Piaseczno picnic area

The 10 Best Day Trips from Warsaw | 2023 Edition

While Warsaw is a large city with many things to do, taking one of these best day trips from Warsaw would add a lot to your trip to Poland. Poland is a large country, and to get a better picture of it, a trip to another city is educational, especially if you have the time. While you can fill even up to a week’s worth of time in Warsaw with the many activities in Warsaw, you will probably find yourself satisfied after a couple of days. Thus, a day trip can be a great experience to make your trip even better! 

These cities and locations have been organized to meet your personal desires on where to travel. The first part of the list is dedicated to cities that are within a short distance of Warsaw by car or train and are small enough where you can see all the important highlights in one day without feeling like you are missing something. The last part of the list is dedicated to singular locations that have enough to do to make a day trip. But there will also be a short section on cities that could be day trips from Warsaw, but only if you have higher energy, and are willing to undertake long days.  

Additionally, you will find a short section on cities that you should not visit on day trips, because they have too much to do, and it would be an injustice to only visit them for one day. Additionally, there are some bonus entries at the end that are a little bit harder to get to, or impossible to get to using public transportation, but worth a visit if you are choosing to rent a car.

All in all, I tried to make sure this list included places that you can at least get to via some form of public transportation, but renting a car is not a bad choice from Warsaw, especially as you can do so for just a day at a low cost. Read on to learn more! (Note: Click on the city and location names to be led to Google Maps for their exact locations)

Best Day Trips from Warsaw: Entire Cities

This section features cities which are of a large enough size where there are multiple things to do in a day, but not so large as you will miss important parts of the city by only visiting it for a day. All these cities are within a maximum of 2-2.5-hour drive from Warsaw, or even shorter if you choose a train. Thus, these destinations are the best day trips from Warsaw in my opinion, if you have an extra day in Warsaw, and want to explore an entire city from top to bottom! Read on to learn more about these best day trips from Warsaw! 

1. Lublin

Distance from Warsaw: 174 km (108 miles) 

Description: Lublin is a medium-sized city found about 2 hours from Warsaw. Lublin is the ninth-largest city in Poland, but most of its activity is centered around its historic Old Town. With a convenient train station with consistent service from Warsaw throughout the day, it is easy to take an early morning train and a late evening train back, while having plenty of time to explore the city in between! For a full guide on what to do in Lublin beyond what is supplied below, visit this earlier blog.  

The Old Town in Lublin
The Old Town in Lublin. Taken by Poland Insiders writer Jeremy.

Best Things to Do: 

  • Lublin Old Town: The center of Lublin, not too large, but with lots of do. Admire the gates, such as Cracow Gate, or walk down one of them any side alleys. Then, arrive in the Rynek, and enjoy a nice meal while admiring the colorful buildings. You can also choose to climb the Trinitarian Tower to get a good view of the city on a non-rainy day. 
  • Lublin Castle: A 13th century castle that sits opposite the Old Town, with an art museum inside. There is also a view tower with some of the best views in Lublin.  
  • Saxon Garden: A beautiful outdoor garden full of quiet benches to sit on, ponds, flowers, and more. Walk through Lithuanian Square along the way, and wave high to people at the Lublin-Vilnius Portal, a live webcam connected to Lithuania.  
  • Open Air Museum of Lublin: Found away from the main part of the city, but still a short bus ride away, this museum is dedicated to showing you what Lublin, and Poland in general, looked like in the past. Here you can walk from building to building and learn about Polish village life and walk through some beautiful scenery along the way.  

Day Trip Costs: You should budget around 50 PLN per meal at a restaurant, around 10 PLN for using public transportation, 40-60 PLN for visiting museums, and around 80 PLN for taking the train. Thus, for a person, a day trip will run around 200 PLN per person if you spend a reasonable amount of money, not a bad price overall. Of course, it will be more if you choose to drive, as the combination of the car and gas will be more expensive, but this might be more cost effective if you have a group of people or family. 

Travel Information: Driving will take around 1 hr. 45 minutes to get to Lublin. Parking is available throughout the city and is free at the weekends. One great place to park is at Plac Zamkowy. If you want to take a train, and InterCity train from one of the Warsaw train stations will take about the same amount of time, just less than 2 hours, to get to Lublin. The train station from Lublin is then a short 10-minute bus ride from the Old Town. All in all, Lublin is one of the easiest cities to get to if you want to take a day trip from Warsaw.  

