Warsaw is still one of those European gems that's not reached it's full potential yet. This guide features 10 things to do in Warsaw for those looking to really get to know the city and dig deeper than the average tourist!
1. Eat at a "Milk Bar"
"Milk bars" are a great way to step back in time and see a piece of Warsaw history. Despite the name these are eateries that are open mostly for lunch and serve great and cheap traditional polish cafeteria food.
From the few we've eaten at, the favourite is called Rusalka close to the Praga neighbourhood. (Floriańska 14, 00-001 Warszawa, Poland). You'll never find english menus here, so get ready to use the google camera translator on your phone or point to whatever looks good. You can order with the lady behind the counter!
We recommend trying the soup of the day & a few different dishes to experience the most variety of the food.
2. Walk the colourful Old Town
Photos never do this place justice, Warsaw's old town is simply a sight to see. Take a few hours out of your day to stroll around, get lost in the smaller side streets and take in all the beautiful colours! Obviously a must thing to do in Warsaw.
3. Stroll through Łazienki Park
The beautiful sites when visiting this park actually start outside it. The nearby neighbourhood is plentiful in old architecturally interesting buildings which house multiple embassies and residences.
When you do make it into the park though, you'll be greeted with groomed gardens and wide ponds.
The park is perfect for a quiet morning, especially since there's a great brunch spot nearby called Flaming & Co.
4. Go to a pierogi making class
If there's one thing you MUST do when you come to Poland it's eat pierogi. Pierogi are the most wonderfully warm dumplings that can be boiled or pan-fried and come in a very large variety of toppings. For where to find great dumplings in the city, read about our recommended food spots.
However, taking a cooking class and learning to make your own pierogi (and eat them too!) is such a fun thing to do in Warsaw that takes travelling to the next level.
We did an exceptional hands-on pierogi masterclass that we highly recommend, run by Pierogi & More, which we booked through our long-time favourite cooking class mecca platform - Cookly.
Maria the owner hosted us in her modern professional kitchen, where we made dumplings, learned about the history & Polish culture and then sat down to eat all our dumplings with some local spirits!
5. Explore Praga
Praga is an up & coming hipster style neighbourhood that's filled with colourful street art and is definitely off the beaten path for most tourists.
Most people will not venture out to this side the river, but those that want to see another, more "unpolished" side of this city are to be rewarded with old-style shops, cafes and vintage soho vibes.
✔️Top tip - this is also a great place to base yourself if you're looking for budget friendly accommodation.
6. Visit Warsaw Zoo & the Zabinski Villa
Another must thing to do in Warsaw is paying a visit to the Warsaw Zoo. Not only is the park a beautiful way to spend the day outside and see animals, the Zoo is a hugely important historical landmark because of the events that took place here during World War 2.
The 2017 Hollywood movie The Zookeeper's Wife tells the story of this place and the Zabinski family, who helped hide and save Polish Jews during the war.
The Zabinski Villa still stands here today and can be visited by guided tour. So whether you're a history buff or not - this a Warsaw must!
7. Get some freshly baked Paczki
These warm, squishy and sugar covered donuts are a Polish classic. Most of the time they can be found filled with delicious jam or custard. Most local bakeries will have them, or check out the bakery at this location:
📍al. Jana Pawła II, 03-412 Warszawa, Poland
8. Visit the Palace of Science & Culture
The high-rise building everyone thinks of when you say Warsaw, this building is super impressive up-close and holds historical value from it's past. It's now home to the Palace of Science and Culture, which hosts guided tours of the building as well as sells tickets to the viewing terrace where you can experience Warsaw from above!
9. Have sunset drinks at a stylish rooftop bar
Another thing to do in Warsaw is see it from above! But do it the stylish way and visit a great rooftop bar. Loreta Bar, located inside the Puro Hotel, has great outdoor bar seating, with arguably the best view of Warsaw of all as well as quality cocktails.
10. Explore new Warsaw at the Hala Koszyki Food Court
Digging deeper than the average tourist, venture into "new Warsaw" by visiting this new & hip foodcourt. Popular with locals who come here on their lunch hour, Hala Koszyki is host to multiple food vendors and shops, so come here ready to explore and have some food.