6-hour stopover in Warsaw
The proximity to the city center and efficient service at Warsaw Chopin Airport make it possible to explore the Polish Capital even on a short stopover. We summarized an example of how you can spend the time between flights in Warsaw.
The former Art nouveau market hall is now a gathering point for foodies, bar-hoppers and business-lunch eaters.
You can choose from chick seafood restaurants, Asian fusion stalls, burger eateries, and places serving modern interpretation of polish cuisine. Just pick one, enjoy the vibrant atmosphere, and rest before you discover the capital.
Palac Kultury i Nauki (PKiN)
From Hala Koszyki, it’s only a 15-minute walk to one of Warsaw’s landmarks, the Palace of Culture and Science (Palac Kultury i Nauki). It was built in the 1950s as a gift from the Soviet Union to the people of Poland. The tallest building in Poland is a prime example of Stalinist architecture.
Today it houses a congress hall, a multiplex cinema, and several museums. With its controversial past, the building sometimes divides Varsovians. Some voices have even called for its demolition.
Yet it is at least as impressive as it is ugly. Throughout the years, the structure has inevitably become a symbol of post-war Warsaw. With good visibility, don’t miss the observation deck.
Tip: Uber is a great option to get from/to the airport as well as around the city.
Only 400 meters (1 300 feet) from PKiN, you’ll find the sole surviving synagogue in Warsaw. Originally, the building stood in the center of the thriving Jewish community. During the Nazi occupation, the prayer house disappeared behind the walls of Small Ghetto and was used as stable after the Ghetto Uprising. The restoration after WWII was completed 40 years later.
Good to know: It’s possible to visit the interior of the synagogue. However, the entrance fee can only be paid in cash in Złoty (PLN).
Warsaw Old Town
From the synagogue, it’s good 30-45 minutes on foot to Warsaw’s Old Town. If you decide to walk, pass by the Saxon Garden, one of the oldest public parks in the world opened at the beginning of the 18th century. At the park’s eastern entrance, visitors can pay respect to the Grave of Unknown Soldier.
On the way, the contrast between grey eastern bloc Plattenbau and partly restored palaces, where Polish nobility had resided at the beginning of the 20th century, is present around every corner.
Warsaw’s Old Town is a maze of small squares, narrow streets, and decorated facades. It dates back to the 13th century. After the distraction during WWII, it was rebuilt using mainly original bricks.
For this unique example of a near-total reconstruction of a historical center, the Old Town has had UNESCO World Heritage status since 1980.
While exploring the fountains, arches, and columns, don’t miss cozy pubs in side streets. Also, take a walk along city fortifications, an excellent example of European medieval defensive architecture.
Tip: You can walk around the described sights in about an hour. Check out the route here.
If you are not sure whether to book a flight with a longer stopover in Warsaw, don’t hesitate and go for it.