2. Kazimierz Dolny 

Distance from Warsaw: 152 km (94 miles) 

Description: Kazimierz Dolny is a small town found on the east bank of the Vistula River. It is a stunning town, with tree-covered hills and cliffs towering over the town sitting in a small valley between all the hills. It is a good example of what a typical Polish town looked back in the day, with a small castle, red-roofed buildings, a picturesque town square, and cobblestone streets. It has become quite popular as a day trip destination from both Warsaw and Kraków, so do not expect to wander around this delightful place on your own! 

Kazimierz Dolny is a small town found on the east bank of the Vistula River
Kazimierz Dolny is a small town found on the east bank of the Vistula River. Taken by Poland Insiders writer Jeremy.

Best Things to Do: 

  • Hill of the Three Crosses: A clearing on top of a hill overlooking Kazimierz Dolny and the Vistula River, making a perfect place for pictures, or just admiring the hill. This requires a walk up the hill and a small entry fee paid once you reach the top. Exploring the forests around the hill is completely free, however! 
  • Kazimierz Dolny Castle: A lovely relic of Kazimierz Dolny that served as the station of protection of the town throughout Poland’s war-filled history. Today, it houses great views of the city and river, as well as small exhibits, such as a spider and reptile exhibit when I visited. You can also visit the castle keep for another great view of the area. 
  • Market Square: The perfect place to enjoy a meal or admire the hill and castle from below. Also, in the adjacent smaller market square, you will find a nice marketplace where you can buy nice local art, food, and more touristy things. You can also buy some of the famous rooster-shaped bread here.  
  • Wąwóz Korzeniowy Dół: A scenic, but small, gorge found just outside of the city. Here, you can walk through a valley of tree roots. This is a good place to take your kids to run off some energy, but also a beautiful and unique place in Poland.  

Day Trip Costs: You should also budget around 50 PLN per meal, 30 PLN for admission to attractions, and maybe another 20 PLN for buying some cool souvenirs. With the 90 PLN roundtrip bus tickets (see more below), a day trip to Kazimierz Dolny can cost as little as 190 PLN per person but can get higher if you choose to take a boat tour, or if you drive and then also must pay for parking.  

Travel Information: Kazimierz Dolny is easiest to reach by car, taking less than 2 hours on a normal day. Upon arrival, there are parking lots spread throughout the city. Most will cost you between 25-30 PLN to park for the entire day. Be aware that some of the parking spaces will be tiny, so be prepared for some parking practice before arriving! Once you get to the city and park, you can easily walk everywhere you need to go, until you are ready to leave. 

While there is no train station or major bus station serving Kazimierz Dolny, there are still options to get to Kazimierz Dolny by bus from Warsaw. I found a company that does regular service to Kazimierz Dolny from Warsaw, mostly aimed at serving locals but perfectly suited for a day trip as a tourist. One such example is Trans Bus Express, where you in just over 2 hours and 30 minutes you can get to Kazimierz Dolny for 45 PLN each direction. This certainly is not cheap, so I would say you are better off renting a car if you have a large group, but for a solo traveler, this would be the best choice. 

For advice on renting a car in Poland, check out this earlier blog I wrote about my experiences. Also look out for a future blog about driving from Warsaw, in which I drove my car to Lublin and Kazimierz Dolny and found it very convenient and worth the cost.  

3. Łódź 

Distance from Warsaw: 135 km (84 miles) 

Description: Łódź is certainly not the first city most people would think of when considering a visit to Poland. Łódź has an industrial past, as an important place for making textiles, especially during the communist period of Poland’s history. Now, these factories are mostly abandoned, and Łódź is trying to find its new identity. As Poland’s third or fourth-largest city (depending on who you ask), there are many things to do, and at such a short distance from Warsaw, it is an easy trip to make, but one most miss, meaning you can have a more low-key experience here! 

line for pączki
The line for pączki on Tłusty Czwartek in Łódź. Taken by Poland Insiders writer Jeremy.

Best Things to Do: 

  • Piotrkowska: This is one of the most famous streets, stretching almost 5 km (3 miles) from start to finish. Along the way, you will find many of the best restaurants, and shops. You will also get a chance to see where locals interact every day, as this is not just a tourist road. Additionally, at the north end of the street, look at Pasaż Róży, a beautiful glass-covered alleyway that is a great place for photos. 
  • Park Źródliska: A great green space in the center of the city with lots to do. You will find museums, a Palm House for a warm break during the colder months, coffee shops, and other park activities. Around Christmas, you will also find an extensive Christmas light display as well! 
  • Museum of Art in Łódź: Spread around three campuses, you will be able to admire lots of art, all on one ticket. At MS1, admire modern art, with a distinct Polish twist. At MS2, found next to the massive and impressively beautiful Manufaktura shopping mall, admire a variety of older Polish art. Finally, visit Herbst Palace for some older art, while also enjoying the atmosphere of this beautiful palace.  

