Warsaw Old Town

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

Sunday, 25 January 2015

How to get to Warsaw. Part II.

Continuing this short practical guide about arriving to Warsaw let's concentrate today on remaining means of transport. For those who are not great fans of planes, don't worry - you may visit this interesting city as well! :)

By train.
Train may be good solution for travellers planning to come to Warsaw from different European cities. There is good, direct connection with many capitals, just to mention few: Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, Prague, Moscow. International trains are generally in good condition, branded as Euro- or InterCity, include buffet car and couchette for longer distances. If you plan to spend some time in other Polish cities (e.g. extremaly popular and beautiful Cracow) then you may consider using trains as well, as they offer good connection in wide range of prices - InterRegio and TLK being the cheapest ones. The search engine of all train connections may be found here.

The main station is Central Warsaw (Warszawa Centralna) located at the crossroad of Jerozolimskie avenue and Jana Pawła II. The building was fully renovated in 2010 and now offers a wide range of services including coffeehouses, bars, boutiques. From the building there is also a direct entry to one of Warsaw's biggest shopping centers - Złote Tarasy (official site). It's worth knowing that the station is open 24 hours a day.
You will find taxi rank in front of the building, as well as city bus station.  There is plenty of bus and tram stops located within a short walking distance, including subway station (Metro Centrum) situated approximately 600 m from the train station. The walk to the historical center would take approximately 30 minutes.

Besides Central Warsaw most of international trains stops usually also at Warsaw Western (Warszawa Zachodnia) or Warsaw Eastern (Warszawa Wschodnia) station. So, depending where you plan to stay it may be more convenient to get off a train on one of above stations. There is also main coach station located next to Warsaw Western station (national and part of international bus lines).

By car.
Road infrastructure has improved significantly over last few years, many dual carriageways and highways was put at public disposal. While considering travel by car you must remember that highways are subject to charge. At the moment fee for cars under 3,5 t amounts to 0,10 PLN/1 km. Calculations for exact routes may be found here (Polish language only). As for petrol, prices are rather not high comparing to other European countries; actual information about average costs is presented on economic web portal wnp.pl. For more data please click here (in Polish).

By bus.
Out of selected locations it is possible to reach Warsaw by international bus lines. The journey will last longer but price can be significantly lower. If you travel from Vienna, Prague, Bratislava, Berlin or Vilnius Polski Bus is highly recommended as if you are lucky you may pay only EUR 1 for a single trip (first seats price)!  To keep updated with all discounts I suggest following the company site on Facebook or signing up for a newsletter at Polski Bus official site.
For travellers from Baltic States, by contrast, as well as Prague and Berlin, Simple Express line is worth considering as they offer competitive prices and - likewise Polski Bus - first seats discounts. Their official site may be found here.
Polski Bus: stops map. Source: http://www.polskibus.com/en/bus-stops
Simple Express: stops map. Source:http://www.simpleexpress.eu/en
 For long-distance journeys to Warsaw from various European locations Ecolines is to be considered as offering the most complex  and diversified connections map, although their prices may be a little bit more expensive (Ecolines official site).

Alternative forms of transport.
For adventures lovers I propose:
- bicycle trip, which is a wonderful way of exploring not only Warsaw, but also smaller towns and picturesque countryland. Apart from its southern regions, Poland is lowland country so unless you decide to come here in winter it may be a very pleasant journey;
- hitch-hiking; Poland is highly used as transit region between Western and Eastern countries (Ukraine, Russia, Bielarus). Therefore it is not difficult to bump into lorry driver eager to enhance their long trip.

For more details please contact me or post a comment and I will do my best to provide an explanation.

Warsaw Traveller.