The Best Day Trips from Warsaw

While Warsaw has many wonders of its own, the city is close to a number of fascinating attractions. A day trip to Żelazowa Wola, the birthplace of Frédéric Chopin, is a must for classical music fans, and can be combined with a visit to Kampinoski National Park. Art lovers shouldn’t miss Kazmimierz Dolny and its open-air gallery, while those interested in Poland’s industrial heritage should head to the city-within-a-city of Księży Młyn in Łódź. Also worth seeing is Janów Podlaski, a historic stud farm with Arabian horses and beautiful scenery.

Żelazowa Wola 15, 96-503 Żelazowa Wola, Poland
Frédéric Chopin was born in 1810 in a small 19th-century manor house in the town of Żelazowa Wola. While his family moved to Warsaw soon after his birth, he often returned to Żelazowa Wola for holidays, and his home—not to mention the sights and sounds of the surrounding Mazovian countryside—are said to have influenced his early music. Today, his house functions as a museum, and is surrounded by a serene, beautifully landscaped park. As you wander the home, imagine the concerts Chopin used to give as a young man on a grand piano that he placed under the linden trees in the garden. Reportedly, farmers from the area would join his family and friends to listen to him play. If you can, time your visit to coincide with one of the Chopin concerts, which are held every summer weekend on the terrace at noon and 3 p.m.
The Janów Podlaski Stud was established in 1817, and though it’s had its share of trials and tribulations over time, it’s still fully operating today. Home to 500 animals, it’s famous for its Arabian horses with documented pedigree going back 10 generations. Visitors to the farm can tour the stables, including the picturesque Clock Stable and the main Stud Stable, designed by 19th-century architect Enrico Marconi. With a little luck, you might also witness horses going out to graze, or meet a mother horse with her foal. Surrounding the farm is a beautiful landscape of woods and lush meadows along the meandering Bug River, which marks Poland’s border with Belarus. The area invites endless walks, during which you’ll encounter all sorts of wildlife (beavers, moose, aquatic birds) as well as a variety of art installations (all eco-friendly and made of natural materials).
24-120 Kazimierz Dolny, Poland
Once a magnet for writers and artists, the charming town of Kazimierz Dolny is now a favorite weekend destination for vacationing Varsovians. Here, buildings from the 13th through 17th centuries form a splendid collection of historical architecture, scattered among the green hills above the Vistula River. Local life centers around the Rynek, the town’s former marketplace that now functions as an open-air gallery where artists sell their works. Kazimierz Dolny is also home to 60 brick-and-mortar art galleries—an unusually high number for a town of this size—as well as plenty of atmospheric cafés and restaurants for refueling after a day of exploring.
Księży Młyn, 90-345 Łódź, Poland
Księży Młyn in Łódź is a city-within-a-city, founded by the Scheibler and Groham families, who partnered in 1921 to co-run the largest cotton mill in Europe. The industrial village once comprised production facilities, shops, its own fire department, an internal hospital and school, a railway station, residential quarters for the mill workers, and an owner’s home surrounded by a park. The latter, an opulent villa called the Herbst Palace, now functions as a museum, open to visitors wishing to marvel at the fabulous and expensive taste of the early Polish capitalists. It stands in a lovely, well-kept park, where visitors can enjoy a cup of tea at the outdoor café (or, in colder months, under the roof in the winter garden). After you’ve visited the museum, be sure to also explore the workers’ quarters—some are still inhabited, while others house small workshops or art galleries.
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