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Best attractions in Warsaw: Top 20

The sights of Warsaw are so fascinating and numerous that even a whole month will not be enough to see them. If your stay in this hospitable city is planned to be short, you should think in advance about what to see in Warsaw.

What to see in Warsaw first

Experienced guides in Warsaw are never out of work. If you do not want to seek help from an escort and expect to see all the sights of the city on your own, our overview of the most significant and recommended places to visit will be of great benefit to you:

1. Old Town

View of Warsaw's oldest historic district

Such sights of Warsaw as the heart of the Polish capital are known to every educated person. The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers you the opportunity to see the Castle Square, the Royal Castle with the Ghosts, St. John’s Street, the Market Square, St. Martin’s Church - the list of local cultural and architectural monuments and simply interesting sights of this old historic district is as long as all the best attractions of Warsaw. We recommend you to spend the whole day in the Old Town or at least a couple of hours for a stroll among colorful cottages and get acquainted with this pearl of the Republic of Poland.

2. The Royal Castle

The Royal Castle is an architectural and cultural monument in the center of Warsaw

There are legends about this landmark in Warsaw. At one time it was completely destroyed by the Hitler’s army. However, relatively recently it has been rebuilt by the authorities, making it one of the main historical monuments of the city. Inside the castle you will find a permanent exhibition, there are also regularly held symposia, concerts and exhibitions. It should be noted that tourists are allowed to take photos inside the museum, making a picture not only of themselves but also of ceramics, tapestries, clocks, antique furniture and other interior values.

Excursions in Warsaw through the Royal Castle allow you to see: temporary exhibitions, the library, the Lanzkoronski Gallery, the personal chambers of kings and their dining hall, the common rooms of the palace, and the magnificent gardens. The journey is also capable of taking you a whole day.

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3. Castle Square

View of Castle Square at night

One of the most colorful places in the capital - as the reviews of those who have seen it claim. Made in the shape of a triangle, the square serves as a venue for various city festivals and events. During New Year’s celebrations, the main Christmas tree of the country is erected here. The Royal Castle and the ancient Cathedral of St. John are within walking distance. If you do not know what to visit in Warsaw first of all, start your sightseeing route from Castle Square.

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4. Market Square

Market Square of the Old Town in Warsaw

Making a description of the Market Square, it is necessary to tell about its symbol - the sculpture of the Mermaid with a sword and a shield. Siren represents protection of the city from enemies. The square itself is surrounded by old stone houses with fancy facades of different colors. Here you can visit the many cafes serving delicious national cuisine, go to the souvenir shop or just enjoy the view of the fountains. It is a great place to relax, crowded with tourists and Poles themselves. It has a unique spirit of Medieval Europe, with performances of street musicians and impromptu exhibitions of local artists.

If you are in Warsaw on Christmas Eve, be sure to visit the market on the main market square. However, on hot summer days the bright umbrellas of outdoor cafes, which fill a huge part of the area, will not leave you indifferent either. It is in these cafes you will be offered to taste the famous Warsaw pastries and delicious coffee.

5. Warsaw Barbakan

A powerful medieval structure to protect the entrance gate to the city

Warsaw Barbican (fortification of the fortress gate, placed beyond the boundary of the main fortress wall). Today the Barbakan in Warsaw houses a museum, which organizes various exhibitions devoted to the history and culture of the city. It is also a gathering place for street musicians, artists, vendors, and artists. If your trip is planned for the sake of learning more about the life and traditions of the natives, a visit to this Warsaw landmark can be recommended with full confidence.

Check out the beautiful views of Warsaw in this breathtaking video!

6. Vilanuva palace

Majestic sculptures in the park near Wilanów Palace

The national pride of the country and a masterpiece of Baroque architecture. An integral part of the palace complex are the lush gardens - just like other attractions in Warsaw, they are open to tourists. The park features sculptures, a winter garden, a hill, a stream with a waterfall, a greenhouse and a grove.

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7. Warsaw Citadel

Inside the Warsaw Citadel are barrels of ancient cannons Jolanta Dyr

Tsar Nicholas I had a hand in the construction of this landmark of Warsaw. The fortress was erected on his order. We included the citadel in our rating, given its rich history and the scale of the construction (the complex includes lunettes, towers, fort, the Citadel of Alexandria and other objects of the war years).

8. Monument to the Warsaw Uprising

Monument to Heroes of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising in Warsaw

Visiting such interesting places in Warsaw, you have the opportunity to commemorate the heroes who fell in the battle against the Nazis in 1943. The memorial was built with money donated by local residents.

9. The church of St. John the Baptist

Facade of St. John the Baptist Church Dennis Jarvis

A burial ground for many of the country’s great cultural and historical figures. The date of construction was 1390 and the architectural direction was Gothic. Originally, like many other surviving architectural landmarks of Poland, the church was conceived as a burial and coronation place for the royal family. Today it is the main temple of the capital.

