Warsaw in one day.
Despite an old but still widespread idea, Warsaw is, in my opinion, a very beautiful town and it is a pleasure to spend several days here, since there is a lot to see and to do.
However, as I said in the introduction to these city guides, here I will try to arrange an itinerary that can be completed in just one day and so I had to exclude many places. I hope you will like my selection.
In the list you will find some special icon. The symbol marks my favourite place, a suggestion for a rainy day and points out a spot where you can go if you have more time.
One day itinerary (and some extra spot).
- A – Palace of Culture
- B – New Town
- C – Old town square
- D – Royal Palace
- E – Royal Route
- F – Chopin Museum
- G – Copernicus Science Centre
- H – Museum of Polish Army
- I – Łazienki Park
- J – Remains of Ghetto Wall
Our tour of Warsaw starts from the unmissable Palace of Culture. Loved and hated by the locals, is a clear example of Soviet Architecture. Moscow hosts seven buildings (the seven sisters) very similar to this one. A visit here is a must in order to enter into the recent past of the town but also to enjoy the nice museum of technology hosted inside. The view from the top is great on a clear day.
From the Palace of Culture, let’s have a quite long walk to reach the new town that in spite of its name is actually older (15th century) than the “old town”. Following the suggested path we will go through the nice Plac Bankowy and close to green areas and we will reach the outer walls of the old town. The main street here (Ulica Freta) is very nice and leads us to the most important landmark of this part of the town: St. Kazimierz Church.
Back on our steps along ulica Freta we will reach the Barbican and from its walls we will enter into the old town. My suggestion is to take a walk also in the secondary streets since you can enjoy some great glimpse and an out-of-time atmosphere. Following the main street Nowomiejska we will reach the old town market square and the statue Warsaw’s symbol: the Mermaid. All the colourful buildings were completly destroyed during world war II but now it is a jewel again.
Going on in the same direction, soon we will have in front of us the huge Plac Zamkowy, meaning the castle square. It depends on your available time whether to visit or not the Palace. Honestly I’m not thrilled about it but you can enter in the court and you can enjoy the view on the river Vistula from the square. Maybe is better to go. There is still a lot to see.
The most enjoyable urban walk in Warsaw is surely the Royal Route made of Krakowskie Przedmieści and Nowy Swiat. All around we will see historic churches, the University, the Presidential Palace and a lot of other valuable buildings.
We are going to leave the Royal Route for a little detour toward the Chopin Museum. This one is a modern museum, very interactive. If you are a fan of the most famous Polish composer or more in general of the Classical Music I warmly suggest you to visit this place.
Let’s keep going down, toward the riverbank so to reach the most modern museum in Warsaw: the Copernicus Science Centre. Children would love it but also adults can enjoy the quite huge exhibition covering all the branches of the scientific world.
We can keep walking along the river and then turn right when we reach the Most (Bridge) Poniatowskiego. Right after, on our left side, we will find the Polish Army Museum. My suggestion is to limit your visit to the open air part hosting Airplanes, Helicopters and Tanks. Really interesting for the aficionados.
Let’s take a tram or, if it is a nice day, let’s walk through the uninterrupted sequence of parks that will let us reach my favourite place in Warsaw: Park Łazienki, a paradise for squirrels include the beautiful Ujazdów Castle and a romantic lake. It is a special place, even more special in Summer season when, next to the Chopin monument, there a free open-air concerts of young talents from all the world, here to celebrate the Polish genius.
It should be now the end of the day but before starting to plan our evening, let’s take some moment to visit one of the few remains of the Ghetto wall. Warsaw ghetto was the biggest in Europe. Its original border is nowadays marked by a metal strip that you will see in many places in central Warsaw. One of the few remaining wall fragment can be seen, entering into the building located in Zlota street at number 62. In the inner courtyard you will find it. A pause from this hurry day will let you think about the tragic past of this town.