Is Poland safe for travelers? A random street in Warsaw, Poland.

5 Best Areas to Stay in Warsaw (Convenient & Budget Options)

Warsaw has become an increasingly popular tourist destination in recent years. But, with such a large city, what are the best areas to stay in Warsaw? The simple answer is it depends on a variety of factors, but mainly the activities you are most interested in doing, and what your budget is. Warsaw has many vibrant neighborhoods within its limits, split between 18 different districts. Each has something different to offer, but not all are perfect for your trip to Warsaw. An ideal place to stay in Warsaw should include good lodging options, convenient public transportation, and the ability to walk to restaurants and other city attractions.  

With these criteria in mind, this list holds 5 of the best areas of Warsaw to stay in. From the historic Old Town to a few budget options within easy reach of the city center, there is something for every budget on this list. In each of the 5 sections, you will also find information on attractions and dining found in the area, the transportation situation, as well as a few recommendations of where to stay if you choose to stay in a hotel. Read on to learn more! 

1. The Old Town: Central, but expensive

General Description: The Old Town is the historic heart of the city. Destroyed during WWII, but then rebuilt afterward to appear as it once did, almost every tourist who comes to Warsaw is going to take a walk through here. And it’s not surprising, given the beautiful buildings to admire here, and the nice atmosphere, especially around sunset.  

Warsaw, one of the best cities to visit in Poland
The old town of Warsaw, one of the best cities to visit in Poland. Taken by Poland Insiders photographer Andrzej Tokarski.

So, why not stay here when you come to Warsaw? It has many great benefits, including closeness to major city attractions, good restaurants, and great connectivity to the rest of the city by foot and public transport. However, unsurprisingly, staying in the Old Town will come with a hefty price tag unless you plan to stay in a hostel. But, if you are looking for a touristy way to stay while staying in Warsaw, the Old Town is the best area to stay in Warsaw for this purpose.  

Attractions and Dining: The most obvious attraction that is reachable by staying in the Old Town is the Old Town itself. You can stroll around the beautiful Old Town Market Square whenever you please, and in the winter, you can peruse the Christmas Market, or maybe ice-skate around the symbolic mermaid statue. Other attractions within the Old Town include the Royal Castle, and from there you can easily walk down Krakowskie Przedmieście and see all the sights along the way. 

Other attractions that are easily accessible from the Old Town are anything along the river. This includes the fantastic Multimedia Fountain, which has water shows on the weekends throughout the summer season. Or you can visit the University of Warsaw Library Rooftop Gardens for a view of the river. There are also many good boat bars, cafes, and places to sit along the way. For a new attraction, consider visiting the new Agrafka Bridge, which opened to much fanfare in March of 2024. Or just enjoy a peaceful walk along the Vistula Boulevards.  

The Old Town is home to many restaurants to choose from. However, the restaurants are usually quite a bit more expensive than other restaurants in the city (with some restaurants now adding automatic gratuities of 10% more recently). You can instead take a trip to the city center for slightly cheaper prices. Or you can take a quick tram ride to the Arkadia Mall, which offers a full food court with sit-down restaurant options. Alternatively, you can take a tram across the river to the Praga district for even lower prices on restaurants.  

Transport: As already mentioned, there is a good public transportation connection within the Old Town. From the Old Town tram stop found below the castle, you can catch trains to the city center, across the river to Praga, or towards the Wola district (home to the Warsaw Uprising Museum). There is also a direct bus, Bus 175, to Chopin Airport from here, and many other buses to all parts of the city. It is also a highly walkable area, with all the attractions listed above no more than 20-25 minutes away on foot.  

Recommended Place to Stay: We recommend Mamaison Hotel Le Regina for your stay in the Old Town. This beautiful 5-star boutique hotel is elegant and romantic and located a short 5-minute walk on beautiful cobblestoned streets from the heart of the Old Town. The hotel also offers many nice amenities, including a pricy, but decadent breakfast, a swimming pool and spa, as well as all the other services you expect in a hotel of this caliber. Just expect a heftier price tag of around 600-700 PLN.  

