The 15 Best Day Trips from Warsaw, Poland

There’s no question that Warsaw is one of Poland’s most popular tourist destinations, and its attention only seems to grow larger with every passing year. 

Warsaw hosts an abundance of historical monuments, interesting museums, lively bars, and easy access to nearby cities and parks. 

If you’re spending time in Warsaw, check out these 15 day trips that will bring Poland’s history and culture to the next level. 

Table of Contents

1. Kazimierz Dolny

With its small-town charm and historic significance, it’s surprising that Kazimierz Dolny doesn’t see a massive influx of tourists. 

Take a step back in time by visiting Old Town Square where you can check out the historic well at its center and stroll amongst the many shops, restaurants, and cafes. There are quite a few bars around the square that seem to have a lively scene, regardless of the time of day. 

Hidden on the outskirts of town lies the Korzeniowy Dol Gorge, a beautiful sight of greenery with a plenty of hiking trails. 

Admire the structure of the Church of St. John, which dates back to the early 1600s and is a fine example of Renaissance architecture. For something even more ancient, wander through the ruins of a historic Poland castle and learn of its significance along the way. 

2. Gdansk

The seaside village of Gdansk is everything you’d hope it would be and more with its bright colored buildings, rich history, and waterfront shopping. 

Start your journey by going for a stroll down Dluga Street and admiring the vibrant, exquisitely detailed structures throughout the historic center. See how many gargoyles you can spot along your travels, as they appear to be the icon of the city. 

Window shop along Mariacka Street to see stunning pieces of amber usually embedded in handcrafted jewelry. 

A newer edition to the city, European Solidarity Centre, is a great place to dive deep into the history of the country and pay your respects to the many soldiers that have died over the centuries. 

Walk below the high ceilings of the Kościół Mariack church and climb the stairs to the top for a miraculous view of the city. 

Grab a coffee or stop for lunch along Dlugie Pobrzeze, where every establishment has spectacular waterfront views and laid-back vibes. 

3. Mazury

The massive region is over a thousand miles long, but the real highlights can be found along the iconic, glacier-carved lakes in the Masurian lake district

Spend a few hours exploring the luxurious village of Mikołajki, and keep your eyes peeled for native celebrities while you hop between bars, restaurants, and shops. 

The small historic settlement, Folwark Łuknajno is the best place to sample some of the most authentic Polish cuisines while you enjoy views of both the Śniardwy and Łuknajno lake. 

Explore the countryside on horseback in Gałkowo, and stop by Potocki Restaurant for a simple yet flavorful meal. 

A trip to Poland wouldn’t be complete without indulging in the country’s pierogies, and the number one place to sample these tasty dumplings is in the town of Osiniak-Piotrowo. Here you’ll find Pierogi u Ewy where the pierogies are made fresh each day and you’ll have your pick of a variety of fillings. 

Kayak along the Krutynia River, immerse yourself in history at Wojnowo, and visit Hitler’s lair in Gierłoż – the list can go on for days. 

4. Krakow

Known as one of the main locations taken over by the Nazis in World War II, Krakow is one of the most popular cities to visit in Poland for its historical significance alone. 

Before diving into the city’s more unfortunate history, stop by Old Krakow to walk amongst the largest market square in the continent, enjoy live entertainment presented by local artists, and take in the breathtaking views of the city from atop of St. Mary’s Basilica. Take a tour of the Wieliczka Salt Mine located underground with impressive rock-carved chapels and tranquil, clear water lakes. 

Visit the Jewish Quarter, Kazimierz, where you can taste delicious Jewish cuisine, take in the street art, and visit the Schindler’s List Passage

Many visitors are drawn to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp to pay their respects to the many that died during its tragic events. Walk amongst the ruins of its gas chambers and prison blocks as you learn more about the gruesome period through artifacts, documents, and pictures. 

As morbid and solemn as it may feel, it’s an important part of history and serves as a reminder to never allow such horrid things to happen again. 

5. Lodz 

Hidden in the shadows of more populated cities like Warsaw and Krakow, Łódź has a small number of visitors but a large number of attractions. 

Visit one of the oldest modern art-based museums in all of the world at Muzeum Sztuki, and admire the extensive collection of 20th and 21st-century art from around the globe. 

There are quite a few parks to explore in the city, but one that stands out amongst the rest is Mickiewicza Park with its vast lake, many bird species, and rotating concerts. 

Piotrkowska Street is the central hub of Łódź and boasts multiple historic squares, statues, and museums – and a wonderful selection of restaurants, bars, and cafes, varying from quick bites to fine dining. 

6. Poznan

Known as the capital city of Wielkopolska, Poznań has managed to maintain its old-time atmosphere as it continues to grow its vibrant scene. 

However you decide to map out your day, make sure to be at the Old Market Square before noon to see the adorable mechanical goats pop out and dance to the bugle call when the clock strikes twelve. 

Walk the ground of Poznan’s widest park, Citadel Park, to admire ancient statues and pop into one of the two museums on site. 

If you are visiting on the shortest night in June, you’re in for a wonderful treat as the night sky is lit up with Chinese lanterns to commemorate long-lasting love. 

A strange yet tasty experience waits for you at the Croissant Museum where you can learn the process of making these classic treats before munching on one yourself. 