Day Trip Costs: A meal will probably cost about 40 PLN here. For admission to attractions, expect to pay around 30-40 PLN. You will probably pay around 15 PLN for public transportation, as Łódź is a more spread-out city. Finally, a train ticket each way should cost around 40 PLN. This means a trip to Łódź may cost as little as 150 PLN per person, depending on how many meals you eat at a restaurant, or which train you are lucky enough to get.  

Travel Information: Łódź takes about 90 minutes by car to get to. Once there, do note there is a lot of road construction going on in the city, so make sure to check where this is happening before choosing to drive. A train, on the other hand, will be speedy. A train to Łódź Widzew train station, east of the downtown, takes just over an hour, with a short tram ride then needed to make it to the city center. A train to Łódź Fabryczna, the main train station in the center, will require a slightly longer journey, but still under 2 hours even with extra stops.

4. Olsztyn

Distance from Warsaw: 215 km (133 miles) 

Description: Olsztyn is a smaller city found in the north of Poland, along the way to Gdańsk. It is the current capital of the beautiful Warmian-Masurian province of Poland, nearby to the many beautiful lakes in Poland. While it may be small, it still packs a punch, with a beautiful historic Old Town full of history, and a high quality of food. If you get the chance, you can also take a short group kayaking tour up the river through Olsztyn, or at one of the closer lakes. Olsztyn is certainly one of the best day trips from Warsaw!  

Olsztyn is the current capital of the Warmian-Masurian province of Poland
Olsztyn is the current capital of the Warmian-Masurian province of Poland. Taken by Poland Insiders writer Jeremy.

Best Things to Do: 

  • Old Town Market Square: The center of the touristy part of Olsztyn, a beautiful place to take pictures or enjoy a delicious meal of Polish cuisine. Here you will find the Old Town Hall and landmark churches like Olsztyn Cathedral. Also, a short walk away is the Museum of Warmia and Masuria, housed in a castle on a hill, which occasionally hosts concerts full of colorful regional musicians. 
  • Kayaking on the Łyna River: The Łyna River runs through the heart of Olsztyn and is your best bet to get an experience with the lakes and rivers of the Masuria region. You can rent kayaks at various points throughout the city and enjoy the peace on the river. 
  • Lake Ukiel: Lake Ukiel is a largish lake found west of the historic Old Town. Here, you can tan on the city beach, or go for a swim in the lake, which gets quite popular in the summer amongst locals and tourists alike. There is also a pier, and many great restaurants to choose from.   

Day Trip Costs: A meal in Olsztyn will be in that typical 50 PLN range. With only a few museums, you will probably spend a bit less, around 20-30 PLN. Public transportation will come in handy, so the budget is around 10 PLN for that. Finally, a train to Olsztyn will run around 50 PLN each way. Thus, the grand total for a trip to Olsztyn per person will be around 150 PLN, plus a bit more based on your personal tastes.  

Travel Information: Driving to Olsztyn is on the longer end of trips, taking a little bit less than 3 hours to get there. If you want to take a train, trains as of now leave from Warszawa Gdańska station, with the average train taking between 2 hours and 15 minutes and 2 hours and 45 minutes to get there. I would recommend the train, as you can stop at Olsztyn Zachodni train station, and only have a short walk to the historic center of the town.

5. Białystok

Distance from Warsaw: 199 km (123 miles) 

Description: Białystok is one of the largest, and most densely populated cities in Poland. Located in the far east Podlaskie province, most people would never think to come to Białystok on a trip. Many Poles even skip coming here. However, you will find that this city is a lovely place to live, with generally nice people (read below to learn why), and many fun places to visit, including the real Versailles of Poland. And, because it is less visited, you will find it is a very cheap place to visit. So, despite some shortcomings, Białystok is certainly one of the best day trips from Warsaw.  

Branicki Palace in Białystok
Branicki Palace in Białystok. Taken by Tomek Baginski on Unsplash.

One thing I must note about Białystok, is although Poland in general is a very safe country, Białystok has a reputation when it comes attitudes towards people of color, or those part of the LGBT community. While it is easier to hide your sexual orientation, people of color may find that some people may be confrontational. However, this is, fortunately, only a small number of people in Białystok, but they are known to be more confrontational. So, exercise a bit more caution than you might normally have to in other, more tolerant Polish cities.  

