There are many cities worth visiting in winter in Europe, and Warsaw is one of them. This ultimate guide to Warsaw in winter will give you an idea of how it could be fun visiting this city!
Poland can be very cold in winter, and we were at least prepared for it. While there, the sun was shining, giving us some warmer days. However, when the daylights were going down, the city was freezing at night. If you are looking to spend a few days in winter in Warsaw, it is good to read our guide, discovering some of the Capital’s best attractions. The city of Chopin will welcome you with some incredible events. On Christmas, you should not miss the Christmas market in Warsaw’s central square or drink hot chocolate in a cosy cafè.
Wintertime in Warsaw can be very romantic, placing this European Capital in the list of places to visit once in your life. Unless, the city is so cheap, from the accommodation to the everyday expenditure. We will go through all these aspects while in these posts, highlighting all the best winter itineraries in Warsaw.
- Visit a museum in Warsaw
- Roam around the city walls and old town
- Get to the top of the Palace of Culture and Science
- Take advantage of winter sales at Złote Tarasy
- Go on a Tour of Warsaw on board of a vintage Car
- Enjoy an outdoor concert at Royal Łazienki Park
- Sip a hot chocolate
- Wander around Praga District
- Learn Jewish history and WWII
- Stroll around Warsaw new town
- Eat like a local in a tavern
- See the city from the bell tower of St. Anne’s Church
- Enjoy the enchanting Palace on the isle at Łazienki Royal Residence
- Go ice skating in warsaw
- Warm you up with a couple of Vodka shots
- Christmas Markets at Castle Square
- Warsaw | 3-Hour City Adventure Game
- Craft Beer Tour hopping from a brewery to another
- When to visit Warsaw
- What to do in Warsaw in December
- Where to stay in Warsaw
Like our blog? Support us on the Social Media
Warsaw Travel Tips
This paragraph will summarise some of the best travel tips for a winter retreat in Warsaw. Like every other country, it is good to know which language is spoken in, the currency, traditions, and public transport general rules. It’s also good to get some good information regarding the access to the country, about that, is better for you to check on the Official website of the local tourism board.
LANGUAGE SPOKEN | The official language is Polish, but English is spoken well and wisely, especially among the city centre and tourist places.
CURRENCY | The local currency in Poland is the Złoty. However, the Euro is accepted from time to time, especially around the main tourist attractions. You can find the złoty referred to as PLN at local exchanges. Check the actual exchange rate.
SAFETY | If someone has pointed to Poland as unsafe, don’t let yourself discourage you. From our point of view, Warsaw is safe. We haven’t been in any bad situations and felt fine all time.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT | Surprisingly, the public transport system in Warsaw was excellent. Very modern and reliable service at a low price. A well-connected Tram, Bus and Metro system can take you everywhere in the city. The 24-hours ticket to handle all sorts of public transport within the city costs about 15PLN (3.30€ | 4$ | 3£). However, you can opt for a short, one-time ticket for less than a coffee price. The 20-minute ticket costs 3.4PLN. You can check all about Public Transport in Warsaw on the official website.
What is winter in Warsaw like
Unexpectedly beautiful winter landscape. Warsaw was like that in our eyes. Often outside of the tourist’s maps among more advertised European locations. Warsaw has the soul of Christmas, taking your hand around the alleyways of the old town, hopping from a stand to a stand filled with festive spirit.
Weatherwise, Warsaw in winter is cold, snowy, and freezing. However, the cold gives just more emphasis on the atmosphere. Our guide to winter in Warsaw has included the perfect park walking, which can become magical with the January Snow. Despite being so cold outdoors, inside the building deals well with the outside weather, making the atmosphere more intimate. Understand the local’s way to deal with wintertime while drinking a shot or two of Vodka in a proper Polish style.
To be honest, an escape to Warsaw when cold can be an incredible experience, or just a short weekend trip, with great memories back home.
20 Things to do in winter in Warsaw
Warsaw in Winter what to do
Visit a museum in Warsaw
You must see at least a museum in Warsaw, and those are entirely underrated and worth it. Some of the most remarkable experiences in the Warsaw Museum come from less advertised ones. For example, we bet that you didn’t know that Warsaw has a Vodka Museum, totally dedicated to the favourite Polish drink and their national tradition, from the production to the consumers.