The town may be small, but the nightlife is booming with many bars, clubs, and breweries inviting you for a drink. 

7. Bialowieza National Park

Considered to be the last surviving of the ancient forests in Europe, the national park has since been established as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Because of its rarity, a permit is required to enter the park and trips will need to be done with a guide educated in preservation. 

The real gem is walking amongst the national park’s many nature trails completely untouched by humans for over 800 years, but if you’re unable to reserve a guide, you can still get a glimpse into the forest by visiting the State Forest of Bialowieza which borders the national park and is open to the public.

Many species of animals, unique to the park, can be spotted along your travels, but the fan-favorite is the European bison. These creatures might be the largest on the continent, but spotting one can be difficult if you aren’t prepared to get up before the crack of dawn. 

If you’re unable to catch a glimpse of the bison out in the wild, you can always opt for a visit to the European Bison Show Reserve. 

8. Płock

Nestled along the flowing river of Wisła, Płock is the perfect place to enjoy a day of sightseeing, eating, and drinking along the waterfront. 

The Old Market Square houses the stunning city hall building with its gushing fountain and impressive clock tower. Just a few steps away you’ll find the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Masovia with its unique shape and massive size. 

Grab a bite to eat at Molo Cafe and watch the sun set over the longest river in the country before partaking in a night of bar hopping. 

If you prefer a fine dining experience, look no further than Karczma Pod Strzechą where you can sit out on the patio on a nice night and enjoy a multi-course meal of authentic Polish cuisine. 

9. Lublin

By far one of the most underrated destinations in Poland, most people who have visited Lublin end up falling in love with the scenery. 

Admire the roots of the city in the old town where you will find medieval structures and historic gates dating back to the 1300s. 

Visit the Lublin Museum to walk inside one of the oldest, most well-preserved castles in all of Poland and learn about its many uses including a royal home, a Russian prison, and a Nazi concentration camp. 

After you’ve spent a few hours exploring the historic parts of town, you’ll be caught off guard by the vibrantly modern street of Krakowskie Przedmieście and its many lively shops. 

10. Zegrze Lake

Although Zegrze Lake is completely man-made, it’s one of the most beautiful bodies of water in Poland, attracting many tourists thanks to its close proximity to the capital. The lake stretches out over 20 miles and has three large beaches along its shores:

  • On the southern end of the lake, you’ll find Wild Beach with its large variety of amenities. Sunbathe on the sand, swim with the security of lifeguards, and bike along the path that borders it. 
  • For a more secluded beach, make your way over to Serock where you’ll have access to amenities like bathrooms, changing stalls, and a pier. 
  • Wieliszew Beach is by far the largest of the beaches, and is home to many organized volleyball tournaments and nightly movie showings.  

11. Wilanow Palace

Established as a museum in 1805, the palace has been passed down from one royal family to another since the late 1600s. 

The museum is two stories tall with it’s main attractions on the ground level; you’ll be able to see how royalty lived centuries ago. The most extravagant of the rooms is the White Hall. Its intricate chandelier is a centerpiece and perfectly placed mirrors make the room appear double in size. 

You will also get to walk through the library, the royal bedroom, the chapel, and the massive vestibule. 

12. Toruń

One of the few cities that survived World War II, Toruń is a medieval city by nature and its streets are oozing with history. 

The Old Town is considered to be one of the seven Poland wonders, and is lined with historic monuments and beautiful churches. 

Head over to Pod Krzywą Wieżą street to see Poland’s version of the leaning Tower of Pisa. Take a guided or self-led tour of the Teutonic Knights Castle, and venture through 13th-century ruins. 

Grab a quick bite to eat Bar Mleczny Pod Arkadami where you can enjoy a cheap dish of classic Polish cuisine in a lively atmosphere. 

13. Kampinos National Park

Known for being the most popular national park in Poland, Kampinos is home to a diverse environment ranging from swamps to sand dunes. Walk along one of the many hiking trails to admire how quickly the park transforms from marshlands, to thick forests, to dunes, and back again. With so many habitats it’s no wonder that the park houses over 80 endangered species. 

For a bit of history, visit the 54 graves of Polish soldiers who devoted their lives to the Independence of Poland. 

14. Bialystok

One of the largest cities in northern Poland, Bialystok is overflowing with unique attractions that will keep any traveler busy for weeks. 

The highlight of the city is the Branicki Palace, with its 18th-century architecture and extensive grounds. Take a guided tour to get up close and personal with the gardens, fountains, pavilions, and grand rooms. 

Catch a show at the Białystok Puppet Theatre or opt for a tour of the puppet cellar to see where the magic happens. 

Walk amongst the 20 exhibits at the Arsenal Gallery to admire some of Poland’s finest pieces of artwork, varying from sculptures to films.

15. Olsztyn

Surrounded by 10 pristine lakes, the capital of the Warmia-Masuria Province is small in size but boasts big city vibes. 

Imagine what life was like in the mid-1300s for the Teutonic Knights as you venture through the historic Olsztyn Castle

Pay a visit to the largest lake in the city, Lake Ukiel, and choose between hiking trails, beaches, and local restaurants. 

Walk through the gates of the Old Town, known as Wysoka Brama, and explore through restaurants, cafes, shops, and bars. While you’re there, wander over to one of the two town halls for a chance to observe one of the local meetings.