Best Things to Do: 

  • Branicki Palace: This palace is oftentimes called the Versailles of Poland, due to its appearance, and unique beauty. Entry inside requires a guided tour that will likely be in Polish, but you can arrange for English tours. But, if you just want to admire the outside, this is also possible. This experience is made better by the stunning public gardens on the palace grounds. For more information, visit the palace’s website.  
  • Rynek Kościuszki: This is the beautiful main street of Białystok, found right next door to the palace. Here, you will find a street lined with restaurants and shops, and a delightful place for a walk on a sunny day. Additionally, you can visit the Town Hall and the museum inside, as well as the Białystok Cathedral. Most of the icons of Białystok are here, so you should plan to spend a lot of time in this part of the city. 
  • Podlaskie Museum of Folk Culture: For a bit of a change of pace, take a 20-minute bus ride to this museum.  Podlaskie, the province for which Białystok is the capital, has traditionally been a center of farming, agriculture, and forestry. At this museum, you can see the craftsmanship of these industries, in replica houses, farms, and more, as well as actual farm animals. It is a nice place to learn more about the region in an interactive manner.  

Day Trip Costs: A meal here will probably cost around 40 PLN, and public transportation will similarly cost 10-15 PLN depending on how much you use it. Entry to attractions will cost around 30 PLN. Finally, a roundtrip train ticket will cost around 75 PLN. This makes a total cost of 160 PLN for Białystok. Like other cities on this list so far, it is certainly an affordable destination!  

Travel Information: Driving to Białystok takes around 2 hours and 20 minutes with no traffic, and it is a very scenic drive through farmland and forests along the way. By train, you can take as little 2 hours and 15 minutes from Warsaw Gdańska station, making it a very convenient destination to arrive at by train. The train station is located about 30 minutes from the city center on foot, or about 10 minutes by city bus.  

Best Day Trips from Warsaw: Singular Locations

This part of the list of best day trips from Warsaw is focused on singular attractions that have enough to do, or are so special, that you will want an entire day to explore them. Some of them are just on the outskirts of Warsaw, and some are much further away. All are achievable through trains or car use in a day and are worth your time if you have it. Read on to learn more about these singular locations that are amongst the best day trips from Warsaw.

6. Malbork Castle 

Distance from Warsaw: 324 km (201 miles) 

Description: I have often included Malbork Castle on lists for this blog, mostly because it is one of the most impressive places to visit in all of Poland, and most certainly one of the best day trips from Warsaw. This castle was built by Teutonic Knights hundreds of years ago and has (mostly) stood the test of time. Today, you can admire the beautiful brick Gothic structure alongside a beautiful river with thousands of other tourists. Inside, you will find a museum dedicated to a detailed history of the many inhabitants of this castle throughout history, as well as some impressive collections of relics found in the castle.  

Malbork Castle in Gdansk
Malbork Castle in Gdansk. Taken by Poland Insiders writer Jeremy.

Visiting the castle will take you about 3-4 hours if you want to see everything at a reasonable pace, or maybe eat at the restaurant inside the castle. Afterwards, you can walk up and down the streets of the beautiful city of Malbork. There is also a fun marketplace at weekends right next door to the castle, if you want to buy a random trinket to take home as a souvenir.  

Hours: The hours change consistently based on the season and for each individual attraction at the museum, so consider checking out the website in advance for information on the specific day you plan to travel there. This is also where tickets can be bought in advance, which is highly recommended if you plan to visit at a weekend to avoid waiting in long queues at the castle.  

Costs: A one-way train ticket will cost around 65-70 PLN per person. Admission to the museum is also 70 PLN/50 PLN reduced. Depending on what you choose for your meal, you are paying a minimum of 225 PLN per person to visit Malbork, putting it on the more expensive end-of-day trips from Warsaw. However, the beauty and uniqueness of the castle makes it worth it, in my opinion.  

Travel Information: Malbork would be a very long drive, at almost 4 hours in each direction, although you can certainly make that drive a part of the trip. A train will take around 2 hrs. 40 minutes, although you can get faster trains if you are willing to pay for the much more expensive tickets that the Pendolino trains charge (and you would only cut off 40 minutes in the process).

7. Kampinos National Park 

Distance from Warsaw: 13 km (8 miles) 

Description: Kampinos National Park is a park found right in the backyard of Warsaw! Located just west of the city, and still within the limits of the city’s public transport, Kampinos houses a variety of nature to explore. You will have the chance to see lots of birds, snakes, deer, and maybe even the elusive moose. You can explore this nature while walking on the hundreds of kilometers of walking trails that crisscross their way through the park. As you walk, you will find a variety of natural areas, including small dunes, swamps, thick forests, and river valleys.  

Inside Kampinos National Park 
Inside Kampinos National Park. Taken by Poland Insiders writer Jeremy.

