some Rembrandts and a series of Canalettos featuring 17th-century Warsaw that were used as reference when the city was reconstructed in the late 20th century. Behind the castle, the terraced gardens look out over the River Vistula”.
- The resurrection of Warsaw’s Zamek Królewski (Royal Castle) was completed in 1984, financed mostly by the exiled Polish aristocracy.
- The free basement exhibition “From Destruction to Reconstruction” is perfect for those interested in the castle’s reconstruction after WWII.
- The castle is open Monday to Wednesday, Friday to Saturday 10am-6pm; Thursday 10am-8pm; Sunday 11am-6pm.
Castle Square (Plac Zamkowy)
“The vast courtyard outside the Royal Castle is a favorite meeting point in the city; it is surrounded by restaurants and dominated by the vast statue of King Zygmunt III Waza, who moved the Polish capital to Warsaw from Krakow in 1596.”
- Castle Square stands at the northern end of the Royal Route, a trail designed for visitors that wends its way through the city, taking in many landmarks along the way.
St. Anne’s Church (Kosciol Swietej Anny)
“A step away from the Royal Castle along the Royal Route is arguably the most beautiful neo-classical church in Warsaw; although a church has been on this site since medieval times, St Anne’s was built in the mid 15th century and was given its present neo-classical façade by architect Piotr Aigner in 1788. With a separate bell tower and a neat frontage topped by a pediment, the OTT interior is a fantasy of yellow, white and gold, gloomy biblical oil paintings, and mammoth chandeliers. Unusually for Warsaw, the church escaped serious damage during World War II but it subsequently nearly collapsed in 1949 due to tunnel building in the vicinity. Views from the tower are some of the best in Warsaw, worth the 150-step climb to see them.”
- St Anne’s is open Monday-Saturday 8am-3pm and Sunday 4.30pm-7pm. No visiting during services. Cover shoulders and legs when visiting.
- A vast portrait of Poland’s beloved Pope John Paul II hangs over the entrance to the church. He was Bishop of Krakow before being booted heavenwards to the job of Pope.
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Grob Nieznanego Zolnierza)
“The Tomb of Unknown Soldier is found at the edge of the great public park where the Pałac Saski (Saxon Palace) — destroyed during World War II — once stood. The marble mausoleum honors the fallen of Poland’s many battles and wars, and especially the last two world wars; it was designed by Polish sculptor Stanisław Kazimierz Ostrowski and is lit by an eternal flame. The somber memorial is guarded 24/7, with soldiers changing rota on the hour every hour.”
- The ceremonial Changing of the Guard at the tomb takes place every Sunday at noon, with great pomp and ceremony.
“One of Warsaw’s swankiest shopping streets, Nowy Świat was leveled during World War II and reconstructed in a fairly bland architectural style. Nevertheless, it forms part of the Royal Route and is a popular shopping and partying spot, with a cluster of top designer names congregating around St Alexander’s Church, including Burberry and Armani. Somewhat incongruously, the austere hulk of the former Communist HQ can be seen at Nowy Świat 6.”
- There are plenty of eating options along the street, ranging from casual to classy, as well as microbreweries and edgy clubs.
Museum of King Jan III’s Palace at Wilanow
“Once one of the grandest palaces in Europe, said to rival Versailles for its sheer opulence; the ornate, gigantic and multi-winged 17th-century Baroque summer retreat of King John Sobieski III survived the ravages of two world wars. Today it sits blissfully in landscaped gardens as a genteel reminder of the power, charm and wealth that was once Warsaw. The interior of the ocher, pink and white palace is of peerless luxury, with a series of ever more flamboyant apartments and staterooms adorned with marble, vivid swirling ceiling frescoes, priceless porcelains and silverware, sculptures, and stucco work. 1805 saw the opening of one of Warsaw’s first decorative arts museums here, where star exhibits include traditional Polish wooden coffin portraits.”
- The Palace opening hours vary, but are roughly every day except Thursday 9.30am-4pm (8pm in summer); Thursday 9.30am-4pm with free entry.
- Wilanów Palace stands at the southern end of the Royal Route, which leads visitors past many of Warsaw’s biggest attractions right up to the Royal Castle and Old Town.
Copernicus Science Centre
“The Copernicus Science Center is just the spot for an afternoon’s interactive fun for families with kids. Named after Poland’s greatest astrologer, the science center opened in 2012 and offers up several floors of educational but entertaining science ‘light’. Robots, 4-D films in the planetarium, laser shows and themed experiments in the labs that all add to the slightly chaotic fun.”
