34 best sights in Warsaw – descriptions and photos

Warsaw sights

The best sights in Warsaw with detailed descriptions and photos. Map of places of interest and guide to Warsaw.

List of Warsaw sights.

Warsaw – the capital of Poland, a large city that combines the beauty and elegance of an ancient European city and a dynamic metropolis. Unfortunately, the historic center and most of its monuments were destroyed or damaged during World War II. Now the old city of Warsaw and its sights have been restored in the style of historical authenticity. The most interesting places of the Polish capital are located in the vicinity of the Royal Route (the route from Castle Square to Wilanów Palace).

List of popular attractions in Warsaw:

  • 1 – Old Market
  • 2 – Castle Square (Plac Zamkowy)
  • 3 – Royal Castle (Zamek Królewski w Warszawie)
  • 4 – Church of St. John the Baptist (Archikatedra św. Jana Chrzciciela)
  • 5 – Palace of Culture and Science (Pałac Kultury i Nauki)
  • 6 – Lazienkowski Palace
  • 7 – Wilanów Palace
  • 8 – Cracow Suburb
  • 9 – Church of St. Anne
  • 10 – Jewish Cemetery in Warsaw
  • 11 – Nowy Svyat
  • 12 – Holy Cross Church
  • 13 – Jablonowski Palace
  • 14 – Barbican
  • 15 – St. Florian Cathedral
  • 16 – Church of St. Kazimierz
  • 17 – Catholic Church

Map at

Warsaw City Guide

Old Market

Old Market

The Old Market is one of Warsaw’s most charming historic squares, founded in the 13th century. Up until the 18th century, this place was the main shopping center of the city. The square is surrounded by beautiful Baroque merchant houses. In the center there is a fountain with a figure of a mermaid, which is a symbol of Warsaw.

Castle Square

Castle Square

Castle Square (Plac Zamkowy) – the main square of the historic center of Warsaw, located between the Royal Palace and the Old Town. The square is shaped like a triangle, the southern side of which was previously limited to the castle wall and the Krakow Gate. Krakow Gate and part of the wall were demolished in the first half of the 19th century. Castle Square was one of the busiest places in the Polish capital. The place was fully restored only in 1988.

On the square there is a column dedicated to King Sigismund III (Kolumna Zygmunta III Wazy). The bronze statue depicts the king in a knight’s armor, holding a crooked sword and leaning on a cross with his left hand.

Royal Castle

Royal Castle

There is also the Baroque Royal Castle (Zamek Królewski w Warszawie), where Polish kings have lived for hundreds of years. The complex was built by King Sigismund in 1618 on the site of a medieval castle. During its history it was destroyed twice: by the Swedes in the 17th century and by the Germans during World War II. The castle is now a museum.

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St. John's Church

Church of St. John

Not far from the square there is the oldest church in Warsaw – St. John the Baptist Church (Archikatedra św. Jana Chrzciciela), built in 1390 from brick in the Gothic style. In 1944 the church was destroyed by the German army and was rebuilt in the post-war years in the style of historical accuracy.

Palace of Culture and Science

Palace of Culture and Science

The Palace of Culture and Science (Pałac Kultury i Nauki) is the tallest building in Warsaw and Poland, as well as one of the tallest buildings in the European Union. It is a huge Art Deco skyscraper, built in 1955 according to the design of Soviet architect Lev Rudnev as a “gift of the USSR to the Polish people”. The height of the 42-storey building is 187.68 m. On the 30th floor (at a height of 114 meters) is located observation deck. Also in the building are located: four theaters, multiplex cinema, two museums, a congress hall for 3,000 seats, government agencies, academic institutions and offices of private companies.

Lazienki Palace

Lazenkovsky Palace

Lazenkowski Palace is a charming 18th-century palace of classicist style located on an artificial island in the park of the same name. Particularly notable is its northern facade, where the main entrance with powerful Corinthian columns and a balustrade with statues of mythological figures is located. The palace has magnificent interiors decorated with paintings by Rembrandt and Rubens.

Wilanów Palace

Wilanuva Palace

Wilanów Palace is a magnificent baroque complex from the 17th century, which was designed as a summer palace for Polish kings. It is located in the southern part of the Royal Route and has luxurious interiors. Wilanów Palace was not damaged during World War II and is preserved almost in its original state.