10. St. Casimir’s Church

St. Casimir's Church in the Market Square of the New Town of Warsaw Marcin Bialek

Part of the Benedictine Church of the Sacrament of Holy Communion. The location is Market Square (we have already mentioned that it should be the first place to see in Warsaw). Inside the church is the tomb of Marie Caroline de Bouillon. The surrounding area is a beautiful 17th century garden.

11. Church of the Holy Cross

Monument to Nicholas Copernicus and Church of the Holy Cross

The upper temple of the church holds the urns with the ashes of W. Reimont and F. Chopin. The burials are decorated with a banner bust and a heavy epitaph of Carrara marble stone. In the lower church are vaults with the remains of W. Sikorski, J. Slovak and other famous Poles.

12. St. Anne’s Church

The main entrance to St. Anne's Church

A masterpiece of Gothic architecture, on the list of things every tourist should visit in Warsaw. According to many, the interior of the church is not particularly interesting. You have to go there for the ceremonial services, the façade with three graceful towers of exquisite form and equal height, and the bell tower.

13. Copernicus Science Center

One of the thematic galleries at the Copernicus Science Center World3000

Where to go in Warsaw with children? This wonderful science center, with its half a thousand interactive exhibits, allows every visitor to perform unique experiments in math, chemistry, physics and biology. The list of permanent exhibits includes, for example, a huge Foucault pendulum demonstrating the rotation of our planet. Any exhibit can be touched and photographed. Upon returning to hotels in Warsaw, Copernicus’ guests are usually full of emotions and impressions.

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14. Palace of Culture and Science

The Palace of Culture and Science against the backdrop of Warsaw's modern skyscrapers

Our recommendations telling you about the main attractions of Warsaw would be incomplete if we did not mention the tallest building in Poland (42 levels). It contains an exhibition center and office buildings of the country’s global corporations, bookstores, a swimming pool and a cinema. But most importantly, there is an observation deck that is open to tourists. Buy a ticket for it and you will see everything there is to see in Warsaw in 1 day immediately from a bird’s eye view.

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15. Frederic Chopin Museum

Fryderyk Chopin Museum at Night

If you like classical music, visit the museum dedicated to the famed Polish composer. He once gave his first concert in a baroque building. An exhibition of 15 rooms will show you a grand piano, autographs, letters, portraits and other personal items of Chopin.

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We have listed only the most visited attractions in the capital. If you are lucky, you will have time to see them all.

Warsaw sights: what else to see in Warsaw

If you still have some free time after seeing the listed sights of the capital, you should see:

16. Maria Sklodowska-Curie Museum

Exhibition at the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Museum Adrian Grycuk

The only museum in memory of the discoverer of radium and polonium, sponsored by the Chemical Society. The exhibits will give a full insight into the work of the famous woman physicist and her relationship to the world of science and the people around her. Every June, the museum organizes a “Night at the Museum” event. Every week admission is free (traditional practice for museums in the country).

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17. Museum of the Polish Army

An open-air exhibition of weapons samples from other countries User:VargaA

The second largest museum in the country, after the national one. The subjects of the exhibitions are military history and memorable victories of the Polish army. Most of the items (uniforms, weapons, etc.) are devoted to the participation of Poles in World War II. There is also a unique collection of battle paintings.

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18. Ujazdowski Castle

View from the park to Ujazdowski Castle

A 13th-century royal palace whose current director is F. Cavallucci. Over the last 25 years there have been over 600 exhibitions. Educational seminars and concerts, thematic exhibitions are organized regularly. There is also a Center for Contemporary Art in the Castle.

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19. Lazenkovsky Palace

Lazenkowski Palace on an artificial island surrounded by a pond

A former royal residence with an adjoining area of more than 70 hectares. The main building - Palace on the Island, is famous for its works of art (over 2.5 thousand specimens), art gallery, neoclassical ballroom and the hall of Solomon. The grounds include an original 17th-century bathhouse, canals, greenhouses, pavilions, and other structures of Baroque and French classical architecture.

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20. Lazienki

Arched Bridge in Lazienki Park

A huge park called Royal lazienki near the center of the capital. On the way to it you can see Ujazdowski Alley, Nowy Svit Street and Krakowskie Przedmieście. The palace and park complex is considered to be the best monument of early classicism. The landscaped grounds have benches for relaxing, jogging paths, a small pond and even its own landmarks such as the Royal Palace and the Chopin Monument.

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If you want to come to Warsaw to see its historical and architectural masterpieces, we recommend hiring an experienced guide. Or develop a detailed tour itinerary in advance, because the number of interesting sights in the city is really great. Read also about sights of Gdansk and be inspired for your further journey around Poland.

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