I was born in Warsaw but moved to France when I was only a few months old. I have been travelling to the Polish capital every summer throughout my childhood. Now, I take my little ones every couple of years to visit family and stay connected to our culture.
I have witnessed the city become a really cool place with a number of new hip restaurants and bars. I ran a couple of half marathons around Warsaw’s beautiful parks and I can objectively state that Warsaw is a great and super kid-friendly city.
NOTE: This article is written for parents of younger kids. There are plenty more things to do with kids ages eight and up, but that will be for another article.
1- Playgrounds Everywhere!
I don’t think I have encountered a city that has so many playgrounds. Not only can you find them on every street corner, but they are also really cool, elaborate, and safe. I particularly loved the one in the Praga park with lots of different sections, levels,and activities. We were with kids ranging from nine months to 11 year old, and they all had fun!
2- Lazienki Park or Royal Baths Park
I’ve been going to Lazienki Park as long as I can remember. I used to walk around with my grandmother, chasing squirrels and enjoying ice cream. A few years later, nothing has changed. The squirrels are still running around, allowing toddlers to burn off extra energy.
It’s a big green oasis–you almost forget you are in a city!
3- Fountains of the Old Town
A must-do! The fountain display will guarantee a good hour of fun entertainment for little ones. The fountain splashes rhythmically but also cleverly so you don’t really get too wet. In the evening, there is a full light show which is also worth seeing. A little tip–there’s a small water playground just next to it. Now here, they will definitely get wet and have a lot of fun!
4- The Old Town Market Place
Rynek Starego Miasta or Old Town Market Place might be a little less exciting for kids, but there is entertainment for everyone if you head to the square in the early morning. You will get a chance to see the beautiful architecture and enjoy peace and quiet. The kids will be thrilled to see horse carriages arriving and setting up for the day and love chasing pigeons and play around the fountain. It’s important to get there early, as it gets very crowded with tour groups and tourists from late morning on.
5- Tram rides
I always make public transportation part of our activities wherever we go. The tram network in Warsaw is very good. Buy a full day/weekend ticket and make the tram a fun stop in your day. There is a variety of old and new trams. Added bonus–it allows you to see more of the city while taking a breather.
6- Warszawskie Zoo (the Warsaw Zoo)
Warszawskie Zoo is very accessible and manageable for a half-day visit. It’s a big zoo with wide walking paths. There is everything you can expect here from a zoo including small trolleys for tired legs.
7- Pierogi for Everyone
OK–getting little ones to eat when travelling is always a challenge. But here, you have got a winner. Pierogis are dumplings filled with cheese, meat, or mushrooms (the most popular variety). They come with sour cream and are just the most delicious and yet easy food. You can also have them as dessert with cottage cheese, jam, and fruit. Yummy! I always love going to the Zapiecek restaurant for my fill of pierogis.
8- Hala Gwardii/Mirowska
Staying on the topic of food, sometimes you need a wider range of options since you can’t all agree on where or what to eat. The solution is at Hala Gwardii/Mirowska, two brick halls originally built in 1899-1901 as a marketplace later destroyed in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. Now restored, there are food stalls where you will find traditional Polish food including pierogis, bigos (hunter’s stew), and sausages, but also classics designed to please everyone (e.g., burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches). And for dessert, just head to one of the greengrocers to grab some berries.
9- The Neon Muzeum
The Neon Muzeum is a unique museum and the only one in Europe dedicated to the preservation of neon signs from the Cold War era. In case of rain (or not), this is a perfect stop. There are hundreds of neons signs, bright lights, colors, and fun shapes. Even the littlest bébés will enjoy the visual stimulation!
10- Family-Friendly Accommodations
A quick note on logistics–all too critical when travelling with kids. Warsaw features a lot of suitable accommodations. Mamaison Diana, located in the heart of the shopping area and a few steps from the Palace of Culture, is a perfect hotel for families. The rooms are all very large and equipped with kitchenettes. There is a delicious pizzeria (Maka i Woda) downstairs which makes dinner times very easy.
During our last visit, we stayed in an Airbnb in the trendy east side of town. It had kids’ bunk beds, a travel cot, and lots of toys. It definitely made our stay extra comfortable.
Note that you will also find everything you need in the many supermarkets across the city (e.g., diapers, baby food, and formula).
When flying out of Warsaw’s Chopin airport, head to gate 35 for a very cool little playground that will help your kids burn off some energy before boarding! Happy travels!