Additionally, you can bike here if you have a bike you want to use. Or, if you come in the winter, you can rent some skis and go cross-country skiing through this park. Along the way, you will also see many monuments and grave sites, as Polish insurgent fighters used the friendly cover of Kampinos to try and fight back against the Nazis during WWII after Germany’s invasion of Poland. There are signs throughout the park that tell you about this. All in all, Kampinos is one of the most delightful things in Warsaw, and despite its proximity to the center Warsaw, its size merits an entire day to explore it properly.  

Hours: You can visit Kampinos anytime you want, although I would not want to get stuck there in the dark! The earlier you get there, the more likely you are to beat crowds in the summer and get a parking spot if you choose to drive. In the fall and winter, however, you should not need to compete that much, but make sure to get there with enough time to return to your bus before the early sunsets Warsaw has! 

Costs: Visiting Kampinos National Park would be entirely free if you have already bought a transit ticket for Warsaw! Otherwise, the only cost you will pay is for your bus ticket to get there, and whatever you bring for lunch!  

Travel Information: To get to Kampinos, you can use a car, or take a city bus. If you are driving, you can park at any of the trailheads, such as at Polana Wypoczynkowa Truskaw, or Łużowa Góra, two of the more popular trailheads. For taking the bus, you have a variety of options. These are listed below: 

  • Bus 250 from Metro Młociny to Laski Trenow 02, then walk about 10 minutes into the border of the hike and start your hike from there. This choice is nice, since this bus stop has a Biedronka at it, where you can buy some snacks before or after you start your hike, or while you are waiting for your bus home. 
  • Bus 210 from Metro Młociny to the end of the line at Truskaw Skibinskiego. This bus ride takes about 30 minutes, and takes you close to the Polana Wypoczynkowa Truskaw trailhead, and then into the park from there. There is also a small shop right next to the bus depot for your convenience.  
  • Bus 150 from Metro Młociny to Dziekanow Lesny. This bus ride takes just over 30 minutes and takes you to a children’s hospital in the middle of the forest. From there, you can walk south, directly into the park.  

There are many other places you can choose to drive to and park, since the park is massive. Most people tend to stay in the eastern part since it is closer to the city and accessible by bus, but if you have a car, a trip to the western parts would be even more rewarding, as it would be quieter. All in all, Kampinos is easily accessible to anyone visiting Warsaw, making it one of the best day trips from Warsaw.

8. Piaseczno Narrow Gauge Railway 

Distance from Warsaw: 18 km (11 miles) 

Description: For another fun trip very close to Warsaw, consider taking a ride on the historic Piaseczno Narrow Gauge Railway. Piaseczno is a large suburb of Warsaw only about 15 minutes south of the city. Here, you will find this railroad, a remnant of a former 90 km (56 mile) route that ran directly into the heart of Warsaw. Today, this railroad is either a perfect place to take your kids, or a romantic endeavor depending on the day you are planning to visit.  

The railway will take you on a slow journey through the beautiful Polish countryside. While the conductor will give you history, it will be entirely in Polish, so have Google translate ready to translate everything. Or just enjoy the ride! After turning the train around, you will stop in a large meadow, where you will be able to play some football, throw a frisbee, and best of all, have roast some Polish sausages (or something else) or a bonfire created by the staff. This experience was a lot of fun, and I highly recommend it as one of the best day trips from Warsaw.  

The historic Piaseczno Narrow Gauge Railway will take you on a slow journey through the beautiful Polish countryside.
The historic Piaseczno Narrow Gauge Railway will take you on a slow journey through the beautiful Polish countryside. Taken by Poland Insiders writer Jeremy.

Hours: The train runs seasonally, usually from May to the very end of September, with some special seasonal rides, such as a Christmas train, sprinkled in between. For complete information, visit their website for hours and to buy a ticket. 

Costs: A normal ticket for taking the train costs 45 PLN/30 PLN reduced (reduced value is for children from 3-18). If you also want to include a trip with the bus line 51 (more on that in a second), the tickets cost 55 PLN/35 PLN. If you choose to take regular public transport, you will have to buy a Zone 2 Ticket for each direction, which will cost you around 8 PLN per person.  

Finally, you will want to bring some food for the picnic, which will probably cost around 20 PLN from a grocery store. Thus, this trip costs around 75 PLN per person, making it one of the cheapest on this list considering how close it is to Warsaw, hence why it is such a popular destination for Varsovians.  

