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* '''Bus 148''' operates between the airport and Rondo Wiatraczna in [[Warsaw/Praga Poludnie|Praga Południe]], on the eastern side of Warsaw.  This bus passes by the Imielin metro station.
* '''Bus 148''' operates between the airport and Rondo Wiatraczna in [[Warsaw/Praga Poludnie|Praga Południe]], on the eastern side of Warsaw.  This bus passes by the Imielin metro station.
* '''Bus 175''' operates between the airport and Plac Piłsudskiego, crossing through the city center and stopping at the central railway station, Centrum metro station and the historic city center, including Nowy Świat and the University of Warsaw. The trip takes 30-45 minutes, depending on traffic. Buses operate every 7 minutes during rush hour. This bus used to have a bad reputation for pickpockets; although it's better now, caution is still advised.
* '''Bus 175''' operates between the airport and Plac Piłsudskiego, crossing through the city center and stopping at the central railway station, Centrum metro station and the historic city center, including Nowy Świat and the University of Warsaw. The trip takes 30-45 minutes, depending on traffic. Buses operate every 7 minutes during rush hour. This bus used to have a bad reputation for pickpockets; although it's better now, caution is still advised. There are announcements for two tourist spots in English: Warszawa Centralny is announced "Central Railway Station;" and Plac Zamkowy (Castle Square) is announced "The Old Town."
* '''Bus 188''' operates between the airport and Gocławek Wschodni in Praga Południe, passing through to the south of the city center. This bus passes by the Politechnika metro station.
* '''Bus 188''' operates between the airport and Gocławek Wschodni in Praga Południe, passing through to the south of the city center. This bus passes by the Politechnika metro station.

Revision as of 12:12, 22 February 2013

For other places with the same name, see Warsaw (disambiguation).
Warsaw is a huge city with several district articles containing sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings — have a look at each of them.
Warsaw's Old Town

Warsaw [42] (Polish: Warszawa) is the capital of Poland and, with 1.7 million inhabitants, its largest city. It is located on the Vistula River (Polish: Wisła), roughly equidistant (350 km, 217 mi) from both the Baltic Sea (Bałtyk) in the north and the Carpathian Mountains (Karpaty) in the south.


Districts of Warsaw
Centrum (Śródmieście, Wola, Mokotów, Żoliborz, Ochota, Praga Północ, Praga Południe)
The Centrum area, which also comprises the famous Warsaw Old Town. It's made up of six diverse districts and is a mixture of industrial areas and prestigious residential neighborhoods. It will be here that most travelers will spend their time in Warsaw, as most major attractions and hotels are primarily located in Śródmieście, Wola, and Mokotów.
Northern Warsaw (Bielany, Białołęka)
Western Warsaw (Bemowo, Włochy, Ursus)
Eastern Warsaw (Targówek, Rembertów, Wawer, and Wesoła)
Southern Warsaw (Ursynów, Wilanów)
The southern terminal of the Royal Route, Wilanów is home to the Wilanów Palace. Ursynów is home to the historic Natolin park and nature reserve, which hosts the College of Europe Natolin in the Potocki Palace. The area saw intense activity on the part of the Polish Home Army during the Warsaw Uprising.



The medieval capital of Poland was the southern city of Krakow, but Warsaw has been the capital of the country since 1596, and has grown to become Poland's largest city and the nation's urban and commercial center. Completely destroyed by the Nazis during World War II, the city managed to lift itself from the ashes. Today, almost every building in Warsaw dates to the postwar era - with what little remains of the old structures being confined largely to the restored districts of Stare Miasto (the 'old city') and Nowe Miasto ('new city'), as well as selected monuments and cemeteries.

Warsaw Uprising

A thriving European capital, Warsaw was occupied by Nazi Germany in 1939, and was the scene of two major uprisings during the war - the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943, and the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. The former involved the remaining Jewish inhabitants of the Warsaw Ghetto, which had already largely been emptied by the Nazi extermination policies of the Holocaust, and was ended by the annihilation of the Ghetto by Nazi forces. The latter involved the Polish resistance forces, known as the Home Army (Armia Krajowa, or AK), rising up against the Nazi occupation of the city in hopes that the city could be liberated by Polish forces instead of the facing dubious Soviet 'liberation' from the east. The Soviet Union had cooperated with Nazi Germany in the invasion and occupation of Poland in 1939.

After five years under brutal occupation, with the tide of the war turning against the Third Reich, the leaders of the Polish underground resistance (the AK) made the decision to launch a total effort to dislodge the Nazis from the city of Warsaw. With over 45,000 troops already in Warsaw, the AK and several allied organizations took up strategic locations around the city and launched the Uprising. Across Poland, there were roughly 400,000 troops involved in the resistance. The Uprising was scheduled to begin on August 1, 1944 at 5PM. However, in the the city center, and the districts of Wola and Żoliborz, fighting broke out before the planned hour.

