Warsaw is the vibrant capital city of Poland and one of the most liveable cities in Central and Eastern Europe. Known as the Phoenix City for its astounding revival following WW2, its remarkable history is just one reason to visit.

Travellers flock to Warsaw to marvel at its incredibly diverse architecture, interesting museums and lush city parks. Not to mention its food scene and pumpin’ nightlife – prepare the taste buds and the dancing shoes!

The history of Warsaw is rich, vast and tragic in many ways. Its history draws in many travellers who seek to discover more. The historical events that the city has been through are remembered and commemorated across memorials and museums around the city.

Deciding where to stay in Warsaw can be an exciting but also daunting and fairly time-consuming task. Especially if you’ve never been to the city before! Some areas are safer than others, as well as being more suited for various activities.

But never fear! I’ve put together this ULTIMATE guide on the areas of Warsaw. Not only will you find the best areas but also the best places to stay and things to do in each area. Sounds pretty good, right?

I’ll help you to get your accommodation sorted, so you can get on with the important stuff, like where to source the best pierogi (dumplings)!

So here we go – soon you’ll have the city sussed, knowing exactly where to stay in Warsaw.

Where to stay in Warsaw

Sometimes you just want the best, and the location isn’t a concern. In that case, check out our top picks for Warsaw in general!

Best Hostels in Warsaw

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Central vintage studio | Best Airbnb in Warsaw

Yup, Warsaw is absolutely beautiful, but it’s even better when you’re staying right in the heart of the city. This Airbnb is located on the famous Piwna street, close to all of the hotspots, really cute cafes and great restaurants, and therefore absolutely perfect for your first stay in Warsaw. The studio is cosy, held in white and light colours, which makes the whole flat look incredibly welcoming and bright.

Mish Mash Nowogrodzka | Best Hostel in Warsaw

The Mish Mash Nowogrodzka Hostel is located right in the center of Warsaw, near numerous restaurants, clubs and sights. The hostel is 300 metres from the Centrum Metro Station, 400 metres from the Palace of Culture and Science and 500 metres from Warsaw Central Station. 

Stay in the middle of the action (or in an off the beaten path location) using our comprehensive neighborhood guide for Warsaw!

Hotel Indigo Warsaw Nowy Swiat | Best Hotel in Warsaw

Hotel Indigo Warsaw Nowy Swiat has 60 well-appointed rooms that are accompanied by a variety of essential facilities to ensure guests have a comfortable stay. Those staying at this Polish hostel can sit down to Middle Eastern dishes at the on-site restaurant.

Warsaw Neighborhood Guide – Places to Stay in Warsaw

FIRST TIME IN WARSAW
Old Town, Warsaw
FIRST TIME IN WARSAW

Old Town

Ironically only about 70 years old, Warsaw’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the perfect place to stay when you’re visiting for the first time.

ON A BUDGET
Srodmiescie, Warsaw
ON A BUDGET

Srodmiescie

Actually a bigger district that completely encompasses the Old Town, Srodmiescie is the large central area of the city. The name literally means ‘downtown’, and it’s rather apt!

NIGHTLIFE
Vistula River Bank, Warsaw
NIGHTLIFE

Vistula River Bank

The Vistula River Bank, for our purposes, is everything on either side of the river near the central city area. This is ultimately a summer destination when the sun shines and shorts and skirts make their appearances.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Praga, Warsaw
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Praga

Praga is on ‘the other side of the river’ in as much as some places are considered ‘the wrong side of the tracks’. It has a long reputation of being unsafe and seedy. So why are we sending you there?

FOR FAMILIES
Mokotow, Warsaw
FOR FAMILIES

Mokotow

Mokotow sits a short distance south of the centre city but worry not, family travellers! The subways, buses and trams of Warsaw are at your service to whisk you wherever you so wish, in no time flat!

Warsaw is a sprawling city on the Vistula River, pretty much in the middle of Poland, and a touch to the east. It’s been around since at least the 14th century, with a number of total rebuilds in its time. 

Far from being the cold, grey city some picture when considering Eastern Europe, Warsaw is alive with culture, stunning architecture and music! There are far more amazing places to visit in Warsaw that you can imagine, and trying to see everything in a short amount of time is pretty much impossible.