For a budget choice, consider Ibis Warszawa Stare Miasto. While not found directly in the heart of the Old Town, it is only about 15 minutes away on foot. It is also within walking distance of a major train station and has tram access to the major parts of the city. The rooms are simple, but much more affordable than the typical Old Town hotel, costing between 160 and 300 PLN per night depending on your room.  

2. Ochota: Well-connected budget choice

General Description: Ochota is not a district of Warsaw that most people visiting will ever see, except from a train or bus window. However, this bustling residential district is a great place to stay for a variety of reasons. Ochota is just west of the city center, between the districts of Wola and Mokotów, both of which will feature on this list later. As a residential district, it is quiet, full of places to eat, nice plazas, and green spaces. And, since it is away from the city center, it is a great place for budget stays. So, I recommend staying in Ochota to save money, especially if you have a family.  

Górka Szczęśliwicka in Warsaw
Górka Szczęśliwicka is a hill in the wonderful Park Szczęśliwicki in the Ochota neighborhood of Warsaw. Taken by Poland Insiders writer Jeremy.

Attractions and Dining: While Ochota is a cheaper place to stay, it does not have a ton of things to do. However, the main thing to do is take a visit to the fantastic Park Szczęśliwicki. This park houses some of the most unique things to do in Warsaw, including an artificial ski hill, the only one in the city, a gravity roller coaster, a hill with a viewpoint, multiple playgrounds, places for barbeque, and a seasonal waterpark. Other than this park, you can also visit the parts of Pole Mokotowskie in Ochota. Specifically, the recently renovated and re-opened Central Pond area is a great place for a walk, with a great view of the Warsaw skyline.  

Dining in Ochota is also great, with much lower prices than in the Old Town, or the city center. A few places to try are the multiple restaurants scattered around Plac Narutowicza. The main road of Ochota, Grójecka, also has many restaurants along its length. You can also visit the Blue City Mall if you are looking for a food court.  

Transport: If you stay in Ochota, you will need to use public transportation for much of your stay. However, it is convenient to get to and from major transport hubs in the area. The Warsaw West station is within a short bus ride of anywhere in Ochota, and you can connect to other places in Poland, or the trains to either Chopin or Modlin airport. The airport buses, including Bus 175 and 188, are also within reach and take you towards the city center as well. There is also a key tram line running down Grójecka that will get you to the city center in 15 minutes max. 

Recommended Place to Stay: As you should be staying in Ochota to save money, the best place we recommend is Ibis Budget Warszawa Reduta. Like its partner hotel found near the Old Town, the rooms are straightforward, but are private and cheap, with working Wi-Fi and air conditioning for a hot summer day. This hotel is only 9 minutes by foot from the Warsaw West train station, with bus or train service from there taking you directly to the city center (with tram access coming potentially by late 2025).  

3. Centrum: Convenient, but expensive

General Description: The city center of Warsaw is a large contrast from most of the rest of the city. Warsaw has rapidly grown, with towering skyscrapers sprouting up in past years to complement the beautiful, but controversial, Palace of Culture and Science. Thus, a stay in the city center of Warsaw is an experience unlike most other places in Europe, as you have a chance to get that Manhattan feel without going to New York. Of course, with that comes lots of people and tourists going everywhere, commuters going to work, and high prices. But, with convenient access to attractions and dining, it is worth a stay if you have the budget for it.  

The National Museum in Warsaw
The entrance of the National Museum in Warsaw. Taken by Poland Insiders photographer Andrzej.

