The capital city, Warsaw, is the first glimpse of Poland that many tourists get. The public transportation network here is well-developed. Having buses, trams, metro and commuter trains to choose from, you can get anywhere you want quickly, safely and conveniently. But getting around Warsaw can surprise you at times.
The first surprise comes once you land at Chopin Airport. It turns out that the airport is located only some 5 miles away from the city center. Just hop on the bus or catch a train to get there in no time! But in order to do so, you will need a ticket.
You can buy tickets for buses, trams and metro at kiosks or from ticket machines that can be found close to some bus/tram stops and at all metro stations. Moreover, tickets can be bought from machines on buses and trams, but you either need to pay by card or have exact change.
A standard ticket costs PLN 4,40 and once you validate it, you can travel for up to 75 minutes with unlimited transfers. You can also choose a 90-minute ticket that costs PLN 7. But for most journeys a 20-minute ticket is sufficient. You can get it for PLN 3,40.
If you are planning to travel a lot, you should consider one of the following options:
a 24-hour ticket (PLN 26)
a 72-hour ticket (PLN 36)
a weekend ticket (PLN 24), which allows you to use public transportation from 7 p.m. on Friday until 8 a.m. on Monday
All of the above-mentioned prices are valid for Zone 1, which covers the city of Warsaw (including Chopin Airport). Should you want to visit the suburbs, you will need a ticket for Zones 1+2.
People over 70, as well as children up until Semtember of the year they turn 7 ride for free. Just don’t forget to carry an ID card with you! If you are a student, haven’t turned 26 yet and possess an International Student Identity Card, you are entitled to a reduced price for your ticket (50% of the full fare).
Most buses and trams run between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. Warsaw also has a number of night bus lines. Same tickets are valid for day and night lines.
There are two metro lines in Warsaw. One runs from north to south, the other from east to west. They cross at Świętokrzyska station. The Warsaw metro is new (especially the east-west line, which is still under construction and has only 7 operating stations), nice, clean and shiny. The stations are worth seeing if you are keen on architecture. But what may come as a surprise, the metro isn’t of much use for tourists, it better serves those who commute.
If you are visiting Warsaw somewhere between March and November, when the Veturilo Warsaw bike rental system is available, you can consider doing your sightseeing by bike.
Apart from public transportation, you can choose to travel by taxi. Taxis are not too expensive and they are easily available.
For more info on public transportation in Warsaw, including a route planner, please visit the ZTM site (link: http://www.ztm.waw.pl/index.php?l=2)