Warsaw Zoological Gardens


Established in 1928, this well-managed zoo is home to some 3000 animals representing 500 species from across the world, including bears, wolves, hippopotamuses and two male gorillas. There are even sharks and other sea creatures in what is Poland's largest aquarium. The elephant house, where there's also a cafe, is particularly impressive and the leafy grounds make for pleasant wandering throughout the year.

Within the zoo, you can arrange a tour of the Żabińskis' Villa, home before and during WWII to zoo director Jan Żabiński and his wife Antonia; their story of war-time heroism was made famous by the book and movie The Zookeeper's Wife.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Warsaw attractions

1. Żabińskis' Villa

0.11 MILES

The incredible true life story of how zoo director Jan Żabiński and his wife Antonia helped save over 70 Jews during WWII has become famous through the…

2. Park Praski

0.14 MILES

Created in the late 19th century, this attractively laid-out park includes quirky contemporary sculptures such as the giant metal Giraffe by Władysław…

3. Rusałka Beach


There's a great view of the Old Town skyline from this popular beach on the east bank of the Vistula, close by the zoo. Several cafe-bars set up on the…

4. St Michael & St Florian Cathedral

0.29 MILES

Completed in 1904 to the design of Józef Dziekoński, this neo-Gothic-style cathedral has twin 75m spires that were deliberately built taller than the…

5. St Mary Magdalene Cathedral


It's impossible to miss the five onion-shaped domes of Warsaw's main Polish Orthodox cathedral. Built in 1869 to serve the growing number of Russians…

6. Praga Courtyard Band Monument

0.48 MILES

This bronze monument by Andrzej Renes commemorates the five-piece bands (violinist, accordianist, guitarist, banjoist and drummer) who played popular…

7. Former Mikveh

0.52 MILES

A mikveh is a bath used by religious Jewish women for monthly ritual cleansing – this red-brick building completed in 1913 used to contain one and stood…

8. Heritage Interpretation Centre

0.54 MILES

At the end of WWII the Old Town was mostly piles of rubble. To gain a full appreciation of the mammoth and heroic effort needed to reconstruct the…