Travel Information: Driving to the train station location is straightforward, taking around 30 minutes from the city center, with parking available on site. If you want to arrive by bus, you have two options. Bus 709 and 727 both leave from Metro Wilanowska, and get you to Piaseczno in about 25 minutes, with Bus 727 dropping you right in front of the train station. Your other choice is to buy the special bus line 51 ticket as mentioned previously, which leaves from Centrum 03 bus station, or from Metro Wilanowska on request. This bus leaves an hour before the train leaves from Piaseczno, arriving at Metro Wilanowska 20 minutes after leaving the city center.  

9. Żelazowa Wola

Distance from Warsaw: 53 km (33 miles) 

Description: Why would you visit this small village found about 50 minutes from the center of Warsaw? You would because one of Poland’s most famous luminaries was born here, piano maestro Fryderyk Chopin. In 1810, he was born in Żelazowa Wola. Although he only lived here for a short 7 months, Chopin’s status as a Polish national icon and one of the best-regarded musicians in the history of musicians, there is of course interest to see where he is born. Poland has come through, with a great museum found on site.  

Not only will you get to walk through the museum and learn all about his life, but there is also a nice park on site to walk around, where you can imagine what life was back in the early 19th century and admire the beauty of the Polish countryside. Other than the park and museum, there is not much to do in the village, but if you really want a fun experience, walk west through the farmlands towards the small town of Sochaczew, to get a fuller picture of what rural life in Poland is like.  

All in all, the quaint feel of this area, as well as the opportunity to learn more about an amazing musician, make a trip to Żelazowa Wola one of the best day trips from Warsaw.  

Hours: The village is open to visit anytime, as an actual residential place. For Chopin’s birthplace and park, the hours depend on the month you visit. From March to April and September to October, the museum is open from 10 AM to 6 PM. From the end of April until August, the museum is open from 10 AM to 8 PM. For the rest of the year during the winter, the museum is open from 9 AM to 5 PM. The museum is closed on major holidays but check their website for full details. 

Also, during the summer months (May-September), Chopin recitals are open to visitors with entry to the museum. These take place on Saturdays from 10-11:45 AM, 1-2:45 PM, and 4-6 PM, and on Sundays from 4-6 PM.  

Costs: From what I have found, if you want to book a tour, it will cost around 350 PLN per person, which is quite expensive. In fact, you would be better off taking a train to Sochaczew from Warsaw, then ordering a taxi to Żelazowa Wola from there. This would cost around 60 PLN total (make sure to book with a reputable taxi company that will not rip you off) which would save you a lot of money but make timing much less flexible.  

Entry to the museum also costs 25 PLN/20 PLN reduced. There are also options for just the park and temporary exhibit, or just the temporary exhibit, but the full ticket price is worth it. But, if you visit on a Monday, it is free. So, you might be able to visit for as little as 60 PLN plus whatever food you need to buy, making this trip an absolute steal! But you will likely spend around 100 PLN per person.  

Travel Information: As mentioned above, the easiest way to get to Żelazowa Wola is by car, which will take you about 50 minutes. However, if you want to take public transport, you can take an inter-city train from Warszawa Centralna to Sochaczew in about 40 minutes. These trains do not run very often, but if you want to save money or do not want to rent a car, this is the way to go. Once you get to Sochaczew, it is about 10 minutes by taxi to the village.  

10. Treblinka Extermination Camp 

Distance from Warsaw: 112 km (70 miles) 

Description: Treblinka Extermination Camp is a remnant of one of the darkest times in Polish history. Treblinka was a Nazi camp built for the sole purpose of killing as many Jews or other “undesirables” as possible. While only in operation for a little over a year, it is estimate that nearly 1 million Jews, as well as populations of Romani people, were murdered at these camps, making it the second most deadly death camp after Auschwitz. Unlike Auschwitz, this extermination camp is much closer to Warsaw, so if you want a chance to reflect on the horrors of WWII, or maybe have a familial connection, Treblinka is the easiest camp to visit from Warsaw.  

Today, there is a museum on the grounds where you can learn about the horrible history of this site, as well as the history of the Holocaust as a whole. Additionally, you can walk around the grounds for a good long distance, viewing the execution site, the former site of the labor camps, as well as the former graveyard. All in all, this is a very solemn experience, and a necessary one for understand Poland’s history, thus making this one of the best day trips from Warsaw.  

Hours: The museum and grounds are open daily from 9 AM to 6:30 PM. This means every day, except New Year’s Day, Easter, and Christmas. Occasionally also, the museum’s hours may be shortened on other national holidays but would still open at the same time in the morning, it would just close earlier.  

Costs: The museum itself only costs 7 PLN per person and is even free on Mondays. Other than that, your costs are getting there and food along the way. If you choose to go by train, a ticket will cost 25 PLN each way bought on the Koleje Mazowieckie website. Thus, your total costs will be around 60-70 PLN per person, making this quite cheap. You can also do tours, but these will range in the couple of hundreds of PLN, which is not worth it in my opinion, you would be better off renting a car. 

