Warsaw may be Poland’s capital, but the country has plenty more to offer thanks to a comprehensive transport network. Here is a brief guide to some of Poland’s other cities, with details on how to reach them.
Although tourist numbers have risen dramatically in recent years, Poland is still a relatively unexplored country, which is a shame because it has a great deal to offer travellers. We have listed 14 key destinations, all of which are easily reached from Warsaw, some in a matter of hours
Below is an overview of each destination. Use the links to find out more information about available transport, with timetables and prices. Hopefully we will convince you that Poland is a country worth exploring and to change that mini-break to Warsaw into a two-week tour.
Other Polish Cities You Can Visit From Warsaw
Due to its location, roughly at the centre of Poland, and its excellent transport links, Warsaw makes a great hub for further exploration of the country. You could fly in for the weekend, before moving off to two or three other cities. Then return to Warsaw, before flying home again.
Most cities can be reached via public transport in a matter of hours. Our How To Get To Warsaw page gives a brief overview of the national transport system.
In the north east of Poland, Białystok has a lively cultural scene and a handful of tourist attractions, and is close to the UNESCO-listed Białowieski National Park and the oldest forests in Europe. Check for transport options between Warsaw and Białystok.
On the Baltic coast, historic Gdańsk is one of Poland’s most popular destinations. You can read more about Gdańsk on our sister site GdanskVisit.com. Check for transport options between Warsaw and Gdańsk.
Gdynia is also a port city with some lovely sandy beaches, and also makes a great day trip from neighbouring Gdańsk. Check for transport options between Warsaw and Gdynia.
For something a bit different, Katowice is very post-industrial. It’s airport and proximity to Kraków make it worth consideration for travellers who want a future-facing (and very green) Poland, with dramatic, modern architecture. Check for transport options between Warsaw and Katowice.
Beautiful and historic, stunning Kraków should be on everybody’s wishlist during a visit to Poland. You can read more about Kraków on our sister site VisitKrakow.com. Check for transport options between Warsaw and Kraków.
Set in the very heart of Poland, Łódź is coming into its own as a creative city. The city is alive with murals and street art. There’s a great food scene and a nice mix of architectural styles. Right now, Łódź has that exciting feel of the future. You can read more about Łódź on our sister site VisitLodz.com. Check for transport options between Warsaw and Łódź.
On the eastern side of Poland, Lublin is best known as a cultural and academic city. It has a rich Jewish heritage and was apparently referred to as the ‘Jewish Oxford’ in the Jagiellonian era. There is a nice mix of medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque, with some atmospheric cobbled streets. Check for transport options between Warsaw and Lublin.
Up in the north, Olsztyn is often overlooked by tourists keen to reach the more famous Gdańsk. It does, however, have a pretty Old Town and ranks very highly for quality of life. What’s more, the city provides a gateway to some gorgeous wild countryside of lakes and forests. Check for transport options between Warsaw and Olsztyn.
300km to the west of Warsaw, youthful Poznań has a lively, friendly nightlife, with plenty of restaurants and bars. The Old Town is brightly coloured and quirkily decorated with bold styles similar to Southern Germany. There’s plenty here to keep you occupied for a long weekend, with a museums, a cathedral, and historical buildings, but the city also makes a great base for exploring Poland’s countryside. Check for transport options between Warsaw and Poznań.
Another seaside resort, between Gdynia and Gdańsk, Sopot is a playground for the rich. With sandy beaches and a pier, as well as the shops, bars, and clubs of Bohaterów Monte Cassino, it can be very busy at the height of the season. Even more than Gdynia, Sopot might be best sampled first as an afternoon out, rounded off with a meal in one of the excellent fish restaurants. Check for transport options between Warsaw and Sopot.
Close to the border with Germany, Szczecin is off the beaten track for most tourists. The Old Town is pretty and there are a handful of attractions to see. But, mainly, visiting Szczecin is a great opportunity to get to know Polish food and to engage with the culture – there is a fine Philharmonic building and the grand Ducal Castle is now an arts centre. Check for transport options between Warsaw and Szczecin.
Mostly untouched by the Second World War, Toruń is a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Vistula River. Dominated by the huge Gothic cathedral, the city feels less hectic than more famous tourist destinations. Check for transport options between Warsaw and Toruń.
Wrocław is a charming city to the west of Poland, with islands and bridges criss-crossing the water and a strong Gothic flavour to the architecture. Built out from the 10th century Ostrów Tumski, Wrocław has a stunning UNESCO-listed market square. Check for transport options between Warsaw and Wrocław.
The Tatra mountains from Mt. Gubałówka
Poland’s outdoor capital and winter resort, Zakopane is gateway to the Tatra mountains. The area is excellent for hiking, skiing, and a range of other activities. However, there is also unique folk architecture and plenty of more spectacular attractions. You can read more about Zakopane on our sister site VisitKrakow.com. Check for transport options between Warsaw and Zakopane.
Travelling By Train From Warsaw
Every town listed above, except Zakopane, can be reached by train, many even directly from Warsaw, via high-speed train. Strictly speaking, Warsaw Central (Warszawa Centralna) will be the point of departure for national and international trains, although you may leave from another station while extensive upgrades are made to the infrastructure in and around Warsaw.
The PKP Intercity network is fast, modern, comfortable, and fantastic value for money. There are frequent trains to the biggest cities, but not every destination will have a daily service, and timetables are subject to change. Also be aware that some journeys may require an additional charge for seat reservations.
Trains can be booked via the national rail network.
Travelling By Coach Or Bus From Warsaw
Although it’s possible to catch the coach at a number of Warsaw locations, including Centralna (see above), the main bus station is Warszawa Zachodnia to the west of the city.
Most Polish cities can be reached directly from Warsaw, through a number of companies, including Infobus, Sindbad, and Ecolines, and there is a particularly good network of FlixBus routes. The buses are clean, modern, and comfortable.
Not every service will be daily, and timetables / prices are subject to change. Also be aware that tickets may require additional charges for seat reservations.
Travelling By Plane From Warsaw
Warsaw is served by two airports: Warsaw Chopin and Modlin. You can find details on how to get to Warsaw Chopin from Warsaw city centre and what to expect when you get there. Our page on How To Get To Warsaw includes information about Modlin Airport.
Not every Polish city has a local airport but all that do are likely to have regular direct services from Warsaw, often with a budget airline.
St. Mary’s Basilica, Kraków
Travelling By Car From Warsaw
Poland’s transport infrastructure is getting better all the time and most of the destinations listed above are now linked by good motorways and expressways. Although you will often have to pay a toll to use them.
There are specific rules and laws that have to be obeyed on Polish roads, often punishable by law, so be sure to familiarise yourself with the most up-to-date information.
In some cases, you can use a private hire to get from Warsaw to different cities. Kraków (and Auschwitz), for example, can be reached in a couple of hours by a private hire vehicle.