Warsaw Old Town

Warsaw Old Town
Author: Ferdziu, commons.wikimedia.org, CC BY

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

How to get to Warsaw. Part I.

I guess that subject of the first post is not surprising as usually (at least this is what I always do while planning my trips) mapping out of how to reach our destination is the first step of every journey. Sometimes it may even determine what place we will decide to visit. So, today I will talk over various means of transport and show all of you that besides Warsaw is usually being considered as a place located outside popular tourist trails it is definitely easly reachable.

By plane.
This is the easiest and the fastest way of reaching the city. Warsaw is well connected with many European as well as non-European cities. You can choose from regular lines, e.g. Polish national airlines PLL LOT (LOT official site) , or low-cost ones, such as Ryanair or Wizz Air. It is good to know that every week LOT offers a special promotion called Crazy Wednesday where it is possible to buy tickets for selected routes (different every week) at special prices. Therefore I recommend following LOT site on Facebook or subscribing to a newsletter in order to keep track of current discounts. 

The important information is that there are two Warsaw airports:
  • Warsaw Chopin Airport (airport official site) which is located within the city (8 km from the city center) and is used by most air carriers. The close proximity makes it easy to get to the city center (approx. 20-30 minutes depending on traffic) and you may choose from:
  1. Taxi - there is always plenty of cars in front of the entrance, however please make sure you are using the licensed taxi service (the tariff should be displayed in the window). The regular fare for transport to the city center is approximately 40 PLN but if you happen to use non-licensed driver your short trip may be significantly more expensive;
  2. Car hire - car rental desks are located in the public area of the Terminal A arrivals hall. The full list of car rental companies available may be found at the airport official site;
  3. Public transport: bus - airport is served by few bus lines, including night bus. Bus fares, timetables and routes may be found at ZTM site who is an organiser of city public transport (ZTM official site). More detailed information about public transport will be also available in the next post on this blog;
  4. Public transport: train - an urban railway service is operated by two companies: Szybka Kolej Miejska – SKM (Fast Urban Railway) and Koleje Mazowieckie - KM (Masovian Railways). At the moment SKM offers two (S2 and S3) and KM one (RL) line linking Chopin Airport with other destinations. Using train is a good idea especially if your destination is not Warsaw but other Polish cities that you plan to reach by train, as SKM or KM will transport you directly to any of Warsaw railway stations. For more information regarding fares, timetables and routes please click here.
  • Modlin Airport (airport official site) which is located 35 km from Warsaw and currently is used by Ryanair. The journey to the city center takes approx. 40-80 minutes and is possible via:
  1. ModlinBus - private operator linking Modlin airport directly with Warsaw, however only one stop in Warsaw is available (across from the main entrance of the Palace of Culture). Timetable is correlated with planes arrival/departure hours and tickets can be bought online on the ModlinBus site (ModlinBus official site). Advanced purchase is recommended as if you are lucky you may buy tickets for 9 PLN (few first seats in every coach), fares reach to the level of 28 PLN (last seats);
  2. Public transport: train - a service is operated by Koleje Mazowieckie - KM (Masovian Railways). It is possible to reach city center (Warszawa Śródmieście), as well as other Warsaw railway stations and Chopin Airport. Modlin railway station is remote from the airport therefore short bus ride is necessary. Buses are labelled and run every 20-30 minutes linking airport with station. Single ticket for the bus costs 5 PLN however if you travel using both bus and train you can buy special Airport ticket that costs 17 PLN and allows you to use public transportation in Warsaw for additional 60 minutes;
  3. Taxi - the available companies include SAWA Taxi or Taxi MODLIN and journey to Warsaw center takes approx. 40 minutes. Fares are fixed and range between 119 PLN - 249 PLN depending on time and destination. Full pricelist may be downloaded here;
  4. Car hire - car rental desks are located in the public area of arrivals hall. The full list of car rental companies available may be found at the airport official site.