Travel Information: Getting to Treblinka is easiest done by car. However, it is also possible by car. You can take the R60 train from Warsaw Wileńska train station and get off at Prostyń train station in about 80 minutes. From there, you would need to order a trusted taxi to get to the museum in about 10 minutes. Otherwise, you would have an 8 km walk each way ahead of you, which is certainly possible if you are up for it, but not advisable.

Best Day Trips from Warsaw: Long-Haul Trips

These next best day trips from Warsaw are those that require a bit more effort to manage. These are mostly cities, with one notable exception that is a landmark of Poland, that are all 2.5-4 hours away from Warsaw. Thus, you will likely spend as much time driving as visiting these locations, if not more. But, if you are wanting a chance to drive through the beautiful Polish countryside and view the drive as also part of your day trip, then these destinations work well! But for the average person, these would be too exhausting for day trips from Warsaw.  

Sandomierz: Sandomierz is a beautiful town on the Vistula River often paired with Kazimierz Dolny as the two small Polish cities worth visiting. The town center is simply stunning, and the views over the Vistula are comparable to Kazimierz Dolny. However, Sandomierz is much farther away, at 212 km (132 miles) from Warsaw. While there is train service as well, this train ride also takes almost 3.5 hours each direction, which will eat up a considerable part of your day. So, save Sandomierz if you would like to  

Auschwitz: Auschwitz is quite far away from Warsaw, at over 330 km (206 miles), which will take you up to 4 hours to drive to. Public transportation there is also quite lengthy, as you must take a train to either Katowice or Kraków, and then another train from there. With so much traveling, your best bet would be to take one of the many guided tours offered from Warsaw to Auschwitz. While this will be more expensive, it will take care of your transport costs, and ensure you get back to Warsaw on the same day in one piece. But, if you want to do this trip on your own, it is fully possible, but just a very long day.  

Toruń: While I have Toruń in this category, I took a day trip to Toruń. I did so using FlixBus, but this involved a 4-hour bus ride in each direction, and I woke up at 5 AM to get home around 11 PM. So, a very long day. The day can be made shorter by driving or using a bus. However, the fastest road to Toruń is a toll road, so you would have to set up the toll system first.

Overall, Toruń is a small enough city where you can see everything in one day like I did, you just might find the traveling to and from there too much for one day, especially if you have kids or a larger group. For more on Toruń, read my article on the best things to do there.  

A street in Torun
A street in Torun. Taken by Poland Insiders writer Jeremy.

Zamość: The beautiful city of Zamość is about 265 km (165 miles) from Warsaw. While in terms of driving distance, it is not that far, if you do not have a car, the distance by train is quite long, adding an extra 90 minutes after taking a train to Lublin. However, Zamość is a beautiful city if you have the energy. The historic Old Town of Zamość is one of the most beautiful in all of Poland! However, this is the main destination of Zamość, so taking a trip to Zamość just for this is probably not worth it for a day trip, unless you make stops at Lublin, or maybe Zalipie (more in a second) along the way.  

Zalipie: Zalipie is a small village found closer to Kraków than to Warsaw. So why would you take a day trip here? Simply because the beautiful painted buildings of Zalipie are stunning and unique, and you will find no place like this anywhere else in Poland. The issue with Zalipie is that getting there without a car requires joining a tour group, which will be quite expensive, but possible. If you do have a car though, it is a 267 km (166 mile) drive, which is still a long-haul drive if you want to do it. Overall, I would suggest a day trip to Zalipie is more worth it if you are doing it from Kraków rather than Warsaw. 

These Locations are NOT Good Day Trip Locations from Warsaw

Finally, I have three locations that you might see on other lists of best day trips to Warsaw that I 100% DO NOT recommend as day trips. While in theory, they are easily reachable in between 2-3 hours by train, these cities are too big to explore in just one day, and I think you will be left unsatisfied. But, if you really want to, you can treat these cities as day trips. I just really do not recommend it. 

Gdańsk: This city has so much to do. If you were to do a day trip to Gdańsk, you would pretty much only be able to walk around the Old Town, and maybe go to a museum or two. However, you would miss out on the history of the city, being able to visit places like Westerplatte would be impossible, and you would not get a good chance to enjoy the beach, such as at Sopot. Gdańsk really needs 2-3 days for a full experience at the minimum. For more info on Gdańsk, read here. For more info on how to get to Gdańsk from Warsaw, read here.  

