Leave no stone unturned when you spend your next weekend in Warsaw. An eclectic mix of old meets new, Poland’s capital is jam packed full of nooks and crannies just waiting to be discovered. Avoid the crowds and delve deeper into the real soul of the city with our list of 13 of the best hidden gems in Warsaw.
Making its home in the Soho Factory in Praga -Poludnie, the Neon Muzeum was founded to protect the Polish light adverts made during the Cold War. Showcasing over 100 signs, the museum is the first of its kind in Poland and just a few in the world. A cool place to grab an Instagram shot, this hidden haven can’t fail to brighten up your day.
Located in one of the city’s renowned creative regions, Saska Kepa, this little garden is a sight for sore eyes. The owner transformed her love for gardening and cooking into an open-air café and flower shop. Everyday come rain or shine, Pani Hania makes one kind of soup and one main dish that locals love. Spend sunny days sitting beneath cherry trees tucking into homemade strawberry roll in one of Warsaw’s best kept secrets.
Boasting multiple locations across the city centre, Hangar 646 is Warsaw’s first trampoline park. Located in the former hangar of one of the city’s airports, the large spaces incorporate all kinds of trampolining from sponge pools to acrobatic paths. All the attractions are designed to suit every level so it’s a great one for a family day out or group activity.
Hidden amongst bustling streets, an oasis of peace and quiet awaits you in the Biblioteka Publiczna. Sitting in the heart of the city, the library is one of the oldest and largest in Poland. Built in 1907, the library has around 1.5 million books on its shelves and is free to enter. Grab a good book, settle into one of the comfy couches and watch the clouds pass by overhead through the glass ceiling.
It’s pretty ironic that the city’s most colourful building houses its dullest office. The
Polish Tax Office is potentially the most eye-catching building in the entire city. You’ll find the ‘Rainbow Centre’ in the cool Praga district of Warsaw. It was formerly a shopping centre until it was closed and turned into a functional office block.
Both a unique archival cinema and cinema museum, Iluzjon is located in the iconic Mokotow quarter. Looked after by the National Film Catalogue, the centre offers a wide range of film showcases including new, old and documentaries. Regularly hosting special events, this is a cool place to come to mingle with the locals and immerse yourself in the culture of the area.
In the heart of Warsaw’s cultural / shopping centre, Mysia 3 sits between Three Cross Square and the De Gaulle Roundabout. Once home to a Communist office that monitored and censored the information in the media, the building consists of three shopping and one exhibition floor dedicated to the promotion of unrestricted culture. Set in a modern, industrial atmosphere, the centre consist of boutiques selling everything from fashion and jewellery to interiors and photography.
The smallest coffee shop in Poland, Dobro&Dobro is a tiny six by two metre espresso bar and one of the city’s hidden gems. As well as serving up specialty coffees such as their ‘Warsaw style coffee’ with milk, vanilla syrup and cinnamon, the little shop serves zefir, halva and nuts with condensed milk. Sit outside on the terrace in the warmer months and see if you can nab one of the two seats inside when the weather isn’t on your side.
Believe it or not, in the walls of a Warsaw church, the actual heart of famous classical composer Frederic Chopin, has been preserved for centuries. When he died in Paris, the musician demanded his heart be returned to his home country and his wish was granted. Buried beneath a small monument and plaque, you’ll find the heart in the Holy Cross Church opposite the main Warsaw University campus.
Listed as the world’s skinniest house, Keret was built in 2012 by architect Jakub Szczesny and measure just four feet in width. Featuring a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen, the house sits inside a tiny crevice between two buildings. Open to all visitors, don’t miss your chance to step inside the world record breaking structure and experience one of Warsaw’s most unusual attractions.
Tucked away in an abandoned art gallery, Forty / Forty celebrates the spontaneity and anarchism of street art. Open 24 hours, the walls of the Northern Barracks are covered in images and text of all different styles including stencils, tagging and installations. Run by the Outdoor Art Foundation, the project invites street artists to design new artwork on a regular basis. A unique fun attraction, be sure to add this secret gallery to your list of what to do in Warsaw.
Heading to Warsaw soon? Tag us in your photos of Warsaw’s hidden gems using the hashtag #ryanairstories for the chance to be featured on Ryanair’s Instagram feed.
Flights to Warsaw
- Lucy Norris