Warsaw in 1 Day for $21

#1 Warsaw overview

Warsaw seen from the top of the Palace of Culture and Science
The view of Warsaw city seen from the top of the Palace of Culture and Science

 

  • Warsaw is considered as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
  • It’s simple but sophisticated with a rich culture, traditions and history.
  • Everyone who has ever travelled to Warsaw remembers the taste of traditional Polish dumplings called Pierogi.
  • This city has a soul and history not many European countries have.
  • That’s a city nurturing over 400 years of pride as a capital, where a fourth of the terrain is covered by parkland and a city of culture for all tastes and budgets.
Old Market Square
Old Market Square and King Zygmunt III Waza Column on the left

#2 Highs and Lows

the Baths Palace
The Park in Lazienki

 

Things I liked:

  • Being surrounded by extremely beautiful historical monuments, buildings, churches and statues of Polish political leaders, novelist and inventors.
  • Easy access to transportation- fast trams and metro, always on time.
Metro in Warsaw
Metro in Warsaw

 

  • Cheap prices- Warsaw was surprisingly affordable for me.
  • Delicious food- I could finally taste a real chocolate, traditional potato cake and dumplings stuffed with meat and vegetables.
  • Helpful people- everytime I asked people for direction, they seemed more than happy to help me.
  • Warsaw is pretty small and I could get everywhere within 5 minutes.

Things I didn’t like:

  • Weather- it was pretty cold and I was freezing.
  • I was a little disappointed with the view from the top of the Palace of Culture and Science (way too many advertisements on the buildings).

#3 Budget details

The map of Warsaw
My map of Warsaw

 

Budget: Less than $25 per person

Currency: Zloty (US$1 = 3.30 Zloty/PLN)

Time required: 1 day

Minimum number of people: 1

Lazienki
The park in Lazienki

My expenses

Accommodation: Free, Couchsurfing

Food:  23 PLN ($7)

Transport: 2.50 PLN ($0.80) for a one way metro ticket

Activities: 15 PLN ($4.50)

Additional expenses: 30 PLN ($9) spent on wine for my hosts

Total: $21.30

The park in Lazienki
The park in Lazienki

 

# 4 Where to sleep

Type of Accommodation: Couchsurfing

Price: Free

The prices of hostels/hotels/guesthouses in Warsaw are very high. The best idea is to look for a host who can give you a piece of ground or a bed to sleep on. I was hosted by Blazej and his girlfriend Kasia.

My hosts- Blazej and Kasia in their apartment

 

They were a great couple who treated me with some delicious homemade food and a glass of wine every night. Despite the fact they were very busy with their tight work schedule, they spent a lot of time with me during the night time, provided me with a proper map of Warsaw and told me where to go and what to see. That was very helpful indeed.

Other options:

There is one cheap hostel in Warsaw called Oki Doki

Prices: the cheapeast option is 8-beded dorm – bed from 39 PLN to 120 PLN/ no breakfast

Address: Plac Dąbrowskiego 3  (Dąbrowskiego Square), 00-057 Warsaw

 

#5 Where to eat

A hot chocolate and a piece of apple pie
A hot chocolate and a piece of an apple pie for 20 PLN on the top of the Palace of Culture and Science

 

Food: For some reason, I didn’t feel hungry all day. All food I had was a hot chocolate and a piece of an apple pie

Location: The top of the Palace of Culture and Science

Price: 20 PLN + 3 PLN ( I also had two sweet donuts on my way back home)= 23PLN

Other options:

You should definitely try some traditional Polish dishes, although food from all around the world in available everywhere. They are plenty of local shops, restaurants and bars where you can order a plate of meat or vegetable dumplings, potato cake, jelly-filled doughnuts called Zygrumtowka or Wedel chocolate with a glass of mulled wine or Polish beer. You should not pay more than 9PLN for dumplings and 10 PLN for a mulled wine.

Mulled wine
Mulled wine

 

#6 What to sightsee

No.1 Royal Łazienki

Price: Free

Time requared: 1h-3h

Place overview: Royal Łazienki is a Palace-Garden complex the most beautiful planned area in Warsaw and one of the most beautiful in Europe, equally stunning in terms of its greenery and architecture.

