Summer in Warsaw offers the best of Poland's capital city, and if you're planning to travel June through August, rest assured you'll have plenty to do, see, and experience while you're there.
Warsaw's summers are warm and the evenings are comfortable. If you plan to be out and about all day, sunscreen is a good idea, and a compact umbrella that you can tuck in your bag will also come in handy. Do remember that Warsaw is a northern city, so you may experience a chill in the air, especially at night or at the start and end of the summer season.
What to Pack
Your best clothing options for Warsaw summer travel include light, comfortable clothing, a thin sweater or jacket for evenings, and comfortable, but not completely casual, walking shoes. Outdoor concerts, such as the Chopin piano concerts in Lazienki Park and those in the Royal Castle Courtyard, will give you plenty of opportunities to experience Warsaw's music culture. Clothing and shoes that are equally suitable for daytime wear or an outdoor, evening event will prevent you from having to go back to your hotel and change to suit the occasion. Think slacks, business casual loafers or clogs (whatever you find most comfortable walk-in), and breathable shirts that you can layer under another top if necessary.
Warsaw's June, July, and August events calendars are packed full of interesting and fun activities and festivals. Juwenalia, the students' festival, occurs late May or early June. Wianki, the summer solstice festival, takes place mid-July. Concerts and performances are hosted at various venues, and visitors will have no shortage of entertainment to choose from when they travel during this time.
What to Do During Summer
Warsaw is a green city, and its parks and gardens offer a serene escape from the noise and activity of the urban landscape. Take a picnic to enjoy under the trees or simply go to gaze at a fountain, people watch or collect your thoughts.
If the heat gets unbearable, take your enjoyment of capital city indoors by visiting a museum or going shopping at one of Warsaw's shopping malls. You can also shop for souvenirs and gifts to take home to friends and family.
Fine weather makes a trip to the viewing platform of the Palace of Culture and Science an option. See the city from above and the interior of this Stalinist-era skyscraper.
Take a tour of Old Town Warsaw, where the history of the city is preserved in its buildings and squares. You'll see monuments, the Royal Castle, the famous statue of Syrena the mermaid, and the city's old fortifications. Interested in a boat tour? Descend to the bank of the river to explore your options for a lazy hour or two on the water.
In the evening, as the sun sets on Warsaw, dine outdoors on a historic square or enjoy live jazz at one of Warsaw's lounges. You'll fall in love with Polish food and drink. Don't forget to try pierogi, Polish beer, and Polish vodka!
Tips for Visiting During Summer
If you want to stay in or near the historic district, it's helpful to begin planning your trip well in advance. Though Warsaw is sprawling, public transportation is readily available and hoofing it is always an option if you want to really see the city – consider staying in a hotel along the Royal Route for the best access to sights, parks, and the train station if you plan to visit other destination cities during your stay in Poland.
Alternatives to Warsaw Summer Travel
Warsaw is an incredible city to visit any time of year! Though December is cold, the Warsaw Christmas market and holiday decorations light up the Old Town with yuletide cheer. In springtime, a nip in the air remains, but tourist numbers are low and you will see the city waking up after the long winter. Autumn travel to Warsaw promises moderate temperatures, seasonal restaurant menus boasting fresh-picked mushroom dishes, and easy access to major attractions.
Getting out and Away From Warsaw
Train travel is a convenient way to get around Poland. If you have time, consider visiting more than one Polish city, even if you use Warsaw as your home base. An express train connects Warsaw to Krakow, a city that will be equally, if not more, crowded than Warsaw during summer. To the north, you can visit the tri-city area of Gdansk, Gdynia, and Sopot.