If you are wondering about the unusual things to do in Warsaw, you have come to the right place. I planned to give Warsaw a day but ended up staying for almost 4 days. Yes, I loved Warsaw, the quirky capital of Poland. It is unlike the chic Wroclaw or has the charm of Krakow, but it will for sure captivate you with unique things you can only expect to happen in the city. I find going off the beat places more interesting. If you feel the same, you’ll love these. So I won’t keep you waiting now, go right ahead and check out all the top unusual things to do in Warsaw.
Unusual Things to do in Warsaw
1. Check out the narrowest house in the world
It is located centrally near the old town, it’s easily missed, due to the obvious reason – It’s size! I am talking about the Keret House, which is the narrowest house in the world. You can spot it through Google Maps or just by asking around.
Named after the first tenant who lived there, the Keret house is one of Warsaw sights that is quirky. The tax was determined by the size of the house, and to avoid that the owner built it so tiny – Whether this is true or not, the house surely cannot be missed.
It’s a thriving place for artists but not open to the public every day. You can check their website to plan accordingly if you intend to go inside this cute house.
2. Relax at Park Skaryszewski
The capital city has some of the most beautiful parks. No matter the time of the year, visiting them is one of the unusual things to do in Warsaw. Among the best parks in Warsaw not to be missed, Skaryszewski is one.
There is a lake, abundant greenery with lots of vivid coloured flora, making it a great place to unwind amidst nature. It’s also a great place to escape the city for a while. If you visit in summer, you can also Kayak in the lake or rent boats.
3. Check out the Elegant Presidential Palace
Home to the Polish presidents and a central seat of power since the 17th century, the Presidential Palace is a good addition to your Warsaw sightseeing.
It is an important place for Polish politics, and you can check this out while you explore Krakowskie Przedmiescie.
4. Marvel the architecture of Metro Plac Wilsona
What’s in a metro station, you say? That it makes for one of the unusual things to do in Warsaw. Plus, if you are a fan of modern/contemporary architecture, you would love the Metro station Plac Wilsona, named after the American president Woodrow Wilson.
The unique architecture is one of the coolest things to see in the city. The ceiling is also lit in the evening, so lookout.
5. Walk along the medieval Saxon Garden
I already mentioned about Warsaw being blessed with parks, and this one is special. Constructed in the 18th century, Saxon Garden was the first park in the world open to Public. It houses the tomb of the unknown soldier, along with many sculptures, ponds set amidst greenery.
6. Take a day out to explore Praga district
On the other side of the Vistula river lies Praga, a neighbourhood in Warsaw totally different. The only area that survived the war years, Praga had a notorious reputation for being the abode to city’s gangsters and a dangerous place to be. In recent years, Praga has transitioned to become the space for art and culture, and thus a part of Warsaw tourism. And that’s what it takes to be among the unusual things to do in Warsaw for travelers.
The streets are dominant with the Soviet-style buildings, something which feels like a lacklustre compared to the bright old town. I guess this is compensated with the street art and many art spaces that you could find done by local artists. There are also many cafes, bars and restaurants run by these artists, which are definitely worth checking out.
You can spend a few hours at SOHO Factory, an artistic space comprising art galleries and cafes. Also, don’t forget to check out Warsaw’s oldest local market Bazar Róźyckiego.
If you are looking for a guided tour, I would highly recommend this 2-Hour Praga Walking Tour. In this tour, you will stroll through Praga as the guide will take you back in time. You can see the film shooting streets of Oscar-winning movie The Pianist, the vodka factory and other quirky things of Praga. Available in English & German, the local guides offer a glimpse of Praga that is enjoyable. This tour is easy to book as you get instant confirmation, and you can also cancel for free if you can’t make it up to 24 hours.
7. All those lights at Neon Museum
Today, Neon lighting reminds us of all the flashy advertisements, but in Poland earlier, the Neon signs were symbols of art, political expressions and a way of cultural life. Most of these were designed in the communist era. They are original exhibits at the Neon Museum, located in Praga, which has a great collection of them in all designs and beautiful different patterns.
Neon Museum timings: 12 PM to 5 PM every day
Neon Museum entry fees: 10 PLN
8. Visit Nozyk Synagogue, the only surviving Synagogue in Warsaw
Warsaw has been through a lot in the past, and one of them was systematic destruction of places of worship of the Jews. So one of the unusual things to do in Warsaw would be to visit that survived.
Nozyk Synagogue is one of the few Jewish synagogues that remain in the country and is well worth checking out if you intend to do some offbeat Warsaw sights.