Check out Chopin’s benches throughout the old town that play the music of this famous son of Warsaw!

The city’s areas neighborhoods are called districts, and there are a number that radiates out from the centre, each with their own style. 

Aside from our five, which you’ll learn about in detail soon, there’s Wola, with its sobering history as a site of much of the Warsaw Ghetto, now turned cultural hub. And Marunow, where the grand avenue-like streets and green spaces combine to make a residential dream. Or what about Zoliborz, the Bohemian haven right on the river?

However you like to travel, and whatever you’re into, Warsaw’s dynamic streets have an area that’s perfect for you!

Warsaw’s Five Best Neighborhoods to Stay in…

Whether you’re here for the Polish vodka or are travelling with the kids, we’re outlined the best neighborhoods to stay in Warsaw!

#1 Old Town – Where to Stay in Warsaw your First Time

Ironically only about 70 years old, Warsaw’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the perfect place to stay when you’re visiting for the first time. 

Originally built between the 12th and 13th centuries, over 85% of the Old Town was destroyed in WW2. The painstaking restoration in the years that followed was an incredible feat of historical revision and architecture, involving the use of original materials and techniques in its construction.

It’s the centre of all things tourist in the city, and is incredibly picturesque, to boot. 

The Old Town is surrounded by the rebuilt medieval walls which are a great path for a wander. Spend some time checking out the Barbican, the defensive gateway building. Its very design was intended to deter attackers, or entrap them should they attempt to charge it!

The market square in the middle of Old Town is one of those classic European squares. Stand in the middle and turn in a circle, admiring the colors and style that surrounds you.

The Royal Castle is here as well, where you can step back into the time of the last king of Poland.
Old Town is a great place to find all the traditional foods of Poland – try Bigos, the hunter’s stew!

Old Town, Warsaw

Things to See and Do in Old Town:

  1. Chill in the Old Market Square and soak in the ambience of the city.
  2. Walk around the Old Town walls and work out the old defensive tactics they show.
  3. Get a history lesson at the Royal Castle.
  4. Try some culture at the Adam Mickiewicz Museum Of Literature.
  5. Try some Polish dishes in one of the many street-side stores.

Central vintage studio | Best Airbnb in Old Town

Yup, Warsaw is absolutely beautiful, but it’s even better when you’re staying right in the heart of the city. This Airbnb is located on the famous Piwna street, close to all of the hotspots, really cute cafes and great restaurants, and therefore absolutely perfect for your first stay in Warsaw. The studio is cosy, held in white and light colours, which makes the whole flat look incredibly welcoming and bright.

Castle Inn by Oki Doki | Best Hostel in Old Town

Comfortable, incredible with the most value added you can imagine. This hostel combines 4-star feel with a backpacker atmosphere inside one of the few historical buildings which survived World War II. They offer 21 en-suite rooms with unforgettable views from every window.

Castle Square Apartment | Best Hotel in Old Town

Strategically located in the heart of the city, this 4-star hotel makes for an excellent base. It also provides a swimming pool and free Wi-Fi. There are 2 stylish rooms at Castle Square Apartment, each providing all the essentials to ensure a comfortable stay. 

Hotel Bellotto | Best Hotel in Old Town

The 5-star hotel has 20 rooms and has been recently refurbished. Hotel Bellotto is conveniently situated for exploring Warsaw with Presidential Palace, Field Cathedral of the Polish Army and Warsaw Old Town within a 10-minute walk.

Is This the Best Backpack EVER???
audy on top of a mountain in japan with the osprey aether

We’ve tested countless backpacks over the years, but there’s one that has always been the best and remains the best buy for adventurers: the broke backpacker-approved Osprey Aether and Ariel series.

Want more deetz on why these packs are so damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

View on Osprey View on REI

#2 Srodmiescie – Where to Stay in Warsaw on a Budget

Actually a bigger district that completely encompasses the Old Town, Srodmiescie is the large central area of the city. The name literally means ‘downtown’, and it’s rather apt!

Considered the liveliest and most dynamic, it’s the best place to stay in Warsaw when you’re on a budget.

