Ok, so let’s say you’re in Warsaw and you happen to be looking for some extreme adventures nearby. Well, allow us to be the first to break the bad news to you: they don’t exist. In a country not known for its wealth of wild outdoor experiences, the Polish capital is situated in a particularly tame location. This isn’t to say that there aren’t things to do, mind you, only that you may need to temper your expectations and get a little creative in order to satisfy your outdoor fixations. But enough of what you can’t do, let’s take a look at what you can.
For hikers and bikers, nearby Kampinoski National Park is your best bet, with plenty of wooded trails and available camping at your disposal. You’ll have to look 100+ miles south to find some mountains worth talking about (the Lysogory), and the same distance east before you come across the primeval forests of Bialowieza. Though the Vistula River runs right through the city, your best canoe and kayak options will be found in the west (Obra, Warta Rivers) and the north (Masurian Lake Region). You can, of course, enjoy some watersports at nearby Zegrzynski Lake as well, which is a favorite summer destination for locals in search of aquatic entertainment.
If all this sounds slightly depressing, keep in mind that a little creativity will go a long way towards letting some energy out in the city. Bike rentals are a cheap and easy to find, providing an active way to explore not only Warsaw, but also the surrounding trails along the Vistula. Want to do some rock climbing without the journey south towards the Tatras? There are several indoor climbing and bouldering gyms throughout the capital (see our links). Heck, there’s even an open-year-round ski slope (yeah, you read that correctly) called the CSN Szczesliwice, equipped with a lift, a downhill alpine slide and a stellar view of the city. So though it may not be an adrenaline lover’s dream destination, if you’re hungry enough, Warsaw’s got something to satisfy your appetite for adventure.