The 10 Best Hikes In Warsaw
When you find yourself in Warsaw, you are in a city steeped in history both tragic and uplifting, but it is also one of the prettiest cities in Europe. Historic castles and houses, and countryside that you read about in fantastic medieval times. Now the largest city in Poland, Warsaw has great areas that you just need to put on your hiking boots (or walking shoes) to explore.
But before you go trekking around Warsaw and its surrounding areas you are going to want to store your luggage or extra gear someplace safe and secure. We have you covered with one of our convenient Warsaw luggage storage locations.
Our Top Hiking Trail Picks in Warsaw
Hiking has become extremely popular in Poland, to the point where it is not just a couple of buddies going for a hike, now it is the entire family. So where do you go to find the best places in Warsaw to hike or go for a walk? Here are our top trail choices to explore in and near Warsaw.
Located in the Tatras Mountains, this is a great hike for beginners and families. The relatively easy hike takes about an hour and 15 minutes out and back with some of the most beautiful views. The trail follows a creek through the forest, that you will cross several times, and passes some small waterfalls. The elevation gain is gentle but there are a few rocky spots to navigate.
The valley is less crowded than others in the Tatras range unless there is a school trip happening. The start of the trail is on the outskirts of the town of Zakopane and at the end of the valley, there is a hut where you can rest and grab some food. There is a wonderful view of Giewont Mountain from the Strazyska Glade while you enjoy lunch. If you are up for it, hike up to the Siklawica Waterfall from the Glade, it only takes about 15 minutes.
For those looking for that nice easy stroll in the city, Lazienki Park is a great choice. The largest park in the city is filled with statues, large and small palaces, mansions, cafes, a theatre on an island, and unspoiled nature. And when the weather is nice, the park gets busy, especially on the weekends. But at 76 hectares and plenty of pathways, there is enough space for everyone.
You can wander the park yourself or take an organized walking tour to make sure you hit all the highlights, like the Palace on the Island. Believe it or not, it is only recently that you could leave the paths and walk or sit on the grass or under the trees. Today, this park is a perfect place to spend an afternoon with the kids, walking with strollers, having picnics, or enjoying a Chopin concert if you go on the weekend.
Wyzna Pass - Polonina Wetlinska Mountain
So this hike is a little further out than the norm, but a trip to the Bieszczady Mountain range is well worth the trip. The area is one of the most enchanting places in Poland. It may not be your classic giant mountain range but the combination of rolling hills and pine forest mountains will lift your soul. And besides, where else can you say that you have been to Winnie the Pooh's hut?
The hike to Chatka Puchatka (Winnie the Pooh's Hut) can be done a few ways. The easiest route is to start from the Wyzna Pass, which will take about 2 hours out and back. Or, if you go from Wetlina, it is a steeper and longer route and will take around 3.5 hours. There is a third option too: start from the Wyzna Pass and go to Wetlina.
This trail can be pretty busy as it is a favorite for beginners and the views of the Bieszczady Mountains are amazing the entire way. And no matter your starting point you will have to leave your car in the car park at Wetlina. Make sure to check the weather; although the hike is a pretty easy one, the weather can really complicate it and even make it dangerous.
Kampinoski National Park
The second-largest national park in Poland has a pretty unique feature - it borders a major city. The park starts outside the northwest city limits of Warsaw and is accessible by public transport at several points along the southern border. If you are up for a challenge, you could hike the entire length of the park which will take just over a day, for which you will need camping gear.
Most of the hiking trails in the park are considered easy to moderate. The trails are not paved and there are elevation changes when you reach the valleys. Traveling through the forest, you will have a chance to see wildlife such as moose, beavers, and cranes, not to mention many tombs and war cemeteries.
The park is full of sand dunes (yes, real sand dunes), swamps, a river, and many streams. A little surprisingly, the one thing you won't find is a lake. With such a rich abundance of flora and fauna (some endangered), the park has been recorded as a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. And with over 220 miles of trails to explore, you could spend your entire hiking vacation here exploring everything the park has to offer.
Easy Hikes in Warsaw
There are some very nice easy walking trails in and around Warsaw itself. You don't need to travel very far to find some nature and escape the city noise. It's also a great activity to enjoy for free! So if you are looking for more of a leisurely stroll through a forest than a hike up a mountain, check out these two great forests.