If you are a history lover, it’s better to consider getting to the Polin Museum. The Museum of the History of Polish Jews is an institution in Warsaw, winner of the European Museum of the Year in 2016. Follow our list also for the science museum dedicated to Copernicus.
TICKETS | Chopin Museum Concert Pass
The Polish Vodka Museum
Yes, it’s true. The Polish Vodka Museum will tell you everything about the national drink. The interactive museum is often underrated but can give you an approach to the local traditions.
Located in the Praga district (where else otherwise?), the Polish Vodka Museum is becoming a popular spot among tourists curious about it. The tour will take you in an interactive guided circuit through the history and ways to produce Vodka. At the end of the tour, you will taste the popular drink. So book your ticket in advance.
Copernicus Science Museum Warsaw
After the learning swing, you should proceed to the Copernicus Science Museum of Warsaw. Located on the river bank, it’s a good walk from the city centre; however, you can reach the Museum of Science by Metro with line 2 in the direction of Prague.
Like the Museum above, this is interactive, and guess what is even more informative. It contains 450 interactive exhibits, some of them stable. So even if you don’t have time to visit the Centre, it is good to explore the surrounding area, wholly renowned and worth visiting even in winter. Suggested place to see inside the exhibition area is the Planetarium.
Last but not least. The Polin Museum is where the history of the Polish Jews is secured and shown to the World. This impressive Museum will take your mind away. The experience is considerable and not for all. The Museum is located in the heart of the former Jewish Ghetto, symbolic for everyone, not only Jews. However, the Polin Museum is not telling visitors just the story about the WWII and Holocaust; the Museum focuses on the Jews’ life, from the first settlement in Poland and their traditions. The Museum celebrates life over death, preferring to tell a visitor how they are part of the local life.
But it is impossible to think about this Museum without thinking about the horrible war and the holocaust. The exterior of the building itself it’s sober and austere. The Polin Museum is the core of the former Jewish Ghetto, which you can visit just going around. From the walls to ruins, you can breathe history and proudness.
LOCATION | Mordechaja Anielewicza 6, 00-157 Warszawa, Poland
OPENING TIMES | Thursday and Friday from 10 AM to 4 PM, Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM to 6 PM – Closed on Monday-Tuesday and Wednesday
TICKETS | History of Polish Jews Tour
Roam around the city walls and old town
We have enjoyed our trip to Warsaw in winter because all the old town is entirely walkable. The red bricks roads were incredible to walk along, and the city walls were perfectly walkable. Those are the reminiscence of the city’s defensive walls from the outsiders.
This part of Warsaw is very suggestive, and it’s also trendy among tourists. However, we don’t like these places because they become crowded and overpriced. Nevertheless, we enjoyed our little walk along the city walls.
The area is bounded by the Gdańsk Boulevards, toward the Vistula River banks in a ring that includes the Old Town Market Place, the Royal Palace, The Sigmund Column and Barbican. All you should visit in Warsaw in winter is here. The Old town is also where to find cosy cafè, excellent restaurants and local shops. To arrive in Warsaw New Town, you can cross the old town, passing from medieval architecture to a more modern Polish capital scenery.
Get to the top of the Palace of Culture and Science
This iconic Palace is considered the future and the past of Warsaw at the same time. The Palace of Culture and Science of Warsaw is an iconic landmark of the city. This was once a symbol of the friendly line between Poland and the Soviet Union and was the presence of Stalin to the people of Poland.
Definitely, the stunning Palace in the heart of the capital is a reminiscence of the Communist past. However, the 237m stands still as Poland’s most significant monument. The local authorities have determined to give this place a function in local life, upgrading the culture and heritage. The Palace of Culture and Science is today a cultural hub, hosting a theatre, cinema, conference hall, museum, and observatory deck. This is the tallest tower in the city, made of 30 floors and served by a super-fast elevator (for an old building) that will take you up in less than 2 minutes. Visiting Warsaw in winter, you can’t miss the view from this palace’s top.
