Things to do in Warszawa When You’re Young and Broke

By: Ken Sand

Spending younger years traveling and experiencing Warszawa is an enticing idea until the prospect of cost is approached. A visitor might wonder: are there things to do in Warszawa when you’re young and broke? Indeed, it can be done without allotting significant amounts of money toward sightseeing, and in fact many things worth seeing for cultural and entertainment value are free.

The Rynek Starego Miasto in Warszawa has been revered as a place that offers a magical old town experience by simply strolling through it or sitting and watching the activity in it. Its atmosphere of cafes, booths and festivals brings the section of town back to a sense of real community interaction and appreciation of fellow townspeople. Having been obliterated during WWII, it was rebuilt from the bottom to represent the history rich town center that it is today, and has been considered the highlight of a visit to Warszawa by many visitors.

Lazienki Royal Park is closer to the city center than might be expected, and so close to other attractions in Warszawa. This park boasts of a palace that was once the summer abode of King Stanislaw August Poniatowski. Each summer Chopin concerts are performed regularly at the monument that was created for the composer. There are museums that offer free admittance on Thursdays, and charming wildlife in the form of peacocks and squirrels that create a fanciful ambiance for anyone sitting and enjoying the afternoon on a park bench. This park that dates back to the seventeenth century provides plenty of room for nice walks and for enjoying the historical energy of the area. Also popular for roaming in pleasantry is the Ogrod Saski, or Saxon Garden. It is also close to the city center, and covers a large area for walks and beautiful sights. Although damaged by WWII, it is still worth visiting and contains attractions such as sandstone baroque statues, a water tower by the lake, and the nineteenth century fountain. Sundays, military bands play during celebrations held by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier that also resides in the Saxon Garden.

In memory of the fallen, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warszawa loyally stands, carrying an eternal flame. Large stone tablets surround the tomb, bearing the names of each battle in which Polish soldiers have fought and died. Every day at about one in the afternoon, the Changing of the Guards ceremony is conducted and all of these facets of Polish patriotism can be seen for free. Also a noted site of memorial for many important figures is Powazkowski Cemetery. It is divided into approximately seven separate sections including Catholic, Jewish and Military. Some famous figures have been buried in this hallowed place, including Wladyslaw Szpliman, whose life was the basis of the movie “The Pianist.” It is open daily from nine in the morning to three in the afternoon.

Online, Warszawa offers a schedule of events that occur during any season, and information about free concerts, festivals, and other performances are available as well. Information about night life is also at a visitor’s fingertips like the nightclubs Aurora: a courtyard ambiance near the Vistula River; Dekada: a retro jazz, pop and disco club popular with foreigners; and Ground Zero: originally built to be a bomb shelter.