Warsaw is not necessarily a place high up on people’s lists to travel to. There’s no crazy wildlife, clear blue water, or beaches. Well, there is a beach in Warsaw (more on that later). The impact of war and communism has a definite effect on the city today—and that’s part of what makes Warsaw such a fascinating place, and one of the best cities to visit in Poland.
Top things to do in Warsaw
Upon arriving in Warsaw, I had heard of the beach but was pretty confused as the beach is not near any oceans. The Vistula River runs through Poland and Warsaw. The Poles got creative and made an artificial beach near the stadium. It’s a great place to hang out as there’s usually a crowd of people, a bar, and other water activities.
The Vistula river shore offers many bars and clubs that feature free entry, as well as the opportunity to bring your alcohol.
Nightlife in Warsaw
Warsaw’s nightlife is something to experience. There’s plenty of bars, activities, and yes strip clubs. Spend 5 minutes outside in Warsaw, and strip club recruiters will likely approach you with their new great deal on why you should come to their club.
One significant aspect of Warsaw nightlife is many of the bars and clubs have their unique vibe. Much of the blossoming nightlife culture present in Warsaw has come into play recently in the last few years.
Summer is known as a more happening time in Warsaw. People want to let loose after the harsh winters that Warsaw is known to endure.
Travelers looking to spend time with the locals will love Warsaw. Most people outside of Warsaw don’t view the Polish capital as a happening party scene, so most of the clubs are mostly populated with locals.
If you plan on Googling the most trendy spots to grab a cocktail in Warsaw, expect the venue to be worth the hype, or the exact opposite. Heads up that the doormen in Warsaw clubs can be selective.
To boost your chances of gaining admittance to various venues, be aware of the dress code requirements. Dress to impress can apply for many of the more selective Warsaw clubs. As a visitor, it’s best to play by the rules unless you have previous connections.
Avoid the following clothing items:
- Baseball caps
- Worn down tennis shoes
Since Warsaw is known as a more affordable city, expect to have a fun night out that won’t put too much of a dent in your wallet. Whether you’re looking to sit outside, dance all night, or enjoy some dining options with drinks, Warsaw has you covered. There are venues for all personality types, from artists to business professionals.
Getting from the airport Warsaw, Poland to the city center
Once you arrive at Warsaw Chopin Airport, you have a few options to get to Warsaw. Uber is likely the most straightforward option due to the extremely low fares in the country and ease of use. Other options besides Uber include the public bus, shuttle transfer, and taxis.
Public Transportation in Warsaw
Getting around Warsaw is relatively easy given the various methods of transportation available. There’s, of course, rideshare (Uber, Lyft, Taxis), scooters, and bikes. Rideshare services will help you pack many activities into a single day if you’re a heavy planner. On top of all this are busses, trains, and trams.
For ten PLN, you can register for Vetrulio—a bike rental company in Warsaw. Bike use is free for the first twenty minutes of each usage, with the rate being one PLN up to an hour and three PLN for the next hour.
Warsaws got it all.
Similar to cities such as New York, or Washington D.C., tickets and electronic cards are used to process public transportation entry. Tickets can be purchased at metro stations and select bus and street shops.
Machines used to purchase travel tickets all feature various language options such as English or German. When purchasing a travel ticket, stick to zone 1 as it covers all the main tourist destinations, whereas zone 2 features areas mostly outside of Warsaw that isn’t necessary to visit.
Important Warsaw transportation tip:
Always validate your ticket.
If a ticket control officer decides to verify you’re ticket and finds that the ticket is not valid, you will face a steep fine. Foreigners tend to be more of a target for ticket control officers when it comes to ticket verification, so be aware.
Prices for Warsaw public transportation are very affordable.
It’s important to know that Warsaw is a very walkable city. Streets and sidewalks are spread wide while terrains run flat. Walking is a great way to take in a new city, and many Warsaw attractions are within a 20-30 minute walk of each other.
Accommodation in Warsaw, Poland
As far as accommodation in Warsaw go, your main options are going to be a hostel, Airbnb, or hotel.
The Oki Doki hostels in the old and new towns are great and where I stayed as I was only in town for a few days. I almost always use Airbnb due to the extra level of comfort and convenience. Hotels are another option for those that want a smooth check-in process and want to know what they’re getting. I pretty much never stay in hotels due to them being way over price (in my opinion).
Airbnb’s are probably going to be your best option for staying in Warsaw. Not only is Airbnb’s cheaper than the average hotel, since Warsaw is a relatively inexpensive city itself, but you’ll also find excellent deals on Airbnb accommodation.
The WiFi in most AirBNBs I stayed in was pretty good, but it can still be a shot in the dark. Once I stayed at an AirBNB that had WiFi listed but when I arrived, there was no signal to be found. If you’re a digital nomad working with your computer, definitely make sure to inquire about the internet before you book the place.
The Best Area To Stay in Warsaw Poland
When looking for a region in Warsaw where you’ll book your stay, consider Old Town.
Old Town offers a great base to explore the city. Many major attractions are within walking distance, and the area of Old Town itself is worth taking the time to explore.
Safety Advice for Warsaw
Overall, Poland and Warsaw is a safe country. If you look at many lists, Poland is always close to the top. In my experience there, the people are amicable and peaceful. That being said, there’s still going to be some people that are trouble.
