Warsaw Landmarks Walking Tour, Warsaw

Warsaw is home to various unique landmarks, including a 19th-century fortress, old Fort Legionów, striking Pałac Sapiehów, remarkable Barbican, fourteenth-century City Walls, Old Town Square, outstanding Royal Castle, and the famous King Sigismund's Column. Check out all of Warsaw’s prominent landmarks in the next walking tour!
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Warsaw Landmarks Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Warsaw Landmarks Walking Tour
Guide Location: Poland » Warsaw (See other walking tours in Warsaw)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 km
Author: leticia
1
Warsaw Citadel

1) Warsaw Citadel

The Warsaw Citadel was constructed after the November Uprising of 1830 under the express order of Tsar Nicholas I. This uprising gave control of the city to the imperial Russians. Until the 1930s, Warsaw Citadel served as a prison.

Major General Ivan Dehn was the chief architect who oversaw the construction of this citadel. Congress Poland’s de facto Viceroy Field Marshal Ivan Paskevich laid the cornerstone for this building.

Warsaw Citadel enclosed by high walls is spread over 36 hectares. This pentagon shaped brick fortress was constructed over 76 demolished buildings and after resettlement of over fifteen thousand inhabitants. Construction was completed in 1874 at a total cost of 11 million rubles funded by the Bank of Poland and the city of Warsaw.

Five thousand Russians were stationed at the Warsaw Citadel during peacetime. 555 pieces of different caliber artillery was housed at the fortress by the year 1863. Modern rifled artillery made traditional fortifications obsolete by the twentieth century. In 1913, there was a plan by the Tsarist authority to raze down the fortress. This proposal however did not materialize.

When Warsaw was taken over by the Germans in 1915, several of the city’s structures were destroyed. Luckily, a major portion of this citadel survived. In 1918, after Poland regained independence, the Polish Army took over the Warsaw Citadel.
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Fort Legionów‎

2) Fort Legionów‎

Legion Fort (Fort Legionow) is situated in the Park R. Traugutt, in Warsaw’s New Town. This fort was built between 1851 and 1853, as part of the Warsaw fortress on the Southern outskirts of the Warsaw Citadel. Originally, it represented a fort in the form of a three-story artillery tower, which was surrounded by a fortification ditch with three bulkheads.
3
Pałac Sapiehów

3) Pałac Sapiehów

Palac Sapiehow is a palace in Warsaw constructed between 1731 and 1746. This palace was built for Chancellor Jan Fryderyk and was designed in the Baroque style by Jan Zygmunt Deybel, the royal architect.

Originally Palac Sapiehow had two annexes. The courtyard opened out through a gate onto the street. At the back of the palace, there was a garden. The building was replete with rich rococo decorations.

Kingdom of Poland bought this palace in the year 1817 and reconstructed it to be used as barracks. At the beginning of the 20th century, this palace was used as a military hospital before it was destroyed by the Germans. Based on the original Deybel architecture, the palace was again reconstructed between 1950 and 1955.

Today, it stands as a grand testimony to the beautiful Baroque style with intricately carved sculptures on the lavish façade. The Educational Institute for Hearing Impaired Children functions from this building now.

On your visit to the wonderful city of Warsaw, just walk down the Zakroczymska Street and you cannot miss the attractive orange building. The palace wall fills the entire eastern side of the street. Pay a visit to this beautiful palace which still harbors the essence of those bygone days.
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Warsaw Barbican (Barbakan warszawski)

4) Warsaw Barbican (Barbakan warszawski) (must see)

The Warsaw Barbican is one of few remaining relics of the complex network of historic fortifications that once encircled Warsaw. Located between the Old and New Towns, it is a major tourist attraction.

This Barbican was designed by Jan Baptist the Venetian, an Italian Renaissance architect who lived and worked in the Mazowsze region of 16th century Poland and was instrumental in the redesign of the 14th-century city walls, which by that time had fallen into disrepair. Almost immediately after its inception, the 4-tower barbican became an anachronism serving virtually no practical purpose. This was largely a result of the rapid advancement in artillery power. It was used in the defense of the city only once, during the Swedish invasion of Poland, on 30 June 1656, when it had to be recaptured by the Polish army of Polish king John II Casimir from the Swedes.