Not only is accommodation fairly cheap here (true of most of Eastern Europe, to be fair), but all the sights you’ll want to see are in walking distance. Many of those sights are free, in fact – double bonus! 

Its eastern border runs along the riverbank so you’ve also got some of that nightlife flair going on, as well as all the history of Old Town.

The universities and higher learning institutions of Srodmiescie contribute further to the youthful vibe of the borough. 

Srodmiescie is also home to Poznanska Street, the vibrant stretch that has more than its share of bars and restaurants. It’s Middle Eastern offerings are particularly well-known.

Failing that, if you’re just in the mood for a few drinks, Plac Zbawiciela is your go-to. Here’s where you can spend the zloty that you saved on accommodation!

Srodmiescie, Warsaw

Things to See and Do in Srodmiescie:

  1. Try the food at Beirut on Poznanska Street.
  2. Grab a drink somewhere on Plac Zbawiciela. Maybe something with Polish vodka?
  3. Head up the tallest building in Warsaw, the Palace of Science and Culture, for views over the city.
  4. Visit the Museum of the History of Polish Jews.
  5. Relax after all your sightseeing at Ujazdowski Park, the most picturesque park in town!

Cute private room | Best Airbnb in Srodmiescie

If you’re travelling on a budget, you should have a look at this Airbnb. The host offers an affordable private room that also has a balcony. You can save even more money since breakfast is included. Living room, kitchen and bathroom are shared but sparkling clean and very well equipped. If you have any questions about the area and hot spots, the hosts are happy to help you out.

New World St. Hostel | Best Hostel in Srodmiescie

The most famous street in the heart of the city! The best starting point for a great night out! And… it’s easy to find – arrive by a direct local bus that stops right in front of the building. The cosy hostel has been recently renovated so you can enjoy the new design.

Hampton by Hilton Warsaw City Centre | Best Hotel in Srodmiescie

Conveniently located in the heart of the city, this 3-star hotel makes for an excellent base in Warsaw. Surrounded by local bars and restaurants, it is a short stroll from Warsaw Central Railway Station. The hotel has 300 rooms and has been recently refurbished.

Hotel Polonia Palace | Best Hotel in Srodmiescie

Set in the heart of the city, Hotel Polonia Palace provides easy access to Warsaw’s popular retail and sightseeing areas. Those staying at the property have access to a beauty centre, a hair salon and a sauna. This modern hotel provides a fitness centre, a coffee bar and 24-hour room service. 

#3 Vistula River Bank – Best Area to Stay in Warsaw for Nightlife

The Vistula River Bank, for our purposes, is everything on either side of the river near the central city area.

This is ultimately a summer destination when the sun shines and shorts and skirts make their appearances. There’s something here all year round, though, so don’t worry if you’re visiting around the end of the year. 

During the day, the pretty banks are a great place for biking, picnicking and general relaxing under the trees. There’s a free yoga class on offer on the weekends too. Ideal for recharging your batteries for the evening ahead!

This is the best neighborhood to stay in Warsaw for nightlife, as there are plenty of bars and restaurants lining the waterfront. There’s also even a beach, with National Geographic naming Warsaw as having some of the most beautiful city beaches in the world!

With beaches, naturally comes beach bars. What a way to while away an afternoon!

On the other side are the party barges, for those looking to barge-hop or party until dawn. Na Zdrowie!

If you can’t pick which side of the river you want to be on, never fear! There’s a free ferry crisscrossing the waters throughout the day.

Vistula River Bank, Warsaw

Things to See and Do in Vistula River Bank:

  1. Dance the night away at Hocki Klocki, on the left bank.
  2. Catch the 30min water-light-sound show at Park Fontann each Friday and Saturday at 9.30pm.
  3. Take a picture with The Mermaid of Warsaw, the statue of the city’s legendary protector – not a bit like the demure one in Copenhagen!
  4. Enjoy an afternoon listening to live music at the beach bar La Playa, or any of its sister bars.
  5. Jump aboard the free ferry and explore all the Vistula has to offer!

Uniquely styled home | Best Airbnb on Vistula River Bank

Just a few steps from the lively streets and excellent bars – this is the perfect Airbnb for exploring the Warsaw nightlife. You can expect an incredibly stylish home, which can accommodate up to 6 people. Staying at this place feels like staying at a castle, with massive bed frames, golden mirrors and lots of charm. Don’t worry about the noisy street, you won’t hear a thing upstairs.

