48 hours in Warsaw

Are you lucky enough to have a stopover in Warsaw? 48 hours in Warsaw can be enough to see the most significant places in Poland’s capital. At the end of your weekend escapade, you will have more than enough reasons for a return trip.

Warsaw is a perfect European destination for a weekend getaway with literally hundreds of things to see and places to go. If you try to visit as much sight as possible on such a short visit, you will be disappointed. Here’s our top suggestion during your 48-hour stay in Warsaw.

Day 1

Palace of Culture & Science

Start off your day’s tour with a stunning view over Warsaw. The Palace of Culture & Science’s 40th-floor viewing platform is undoubtedly the spot with the best view of the city. With a height of 230 meters, the building holds the status as the tallest building in Poland. From here, you can see the city in all its glory – from magnificent religious buildings to stunning attractions and the Vistula River. The scenery gives you an overview of the city.

Warsaw Palace of Culture and Science

 Take A Free Walking Tour

Who doesn’t love free walking tours? They are by far the best ways to explore a city as a first time visitor. Familiarizing yourself with the cities past is indeed a great way to start your Warsaw adventure.

Since you have just 2 days to spend in Warsaw, you want to see all that you possibly can. If so, take advantage of Warsaw‘s free walking tour. To join other tourists, head to Sigmund’s Column near the Royal Castle. The tour starts at 10:30 am daily. Sightseeing can be organized in English.

Local tour guides are friendly, knowledgeable, and courteous. Your tour guide will tell you stories about the rich history of the city, with much emphasis on how Warsaw was destroyed during the Second World War. Most guides will show you pictures of the devastation and destruction that Warsaw suffered. That way, you will have a pictorial view of the magnitude of the damage.

This two-hour tour takes you to significant landmarks and monuments in the city. Make sure you have your camera handy as there are lots of photo opportunities along the way. The walking tour is free, but you can leave a tip at the end.

Royal Route

This is one of the most fabulous things in Warsaw and you can even take a tour. The street stretches 2 km long from the quirky Palm Tree and leads directly to the Old Town. It takes you through some of the most significant landmarks in Warsaw. For those who missed out on breakfast, or would like to have something while on the go, stop at Blikle pastry shop for some pastries, cookies, and coffee.

Along the route, you’ll find black marble benches known as Chopin Benches. Each bench has its own unique song by the world-famous Polish pianist, Chopin. The song starts to play with the push of a button. If it’s noisy nearby, you may have to strain your ears to listen to the song.

Another impressive sight is the Castle Square – a large open square that serves as the border between the two-meter-long royal route and the Old Town. Right in the middle of the square is the statue of Sigismund III.

Warsaw Royal Route

 Krakowskie Przedmiescie Street

The Royal Route is divided into two streets, with the most colorful being Krakowskie Przedmiescie Street. Unfortunately, you can’t see all that Krakowskie Przedmiescie Street has to offer except for a selected few. Top on the list includes the Holy Cross Church to see the place where Warsaw‘s world-famous pianist, Frederic Chopin’s heart, was laid to rest.

Check out the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where an eternal flame burns. This monument commemorates soldiers who lost their lives in their quest to free Poland from foreign oppression.

As you continue along the route, you’ll see St. Anne’s Church – it became famous as one of the buildings that felt the littlest impact of the WWII destructions. Inside, the church is beautifully adorned. And if you’re lucky, you can watch a free organ concert. Climb to the top for splendid views over the Royal Castle Square and its surrounding areas. Do not forget to Admire the residence of the president, Belvedere Palace, from afar.

Old Town

Whatever your interests, the Old Town charms travelers of all types. With the stunning architecture, activities, and attractions found here, it’s hard to believe that Warsaw‘s Old Town was almost completely destroyed during World War II. Today, it is one of the busiest tourist destinations in Poland.

Start from the market square and wander through its many cobbled streets. The market square is surrounded by shops, restaurants, bars, and attractions. Visit the Museum of Warsaw to marvel at objects that tell intriguing stories about the city. The museum features ancient objects and artworks that will beat your imagination.

Warsaw Old Town

 Polin Museum

Another dose of history before you retire back to your hotel room awaits you at the POLIN Museum. The museum features works that talk about the history of Polish Jews dating back to the 10th century.