Only a 45-minute subway ride from the very center of Warsaw, and you are standing at the edge of a forest. The hiking trails in the forest are very easy on the legs, with very little elevation and some paved paths. The forest is home to 40 species of birds, wild boars, foxes, deer, and a diverse fauna that makes you feel like you are far beyond the city limits.
There is a 1.5-mile loop trail that will take you around the narrow lake Potocka. At the halfway point you will pass the Camaldolese Church, possibly the most beautiful of the baroque churches in Warsaw, which was built in the early 18th century. Beside it is the Main Library of Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw.
An extra bus ride (a short one) from the subway stop at Bielanski Forest, and you are in the other in-city forest in Warsaw. Like its neighbor, it has easy hiking trails for walking, running, and biking. There is one big difference, though, it is situated right beside the Vistula River. There is also a large meadow with a playground, plenty of barbequing spots, and a McDonald's if you require some fast refreshment or something to eat.
Intermediate Hikes Near Warsaw
if you are a beginner hiker and in pretty good shape, you might want something more than just a flat walk on pavement or an easy trail through the forest. So here are a couple of very popular trails in Poland that are sure to please you, even though you might have to travel a bit.
Just outside the city of Zakopane is one of the most popular mountains to hike in Poland, Giewont in the Tatras. This is a pretty trail, however, the summit can be a little tricky, especially if it is wet. Fully exposed and secured with chains, it takes some effort to get to the summit. The view is jaw-dropping, but you might have to actually stand in line for quite some time to see it.
In the summertime, the waits can be as long as 3 hours. This is because space at the top is limited, and ascending and descending the chains gets clogged up by those, not in good shape, scared, or posing with the cross at the top. It is recommended to take the 8-mile round trip during the week or in the off-season, so you can avoid large crowds and really enjoy the hike.
Heading just over 3 hours to the north of Warsaw is the fairytale-like Suwalki Region, where you will find this small volcano-shaped mountain. The view from the top is one of those magical ones that make you stop and just breathe. The trail starts in the car park in the village of Gulbienszki and is pretty easy until you get to the hill, where you must ascend steep stone steps to the top.
Once at the top, you will find benches next to the cross (commemorating Pope John Paul II's visit), to relax and drink in the view. The 3-mile out-and-back trail continues from Cisowa Gora to Kopane lake. On the way back you can skirt the mountain unless you want one more look at the valley with its hidden lakes glistening in the sunlight.
Difficult Hikes Near Warsaw
For those experienced and serious hikers, Poland has some very special and physically challenging hikes. You will have to travel a little to get to them, but if you are serious and want the best views for the maximum effort, you need to check out these trails.
Orla Perc (Eagle's Path) in the Tatras Mountains, is considered one of the most difficult trails in Poland, and it is certainly one of the most dangerous. When you find a trail secured with chains, ladders, and metal steps, you know it is an adrenaline junkie's dream hike. To make it as safe as possible, the 2.8-mile path is a one-way only trek starting in Zawrat and ending in Krzyzne.
The route was established at the start of the 20th century by Polish mountaineers to show off the beauty of the Tatra Mountains. And while it most certainly does with a literal birds-eye view of the valleys and surrounding mountains that can only be described as majestic, it has come at a price. 112 people have lost their lives to the route since it was first established, so be warned and be careful. Most of the accidents have been due to slipping on snow, ice, or wet stones, and others got lost despite the trail being clearly marked.
Tarnica and Halicz
If the last hike scared you, here is another one that is rated as difficult but more for the distance rather than the danger. Halicz and Tarnica is a 13.5-mile loop that will take you through Poland's most beautiful mountain range. It will take about 8 hours to complete, so bring plenty of water and snacks.
The hike starts in Wolosate and ends in Ustrzyki Gorne, and summits the two highest peaks in the Biezczady Mountains, Tarnica and Halicz. The route up to Tarnica is extremely popular and filled with tourists during the high season. However, the open landscape and breathtaking view make it worth the trip.
Try Warsaw's Hiking Trails
So you've landed at Warsaw Airport and now you know the best places to stretch your legs and get some fresh air in Warsaw and Poland itself. The country is a truly beautiful one, and you need to take advantage of all it has to offer. Whether hiking some of the spectacular mountains or walking in the city forests, you will love your time out in Warsaw.