If you only have one day to explore Warsaw, maybe at the end of a business trip or stopping over to Krakow or other beautiful cities of Eastern Europe, you should make the most out of your day! You can check out my one-day itinerary for tips to see the old and new of Warsaw!
Warsaw is not only the capital and modern heart of Poland, it also offers insight into the long and proud history of the country. I’d recommend to get a good mix of new and old in your one-day itinerary. My favorite part of Warsaw is the Old Town and I recommend to start with a walking tour! After breakfast, take a taxi to Castel Square and walk along the cobblestone streets of the old town. The old buildings are beautifully restored and it’s great to wander around on a sunny day. You can see the old fortifications around the old town before heading to the (not much younger) New Town for some more sightseeing. There are a few museums around the Old Town – the Royal Palace is one of the most important and popular ones, with great insights into the live of the Polish Royal family.
After all that sightseeing, it’s time for a nice lunch. The Old Town has lots of choices with outdoor seating in the pedestrian area. If that feels too touristy, head down Nowy Swiat and mingle with locals out for a stroll. You can watch people walk by from one of the many restaurants along this busy street: Kawiarnia Cafe is on a corner with lots to see!
After lunch, you have a few choices. If you want some peace and quiet after the busy morning, head to one of the many parks, like between the New Town and the Vistula river with nice views or further South along the river. During my summer visit, there were concerts in the parks and plenty of options to spend a relaxed weekend afternoon.
If you have more energy for sightseeing, I recommend to visit the Warsaw Uprising museum in the city center, a great documentation of the 1944 uprising against the Nazi occupation. It’s a tough exhibit, but well done and worth a visit to understand the more recent history of Warsaw.
To end the day on a lighter note and to pick up those last-minute gifts (for home or yourself), head to the Zlote Terasy mall near the Central train station. It’s right in the center of the city with lots of stores, movie theaters and restaurants to keep you entertained. With lots of people coming and going to the train station, it’s always busy and you’ll be surrounded by more locals than tourists. Even if I don’t want to buy anything, a city center mall is like a microcosm of a big, modern city and will give you an idea what’s similar and what’s different from other big cities you know!
This one-day itinerary gives you a tour of 800 years of Warsaw’s history – from the 13th century Old Town to the modern mall of the present and a taste of what Warsaw was and what it is today! Check out my Warsaw Map to get an idea of the places and other options you have in the city – and enjoy your own Perfect Day!