Public transportation

Warsaw has quite a wide network of public transportation. As many other big cities, Warsaw’s traffic can be quite heavy especially during the rush hours. You might experience such full buses or subways that you would not be able to get on. There is no culture of queuing up for a bus or tram, so don’t expect others to let you in, just because you were first at the stop.

Although there is only one line of subway (metro), you can get anywhere you want by bus or tram. Lots of buses have their stops at metro stations, to make it faster to travel around Warsaw. If you need to get to the east/south and west part of Warsaw, we suggest to take the SKM  -(SKM – Szybka Kolejka Miejska - Fast City Train). At night you can travel by night buses, which leave from the central station every 30 minutes and go to different parts of Warsaw. It’s quite a smart system, where all the buses leave at the same time, so if you need to change there, you are sure, you will not miss your connection.

In this section you can learn about different means of transportation as well as ticketing system in Warsaw:

Maps & Schedules

You can download all the public transportation maps directly from the well organized website of the Board of Transportation in Warsaw (ZTM - Zarzad Transportu Miejskiego). Some functions are also available in English, German and Russian. Maps are available separately for day- (komunikacja w dzien) and night-lines (komunikacja w nocy) as well as for different zones, tram lines etc.

The website is updated regularly and contains also timetables (rozklad jazdy) of each and every bus and tram line. The schedules are changed quite often, so make sure you look it up regularly if needed. The timetables are available only in Polish though.

Ticketing System

The ticketing system is quite complicated. There are several options to choose from. (The regular prices mentioned below are valid for standard tickets; students until 26 y. of age, PhD students, pupils, handicapped people and elderly people above 65y. of age are eligible for 50% discount.)

The area of Warsaw is divided into 2 zones. Zone 1 (strefa 1) represents official Warsaw borders, while zone 2 (strefa 2) – the greater Warsaw. All tickets for zone 2 are also valid within Warsaw city zone 1.

Time limited tickets – allow you to travel within the limited period of time from the time you validated your ticket, regardless of bus/tram changes. You need to be careful with those tickets while traveling during rush hours. Traffic in Warsaw can be quite heavy in peak times, hence your travel time can be much longer than usual. There are several types of these kinds of tickets:

  • short-term tickets: 20 min./40 min/60 min./90 min.
  • mid-term tickers: 24h/3 days/7 days

One-time tickets – allow you to travel within 120 min., however only using one chosen line (one bus, tram or subway).

Standard ticket costs 2.80 PLN (zone 1) and 4.20 PLN (zone 2)

9am-2pm ticket 2.40 PL

warsaw city cardLong-term Personal Tickets – require a city card (Warszawska Karta Miejska) that you can charge up for the required time. The card is valid only with an ID, only for one specific person. You can use the card also to charge it up for city parking.

Students may choose to charge their electronic student ID (ELS - Elektroniczna Legitymacja Studencka) available for students of all public universities in Warsaw and some private schools.

  • 30-days ticket for one chosen line – 52 PLN
  • 30-days ticket – 78 PLN
  • 90-days ticker – 196 PLN
  • Long-term Holder Ticket – are valid for anybody holding the ticket and require the city card as well: 30-days ticket – 140 PLN and 90-days ticket – 360 PLN

stamping machineThe network of ticket sales as well as charging up the city card is quite broad: you can purchase your required ticket at a special vendor machine available at every metro station, central railway station and nearly every shop starting from news agents, tobacco shop, bookstore, post office and grocery shop. It’s also possible to get the ticket directly at the driver (only at buses and trams), however you need to have exact change. The driver may refuse to sell the ticket if the bus/tram is late more than 3 minutes. There is a possibility to buy your ticket over your mobile phone.

You need to stamp your ticket straight after entering the bus/tram/train at a special stamping machine (picture). Only if the green light has blinked the ticket is stamped.

The subway system is a bit different, where you stamp your ticket at the gate before entering the platform.

The tickets’ controls are quite common, especially at the subway. Be aware! Fares dodgers need to pay a fine of 150PLN.


Park & Ride (Parkuj i Jedz)

There is a system of “park and ride” (Parkuj i Jedz) with spaceful car parks located in the most important communication hubs. You just park your car and take the subway or train or a bus. Parking within the system is free of charge as long as you have short- or long-term public transportation ticket (24h to 90-days tickets). Otherwise 100PLN per 24h will be charged.

These car parks are available at some of the metro stations:

  • Mlociny (1000 spaces),
  • Marymont (400 spaces),
  • Wilanowska (290 spaces),
  • Ursynow (166 spaces),
  • Stoklosy (400 spaces)
  • at a railway station in Anin (80 spaces)
  • bus hub at 8 Polczynska Str. (500 spaces).

Subway (Metro)

metro wilanowskaWarsaw’s subway (Metro) is one of the most modern networks in Europe. It is covered completely underground across the whole line, uncommon to most of the other European cities. The stations are very spacious and pompous. Some of the them (i.e. Wilanowska, Dworzec Gdanski, Ratusz) are used as art & history exhibitions.

Warsaw’s first line of subway/metro links north and south part of the western bank of Warsaw connecting Kabaty (south) and Mlociny (north) passing through the city center (Centrum)

It takes around around 20 min. to reach the city center from both Kabaty and Mlociny station.

Metro leaves every 3 minutes during peak hours up to 7-9 minutes during the rest of the day and every 15 min. after midnight.

The last train leaves:

  • From Kabaty station at midnight from Sunday to Thursday and at 2:30am from Friday to Sunday.
  • From Mlociny station 0:10am from Sunday to Thursday and at 2:55am from Friday to Sunday.
  • From central station towards Mlociny at 0:20am from Sunday to Thursday and 2:50am from Friday to Sunday.
  • From central station towards Kabaty 0:28am from Sunday to Thursday, 3:13am from Friday to Sunday.

The first train leaves at 5:00am equally from Kabaty and Mlociny and about 20 min. later from central station in both directions.

Second line starting operating on the 8th of March. It connects east part of Warsaw (Wilenski Railway Station) with the central district (Rondo Daszynskiego).

It leaves every 3 minutes from end stations and it takes 10-12 min. to go from one to the other end.

This line passes through the river within a tunnel of 870 meters.

Bus stop

Buses & Trams

There are 296 different lines of buses and trams driving through Warsaw. Buses are very common means of public transportation in Warsaw. In most cases they connect distant city districts with subway or directly city center.

Bus stops (przystanek) are very well signed.

Fast City Train (SKM)

Fast City Train network is the newest means of public transportation in Warsaw. It wasn’t until Ocotber 2005 that SKM trains start transporting citizens across Warsaw. The trains are very modern and fully air-conditioned.

At the moment SKM trains run between east part – Sulejowek and the west part – Pruszkow. All trains drive through the city center and stop at the Srodmiescie station – the local train station of the city center.

By second half of 2010 there will be an opening of the SKM running to/fromWarsaw Airport Okecie.

The trains run every 30 min between 4am-midnight. In the peak time around 7, every 20 min. The exact schedule can be downloaded from the SKM website.