Krakow suburb

Krakow Suburb

Krakow Predmiescie is the main street of the Polish capital, linking the Old and New Towns.

St. Anne Church

Church of St. Anne

St. Anne’s Church is one of Warsaw’s oldest monuments. This sacred monument was founded in the 15th century. In the 18th century, the church building was rebuilt in the style of classicism. The interior is Baroque in style and has impressive frescoes.

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Jewish cemetery

Jewish cemetery

The Jewish cemetery in Warsaw was founded in the early 19th century. It covers 33 hectares and is one of the largest in the world. There are more than 250,000 graves here.

Nowy Svyat

Nowy Svyat

Nowy Svyat is a historical street founded in the 16th century. It is part of the Royal Route and runs south of Krakowskie Przedmieście to Three Crosses Square.

Holy Cross Church

The Church of the Holy Cross

The Church of the Holy Cross is a Baroque monument built in the first half of the 18th century. The church was blown up by the German army and rebuilt in the postwar years.

Jablonowski Palace

Yablonowski Palace

The Yablonowski Palace was built in the late 18th century. Since 1819 it served as the town hall. The palace was destroyed in 1944 and rebuilt in 1990 according to the architectural plans of the first third of the 20th century.

Barbican

Barbican

The Barbican is one of the few remaining relics of the complex network of historic fortifications that once defended Warsaw. The Barbican was built in 1540 on the site of an old gate and is shaped as a three-tiered semi-circular bastion. It is an interesting landmark located between the Old Town and the New Town in the area of Nowomiejska Street.

Florian Cathedral

Florian Cathedral

Florian Cathedral is a brick Neo-Gothic church with two 75-meter towers, completed in 1904.

Church of St. Kazimierz

Church of St. Kazimierz

St. Kazimierz Church is a Baroque church built by the Benedictine order at the end of the 17th century. Like many landmarks in Warsaw, it was destroyed in 1944 and rebuilt after the end of World War II.

Visitation Church

Church of the Visitation

The Church of Visitation is one of Warsaw’s most famous churches with an unusual (for religious buildings in the Polish capital) rococo façade. This sacred monument was completed in the 18th century. The church is famous for the fact that the great Friderik Chopin played here for some time during Sunday services.

Interesting excursions

Warsaw Ghetto Tour

€80 per tour

Warsaw Ghetto Tour

Learn about the most tragic period of Warsaw’s Jewish history

WrocLOVE: get to know and fall in love

€65 per tour

WrocLOVE: get to know and fall in love

A soulful tour of the historic center, hidden corners and useful tips

34 best sights in Warsaw – descriptions and photos

Arguably one of the most beautiful squares in Warsaw. Along its eastern side stretches the Royal Castle, built in the early 17th century on the site of a 14th-century wooden fortress.

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Royal Castle in Warsaw

One of the most visited museums in Warsaw is the Royal Castle. It is located at Zamkowa Square, 4. The museum building is a reconstruction of the ensemble, which was completely destroyed during World War II.

Warsaw Market Square

The heart of the city is Market Square, surrounded by old houses with fancy colorful facades. The square is always crowded, with coachmen in four-wheelers waiting for their saddlers and artists selling their wares.

Stare Miasto

Warsaw’s Stare Miasto, or Starówka, is the most beautiful part of the city, and when you walk around it you cannot believe that all these buildings were erected during the last century.

Warsaw Grand Theatre

Although Poland has never been known for its opera, and even home to few internationally renowned musicians, the Warsaw Grand Theatre exceeds in size and decoration many theaters in other major opera capitals.

Warsaw Zoo

The Warsaw zoo was opened in 1929, before that there was a traveling exhibition of animals in the city for almost 60 years. Gradually it evolved: the number of inhabitants and territory increased, but everything changed in the Second World War.

Warsaw ghetto

The Warsaw ghetto is a terrible symbol of the Holocaust, one of the darkest pages of 20th century history. The largest Jewish ghetto in occupied Europe, it was created in Warsaw in 1940: a block of over 300 hectares was surrounded by a high wall of barbed wire.

Wilanów Palace

The Baroque palace and the adjoining garden are the pride of Poles. This royal residence was built in the late 17th century and was continuously expanded.

Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw

Looking at the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, you feel like you are in Moscow, not in the capital of Poland. The explanation is simple: the skyscraper, designed in the image and likeness of Stalin’s, was given to the then socialist Poland by the Soviet Union.