Fighting continued until October 5, 1944 when the Home Army and its allied organizations surrendered. Despite its successes and valor, the Polish fighters were outnumbered and outgunned. The Home Army was unable to continue its fight without the help of the Allies. America and Britain did very little to support the Uprising, other than dropping some supplies over the city (the Soviet Union refused to allow the use of airfields in territory under its control). The Soviet Union took a multifaceted role by allying themselves with the Home Army to win victories against the Germans in other Polish territories, then disarming and imprisoning the Polish soldiers. The Soviet Union purposely allowed the Warsaw Uprising to fail by abandoning the Home Army and Varsovians so it could install a puppet government in postwar Poland.

After the surrender, the German army, despite its agreements under the surrender treaty, systematically destroyed over 85% of Warsaw in retaliation for the uprising, including the historic "Old Town" which was rebuilt after the war. Of 987 historically important buildings, only 64 were left untouched by the Germans. Polish soldiers were rounded up and sent to concentration camps. Warsaw's civilian population was "evacuated" with some being sent to concentration camps, or sent to Germany for forced labor. Others were sent to different Polish cities.

In the first days of the fighting, Nazi forces indiscriminately murdered about 60,000 civilians, including women and children, in the district of Wola. In the end, the Uprising cost 180,000 civilians their lives, the lives of an additional 18,000 insurgents, the capital its glory, and the Polish nation its long-desired independence. The only thing that persevered was the Polish spirit.

Post-World War II

Capitalist insult
The building at Nowy Świat 6/12 served as the headquarters for the Central Committee of the Polish Communist party until 1991 when some creative anti-communists decided to make the Communist Headquarters the home for the Warsaw Stock Exchange and The Banking Finance Center. The Warsaw Stock Exchange has since moved to the building directly behind the Communist HQ, but the irony remains.

The city was rebuilt in the immediate aftermath of the war, and the monolithic gray apartment blocks that characterize much of the city (especially its outer areas) are a relic of the Stalinist utilitarianism that dominated the rebuilding efforts. A typical example of the Stalinist architecture is the monolithic Palace of Culture (palac kultury), with its clocktower, which remains Warsaw's tallest building.

Since the fall of communism in 1989, Warsaw has been developing much more rapidly than Poland as a whole. You wouldn't recognize the city if you saw it ten years ago, and more changes are constantly taking place. Warsaw has long been the easiest place in Poland to find employment, and for this reason many of the Polish inhabitants of the city are first or second generation, originating from all over the country.

Even though much of Warsaw seems to imitate western cities, there are many peculiarities to be found here that you will not find in western capitals. Examples include the communist-era bar mleczny (lit. 'milk bar') that remain in operation (essentially cheap cafeterias for no-frills, working-class traditional Polish dining, which have remained incredibly popular in the face of westernization). Europe's largest outdoor marketplace, once located around the old stadium, has disappeared as the new National Stadium has arisen for the Euro 2012 football championships.


Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°C) -1 1 6 13 19 22 23 23 18 13 6 1
Nightly lows (°C) -6 -5 -2 3 8 11 13 12 9 4 1 -3
Precipitation (mm) 21 25 24 33 44 62 73 63 42 37 38 33

Warsaw has a continental climate, with warm summers, crisp, sunny autumns and cold winters. Summers can vary from mild to quite hot. Travellers should bring light, summer clothes for the day, and an extra jacket for evenings, as they can sometimes get a little chilly. The main tourist season of Warsaw falls between May and September, from the middle of spring until the beginning of autumn, when the climate is at its most favourable. Although rainfall is generally evenly spread throughout the year, July does tend to be the wettest month according to weather statistics. Travellers would best be advised to bring heavy, water-resistant shoes with them when travelling in Warsaw in late autumn to early spring. The weather in winter varies, but it can get cold and very snowy. From December to March, the climate is at its coldest and overnight frosty weather becomes commonplace, along with some snow. The coolest months are January and February with temperatures falling a couple of degrees below zero.


The Warsaw Convention Bureau [43] is the official tourist information agency in Warsaw and can provide visitors with information regarding hotels, attractions, and events. They also have maps for travelers. Unfortunately, the bureau's website isn't well designed and doesn't provide all that great of information, though, it can be helpful. They operate three locations in Warsaw.

There are a few other organizations that are useful when planning or looking for information about a trip to Warsaw. The City of Warsaw [44] has a lot of useful information on its website and would be a good place to get some information. Destination Warsaw [45] has some useful information, but seems to trump up its members' products, restaurants, and services over others. Its main goal is the promotion of Warsaw as a destination abroad. The best source of practical tips, contacts, and current event information is the Warsaw Insider [46], available at every concierge, tourits information and larger newsagents'; the Warsaw Voice [47], an English language weekly newspaper, also maintains a good calendar of events [48] on its website.

A wise investment may be the Warsaw Tourist Card [49], which can either be purchased for a 24 hour period or three days. The card will get you into museums for free or for a discount. It also doubles as a ticket for public transportation in Warsaw. You may also be able to get discounts at galleries, sports facilities, shops, restaurants, and discounted tours, car rentals, or accommodation. The card can be purchased at the tourist agency's offices around the city, some hotels, and a few other locations.


The blue section contains the name of the street ("Odyńca"). The words above complement the name to its full, official form ("Ulica Antoniego E. Odyńca" stands for "Antoni E. Odyniec's Street"). Numbers say that houses in this block will be odd-numbered from 51 to 55. The red section contains the name of the neighborhood or subdistrict ("Wierzbno" is a neighborhood in the Mokotów district).