TICKETS | Palace of Culture & Science guided tour
Take advantage of winter sales at Złote Tarasy
It’s not a trip if Alessia doesn’t get around shopping centres and markets. Warsaw has got the incentive to be very cheap, even shopping-wise. The Złote Tarasy is the second largest shopping centre of the city, in a cloister of International brands all around. You can spot this big shopping centre once you arrive at the airport to the city centre. The Złote Tarasy is right in front of the Palace of Culture and Science. Winter Sales in Warsaw start at the beginning of January and last for about six weeks.
Inside the Złote Tarasy, you will find over 200 shops, a Multiplex Cinema, a Fitness Studio and many other attractions. Just outside of the shopping Centre there is the only Hard Rock Cafè in the city.
Go on a Tour of Warsaw on board of a vintage Car
If the surrounding building makes you feel “cool, wish to drive an old car around those streets”, you are sorted. Taking a tour of Warsaw in an old vintage car of the Communist Era is a great story to tell back home.
There are many tours available, which can get you around the streets with a local guide showing the surroundings and telling you a bit of history. The Self-drive Polish vintage car is the ideal activity to organize at the beginning of your trip or the end; perfect to feel the breeze of a manual, rusty transmission. The tour can give you the chance to drive a car or get a driver if you don’t feel comfortable.
If a retro car is not enough, you can level up your winter in Warsaw, going on a singular sightseeing tour onboard a proper Polish vintage bus, the Jelcz 043. This is also the cheapest solution to share. So check this and book your tour.
Check the best tour of Warsaw in a vintage car:
- Warsaw private vintage car Jewish Tour
- Self-drive tour vintage car
- Private tour retro fiat
- Tour in the original Socialist car
- Warsaw self-driving must-see tour
Enjoy an outdoor concert at Royal Łazienki Park
Frédéric Chopin is one of the most illustrious characters born and lived a few kilometres away from Warsaw. While strolling around the Capital, you will understand how locals value this musician. The well-known composer is celebrated around the city in many ways. Among the many statues in Warsaw, the most astonishing is at the Łazienki Royal Park.
There is a section entirely devoted to the pianist in this vast and gorgeous park, which made Poland known worldwide. The Memorial to Chopin hosts a concert every Sunday from May to July, free to access with limited seating. However, a few winter concerts are attended by local pianists.
Speaking about Chopin, why not go around the city and watch out for the benches dedicated to the pianist. There are many which will sound the composer’s main tracks. It would be best if you also considered visiting Emilii Plater Street, another spot dedicated to Chopin with a piano drawn at the road crossing point.
Sip a hot chocolate
Is it cold? So what is better than hot chocolate in a cosy cafè? Warsaw has plenty of gorgeous spots where you sip a hot chocolate. Think about the picture-perfect cafè with outside snowing. Cool, isn’t it?
There are many places where you can taste a good cup of hot chocolate, with some biscuits on the side. We have learned in our trip to Poland that they know how to make chocolate and sweets very well. The Wedel Stores are everywhere, and you can’t miss seeing them across the city centre. Despite the high cost of their cup, the taste is delicious, and while cold outside, it will warm you up. The standard hot chocolate at Wedel is about 16PLN | €3.5 | £3.2 | $4.3.
For a cheap hot chocolate, you look out for Shabby Coffee, Wine and Books, cosy and suitable for those who want an intimate atmosphere. Chocolate Manufactory instead teaches you the process of making tasty chocolate. Originally from Lodz, the Chocolate Manufactory has recently opened a laboratory in Warsaw.
Wander around Praga District
The iconic district of Praga might be a hidden gem in Warsaw. In the last few years, the area is more attractive, creating a famous spot to experience the local life and feelings. Until 1791, Praga District was just a different city, located on the east bank of the Vistula River. But during the Communist Period, Prague became the alternative side of Warsaw. As a result, many young artists, singers, and writers find this part of the city the perfect place to express themself.
Today Praga District is the other face of Warsaw Old town, leaving all the charm to that part of the city and expressing the alternative culture in a hub open to everyone. For many, this is the ideal district to explore in Warsaw and meet locals.
The former industrial area is an incredible reticulate of streets filled with restaurants, bars, and shops. This is also the cheapest area of Warsaw, mainly because tourists do not overcrowd it.
