Warsaw, also known as Phoenix City and Paris of the North, is an incredible Polish city with an interesting past and modern attractions. The city has been through a lot and was almost completely destroyed during the second World War, but it was promptly rebuilt and now stands as the capital of Poland.
If you are taking a family vacation to this historically rich beautiful city, there are some things that you just have to do! It can be hard to find interesting attractions for people of all ages, but if you follow this guide you will have no problem coming up with fun family activities in the city. Before you go off on your adventure, leave everyone's bags and backpacks in a Warsaw luggage storage locker. Don't let heavy bags slow you down!
Tour the Old Town by Bus
If you want to do some sightseeing but have some younger children with you, it can be hard to walk around Warsaw. The Warsaw hop-on, hop-off bus tour is the perfect solution for you and allows you to visit all of the historic landmarks without having to walk or commute around town. There are two different routes offered, so make sure to choose the one that interests you the most.
During your ride on the open-top bus, you will have full commentary teaching you fun facts about the city. Some of the top sights that you will see include the Palace of Culture and Science, which is the city's tallest building and also where the tour begins. The bus also takes you to the Warsaw Uprising Museum, Castle Square, National Museum, Three Crosses Square and many more attractions.
Learn at the Copernicus Science Center
The Copernicus Science Centre is the biggest of its kind in all of Europe and a truly impressive activity in Warsaw. The establishment is divided into six different sections that have a total of 400 unique displays for you and your family to explore.
You will recognize the huge building as it is made mostly out of glass. Visitors will learn about different topics like biology, music, mathematics, architecture, science and people. It will take about two to three hours to get through this activity and by the end of it, you will have learned something new and created fun memories with the whole family.
See the Historical Chopin Monument
The Chopin Monument is a tribute to the Polish composer and pianist, Frederic Chopin. The large statue of the artist is featured in a beautiful green park that would also make a wonderful spot for taking a stroll, going for a bike ride, or just relaxing on one of the benches.
In the warmer months, you can sit by the pond or explore the flower gardens, or pack a lunch and have a picnic. While you are here you just have to sit in the dedicated Chopin Bench, which has a small speaker that plays some of his music.
See Amazing Creatures at the Warsaw Zoo
This is one of the top Warsaw attractions the entire family can enjoy. Kids will love to see all of the marvelous animals and adults will have a great time too. The Warsaw zoo offers a fun experience with 12,000 animals from about 500 different species, comfortably living in enclosures mirroring their real ecosystems.
Almost 50 of the species here are under the European Animal Protection Program and the zoo is doing its best to protect the species and promote sustainability. Some of the animals that you can see here include meerkats, giraffes, tropical birds, cheetahs, monkeys, bears, and kangaroos.
Play the Muranów District Exploration Game
You can learn all about the impact of World War II on Poland in a fun and creative way at the Muranów District Exploration Game. This is one of the tourist attractions that anybody will enjoy, as it will take your family on a journey to find clues and solve puzzles.
The game is a mixture between an outdoor escape game and a treasure, and you can all choose to work together or individually to see who can reach the end first and win. You will need to download the app to get clues for the hunt and can make your way through the game at your own pace. On average, this activity should take you about an hour and a half.
See the Incredible Museum of King Jan III's Palace
People who are visiting Warsaw should stop by at least one royal castle, and there are so many great ones scattered throughout the city. The Museum of King Jan III's Palace is in a beautiful historical building that you can walk through and see some intricately furnished rooms like The White Room, The Kings Library and the Great Hall.
Step outside of the building to experience the garden complex, which is a beautifully preserved area with trees, grass and several gardens to explore. The Northern Garden is where King Jan III used to grow fruits and vegetables but was later transformed into a decorative garden in the 18th century. You will also be amazed by the Rose Garden, Baroque Garden and Northern Landscape Park, which are a few of the other natural areas that make up the palace grounds.
Go to the new Multimedia Fountain Park
This is a fun excursion for families to do when they visit Warsaw. The Multimedia Fountain Park was opened in 2011 and can be reached by a short walk North of the Old Town square. The park's main attraction is the fountain display found in the center which awes guests with a combination of lights, music and waterworks.
The best time to visit is during the summer when the park offers night shows so you can really see the impressive lights. The surrounding park also boasts statues and other artistic displays, and its location in the city center makes it a nice stop between other activities.
Visit the Historic Old Town Market Square
One place worth stopping by on your tour around town is the Old Town Market Square. The whole area of this UNESCO World Heritage Site was made to represent the city and how it was before the Nazi occupation. The impressive architectural buildings found between the cobblestone alleys offer quite the experience.
You can find lots of things to do just by walking around the area, as the whole Warsaw Old Town Square is filled with little shops, restaurants and entertainment. You will have a great time seeing all of the individual statues that each have their own unique history. The Warsaw residents that you encounter here are all friendly too, and it is the best place to catch a glimpse into the city's past.
Learn Something New at the Warsaw Rising Museum
This museum was first opened on the day of the 60th anniversary of Warsaw's uprising. The building tells the story of how Warsaw's people fought and died for the independence of Poland and the exhibitions displayed here will be a favorite among history buffs.