If you are interested in knowing about the Jews in Warsaw, check this 4-Hour Jewish Heritage Tour, which provides skip the line tickets to uprising Museum as well. You will get an insight into the unique heritage on this tour. This tour is available in Spanish, English, German and Italian.
9. Explore Okopowa Jewish Cemetery
Cemeteries are not your regular tourist attractions, but Okopowa Jewish Cemetery carries the history of the dark past of the Jews, with over 2 million graves.
It looks abandoned for the lack of maintenance. This graveyard in ruins is worth visiting to know what happened once in Warsaw.
Okopowa Jewish Cemetery timings: 10 AM to 6 PM
Okopowa Jewish Cemetery entry fees: 8 PLN
If you want a local to tell you in detail about the history of this unusual attraction, I would recommend this tour, which gives skip the line tickets as well. The ticket is valid for 1 day, so you can easily plan accordingly.
10. Visit Powazkowski Cemetery
One of the unusual places to visit in Warsaw worth considering is Powazkowski Cemetery, where some of the renowned Polish people rest. It’s too grand and large and hence don’t expect a regular cemetery. This cemetery constructed during the 18th century has many medieval sculptures as well.
Powazkowski Cemetery timings: 7 AM to 6 PM. Free entry.
11. Koneser Vodka Distillery
You know that Vodka is the drink of Poland, but how about visiting one of the places where it’s made? If it doesn’t still interest you, think of a Gothic style industry consisting of wooden barrels, medieval-style indoors and more.
Yes, that’s how Koneser Vodka Distillery looks like. One of the few buildings that remain undamaged through the test of times, this neighbourhood is also home to some other buildings, making this distillery worth exploring.
If you enjoy a guided tour, how does a tour on a retro bus sound? Yup, on the historical bus Jelcz, you will get to some interesting stories of the Vodka distillery, and also, you will stroll through picturesque streets of Praga like Zabkowska, Brzeska and Stalowa on this tour. Available in English, the tour lasts for 2.5 hours. It is certainly one of the unusual things to do in Warsaw.
12. Take a Boat Trip down the Vistula River
If going for a walk on the sidewalk is a great way to experience the Vistula, come summer and you can do more. You can rent a boat or just a boat trip or even opt for a sunset ride in the Vistula. The views on either side are memorable.
13. Check out the local food of Warsaw
I can’t emphasize enough about the delicious Polish food. When the food is cheap as well as irresistible, it’s always a jackpot. If you agree (or even don’t), you should try some local food in Warsaw. Being a big city as well as the capital, there is no dearth of fancy restaurants that are not very good, so you might want to research first.
The safest and the cheapest alternative is a milk bar, highly popular with the locals. If you already don’t know, milk bars are small eateries first started during WW I, which gained immense popularity during the Soviet regime. More locals and the general public go these milk bars now. Many of them have renovated to adapt with times, and they look nothing less than fancy cafes/restaurants.
The food in the milk bars is above average, to say the least. IMO, I felt like I tasted the best Polish cuisines in milk bars in Poland. Some of them that you can check out are Bar Mleczny Bambino, Prasowy, Bar Mleczny Sady, Bar Mleczny Rusałka and Bar Mleczny Wilanowski.
If you want to learn to make Polish dumplings, this tour is perfect. In 3 to 4 hours, you will master the way to make delectable Pierogis from the local instructor!
If you want a guided food tour, sign up for this fun Polish Food Tour, where you will get to know where do locals eat the best Polish food. In this 3.5-hour tour, you will get skip the line tickets, and visit many local eateries where you will try out amazing cuisines with your guide. If you are still unsure, check out the reviews for what people say about this tour(Hint: Amazing!)
14. Dare yourself for a Horror House
Want to do something adventurous in Warsaw? How about going to the Horror house? It’s different from the typical scary houses in the sense that it’s more dark, creepy and for sure, more fun!
15. Get the view of Warsaw skyline from Gdanski Bridge
One of the overlooked things sometimes can also turn out to be among the best. This is true for Warsaw’s lovely double-decker Gdanski bridge. If you are looking for things to do in Warsaw at night, hop on to the tram to Wybrzeże Helskie, and you’ll be delighted by what you see.
The Warsaw old town, the modern Warsaw dotted with skyscrapers and the Vistula make it an awesome place for photography. After a busy day in Warsaw, this is also a great way to just stop by and watch the city at night.
16. Chill & get more views of Warsaw from the Library Garden
A short walk away from the old town, the rooftop Library garden is a huge one, among the top hangout places for the students in Warsaw. There are two levels in the garden, each more beautiful than the other. There is a pond and a stream at the lower level, which is open throughout the year for the public, while the upper garden is where you should be during the night.