Historical Museum of Warsaw

Eight picturesque adjoining buildings in the center of Warsaw, at Stary Miasto, are devoted to a branch of the National Museum, called the Historical Museum of the Capital City of Warsaw. The Historical Museum of the Capital City of Warsaw is one of the most important and popular attractions in Poland.

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Sigismund’s Column

King Sigismund III of Poland himself wanted to have a column erected in his honor on the square in front of the Royal Castle. He had put down a revolt of the people dissatisfied with his policies and was very proud of himself. The column was twice as high as the present one and was made of brittle material.

Krakow Suburb

The famous Royal Route leads from Palace Square to the royal summer residence in Łazienki through one of the most beautiful streets in Warsaw – Krakowskie Przedmiescie. It features the University of Warsaw, the Radziwill Palace and the equestrian statue of Prince Jozef Poniatowski.

Lazienki

Once a country residence of the king, Lazienki is now a city park just 4.5 km from Stare Miasto. It was founded in the 17th century by order of the Hetman, first in a baroque style, and then, under the new owner, King Stanislaw August Poniatowski, it was transformed into a classic palace and park ensemble.

Lazenkovsky Palace

Lazenkovsky Palace is called the “Royal Palace on the Island”. It stands on an artificial island in the middle of the enormous Lazienki Park, the most beautiful park in Warsaw. In the late 17th century Stanislaw Lubomirski, Marshal of the court, inherited it and decided to have baths there.

Polish Army Museum

The Polish Army Museum is housed in the same building as the National Museum, with exhibits depicting the history and glorious victories of the Polish army. Here you can see the uniforms of the Polish army of different historical periods, a rich collection of armor, vestments and weapons of the Middle Ages.

Museum of Caricatures in Warsaw

It is no exaggeration to call the Museum of Caricatures, the only museum of its kind in Europe, famous as well. It is located at 11 Kozya Street. It was founded by Polish artist E. Lapinski in 1978 and is located in the place of the former gardener in the Primate’s Palace.

Marie Curie Museum

The museum dedicated to the life and work of Marie Składowska-Curie, a prominent female physicist, can be visited at 16 Freta Street. The museum exhibition gives a fairly complete picture not only of the life and work of this scientist, but also of her relationship with the people around her and the scientific world.

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Chopin Museum in Warsaw

The name of the most famous Polish composer Frederic Chopin is inextricably linked with Warsaw. The young Chopin gave his first concerts in the Ostrogski Palace, one of the most beautiful baroque buildings in the city.

National Museum in Warsaw

In 1862, the Museum of Fine Arts was founded, which later took the name of the National Museum. Its exposition was comprised of selected private collections, works of art purchased especially for the museum and those that were donated to the museum.

Presidential Palace in Warsaw

The Warsaw Presidential Palace is situated on Krakowskie Przedmieście Street leading from the Palace Square to the Łazienki Park. It was erected in 1643 at the request of Stanislaw Konieczpolski, magnate and great crown hetman. Just 16 years later another aristocrat, Marshal Lubomirski, bought the building.

Warsaw today is a modern, beautiful, blooming and rapidly developing city. There are many parks, restored historical sites and memorable places. For Russian tourists, Warsaw, despite the need to enter on a Schengen visa, is not perceived as fully as a foreign country. This impression is largely due to the fact that after the war Warsaw was under a strong Soviet influence and the buildings were built with a glance of Moscow. The most striking example is the Palace of Culture and Science presented to Warsaw by the USSR – a real Stalinist high-rise in the city center, which to this day towers over the rest of the buildings in the area.

In the early 21st century, the Millennium Clock was set at a height of 165 meters, which entered the Guinness Book of Records as the highest tower clock in the world.

Warsaw’s main street, Marshalka Street, has been covered with monolithic gray buildings, similar to the Tverskaya Street. But at the same time Warsaw has managed to retain its European spirit. Therefore it is certain that a visit to Warsaw will leave as big a trace in your memory as in any other European capital.

There are many monuments in Warsaw associated with Russia. Among them is the Citadel of Alexander – a fortress built by order of Nicholas I in 1834. During World War II, the fortress housed German troops. In 1963, a museum was opened in the fortress. The soldiers who died fighting for the liberation of Warsaw, are buried in the cemetery-mausoleum of Soviet soldiers.

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