TOURS | Praga district walking tour
Learn Jewish history and WWII
Discover Jewish heritage in Warsaw and how it is rich and diverse, perfectly mixed with the city’s past. Learn how Jewish have made it to Poland and get into the urban texture of the cities. Through an incredible memories trip, you will discover all the Jewish history in Poland, from the origin, until the tragic turning point of WWII and Nazi Occupation.
The Jewish community was enclosed in a not larger space near the Old Town, it was the Ghetto, and you should find the time to get across those lanes.
Stroll around Warsaw new town
Modern Warsaw is just the extension of the old town. Warsaw New Town can be dated back to the 15th Century, and its border it’s on Barbican. The German Occupation almost destroyed the new city after the Warsaw Uprising. The New Town was so rebuilt from the ashes, with just a few standing buildings still standing from the past also in the old town.
You can quickly go through the Warsaw ages passing by a unique street through the Old and New Towns. Starting your tour in Market Square, you can arrive at the Warsaw Barbican, the gate of the old town. It begins on Freta Street, a long cobblestone road, taking you to New Town.
You can’t miss this spot in Warsaw; Freta Street has many taverns, restaurants, and pubs, which are very cheap and good. Before the end of Freta Street, you will see New Market Town with the picture-perfect St. Casimir’s Church. Another way to see the New Town Style is to walk along the Barbican Walls, from statue to statue. There are Great Characters of Polish History statues along the Old Town wall, just facing the New Town.
Eat like a local in a tavern
Sometimes it’s not the fancy place that gives you the right atmosphere. When you are a broke backpacker, saving up all you can to afford to travel more and more, you will just have a decent dish in a warm place. However, Warsaw was a good mix of reasonable prices and tasting local food.
Food is the foremost way to understand locals, so we always look for places like little restaurants and taverns, away from hot tourist spots. Just out from Barbican in Freta Street, you can find many good places to eat. All those places are tasty, and the bill will be just fine. Check also in the Praga District for some local restaurants. If you are looking for more cosy venues, regular restaurants and more, check for Droga Powiatowa Street.
See the city from the bell tower of St. Anne’s Church
The view of a city from the top is always the best. There are a few grand buildings in Warsaw with access to the rooftop or a Terrazza. Over the famous Palace of Culture and Science, the bell tower of St. Anne’s Church also offers an incredible landscape.
From the top of this beautiful bell tower, you can spot Castle Square and the Royal Castle. However, if you are travelling in wintertime in Warsaw, check the weather condition before heading there. The city, especially early in the morning, can appear foggy. Therefore the landscape view is incredibly scenic, and it’s one of the best in Warsaw.
Furthermore, due to the city being almost flat, you will have the whole house below your feet, within the distance of the skyline of the more modern buildings of Warsaw.
Enjoy the enchanting Palace on the isle at Łazienki Royal Residence
Łazienki Royal Residence is one of the more enchanting places and parks we have seen so far. The location is unique; it offers long walks along the park with fantastic opportunities for nature lovers. The Łazienki Park also hosts the open-air concert hall tribute to Chopin, this just to give you an idea of how big it is.
The gorgeous baroque structure was used as a bathing house by the Polish Monarchs, while during WWII, the bombs nearly demolished Lazienski Palace. The German troops devastated the intern and drilled holes for a quick crush. However, the building has been restored to the enchanting beauty of better times and today hosts more than 1,2 million tourists every year.
Go ice skating in warsaw
We love to go Ice skating, and Warsaw was incredible. Maybe the cold weather, the atmosphere or just that we wanted it to be a switch off for our brain. The Old Town Market Square becomes Winter Wonderland during the Christmas Period, with activities and attractions.
The Square hosts a big Ice Rink, with opportunities to learn even for children. If you are comfortable with ice-skating, include this activity while enjoying winter in Warsaw, as it is an unmissable experience. If you are around Warsaw at Christmas, you must consider going Ice Skating.
Warm you up with a couple of Vodka shots
Let’s talk about the national favourite activity, drink. Just joking, but it’s something to try, especially in winter in Poland.
The locals know very well how to drink vodka, and it’s a delicious product that makes them proud. Vodka is not just a way to live the adventure like a local but also a way to keep you warm while exploring Warsaw in winter.