This green space is ideal to relax at night, get fantastic views of Warsaw along the Vistula river. The upper garden is a favourite among the locals, that picnic here during the summer.
17. Admire Polish Modern Architecture at Politechnika
One more example of modern architecture in Warsaw is Politechnika or the Technical University building. Just like the metro station of Placa, this varied architecture is worth checking out, after its restoration post the war years.
18. Head to Zachęta – The National Gallery of Art
If you like galleries, you would love Zacheta, an exhibition dedicated to nourishing Polish artists and other art enthusiasts from the world. There are many exhibitions held at different times of the year, exhibiting contemporary art from around the world.
19. Travel through photographs Warsaw Fotoplastikon
A stereoscopic theatre built a few decades ago, Warsaw Fotoplastikon brings the city and the world into life through its amazing collection of over thousands of original photographs, showcased through rotating 3-dimensional platform. One of the Warsaw activities to add to your list for a unique experience.
More Unusual things to do in Warsaw
20. Walk along the streets of the old town
Stare Miasto or Warsaw Old Town was the place for first settlements in the city during the 12th century. Barbican, the fortification built at this time, whose ruins remain is now the bridge between the old and the new Warsaw. What you see today is a totally rebuilt version of the old town. The old town completely got devastated during WW II and was replicated based on the paintings obtained.
As you can see, this UNESCO world heritage site listed old town is colourful with unique coloured perfect-looking buildings. Starting from the Royal Castle, you can walk through the narrow cobbled streets that take you through the medieval times.
As you stroll through the labyrinthine of streets, you’ll pass through the St. John’s Arch cathedral, that our free walking tour guide rated as one of the worse churches she has ever been too! It looks really simple compared to a plethora of churches, and I can agree with her on this.
The best part of the old town is the unmissable market square, with the iconic mermaid statue at the centre. The old town market square or Rynek Starego Miasta adorned with vibrant medieval buildings should definitely qualify at the top among the most instagrammable places in Warsaw. Plus, this has to be the best among the free things to do in Warsaw!
If you prefer a guided tour, there are plenty. I would recommend this 2-Hour Guided Old Town Walking Tour, where local guides will walk you through the historic streets narrating interesting stories.
21. Feel the Royalty on the Royal Route
Trakt Królewski or ‘The Royal Route’ is the most beautiful part of the city, according to me with its grandiose. Encompassing five connecting cobbled stone streets, including the highly popular Nowy Swiat & Krakowskie Przedmiescie, the royal route is home to many significant monuments. You can start from the old town, near the Royal Castle and walk all the way up to the Wilanow Palace or even Warsaw’s most famous Łazienki Park.
But I’d suggest you start from the beginning of extravagant Nowy Swiat near the controversial palm tree status and make your way to the Royal Castle. Nowy Swiat is a cool street with some chic cafes and bars as well. You can do in this order ideally, combining with Royal Castle and the old town.
Notable monuments and historical buildings that you shouldn’t miss out are the Presidential Palace, the Kazimierz Palace, the Warsaw University, the National Library, the Tomb of the Unknown soldiers, Nicolaus Copernicus’ monument, elegant Hotel Bristol and many gorgeous churches including St. Anne’s Church.
If you are spending more time in Poland, don’t miss visiting Gdansk. Click on the link to know why!
22. Check out the Royal Palace
The Royal Palace is the crown of the old town which is for sure one of the best things to do in Warsaw. This simple yet elegant castle has a long and interesting history, where the various monarchs exerted their influence upon the people in all ways. The Polish king Zygmunt III Waza built the Royal Castle after moving the capital from Krakow to Warsaw. This original castle has been restored many times over the course of history, which makes it worth a visit.
Now known as the Royal Castle Museum open for the public, you can check out the main attractions like the majestic Ballroom, Throne room and the Senate chamber.
Royal Palace Museum timings: Closed on Mondays. 10 AM to 6 PM
Royal Palace Museum entry fees: Free entry on Sundays. 30 PLN
If you are looking for a guided tour, I would suggest this Skip The Line Royal Castle Guided Tour, which is valid for one day. It is available in multiple languages, and free to cancel up to 24 hours.
23. Visit the Museum of Warsaw
One of the top Warsaw attractions, especially within the Warsaw old town is the Warsaw City Museum. If not for the huge banner outside, it’s easy to pass through the Museum without noticing what it is! But you probably can’t miss the sight of 11 vibrant buildings though. Yes, that’s the city museum.
No doubt, it is one of the top Warsaw tourist attractions, and also the most photographed museum probably! This is the place to know all about Warsaw’s history spanning over 1400 years. The buildings in total consist of more than 7000 exhibits, beginning from its medieval origin to modern times. Many of them are surprisingly original – considering how the city went through near destruction many times.
