By Rachael Funk
Poland’s sweeping capital city has everything: a storied history, top-notch dining, a burgeoning nightlife, and unforgettable architecture. A bustling center of culture and science, Warsaw has something to offer everyone, including travelers who want a spectacular vacation that doesn’t break the bank. You won’t regret adding these free activities to your schedule!
1. Stroll Warsaw University’s gardens
If rooftop gardens make your heart flutter, Warsaw University is a mandatory stop during your visit. The university’s library building boasts a lush two-level rooftop garden, replete with sculptures, footpaths, streams, bridges, and two acres of sprawling plant life. What, do you need a fishpond, too? Yeah, they’ve got one. Do you want panoramic views of lower Warsaw? You can get those here, too! Whether you want a romantic few hours with your partner or are looking for a postcard-perfect venue to take in the glory of Warsaw, this is one place you’ll definitely want to visit.
2. Take part in the city’s “Admission Free November” events
Skip the entry fees while visiting some of Warsaw’s best parks, royal residences, exhibitions, workshops, lectures, and museum lessons. Though there’s no charge for them, you do still have to pick up free entry tickets at each respective ticket office, and be sure to visit Warsaw’s official tourism website for full details.
3. Explore the Old Town
A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most happening areas of the city, Warsaw’s Old Town is a historic district filled with restaurants, art galleries, shops, and cafes. Soak up the lively atmosphere in this area as you window shop and get to know the city. Complimentary walking tours are also available, but don’t skip tipping your guide!
4. Take in the architecture in the Marszałkowska Housing District
Also called the MDM, this neighborhood lives in the heart of Warsaw. Built by the Party as a showpiece district in which to house good communists, the MDM is a pristine example of early socialist-realist architecture. Be sure not to miss the 1950s sculptures in Constitution Square!
5. While away a Sunday morning at Bazar Olimpia
There’s no better way to take in the sights and sounds of the city life than by perusing the local flea market! Considered the best flea market in Warsaw, you can sift through the goods, people watch, or snap a few vacation photos while you’re there.
6. Then hit the Warsaw Uprising Museum
Not just the Warsaw Uprising Museum, but several others in the city are also admission-free on Sundays! The National Museum is one of Poland’s oldest museums and offers free admission on Tuesdays. You can find the free museum day schedule here.
7. Walk the Royal Route
Slide into your comfiest walking shoes, grab your camera, and get to walkin’! This 6-mile walking route begins in the Old Town and leads you by some of the area’s most iconic sites such as Lazienki Park, Wilanow Palace, and the Royal Castle.
8. Meander the restored Royal Castle
Now offering free entry on Sundays and Wednesdays (depending on when you visit), The Royal Castle in Warsaw is bursting with history and exhibitions. From the Oval Gallery to the Throne Room, you can enjoy a self-guided tour through one of the city’s most-visited attractions. Be sure to check The Royal Palace’s website before you arrive to make sure you’ve chosen the correct day for free entry!
9. See the Dancing Fountain
If you are visiting in the months between spring and summer, head over to Multimedialny Park Fontann. Nestled in the middle of the city between the Old Town and the Vistula River, this water and light show is wildly popular. You can catch a show every Friday and Saturday at 9pm usually between the beginning of May and the end of September. Show up early to claim a good spot – people cram in for every show.
10. Soak up the sun at the Vistula beaches
Just because Warsaw is landlocked doesn’t mean you can’t get sand and sun! On the east side of the Vistula River, three beaches are connected by pathways you can bike, jog, or walk. In the summer, the beaches are open from 9am – 8pm. Chairs are available for rent, but it’s up to you if you want to secure a seat or meander the bars set up along the riverside.