As is the case with most major cities, Warsaw is situated on a river. The river's name is Vistula (Polish: Wisła) and it crosses the city on a north-south axis, dividing it into two parts, usually referred to as the left bank (Polish: lewy brzeg adj. lewobrzeżna Warszawa) and the right bank (Polish: prawy brzeg adj. prawobrzeżna Warszawa).

City center

Historically, the right bank was the first one to become populated, during the 9th or 10th century. However, the present city's central district, called Śródmieście lies on the left bank. The Old Town is fully contained within the borders of the city center.

The central point of the city is located at the intersection of Al. Jerozolimskie and ul. Marszałkowska, near the entrance to the Metro Centrum subway station. It is good to know that the Palace of Culture is a landmark visible from almost any location in Warsaw. Should you ever get lost in the city, just walk toward the Palace of Culture and Science.

The quarter delimited by Al. Jerozolimskie, ul. Marszałkowska, al. Jana Pawła II, and ul. Świętokrzyska, contains Dworzec Centralny, the main railway station, and the Palace of Culture and Science.

Get in

By plane

Warsaw (all airports code: WRW) is served by a total of two airports: Chopin Airport (IATA: WAW) (also known as 'Okecie') for major airlines. ( Modlin Airport (IATA: WMI) was opened in July 2012 and it handles the low cost traffic. Łódź Airport (IATA: LCJ) is also conveniently accessible from Warsaw.

Warsaw Frederic Chopin Airport

Chopin Airport [50] (IATA: WAW, ICAO: EPWA) is located in the area of Okęcie in Włochy, some 10 km south of the center point of the city. For many years the airport used to be called just Okęcie, but this reportedly caused confusion and it was renamed.

N.B. Local people may use the name Okęcie to refer either to the airport, or to the residential area and local transportation terminal P+R Al. Krakowska which is on the other end of the airfield. Always ask for the airport (lotnisko in Polish) to avoid confusion.

There are two terminal buildings, until 2010 marked as: Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, now both denoted as Terminal A. The terminals are very close to each other (there is a pedestrian corridor linking them on public side as well as on the secure side), but it's best to know from which terminal you will be departing. Check-in counters with numbers 100-199 are in (former) building of Terminal 1, 200-299 in Terminal 2.

The Etiuda Terminal was used by budget airlines and for charters, but now it's closed.

Getting to/from Chopin Airport (WAW)
By train

The airport train station, Warszawa Lotnisko Chopina, opened on 1 June 2012. Trains depart every 10-12 minutes during peak times and every 15 minutes otherwise. Both the Szybka Kolej Miejska (SKM; Warsaw's S-Bahn-like suburban railway system) and Koleje Mazowieckie (Mazovian Railways or KML; the provincial local train operator) operate trains to and from the airport.

The SKM offers the following connections from Warszawa Lotnisko Chopina:

  • Line S2 through Warszawa Zachodnia, Warszawa Śródmieście (walking distance to Warszawa Centralna), Warszawa Stadion and Warszawa Wschodnia to Sulejówek Miłosna
  • Line S3S through Warszawa Zachodnia, Warszawa Śródmieście (walking distance to Warszawa Centralna), Warszawa Stadion and Warszawa Wschodnia to Legionowo Piaski
  • Line S3C through Warszawa Zachodnia, Warszawa Centralna and Warszawa Wschodnia to Legionowo Piaski. This is an "express" train which skips the local train stations between Warszawa Zachodnia and Warszawa Wschodnia, including Warszawa Stadion.

Koleje Mazowieckie offers connections ending at Warszawa Wschodnia, calling at Warszawa Zachodnia and Warszawa Centralna. These trains are less frequent than SKM services.

Regular Warsaw transport tickets issued by ZTM (the local transport operator which runs city buses, trams and the metro) are valid on SKM train services between the airport and Warsaw. There are ticket machines in the terminal as well as on board. ZTM day passes, three-day passes and monthly tickets are also valid on Koleje Mazowieckie trains, but not regular tickets. Note that while there is no Koleje Mazowieckie ticket office at the airport, it is possible to purchase single tickets for KML services from the airport to the city center aboard the train.

By bus

Four bus lines operate between points in the city and the airport from 4:40am to 11:00pm. At all other times, night bus N32 runs between the city center and the airport. Single-fare tickets for the bus cost 4.40 PLN (effective 2013.Jan.1) from any kiosk; or buy one from the bus driver or vending machine in the bus (this is more risky - you will need exact change for the driver, or coins - not bills - for the machine; driver may refuse to sell ticket if he is late, the machine may be broken...). You can also buy tickets from the ticket machine at the bus stop (which accept coins, notes and credit cards).

