How to Spend 48 Hours in Warsaw, Poland on a Summer Weekend City Break

48 Hours in Warsaw: Balloons in Warsaw Poland's Old Town
We recently spent 48 hours in Warsaw, exploring all the things that Poland's capital has to offer. About a two and a half hour flight from Dublin, a weekend in Warsaw makes for an ideal city break. Here are my recommendations on how to spend a packed 2-days in Warsaw meeting famous residents and steeping in the history of this fascinating Polish city.

Stare in Awe at Warsaw's Palace of Culture and Science

Weekend in Warsaw: Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, Poland

We arrived in central Warsaw late on Friday afternoon on the Modlin bus (Ryanair flies into Warsaw's Modlin airport, about 45 minutes from the city). The bus parked in the shadow of the Palace of Culture and Science. As I disembarked, I looked up in awe at the imposing Art Deco inspired skyscraper built by a Soviet architect in 1955. Warsaw's Palace of Culture and Science stands out on the skyline and is a great landmark by which to orient yourself when exploring Warsaw for a weekend or more.

Learn About Warsaw's Favorite Pianist at the Chopin Museum

Chopin Museum in Warsaw, Poland
Not long after we arrived, we met Warsaw's first famous resident, Frédéric François Chopin (born Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin). Warsaw's Chopin Museum sits in a charming building surrounded by more modern looking (and less elaborate) neighbors.
Music at the Chopin Museum in Warsaw, Poland
Inside, the Chopin museum, we learned about the life and music of this world famous pianist. We learned three major things about Chopin: 
  1. Sadly, he was generally sickly and ultimately died rather young.
  2. Despite this, Chopin was very popular with the ladies. Many of the exhibits explore his relationships and trysts in detail.
  3. Chopin left Warsaw to pursue his musical career in the sitting rooms of Paris but his homeland was always in his heart. He even composed a type of music, the polonaise, as a tribute to Poland.
2-Days in Warsaw: Chopin music benches in Warsaw, Poland
We also learned that you can experience Chopin all around Warsaw via musical park benches. Just sit and press the button and 15 seconds of Chopin's music will wash over you as modern city life goes on around you. 

Admire Warsaw's Street Art

Street art in Warsaw, Poland
We were also very impressed with Warsaw's street art on our weekend visit. A number of buildings close to the Chopin Museum were entirely covered in colorful creations.
Cherub statue and street art in Warsaw, Poland
We loved this giant blue hand perched on a balcony at a local school in Warsaw.
Giant striped blue hand sculpture in Warsaw, Poland

Stroll Warsaw's Nowy Świat Street and Meet Copernicus

Lampposts of Nowy Świat Street in Warsaw, Poland
We found two things that lit up the sky on Nowy Świat, one of Warsaw's main arteries. The first was a beautiful series of street lights with ornate iron work.
Lampposts of Nowy Świat Street in Warsaw, Poland
The second was another of Warsaw's famous residents, Copernicus, who lit up the sky figuratively with his controversial views (for the era) which suggested that the earth revolves around the sun. Copernicus' statue sits in a prominent place along Nowy Świat, not far from the University of Warsaw.
Copernicus Statue in Warsaw, Poland

Slip Inside the Gates of the University of Warsaw After Dark

University of Warsaw at night

As we were walking on Nowy Świat, we encountered a pair of bright white gates. Intrigued, we walked inside and found ourselves on the University of Warsaw campus. All the bright white buildings were brilliantly lit for the evening, making for an impressive stroll. Definitely a highlight of our 2-days in Warsaw.

