As the capital of Poland and of Mazovia, Warsaw has the majority of the region's attractions, but Łódź, the region's second city, also has a lot to offer. Suggested day-trip destinations are all within easy access of Warsaw.
If You Have 3 Days
On your first day, start with a trip to the top floor of the Palace of Culture and Science to enjoy an aerial view of the city. Descend and explore the Old Town and the Royal Route; include a stop to see the latest show at the Zachęta Gallery and a visit to the Royal Castle. Walk down through the Warsaw University campus toward the river to see a marvelous piece of contemporary Polish architecture, the Warsaw University Library. Make sure you explore the beautiful garden on the green roof of the library. On your second day, take a trip to Chopin's birthplace, Żelazowa Wola. In the afternoon, back in the city, stroll around Łazienki Park, where you will see the most famous Polish composer, though only in statue form. Then visit the Center for Contemporary Art at Pałac Ujazdowski (and don't miss the restaurant). On Day 3 head for the Warsaw Rising Museum and the former Jewish District. In the afternoon, visit the other bank of the river, where you can stroll through the Praga District and its fashionable art centers: the Cultural Center at the old Koneser distillery and Fabryka Trzciny, where you can catch a play or a concert and a meal of "art-industrial" cuisine.
If You Have 5 Days
Follow the three-day itinerary for Warsaw, above. Spend Day 4 visiting Łowicz, Nieborów, and Arkadia, returning to Warsaw for the night; be sure to get a good night's sleep so you can start early the next day. On Day 5, head for Łódź, 140 km (87 miles) southwest of Warsaw, stopping at the Tum Church on your way; this requires a bit of a detour from the most direct path to Łódź, but is definitely worth it. In Łódź, stroll down Piotrkowska Street and visit the Księży Młyn settlement and palace. If you are looking for good nightlife, this is the place, so you might consider spending a night here before moving on.
If You Have 7 Days
Follow the five-day itinerary, but add an extra day in Warsaw, where you will have time to explore its sights and museums at leisure, and be sure to fit in a visit to the Wilanów Palace. Also, stretch your visit to Łódź into two days; there is plenty to see, and two days will give you time to explore the city's unique museums, particularly the Modern Art Museum and the Textile Museum. And spending the night gives you the opportunity to take in the city's vibrant nightlife scene.