You can hire guides fluent in almost any language from the tourist information offices. The going rate is about 500 z for 4 hours, with every subsequent hour an additional 100 z. It's best to call a day ahead to book.
Most tourist agencies have city tours and day excursions to Zelazowa Wola, Kraków, Auschwitz, the Wieliczka Salt Mines, Gdansk, and Malbork. Mazurkas Travel (Wojska Polskiego 27; tel. 22/389-41-82; www.mazurkas.com.pl) offers several different daily city tours and will pick up guests from most hotels. They cover the essentials like the Old Town, the Royal Route, Jewish points of interest, and the Lazienki Park in about 3 hours, charging 120 z adults, 60 z children 3 to 12. Note: The pickups from hotel to hotel can add an extra hour. For customized explorations of Warsaw and environs, contact StayPoland (Mia 2; tel. 22/351-22-44 or 22/351-22-22; www.staypoland.com), which can move you around in minibuses, cars, or limousines. Specializing in sightseeing or clubbing with chauffeur-driven new BMW and Mercedes limousines is LimoInvest.
The City Sightseeing (tel. 793/973-356; www.city-sightseeing.pl) bus is a hop-on, hop-off open-top double-decker equipped with audio guides. It loops around the city, starting at 10am opposite the Central Station. You can buy tickets (60 z for 24 hours, 80 z for 48 hours) from the driver. In winter, they operate only on weekends.
One of the most interesting ways to connect the Warsaw you see today with the Warsaw that was lost in World War II is to play Enigma Warsaw, a 3- to 4-hour outdoor quiz-cracking game designed by StayPoland (Mia 2; tel. 22/351-22-22; www.enigmawarsaw.com). Supplied with a map of the capital in 1939 and a set of clues, you hunt for streets and buildings that no longer exist. Be sure to book in advance for this unusual outing.
Chopin's Warsaw is a standard package you can find at most agencies. It takes you to the Chopin-Was-Here points and usually concludes with an evening piano recital in the Palace on the Water in the Lazienki Park.
Adventure Warsaw (tel. 606/225-525; www.adventurewarsaw.com) ferries you around in a Nysa 522, a retro van designed in Poland in the '60s, for a tour of Communist Warsaw. The 169-z-per-person price tag also gets you a vodka-tasting and lunch in a milk bar. Book a day ahead.
ToTu Praskie Buiro Przewodnicke (Zabkowska 36; tel. 22/670-01-56; www.totu.travel.pl) is an NGO promoting the Praga district. They provide guides to the Koneser Vodka Factory and rent bicycles. It's best to call before popping in, as they don't abide strictly by the operating hours.
The Night Guides (tel. 501/226-939; www.night-guides.com) specialize in dusk-to-dawn pub-and-club crawls, tailored to your personal preferences. They even have a special program for those with limited mobility.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.