Old Town - one of the must-see spots on a weekend in Warsaw
Guides and Itineraries,  Poland

Weekend in Warsaw: Must-See Sights for First-Timers

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The capital city of Poland, Warsaw is one of the best places to visit in the country. The city has great history, beautiful architecture, and more affordable prices compared to other destinations in Europe.

If you’re spending a weekend in Warsaw, we’re here to help! This 2 days Warsaw itinerary will help you make the most of your visit to this beautiful city.

2 Days in Warsaw Itinerary

Here’s an itinerary for a weekend in Warsaw, which includes must-see sights in the city and other local favorites.

Day 1 includes a walking tour that explores the history and culture of Warsaw, starting from the famous Old Town. With its great history, reconstruction efforts, and resilience of the Polish people, you’ll understand why Warsaw is also referred to as “Phoenix City.”

Meanwhile, Day 2 is about exploring the modern Warsaw, including its parks, museums, and neighborhood.

Day 1

Morning

Warsaw Old Town

Start your first day in Warsaw by exploring the historic Old Town. There are free guided walking tours you can join (starting at 10AM), but it is also easy to do this on your own.

The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most instagrammable areas in the city. During World War II, the area was completely destroyed but has been meticulously reconstructed to its former glory.

Begin at Castle Square, where you’ll find the Royal Castle, the former home of Polish kings. Touring the castle usually takes an hour, and you’ll get to see its beautiful, furnished interiors and learn about its history, rooms, statues, and so on. Don’t forget to grab the free audio guide tour.

Travel Tip: If you’re visiting on a Wednesday, the entrance to the Royal Castle is free.

Next, head over to St. Anne’s Church. Built in the 15th century, this beautiful church is one of the oldest buildings in the city and features a neoclassical facade. Get inside to see its intricately painted ceilings and the famous large organ at the back. Then head to the tower for an overlooking view of the rooftops in the city.

Old Town - one of the must-see spots on a weekend in Warsaw
Warsaw Old Town market square.

Then head to the Market Square, located at the center of the Old Town. Here you can browse through local shops and visit a restaurant or café to sample some traditional Polish snacks, such as pierogi (dumplings) and zapiekanka (open-faced sandwiches). Don’t worry, even for a busy tourist site, the prices here are reasonable!

If you’re visiting on a December, you’ll also love the festive and cheerful atmosphere at the Market Square.

Afterwards, make your way to St. John’s Archcathedral, a stunning Gothic church that dates back to the 14th century. It has beautiful stained-glass windows, intricate alter, and crypts in the underground. Be sure to climb up the tower for beautiful views of the city.

As you continue exploring Old Town, don’t miss the Barbican and City Walls and see a glimpse into Warsaw’s medieval past.

Other interesting spots: Right at the Old Town, you can also find the Museum of Warsaw (about 1-2 hours tour) and the Maria Skłodowska-Curie Museum (30-40 minutes tour). If you like history and/or science, these are interesting places to include on your itinerary.

Afternoon

Palace of Culture and Science
Palace of Culture and Science.

In the afternoon, make your way to the Palace of Culture and Science. Dominating the city skyline, this Soviet-era skyscraper is the tallest building in Poland. Despite its controversial history and mixed reviews among locals, it has become an iconic symbol of Warsaw.

Take the elevator to the 30th floor where you’ll find a viewing terrace offering an unparalleled 360-degree view of the city. There’s also a trendy café at the top where you can grab a coffee while soaking in the cityscape.

Finally, end the day with a leisurely stroll at the Saxon Garden, one of the oldest public parks in the world. The park is small but quiet, perfect for a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Exploring the park will take 20-30 minutes – you’ll see classical statues, a large water fountain, and the imposing Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. There are also beautiful flower beds to delight the senses.

Evening

In the evening, experience a live Chopin piano concert at the Museum of Warsaw in the Old Town. Alternately, you can also do a pub crawl, where you can meet fellow travelers and visit the best bars and pubs in the city.

Day 2

Morning

Palace on the Isle
Palace on the Isle at Lazienki Park.

For Day 2, start the morning with a relaxing stroll at Lazienki Park. Locally known as the “Royal Baths Park,” this is the largest park in Warsaw and is home to palaces, an orangery, and even a Greek-style amphitheater. It is most famous for the Palace on the Isle, a stunning neoclassical palace that was once the summer residence of the last King of Poland.

