Public Transport

  City Centre         20 Jan 2023

Warsaw has an extensive bus and tram system criss-crossing the city as well as a good metro system running from north to south and a second line that opened in March 2015 running east to west. Over 1,900 buses operate in and around the city, and most run from between 05:00 and 23:00. After that night buses run on most routes twice every hour. All night buses display the letter N, followed by a two digit number. ‘Fast buses’ (marked with red digits) skip the smaller stops.

Tickets (all valid for use on metro, bus and tram) can be bought from a series of ticket machines with instructions in English dotted around the city, at all metro stations, and some bus and tram stops, with English translations printed on tickets. Tickets can also be purchased from machines on buses and trams, where you can pay by card, or using exact change only. Alternatively, kiosks also sell tickets.

A standard public transport single ticket costs 4.40zł. If you’re travelling to the further reaches of Warsaw you’ll be needing a ticket that covers both zones 1 and 2 – these are priced at 7zł. Note that the airport is in Zone 1. Still with us? Good. There is also a 20 minute ticket priced at 3.40zł. Tickets valid for 24 hrs are priced at 15 or 26zł if travelling through both zones. They have also introduced a new weekend ticket (available from 19:00 on Friday till 08:00 on Monday) which costs 24 zł (also a weekend group ticket is available for up to 5 people and costs 40 zł). A 3-day ticket costs 36zł for zone 1 only and 57zł for zones 1 & 2. Those over 70 ride for free, as do children up until the end of September of the year they turn 7, but you must have photo ID with you (in such cases, to enter the metro, use a 'wejściówka', which is a ticket that allows you to enter the electronic gates - they can be found from wall dispensers next to the gates and used multiple times (hang on to it)). Everyone else pays full fare unless in possession of an ISIC card (in which case you must be 26 and under). This entitles you to buy a reduced ticket (ulgowy) which costs approximately 50% of the full fare.

Once you’ve got a ticket you will need to validate it in one of the box-style kasowniks, thus activating the magnetic strip on the back. On the metro this must be done before you get on board. It is no longer necessary to buy an extra ticket for animals or large pieces of luggage. Plain clothes ticket inspectors regularly stalk the lines, dishing out 270.40zł (266zł plus a normal ticket price of 4.40zł) for those without valid tickets (we understand quick payment results in the fine being lessened). They often don't look very official and you are within your rights to request identification.



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Warsaw IYP Editor

Hi Carel, Travel for anyone over 70 is free in Warsaw's public transport system. All you need to do is show your photo ID on buses, trams, metro and trains, if asked to do so by a ticket inspector. To enter the metro, next to all the electronic gates (and sometimes next to the ticket machines), there are dispensers from which you can take a type of ticket called a 'wejściówka' - this is a ticket you take, and keep with you at all times, to enter the metro's electronic gates without needing to pay for a normal ticket. Again, if a ticket inspector asks you for your ticket, you just show your ID. Here is a link showing what the dispensers look like: https://www.ztm.waw.pl/informacje.php?i=934&c=98&l=1
I am 71 years old. Can I really travel for free on the metro and on the train from the airport to the city. How can I enter the metro withouten a ticket?
Hi. I’m planning to go to Berlin from Warsaw and the only time that is okay with my itinerary is departing at 11pm in Mlociny. I checked the location and I can see that it is way out of the centrum. Is there a train or bus that will directly take me to Mlocinyfrom centrum? If there is please instruct me. Because im alone and it’s gonna be night time so I wanna make sure that there’s an efficient transfer going to the station before I book my ticket. :) Hoping for your promt reply. Thanks!

Hello Andrew, I will be leaving in two weeks time and the map you have provided is a Godsend. It is perfect. Thank you VERY much! The best, Franz-Erik

Hi Franz-Erik, I hope you made your train! This is the only map I could find, however, I'm not sure it would have been to helpful at the time: http://www.rozklad.pkp.pl/files/files/741/originals/warszawa_centralna_mapka_01_2014.pdf
Malmö, Sweden
Thank you again, Andrew. Yes, being “of age” is very nice, something that ought to be introduced in my own country ….. or at least a reduction in price. Anyway, as long as the S3 runs straight to Centralna I will be pleased. I assume you mean that a missed train will require one to purchase a new “seat reservation” and not a full ticket. Is there a (how is it called?) a plan/map of the railway station on the Internet? If I know exactly where platform II/1 is located I won’t be spinning round wasting precious seconds. Regards, Franz-Erik
Hi Franz-Erik, You are correct, as you are over 70 public transportation within the cities is free and you will not need to buy a ticket for the S3 train, just have your ID ready to show the ticket conductor on the train. Only the S2 train doesn't stop at Centralna itself, the S3 train leaving the airport at 15:24 definitely does, which is ideal for you. As for your onward journey: In Poland, unfortunately, train tickets are not valid for specific routes for the whole day, meaning you are assigned a specific journey time/seat (in your case 16:05). If you miss your train, you will therefore be required to buy a new ticket for the 18:10 - although public transport in the cities is free, it is not for the national PKP train service, although you will still receive a 30% discount for being over 60. I hope you catch your train!
Hi Franz-Erik, The easiest and quickest way to get to Central Station from the airport is by using the direct train link, found in the lower level of the airport. Based on your arrival time, I have checked train times for you, and in theory, you could make it, but it may be a bit of a mad dash! If all goes smoothly, you can take the S3 train at 15:24 (arriving at Warszawa Centralna Train Station at 15:45). If your flight arrives ahead of schedule, you may be able to catch the S2 train at 15:05 (arriving at Warszawa Śródmieście Train Station at 15:28 - this station is across from Centralna, a mere 3 minute walk). Unfortunately, if you do not make the 15:24, the next train is at 15:50 RL train (arriving at WC 16:10). If you miss your train at 16:05, you must buy a ticket at the booths prior to getting on your train. The next scheduled train to Biała Podlaska is at 18:10. I hope this helps! Andrew
Malmö, Sweden
A lovely reply, thank you very much Andrew. Making the 15:05 well ahead of schedule would be too much to ask but if it arrives on the dot I could perhaps make the 15:28? I have no baggage and at 71 years of age I won’t need to queue for the S3 ticket, I've been told. I already have my ticket for the Centralna to Biala Podlaska journey but the compulsory seat reservation is for the 16:05. In the case of missing that train my thought is to board the next one at 18:10 without bothering to ask about a reservation. But now I have another question: Do all of the S3 trains stop “across from Centralna” at Śródmieście Station, not at Centralna itself? Regards, Franz-Erik Sweden
Malmö, Sweden
I think I know what you are going to tell me but I just have to ask anyway. My scheduled time of arrival at Chopin is 14:55 on a Wednesday. I have no baggage and I am over 70 so I suppose I won't need to queue to buy a ticket or wait at baggage claim. But my train leaves Central Station at 16:05 bound for Biala Podlaska. Is there any chance at all of making it? And if I miss my train will there be a great deal of trouble taking the next train without a reserved seat? Thank you no matter what the answer is.