  • Bus 148 operates between the airport and Rondo Wiatraczna in Praga Południe, on the eastern side of Warsaw. This bus passes by the Imielin metro station.
  • Bus 175 operates between the airport and Plac Piłsudskiego, crossing through the city center and stopping at the central railway station, Centrum metro station and the historic city center, including Nowy Świat and the University of Warsaw. The trip takes 30-45 minutes, depending on traffic. Buses operate every 7 minutes during rush hour. This bus used to have a bad reputation for pickpockets; although it's better now, caution is still advised. There are announcements for two tourist spots in English: Warszawa Centralny is announced "Central Railway Station;" and Plac Zamkowy (Castle Square) is announced "The Old Town."
  • Bus 188 operates between the airport and Gocławek Wschodni in Praga Południe, passing through to the south of the city center. This bus passes by the Politechnika metro station.
  • Bus 331 operates between the airport and the Wilanowska metro station in Mokotów. While this bus is particularly useful for passengers connecting to long-distance bus services operated by PolskiBus, as the bus stops at the terminal where PolskiBus buses stop, this bus only runs during peak hours.
By taxi

Avoid the taxi drivers soliciting customers inside the terminal, as they severely overcharge. Instead, use one of the companies recommended by the airport authorities (Merc Taxi, MPT Radio Taxi, Ele, or Sawa Taxi). They are slightly above market average in terms of prices and stop near the exit from terminal. You can also order a taxi from another corporation by phone (there is no surcharge). A typical fare to a hotel near Warszawa Centralna station is around 40 zł at night, less in the daytime.

In any case, the most you should pay is 3.00 zł (up to 4.50 zł on Sundays; but typically no more than 2.40 zł) per km in the daytime plus an initial fee of no more than 8 zł. You are entitled to a receipt (which must specify the route used) upon request. The Polish word for receipt is rachunek. There is no obligation to tip the taxi drivers, but most won't refuse if you offer. See the Taxis section for a more in-depth explanation of taxi fares.

By other means

Some hotels offer a shuttle to/from the airport, while some will send taxis for you.

Warsaw Modlin International Airport

Modlin Airport [51] (IATA: WMI, ICAO: EPMO) was opened in June 2012. It's located near a town Nowy Dwor Mazowiceki 40 km north from Warsaw. WizzAir moved to Modlin from WAW and Ryanair started operating flights to Modlin and have announced a base at the new airport.

Getting to/from Modlin Airport (WMI)
By train

Koleje Mazowieckie [52] operates connections between Modlin and Warszawa Centralna. From the airport terminal you need to take shuttle bus to the railway station and get on a train to Warsaw. A combined ticket for bus and train costs 12 zł.

By bus

There is a direct bus by Modlinbus [53] from the airport terminal to the center of Warsaw (car park near Warszawa Centralna station). The price is 29 zł.

There is also indirect bus connection by Translud [54] - ticket costs 8 zł. Take bus no 2 or 6 [55] from Warsaw Center (next to Domy Towarowe Centrum) to Modlin Twierdza Pętla station. Remember to tell driver of bus no 2 or 6 that you are going to the airport - he will contact with the driver of another bus which will take you from Modlin Twierdza Pętla directly to the airport. Whole trip should be less than 1,5 hour.

By train

Warsaw has three stations for long-distance trains:

  • Dworzec Centralny or Warszawa Centralna (Warsaw Central) ul. Emilii Plater
  • Dworzec Wschodni or Warszawa Wschodnia (Warsaw East) between ul. Kijowska and ul. Lubelska (on the right bank)
  • Dworzec Zachodni or Warszawa Zachodnia (Warsaw West) Al. Jerozolimskie near Rondo Zesłańców Syberyjskich

Unless you really know what you're doing, the best option is Dworzec Centralny (Warszawa Centralna) station, as it has best connections with all the places in the city. All long-distance trains pass through this station and all stop there. It is the only long-distance station underground. It isn't the last station on the route!

Trains running eastwards start at Warszawa Zachodnia, stop at Warszawa Centralna and then at Warszawa Wschodnia, while trains heading westwards make the same trip in the opposite direction (except that they don't always stop at Warszawa Zachodnia). The same is true for arriving trains. Tourists often find it confusing that the main train station (Warszawa Centralna) is not the last station on the route.

The Berlin-Warszawa Express runs from Berlin to Warsaw daily and is quite inexpensive if booked in advance. Students get discounts as well. It's a fairly comfortable six hour trip. Schedule are available on Intercity's website [56] and tickets can be booked through Polrail Service [57] or on the Deutsche Bahn[58] website.

One train per day runs to Kaunas and Vilnius in Lithuania, with a change of trains near the border.

There're also trains to Russia - Moscow, Saint Petersburg and even direct cars to Saratov or Irkutsk, Belarus - Minsk, Ukraine - Kiev and direct cars to Simferopol or even Astana in Kazakhstan. There are many direct connections to central and western European cities too.

In domestic trains, reservation is obligatory only on EC, EIC or Ex trains. In the most popular TLK (cheapest, sometimes only a little slower than expensive EIC) seat reservation is possible (but not obligatory!) only in 1st class.

There are also some IR (InterRegio) trains, operated by Przewozy Regionalne. These are the cheapest trains in Poland, but often not very comfortable and slow. Only IR Warsaw-Szczecin-Warsaw (called "Mewa") and Warsaw-Rzeszow-Warsaw (called "WOŚP") are highly recommended - they're equipped with air-conditioning, CCTV, power sockets for every seat and free wi-fi connection, although the price is extremely low. Seat reservation is possible for as little as 3zł (~0,75€), but only when purchasing internet ticket on website [59].