Locationul. Agrykoli 1

Postcards from Royal Łazienki Park

Łazienki Królewskie Park
Łazienki Królewskie Park
Łazienki Królewskie Park
Łazienki Królewskie Park
Łazienki Królewskie Park
Łazienki Królewskie Park
Łazienki Królewskie Park
Łazienki Królewskie Park
Łazienki Królewskie Park
Łazienki Królewskie Park

 

No. 2 Old Town/ New Town 

Price: Free

Time requared: 1h-3h

Place overview: You can stroll down the streets of the Old Town and New Town and enjoy atmospheric alleys, squares, and cosy cafés create a unique sense of history, and in the summer, the Old and New Town Squares become stages for musical and theatrical performances and open-air galleries.

Location:Plac Zamkowy–> Ul. Piwna–> Ul. Swietojanska–>Rynek Starego Miasta

Postcards from Old Town and New Town

The Old Town
The Old Town
Old Town Market Square (Rynek Starego Miasta)
Old Town Market Square (Rynek Starego Miasta)
Royal Castle (Zamek Królewski)
Royal Castle (Zamek Królewski)
The Old Market Square
The Old Market Square
Presidential Palace
Presidential Palace

 

No. 3 Palace of Culture and Science

Price: Free entrance, 15 PLN for getting to the top of the Palace to see the scenery of Warsaw (10PLN for students and retired people).

Time requared: 1h

Place overview: The Palace of Culture and Science is the highest building in Poland with 3,000 rooms. Its biggest attraction is a large terrace on the 30th floor of the Palace. The Palace was built between 1952 and 1955.

Location: Plac Defilad 1

Postcards from the Palace of Culture and Science (Pałac Kultury i Nauki)

Palace of Culture and Science (Pałac Kultury i Nauki)
Palace of Culture and Science (Pałac Kultury i Nauki)
Palace of Culture and Science (Pałac Kultury i Nauki)
Palace of Culture and Science (Pałac Kultury i Nauki)
Palace of Culture and Science (Pałac Kultury i Nauki)
Palace of Culture and Science (Pałac Kultury i Nauki)
The view from the top
The view from the top. It was very foggy
Me on the top of Palace of Culture and Science (Pałac Kultury i Nauki)
Me on the top of Palace of Culture and Science (Pałac Kultury i Nauki). It was freezing cold out there!
Souvenirs
Souvenirs
Palace of Culture and Science (Pałac Kultury i Nauki)
Palace of Culture and Science (Pałac Kultury i Nauki)

Other places to explore:

  • Wilanów Park-Palace Complex- It used to be the summer residence of King  Jan III Sobieski and then Augustus II. It represents European Baroque at its height and a homage to the former greatness of the Republic. The palace is surrounded by a grandiose, two level Baroque Italian garden and a romantic park in English style.
  • Warsaw Rising Museum– The exhibition shows the struggle of everyday life before and during the Warsaw Uprising and the horror of occupation. It might be a good choice if you like history.
  • National Museum– The museum contains a rich collection of exhibits from antiquity to modern times.
  • Warsaw Zoological Garden– he garden is now inhabited by several thousand animals such as brown bears.
  • Multimedia Fountain Park– The magic of elements, music and light.

#7 Things to know and remember

1) The best time to explore Poland is late May till late July as it’s sunny and beautiful. It’s way too cold in late November till late March.

The late autumn
November weather in Warsaw

 

2) Always keep your train/tramp/metro ticket with you and validate it straight away. The ticket instructors often check them and if your ticket is not stampped or you don’t have it at all, you will get a fine of 50 PLN or more. Their targets are young people, students and travellers.

3) Try to walk everywhere. Warsaw is smaller than you think. I walked from once place to another and took the metro on the way back home as I was freezing.

4) There are many galleries, museum and churches in Warsaw. Pick up one of each not to get bored.

5) Always carry your students card with you if you have one. There are many ticket discounts when you visit museums and galleries or if you want to go to the 30th floor of the Palace of Culture and Science (you pay 10 PLN instead of 15 PLN).

Polish soldiers
Polish soldiers

 

 6) Don’t hesitate to ask Polish people for direction. They will be happy to help you. If not, it means they don’t speak English.

