In the middle of our Central Europe camper road trip with our baby, we arrived in Warsaw, Poland with conflicting opinions. Simone had not had the best experience when he spent a stag weekend in the city a couple years earlier, and I didn’t know much about the place but was curious.
It’s probably going to become quickly clear while reading this post, but we totally fell in love with Warsaw. The both of us took a strong liking to the city pretty fast, seduced by its delicious and creative vegan food, its impressive buildings, romantic old town and rising alternative neighborhoods. Warsaw is totally on the rise, full of young people making the city more dynamic. It looks like a huge hub – complete with extremely practical, easy and reliable transportation and wifi hotspots – but it has a family side to it with a decent number of well-equipped parcs for adults and children as well as bike lanes everywhere. It’s a place to discover, an amazing surprise, combining history and modernity, and still very affordable at the moment.
Now let’s dig in the good stuff, but keep in mind that we were traveling with a 4 month old baby which made us spend more time outside exploring and admiring than visiting museums or hanging in some trendy speakeasy !
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1st of 2 days in Warsaw with a baby
Vegan lunch at Lokal Vegan Bistro
We left our appart’hotel room after Cesare’s first nap, right in time for lunch and therefore decided to head to a vegan restaurant.
Lokal Vegan Bistro is located in the lively city center. The menu changes every 2 weeks and features delicious vegan traditional Polish dishes. It’s a hype place with indoor and outdoor seatings and we really enjoyed sitting outside as the weather was great.
Viewing deck of the Palace of Culture and Science
After lunch we took a walk all the way to the Palace of Culture and Science to take the elevator to the 30th floor to the observation deck. We had to queue for a few minutes to purchase tickets, but the panorama was worth it. Being so high also meant a little breeze, welcome and refreshing in the heat of summer.
Shopping break in Warsaw’s city center
After delighting in the view, we made a short stop at the shopping mall just across the Palace. We strolled the streets in the middle behind it for some fresh air and an amazing atmosphere, abuzz with activity and terraces. From there we had to make a baby stop to buy nappies (go to Rossman if you’re looking for eco/organic nappies) and a few toys, and went to sit in a café for a little break.
Royal Way to the Old Town
Once we had rested our feet and drunk our fill in coffee / smoothie, we decided to walk to the Old Town. Soon we made it to the famous Royal Way, a 2km long path that goes from Nowy Swiat in the South of town and becomes Krakowskie Przedmiescie until Castle Square. It’s a beautiful street littered with cute little shops and restaurants, a great busy atmosphere emanating from the place. We took our time to take in as much as we could of what was going on around us, and even decided to stop at Warsaw University to walk its grounds and dream of a semester there…
Walking the Royal Way let us see a great side of Warsaw and cross a few landmarks from our list, like the Copernicus monument, the Academy of Fine Arts, the university, the Uruski Palace, the Presidential Palace, etc.
Warsaw’s Old Town
We finally arrived at Castle Square, which was full of tourists and musicians. It felt touristy but very festive at the same time, it was difficult not to enjoy it! We had a short time before diner so we just strolled around Old Town, spotting great places to stop and have a drink and colorful houses all the way.
Warsaw’s Old Town was completely destroyed during World War II, but you won’t realize it – even if you know it. Indeed, the historic center has been rebuilt as extensively and accurately possible, making it almost impossible to imagine that these little houses are only a few decades old. Castle Square is named after the royal castle made of light reddish bricks, also totally destroyed and rebuilt since. We didn’t, but you can visit this beautiful residence which was once made of wood (in the 14th century). You also cannot miss the monumental Sigismund’s column on Castle Square.
Alternative option for your 1st day in Warsaw
If you prefer to know where you’re going, you could book a guided tour of the city! Here’s a few good ones:
2nd day of our 2 days in Warsaw with a baby
For our second day in Warsaw we wanted to see the alternative part of the city and find some street art, so we headed first to Praga district. Then we ended our day and visit of the city by checking out what we had missed in the Old Town.
Hipster and artsy Praga neighborhood
We were curious about this part of town, said to be boho, that went from being a “bad” part of town to a now hype one. We took a bus that practically crossed the whole city, and started as usual… with food!
Vegan lunch at Praska
Praska doesn’t look like much from the outside. It might even make you think you are at the wrong place, or maybe that you should go in. But this “ruin” bar has a vegan kitchen to die for and an interesting atmosphere! As a matter of fact, it ended being our favorite vegan restaurant from the whole trip. We ordered Polish dishes revisited with vegan ingredient, and it was amazing!
Praga Koneser Center
After our meal we walked to the Praga Koneser Center. This old Vodka factory was turned into a cultural (with also some residences and businesses) complex housing the Vodka Museum, a few cute shops and cafés, as well Google’s campus for startups. We were disappointed to see that the Vodka Museum was unexpectedly closed on that day (we wanted to check it out), but we still enjoyed discovering this place.
Street art in Praga neigborhood
Once we left, we chased a few colorful murals but couldn’t find as many as we had hoped for. As the weather was turning rather grey, we decided to take a bus back to Warsaw’s Old Town.
Other option: Praga Guided Tour
If you don’t feel like roaming around by yourself, you can always take part in one of these guided tours of Praga!
Warsaw’s Old Town – part 2 : Old Town Market Square, Warsaw Barbican…
We still had some time and we wanted to use it to see a bit more of the Old Town. We took a slower pace than the day before, stopping to check out the Mermaid (symbol and guardian of Warsaw) at the Old Town Market Square and exploring as many colorful cobbled streets all the way up to the Barbican. We took a little break at the beautiful Barbican made of distinctive red bricks in the 16th century, the second biggest fortress in Poland. After being badly damaged during World War II, it went from encircling the entire town to only being the semi-circle that now stands between the Old and New parts of town.
Practical info about visiting Warsaw with a baby
- Transportation in Warsaw : Easy, efficient and practical. You can buy tickets inside the bus and trams using cash or a contactless credit card. You can buy different types of tickets that will suit your needs.
- Breastfeeding and babywearing : no problem. People are amazingly nice in Warsaw (and as far as our experience goes, in Poland in general) and a woman with a baby girl even came to us so the babies could socialize. A cute very old woman was totally moved and enchanted by Cesare sleeping in the sling on Simone. If you’re into babywearing, now that you can find wraps of the Polish brand Lennylamb at baby shops!!
- Being vegan: amazing experience! You can find vegan food everywhere.
Poland is amazing, and surprisingly very vegan friendly! I’m saving this article for the next time we will travel in Warsaw!