The Top 15 Free Things To Do In Warsaw
Warsaw is a capital city found in the eastern-central part of Poland. This city is known to be indestructible, as it has been destroyed almost entirely during wartime but always seems to rise again, giving it the nickname of Phoenix City. Although not much of the original city remains, you can experience what life was like in the historical Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Traveling to Warsaw is well worth your time, as it really is an incredible city. If you are vacationing on a budget you will be happy to know that Warsaw offers many free things to do, so you can have a great experience while saving money. You won't want to worry about your bags while you are out exploring; leave your things at a luggage storage service in Warsaw and see the city without the burden of bags.
Visit the Podzamcze Multimedia Fountain Park
Warsaw's dancing fountain opened in 2011 and is a fun and free activity for you to enjoy. This riverside fountain show is located in the center of the Old Town and a popular spot for locals and tourists to gather during the warm summer months. The fountains put on an impressive performance with lights, water spouts, fog and music.
The fountain can shoot up to several meters high and you can get a nice view of the show from the grassy slope overlooking the area. The best shows are put on every Friday and Saturday from May to September. In the wintertime the show still goes on, but only with lights since the water will freeze.
Attend a Free Museum
Warsaw has done a great job of offering free entry to their historical attractions like museums. Each major museum takes a different day in the week where they offer free entry, so you can spend a whole week seeing exhibits around the city without paying a dime. There are also six museums that are open to the public every day of the week, including the Warsaw Geological Museum and the Asia and Pacific Museum.
Currently, the list of museums open for free on individual days of the week is as follows: on Mondays, it is the Poster Museum and Warsaw Railway Museum, on Tuesdays you can see the National Museum in Warsaw and the Museum of Caricature and on Wednesdays, it is the turn of the Royal Castle in Warsaw. On Thursdays, you can the Museum of Warsaw, the National Gallery of Art, and the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews as well as several others. On Saturdays, the list includes the Polish Army Museum and Museum of Sport and Tourism, and finally, on Sundays, you can visit the Warsaw Rising Museum, Fryderyk Chopin Museum in Warsaw and the State Archeological Museum in Warsaw for free.
Watch Street Performers
Are you looking for things to do with the kids? Street performers are fairly common around the city and can be quite impressive to watch. Warsaw is home to some very friendly and talented people who can amuse and entertain everyone who passes them by on the streets.
One of the best places to find performers are by Sigismund's Column, and most shows begin just before the sun sets. Watching people perform is an authentic European experience and is a great way to be a part of Warsaw culture.
Take a Walk Along the Royal Route
This pathway, locally known as Trakt Królewski, is one of the most spectacular free things to do in Warsaw. The whole route will begin at the Old Town and will take you towards the southern part of the city for more than a mile.
On your walk, you will pass by some of the town's top historic sites. A couple of the stops on your way will include the University of Warsaw's campus, the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Royal Łazienki Park, the Church of Saint Anne, the Nicolaus Copernicus monument and the Three Crosses Square by Saint Alexander's Church.
Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art
Modern art lovers will enjoy this free activity, and the gallery is housed in a stunning castle that dates back all the way to 1730. The palace barely survived attacks from the Nazis, and had to be torn down and rebuilt after the reign of the communist authorities.
After being transformed into a military theater, the palace was returned to its original use as a gallery in 1970. Since then the establishment has been home to permanent collections and temporary exhibitions displaying beautiful art from Poland. On site, there is also a reading room, bookstore and cinema.
Take a Free Guided Walkative! Tour
Do you like to hike and walk? One of the best parts about Warsaw is the rich history and culture that you can experience. Even just by walking around town, you can see some beautiful architectural buildings, small streets and alleyways, green spaces and cultural festivals to explore.
You will be pleased to discover that most of the biggest tourist attractions and areas in Warsaw give free guided tours from a company called Walkative!. The scheduled tours are offered under these different topics; Historic Old Town, Communist Warsaw, Alternative Warsaw, Warsaw at War, Jewish Warsaw and Warsaw Street Art.
See a Łazienki Park Summer Concert
There are lots of great things to see at Łazienki Park, like the Fryderyk Chopin Monument that was built in dedication to the talented Polish composer. The statue was first created in 1926 but was destroyed by the Nazis and eventually had to be reconstructed.
Free Chopin concerts from pianists are often held at this location, taking place each Sunday between the middle of May to the end of September usually at lunch time and then later again in the afternoon. The concerts are popular among the city residents and tourists alike, and each one lasts for about an hour.
