Blog Article / 26 June 2021
What should you see during a layover in Warsaw? Ideas & recommendations by a local tour operator
If you are having a stopover in Warsaw and are wondering how to make the most of your time in the Polish capital, you are in the right place. Below we will tell you what you can see in the limited time you have and give you ideas for the best sightseeing routes! We will also tell you what the fastest and most convenient means of transportation is. Forget about boring time and the airport! Set off on a very compact adventure and tick one more city off your bucket list!
How much do I need to visit Warsaw during my layover?
When you have a stopover planned in Warsaw, the first thing you are probably wondering is how much time you need to even start considering leaving the airport. Please mind, in this article, we are focusing on Warsaw Chopin airport, not Modlin airport (although transits at Modlin airport are extremely rare, so you do not need to worry about it). From our experience, we suggest that you should have a minimum of 3,5 hours from the moment you leave the airport to the moment you return at the airport.
The fastest way to get to the city center from Warsaw Chopin Airport Airport is by car. With no traffic on the road, the drive itself takes around 20 minutes. However, that hardly ever happens. In order to assess how much time you need, it helps to know what time of the day you will arrive at the airport. If it is during the pick hours (7-10AM, 3-6PM) it will take you more time to get downtown (around 40 minutes one way). This leaves you around 2-2,5 hours for pure sightseeing! We do recommend booking a city tour by car with a locally knowledgeable guide. He will know how to avoid traffic and he will choose the absolute top sites for you to see, depending on your interests! Also, he will be waiting for you in the arrival hall, so you will save a lot of time avoiding things like ordering a taxi or looking for the right bus. While Warsaw city center is very well connected with the airport by public transportation, you do not want to worry about wasting any more time than you need to during your stopover or about not returning to the airport in time for your next flight.
What should I see during my layover in Warsaw?
Let us assume you have a minimum of 3,5 hours to spare from the moment you are picked up at the airport to the moment the driver drops you off at the airport. There is really a lot you can see during this time! The most important place you just cannot miss is, of course, Warsaw Old Town with the Royal Castle and the Warsaw Mermaid, as well as the Royal Route with the Presidential Palace and Warsaw University. During this time, you will also have enough time to have a nice walk in the Lazienki Royal Park, where you can take a photo of the iconic Chopin Monument and the glorious Palace on the Isle. Also, from your car window, you will definitely get to see the modern downtown with one of Warsaw’s symbols – the famous Palace of Culture and Science!
To sum up, 3,5 hours is a perfect time frame to experience Warsaw in the nutshell! If you have more time, we highly encourage you to go to the area of the former ghetto (it is located downtown) and see the remains of the ghetto wall. If you are particularly interested in WW2 history of Warsaw, you can ask your guide to take you to Krasinski Square, located very close to the Old Town. There, you will be able to learn the history of the Warsaw Uprising standing next to the monument dedicated to this event and you will even be able to see the sewer used by insurgents!
If you have more time to spare in Warsaw, it is a good idea to have lunch or dinner in the Old Town, where you can find numerous restaurants with traditional Polish food. Please remember, sometimes such restaurants can be very busy (especially at the weekends and in the evenings). As you do not want to worry about finding a table, it is a good idea to make a reservation beforehand (we can always help you with that). You can also enjoy some free time to relax, buy some souvenirs and sink into the atmosphere of the Polish capital!
What if I have less than 3 hours to spare?
If you have less time than 3 hours (from the moment you leave the airport to the moment you return at the airport), do not give up your hopes. You can still tick off some must-sees during this time. It will be probably unavoidable to omit some sites, but you can just choose the ones you want - for example, you can focus just on the Old Town and spend all your time there.
Author: Monika AB Poland Travel
Posted on: 26th June 2021
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