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Warsaw Off the Beaten Path

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With its ever-expanding tourist scene and late-night clubbing reputation, Warsaw can keep visitors occupied indefinitely. But don’t ignore the lesser-travelled roads of Poland, a country with an enormous historical, cultural, and natural legacy just begging to be explored. Here’s how to track down glimpses of the Poland that lies beyond the UNESCO-listed delights of Warsaw’s charming Old Town.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Thrill Seeker
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nightlife Seeker
  • Nature Lover
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Beach Goer
  • Thrifty Traveller
  • Trendsetter
  • Like a Local

9 Places

5 City Tips

Print
Map

9 Places

Nieborow Palace

Castles, Historic Sites

Praga Polnoc

Neighbourhoods

Majdanek National Museum

Historic Sites

Jasna Gora

Sacred & Religious Sites

Frederic Chopin Monument

Monuments & Statues, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Bialowieza Forest

Forests

Treblinka Memorial

Historic Sites

Zalew Zegrzynski

, Bodies of Water

Biebrza National Park

National Parks, Nature & Wildlife Areas

Sasha H's City Tips

  • Many of Warsaw’s museums and attractions are closed on Monday.
  • Poland is a Catholic country and visitors should always dress respectfully when visiting the many churches; cover bare shoulders and legs.
  • Tips are generally about 10% of the total bill. Don’t add the tip onto a credit card, rather leave it as change on the table.
  • Warsaw has one metro line between Młociny and Kabaty, with the stops between Ursynów and Bielany most useful to tourists.
  • Public transport in Warsaw is run by Zarząd Transportu Miejskiego (ZTW) and is safe and efficient; tickets are valid for the metro, tram, bus, and suburban trains.
  • Nieborow Palace
    Castles, Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Sasha H Says:

    The vast baroque palace at Nieborów was designed by Dutch architect Tylman van Gameren, and completed in 1696 for Roman Catholic Cardinal Michal Radziejowski. It passed through several owners and endured several face-lifts, before landing in the hands of the aristocratic Radziwiłł family, who owned the palace between 1771 and 1945. Today the museum comprises luscious apartments decked out in marble and mahogany, and is packed with tasteful collections of priceless furniture, statuary, family portraits, and porcelain.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Nieborów Palace opening times vary seasonally, so check the website ahead of your visit. The palace gardens in Arkadia are open daily from 10am until dusk all year round.
    • Nieborów is 83 km (52 miles) west of Warsaw and is easily accessed by road. As ever when driving in Poland, be aware of unpredictable driving patterns.
    • Arkadia village is around five km (three miles) from Nieborów Palace on the main Łowicz–Skierniewice road.
    • The palace is surrounded by a maze of stables, orangeries, courtyards, conservatories, glorious formal gardens, and English-style landscaping.
    • Also part of the Nieborów complex is Arkadia, a gently decaying park designed by Helena Radziwiłł in the 1870s.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #71 of 368 things to do in Warsaw
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A day trip away from Warsaw 30/09/2017
    • Nieborow an interesting place, just short drive from Warsaw 01/02/2017
    • Nieborow Palace
    Address:
    Nieborow 232
    Nieborow
    Warsaw 99-416
    Poland
    Phone:
    48 46 38 56 20
    Other:
  • Praga Polnoc
    Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    Sasha H Says:

    Up until the mid-18th century, Praga sat on the right bank of the River Vistula as an independent town, Today it is one of Warsaw’s edgiest districts, a graffiti-strewn collection of cool bars, on-trend art galleries, subversive cinemas, underground theater, and a late, late nightlife. A new cultural heartbeat can be heard in the city, emanating from former Soviet factories such as Fabryka Trzciny and Koneser, which are now thriving arts centers.

    Good for
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Praga is one of the poorest areas of Warsaw, so exercise caution when visiting after dark; stick to popular hangouts and get a taxi home at the end of the night instead of walking.
    • The fascinating Neon Museum in Praga is dedicated to preserving Warsaw’s former Soviet-era neon signs. It’s open Wed–Sun 12 noon–5pm. Find it at the Soho Factory.
    • In summer, an artificial beach appears along the Vistula, with spectacular views back across the river to Warsaw’s UNESCO-listed Old Town.
    • Despite its grungy reputation, Praga has plenty of architectural appeal, in the shape of handsome Catholic and Orthodox churches, synagogues and gigantic, Soviet-style memorials.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #133 of 368 things to do in Warsaw
    • Worth a visit 14/09/2018
    • Old atmosphere still there 25/08/2018
    • Praga Polnoc
    Address:
    ul.Zabkowska
    Warsaw
    Poland
  • Majdanek National Museum
    Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Sasha H Says:

