With three days in Warsaw, not only can tour the city’s highlights and enjoy a wealth of food, beer, and vodka, you’ll also have enough time to spend a day at a nearby World War II site. Here’s how to make the most of three days in the Polish capital.
Palace of Culture and Science (Palac Kultury i Nauki)
plac Defilad 1, Warszawa, Poland, 00-901
Many travelers stop by the Palace of Culture and Science (Pałac Kultury i Nauki) to take in panoramic city views from the building’s outdoor deck. You might also attend a performance, check out a museum or two, or go shopping.
Exploring the palace interior is possible only on a guided tour. Delve into the palace’s history on a walking, biking, minivan, or vintage car tour of Warsaw’s top sights, or opt for a private excursion. In addition, you’ll typically find the palace on the itineraries of communist-themed tours and multi-day trips around Poland.
How to Get There
The palace stands on Defilad Square in central Warsaw, and is easily reached by public transit—the nearest tram and bus station is Świętokrzyska. Alternatively, walk to the palace in about 30 minutes from Castle Square (plac Zamkowy), or catch a taxi. Hop-on hop-off buses stop there as well. And if you’re driving, the palace has on-site parking.
When to Get There
The palace (including its viewing terrace) is open daily, and hours vary at the on-site businesses. Lines for the terrace elevators can get long—for fewer crowds, go on a weekday. The most atmospheric views are at sunset, as the skies darken over Warsaw.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Much of the palace is accessible to wheelchairs, but the viewing terrace is not.
- You can enter the palace’s shops, restaurants, theaters, and museums without a viewing terrace ticket.
- Restrooms, baggage lockers, and ATMs are available inside the palace.
A Loved and Hated Symbol of Warsaw
Built in 1952 as a gift from the Soviet ruler Joseph Stalin, the palace generates mixed emotions among Varsovians. Similar in looks to Moscow’s Seven Sisters skyscrapers, the 3,000-room palace is seen by some as an icon of Warsaw, but by others as an austere reminder of Poland’s 44 years under a Soviet-imposed government.
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- Warsaw Jewish Ghetto (Getto Zydowskie)
- Warsaw Royal Route (Trakt Królewski)
- Warsaw Uprising Museum (Muzeum Powstania)
- Warsaw Royal Castle (Zamek Krolewski)
- St. John's Archcathedral (Archikatedra Sw. Jana)
- Warsaw Old Town (Stare Miasto)
- Warsaw Old Town Market Square (Rynek Starego Miasta)
- Museum of Life Under Communism (Muzeum Zycia w PRL)
- Katyn Museum (Muzeum Katyńskie)
- Wilanow Palace (Museum of King Jan III)