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In search of a private guide for Warsaw

This is for a trip we are taking in September. We have 3 nights (2 full days) in Warsaw as a transit stop between two legs of our tour.
We'll be spending one day with our time split between the Warsaw Uprising Museum and the POLIN museum. That will be our second full day in Warsaw. For our first full day, I'd like to book a private tour to see the major Old Town sites, the ghetto areas and, more importantly, just get a chance to talk with someone as we walk around - about Warsaw history, food, architecture and more.

The tour has to be car-supported because, although I can and will walk up to 5km, it's hard given my health issues and I appreciate cutting as much mileage as possible. I know that many sites are walkable in Warsaw and I envision some walking - but I want to ride in a car where I can. I'm trying to avoid public transit in favor of a car because, while it often seems like a good option, I find that the walking to the public transit sites and from the public transit sites adds enough mileage to the day that my injury pain takes over and really wrecks my day.

I had picked out a guide that seemed like a good fit for us but it turns out he's already booked! I've looked at all the typical guide sites but would love it if someone here had a personal recommendation.

Thanks!!!

Posted by
187 posts

I have been in Warsaw three times, but never did any organized tours there. I did, however, do a tour to an area of Eastern Poland with Ewa Bratosiewicz. She is based in Warsaw and does many tours in the city. She was very knowledgable and professional, and is willing to tailor her tour to your needs. We spent a very long day together and never ran out of things to talk about. She drove me on this tour, so I'm guessing she could use her car to take you around Warsaw. Here is her contact information:
Ewa Bratosiewicz
Professional tour guide of Warsaw and its vicinity
certified by: Museum of the History of Polish Jews - Polin, Warsaw Royal Castle Museum
+48 600 980 599
warsaw-guide@o2.pl
www.tourwarsaw.wordpress.com

That said, I would suggest that you NOT go to both museums on the same day. These are really excellent museums, but each takes a lot of time and energy (especially POLIN. I spent several hours there and didn't finish, so revisited on another trip). I would find them exhausting to do on the same day. My suggestion would be to go to one museum on each day, and schedule a 1/2 day tour on each day. For instance, the Jewish ghetto area is right outside of POLIN. So you could do the museum, and then do a walking/driving tour from there. (By the way, POLIN has a good cafeteria, so you could break the day up with a good lunch.) The Uprising Museum is more out-of-the way, but you could be picked up by your guide and driven to a different area of the city.

Taxis are easy to find and very cheap, so that's another way to get around (with or without a guide). Certain areas (the old town) are quite walkable, but Warsaw is actually a very large, sprawling city, so you are wise to figure out some transportation between sights. The Rick Steves guide has a couple of good walking tours in them - I did not find them too strenuous. One started at POLIN and covered the ghetto sights nearby. The other covers the old town and down the major street going south from it.

I've heard that there are some fun tours focusing on the Soviet period, but have never taken any of these. Another idea would be a food tour. I've done these in many cities and they're always fun (and delicious).

Have a wonderful trip.

Posted by
150 posts

My wife and I visited Warsaw in May, 2017, and booked a full day tour with Gosia Debska, who runs warsawsightseeing.com. I don’t know how many other guides she employs, but our day with Gosia was first rate, and a wonderful introduction to the city. She met us at our old town hotel, and walked us to several sights. We then got in her car, and she continued on to some more distant sights, with a stop for a “local” lunch. Her English is excellent, as is her historical knowledge, and she was very easy to just converse with. She may be what you’re looking for.

Posted by
1697 posts

Thank you both for these! That was exactly what I was looking for. As to the two museums in one day - I was worried about stacking them into one day even though we are fast in museums (my fault - short attention span) but I will talk with the guide about perhaps guiding two half days and leaving us at one of the two museums each day.

Posted by
36 posts

Can't help you with a guide but would like to add my opinion. I was there in 2016 and going back this coming June. Both museums take a long time and the advice to visit on two seperate days is smart. However, I was extremely disappointed from the Warsaw Uprising Museum, as it seems extremely disorganized, very dark and difficult to walk around. This after waiting on line in a rain for more than an hour. Just not worth the time and money. The Polin museum on the other hand is magnificent and it takes about three hours if you reserve the tour guide from the museum, well worth it! I will visit it again when back in June.