The Ultimate 2 to 3 Days in Warsaw Itinerary

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by Olivia Ellis

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Mapping out a great 2 to 3 days in Warsaw itinerary is a great addition to any trip to Poland. The capital city is rich in history, culture, and delicious food, but it can be frequently passed by visitors for more stereotypically idyllic cities such as Krakow.

However, the capital of Poland is an incredibly dynamic, vibrant, artistic, and inspiring city that has risen from the ashes and deserves a prime spot on any trip to this Central European nation. With a lot to offer visitors, this guide will help you plan the perfect trip to this interesting European capital.

How Many Days in Warsaw?

As the largest city in Poland, it can be tricky to decide how many days to spend in Warsaw.

If you just have one day to spend in Poland’s capital city, you’ll have enough time to eat delicious Polish comfort food and explore the city’s Old Town and the cultural highlights of Warsaw. With just one day in Warsaw, it’s still worth the visit but I’d recommend more time to explore the city in depth.

2 days offer an ideal timeframe, allowing you to not only experience all the must-see attractions in one day but also delve deeper into the city’s rich culture, history, and distinctive neighborhoods.

3 days is really the perfect amount of time to visit the city if you’re especially interested in getting to know Warsaw on a deeper level or you’re keen to go on a day trip.

Warsaw's Old Town
Warsaw’s Old Town

Getting To & Around Warsaw

There are two main modes of transportation for arriving in Warsaw, either by air or by train.
If you’re arriving by air, you’ll be landing at one of Warsaw’s main airports, either Warsaw Chopin Airport or Warsaw Modlin Airport.

Warsaw Chopin Airport (so-called after famed Polish composer Fryderyk Chopin) is the main airport for Warsaw and is likely the airport where you’ll arrive.

Warsaw city center is conveniently located just 10 km away from Warsaw Chopin Airport and can be reached either by taxi, pre-arranged transfer or public transportation.

If you plan to travel by taxi, Warsaw is an affordable city and depending on your destination within the city, you can expect to pay around 40-50 PLN for the 20-30 minute journey.

If you prefer to travel by public transportation to the city center, the best option is to take the public bus outside the airport terminal. The journey via bus transportation from the airport to the city center typically takes around 30 minutes.

If you’re arriving by train from either another Polish destination such as Gdansk or a different country, you’ll arrive at Warsaw Central Station located in the center of the city.

This is also where you’ll want to go if you’ll be traveling onwards from Warsaw to another destination as the station offers high-speed trains, long-distance trains, and regional trains, connecting Warsaw with various destinations within Poland and beyond. You can view schedules here.

As for getting around Warsaw, the city is incredibly well-connected, with modes of transportation ranging from public transportation to biking, and walking.

The historic Old Town and many of the main tourist attractions are located close to each other, making it possible to explore them on foot. The city center is relatively compact, and you can easily walk from one place to another, enjoying the architecture, parks, and vibrant atmosphere along the way.

While the central areas you’ll be visiting during your Warsaw itinerary are incredibly walkable, if you are staying in a different district or would like to explore other areas of the city, I suggest public transportation.

You’ll find Warsaw has an efficiently wide public transportation system, giving the options of either bus, tram, or metro.

Day passes are available for Warsaw public transport and are a wonderful and cost-efficient way to save money if you plan on traveling a fair amount on public transport during your time in the city.

Old Town Market Square
Old Town Market Square

2 to 3-Day Warsaw Itinerary

Day 1 – Warsaw Old Town

Warsaw Old Town

There’s no better way to begin any trip to Warsaw than in the city’s Old Town. A contrast to the modern skyline dominated by the Palace of Culture and Science skyscraper, visiting Warsaw’s Old Town is like stepping back in time to the Warsaw that once was.

The Old Town is incredibly unique, as, during World War II, it was destroyed and then rebuilt in an ode to what once was.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a captivating blend of historical architecture, charming cobblestone streets, and vibrant colors.

It’s a true delight to immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Warsaw as you walk through the narrow alleys, discover hidden courtyards, and visit the numerous museums, churches, and cafés and take in the imposing city walls – known as the Warsaw Barbican.

The Old Town of Warsaw is a true treasure of varied architectural wonders and cultural heritage, giving you a special experience for your time in Warsaw. You can book a walking tour here to learn more about the history.