Hi Cecille, Thank you for your comment. The easiest, and quickest, way to get to Gdańsk from Warsaw is by train using the Express Intercity Premium (EIP) or Express Intercity (EIC) services. The departure point is 'Warszawa Centralna' travelling to 'Gdańsk Główny' and the journey takes 2h 50min. https://www.inyourpocket.com/warsaw/warszawa-centralna-train-station_19641v It's always best to book your ticket in advance to get the cheapest price, and it's easier to do it online: https://www.intercity.pl/de/ (you will receive a PDF ticket to your email, which you can have on your phone, but best print this out too as some conductors prefer the paper versions). Alternatively, you can buy your tickets at the ticket office in the train station. The price varies depending on when you wish to travel, and how far in advance you book - because of this, one-way single ticket prices per person can vary from 139-229zł in 1st class and anything from 44-150zł in 2nd class. I hope this helps and I hope you enjoy your time in Poland.
Hi, We are visiting Warsaw and I am thinking of going to Gdańsk for a day trip. How long is the travel time, what is the best way to get there (we are a family of 4 - 2 adults and 2 teenagers) and how much would it cost us. If we take the train, is it best to book ahead to save money? Thanks. Cecille
Adnana Elena

Hi Mimi, you can buy every type of ZTM ticket (Warsaw Transport Authority) in ticket machine that is located in front of the enterence to metro.
Mimi Hanim
Dworzec Metro Mlociny
I will be arriving at Dworzec Metro Mlociny bus station, where is the nearest ticket counter I can buy the weekend group ticket?
Editor IYP
Hi Fred, Yes, public transport is free for anyone over 70 in both cities. There is no need to show any ID, but it''s a good idea to have one with you in case an inspector boards the tram or bus and starts checking tickets. If you have a valid ID with your age on you you''ve nothing to worry about, simply board the tram/bus and have a seat.
Fred Rosenberg-Wilmoth
New York City
HI, I am going to Warsaw and Krakow for the first time next month. I notice that seniors (I am 79) travel free around Warsaw. Is it the same I Krakow? Also, what do I do just go on the bus and show the driver my proof of age? Thank you, Fred
Was there really a new to add a ''vodka'' reference whilst explaining public transport?
Looking at living in Warsaw...is there a bus system traveling to Trent University in Peterborough from Warsaw. Particularly Ford St in Warsaw?

Hi, If you are looking for the best way of transport from Modlin to Warsaw visit this site: www.modlinairport.co.uk/ You can find here simple comparison of avaible transfers. I founded it as a social initiative so I invite you to mailing me with advices and questions.

A standard ticket entitles you to a journey only on the vehicle in which the ticket was purchased for a period not exceeding 120 minutes.

How long does the standard ticket last? 1 hour?

All you need to know for travel to/from Modlin can be found here:http://www.inyourpocket.com/poland/warsaw/travel-info/Arriving-by-plane/Arriving-by-plane/Warsaw-Modlin-Airport_96867v

Edward Hickey

can anyone please tell me if there is a bus service from modlin airport warsaw to the city center and if so what number bus? or other means of public transport to and from the airport! Ted. thank you!

Ah found it ZTM under "website" (nice and cryptic that one!). Might be an idea to embed it in the text and make it clear what the link is. Not the most user friendly of sites though even though its in English as well.

I am not certain about your claim that the locals negotiate the fine down. Those I have observed always display their ID when they start to examine tickets and remove people from the tram/bus to take their details so that they can either pay up then and there or pay later ( Poles have to carry a Dowod - ID card). Your link doesn't point straight to the the Warsaw Tourist Card site but after having trawled through it, if that the best the authorities can come up with then their hope that the WTC will lead to people falling in love with the City may come to nothing (the English version is at the top "helpfully" marked EN. A link to Warsaws MPK timetables would be helpful. Incidentally Warsaw is a wonderful City despite the fact that the Nazis destroyed 84% of it through sheer spite.

It is advisable to inform your readers whether the Warsaw airport is within the zone 1 or the zone 2, because on this the cost of a single ride depends.Thanks.
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