There are many ways to drink vodka, as a mixture of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, but the Poles know just one way to do that, vodka on the rocks. It’s like how we drink limoncello in Southern Italy; they do it with vodka, a quick shot and go.
Christmas Markets at Castle Square
If you consider spending the winter in Warsaw, you should go for Christmas. The atmosphere is unique, with glamorous lights all over. There are so many incredible Christmas Markets around Europe, and Warsaw has a beautiful one. All around Warsaw Old Town, you will see stands with Christmas decorations, products and lights. This portion of the city becomes a fairytale town, all adorned with Christmas songs at every corner. Poland is very Religious and feels this time of the year a lot.
The Christmas Market of Castle Square is unique, and it’s the meeting point of locals for the festive season. Spend a couple of hours sipping hot chocolate and wandering around the beautiful stands. This is the perfect place to get your souvenirs from Poland. If it’s not enough, taste the local food at the kiosk or go to the ice rink’s main attraction.
Warsaw | 3-Hour City Adventure Game
Going away for a trip should be fun, but what to bring up with your friends for an adventure? Warsaw city centre is the location of great stories, tricky alleys and mysteries. Enjoy a 3 hours city adventure game across the Polish capital. Cold can be beaten with adrenaline and brain cracking games, like this.
You can discover many things while playing and exploring Warsaw. Check the best adventure for you.
Craft Beer Tour hopping from a brewery to another
If you follow our blog you know how we love craft beer and get lost around the local breweries. Warsaw was a good surprise. Despite what we were looking for, great Vodka, we discovered that the recent growing Beer industry has something to say about.
While cold outside, why not get into the local way to drink and make beer with a Tour of craft beer breweries around the city?
Discover the taste of the Beer in Poland with this amazing tour.
- Craft beer tour with a local beer lover
- Warsaw Pub crawl with free drinks
- Private Polish beer tasting tous
Are you a beer lover? You might want to check our Beer Tour in Brussels!
Go shopping at Galeria Mokotów
Galeria Mokotów is a large shopping mall located in the Mokotów district of Warsaw, Poland. It is one of the city’s biggest and most popular malls, with over 200 stores, loved by locals and tourists you surely can find anything you are looking for.
It is the perfect shelter for fun on a cold day, roaming around the shops of renowned international brands, local boutiques, and stores.
The mall also has a food court with a variety of dining options and a multiplex cinema and is easily accessible by public transport from the centre of Warsaw.
Take a day trip to the Masurian Lake District
The Masurian Lake District is a beautiful region located in northeastern Poland, near the border with Russia. It is known for its numerous lakes, forests, and natural beauty. The region is a popular vacation destination, especially in the summer months when people come to enjoy water sports and other outdoor activities. The region is also famous for its fantastic atmosphere in winter. The perfect combination for a relaxing time in Poland is going from Warsaw at Christmas and enjoying the charming towns and villages, keeping their unique character and history.
Within the area, you can visit the Boyen Fortress, the Gizycko Motor Museum, and the Indian Village open-air museum. In addition, the Masurian Lake District is home to many nature reserves and protected areas, making it an excellent destination for those interested in nature and the outdoors.
There are several ways to get from Warsaw to the Masurian Lake District. The easiest is by car, taking the E7/42 towards Gdansk. The drive takes about 3/4 hours. An alternative to the car is the train, which operates daily/ You have to take the train from Warsaw to Olsztyn and reach Masurian Lake District by local bus or taxi.
Warsaw Travel Guide
When to visit Warsaw
The best time to visit the Polish Capital is in Spring, like many countries in Europe. This is valid, especially if you don’t tolerate cold weather. Winter in Poland is very harsh. However, consider also visiting Warsaw in the fall, from September to mid-October, the weather is good and not very cold. Summer in Warsaw can be wet, so it’s not as you might expect. If you have a limited day of Holidays a year, the best time to visit Warsaw might be Autumn or Winter, because of the atmosphere.
What to do in Warsaw in December
Going through our blog post you can understand how many things there are to do in Warsaw in December. The festive atmosphere of the city will bring you joy and a good mood. Below is a list of some activities to do in December in Warsaw:
- Enjoy the Christmas Light Festival
- Go Ice Skating
- The culture at the Polin Museum
- Birds Eye View from the Palace of Culture and Science
- Explore the Warsaw Christmas Markets
Where to stay in Warsaw in winter
As mentioned, Warsaw is very cheap and affordable, so why don’t you get extra for a few bucks more?