Explore Warsaw's New Old Town with a Free Walking Tour

Sigismund's Column in Warsaw, Poland
The next morning we got up bright and early for Warsaw's Free Walking Tour. Volunteers met us at Sigimund's Column in Old Town Warsaw (Stare Miasto) and the tour kicked off promptly at 10:30 am.
Sigismund's Column and Old Town in Warsaw, Poland
Przemysław, our guide, introduced himself ("Call me Pse, since non-Poles can't pronounce my full name") and we were on our way.
48 Hours in Warsaw: Pse, our guide for the Free Walking Tour of Warsaw, Poland
Before embarking on the walking tour of Warsaw, it's critical to know that more than 85% of the capital was destroyed in World War II and over 95% of Old Town Warsaw was destroyed. Nearly everything we would see on the tour was a faithful reconstruction. Warsaw's Stare Miasto has a very special feel. It feels old but looks fairly new and shiny.
Picture of Warsaw destroyed after World War II
After seeing a picture of the massive destruction of war, we were brought face to face with reality. Pse told us a legend about how bad times would befall Warsaw if the cross of Sigismund's Column were ever to touch the ground. The photo below is the original column so needless to saw, the statue touched the ground, an omen of the great and tragic destruction that would befall the city.
Remnants of the original Sigismund's Column in Warsaw, Poland
We marveled at the tales of the reconstruction of Warsaw after the war as we stood in the Old Town Market Place. Each building was completely reconstructed by the hands of everyday Polish citizens.
Horse and carriage passing through the Market Square in Old Town Warsaw
Those that escaped Poland during the war, lent a figurative hand by sending funds to contribute to the reconstruction.
Umbrellas on the Old Market Square in Old Town Warsaw
Warsaw's Old Town Market Square is also home to another of the city's famous residents: the Warsaw mermaid. Legend has it that the mermaid was swimming in the river and came ashore to rest. She fell in love with the city and decided to remain. The local fishermen in turn fell in love with her. To this day, armed with a sword and shield, the Warsaw mermaid stands ready to defend her adopted land.
The Mermaid of Warsaw

Make a Wish on Your Weekend in Warsaw

The Wishing Bell in Warsaw, Poland

Just behind Sanktuarium Matki Bożej Łaskawej church sits a large bell, a wishing bell in fact. If you put your hand on top and jump around the bell on one leg (once for a small wish, three times for a big one), your wish will come true. I most definitely gave it a go. I'll let you know in a subsequent post if my wish comes true!

Walk Warsaw's Walls

Warsaw's Old Town Wall
Warsaw's Old Town is surrounded by a Medieval wall used to fortify the city. The town walls consist of an inner and outer wall for added protection. It's possible to walk both on the wall or between the walls. On our 2-day visit to Warsaw, we took time to climb the walls to get an elevated view of Warsaw's Old Town around us.
Warsaw's Old Town Wall

Step Inside Warsaw's Jewish Ghetto

Memorial to the Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw, Poland

Warsaw also features a far more sinister wall. Warsaw's Jewish Ghetto Wall is commemorated around the city by a strip running through the sidewalk where the wall originally passed. One side of the wall represented freedom, the other side represented persecution by the Nazis and almost certain death to the Jews and other non-desirables rounded up by the Nazis and placed inside. The memorial to the wall is a sobering reminder of a darker time in Warsaw's history.
Remnant of the old Jewish Ghetto wall in Warsaw, Poland

A small remnant of the actual wall still remains behind an unassuming apartment block not far from the Palace of Culture and Science in Central Warsaw. With just 48 hours in Warsaw, you may think that you don't have time for this. However, a visit to the wall is worth a detour to remember and pay respects to those that died too soon.

See Warsaw Old Town's Only Original Church

St. Anne's Church in Warsaw, Poland
I mentioned previously that 95% of Old Town Warsaw was destroyed during World War II. Pse, our Free Walking Tour guide, pointed out Kościół Akademicki św. Anny (St. Anne's Church), an imposing Catholic church near Sigismund's column and plac Zamkowy. St. Anne's is the only original building we saw on our tour.
Inside St. Anne's Church in Warsaw, Poland
Touring the sumptuous interior, it saddened me to think of how many other historic interiors like this were lost during World War II.
Inside St. Anne's Church in Warsaw, Poland
Inside St. Anne's Church in Warsaw, Poland

Meet Madame Curie, Another Local Hero, on Your Weekend in Warsaw

Marie Curie Museum in Warsaw, Poland
Exploring further on our 2-day trip to Warsaw, we transitioned from history to science to meet another of Warsaw's famous residents. Marie Curie, the double Nobel Prize winner and inspiration for women studying science and engineering worldwide (myself included) was born in Warsaw. A small museum remembers her life and inspiring achievements. You will also find monuments to Madam Curie dotted around Warsaw.
2-Days in Warsaw: Marie Curie Statue in Warsaw, Poland

Explore POLIN Museum of History of Polish Jews

POLIN Museum of History of Polish Jews
We spent nearly half a day of our 2-days in Warsaw exploring the new award-winning Museum of History of Polish Jews. The exhibits span over 1000 years of history and represent a more comprehensive view beyond the tragedies of World War II. We even got to see a stunning reproduction of a Medieval temple.
Colorful temple at the POLIN Museum of History of Polish Jews in Warsaw
Of course, there is plenty of heart wrenching coverage of the Holocaust and the profound impact of it on Polish Jews as well at POLIN. 
Memorial outside the POLIN Museum of History of Polish Jews in Warsaw