You can also get a splendid view of Warsaw old town from the 6th floor of one of the buildings. The Warsaw Museum website has a map, and details of how to navigate within the museum. Check the site once before you visit to know of any events or timings.
Museum of Warsaw timings: Closed on Mondays. 10 AM to 7 PM
Museum of Warsaw City entry fees: Free entry on Thursdays. 20 PLN regular ticket with audio guide
24. Get Warsaw’s bird view from the top of St. Anne’s Church Tower
One of the main Warsaw attractions is to watch the city from above. If Warsaw Museum is one of the places to do so, there is another at St. Anne’s Church. Just brace yourself to climb some 125+ steps to go to the observation tower beside the church, where you can get some stunning views of beautiful Warsaw. To get to the observation terrace, you will need to climb 150 stairs. But the view from the top truly is worth all the pain.
25. Marie Curie Museum
I already told you that Marie Curie was born in Warsaw. Today, her house, right next to the old town is a Museum, a perfect tribute to the woman with many firsts. This is the place to be to know more about this commendable woman, through her letters, photographs and items. You can explore this right after the things to do in old town Warsaw
Marie Curie Museum timings: Closed on Mondays. 9 AM to 4:30 PM
Marie Curie Museum entry fees: 11 PLN
26. Museum of the History of Polish Jews
Once the Warsaw Ghetto, the infamous neighbourhood built to segregate and eventually eliminate the Jewish population of Warsaw during World War II, is now home to the Museum of the History of Polish Jews(POLIN).
The POLIN Museum is one of the most enriching museums that I have ever visited. This huge museum documents the history of Polish Jews in chronological order, right from their first arrival in Poland. From being one of the richest sects of people spread across Europe to end up becoming the target of History’s most atrocious crime, the Holocaust, this is a moving museum.
This museum is an excellent tribute to the Polish Jews, and although not something pleasing, it is one of the must things to see in Warsaw.
Museum of the History of Polish Jews timings: Closed on Tuesdays. 10 AM to 6 PM
Museum of the History of Polish Jews entry fees: Free entry on Thursdays. 25 PLN
If you want to get skip the line tickets and a guided tour, You can get it here.
27. Stop by at Murano – Jewish Ghetto Memorial
Next to the Museum of the History of the Polish Jews is Murano, a set of monuments dedicated to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943. Some Jews tried to revolt against the subjugation by the Nazis upon the construction of the Ghetto.
The heroic struggle symbolising the undying spirit of Polish Jews is depicted through the touching memorial, with statues, inscriptions and the Wall. Don’t forget to check this out while visiting the Polish Museum. It is one of the worth unusual things to do in Warsaw.
If you love guided tours, I’d highly recommend this private Ghetto walking tour which also covers your pick up from the hotel.
28. Tour Warsaw New Town
Nowe Miasto or Warsaw New Town represents the character of contemporary Warsaw, high in spirits like its people. The St Kazimierz Church with its towering turquoise dome is the central attraction, around which are sprinkled swanky bars, cafes and restaurants. Just take the tram and stroll through the streets of new Warsaw.
29. Discover Srodmiescie, the heart of modern Warsaw
Another neighbourhood of hipster Warsaw is Srodmiescie, which I recommend to be on your unusual things to do in Warsaw. The intriguingly towering Palace of Culture and Science is the show stealer of this area, which spreads around Warsaw Centrum Metro Station.
Check out the streets of Marszalkowska, Widok and Nowy Swiat around the Palace of Culture and Science for shopping malls, bars, pubs and whatnot. If you want to enjoy at hipster Warsaw district area, head to Zbawiciela Square. Indie bars, gay-friendly pubs, hip restaurants and shops adorned with the art will keep you occupied for hours.
30. Palace of Culture and Science
One of the majestic monuments in Warsaw invoking mixed feelings among the Varsovians is the Palace of Culture and science. The eighth tallest building in Europe, it is also called as the Warsaw Empire State Building. The reason why Varsovians have mixed emotions is that this monument was built by Stalin as a gift to the city when the country came under his communist regime.
The Polish felt that it symbolises a kind of territory marking by him, and don’t talk about much or recommend to check out.
From the architectural point of view though, it is surely worth checking out, and that’s why it is one of the unusual things to do in Warsaw. Plus, the 33rd floor is open to the public with its viewing points, which is actually why you should head here. The view of Warsaw from here is something you would absolutely enjoy.
If you want to sign up for a guided tour, check out this private Palace of Culture tour with skip the line tickets. The tour is available in Spanish, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, and Russian. Easy to book and free to cancel up to 24 hours.
