Public Transport in Warsaw
There are many ways to make your way around Warsaw. Taxis, Metro, trams and buses are the most common options.
There is a well developed bus system around the city. In rush hours there might be a lot of people on the buses, yet those are safe and punctual. As we have separate bus lanes in some places only, the buses can get stuck in traffic jams with other cars. There are few types of buses:
- black number — regular service — stops at all bus stops,
- red number — rapid service — stops at selected bus stops on the same regular routes,
- black square with white numbers that follow letter ‘N’ — night buses,
- express buses (E),
- suburban buses going to the other parts of the city (numbers 700–799).
Timetables at the bus stops are easy to read. The first column is the bus arrival time on weekdays, while the second column gives times of arrival on weekends and holidays. You shall also find a list of bus stops printed out at the timetable. Make sure you know the direction you want to go. You will find it at the front and side of the bus.
Sometimes a bus (or tram) number plate is yellow. That is because the scheduled route has been changed. Look for the new route inside the windows.
You cannot take buses or trams with “zjazd do zajezdni” plate at the front. It means that the bus or tram is returning to the depot and does not take passengers. So do not go banging on the doors, trying to get in! If it is not the last bus on that day, wait for another one to come.
The trams are in service between 5 am to 11 pm. The tram schedule looks exactly the same as the bus (see above). There is also a new system introduced on some lines. It displays tram arrival times and their destinations on large LED tables. The tram is the quickest means of transport during the rush hour because the majority of tram lines cannot be used by cars nor buses.
Subway / Underground
Warsaw subway (Metro) is the fastest way to travel in Warsaw. The north–south M1 line connects Ursynów with Bielany, while new M2 line runs under Vistula River and connects Wola (Kasprzaka str.) with Praga Północ (Wileńska Railway Station). The new M2 line is not complete yet. Metro connection hub is Świętokrzyska station.
Places of interest in Warsaw can be spaced out. Hence using public transport with a long duration ticket seems like the best way of getting around. Validate it once and keep it with you all the time, this is especially relevant. You can then use bus, tram and Metro — all with the same ticket. That is because time tickets allow for switching — within the purchased time — between all means of transport. When entering the Metro, you have to put the ticket onto the barrier window to open it. You can purchase tickets at all Kiosk and Post Offices (Poczta) and at the stops in vending machines. In addition, we must warn you, that the penalty for travelling with no ticket is a 266.00 PLN fine (paid on the spot) and a telling off.
Always use official taxi operators with official fares. Official taxi corporations have their logo and phone number on the taxi roof and the tariff on the passenger window. There must always be an official license visible inside the taxi. You can always call for a taxi or order it via “mytaxi” app, directly from your phone. If you have any doubts, always ask how much it will cost. If you use unofficial taxis then there is no price limit. Due to fact, that you should always be able to see the tariff, you can always stop the taxi if you think he is taking you on a “touristy” type trip. That said, we must emphasise though, that 99% of taxi drivers are helpful and honest.
In Warsaw you will find all the recognised world rentals and many well organised and reliable Polish companies. You will find them at the airport and in the larger hotels.