The park features many lovely walks and you’ll also get to see different animals such as squirrels, ducks, and peacocks, among others. You can also visit the museum, checkc out the Chopin Monument (where free piano concerts fill the air with music every Sunday during summer), or just enjoy being close to nature.

Afternoon

For lunch, try some traditional Polish street food at Hala Mirowska, a bustling market with numerous food stalls offering a variety of dishes.

Polin Museum
(Photo by Polin Museum)

Afterwards, visit the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews to learn about the rich and complex history of Jewish culture in Poland. The museum is located in Warsaw’s former Jewish Ghetto and is a must-visit for anyone interested in history. It will take about 3 hours to explore the museum in entirety.

Next, take a trip to the Warsaw Uprising Museum to learn about one of the most significant events in modern Polish history. The museum houses interactive exhibits and personal stories, numerous WWII artifacts, and even movies for screening. Exploring the museum takes at least an hour or more, depending on how in-depth you want to read the texts inside.

Evening

End your weekend in Warsaw by exploring the trendy neighborhood of Praga, located on the east bank of the Vistula River. Here, you’ll find colorful street art, hip cafes and bars, and a vibrant atmosphere.

FAQs: Exploring Warsaw on a Weekend

How many days in Warsaw is enough?

Ideally, you’ll want to spend 3-4 days here. That’ll give you enough time to explore the iconic Royal Castle, wander through the picturesque Old Town, and maybe even catch a Chopin concert (he was from Warsaw, after all!). Of course, if you’re a history buff, you might want a couple more days to really dive into the wealth of WWII and Cold War sites.

Remember, no rush — Warsaw’s charm is best savored, not rushed!

If you only a have a weekend to spend in Warsaw, your itinerary might be more jampacked but you can still manage to cover a lot of the must-see spots in the City.

How to get around

It is possible to do a walking tour of the city. You can also purchase a 24-hour bus ticket or ride buses and trams.

Where to eat

For a local foodie experience, try going to a milk bar (“bar mleczny”). Milk bars offer budget-friendly, home-style Polish dishes. They’re an easy way to get tasty, authentic Polish cuisine and have a balanced diet at the same time. Moreover, you’ll be eating with the local populace, such as students.

An easy way to find a nearby milk bar is to just type in “bac mleczny” in Google Maps. For established names, check out Rusalka and Bar Bambino near the city center.

If you’re a vegetarian/vegan, you’ll also find plenty of options in Warsaw.

Visiting museums

When planning your Warsaw itinerary, keep in mind that many museums are closed on Mondays.

We recommend visiting at least one museum on your 2 days itinerary in Warsaw: Copernicus Center, National Museum, or one of the historical museums.

There are three large historical museums in Warsaw that you can visit: Museum of War, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, and Warsaw Uprising Museum. However, it will take hours to explore each one of them so make sure to allot time properly.

Check the schedule of museums, as they are free at least once a week! Warsaw Uprising Museum is free on Mondays, Royal Castle is free on Tuesdays, etc.

Is it worth visiting Warsaw?

Even though it’s the capital of Poland, Warsaw tends to be overlooked by a lot of tourists! Well, we can tell you that it is absolutely worth visiting.

Warsaw has a fantastic blend of history, culture, and modernity. The Old Town is a charming district teeming with colorful houses, cobblestone alleys, and beautiful churches. Meanwhile, contemporary Warsaw boasts striking skyscrapers — including some of the best city skylines in Europe — and a lively nightlife scene especially on the weekends.

It’s also connected to most of major cities in Europe!

In short, Warsaw is not only beautiful but also affordable and convenient to visit.

Where to stay in Warsaw

No matter how long you plan to stay in Warsaw, you will need a retreat to replenish your energy after long days of city exploration.

Exquisite and gorgeous rooms equipped with modern amenities and exclusive bedding, upscale restaurants serving gourmet dishes, and a rejuvenating spa zone at the Sofitel Victoria Warsaw hotel (https://www.sofitel-victoria-warsaw.com/) and ensure a truly indulgent experience during your stay.

Has this itinerary for a weekend in Warsaw, Poland, been helpful to you? If you have questions or comments, let us know in the comment section below!

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