Warsaw is really well communicated city. Public Transportation in Warsaw is not very complicated and it quickly become intuitive and transparent. There is many ways You can move through Warsaw, here is some tips and tricks to help you get around with it.
As i said, Public Transport in the Warsaw city is not very complicated, yet if you are not resident of the city you will be wonder how and where and what, So let me help you find an answer and help you get started. And there is a lot to be seen in Warsaw, so you will be moving a lot propably. Our Warsaw transportation quide will cover most important parts, and i will reveil some tricks as well.
Forst things first. How to get in:
If you are planing your stay in capitol of Poland its logical you will think of the ways to get there of course. Here you have brief information about means of transportation You can use to arrive in Warsaw.
There are two airports you can use to get into warsaw, that's propably most conventional way for the foreign visitors.
One of them, Warszawa Okęcie is located just on the edge of warsaw and really well conected by designated train to the center of the city.
Its a big airport running lots of traffic, cooperating with big international airlines, especialy for long distance flights, business, and more expensive airlines.
Trains from the airport will bring you directly to the city center, to the Warszawa Centralna train station. They route every 20-30 minuts so you will not need to wait for long. There are the buses and taxi there of course, up to your prefference.
Warszawa Modlin is second of them, quite new one, opened just few years ago. If you are traveling using cheaper airlines like Ryanair or Wizzair, you will be probably landing at Warszawa Modlin airport.
One thing that is worth to mention is that Modlin is a small town nearby warsaw. Nonetheless airport is still well comunicated with the city. In this case You will take bus from the airport to the Modlin train station, and from there any train going to warsaw. Trains will take you or to the Warszawa Centralna train station, or to the Warszawa Gdańska, which is still central part of the city center, called śródmieście (mid-town ;D ), trains are very frequent, you will have train in every 15minuts, and the travel by train will be also not more than 15-20minut. Still very convinient way to get into the warsaw.
Trains in Warsaw:
Train network is also very well developed system in Warsaw, rather unlikely you will use them to move across the city, (well, yes, you can), but is a very efficient, comfortable and cheap way to go in and out,
Long distance trains, and international trains arive to Warszawa Centralna train station, exactly in heart of Warsaw. Just few trains from Belarus, and the Warsaw-Gdańsk route goes from previously mentioned Warszawa Gdańska Train station.
They are few diferent systems for suburban trains, with most you can use just warsaw tickets. the suburban train usualy reach to the central districts.
Each of the train station is conected to the metro, bus, trams, taxi and bike system.
Metro in Warsaw:
Subway, Underground, Metro. In polish called metro. The backbone of Warsaw Comunications systems, the main mode of transportation you gonna be propably using while living in Warsaw.At the present, there are two lines of metro in warsaw, one on north-south axis, second one on the west-east axis.
The first one of them, most important one was build slowly and for a long time, with the city growing along of it is propably the most important communiation line in warsaw, you can get pretty much everywhere needed just with this line. Very convinient and fast and quite comfortable. Trains goes every 1 minute by most of the time, at the early morning and late night up to every 5 minutes. travel across the whole city by all the metro stations takes around 45minutes.
Second metro line is still being developed, many stations already functional, grows quickly. crosses the Wisła (Vistula) River under ground, conecting left and right sides of the city. Second metro line meet wit the first one on the station Metro Świętokrzyska, this is exactly one station between Metro Centrum, and Metro Ratusz Arsenał, which are the main communiaction nodes, it helpes to balance the load a bit.
Most important metro stations you wanna know about:
To move fluently throughout the city you should know this spots, from there you can get everywhere. Those are main communication nodes of the city, if you get lost in Warsaw, any mean of communication you will find will take you to one of them.
Metro Centrum - obviously, easy to quess, easy to remember. Also all the night buses goes there.
Metro Ratusz Arsenał - everything going north, west, east, located above centrum will go there. Buses, express buses, trams, everything. Its also just one station from Warszawa Gdańska train station, where you get from modlin airport.
Metro Politechnika - everything going south, west east, below centrum will go there. There is also good coffee and best music store on the corner. ;)
Metro Wilanowska - south communication node, many southern districts buses and suburb buses will end up here. Its also place where international buses go from.
Buses in Warsaw:
Plentyful of bus communication in Warsaw might be confusing at the begining, but believe me its fairy simple and fairly logic. There is lot lot of buses, they arrive on the stations usualy with 5-10minut intervals, you can get everywhere with bus, and certainly you can get every-single-where in Warsaw with max one change of bus. For finding your way in warsaw i highly recommend you to use jakdojade.pl its fantastic platform that will tell you which exactly bus and from where to take, when it arrive, and if you will need to change somewhere it will inform you about that as well, and in detail.
