Discover Warsaw in 2 Days with a Free Walking Tour
Discover the best of Warsaw in 2 days with a free walking tour through the Royal Route.
Traveling to Europe represents the opportunity to discover fascinating destinations, full of history and natural or architectural beauty. European cities are ideal places for travelers in search of new adventures, since exploring its streets is already a great experience in itself. In previous articles we have suggested you to visit cities like Berlin, Viena or Budapest, but this time the chosen destination is the capital of Poland: Warsaw.
Why Visit Warsaw?
Poland’s capital, located in the heart of the country, is one of the most important witnesses of twentieth century history. For this reason, it had to be reconstructed to rise from its ashes. DINKtravelers, your world travel guide, invites you to visit the Warsaw Old Town and discover its most iconic monuments.
Warsaw Old Town
Warsaw Old Town, also known as the Stare Miasto, is the Historic Center of the Polish capital. It is also the oldest neighborhood in the city.
After the proclamation of the Polish Popular Republic, in 1945, an office specialized in urban reconstruction was created. Its purpose was to restore the city’s historical sites to their original state. Among these, there were streets, government buildings and churches. Later, in 1989, the Stare Miasto was listed by UNESCO as World Heritage. It received this acknowledgement for being an “outstanding example of an almost complete reconstruction of a historical sequence that goes from the thirteenth to the twentieth century”.
The Royal Route in Warsaw
This historic route is 10 km long heading south. It covers numerous iconic buildings in Warsaw. It was first used in the sixteenth century by the Polish royalty to get from the Royal Castle in the city to its country houses.
Due to its historical importance, the Stare Miasto of Warsaw has become one of the main attractions of the capital of Poland. That is why we have prepared for you a two-day free walking tour through the Royal Route in Warsaw.
Day 1: Must-See Places in Warsaw Old Town
The route begins at Castle Square, which is surrounded by a series of historic homes. There you’ll find the column dedicated to Sigmund III, one of Warsaw’s most representative symbols. It dates back to 1644, and it was erected after the capital city was changed from Poland to Warsaw.
The Royal Castle in Warsaw
At the square you’ll also find the Royal Castle – Zamek Królewski Warszawie, in Polish– facing the Vistula River. It was used as a royal residence until the eighteenth century. Then it became the seat of the Parliament and a cultural center. In 1939, the site was bombarded by the Nazis. It has Baroque and Neoclassical elements. Its rectangular façade faces west and it has a wide yard. One of the façade’s main elements is the Clock Tower, located at the main entrance. It is 60 meters high and has a green dome.
Complement your visit with a walk along the palace’s halls and courtyards. Admire the magnificent rug collection brought directly from the Middle East.
Saint John’s Archcathedral of Warsaw
The next site in the tour is the Cathedral of St. John of Warsaw. It was originally built in the fourteenth century in Gothic style. Almost 90% of it was built by the Nazis in the twentieth century. It used to be connected with the Royal Castle. Moreover, many monarchs were crowned and buried there. It’s also considered one of the oldest churches in the city, and it is a huge promoter of sacred music. Actually, if you visit it during the summer, you’ll be able to attend an organ concert and listen to Johann Sebastian Bach’s wonderful Ave Maria.
To top it all off, stop at Market Square in the Stare Miasto. It’s a place full of treats, snacks and typical Polish dishes for you to try.
Day 2: Łazienki Royal Park in Warsaw
For the second day of the tour we recommend you visit the southern part of the Royal Route in the Old Town of Warsaw. Walking down Belwederska Street you’ll reach the Łazienki Royal Park. It extends over 76 hectares full of royal buildings. It also has a park with gardens of many styles. Inside the palace there are several exhibitions of paintings, sculptures and graphic arts. Moreover, inside the historical buildings you’ll find the Myslewicki Palace, the White Pavilion and the Orangerie. You can also find the Amphitheater and the Island Palace, one of Warsaw’s most iconic attractions.
The Royal Park Gardens
The Royal Park Gardens are divided according to the different historical times in which they were built. Specifically, the Royal Garden dates back to the eigteenth century. It has two ponds connected by canals, cascades and different types of trees. The Belvedere or Romantic Garden dates back to the nineteenth century and has several different pavilions. However, its most emblematic spot is Lake Belvedere. Finally, don’t miss the chance to visit the twentieth century Modernist Garden. It’s divided into several different areas. Here you’ll find one of the most visited monuments of the park: the sculpture of the composer and pianist Frederic Chopin.
Basic Tips for Visiting Warsaw
- Opening hours of Warsaw’s Royal Castle: Oct-Apr from Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00 to 16:00 h; Sunday 11:00 to 16:00 h. May-Sept from Monday to Wednesday 10:00 to 18:00, Thursdays 10:00 to 20:00 h. Friday and Saturday 10:00 to 18:00 h, Sunday 11:00 to 18:00 h. Ticket cost: 30 PLN, equivalent to 8.36 USD.
- Opening hours of the Łazienki Royal Park and Palace: Mondays 11:00 to 16:00 h; Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 16:00 h. Entrance to the gardens is free. Tickets for the other areas cost between 10-25 PLN (2.78 – 9.97 USD).
- Łazienki Royal Park is huge, so we recommend you visit the areas of the Palace that interest you the most so you have more time to explore the gardens.
- If you have time, visit Wilanow Gardens. During the Christmas holidays, there’s a lights and music show.
- Warsaw has very efficient public transport. You can reach all the aforementioned places by bus.
With these 2 days of free walking tour in Warsaw Old Town, enjoy the best of the Polish capital in your next vacation. You’ll probably need more than two days to see all this city has to offer. However, your visit to the Warsaw Old Town through the Royal Route is a good starting point. We know you’ll want to take lots of pictures in Warsaw Old Town and Łazienki Royal Park, so follow our tips and share your best photos with us.