Old Town Kanonia Hostel and Apartments | Best Hostel on Vistula River Bank

Old Town Kanonia Hostel is located in one of the most prestigious parts of Warsaw only 20meters from the Old Town Square and a short walk to the riverfront. This highly rated hostel offers 10 different rooms on 3 floors, most of them having private bathrooms.

Ibis Styles Warsawa Centrum | Best Hotel on Vistula River Bank

Located amongst a variety of well-known tourist hot spots, boutiques and dining options, Ibis Budget Warszawa Centrum is set in the heart of the city. The hotel has 176 rooms and has been recently refurbished. 

Mamaison Hotel Le Regina Warsaw | Best Hotel on Vistula River Bank

Mamaison Hotel Le Regina Warsaw is a 5-star hotel with a range of modern amenities including a rooftop terrace and a sauna. Each historic room at Mamaison Hotel Le Regina Warsaw includes slippers and a minibar, and the bathrooms offer bathrobes and hair dryers.

The Future of the SIM Card is HERE!
mockup of a person holding a smartphone in white background with Holafly logo

A new country, a new contract, a new piece of plastic – booooring. Instead, buy an eSIM!

An eSIM works just like an app: you buy it, you download it, and BOOM! You’re connected the minute you land. It’s that easy.

Is your phone eSIM ready? Read about how e-Sims work or click below to see one of the top eSIM providers on the market and ditch the plastic.

Grab an eSIM!

#4 Praga – Coolest Place to Stay in Warsaw

Praga is on ‘the other side of the river’ in as much as some places are considered ‘the wrong side of the tracks’. It has a long reputation of being unsafe and seedy. So why are we sending you there?

As with many districts considered undesirable, low rents attracted younger people and artistic types. This led to a cultural resurgence in the area, and earns it the title of the coolest neighborhood to stay in Warsaw!

While the streets themselves look unchanged from the 1940s, with bullet holes to match (this area was the set for the film The Pianist), if you scratch the surface, there are gems to be unearthed.

The building may look dilapidated from the outside, but the courtyards inside are a riot of colour and greenery.

The Soho Factory is a new addition to Warsaw but is one that no visitor to Praga should miss. Like a gallery, exhibition centre and educational facility in one, it aims to nurture and showcase artistic sensibilities, outside the confines of a museum.

You can browse the stalls of Bazar Rozyckiego, the oldest market in the city. Or head to Kino Praha, the alternative cinema, and hope you’re there at the right time for one of their eclectic festivals or events!

Praga, Warsaw

Things to See and Do in Praga:

  1. Check out all that’s fluorescent at the Neon Museum.
  2. Enjoy the artistry at Soho Factory, and appreciate what they’re attempting to undertake.
  3. Stroll the lanes of Bazar Rozyckiego, there since the 19th century.
  4. Head to 11 Listopada Street to find the coolest bars in the city.
  5. Sample some Polish heritage on the site of the old Warsaw Vodka Factory, in the alternative bars of Zabkowska Street!

Cosy bright studio | Best Airbnb in Praga

This cute studio is located in Praga, but very close to the Vistula River and the Old Town of Warsaw. The Airbnb might be a bit cosy but it’s absolutely perfect for solo travellers or couples. The sofa unfolds to the bed at night, but don’t worry, all of the previous guests said that it’s incredibly comfortable. The massive windows give this flat a very airy and bright vibe.

Hotel Hetman Warsaw | Best Hotel in Praga

This 3-star hotel provides traditional accommodation and is a short stroll from Warszawa Wilenska Station. Hotel Hetman Warsaw features a 24-hour reception, plus luggage storage and meeting rooms. For added convenience, it offers a tour desk, porters and a ticket service. 

Adventura Hostel | Best Hostel in Praga

The friendly backpackers’ hostel Adventura is run by experienced travelers who have brought in inspirations from all over the world. The hostel offers inexpensive twin/double as well as shared accommodation. Additionally, they are the only hostel in Poland to offer a hammock to sleep in! 