31. Warsaw Uprising Museum
Warsaw uprising remains one of the most pivotal rebellions during WW II. Not only did it inspire to lead similar ones at the time, but Polish people itself also looked back upon it to stir a revolt against communism during the later times. It is not a pleasant one, but it is one of the recommended unusual things to do in Warsaw.
You can know all about this brave act at the Uprising Museum, which has chronicled history’s important events around this.
Warsaw Uprising Museum timings:
Warsaw Uprising Museum entry fees:
32. Music Lovers, Head to Chopin Museum
All you music lovers got one more to add to your list of unusual things to do in Warsaw. Poland is a great country for the music lovers, thanks to the inclination to the music of all forms. But I guess the love for music goes all the way as Poland is home to some musical legends. One of them is the renowned pianist and composer Chopin, known for his soul-stirring music.
He was born near Warsaw, and the city has paid a revering tribute through Chopin Museum. The museum beautifully depicts his journey through his scripts, recordings and more.
Did you know? There are about 15+ benches all over the town, where you can sit and listen to Chopin’s music by clicking on a button. Yes, amazing music through stone benches, which you can enjoy for free. So cool, right?
If you want to enjoy one of his compositions, check this tour, where you will get to witness a concert in a historical location. You can also go to this concert, which is held in the old town, in the left-wing of the Royal Castle.
33. Stroll along the Vistula River
What the Danube is to Budapest is the Vistula is to Warsaw. Geographically, it divides Warsaw into two halves, and culturally it is the breeding stage for art, music and social life.
If you are up for a musical night, you can plan on attending free concerts held at Plażowa, which also has a theatre, pool, bars and restaurants. Walking along the Vistula is certainly an enjoyable and one of the best unusual things to do in Warsaw.
34. Learn some science at Copernicus Science Centre
One of the fun and unusual things to do in Warsaw, especially if you are traveling with kids, is to visit Copernicus Science Centre. Dedicated to Nicholas Copernicus, the legendary scientist who is Polish, this is the place to learn a thing about science. It’s also right across the Vistula river so you can combine this with an evening around it.
Copernicus Science Centre timings: Closed on Mondays. 9 AM to 6 PM. Check the website for variations.
Copernicus Science Centre entry fees: 31 PLN on weekdays. 33 PLN on weekends
35. Visit Warsaw’s largest Lazienki Park
Okay, this is the last park, I promise. But you will agree that it certainly should be among the unusual things to do in Warsaw. Lazienki is not only the largest park in Warsaw but also probably the loveliest among its 70+ parks. Earlier, this park served as a huge bathing area, and later on, was the summer residence of the last king of Poland, popularly known as the Palace on water.
This mammoth park, a part of the famous Warsaw Royal Route also has many amphitheatres including the theatre on the aisle, orangeries, historic monuments, a quiet lake, botanical gardens and many lanes flanked by greenery, making the Lazienki Park a perfect place to unwind or even have a picnic in summers.
There are two interesting tours that I would like you to sign up if you want to enjoy the park with a guide. You can sign up for a private Gondola cruise tour around Lazienki, which also gives you skip the line tickets. Or you can take up this combo tour of Wilanow Palace and Lazienki, which is recommended if you are pressed on time.
How to Get to Warsaw?
Flights: You can pretty much reach to Warsaw from anywhere in Europe, thanks to the LOT Polish Airlines based here. Even the cheaper Ryan Air also connects Warsaw with the other European cities. Warsaw has two airports, the Chopin Airport and Modlin Airport, with flights running to both of them. Flights from cities like Berlin to Warsaw, Prague, Budapest and other cities can be surprisingly cheaper, sometimes even better than buses or trains if you plan ahead.
Once you get out of the airport, there are local buses and trains to the city centre.
Trains: Trains are the best way to travel within Poland, thanks to the various categories which are all way cheaper as well as quite comfortable. There are trains from major surrounding cities including Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Berlin and others. You can check intercity trains if arriving from another city in Poland, here.
Buses: Flixbus is one of the major operators connecting Poland with other European cities. European cities, which offer the cheapest bus fares.
Getting around Warsaw
Warsaw has a pretty great connection and getting around and across the city is not a hassle. Trams and buses run through major areas covering almost all of the attractions. There is metro as well.
Standard fare is 4.40 PLN for adults. There is also a 20-minute ticket priced at 3.40 that allows you to change buses and go into trams and metro within a limited time frame. Tickets can be bought from some street kiosks, ticket machines (with English instructions) near stops or at metro stations, or anywhere with a sign saying Bilety.
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