Royal Castle in Warsaw
Royal Castle in Warsaw

Royal Castle

A must-visit stop while exploring the Old Town is the Royal Castle of Warsaw located in the heart of the Old Town.

This exquisite palace has been well restored to its former state. complete with ornate furnishings, intricate artwork, and stunning architecture, giving an authentic look into the history of Poland’s Royal Family.

Once the official residence of Polish monarchs, the castle showcases a mix of Baroque, Rococo, and Neoclassical styles.

From the castle tower, you will be offered breathtaking panoramic views of the Old Town and the surrounding area of Warsaw, and whether you’re a history buff or not, the view from the castle tower is completely worth the visit. The Warsaw Castle is a true gem of the city, offering visitors a glimpse into Poland’s rich cultural and historical heritage.

Warsaw Castle is typically open Tuesday – Sunday with varying opening hours depending on the time of year, so make sure to check in advance before your visit.

Also make sure to enjoy the vibes and view of Castle Square, where you can take in the column of King Sigismund III that was erected in the 17th Century.

St. John’s Archcathedral

Another point of interest in the Old Town that’s worth visiting is St. John’s Cathedral.
This Roman Catholic church, also known as the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist, is one of the oldest and most significant churches in Warsaw.

The cathedral features a stunning Gothic architectural style, with intricate details and a grand interior, offering a worthy experience for anyone, whether you’re religious or particularly interested in history and architecture.

Inside, you’ll witness an impressive high altar, beautiful stained glass windows, and historic tombs of notable Polish figures.

St. John’s Cathedral is an important cultural and historical symbol for the country, representing Poland’s rich heritage and religious significance internationally.

If you’re interested in classical music, then you can finish your day with a Chopin concert at the nearby Fryderyk Concert Hall.

St. John Archcathedral
St. John Archcathedral

Day 2 – A Look Into Warsaw’s Past & Traditional Polish Food

Polish Doughnuts for Breakfast

The best way to begin your second day is with delicious Polish doughnuts, or “pączki.”

Polish food is extremely delicious, homemade, hearty, and comforting and the pączki are no different. These delicious fried dough balls are filled with various fillings, from chocolate to custard and jam.

For a tasty experience, I suggest heading to Blikle, a traditional pączki shop located in the historic center of the city frying up incredible doughnuts with various fillings.

Lazienki Royal Park

A great spot to catch some greenery and a lush walk while enjoying your fresh pączki is the Lazienki Royal Park, pretty much what Central Park is to New York City. Warsaw is quite a busy urban city, but you’ll find that there are quite a few green areas, offering a quiet oasis from the busy city center.

The Lazienki Park is a sprawling park spanning 76 hectares that is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and historic architecture. Originally designed in the 18th century as a royal summer residence, the green park offers an inviting blend of both nature and history.

The park has incredibly manicured gardens, serene lakes, charming bridges, and iconic buildings such as the Palace on the Isle, which is located on an island in the middle of a lake.

You’ll find that Lazienki Royal Park is perfect for both tourists and locals alike, giving visitors an authentic look into everyday life for locals.

Lazienki Royal Park
Lazienki Royal Park

Warsaw Rising Museum

After spending time at the peaceful Lazienki Royal Park, I recommend a change of pace by heading to the Warsaw Rising Museum, a museum dedicated to preserving the importance and history of the Warsaw Uprising, a major World War II resistance effort against Nazi occupation.

This is not to be confused with the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, which was a resistance of Polish Jews in the city in 1943.

Warsaw is truly a city that has experienced unsurmountable hardship and has risen from the ashes to what it is today. This museum is an ideal way to learn about where Warsaw once was and how it is the strong city that it is today.

The museum offers varying experiences, ranging from interactive exhibits, artifacts, and immersive historical experiences to better understand the Warsaw Uprising.

It’s also worth noting that the museum is incredibly large, dense, and comprehensive, so if you’re looking to get the most out of your visit, make sure to allow at least a few hours for your visit.

For those who would rather learn about Polish Jews, then consider heading to the POLIN Museum instead. This is a museum dedicated to the history of Polish Jews.

Pierogi at Pierogarnia Mandu

After a lengthy and likely heavy pass through the Warsaw Uprising Museum, you’ll likely have built up an appetite. Poland’s cuisine is well-loved internationally, with the most famous Polish food easily being Polish dumplings or pierogi.

For a comforting dinner to wrap up your 2 days in Warsaw, make your way to Pierogarnia Mandu, located in the old town to experience a wide array of different pierogi.