This interactive museum features eight galleries, including the Jewish Town, Holocaust, and Encounters with Modernity, each telling its own unique tale. The museum is also home to an interactive model of Krakow and its Jewish Kazimierz quarter. Skip the line and tour one of the most important museums of Warsaw.

Warsaw POLIN Museum

 Plac Zbawiciela

Warsaw never disappoints when it comes to lovely hangout spots. Plac Zbawiciela houses some of the city’s finest bars and restaurants. The nightlife here is great for revelers and those who would like to see Warsaw come alive at night. On weekends, the bars located here get really crowded.

Day 2

Attend Church Service

85% of Poland’s population identifies as Catholics, making it the 8th country with the largest Catholic population. To make up for this large population, Poland’s cities are littered with catholic churches, and Warsaw isn’t an exception. On a Sunday morning, locals are busy preparing for church. These churches hold several masses daily – you can join in the procession. Attend mass at the Church of the Nuns of the Visitation, where Frederic Chopin played piano in his time on earth.

A Walk in the Park

After mass, go to one of Warsaw‘s café for brunch. From here, head to the most beautiful park in Warsaw, Lazienki. You can take a gondola cruise in a park, explore the inside of the palace and spend time with Mother Nature. Get up close with red squirrels and colorful peacocks in the park.

Every Sunday during the summer months, visitors can enjoy a live piano performance at the Chopin’s Statue. During the cold winter month, visitors head to the Centre for the Contemporary Arts nearby. No matter the season, Lazienzki Park is a great place to visit all year round.

Lazienki Park and Palace Warsaw

Museum of Warsaw Uprising

It is impossible to visit Warsaw without at least getting to learn more about its rich history. During WWII, the city stood up against the Nazis, resulting in its complete destruction. Want to know what transpired at the time? The Museum of the Warsaw Uprising is the place to be.

The newly built museum opened in 2004. Inside, visitors will see the artwork, paintings, video footage, and various exhibits that explain all the tragic events during WWII. A fee is required to access the museum every day of the week except Sundays. If you are ready to splurge a bit, see this Museum Guided Tour.

Make a Weekend Wish

Do you have a wish you’d like to see come to reality? If so, then you are in luck. A wishing bell is right next to the Sanktuarium Matki Bozej Laskawej church. However, for your wishes to come true, you have to follow a few steps. First, place your hand on the top of the bell.

Second, stand on one leg. With your hands on top of the bell and standing on one leg, hop around the bell. Do this once if it is a small wish and three times for a bigger wish. Within a short span of time, your wish will come true. Just give it a try and be hopeful.

Take a stroll along the Vistula River

After a full day exploring the sights and sounds of Warsaw, nothing beats spending time away from the hustling and bustling of city life. Take your tour further afield to see what Warsaw has in store for you.

A stroll along the Vistula River is well worth it. On getting here, take time to admire the scenic views across the river. This walk will lead you to other exciting attractions such as Warsaw Zoo, Park Praski, and much more.

There’s no better time to visit Warsaw than now. Why? Because it’s a dynamic city. Tomorrow, it won’t be the same. The city changes as each day pass. So plan your trip to Warsaw to see living history first hand.

Hopefully, you will be inspired to add Poland’s capital city into your must-visit travel destinations in the near future. You will find that the 48 hours in Warsaw have just flown by, leaving you with memories that will remain etched in your heart for a lifetime.

The Best Travel Resources

Booking.com –  very good global booking engine, they have a very comprehensive database of locations and hotels to choose from.

HotelsCombined – hotel booking site focused on finding you the best variety of rates.  Save you time by looking at hundreds of providers.

Get Your Guide – great platform to book endless
activities, tours and tickets for attractions across the world.

Discovercars.com – price comparison and bookings website for cars, at very affordable prices, one of the best on the market.

Omio – great platform for booking trains, buses and flights in Europe.

Bartosz is a travel writer, photographer & founder/editor of theuniquepoland who tells stories of adventure, history and current affairs. He writes mainly about travel, with special focus on Poland. He loves travelling, discover new unknown and inspire others.

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