Attractions and Dining: The Palace of Culture and Science is the main attraction of the city center, with its iconic viewing platform providing an amazing, but inexpensive, view of the entire city. By 2025, the Varso Tower, the European Union’s tallest skyscraper, will also be offering paid views of the skyline. For culture, you take a quick walk to the fantastic National Museum in Warsaw, or the Chopin Museum, dedicated to Poland’s most famous musician. The Saxon Gardens are also in reach if you want some green space to explore.  

However, the best part of staying in the city center is the dining opportunities that await you. Some people choose to visit the Zlote Tarasy Mall, with its distinct buildings in the center of the city. However, you should instead visit Hala Koszyki, a food court found in an old industrial building, one of the many that have shown up in Warsaw in recent years (and perhaps my favorite trend in Poland). Alternatively, you can find a restaurant on ul. Chmielna, or the famous Warsaw nightlife spot Nowy Świat, which are full of fantastic bars and restaurants alike.  

Transport: Being in the city center, public transport is going to be very good. The central train station is next to the mall and the Palace of Culture and Science. You can also easily catch a train to either the airport or Bus 175 to Chopin Airport. Both Metro lines run here, taking you to most places in the city. If that isn’t enough, three different tram lines run through this area, two going north to south and one going east to west. In other words, you will be able to get anywhere you want in the city very easily from the center, while still being able to walk to many attractions if you want. 

Recommended Place to Stay: We recommend Sofitel Warsaw Victoria for your stay in the city center. This hotel is found steps from the beautiful Saxon Gardens, and only 10 minutes from both the Old Town and the Palace of Culture and Science. Poland Insider’s founder and photographer Andrzej Tokarski got the chance to stay here and had overall good impressions. The hotel offers top-notch accommodations, great service, large bathrooms, comfortable beds, and a wellness center with a pool. You can stay here from as low as 500 PLN per night.  

If you are on a budget, the best options in the city center are hostels, if you do not mind sharing a room. But you can also always get a private room at most hostels. One such hostel that I recommend is Hostel Lwowska 11, which has very basic shared rooms, but also multiple-room apartments with complete privacy. The service was very nice, the common room was pleasant and quiet, and staying here leaves you only 10 minutes on foot from the city center. A private room costs around 250 PLN, and a dorm as little as 70 PLN.

4. Wola: A secondary Warsaw hub

General Description: Wola is one of the largest districts in Warsaw, and mostly houses residential apartments. However, the part of Wola closest to the city center is home to a fast-growing business center with tall skyscrapers and amazing hotels to stay at. But the charm of Wola is being amongst all the native Varsovians and away from the hordes of tourists in the city center or the Old Town when your day is done. It is also a very important historic district, as it was the sight of two important historic events: the Warsaw Ghetto and the Warsaw Uprising, with plaques for both found throughout the area.  

Wola is also a bit cheaper than the city center without having to sacrifice the luxury you can find in the center. Thus, Wola is perfect for travelers with a bit more budget, but still looking to save some money. But there are also good budget options available. So, I recommend staying in Wola when visiting Warsaw. 

The view nearby A&O Warsaw Wola Hotel
The view nearby A&O Warsaw Wola Hotel. Taken by Poland Insiders writer Jeremy.

Attractions and Dining: As Wola is a heavily residential area, there is a shortage of attractions. However, one of the best museums in Warsaw is found in Wola, this being the Warsaw Uprising Museum. If you are interested in more history, you can head to Powązki Cemetary, one of Warsaw’s largest. If you are interested in Jewish history, you can also head to the POLIN museum, the Jewish Cemetery, or any number of historical sights remembering the holocaust and the Warsaw Ghetto.  

However, where Wola shines in my opinion is in food options. There are many great local restaurants scattered in the bottoms of the many block apartment buildings throughout the district. These restaurants will be full of locals, and have local prices, while still offering great food. You can also go to Browary Warszawskie or Fabryka Norblina for shopping and dining from cuisines all over the world. Finally, Arkadia Mall offers many restaurants to choose from as well. 