Below are a couple of suggestions from us to spend a few nights in Warsaw like a star.
ON A BUDGET AND MID-RANGE ACCOMMODATIONS IN WARSAW
MID-RANGE | £70 | $92 | €76 per night
SOFITEL WARSAW VICTORIA
A 5-Star Hotel for the best price ever. Live like a king in Warsaw an incredible holiday with the best of luxury and a SPA facilities. Create the perfect atmosphere by staying in Warsaw in Winter at the Sofitel at a short distance from the main attractions.
What to pack for Warsaw in winter?
Winter in Warsaw can be challenging; make sure you are covered enough to face any weather conditions. However, winter in Poland also means shopping sales. So, don’t be worried if you still have space left in your luggage that needs to be filled.
Warsaw in January is the coldest one; also, you have to look out if visiting Warsaw in February. Therefore, we suggest the below be in your luggage:
- A warm winter coat
- Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof shoes
- Glamorous gloves and scarf
- Don’t forget a hat
- Thermal socks
- Warm hat
For women, we can also suggest getting thermal legging, for men a thermal shirt, the one usually for running. Don’t be scared to put on an extra layer while going explore Warsaw, you can always take it off.
How many days in Warsaw
We believe that two days in Warsaw could be enough to get the city’s vibes. However, if you want to enjoy more of the places in our guide, you should consider spending at least three days. In two days in Warsaw, you might just see the surface of how beautiful winter in Poland is. Although planning a few days more will leave you time to get lost in Warsaw and explore the surrounding area, why not take some day trips from Warsaw. See below for our suggestions.
How to get to Warsaw
Warsaw has two main airports, close to the city and the cheapest one, served by low-cost flights companies. Despite what you think, Warsaw is very affordable and crazy easy to reach. Although many cities have an airport far from the centre or are super expensive, Warsaw is the opposite. Chopin Airport is just 10Km away from the city centre. The location is reachable within 30 minutes across multiple options, bus, train and taxi. The airport is connected well with the city, with a reasonable timetable even early in the morning and late at night.
For a cosy Chopin airport Transfer, you might want to book this Communist-Era Van.
The low-cost company Ryanair instead is landing at the Modlin airport, which is 40Km north of Warsaw. However, even this airport is well connected to the centre. There is a direct transfer by bus from the airport to the Palace of Culture and Science. Booking your ticket in advance will help you lower the costs, with access from 5€ one-way. Check the ticket!
Warsaw is not only an excellent destination to fly to but also a hub for further transfers. Daily flights connect the Polish Capital to Germany, Italy, France, and the UK.
If you are looking for a taxi transfer, you can get the best rate here.
Q&A Warsaw in winter
What is there to do in Warsaw in winter?
Drink a hot chocolate
Step in one of the beautiful museums of Warsaw
Warm-up with a couple of Polish Vodka Shots
Follow the Chopin Route
Get to the top of the Palace of Culture and Science
Enjoy the festive atmosphere of Warsaw’s Old town
Does it snow in Warsaw in December?
Yes, it’s possible. The temperature massively drops at night with high expectations of snow. The temperatures often go below -6°C (21.2°F)
How cold does it get in Poland in winter?
Very Cold, and there is not much difference between the north and south of the country. The average temperature verges on 0°C (around 32°F), going all down -6°C (about 21°F). So, generally speaking, January is the coldest month in Poland, and it gives you a high chance of snow.
Does it snow in Warsaw in January?
Yes. The landscape in Warsaw in January it’s completely different, insanely beautiful. The snow covering every side of the city will give you the picture-perfect.
Is it cheap in Warsaw?
Warsaw has been one of the cheapest destinations we have visited in Europe. The quality of life is very high compared to the small budget you need to enjoy a pleasant holiday in Warsaw.
Is Warsaw worth visiting?
Yes. There is no excuse to don’t visit Warsaw. Whatever you are looking for, a short weekend or extended stay, Warsaw is the right destination for you. Warsaw is very safe, and we highly recommend it as a future destination for you.