- Opening times at Copernicus Science Center vary seasonally but are roughly Tuesday to Friday 9am-6pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-7pm.
- This fun-filled museum gets packed on the weekend.
Palace of Culture and Science
“For decades Warsaw’s highest building, the Palace of Culture and Science was constructed while the city was under Soviet occupation and was widely regarded as an eyesore looming over the city and resented as symbolic of Soviet domination in Poland. Largely abandoned after the Russians left in 1989, it is only now finding its place in history. At 231 meters (758 feet) tall, the gigantic Social Realist edifice today hosts rock concerts and is open for tours of its austere charms. Most people simply head for the viewing platform on the 30th floor, which reveals the restored streets and impressive new skyscrapers of central Warsaw spreading out below.”
- The Palace of Culture and Science is open daily between 9am and 6pm.
- The Palace is also home to the Museum of Technology.
- From here it is an easy walk to the restaurants of Nowy Świat for supper.
“Far from being a grimy, post-Soviet city, Warsaw is full of green spaces and foremost among these is Łazienki Park. Covering 78 hectares (192 acres) and forming part of the Royal Route, the landscaped gardens are scattered with lakes, waterfalls, an amphitheater, follies, and monuments to the great and good of Poland, including an Art Deco sculpture of Fryderyk Chopin. The park really comes into its own from late spring onwards, when it fills up with families picnicking, young couples strolling, and sightseers who come to see the how Poland’s royalty once lived. Properties once inhabited by the Royal Family include the cosy White House — where the king’s mistress was installed — the Baroque court theater, and the cast iron and glass Belvedere, now an expensive restaurant but originally an orangery.”
- Occasional chamber orchestra concerts are held in Łazienki Park’s theater. Booking ahead is essential for a table at the Belvedere restaurant.
- Free Chopin recitals are held around his monument in Łazienki Park in the summer. They normally take place on Sunday at noon.
- The park is open daily from dawn until dusk and is the perfect place for a picnic if the weather is behaving.
Lazienki Palace (Palac Lazienkowski)
“The neo-classical Palace on the Isle in Łazienki Park is beautifully situated overlooking a tranquil lake and is as rich in decoration inside as out. It was originally a royal bathhouse before being revamped in the early 18th century as the summer residence of Stanisław August Poniatowski, the last king of Poland who died in 1798. When he moved in, the king brought his extensive collection of art with him and this forms the basis of the collections of fine art on display in the palace.”
- The Palace on the Isle is open Monday 11am-6pm; Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday 9am-6pm; Thursday to Saturday 9am-8pm.
Frederick Chopin Museum
“The Chopin Museum is dedicated to Poland’s favorite composer and showcases both his tumultuous love life side by side with his genius as a composer and musician. This state-of-the-art, interactive exhibition is one of a new raft of contemporary museums in Warsaw and is located in the elegant 17th-century Ostogski Palace. Holding the most comprehensive collection of Chopin ephemera in the world — manuscripts, portraits, pianos, scores, recordings, and love letters from novelist George Sand — the museum pays an absorbing and chronological tribute to his life.”
- The world famous, 19th-century Polish composer Fryderyk Chopin lived most of his life in Warsaw, a fact celebrated today by a self-guided walking route through the city center.
- The museum has a chic cafe for light lunches. In a previous life, the building was a military hospital and an Irish pub.
POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews
“Opened piecemeal but finally completed in October 2014, the Museum of the History of Polish Jews is housed in a wacky ultra-modern glass and copper building on the site of Warsaw’s former Jewish ghetto in Muranów and examines the long relationship between the Jewish people and Poland. Before the advent of Nazi Germany in 1939, the Jews were an important and affluent section of the Warsaw community, but four short years brought about the eradication of 90 percent of the city’s 3.3 million Jews in the Nazi death camps. This humanitarian tragedy is conveyed through the thoughtful use of multimedia displays, survivor interviews and a fine collection of Jewish paraphernalia.”
- The Museum of the History of Polish Jews Ghetto also has a genealogy center for those who wish to trace relatives lost in the Holocaust.
- The museum is open Monday, Thursday and Friday 10am-6pm; Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday 10am-8pm. Admission is free on Thursday.
Please note: This guide is for reference only and provided only as a convenience. Opening times,ticket prices or details contained in this article may have change. Please check with the relevant attraction either by contacting them directly or on their website for more up to date information. We cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies or incorrect information.
We wish you a very Happy City Break in Warsaw !
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Things to do guide is derived from author – Sasha H (Source: Tripadvisor)