Largely destroyed during WWII, the Barbican was restored to its present form in the year 1954 on the basis of 17th-century etchings, as the new government decided it would be cheaper to rebuild the barbican and the nearby city walls as a tourist attraction than to rebuild the tenements.

Do not miss a visit to this famous attraction on your trip to Warsaw. The fort looks majestic and castle-like and takes you right back to the ancient times. View it from any angle and you will be impressed by its sheer majesty and awe-inspiring presence. You can also enjoy small art displays, handmade souvenirs and street musicians, and there are some decent places around for eating.

Why You Should Visit:
Not as much a destination by itself as a part of a city walk, but a nice fortress nonetheless, well rebuilt and well worth a look.
You can easily walk through it to get to the northern parts of Old Town which can be less crowded than the main parts around the square.
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
City Walls (Miejskie Mury Obronne)

5) City Walls (Miejskie Mury Obronne)

Warsaw’s city walls, known as Miejskie Mury Obronne, are a fourteenth-century double circle of protective city walls. This city landmark is fortified by several towers, including Krakowska (Cracow) Gate on the south and Nowomiejska on the north. Look closely at these brick walls and imagine how Old Town borders were defined and guarded.
6
Old Town Market Place (Rynek Starego Miasta)

6) Old Town Market Place (Rynek Starego Miasta) (must see)

Old Town Market Place is one of the oldest parts of Warsaw which was blown to pieces by the Germans following the Warsaw Uprising. This town market place was reconstructed to what it was before after the war ended.

Visit the Old Town Market Place on your trip to Warsaw. This charming area is the very essence of the city. It came into existence in the 13th century when the city of Warsaw was founded.

The marketplace used to feature a Town Hall where merchants and guilds representatives met periodically. It was here that occasional executions and fairs were held. This area featured many Gothic style houses which were destroyed by the 1607 great fire. In 1701, they were rebuilt by Tylman Gamerski in Baroque style. Another reconstruction of the current buildings took place between 1948 and 1953. These buildings look exactly the same as they did when the rich merchant families used to live there.

The Old Town Square has four sides namely the Dekert’s Side, Barss’ Side, Kollataj’s Side and Zakrzewski’s Side. Wario Wojciech maintains this square sporting a traditional red suit and carrying a curved sword. Your trip to Warsaw is definitely incomplete without a visit to this famous tourist destination.
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Royal Castle

7) Royal Castle (must see)

The Royal Castle in Warsaw is a castle residency that formerly served throughout the centuries as the official residence of the Polish monarchs. It is located in the Plac Zamkowy in Warsaw, at the entrance to the Old Town. The personal offices of the king and the administrative offices of the Royal Court of Poland were located there, from the 16th century until the Partitions of Poland.

In its long history, the Royal Castle was repeatedly damaged and plundered by Swedish, Brandenburgian, German, and Russian armies. In the 19th century, after the collapse of the November Uprising, it was used as an administrative center by the Tsar of Russia. Between 1926 and World War II, the palace was the seat of the Polish president, Ignacy Mościcki. After the devastation of World War II, it was rebuilt and reconstructed.

Today, it is a historic and national monument and houses a national museum, archives, and gardens. The museum is home to a unique permanent exhibit of Oriental textiles that includes over 600 oriental carpets. The castle holds many beautifully restored ornately decorated rooms as well as original works of art.

Why You Should Visit:
Grand and well kept, this castle is really more of a palace that easily matches the splendor of other palaces or royal residences in Europe.

Tip:
Take the guided tour in English which is on offer, but make sure that you have bought your separate ticket for entry to the castle from another desk.
Alternatively, either get a headset and listen to a self-guided tour or grab a free brochure when you enter to learn about the history and art.