Take the Tram to Łazienki Park on a Sunday in Warsaw

Łazienki Park in Warsaw, Poland
Łazienki Park is a short tram ride away from Warsaw's city center and is worth exploring on a Sunday morning. When we visited, Colorful red lanterns hung along the path.
Chinese lanterns along the path of Łazienki Park in Warsaw, Poland
Sunday in Warsaw: Łazienki Park in Warsaw, Poland
Classical sculptures and water features added tremendous atmosphere to our stroll.
Sculptures in Łazienki Park in Warsaw, Poland
Łazienki Park in Warsaw, Poland
Also, keep an eye out for red squirrels in Łazienki Park. They are fearless and will come right up to you expecting to be fed. We saw a squirrel eating out of a little girl's hand on our weekend trip to Warsaw.
Red squirrel in Łazienki Park in Warsaw, Poland

Listen to Chopin in the Park During Summer in Warsaw

Chopin concert in Łazienki Park in Warsaw, Poland
Our main reason for making the trek to Łazienki Park was for Chopin. A colleague who lived in Warsaw for a time gave me a heads-up that Warsaw puts on Chopin concerts every Sunday in the park from May through September. When we visited, Mika Okumura was visiting from Japan and gave the recital.
Chopin concert in Łazienki Park in Warsaw, Poland, a great seasonal addition to a Warsaw weekend itinerary
Mika Okumura Chopin recital in Łazienki Park in Warsaw, Poland
It was amazing to watch and listen to Chopin's beautiful music in the country of his birth under his very own watchful eye (an imposing statue of Chopin sits right next to the stage). Definitely add the Chopin concerts to your weekend Warsaw itinerary if you're visting during the Spring or Summer.
Mika Okumura in front of a statue of Chopin in Łazienki Park in Warsaw, Poland

Get Above it All and Survey the Ground You've Covered in Just 48 Hours in Warsaw 

Warsaw Poland skyline
We finished our whirlwind 2-day visit to Warsaw back where we started, at the Palace of Culture and Science. This time, we bought a ticket and ascended to the viewing platform for a birds-eye view of modern Warsaw.
Views from the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, Poland
48 Hours in Warsaw: Views from the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, Poland
If the weather is nice, it's definitely worth getting above it all for a different perspective on the city.
Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, Poland
Is a weekend in Warsaw worth considering as a European city break? Most definitely! There is plenty to see and do to keep you busy for at least 48 hours in Poland's capital.