If you don't have a reservation, you may get a better seat by boarding the train at its point or origination. During peak season, you may not be able to get a seat at all.

Suburban trains

There is no central station for suburban trains, but the most important one is Warszawa Śródmieście (close to Warszawa Centralna and Metro Centrum). Some destinations you can reach from there are Grodzisk Mazowiecki, Łowicz, Milanówek, Mińsk Mazowiecki, Otwock, Piława, Pruszków, Radom, Siedlce, Skierniewice, Sochaczew, Sulejówek, Terespol, Tłuszcz, Wołomin, Żyrardów.

Suburban trains going north depart from Warszawa Gdańska (Metro Dworzec Gdański). From there, you can go to destinations like Ciechanów, Działdowo, Mława and Nasielsk.

Similarly, suburban trains going east depart from Warszawa Wileńska (ul. Targowa near Al. Solidarności, also a shopping mall there). Some example destinations include Małkinia, Tłuszcz, Wołomin.

Warsaw Commuter Railway

WKD [60] (Polish: Warszawska Kolej Dojazdowa) is separate train service that runs from a distinct platform at Warszawa Śródmieście WKD to Grodzisk Mazowiecki, a city some 50 km west of Warsaw through Pruszków, Milanówek, and Podkowa Leśna.

By bus

Regional and long-distance bus connections in Poland are traditionally called PKS. Once it was a legitimate abbreviation for the state-owned monopoly. Now, however, bus routes are operated by completely independent companies, some of which have chosen to retain the old PKS as a part of their name. In Warsaw, there's PKS Warszawa [61] but PKSes from various other cities also operate. Most PKS buses arrive and depart from either of two major terminals:

  • Dworzec PKS Warszawa Zachodnia, Al. Jerozolimskie (near Rondo Zesłańców Syberyjskich). The bigger of the two, next to the railway station by the same name. Most buses arrive here. International buses like Eurolines, Ecolines, Simple Express have their main stop here. To get to the city center from here, walk to the other side of Al. Jerozolimskie and take a bus: 517, E-5  (peak hours only), 127 , or 130  to Dw. Centralny (one bus stop short of Centrum). Catching the eastbound suburban train or S2 urban railway line might be the best option. During the night, buses N35  and N85 run to Dw. Centralny (main station) every 30 minutes beginning at 23:52.

  • Dworzec Autobusowy Metro Wilanowska. Several private buses and PKSes serving towns located south of Warsaw stop here. * Polski Bus [1] runs the following routes from Warsaw: * P1 Line: Warszawa Metro Młociny - Ostróda - Gdańsk * Express Line P2 Warszawa Metro Młociny - Toruń - Bydgoszcz - Piła - Szczecin * INTERNATIONAL Express Line P3 Warszawa Metro Wilanowska - Łódź- Poznań- Berlin Schönefeld - Berlin ZOB * INTERNATIONAL Express Line P4 Warszawa Metro Wilanowska - Łódź - Wrocław - Praga (Prague, Czech Republic) * INTERNATIONAL Express Line P5: Warszawa Metro Wilanowska – Częstochowa – Katowice – Bratysława (Bratislava, Slovakia) – Wiedeń (Vienna, Austria) * Express Line P6 Warszawa Metro Wilanowska - Kielce - Kraków - Zakopane * Express Line P7: Warszawa Metro Wilanowska – Lublin * Express Line P8: Warszawa Metro Wilanowska – Białystok * TIMETABLE VALID FROM MONDAY TO FRIDAY Express Line P9: Warszawa Metro Wilanowska – Radom * TIMETABLE VALID ON WEEKENDS AND BANK HOLIDAYS Express Line P9: Warszawa Metro Wilanowska – Radom * Express Line P10: Warszawa Metro Wilanowska – Ostrowiec Św. – Rzeszów * Express Line P11: Warszawa Metro Młociny – Olsztyn

By car

Unlike most European capitals, Warsaw has no real bypass, so all transit traffic is routed through the city streets. The following streets, which constitute a circle with the radius of some 10 km (six mi) from the city centre, can be considered an ersatz ringroad: Trasa Toruńska-Trasa Armii Krajowej-al. Prymasa Tysiąclecia-Al. Jerozolimskie-ul. Łopuszańska-ul. Hynka-ul. Sasanki-ul. Marynarska-ul. Rzymowskiego-ul. Dolinka Służewiecka-ul. Sikorskiego-al. Witosa-Trasa Siekierkowska-ul. Marsa-ul. Żołnierska.

Four European "E-roads" lead to Warsaw: E30 (A2), E77 (7),  E67 under the unofficial name of Via Baltica, (A8), and E372 (17). The E-numbers are usually displayed on signs but it is best to know the national road numbers too, which are the numbers in parentheses.

What follows is a list of streets you will find yourself on when approaching the city from different directions:

The cities listed above are the ones displayed on signs in the city. The abbreviations in (parentheses) show you which neighboring countries can be reached with a road. If you are coming to the city, follow the blue-on-white Centrum signs. One exception is when you are coming from the north-east: follow the Praga sign unless you are driving a lorry.