Opening Hours:
Mon: 10am-6pm (May-Aug); Tue-Thu, Sat: 10am–6pm; Fri: 10am-8pm; Sun: 11am–6pm
On Wednesdays, admission to the permanent exhibitions of the Castle and the Under-Roof Palace is free (abbreviated route)
The Grand Courtyard, the Kubicki Arcades, and the Upper Garden are available for no charge until 5pm and on Fridays until 7pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
King Sigismund's Column (Zygmunt's Column)

8) King Sigismund's Column (Zygmunt's Column)

If you have been to Warsaw ever, you would certainly have visited the famous landmark King Sigismund’s Column. This is an ancient secular monument, the oldest in Northern Europe.

King Sigismund’s Column is located in Warsaw’s Castle Square. Built in the year 1644, this statue and column commemorates King Sigismund III Vasa. He was the King who moved Poland’s capital to Warsaw from Krakow in 1596.

You can find a sculpture of this king on the Corinthian column. This sculpture is 2.75 meters high and stands on the 8.5meter column adorned by four eagles. The king dressed in armor wields a sword and carries a cross in his hand.

This column was designed by Constantino Tencalla, the eminent Italian born architect, Clemente Molli the sculptor and was cast by Daniel Tym. A wooden fence was put in place in the year 1681 surrounding the monument. A permanent iron fence replaced the wooden fence later. Eighteenth and nineteenth centuries saw the column being renovated several times. A fountain was added on that features marble tritons designed by August Kiss, the German sculptor.

The bronze statue was demolished during the Warsaw Uprising by the Germans and was reconstructed. It was in 1949 that a new column made of granite was set up just a few meters from the original site.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Warsaw, Poland

Create Your Own Walk in Warsaw

Create Your Own Walk in Warsaw

Creating your own self-guided walk in Warsaw is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Warsaw without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Warsaw, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.8 km
Museums and Galleries Walk

Museums and Galleries Walk

There's lots of high quality art galleries to be found in Warsaw, and they are mostly concentrated in the center of the city. Visitors will see artwork from around the world, by artists both known and unknown, as well as local ones. Warsaw also houses many outstanding museums, which offer interesting and exciting exhibitions. Check out these wonderful museums and galleries in Warsaw in the next walking tour!

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 km
Warsaw's Praga Walking Tour

Warsaw's Praga Walking Tour

Praga is a historic district in Warsaw, situated on the East bank of the river Vistula. Its streets are full of renaissance houses, old churches, and historic buildings which are all part of Warsaw’s Old Town. Take the following tour to visit best attractions in this historic Warsaw’s area!

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km
Warsaw Museums

Warsaw Museums

Warsaw is a lively center of culture and entertainment, and it offers a range of interesting and fascinating museums. It's home to the Adam Mickiewicz Museum of Literature, the Historical Museum of Warsaw (which explains Warsaw’s long history), the Independence Museum (which features various exhibits dedicated to Polish independence), the State Archaeological Museum, the unusual Museum of Measurement, and many others. Take the following tour to visit Warsaw’s best museums!

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 km
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

Warsaw, the capital of Poland, is the city with long, eventful, and often dramatic history that is reflected in the city's varied architecture, comprising Gothic, neoclassical, Soviet-era and modern styles. Warsaw's Old Town, it's main attraction nearly destroyed during WWII, is now back to its former glory, complete with Market Square at its heart, lined with pastel buildings and open-air cafes. Take this orientation walk to explore some of the most prominent sights of the Polish capital.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 km
Jewish Warsaw Tour

Jewish Warsaw Tour

It's hard to imagine, except what we know from history, that on these beautiful Warsaw streets, thousands of Jews were herded and forced into cattle cars, on their way to concentration camps in the 1940s. Here, in the location of one of Europe's biggest concentration camps, about 400,000 innocent Jews suffered and died. Take the following tour to visit some of the places relevant to Warsaw and the Holocaust.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


15 Distinctively Polish Things to Buy in Warsaw

15 Distinctively Polish Things to Buy in Warsaw

A country with a great deal of taste and turbulent history, Poland has a lot to offer those with the eyes to see and mouth to savor. And Warsaw is, perhaps, the best place to find all things Polish brought together. Here's the list of the most distinctive Polish goods, caringly drawn by a...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Warsaw for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Warsaw has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Warsaw, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.