#8 Airport Transport

  • The Frederic Chopin International Airport is by far the biggest in Poland with nine million people travelled to over 80 destinations every year.
  • The airport is located 10 km south west from Warsaw city centre.
  • Between the 175 and 188 you’ll be able to catch a ride into the city centre every ten minutes or so, or at night jump on the N32 and you’ll get right to Warsaw Central Station (Dworzec Centralny).
  • Tickets for the bus cost a mere 2.8 PLN.

*I was lucky enough to get a free ride from guys I met on the plane

#8 Additional info

  • There are couchsurfing meetings in Warsaw every Wednesday, so you can meet other people and hang out with them if you want to. The meetings are held in Warsaw at 7PM local time at Lorelei, ul. Widok 8.

 

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27 Comments

  • Pierogis sound sooooo good right now! I developed a love for them (especially with bacon and sour cream) when I was living in Chicago as there’s a huge Polish population there. Also I never knew Warsaw was such a cute and colorful city by the way, how pretty!

    • I also love pierogi, but my favourite are stuffed either with meat and topped with onion and oil or with cherry/ strawberry with some yoghurt and sugar :) Soo yummy! Warsaw is even more beuatiful in summer :) So colourful and vivid!

  • I have always wanted to go to Warsaw. I have a friend who teaches at an international school there. One thing I do know, bundling up when the weather is cold is a must if you want to traipse around all day in some comfort. I spent the month leading up to Christmas one year in Prague. Boy was it cold. I was glad to have warm clothes as i was outside exploring the streets of Prague for hours on end.

  • I was in Warsaw 19 years ago and loved the Old Town. The best bit for me that is for sure. It is great to see that it is still so beautiful and reasonably priced.

    • People say Warsaw is always the same and it does not change at all. I can agree or disagree in a few years when I’m back here ;-). My first visit was amazing :)! and the prices aren’t that high either.

  • Whooooa!This post is very inspiring! I am just ‘tramping’ around Vietnam and I always spend $50 the least every day!

    I love your photos too. Your posts are always very informative!

    Keep it up!

    • We spend less than $50 for us two and it’s not that little, more than enough I would say. Are you having a great time in Vietnam? Let us know if you need some help or recommendation. We cycled the full length of this country by bike, so we know it pretty well.

      Thanks for the kind words :)!

  • I really like the tips you provide. Excellent information all around, honestly. Even someone who may want to spend more money per day can get valuable information.
    I also don’t like grey, cold days, but good pics of what you saw.
    I’m still trying to get my tippy toes in the Couch Surfing door. I like that they have a Couch Surfing meetup every week there.

    • Thanks a lot Fidel. I travel on a budget, but every advice and tip counts :). Couchsurfing is great, honestly. I have never hosted anyone from Couchsurfing, but I was couchsurfing twice so far: in Warsaw and in Prague and it’s been an amazing experience. You should try it.

  • Beautiful pictures, Agness! You’ve definitely shown that Warsaw is one of the more underrated European cities. Love your pictures of the park and the Old Town. It’s awesome how affordable it can be with all the free attractions. What a great guide!

    • We are happy this is exactly how you travel. Hope to see you on day in Warsaw or any place in the world so we can travel together this way!

  • Like I said on your Wroclaw, I’m delving into your Poland archives! The tips for Warsaw are very helpful – 2.8 PLN is incredibly inexpensive!

    Do you have any tips for non-Polish speakers visiting Poland (Warsaw, Krakow, or Wroclaw in particular)? How are the signs for transportation, are they written in Polish and English or will we need to translate?

    • The majority of Poles can speak English so in case you get lost or don’t know where to go, just ask someone young. Avoid older people, they will probably not help you as they don’t understand English and easily get scared of foreigners :). The signs for transportation in bigger cities such as Krakow and Warsaw are written in English, but not always. However, you will easily understand them. We use international signs for such places as train/bus/metro stations. I would recommend you to use couchsurfing website where you can find many Polish people who are willing to meet up for a coffee, show you around the city and spend some time with you. It’s a great way of exploring the city in a local way. Moreover, you can buy local maps in kiosks and follow it :)

  • I have visited Warsaw and the Poland area twice. I highly recommend this country, it is rich in history and so beautiful as well. Also if you are over 70 yrs as I am, public transport is free.The food, the culture , the people are wonderful.

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