    Located on the outskirts of Lublin, southeast of Warsaw, Majdanek concentration camp saw around 80,000 Ukrainian, Russian, Czech, and Polish Jews - as well as Soviet prisoners of war and gypsies - murdered during WWII. Originally designated as a ‘work camp’ by Himmler, it was soon efficiently dispatching its prisoners to the gas chambers and burning their remains on great pyres. Today Majdanek serves as a bleak reminder of Nazi inhumanity.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Hidden Gems
    Tips
    • Lublin is accessible by train and bus from Warsaw.
    • Opening hours vary seasonally, check in advance.
    • Admission to the museum is free but there is a charge for guided tours.
    • Tours of the site include the barracks, gas chambers, the austere circular mausoleum containing the ashes of the dead, and the mighty Monument to Struggle and Martyrdom.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 34 things to do in Lublin
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A must for those with an interest about the subject of genocuide. 23/10/2018
    • Very emotional 23/10/2018
    • Majdanek National Museum
    Address:
    Droga Meczennikow Majdanka 67
    Lublin 20-325
    Poland
    Phone:
    +48 81 710 28 33
    Other:
  • Jasna Gora
    Sacred & Religious Sites
    See more photos
    Sasha H Says:

    Although not off the beaten track for Poland’s 34.5 million Catholics, Jasna Góra Monastery in Częstochowa is often overlooked by overseas visitors. The sprawling monastery has its origins in 1382, and today comprises a fabulously Baroque basilica, treasury, imposing bell tower, and library. By far the most important religious relic in Eastern Europe, the gleaming Black Madonna icon is displayed in the monastery basilica, encrusted in gold and precious jewels and visited by five million pilgrims annually. Depicting the Virgin Mary holding Jesus in her arms, the icon is credited with several miracles, and has become a symbol of Polish unity.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Visitors must dress appropriately (shoulders and legs covered) and be quiet around the shrine.
    • Jasna Góra Monastery is open daily 5am–9.30pm and gets very crowded, especially on feast days such as August 15 (the Assumption) and August 26 (Feast of Our Lady of Częstochowa.)
    • There’s plenty to see in Częstochowa, including the entertaining Museum of Iron Ore Mining; from there it’s an easy hop to the castles and landscapes of the Trail of the Eagles' Nests.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 27 things to do in Czestochowa
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • The only highlight in the city 23/09/2018
    • Well worth visiting 20/09/2018
    • Jasna Gora
    Address:
    PL 42-225 Czestochowa 25, via P. A. Kordeckiego 2
    Czestochowa
    Poland
    Phone:
    +48 34 377 77 77
    Other:
  • Frederic Chopin Monument
    Monuments & Statues, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Sasha H Says:

    The birthplace of Fryderyk Chopin, Poland’s best-loved composer, is the rural, whitewashed manor house and park of Żelazowa Wola. Żelazowa Wola itself has had mixed fortunes over the years, changing hands frequently and largely forgotten until the 1920s, when work began to turn the house into a fitting memorial to Chopin. Today it is a museum dedicated both to Chopin's early life, complete with pianos, family portraits and family furniture, as well as the house’s turbulent history.

    Good for
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Żelazowa Wola is 86.5 km (54 miles) west of Warsaw in Gmina Sochaczew, and can be reached by bus or car.
    • Warsaw’s homage to the great Romantic pianist and composer is the Fryderyk Chopin Museum in 17th-century Ostogski Palace at Okólnik 1.
    • The new ChopinPASS allows access to both museums, and includes direct transport between the Warsaw and Gmina Sochaczew venues from Tuesday to Sunday; buy the ticket from the Fryderyk Chopin Museum in Warsaw.
    • The restored grounds are home to several grandiose monuments to the great man himself.
    • After WWII, the house was restored and re-opened in 1949 to commemorate the centenary of Chopin's death.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 2 things to do in Zelazowa Wola
    • Rustique and calming 06/05/2017
    • Nice monument 26/04/2017
    • Frederic Chopin Monument
    Address:
    Zelazowa Wola
    Zelazowa Wola
    Poland
    Phone:
    +48 46 863 33 00
    Other:
  • Bialowieza Forest
    Forests
    See more photos
    Sasha H Says:

    Białowieża National Park contains one of Europe’s last great expanses of primeval forest, butting up against the border with little Belarus. An area of maples, elms, spruces and birch trees, its environment is now so carefully protected that it can only be visited by guided pony-and-trap tour. Elsewhere in the park, shaggy European bison range freely, the successful results of decades of careful conservation; there is also a breeding center for rare Konik ponies and zubrons – a cross between domestic cows and bison.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Bialystok National Park is near Białystok in northeast Poland, a handsome city where Polish and Russian cultures collide in a delightful mix of architecture and gastronomy.
    • Side trips from Białowieża include the bizarre Russian Orthodox Church in Hajnowka, with its east-meets-west onion domes and frilly roofs.
    • Don’t miss the award-winning Museum of Icons and gold-adorned Orthodox Monastery of the Annunciation in Supraśl, situated between Białystok and Białowieża.
    • There’s also a rather moth-eaten Museum of Nature and Forest at the visitor center, but the main attraction here is definitely the wildlife.
    • Within the park, observant – and patient – visitors can glimpse red deer, wild boar, capercaillie, golden eagles, and occasionally beavers, which have made their dams on the River Orłówka.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 12 things to do in Bialowieza
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A must see for bunny- and tree-huggers. 16/10/2018
    • Zubr hunting 25/08/2018
    • Bialowieza Forest
    Other:
  • Treblinka Memorial
    Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Sasha H Says:

    Treblinka I was ostensibly a labor camp, yet more than 7,000 prisoners died in appalling conditions of starvation and disease here. Treblinka II was designed as a death camp, complete with gas chambers and crematoriums; here, some 800,000 Jews, Poles and gypsies were exterminated in the early 1940s. Both camps were destroyed immediately after the war, and now the Museum of Struggle and Martydom stands on the same ground, set up in commemoration of the Nazi atrocities.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    Tips
    • The Museum of Struggle and Martydom is open daily from 9am–7pm.
    • A memorial to the Jews who died at Treblinka stands on Umschlagplatz in Warsaw, from where 265,000 men, women and children were trucked directly to Nazi concentration camps in Treblinka.
    • The stunning (visually and in its content) Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw showcases the history of Nazi atrocities towards the Jews in WWII.
    • The vast stone memorial consists of more than 17,000 boulders that symbolize the headstones in a Jewish cemetery.
    • Don't miss the hard-hitting permanent exhibition depicting the history of the camp through the use of photography, personal memories, and official records.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Treblinka
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Very moving - We must never forget 23/08/2018
    • A moving memorial 12/08/2018
    • Treblinka Memorial
    Phone:
    +48 25 781 16 58
    Other:
  • Zalew Zegrzynski
    , Bodies of Water
    Sasha H Says:

    Standing on the River Narew, Zegrzynski Reservoir is a Warsaw hotspot for fishing, sailing, wind surfing, water skiing, and sunbathing - formed when the river was dammed in 1963. Connected to the city by the Kanał Żerański (Żerański Canal), Zegrzynski has several sandy beaches: the biggest is Wieliszew; the coolest is Nieporęt, which has a boardwalk and buzzing nightlife; and the most secluded is Serock, on the north side of the lake, with its floating bridge to jump and dive off.

    Good for
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The reservoir is about 20 km (12.5 miles) north of Warsaw. Get there by PKS bus from Dworzec Zachodni bus station or 705, 734 or 735 from the Żerań FSO loop.
    • There are family-friendly facilities at all the beaches, but lifeguards are only on duty at Wieliszew.
    • In winter, the Zegrzynski Reservoir usually freezes over to become a paradise for ice skaters.
    • A scattering of villages around the lake offer spa facilities, and in summer there are open-air movies screened on the beach.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #142 of 368 things to do in Warsaw
    • Crowded, with limited water access 24/07/2015
    • Why go there ? 03/02/2014
    • Zalew Zegrzynski
    Address:
    Nieporet
    Warsaw 05-126
    Poland
    Other:
  • Biebrza National Park
    National Parks, Nature & Wildlife Areas
    Sasha H Says:

    Poland’s largest national park sits along the River Biebrza, a patchwork of marshy flatlands, agricultural fields and pine forests carefully protected for its increasing numbers of elk (moose) as well as the 200 different species of wading birds that congregate here in their hundreds of thousands when migrating in spring. It’s also the place to spot red deer, hare, wild boar, badgers and beavers in the remote wetland landscape, while rumor has it that wolves and even a couple of solitary lynx have made a return to the park.

    Tips
    • There are plenty of accommodation options in Biebrza National Park, from campsites to low-key hostels.
    • The traditional wooden pub of Dwór Dobarz is the perfect choice for supper after a day in the open air; sample the smoczki (pork meatballs) along with local vodkas flavored with bison grass.
    • If you are visiting in anything other than the snowy winter, be sure to carry plenty of mosquito repellant.
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 2 things to do in Goniadz
    • Beauty of the forest 02/09/2018
    • Biebrza National Park 12/08/2018
    • Biebrza National Park
    Address:
    Osowiec-Fortress 8
    Goniadz 19-110
    Poland
    Phone:
    +48 85 738 06 20
    Other:
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