Driving distances to other cities:

In Poland - Białystok 190 km (118 mi); Gdańsk 390 km (242 mi); Kielce 180 km (112 mi); Kraków 290 km (180 mi); Olsztyn 210 km (130 mi); Poznań 310 km (193 mi); Siedlce 100 km (62 mi); Toruń 210 km (130 mi)

In other countries - Berlin (D) 570 km (354 mi); Budapest (H) 700 km (535 mi); Kaliningrad (RU) 350 km (217 mi)

Car hire. At the Frederic Chopin airport you will find Avis, Hertz, Budget and Sixt. Telephone numbers can be found in free magazines lying around in hotel and cafe lobbies. Also refer to the individual companies websites. It is a legal requirement for you to carry your driving licence, insurance documents and the vehicle registration details at all times. If the Police stop you without them, they are likely to impose a fine.

Get around

By car


There is a paid-parking zone in the center of the city. This applies Mon-Fri 8AM-6PM. Parking costs 3.00 zł for the first hour. Subsequent hours cost more although there is no hour limit. 0.60 zł is the minimum payment. You can pay with coins (must be exact amount - the parking meters give no change) or with the Warsaw City Card (not the tourist card).


The maximum base fare (taryfa 1) is 3.00 zł/km and applies to journeys within the city (zone 1) on weekdays. The cheapest companies charge between 1.40 zł/km and 2.00 zł/km. Taxi drivers can charge 150% of the base fare (taryfa 2) at night or on weekends and public holidays, and 200% of the base fare (taryfa 3) for journeys into the suburbs. Watch out for blue rectangular signs saying taxi 2 strefa (Taxi Zone 2), they can charge 300% of the base fare (taryfa 4) at night and in the suburbs or on weekends and public holidays).

In addition, they can also charge you 8 zł initial fee (closing the door), 40.00 zł an hour for waiting for you if you you are not in the first zone, and for getting back to the boundary of the first zone if you left in zone 2. There are no surcharges for additional passengers (normally up to 4 should fit), or for luggage.

They cannot charge you for anything else. There is no obligation or custom of tipping the drivers. The driver is required to give you a receipt on request. The full route must be written on the receipt. If the route was suboptimal, the fare can then be challenged. Call the City Guard (Polish: Straż Miejska) at 986 (+48 22 986 from a mobile phone) should there be any problems.

The aforementioned prices apply only to officially registered taxis. Others (non-taxi carriers) may charge you whatever they feel like, so they are best avoided.

A legal taxi will have its number displayed on the front door under the window (black digits on white), on a TAXI sign (not TAX1 or TAKI), on a sticker with the base fare displayed on the passenger (rear) door window, and on the driver's ID card visible inside the cab.

Attention! Legal taxi drivers never approach you, even if they flash something that looks like professional id. Do not trust people in airport halls, at train stations, coming to you and asking if you want a taxi and grabbing your luggage to 'help you'. You may end up with ridiculously high bill or travelling around city. Safe and legal taxi drivers wait in prepared spots. Always ask one how much it will cost you before getting in (approximately).

Warsaw train stations are not further than few kilometers from strict center of the city (Gdański and Centralny are almost in the middle). Gdański train station is connected with metro line, which will take you for around 50 cents to the strict center (around 8 minutes). Centralny is few hundred meters from metro and in strict center.

Airport Okęcie is also within city limits.

Airport Modlin is far from the city, but taxi should have fixed price around 100 PLN to the center of Warsaw. Airport shuttle and bus connecting to direct train are available.

Public transport

The public transport system in Warsaw is generally well-developed, with some 200 bus routes and 30 tram lines. The route descriptions on the tram stops are easy to follow (although bus stop notices are more complex) and the tickets are cheap. It can be painfully slow, however, to travel between destinations far from the city center.

There is also a modern underground line going from south to north on the left bank, and a recently-introduced Rapid Urban Railway (Polish: Szybka Kolej Miejska or SKM) which has proved to be a big disappointment, but now it's becoming more and more popular. Travelling to districts like Włochy, Ursus, Rembertów or Wesoła by SKM instead of bus can save a lot of time.

Metro (subway)

Warsaw's subway system, called Metro, opened in 1995 and is one of the newest underground railway systems in Europe. Operated by Metro Warszawskie sp. z o.o. [62] it runs daily from early morning until midnight at 3-10 minute intervals. On Friday and Saturday, Metro runs until 3 am. Trains and stations are clean and neat. The system currently consists of only one line, which was designed to carry commuters from the densely populated new districts at the northern and southern outskirts into the city center. As a result, the subway does not go to many tourist destinations, however several stations will take you in a general vicinity of some attractions. A second route is under construction, which will link the center with the right bank of the river Vistula (i.e. Praga) with a segment containing 7 stations now expected to be completed in 2013 at the earliest.


Buses operate usually from 5.00 to 23.00, but you should always check the schedule. The intervals can be anything from as little as 5 minutes (crowded routes during peak hours) to nearly 2 hours (certain suburban routes). Usually, you will wait 20 minutes at most.

Warsaw has well-developed night bus communication, that will take you basically to every part of city. Most buses start and finish at the back of Central Railway Station (Dworzec Centralny). They start every 30 minutes, hour by hour, at XX:15 and XX:45.