The police, on the other hand, is a bit different than what you’ll encounter from the local tribe. Police are all over the place in Warsaw and won’t make an effort to speak languages such as English. Drug use is not tolerated with the police, and public consumption of alcohol is illegal.
With this being said, it’s essential to take the necessary precautions that you would anywhere. Whether it’s preparing for pickpockets, avoiding ATM skimming, and or not walking around alone at night.
Travel insurance is a standard solution to many of the worries travelers face. By paying a small amount upfront, you’re able to cover any unexpected issues while traveling.
- Generali Global Assistance
- Travelex Insurance Services
- Travel Insurance
- Roam Right
Tips For Exploring Polish History
Rich with history, Warsaw should be at the top of the list of places that history enthusiasts would want to visit. It’s definitely one of the best cities to visit if you’re backpacking Europe, even if you didn’t think so at first.
Museums and historical sites densely populate the Warsaw area. There are many medieval castles I saw that weren’t affected by World War II destruction. These medieval structures reflect how lengthy Warsaw’s history is.
Free walking tours are a great way to explore Warsaw and learn about the cities’ history from knowledgeable locals. Tips for tour guides are recommended!
New and Old Town portions of Warsaw reflect the resilience of a capital city that was formerly crippled by World War II.
Additional Warsaw Travel Tips
Consider checking out some of Warsaw’s museums such as the Warsaw Rising Museum and the POLIN Museum. Both of these museums offer valuable insight into the history that shaped what the city is today.
There are plenty of parks and palaces to visit in Warsaw. The Royal Baths Park is situated within a 30-minute walk south of old town and offers chances for visitors to experience music and arts within the region.
Take a day trip to Auschwitz.
Sample local food favorites: Vapiano Italian chain, Polish milk bars
The average tip in Warsaw is around 10-15%. Tipping taxi drivers is not expected but appreciated…
Traveling to Warsaw during the summer is the best time of year to see the city. While bright sunlight and heavy rainfall can be experienced during the summer, you’ll be glad you skipped the harsh winter
Locals will have a higher opinion of you if you attempt to speak their language. Even a few spoken words can go a long way.
Overall, Warsaw provides a great sneak peek of Poland. It’s one of my favorite cities in Eastern Europe and is great for those in the tech/startup space. For me, the coworking and coffee shop scene is very important. Warsaw has it all! Even a beach.
Warsaw is often overlooked. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing for visitors as I certainly enjoyed the fair prices and developing nightlife.
Exploring Warsaw’s rich history during the day and enjoying the vibrant nightlife after hours is the way to go.
About the Author: This post was written by Austin Tuwiner, who has been traveling the world scuba diving every chance he gets. After discovering several methods to make money online, Austin decided to say goodbye to college and hop on a plane. He has been on the road for nearly 9 months straight!
Follow Austin on Twitter and Instagram
Book your trip now
Are you ready to book your trip? To help you get the best deals and service here are the companies that I personally use to book all of my travel online. I always shop around before booking anything, but these are my tried and tested starting places.
- Skyscanner – I’m a bit fan of Skyscanner, it is who I use to book all of my flights. I often will check other like Google Flights or Momodo, but I always go here first and it is who I book 99% of my flights with.
- Booking.com – I LOVE booking.com especially when I can book and cancel free up until a certain point, mostly because my plans are forever changing. It’s easy to use and has one of the widest selections.
- Airbnb – I’m not a huge user of Airbnb, but sometimes I do like to use it, and I ALWAYS check it before I book anything else. You can get some really cool places to stay here, and it is especially good in places like Cuba. If you don’t have an account and you click on this link then you will get $36 off your first booking.
- Hostelworld – If you are looking for hostels then this is a great place to check first. They often have additional places that you won’t find on Bookin.com.
- Agoda – Although I don’t use it as much as booking.com, Agonda is especially good if you are traveling in Asia as they really do dominate there.
- Worldpackers – If you want to travel on the cheap and save money on accommodation then you need Worldpackers in your life. You can read more about it here. If you click this link to sign up and use the code CLAIRESITCHYFEET then you can get a 40% discount on your membership!
- Book a Way – If you are traveling in Asia and want to pre-book your transportation then bookaway.com is a fantastic site to do so. They have buses, trains, and cars.
- RentalCars – Looking to rent a. car while you are away? I always book through Rental Cars as they do a search of all of the big sites and find the best deals.
- Welcome Pickups – Very occasionally getting from the airport to my accommodation is a total pain in the butt, or I’m traveling in a group and it makes sense to arrange a pickup. When I do I use Welcome pickups.
- World Nomads – If you are looking for flexible travel insurance then it’s World Nomads all the way. I wrote all about insurance here if you want a more thorough review.
- SafetyWing – AsI’m a Digital Nomad and not moving around quite so much anymore I personally use SafetyWing now for my health insurance. I wrote a full review here.
- Viatour – Sometimes it can be a little expensive, but I like Viatour for somethings, especially if you can get a discount code! It’s also great for inspiration.
- Klook – If you are traveling in Asia, then Klook is great! You can book all kinds of tours, activities, and train tickets, plus they even have sim cards and WiFi.