One of the top destinations to visit in Warsaw is the Old Town located right in the city center. The Old Town tends to be one of the first spots that travelers set out to visit after arriving in Warsaw. It is among the most beautiful and famous places in all of Poland. As described by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, the Old Town was mostly destroyed during the Warsaw Uprising when the Nazi troops left more than 85% of the city in ruins. After the war ended, a five-year reconstruction campaign led by its own citizens resulted in the wonderful restoration of Warsaw’s Old Town that we enjoy today.
Regardless of whether you intend to visit Warsaw for one day or one month, there is plenty to plan to see and do during your visit. This list contains 5 of the most significant places you can visit in the heart of the Old Town area. While spending one entire month traveling through Poland, the Old Town was one of my favorite places to explore! This list shows some of the famous landmarks & locations I enjoyed learning about.
1. Begin With the Old Town Square
The Old Town area is one of the most scenic spots in all of Warsaw. As soon as you arrive, you will find many traditional Polish buildings that have been restored to their original appearance. These buildings are mostly soft pastel colors and extremely symmetrical in design.
The Old Town Square Marketplace is a fun area to walk around. There are small shops and local vendors selling a variety of different items for sale. The Market Square area dates back to the 13th century. That long ago, the buildings were constructed mostly of wood. What we see in the city, is a style that dates back to the 15th century.
2. Visit The Royal Castle
The Royal Castle was a royal residence between the 16th century and the 18th century. Today, the castle is currently home to a museum open to the public. The building was restored after the war and now contains repossessed furniture and art that is the last of its kind.
3. See Sigismund’s Column
Sigismund’s Column, originally erected in 1644, is right in the center of Castle Square in front of the Royal Palace. It is one of Warsaw’s most iconic landmarks. The column commemorates the Polish King Sigismund III Vasa who was responsible for moving Poland’s capital from Krakow to Warsaw.
The Corinthian column holds a bronze sculpture of the king with his armor. Just like so many other parts of Warsaw, the column was severely damaged during the war and was reconstructed after it ended.
4. Stroll Past the Presidential Palace
While walking along the Krakowskie Przedmiescie street that connects the Old Town’s Main Square, you will pass by the Presidential Palace. This palace was used during the 17th century up until the present day by noblemen and Polish presidents. Its current appearance glows with radiant white paint giving most of the attention to the main statue that stands front-and-center in the middle of the courtyard.
The bronze statue shows Prince Józef Poniatowski: the commander-in-chief of the Polish army. The monument was modeled after the Roman statue of Marcus Aurelius located on Capitoline Hill.
5. Try Traditional Polish Cuisine!
The Old Town area is filled with a number of fantastic restaurants serving traditional Polish foods. For lunch, you can have Polish pierogi or pancakes, along with a delicious tea or coffee. There are several places in the area to choose from and every single place I ate at served terrific food. I’ll be sharing more about the specifics in another blog post! 🙂
If you’ve visited Warsaw and have any suggestions in or around the Old Town, feel free to share them in the comment section below!