Warsaw

A Local’s Guide To Warsaw, Poland

How do I have the expertise to write a local’s guide to Warsaw? Well many of you may not know that my family is Polish, and that I’m actually the first generation Australian out of hundreds of years of family history. Since I grew up in Australia and am a very proud Aussie, people often think I’m joking when I tell them I’m bilingual… until they hear me on the phone to my mum!

Warsaw Stare Miasto

My parents made it very important for me to be brought up speaking the language and being immersed in the Polish culture. I used to hate being different from all the kids at school but now that I’m older I’ve become a lot more interested in learning about my roots. All the years of weekly polish lessons (oh the torture!) has paid off and it’s now very convenient to be able to travel to Poland and fluently communicate with locals without any problems.

I recently took a trip to Warsaw, the capital of Poland, to stay with my aunty and catch up with my dad who was there on holidays. My aunty grew up in Warsaw and has lived there for 60+ years so she showed me all around her beloved city.

Warsaw Family

Here are my top places to visit and tips for travelling in Warsaw…

Getting Around

To get around Warsaw I recommend getting a day trip ticket for public transport which you can get from the many kiosks scattered all around Warsaw. Adult priced tickets are around 15 złoty ($5AUD) and last for 24 hours from validation. Alternatively taxis around town are affordable averaging around $5AUD for a 5-10 minute trip.

Pałac Kultury

Pałac Kultury, the ‘Palace of Culture and Science’ is that huge building right in the centre of Warsaw. There is always something going on in there and this summer it was the Titanic Exhibition. It was so awesome to see, especially since taking a cruise on Titanic II has always been a top bucket list item of mine.

Warsaw Palac Kultury

Stare Miasto (Old Town)

Stare Miasto is the ‘Old Town’ of Warsaw and probably the most touristy part. You can’t come to Warsaw and skip Stare Miasto. It’s a great place to wander around and have a drink at one of the restaurants, whilst observing the thousands of years of history on every corner.

warsaw stare miasto

Krakowskie Przedmieście & Nowy Świat

If you want to see more of the local vibes visit the well known historic suburb of Warsaw, Krakowskie Przedmieście. Continue strolling and you will eventually get to Nowy Świat ‘New World Street’ known for it’s fine dining restaurants and shops.

Warsaw Nowy Swiat

Łazienki Park & Wilanów

For down time hang out at Łazienki – Warsaw’s largest (76 hectare) park in the city. It’s very beautiful to walk through and completely different depending on the seasons.

Warsaw Winter

(Same spot in Łazienki with the lake completely frozen in Winter 2012)

If you have the time, another beautiful park to visit is Wilanów a little bit out of the city centre. There you’ll find the Wilanów Palace which is also known as the ‘Polish Versailles.’

Multimedia Fountain

There is a huge fountain next to Warsaw’s River Wisła that’s a great place to relax and have a picnic. If you’re visiting in Summer go there on a Friday or Saturday night for the incredible live Multimedia Fountain shows after sunset (all for free).

Warsaw Multimedia Fountain

(Photo from Google Images – The lighting didn’t work well with my camera on the night)

Arkadia

For shopping, the biggest and best local place is the modern Arkadia Shopping Centre, where you’ll find all kinds of international brands.

Warsaw Arkadia

(Fountains outside the Arcadia Shopping Centre, Warsaw)

Eat at Amrit Kekabs

Theres nothing like real home-made polish food so I don’t actually have any recommendations for polish restaurants other than try and stay with a polish family through Workaway, Homestay or AirBnB. However, I did have an amazing experience at a Turkish restaurant in Wilson Square called Amrit Kebabs. We got soooo much food and the customer service was the best I’ve ever had (honestly)!

Warsaw Amrit Kebab

(All of this cost us just 40zl – around $13AUD!)

History

These are the main things you’d want to know when travelling to Warsaw, but if you’re into your history then there is so much more to Poland than you think. You can learn about Polish (and Eastern European) history in the many museums around the city.

Millions of innocent Polish people died during the World Wars, and those who actually survived went through a lot of crap. The now considered ‘rich’ countries stole all of Poland’s resources and land, forcing Poland to completely disappear off the World Map (3 times!) The Polish literally had to start their country from scratch and over the past 20 years or so have miraculously bounced back.

Warsaw

Poland’s economy is getting better every year, however experiencing the average lifestyle through my family first-hand makes me grateful to call Australia home. I totally understand why so many Polish people leave their country for a ‘better life’ abroad.

Living in Poland may not be for me, but travelling as a tourist is amazing, so please support the Polish economy and take a trip to Warsaw, you’ll love it!

And don’t forget to also visit the historic city of Kraków while you’re there 🙂

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Do you have any questions about Warsaw or Poland? I will happily give you an answer from a local’s perspective, just leave a comment below…

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12 thoughts on “A Local’s Guide To Warsaw, Poland

  1. Great post, it looks like you had so much fun! I have visited Warsaw last summer, and I am also going in July. I loved the city, it so modern and lively! My personal favourite spot is actually a bar in downtown called Bubbles. They have a huge choice of champagnes and sparkling wines from all over the world as well as delicious dishes. everything is always fesh and so yummy! I can’t wait to visit Warsaw and my all time favpurite bar again soon:)

  2. Great post and recommendations! I have just recently been to Warsaw for the second time and I loved it! The city is really underrated because in fact it is interesting and beautiful! And Polish food is incredible and definitely worth trying. During my visit my friends took me on a culinary trip around Warsaw and we have visited some really nice places. The one that I enjoyed the most was the Akademia Restaurant in Mokotow. It was elegant and romantic, and their specialty was a combination of traditional Polish dishes with European modern flavors. It was excellent. I hope to get to visit Warsaw again in a near future:)

  3. I am not a huge fan of sightseeing, it’s just not my thing. I travel for entertainment purposes, and that’s what I get visiting night clubs, it’s a perfect form of entertainment to me. Recently I had a chance to visit the New Orleans club in Warsaw. I’ve been to many corners of Europe and more so far, but I have to admit, this club stood out among others and is definitely on my top list in this regard.

  4. If you don’t know where to go for a guys’ party in Warsaw, I could recommend a club I have tested called New Orleans. They have really good alcohols, very nice climate and delicious food. Not to mention beautiful ladies, who assist you the entire evening.

  5. Very interesting article. The description really does bring out the vibe of Warsaw. I went there last month and I have very fond memories of that time. The thing I liked the most was the night life, especially the New Orleans club, which I can easily consider to be one of the best in Europe.

  6. Very interesting article. The description really does bring out the vibe of Warsaw. I went there last month and I have very fond memories of that time. The thing I liked the most was the night life, especially the New Orleans club, which I can easily consider to be one of the best in Europe.

  7. Poland is a wonderful country. Charming places, rich history, fantastic food and the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen. That’s one of the reasons the New Orleans club in Warsaw put a spell on me. Great dancers, the best alcohols and top-notch service. I will remember visiting Warsaw for a long time.

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