Bus route numbers consist of three digits. Only the first digit has any meaning, the latter being merely ordinal. Here's the key to understanding Warsaw bus route numbers:

Normal Expedited Suburban
All-Day Service 1xx 5xx 7xx
Certain Hours Only (Usually Peak) 3xx 4xx 8xx

Other than that:

  • Nxx  are night routes.
  • 2xx  are local routes.
  • 9xx  are special routes, which operate only a few days in a year.
  • E-x  are express routes, which link the farthest districts to the city centre, call at very few stops and operate during peak hours only.
  • Z-x  are routes in place of trams.

There are a few routes that are of certain interest to tourists:

  • 148, 175  and  188  operate to and from the airport.
  • 180 [63], the Warsaw Sightseeing Route between the Powązki Cemetery and Wilanów.

Requesting a stop - certain bus stops are request-only (Polish: na żądanie):

  • If you want to get off, press the stop (red) button. In certain old buses, the button is located above the door (and it's not red).
  • If you want to get on a bus, wave your hand (or star-jump, or do whatever it takes to attract the driver's attention).

Sometimes (all-year in air-conditioned buses and trams, October-March in every bus or tram), the door will not open automatically. To open it, locate the button drzwi (blue) and press it. Then you have 15 seconds until the door closes back.

City-bus Solaris on Warsaw street

Night buses operate on 38 routes: N01 to  N95 . The first digit indicates the area of Warsaw the bus travels to. All parts of the city are covered, but travelling to distant locations is particularly time-consuming. All buses operate at 30-minute intervals and depart from their central stop at Dw. Centralny 15 and 45 minutes after the hour, which facilitates changing.

When travelling on a night bus, it is essential to know the location of your bus stop at Dw. Centralny. There is a map [64] that will help you.

All night bus stops except Dw. Centralny and Centrum are request stops. Signal well in advance as some night bus drivers may be too busy accelerating to notice.

There is also a map of all the night bus routes: [65].

Note that not all bus stops that have Centrum in their name are in the city center. For example, there is a bus route 525 that goes from Centrum (the real city center) through Centrum Optyki in Praga Południe to Centrum Zdrowia Dziecka in Wawer. This is always clear from the route map so please read it carefully.


Although trams are not faster than buses unless there is a heavy traffic jam, they may have some appeal for a tourist as it is easier to predict where they are going - they usually go straight ahead and only rarely turn. However, it may be worth travelling by tram in the city centre during rush hours. Because of Warsaw's dreadful congestion problems it can take 20 mins for a bus to get to the next stop which is only a few hundred metres away.

Trams have numbers below 50 (for the curious, the 50+ numbers were used by the long-lost trolley buses). Trams with numbers above 40 operate during peak hours only. A map of tram routes is available to assist you in planning your journey: [66].

There is a special routeT  operated by historic cars from pl. Narutowicza. The stops can be found here: [67]. Note: 'T' only runs in July and August.

The tram services can end as early as at 10PM, but most routes are served until midnight.


Although there are many carrier companies, tickets are issued and controlled by the single Warsaw Transport Authority (Polish: Zarząd Transportu Miejskiego or ZTM) [68] and are valid for all means of transport. Tickets for 24-hour and more are valid also in the suburban trains (usually painted in green and white) and Rapid Urban Railway (S1, S2 and S9 routes) within the relevant zone limits.

Tickets can be purchased in kiosks, ticket machines and any shop that displays the Sprzedaż biletów ZTM ("WTA tickets sold here") stickers for around 3-6 Euros depending on the type of ticket. For buses and trams, the single-ride ticket can also be bought on board from the driver. In Rapid Urban Railway (SKM) you can buy a ticket from train attendant or (in new trains) in the ticket machine. There is no extra charge for buying tickets from drivers, though they can refuse to sell you a ticket if the bus is over 3 minutes late.

Timed (24-hour or 3-day) tickets are probably the simplest way of paying for public transportation, if you want to see as much as possible. If you will be taking a bus, subway, or tram at least three times in a given day, it's best to buy one of these tickets, especially as they are valid for all modes of transportation, including night buses. You may choose a 24 hour ticket, or a three day ticket. Additionally, there are one month and three month travel cards for those who are staying in Warsaw for a longer time.

Ticket pricing

Prices are for 16th Aug 2011 - 31st Dec 2011. The next pricing changes are scheduled for 1st January 2012, 2013 and 2014. Prices will rise a bit, but the structure will probably remain the same.

The ticket system is quite complicated, but as a tourist you shouldn't need to trouble yourself about knowing all the details. What you need to know, however, is that you will probably travel only in the 1st zone (this includes the airport), so:

  • a cheapest full-fare ticket is a 2.60 zł for an unlimited transfer 20-minute ride (by clock, not by schedule!)
  • for a longer ride you may choose between single-ride (no transfer) ticket (3.60 zł) and unlimited-transfer ones (40 min, 3.80 zł - or 60 min, 5.20 zł - valid also in 2nd zone)
  • a 24-hour ticket is 12 zł (valid true 24 hours)
  • a 3-day ticket is 24 zł (valid until 23:59 of the third day)
  • for a longer stay you may consider 30-day or 90-day travelcards (encoded on a plastic City Card - Karta Miejska)
  • ISIC (international student ID card) holders under 26 years are entitled to use 50% fare versions of all tickets

Note that the tickets and prices above can only be used for travel within Warsaw (zone 1), except the time-based tickets (20, 40 and 60-minute tickets). For suburban travel outside Warsaw, a more expensive ticket covering zones 1 & 2 is required.