LI20 | Best Hotel in Praga

All rooms at Ll20 are comfortable and include a pillow menu, a refrigerator and an in-room dining area. Ll20 is within walking distance of National Stadium. The National Museum, the Royal Castle and Warsaw Ghetto are only an easy car ride from the hostel.

#5 Mokotow – Best Neighborhood in Warsaw for Families

Mokotow sits a short distance south of the centre city but worry not, family travellers! The subways, buses and trams of Warsaw are at your service to whisk you wherever you so wish, in no time flat!

It’s remarkably well-connected while being absolutely laden with green spaces. This is the most populous area of Warsaw, where the locals actually live!

It’s our choice for the best area in Warsaw to stay with kids because of the activities it has to offer. There are puppet shows catering to children, as well as Krolikarna, the sculpture park (free!).

Lake Czerniakowskie is a safe, swimming pool type lake that is popular in summer, offering a respite from the city heat. The lake is in the centre of a nature reserve with masses of bike trails, a perfect way to get the kids to burn off some steam!

Mokotow has a whole range of excellent restaurants, bars and shops, and its location away from the tourist trail means that the prices have not been inflated for foreigners.

And if the kids have had their fill of the outdoors and history, let them loose at the water park and amusement centres of Park Wodny Warszawianka and Fun Park Digiloo, conveniently right next to each other!

Mokotow, Warsaw

Things to See and Do in Mokotow:

  1. Check out the crazy artworks on display at Krolikarna.
  2. Beat the heat with a dip in Lake Czerniakowskie.
  3. Have a day of wild fun at Park Wodny Warszawianka and Fun Park Digiloo.
  4. Try traditional Polish food at Bar Mleczny.
  5. Learn about the past at the Museum of Polish Military Technology.

Tandem Warsaw Hostel | Best Hostel in Mokotow

Fresh linen, comfortable beds and rest after an eventful day, are not the only pleasures awaiting for you. In Tandem Warsaw Hostel, so close to Warsaw’s city centre, you’ll also get a chance to chill on a terrace in the garden, relax on a couch or play some board games.

Hotel Reytan | Best Hotel in Mokotow

Every comfortable room at Hotel Reytan Warsaw comes with tea and coffee making facilities, as well as all the necessities required for an enjoyable stay. Reytan’s in-house restaurant provides international-inspired meals, which can be enjoyed on the alfresco terrace.

Bright family apartment | Best Airbnb in Mokotow

Locate right opposite Lazienki, Warsaw’s largest park, this Airbnb is great for a family holiday. Up to 6 people can be accommodated comfortably in this spacious home. It’s designed very modernly, with lots of white colours that give a feeling of quality and cleanness. You’ll feel immediately comfortable once you put your foot through the door. There are lots of bakeries, cafes and restaurants in this friendly and peaceful neighborhood.

P&O Apartments Pole Mokotowskie | Best Hotel in Mokotow

P&O Apartments Pole Mokotowskie is set amongst a variety of nightlife spots and is within a five-minute walk of the Metro Station. Those staying at the property can wake up to breakfast served every morning at the property before venturing out to explore the surrounding region.

Travel with peace of mind. Travel WITH a security belt.
Active Roots Security Belt

Stash your cash safely with this money belt. It will keep your valuables safely concealed, no matter where you go.

It looks exactly like a normal belt except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash, a passport photocopy or anything else you may wish to hide. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to…)

Hide Yo’ Money!

FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Warsaw

Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Warsaw and where to stay.

What To Pack For Warsaw

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Product
Description
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out my definitive Hotel Packing list for even more top packing tips!

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Warsaw

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Warsaw

Warsaw is a surprising city full of art, music, nature and incredibly interesting history. Its neighborhoods are distinct and diverse, with atmospheres and offerings all their own.

There’s something for every traveller in this city on the river, from upmarket style to backpacker bunks.

Spending your nights at our best overall hotel Hotel Indigo Warsaw Nowy Swiat, with its central location, means your days can be spent wandering Srodmiescie, over at the River Bank, or tracing the streets of the Old Town.

So now that you know what’s on offer, get to booking, armed with our advice and recommendations on where to stay in Warsaw!

Looking for more info on travelling to Warsaw and Poland?