Transport: Transport in Wola is simple. Depending on where you stay, you can even walk to the city center if you choose. Alternatively, the M2 metro line goes through much of Wola. In addition, many different tram lines are making their way through all parts of Wola, all of which generally head towards either the Old Town or the city center. Anywhere the trams do not go, buses do. In general, Wola is one of the better-connected districts in Warsaw, although you will have to add some travel time to go to the main attractions of Warsaw. 

Recommended Place to Stay: We recommend the Hilton Warsaw City for your stay in Wola. I had the opportunity to stay here to write a review for this blog and was very impressed. The rooms were spacious, with great views of the surrounding skyline, with a separate shower and tub in the bathroom. The exercise room and pool were top-notch, and the breakfast was amazing. However, the price is quite high, starting at around 700 PLN per night.  

If you are looking for a budget choice, consider staying at A&O Warsaw Wola. This hostel is in the style of a low-budget hotel and hostel, with many beds split between small private rooms. It is also found next to a newly opened tram line that can get you to the center in 10 minutes, and next to an M2 metro stop that will connect you to almost anywhere in the city in 20-30 minutes. A private room starts from around 200 PLN but be warned that linens and towels are extra.  

5. Mokotów: budget choice near some popular Warsaw attractions

General Description: Mokotów, like Wola and Ochota, is a highly residential district. It is the district I lived in for my first year in Warsaw, and I enjoyed my stay in this district greatly. It is a well-connected district, dotted with quiet parks. It is away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist center, so it is very relaxing to come here after a long day amongst other tourists. However, there are also parts of Mokotów not far from the city center, with much lower prices than the center. Overall, Mokotów is a solid budget choice for staying in Warsaw. 

Wilanow Palace in Warsaw, Poland
Wilanow Palace in Warsaw, Poland. Taken by PolandInsiders writer Jeremy.

Attractions and Dining: While Mokotów itself does not have many attractions, there are a few that are closer to you if you stay in Mokotów versus another district of Warsaw. One of these is the fantastic Wilanów Palace, one of the best attractions and landmarks to visit in all of Poland. You are also only a short walk from Łazienki Park if you are staying in the northern part of Mokotów.  

Transport: Mokotów is well connected to the rest of the city. The M1 metro line serves the main parts of the district. There are also two major north-south tram lines with access to the city center, and one recently opened tram line going east and west towards the city center. There are also many buses to choose from to get anywhere in the city. The one downside is there is no direct transport to the airport from Mokotów.  

Recommended Place to Stay: There are many budget hotels in this area of Warsaw, and also a growing number of Airbnbs. To avoid contributing to Airbnbification, consider staying at OSiR Polna, one of Warsaw’s most unique budget hotels. It is found just across the street from popular Pole Mokotowskie, with metro, tram, and bus access all plentiful. Since this hotel is part of an active recreation center, you also get access to the pool and wellness center! A room only costs around 250-300 PLN per night, but space is limited so book in advance! 

Conclusions About the Best Areas to Stay in Warsaw

In sum, Warsaw has 5 clear winners in the best areas to stay. Each has different strengths and weaknesses. For your convenience, I have ranked each of the five areas mentioned above based on my opinions and knowledge of the city, and the rankings are found in the table below. Overall, the city center ranks the highest in most categories, due to the central location, plentitude of things to do, and great dining. However, Wola is also a great choice if you are on more of a budget. Overall, you cannot go wrong with any of the five choices, just pick based on your personal preferences! 

Area Location Price Attractions Dining Transport Overall 
Old Town 1st 5th 1st 5th 3rd 3rd 
Ochota 5th 1st 5th 3rd 5th 5th 
Centrum 2nd 4th 2nd 2nd 1st 1st 
Wola 3rd 3rd 4th 1st 2nd 2nd 
Mokotów 4th 2nd 3rd 4th 4th 4th 
Rankings of Warsaw Areas in Key Categories (based on my personal opinion)

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