Kraków: Kraków is the most popular city to visit in Poland, and thus it is no surprise that some places might suggest a day trip to Kraków. However, it is the most popular city in Poland for a reason. There is so much to do in this city, from walking around the Old Town, to visiting some of the stellar museums, to exploring the amazing Wieliczka Salt Mines outside of the city. Kraków is a 2–3-day city, a day trip will pretty much only allow walking around the Old Town. So, do yourself a favor and spend more time in Kraków. For information about what to do in Kraków in the winter, read here.  

Cloth Hall in the main market square in Kraków
Cloth Hall in the main market square in Kraków. Taken by Poland Insiders writer Jeremy.

Poznań: Poznań is a city that will show up less on the list of best day trips from Warsaw. However, it is still a no-go. Especially with the historic town square under construction right now, you would miss out on the most important reason to take a day trip. Do not get me wrong, Poznań has many other great places to explore, such as Lake Malta or the Palmiarnia, but right now, Poznań is not a day trip city, it is a place to go more if you want to get a real feel for a Polish city, and thus I would not recommend it as a day trip city until the renovation of the town square is complete. 

Conclusions and BONUS List

Overall, Warsaw, being a centrally found city in Poland, is a perfect place to take day trips from. Arrival to Warsaw is easy via both international airports available, and there is fast, convenient, and cheap bus and train service to many other cities in Poland that serve as perfect day trips from Warsaw. I would recommend spending 2-3 days in Warsaw but extending that by a day or two allows you to get the most out of your trip to Poland through some fun day trips. I hope you find the day trip for you on this list.  

Now, below, you will find some bonus entries on this list! I have not included these in the proper list for a couple reasons. First, they are not the largest attractions in the world, but with the right motivation, they can be. Secondly, access to all of them is only possible with a car. But, if you choose to rent a car, these are nice destinations to visit, especially if you have children!  

Dzielnica Filmowa: For something quirky, visit the Dzielnica Filmowa! Located in the middle of a random patch of forest south of Warsaw, here you can enjoy attractions centered around your kids favorite TV shows, such as Transformers, Harry Potter, Cars, Thomas the Tank Engine, and more. The fun is walking around and admiring the replicas of these things, and that it is also cheaper than Disneyland Paris. There are also rides available as well, although these are on the simpler end, such as bumper cars. But your child should still enjoy a visit here.  

While this park is easiest reached by car, you can also reach it by train! Take the R80 train leaving from Warsaw Gdańska station until the Zalesia Gorne train stop, (which takes about 45 minutes), and walk a short distance from there. Also note that this park is only open from the end of April until the end of October, and mostly on weekends, with many days during the week dedicated only to school groups. Check the website for a complete amount of information.  

Czersk Castle: Yes, there is a castle within a short distance of Warsaw! Czersk castle is the former castle of a Masovian duke. It is not the largest or most impressive castle in the year but is a remnant of the many gothic buildings that used to spread across Poland. It is also reachable from Warsaw in around 90 minutes via a combination of regional train and bus, or by 45 minutes by car. Check it out if you have the time! 

Bagno Całowanie: This is a beautiful bog and swamp area full of beautiful hiking trails, informative signage, and even a boardwalk. While there are other natural areas closer to Warsaw, the uniqueness, beauty, and peace of this location makes it worth a visit if you can. It is easiest to reach by car in about 50 minutes from Warsaw. Your other choice is to take a regional train to Celestynow, but then you would have to take a taxi from there for about 15 minutes. So, this is not the most accessible for a tourist. 

Park Dolina Wkry: This is a beautiful park found along the Wkra River, which soon flows into the Vistula via the Narew River at Modlin. Here you will find hiking trails, an interpretative trail, and even fun treetop walks to explore. It is also accessible by train, on the R90 to Nasielsk, dropping you off at Pomiechowek, a short 5-minute walk from the park. Or it is just over an hour to drive. 

Bolimów Landscape Park: This is a park that has something for everyone. In its beautiful forests, you will also find a lake and river. Ultimately, you can choose to hike, bike, view wildlife, or rent a kayak and take a tour down the creek that runs through the middle. This is a perfect place for nature lovers, but it is most definitely best explored by car, although you could take the R1 train to Skierniewice and take a taxi from there.  

Suntago Park Wodny: The final entry on this list is one of the largest water parks in Poland. This is a great place to take kids, with over a dozen waterslides, many massive pools, and other fun activities for kids. There are also saunas, spa packages available for adults, and alcoholic drinks. However, it is expensive, with an all-day ticket running around 200 PLN per person. If you arrive after 5 PM during the offseason, you can get a massive discount, however! You can also only get to it by car, with a trip taking about 45 minutes.  

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