Useful Links for Planning a Weekend Itinerary in Warsaw



#DrJSabbatical #pigsonparade #SligoFoodTrail #tasteoftravel 1916 Rebellion a City Break Absolut Fringe Adelaide Adriatics Africa Agra Aix-en-Provence Alameda Alamo Square Alfama Algarve Alliance Francaise Americas Amnesty Amsterdam Andolu Kavagi Android Ann Arbor Antwerp Argentina Arizona Art Gallery Arthur's Day Asia Asia Pacific Athens Augsburg AUNZ AUNZ_Archive Auschwitz Austin Australia Austria Auto Awesome Avignon Baixa Baltics Bangkok Barcelona Barrio Alta Basel Basque Basque Country Bath Bazaar Beijing Belem Belfast Belgium Bellagio Bergamo Berlin Bern Bernal Heights Best of Beyond Dublin Bidart Big Island Bird Watching Birmingham Blackrock Market bleisure Bloco de Dublin Blogger Fiesta BloggerFiesta Bologna Bonn Boston Brad Pitt Bray Brighton Bristol Bruges Brussels BTW Bucharest Budapest Buffalo California Camargue Cambodia Cambridge Canada Canary Islands Cannes Cannonball Cannonball Run Canterbury Cape Town Carcassonne Cardiff Carnival Castro Catalonia Catalunya Cats Central Europe Central Richmond Chemistry China Chinatown Christmas Christmas Market City Break Itinerary Civic Center Cobh Coffee cole valley Cologne Comedy Club Commute Chronicles Connemara Copenhagen Cork Costa Brava County Kerry Cow Hollow Critical Mass Croatia Culture Night Cyprus Czech Republic Dalkey Dalkey Castle Danang Delft Delhi Den Haag Denmark Denver Derry Diamond Head Disneyland Dolores Heights Donegal Dortmund Dover Downtown Dresden Dublin Dublin Castle Dublin Culture Night Dublin_Archive Dubrovnik Ducks Dun Laoghaire Dusseldorf Eastern Europe Edinburgh Eindhoven England Eruption Essen Estonia Europe Europe_Archive Evora Fado Fall Foliage Faro Faversham Festival Film Film Festival Financial District Finland Fisherman's Wharf Flanders Florida Flugtag Food France Frankfurt French Riviera Fringe Fringe Festival Galway Gandhi Gdansk Gdynia Georgian Dublin Germany GhostBus Gig Girona Glasgow Glen Park Golden Gate Park Google Plus Granada Grand Canal Greece Greece and Cyprus Guest Posts Guiness Storehouse Guinness Gurgaon Half Moon Bay Halloween Hamburg Hangzhou Hanoi Hawaii Hayes Valley HCMC Helsinki Hermanus Hilo Ho Chi Minh City Hobart Hoi An Holland Honolulu Hula Hungary Hurling Hyderabad Ice Cream Sandwich Iceland ICS India Inner Richmond Inner Sunset Ireland Ireland_Archive Istanbul Italy Itinerary Izmir Jackson Square Jaipur Japan Japantown Johannesburg Kaunas Kenmare Kilauea Kilkenny Kilkenny Cats Killarney Kiluaea Kona Krakow Kuala Lumpur Kyoto Lake Como Lake Street Languedoc Lanzarote Las Fallas Las Vegas Latvia Laurel Heights Leeds Leinster Leipzig Lemesos Let's French 2011 Liechtenstein Lima Limerick Lincoln's Inn Lisbon Lithuania Liverpool Lloret de Mar London Los Angeles Louisiana Lower Pacific Heights Lübeck Lucerne Lyon Mackintosh Madeira Madrid Mainz Malaga Malaysia Mallorca Malta Manchester Marina Marrakech Marrakesh Marseille Massachusetts Mdina Med Melbourne Menton Milan Mission Bay Mission Dolores Modena Monaco Monte Carlo Montenegro Monterey Montpellier Morocco Muenster Munich Munster Music NA_Archive Naples Netherlands New Orleans New Year 2011 New Year Festival New Years Eve 2010 New York New Zealand Nice Nicosia Nob Hill Noe Valley NOPA Nordics Normandy Norrkoping North America North Beach Northern Ireland Nuremberg Oahu Oakland Oktoberfest Oliwa Olympics On The Road Osaka Outer Richmond Outer Sunset Oxford Pacific Heights Padua Palafrugell Palma Panorama Paphos Paris Parma Pearl Harbor Pennsylvania Perth Peru Philadelphia Pingyao Pittsburgh Poland Porto Portugal Potrero Hill Prague Presidio Presidio Heights Pride Provence Queensland Rabat RAF2010 Rainbow Ranelagh Ranelagh Arts Festival Recent Red Bull Regensburg Reims Restaurant Review Reykjavik Riga Ring of Kerry Rochester Roman Ruins Romania Rome Rotterdam Rugby Russia Russian Hill Salt Lake City Samba San Diego San Francisco San Sebastian Sand Castles Santa Cruz Scandinavia Science Gallery Science Museum Scotland Seattle Segovia Seoul Seville SF - Further Afield SF_Archive Shakespeare Shave Ice Sicily Siem Reap Silent Film Festival Singapore Sintra Sligo Snow SOMA Sonoma Sopot South Africa South America South Beach South Korea South San Francisco Soweto Spain SPWC St. Petersburg Stellenbosch Stirling Stockholm Strasbourg Street Performance Stuttgart Sultanahmet Sweden Switzerland Sydney Tallinn Tasmania Tavira TBEX Telegraph Hill Temple Bar Tenderloin TenderNob Tenerife Texas Thailand Thames Festival The Haight The Kruger The Mission Theatre ThisIsAthens Tipperary Tokyo Toledo Toronto Toulouse Trad Trad Sessions Transylvania Trinity College Turkey UBTD10 Uganda UK Ulster Bank Theater Festival Union Square United States Uruguay Utrecht Vacation Rental Valencia Valletta Venice Vienna Vietnam Vilnius Volcano Volcanoes National Park Waikiki Wales Walking Walking Tour Warsaw Washington Waterford Western Addition Western Australia Westerplatte Westfield Where's Wally? Whiskey Whitsundays Wicklow Wine Tasting Wisconsin World Record World War II Wroclaw WWI WWII Xi'an York Ypsilanti Zurich
Sidewalk Safari: How to Spend 48 Hours in Warsaw, Poland on a Summer Weekend City Break
How to Spend 48 Hours in Warsaw, Poland on a Summer Weekend City Break
Come along on a 48 hour summer weekend city break in Warsaw, Poland. A photo-rich post by travel blogger, Jennifer (aka Dr. J) from Sidewalk Safari.
Sidewalk Safari
Not found any posts VIEW ALL Read more Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS CONTENT IS PREMIUM Please share to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy