Warsaw has a complex network of tram and bus lines as well as one metro line (the second one is under construction). You must have a valid ticket (validated one) for all the trips. Tickets can be bought in kiosks, ticket vending machines at some stops, next to the metro stations, and from the bus or tram driver (you have to have the exact amount of money). It may happen that the driver will refuse to sell you the ticket if he has run out of them, or the vehicle is late. Tickets have to be validated in yellow validating machines immediately after entering the tram, the bus or at the metro gate. People entitled to the 50% discount should always have documents confirming entitlements to discount travel with them.
Lack of the valid ticket or not validating it, results in an additional charge in case of a ticket inspection in a vehicle or at a metro station. According to tariffs introduced at the beginning of 2014 the additional charge for a ride without the tickets is 266 PLN and in case of travelling without the document entitling to fare discounts or free travels – 196 PLN.
Employees of ZTM (Zarząd Transportu Miejskiego - Public Transport Authority) entitled to perform ticket inspection in public transport have valid ID cards with the photo and a ticket reader. For the time of ticket inspection the validating machines are blocked and validating tickets is impossible. If it turns out that you do not have a valid ticket you must show an identity document for which a receipt with the request for payment will be issued. You do not have to get off of the vehicle. With the receipt with the request for payment you can travel to your destination but only in the vehicle in which you have received it. If you settle the request for payment of the additional charge within 7 days or directly to the ticket inspector, it results in reducing the amount of fee. However, the inspector cannot demand from you paying it on the spot. If a person without a valid ticket refuses to show an identity document, police officers are called. Detailed information about ticket inspections can be found on the website of the ZTM.
Ticket prices are different depending on the ticket zones. Zone 1 concerns the transport within the boundaries of city of Warsaw, and Zone 2 – the transport reaching the suburban cities outside Warsaw. Moreover, some groups of passengers are entitled to discounts or even free travels. For instance, university students until they turn 26 and pupils until they turn 21 are entitled to the tickets with 50% discount. Children younger than 7, children covered by general education duty (still at school or studying) from families with 4 or more offspring, who are the residents of the City of Warsaw (until the age of 20) and people older than 70 (it is necessary to show an identity document) are entitled to free travels. There are no additional fees for taking a bike or a pet aboard.
ZTM’s tariff includes: the following types of tickets: single fare transfer tickets, short-term tickets (one-day and weekend tickets) and long-term tickets - for instance, so called Varsovian ticket (Warszawska Karta Miejska) which can be valid for 30 or 90 days.
Single fare transfer ticket in Zone 1 - 4,40 PLN, reduced rate: 2,20 PLN
Tickets are valid for 75 minutes – in this period a passenger can change many times and use different means of transport. The ticket also enables you to reach the last stop of the bus, tram or train in which it was validated. In this case it is possible even if the travel takes longer than 75 minutes. If somebody with a validated ticket changes even once, the ticket is no longer valid after 75 minutes.
Single transfer ticket in Zone 2 – standard: 7 PLN, reduced: 3,50 PLN
The ticket is valid for 90 minutes.
Day ticket in Zone 1 – 15 PLN, reduced 7,50 PLN
Day ticket in Zone 2 – 26 PLN, reduced: 13 PLN
Weekend ticket – 24 PLN, reduced: 12 PLN
A weekend ticket is valid from 7 PM on Fridays to 8 AM on Mondays in Zone 1 and 2. Apart from that, one can also buy a group weekend ticket which can be used by groups of maximum 5 people that would like to go e.g. sightseeing using public transport. Group ticket costs 40 PLN.
30- and 90-day tickets
30-day personal ticket – 110 PLN, reduced: 55 PLN, with Varsovian Card: 98 PLN, with Young Varsovian Card: 49 PLN
90-day personal ticket – 280 PLN, reduced: 140 PLN, with Varsovian Card: 250 PLN, with Young Varsovian Card: 125 PLN
30-day personal ticket – 210 PLN, reduced: 105 PLN, with Varsovian Card: 196 PLN
90-day personal ticket – 536 PLN, reduced: 268 PLN, with Varsovian Card: 482 PLN
In 2014 the Varsovian Card (Karta Warszawiaka) and the Young Varsovian Card (Karta Młodego Warszawiaka) were introduced (both of them have a special hologram as opposed to other cards), on the basis of which one can buy 30- and 90-day tickets with the discount. People living in Warsaw and paying taxes here are entitled to obtaining the Card. In the case of the Young Varsovian Card reduced rate concerns students of undergraduate, engineering or master’s program studies until they turn 26 who settle their PIT in revenue offices in Warsaw or are provided for by parents or guardians paying their taxes in Warsaw.
To obtain either of the above mentioned cards one has to fill in a form and hand it in at one of Passenger Service Centres (Punkt Obsługi Pasażerów), or in offices serving the residents called “Wydział Obsługi Mieszkanców” in particular districts. The list of these is available on this website: www.ztm.waw.pl. If we send a form via post or e-mail the information about the date of collection of the Card is sent via e-mail. If we foregt to fill the contact information in the form, we can obtain further information about the date of collection of the Card calling the number 19115. Detailed information concerning both cards can be found at ZTM’s website: www.ztm.waw.pl.
It is worth remembering that the holders of the 30- or 90-days tickets have an additional benefit which are free travels in the trains of Koleje Mazowieckie or WKD (Warszawska Kolej Dojazdowa – Warsaw Commuter Railway) until the borders of the ticket zones. Information about this can be found at: http://www.ztm.waw.pl/?c=145&l=2.
More detailed information concerning tariffs and discounts can be found at ZTM.
Discounts for refugees
In some cases when foreigners applying for the refugee status have to get from the refugee centre to the medical centre or to the Office for Foreigners they should get a travel reimbursement. Apart from that, on the route to the refugee centre and from it (for instance, in WKD line from Warsaw to Otrębusy) the foreigner applying for the refugee status is entitled to free travel. One has to have Foreigner’s Temporary ID Document (Tymczasowe Zaświadczenie Tożsamości Cudzoziemca, or so called TZTC). Otherwise, if they are caught during the ticket inspection, they will have to pay an additional charge.
Know how in ZTM
Nearly in all the buses and trams one has to push the button located on the right-hand side of the door in order to open it (both inside the vehicle and outside it). In case of the button outside the tram or bus, it shines green when opening is possible and red when it is impossible. It is worth remembering that some of the bus stops are “na żądanie” (on demand), which means that we have to wave a hand if we want to enter a vehicle on a stop like that. If we are inside the bus and want to get off at the stop “on demand”, we have to push one of the red buttons with the inscription "STOP."
In Poland there is a rule that the passengers getting off the vehicle have the priority. Inside the vehicle there is another rule that the way should be given to the elderly, mothers with small children, pregnant women as well as the disabled. It is not allowed to smoke while waiting at the stops – not obeying this rule may result in a fine.
Public transport operating hours
Most of daily lines operate until 10:30 or 11:30 PM. Later the night buses starting and finishing their routes at the terminus next to Dworzec Centralny (Main Railway Station) leave their depot. The last underground trains leave the terminus stations around midnight. However, on Fridays and Saturdays they operate until 1:30 AM. The first daily rides of public transport start around 4 or 5 AM depending on the line.
How to plan a trip?
Free maps of public transport are available in the Passenger Service Centres, in some vehicles, and sometimes at some stops. Most of the Warsaw residents use browsers for public transport at these sites: www.ztm.waw.en or www.jakdojade.pl.
The prices of taxi rides vary depending on the companies. It is worth using the cheapest ones because the service is similar everywhere. The price per kilometer is written on the pane of the vehicle, which allows you to choose the cheapest offer. While getting into the taxi one has to choose the one that stands at the front of the row of vehicles. An “initial fee” is added to the price per kilometer no matter if we order a taxi by phone or we get into it at the taxi rank.
Initial fee: 6 PLN
Price per kilometer in Zone 1: 1,60 PLN/ nights and weekends: 2,30 PLN
Price per kilometer in Zone 2: 3,20 PLN/ nights and weekends: 4,80 PLN
Initial fee for vans: 30 PLN
Price per kilometer for vans: 2,10 PLN
Initial fee: 8 PLN
Price per kilometer in Zone 1: 1,80 PLN/ nights and weekends: 2,70 PLN
Price per kilometer in Zone 2: 3,60 PLN/ nights and weekends: 5,40 PLN
Initial fee: 8 PLN
Price per kilometer in Zone 1: 2,40 PLN/ nights and weekends: 3,60 PLN
Price per kilometer in Zone 2: 4,80 PLN/ nights and weekends: 7,20 PLN
Apart form classical „catching a taxi” in the city one can also order it by telephone and in the case of some companies – by text message or via Internet (the regulations are presented on the websites of particular companies). One has to remember to order the taxi earlier because the waiting time is at least 15 minutes.
Attention: Taxi frauds may happen in Warsaw. It is always worth making sure what the price per kilometer is before one gets into the car. Ordering a taxi by telephone from a trusted company is the best option. The vehicle should have the company name and telephone number on the roof and price per kilometer on the glass pane. One has to be particularly cautious at the airport. The best option is to choose one of the companies recommended by the airport – ELE Sky Taxi, Super Taxi and Sawa Taxi, which wait at the specially marked taxi rank next to the terminal. The price for the ride from the airport to the city centre is around 40 PLN. Swindlers from private taxis may demand even three times higher sum of money.
The list of recommended taxi companies
Price under 2 PLN per kilometer:
Warsaw becomes a cyclists friendly city – there are more and more bike lanes every year, so nothing should stop you from getting around the capital on bike.
The VETURILO system is convenient for people who do not own their own bike. In order to rent a bike you have to register in the system at http://en.veturilo.waw.pl/. During the registration you have to give our telephone number and basic personal details. The registration fee is 10 PLN. The first 20 minutes of riding with Veturilo are free. For the next 40 minutes you will pay 1 PLN, and for the second hour - 3 PLN. The third hour costs 5 PLN, the fourth and each additional hour – 7 PLN. Bikes can be returned to any of the stations but not later that 12 hours after renting them! Bikes are available for rental from the beginning of March until the end of November. The list of places where we can rent the Veturilo bikes can be found here: http://en.veturilo.waw.pl/locations/.
Warsaw have many interesting bike routes to offer, which are perfect for weekend rides. One of the most popular routes leads along the left bank of the Vistula river from Młociny to Powsin. One can also cycle in Kampinos Forest or Kabaty Forest. Districts like Ursynów, Bemowo and Białołęka also have interesting routes to offer. People who would like to take part in an action gathering keen cyclists should join Warsaw Critical Mass, which starts on every last Friday in a month at 6 pm from the Castle Square. The aim of the action is to unite all people who care about improving the situation of cyclists in Warsaw.
In order to enjoy your bike ride, it is worth remembering about basic rules concerning getting around Warsaw on bike. Cyclists should always use cycling paths. If there are none they can use the special lane for bikes on the road or cycle on the verge of the road. When neither of this two possibilities can be used cyclists have a right to ride a bike on the road or - in the last resort - on the pavement. One has to dismount the bike while being on the zebra crossing. There is a fine for cycling on it.
The system of Polskie Koleje Państwowe (known as PKP) is the most important one for people travelling around Poland and to other countries (Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary). Dworzec Centralny (Central Railway Station) is the main railway station. As its name suggests it is located in the city centre, opposite the Palace of Culture and Science. The other two stations on which most trains stop are Warszawa Zachodnia (to get there from the city centre you have to catch a bus going along Aleje Jerozolimskie towards Zawisza Square, for instance 127, 158, or 517) and Warszawa Wschodnia (trams 7 and 22 from the city centre). The timetables of the trains departing from all the stations in Warsaw can be found at the website of PKP. Apart from that, there is a bus station at Warszawa Zachodnia from which buses depart to different places on the map of Poland.
In Warsaw there is the Chopin Airport from which airplanes going to all the continents depart. The airport is located at Żwirki and Wigury Street 1, about 10 km for the city centre. One can get there by taking a bus – numbers: 175, 148, 188 and 331 depending on the origin of the travel. There is also a night bus going to the airport – number N32. The timetable of the buses can be found at ZTM.
The SKM trains departing from Dworzec Centralny (number S2, S3C and S3S) or Koleje Mazowieckie trains are good alternatives for people willing to avoid possible traffic jams on the route leading to the airports. The travel time in this case is 25 minutes. The timetables of both companies can be found here:
Koleje Mazowieckie trains
People travelling with low cost carrier Ryanair have to get to the Warsaw-Modlin Airport which is located 35 kilometers north-west of Warsaw. The cheapest option to get there is the Koleje Mazowieckie train from Dworzec Centralny to Modlin. There one has to get on the bus going to the airport (price: 5 PLN). The timetable of the buses is adapted to the arrivals/departures of the trains. To save some money, people not entitled to discounts in trains should buy a joint ticket for train and bus from the Warsaw-Modlin Airport to Dworzec Centralny – it costs 15 PLN. The ticket entitles its holder to using the ZTM public transport in Warsaw in Zone 1 (buses, trams, metro and SKM trains) for 60 minutes counting from the time they have written by hand on the ticket. Detailed information concerning the trip and links to the timetables can be found at the website of Warsaw-Modlin Airport.
People valuing comfort can get to the airport by car or by bus called Modlinbus from Metro Młociny station or from Warszawa Centrum stop. The price for a one-way trip is from 23 to 33 PLN. If you buy the ticket online, you can get a discount – the ticket may even cost 9 PLN! The timetable and detailed price list can be found at Modlinbus.