I recommend trying the fried pierogi, baked pierogi, and a sweet option to finish your meal off. There is no doubt that eating your weight in pierogi is one of the best things to do in Warsaw. You can even organise to take a pierogi cooking class or a food tour to learn more about Polish cuisine!

If you want another traditional Polish food experience, then consider heading to one of the city’s Milk Bars – or a low-cost cafeteria-style restaurant serving up hearty local fare.

Day 3 – Day Trip from Warsaw & Warsaw’s Unique Neighborhoods

Day Trip to Kazimierz Dolny

While the city of Warsaw itself is a wonderful destination to visit, if you’re planning to visit Warsaw in 3 days, you may want a change of scenery, making day 3 the perfect opportunity to embark on a day trip to a nearby area.

A day trip from Warsaw to the town of Kazimierz Dolny makes for a wonderful journey to a quaint town known for its medieval architecture and artistry.

When visiting Kazimierz Dolny, you’ll find yourself enchanted by its charming Old Town, with its cobbled streets, colorful houses, and historic buildings.

The Market Square, like any other Polish town or city, is incredibly picturesque, with its Renaissance-style Town Hall, and from here you’ll find stunning panoramic views from its clock tower.

Other spots worth visiting during a day trip to Kazimierz Dolny, are The Parish Church of St. John the Baptist (a must-visit for art and history enthusiasts), and the Kazimierz Dolny Castle

Spend time walking along the Vistula River, taking in idyllic views from just about every angle and a serene atmosphere thanks to the lack of tourists in the town.

To get from Warsaw to Kazimierz Dolny by public transportation, you have a few options. You can take a train from Warsaw Central Station to Nałęczów and then a taxi to Kazimierz Dolny, or take a direct public bus from Warsaw directly to Kazimierz Dolny.

Castle Tower in Kazimierz Dolny
Castle Tower in Kazimierz Dolny

Praga District

If you decide to stay in Warsaw on your last day in the city rather than going on a day trip, I highly recommend spending the day exploring Warsaw’s neighborhoods that are off the beaten path and giving a glimpse into local life.

My recommendation is to head to the Praga neighborhood, located on the northern side of Warsaw. Praga is a historic neighborhood located on the right bank of the Vistula River in Warsaw and is a vibrant and diverse area known for its rich cultural heritage and dynamic atmosphere.

Once considered a rough and neglected part of the city, Praga has experienced a renaissance in recent years, with its cobblestone streets, pre-war architecture, and industrial heritage drawing all sorts of creative types.

Despite its rough edges, Praga has a unique charm, making it a favorite spot for locals and a unique part of the city to explore for visitors.

Whilst in Praga, make sure to wander the streets of the neighborhood, taking in the unique architecture and street art and taking a look inside some of the open markets and art galleries the area has to offer.

For a great dining experience in Praga, I recommend visiting Stacja Praga, a modern Polish restaurant that serves traditional Polish dishes with a modern twist, set within a historic railway station.

Where to Stay in Warsaw

Hotel Reytan – This 3-star hotel is perfect for mid-range visitors to the Polish capital. There are a number of delightful rooms to choose from, a great location for exploring all Warsaw has to offer and plenty of amenities to ensure your stay is comfortable.

Hotel Polonia Palace – Those looking for a luxury accommodation option on their visit to Warsaw will love this sophisticated hotel. There are a range of plush and chic rooms on offer, a great, central location and plenty of high-end amenities on offer for guests.

GO Apartments – These apartments are a good option if you’d like to have your own space while visiting Warsaw. There are a number of different flats available, all fully furnished with everything you may need during your stay.

Oki Doki Old Town Hostel – Budget and solo travelers in Warsaw will love this cool hostel in the Old Town. They offer both dorms and private rooms along with great common areas and a good social atmosphere.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Warsaw hotels!

Warsaw, Poland is a truly unique European destination, offering incredible food, a thriving art scene, and a revitalized culture that can be felt from every corner of the city. Whether you’re seeing Warsaw in 2 days or more, you’re bound for a special trip.

Are you planning on visiting Warsaw? Have any questions about this itinerary? Let us know in the comments!

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Olivia is a writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from Michigan, USA, she is currently living in Athens, Greece exploring Europe and filmmaking. When she’s not travelling or writing, Olivia can be found cooking delicious new recipes from around the world, reading, and spending time outdoors.

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