The museum can tell you about what life was like during the uprising and the post-war time after the Communist regime reigned. The whole establishment takes up about 3,000 square meters of space with more than 800 items and 1,500 photographs mixed in with film clips and recordings. Touring the museum will bring you through the events that led to the uprising in chronological order.
Walk Through the Gardens of Saxon Palace
This area is a magnificent park featuring shady areas to relax, geometric flower beds, nice paths to follow and an impressive fountain in the center. Baroque statues also stand around the greenspace, one of which is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The park was opened in the late 17th century making it one of the oldest public greenspaces in Warsaw. Learn about Polish culture and history here by reading through the signs accompanying each statue or display.
Go to the University of Warsaw Library
This is one of the city's hidden gems and makes the list of surprisingly fun Warsaw activities. Although you may not be able to enter the library itself since passes are usually required, the grounds of the establishment are beautiful and worth the experience themselves.
You can admire the copper green building from the outside as you walk around the park, and be sure to make your way up to the roof before you leave. The gardens extend to this area on top of the university library where you can see some nice plants and an impressive view of the city.
Explore the Museum World of Illusion
Both teens and adults will love to explore the Museum World of Illusion in Warsaw which has a collection of displays with optical illusions and displays that question the laws of physics.
Challenge your perception of reality at this museum which is found nearby in the Old Town. Among the different displays, you will find a Vortex Tunnel, Mirror Room, Ames Room and many more.
Visit the Polish Army Museum
This museum is popular among tourists and has a collection of artifacts and displays dedicated to military pieces. In total there are about 250,000 exhibits in this building with more items being added or donated every day.
There are several permanent and temporary exhibitions that change regularly, so there is always something new going on at the Polish Army Museum. On the site, there is also a professional library and specialist workshop where the artifacts that are brought in are treated and preserved.
Do Some Shopping at the Westfield Arkadia Shopping Mall
Warsaw has an impressive shopping scene, and one of the best malls to visit is the Arkadia Shopping Mall. You can find most of your big brand stores here as well as some nice places to eat in the cafes and restaurants.
Outside of the mall, there is a kids' playground, in case your little ones need to get rid of some energy before shopping. You can buy almost anything here, whether you want a new outfit, accessories, toys, jewelry and more.
Visit the Warsaw Railway Museum
Also known as the Stacja Muzeum, this small but impressive establishment houses some of the oldest or most unique locomotives in the city. Exhibits display small model trains, equipment and uniforms that can teach you about the history of the city's railways.
The museum itself is held in an old railway station and lets you touch and see some impressive steam and electric trains up close, making it a great spot for any big or small train enthusiasts.
What are the Best Family Activities in Warsaw?
Best Things to do with Younger Children:
- Warsaw Zoo: Zoos are always a popular activity among younger kids, and yours will love to see all of the animals in the Warsaw Zoo!
- Warsaw Railway Museum: Seeing the big and impressive trains up close can be very exciting for younger kids.
- Old Tour Bus Tour: The bus tour is a great choice for families with young children since you can hop on and off whenever you need to.
- Copernicus Science Center: The science center has activities for kids of all ages and can be a fun activity even for smaller children.
- Museum of King Jan III's Palace: This activity is fun for the whole family and younger children can enjoy exploring the castle.
Best Things to do with Older Children:
- Westfield Arkadia Shopping Mall: Older children will enjoy this activity more, as young kids can get bored shopping in the mall.
- Polish Army Museum: The polish army museum will be interesting for older audiences who can fully understand what is being explained in the displays.
- Museum World of Illusion: This activity can be fun for anyone, although younger kids may get overwhelmed by the illusions.
- Warsaw Rising Museum: This museum involves some sensitive topics depicting violent events, and might be better suited to older kids.
- Muranów District Exploration Game: Work together as a family to solve the riddles and win the game! This activity will bring you around town and can be challenging for younger players.
Free Things to do with Kids in Warsaw:
- University of Warsaw Library: You can visit the impressive rooftop gardens and the rest of the grounds for free!
- Gardens of Saxon Palace: The Saxon garden is free to explore and makes a nice spot to take a break.
- Multimedia Fountain Park: This fun attraction won't cost you anything to attend.
- Chopin Monument: You don't need a ticket to visit the Chopin Monument and can come see it anytime!
- Old Town Market Square: The Old Town Square is an active area in the city that you can visit free of charge.
Exploring Poland's Capital
Once you've landed at Warsaw Airport, gather the family's belongings and get ready for fun! There is so much to do while visiting Poland, especially in its capital city. Warsaw is full of family-friendly activities, like walking through beautiful parks or a royal garden, exploring an urban beach area, visiting historic sites, or having an educational encounter with interactive exhibits in the many museums. You and your kids can experience stunning performances by street actors, go on rope climbing adventures in exciting adventure zones or just go shopping in a mall or market. Make sure to write down some of these activities in your trip planner before taking off on your family vacation.