Some numerology here to make life easy: trams has 2digit numbers, buses has 3digit number, buses with 5XX numer are express buses, they doesnt stop on certain les important stations. buses with 7XX number are suburb buses, they leave to the 2 ticket zone, thats quite far, check if you have apropriate ticket. 7XX buses are also express buses.
Trams in Warsaw:
Tram network is located especially in older parts of the city, but it exists also in newly estabelished districts as well. In older parts is just more saturated. Trams are nice becouse they are more resistant to traffic jam, there is usually little bit less crowded, and they feel a bit more comfortable than buses. If I would had to choose between tram and bus, i would probably tend toward tram, but usually i take bikes.
Bike rental system in Warsaw:
Warsaw bike rental system is called Veturillo. Its stations are densly placed throuout the whole Warsaw, so you can take bike pretty much everywhere you are. To use Veturillo rental system You will need to register an acount on their website, which take just 2 minutes an is quite straight forward, then you topup your account with small amount of money,, the minimum you should have on your account to be able to rent a bicicle is 10zł (złoty = PLN ~ 2EUR), then the pricing is fairly low, 1 hour of rental is 1zł. And there is a little trick to travel for free in Warsaw, the first 20 minutes of bike rental is free of charge, so if you rent your bike for less than 20 minutes, its free. And stations are much closer than 20 minutes of ride, so you can leave your bike on one of them before 20 minutes pass and imediately rent another one to continue your travel.
There are great advantages of riding a bike in warsaw, plenty of beautiful green parks you can go by, space and silence that comes with it, you avoid traffic jams, and you have opportunity to see warsaw from yet another perspective.
One Ticket To Use Them All, About tickets in Warsaw:
Traveling in warsaw, using trains, buses, trams and metro, you can use the same ticket, until your ticket is valid you can change your transport as many times you want.
Time ticket - valid through specyfied period of time, from the time you activate it in any of the transportation vehicle, valid in as many vehicles you desire. there are 20, 75 and 90 minut tickets available at the moment. the one You will use the most is 20 minute one.
Day ticket - valid for 24 hours. Perfect choice for those who plan one day stay in Warsaw, you can use it in any vehicle of public transport in Warsaw, its pretty comfortable choice.
Weekend tickets - valid from friday at 5pm till monday at 8am, they are a little bit cheaper and can be bought in group version as well. If you plan to have busy, fun weekend in Warsaw, they can come in handy.
30 & 90 day cards - very convinient way to travel in Warsaw is to get the Warsaw City Cards which are issued with your personal information and the photo, they have electronic form, so even if you loose them you can get it back. They come with the big discount and can be recharged in any ZTM ticket stand. If you will be cought by the surprise without your ticket card when you meet the ticket inspector, you can go to the ZTM point and settle thing down. Warsaw Cards are made of plastic and have dimensions of typical bank card. Very good choice for all who plan to actually stay an live in Warsaw for a while.
Ticket zones - In Warsaw are two ticket zones, its good to know that if you going to visit the suburbs, visiting satelitar cities be aware in which zone you are.
1. First Ticket Zone - Warsaw and the closest satelitar cities. The area of the First Zone is luckely really big, You will usualy pass through few towns before You leave first ticket zone. Sometimes is even 20km-30km away.
Inside of Warsaw Ticket Zone the tickets with number one on them are complitely sufficient to use pretty much any vehicle of public transportation.
2. Second Ticket Zone - that mean you are already quite far of Warsaw. When you enter second ticket zone you will need ticket with first and second zone, they are a little bit more expensive. not a lot though. Usually in the moment of entering and leaving zone from the vehicle speaker you will hear voice communicate about it.
Jakdojade.pl - how to never get lost in Warsaw
Warsaw have this briliant service with wich You will get everywhere you want in the most convinient way and never get lost again. It's called JakDojade.pl wchich in translation to english means "how i'll get there", its a website and an app for android and apple, in which you type the adress where you are and where you wanna get to, and it provide you with information about all possible conections, time of arrival of the vehicles, how much the travel will take, the map, the distance to walk to the station, and from the station of the destination to the exact location you want to get to. It works really really great. I highly recomment to get to know this app becouse is briliant. You will never get lost again.
So the only thing I can add more, is to wish you great time in your stay in Warsaw, lots of exploration, lots of inspiration, lots of fun, enjoy Yourselfs, and enjoy Warsaw.