Browse the Bazar Olimpia
Bazar Olimpia is the best flea market in the city and is free for anyone to visit. This market is open every week on Sunday morning and has become a sort of tradition for the citizens of Warsaw. The market first began in the 1990s and has grown significantly in size and popularity over the years.
The people who frequent the village use it to buy and to sell things too, and the fun thing is that you never know what you might find when you arrive as the things being sold can change every week. It is an entertaining place to browse or to find a unique item to keep as a souvenir of your vacation.
Spend a Day at the Vistula Beaches
The beaches have been a permanent part of Warsaw and one of the most stunning places in the city. At the beach, you will find one of the city's famous Warsaw Mermaid statues, which have become a local symbol and place of pride for the citizens.
Family and friends gather in groups here to relax on the sandy beaches, swim in the water or watch a beautiful sunset. The beach is always evolving with new bars opening and beach chairs being added. The beach is located near the city center so it is easy to get to and can serve as a nice break between your usual historical attractions.
See the Warsaw University Library and Garden
The Warsaw University is a popular spot not only for its education and classes but also for its impressive library and even more stunning roof garden. You will find nicely kept plants and flora on the roof of the university library, also serving as a fabulous spot to catch a view of the city.
While the upper garden has the best colorful plants, you can see a nice fish pond and greenspaces at the lower garden. Of all the Warsaw rooftop gardens this one is by far the best and makes for a great location for social gatherings.
Visit the Royal Castle and Gallery
Warsaw's Royal Castle is impressive to see on its own, with its red brick color and beautiful architecture. Now the east wing of the building has been transformed into a permanent art gallery displaying the most impressive works taken from around the property. Among the collection of paintings is the Girl in a Picture and The Scholar at the Lectern, both painted by Rembrandt.
A portion of 37 pieces was donated to the palace by Countess Karolina Lanchkorońska who was a survivor of a concentration camp and a Polish resistance fighter. Portraits dating from the 16th and 17th centuries are also found here and are displayed strategically for everyone to enjoy with free admission every Wednesday.
Explore the Jewish Historical Institute
This is one of the Warsaw free activities that focus on the Jewish people of Warsaw and the city's past. The building that houses the museum is impressive as it stood strong during World War II, although it is clear that the institute has been through a lot.
The establishment, which first opened in 1948, has an impressive selection of permanent and traveling exhibits. The newest displays are dedicated towards the creators of the Warsaw ghetto uprising as well as the people who lived through the holocaust.
Visit Pawiak Prison
Fans of Polish history visiting Warsaw will be intrigued by visiting the Pawiak Prison, which dates back to the 1830s. The building served as a detainment center for Tsarist and was used by the Gestapo during the Second World War. Over 100,000 inmates were brought through this prison throughout the time of the Nazi occupation, making it the biggest political prison in Poland of its time.
This place represents a dark part of Polish history, as more than 37,000 of its prisoners were killed within the prison gates and an estimated 60,000 were sent to their deaths in extermination camps. The prison now serves as a memorial and displays different objects and belongings from past inmates. This place is free to explore every week on Thursdays.
Go to the National Bank of Poland Money Center
This place, which serves as the headquarters of the National Bank of Poland, is surprisingly one of the most impressive museums in the city. You will have to visit the museum in person to believe how interesting the history of economics can really be.
The building and its exhibits are modern, and with the use of multimedia attractions and interactive exhibits, you will learn about the way that economics have worked throughout the years, from ancient civilizations to modern day cities. You can learn about money itself as well as how the system works in our society.
Check Out the Warsaw Citadel
Also free on Thursdays, the Warsaw Citadel is another place that can teach you about a different part of Warsaw's history. It is centered around the 1830 November Insurrection that once served as a fortress of a Russian garrison as well as an execution ground and political prison.
In total, about 40,000 prisoners made their way through the gates and more than 16,000 troops were housed here. The Katyń Museum can be found here in the South wing as well as the Galeria Brama Bielańska in the North wing. The whole area, which has been well preserved and refurbished, displays firearms and prison relics among paintings and different artworks.
Experiencing Warsaw While Saving Money
As with most major cities, Warsaw has an impressive selection of things to do for cheap, or even completely free. Fly into Warsaw Airport to begin your amazing holiday in Poland! Take the time to appreciate the Neoclassical facade on the Old Town buildings, relax on one of the three beaches like the coast of the Vistula river, see some of the top Warsaw sites along the Royal Route like the Holy Cross Church, or visit some of the Polish culture museums like the Warsaw Uprising Museum. Nearly every inch of the entire city from the East side to the West is covered by granite sculptures, green spaces along beautiful natural river banks and other places that you can visit while saving money too.