Ticket rules and pitfalls

Immediately validate your ticket after boarding the bus or tram (in a yellow validator), or at the subway station gate (it's obvious). Timed tickets only need to be activated once, on your first journey, except in the underground where touching in (or inserting a ticket) is required to open the entrance gate to the station. Exit gates open without a ticket.

Tickets are not checked by a driver. They may be randomly inspected in a station or in a bus/tram (by plain-clothed inspectors with portable ticket/card readers), so it is up to you to have a valid (activated) ticket. If you buy a ticket from a driver, you still have to activate it.

If one validator is out of order, look for another. A steady yellow light means that only the plastic card reader is working. If all the validators in a bus glow red - they may be locked, likely because an inspection is underway (and you are lost...).


Most of the major sightseeing attractions are located in Centrum area, which encompasses seven districts, however, the most important district for sight seeing is likely to be considered Śródmieście. The other districts all have something else to offer too, but the further from Centrum you journey, the less likely you're to find much of anything that is of any major interest, although Wilanów's palace and Kabaty forest are interesting enough.


The Castle Square (pl. Zamkowy) in the Old Town (Stare Miasto)
  • The Royal Road (Trakt Królewski) was originally a track linking the Royal Castle to the Royal Palace in Wilanów (Pałac Królewski w Wilanowie), some 10 km farther. There are many points of interest along the route, and there's a Poster Museum (Muzeum Plakatu) in Wilanów as well.


Center for Modern Art (Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej)

Royal Lazienki (Lazienki Krolewskie),home.html

National Museum in Warsaw (Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie)

The State Ethnographical Museum in Warsaw (Panstwowe Muzeum Etnograficzne w Warszawie)

Heavens of Copernicus (Niebo Kopernika) Thanks to its equipment, quality of shows and design, the Heavens of Copernicus is one of the most modern and original planetariums in Europe. It offers sky displays, film projections, lectures and meetings.



Go on a Tour of Warsaw - the Old Town and surrounding districts are sufficiently compact to allow a number of excellent walking tours through its history-filled streets. You'll see amazing things you would otherwise miss. Details are usually available from the reception desks of hostels and hotels.

Explore old Praga to get more shady (but safe) insight into old Warsaw. Find charming art cafes and galleries hidden around Ząbkowska, Targowa, Wileńska, 11 listopada, Inżynierska streets. In night, there are lot of vibrating clubs on these streets.

Multimedial Fountain Park

Copernicus Science Center. Copernicus Science Centre conducts modern science communication through interactive exhibitions addressed to different groups of recipients (adults, adolescents and children), shows and workshops on scientific themes, debates and discussions as well as activities from the borderland of science and art. The mission of the Centre is to inspire curiosity, assist the independent discovering of the world, help to learn and inspire social dialogue on science. It is one of the largest and most modern institutions of this type in Europe.

Concerts and performances

Warsaw is home to several professional musical and play companies. Being the capital city means the Polish National Opera [69] and the Warsaw Philharmonic (also, National Philharmonic) [70] call Warsaw home. There are a number of other companies, including play companies and theaters that will likely be of interest to travellers.


  • Warsaw Film Festival (Warszawski Festiwal Filmowy), [2].
  • Warsaw Summer Jazz Days, [3].
  • Jewish Culture Festival - The Singer's Warsaw (Festiwal Kultury Żydowskiej - Warszawa Singera), (), [4].
  • Warsaw Autumn (Warszawska Jesień), [5].
  • Old-Polish Music Festival (Festiwal Muzyki Staropolskiej).
  • Garden Theaters Contest (Konkurs Teatrów Ogródkowych).
  • Noc Muzeów (Long Night of Museums), [6]. Noc Muzeów is a fun night that sees thousands of people turn out to spend the night wandering around Varsovian museums and galleries for free. It's a great opportunity to wander around with your date of friends, as many people do, and grab an ice cream cone from one of the many cafes that stay open late. Most museums and galleries will stay open past midnight. Noc Muzeów usually occurs around mid-May.


Warsaw is not internationally known for its sports teams or for any of its sports venues, although that may change in 2012 as Warsaw, and Poland as a whole with Ukraine, has improved their sporting infrastructure and stadiums as the hosts of the European Football Championship in 2012. Renovation of the Legia football team's stadium has finished.

Despite all the emphasis on football, no traveller to Warsaw should be so naive as to think that football is the only sport to do in Warsaw. There is a mixture of both professional sports teams for spectators to visit and participatory sports for travelers to participate in.

  • Legia Warszawa, ul. Łazienkowska 3, football team from Warsaw. [71]
  • Polonia Warszawa, ul. Konwiktorska 6, football team from Warsaw. [72]
  • Warsaw Eagles, [7]. An American football team in Warsaw.



  • University of Warsaw (Uniwersytet Warszawski), ul. Krakowskie Przedmiescie 26/28, (+48) 22 552 00 00, [8]. The University of Warsaw is Poland's largest university and offers a large variety of courses and programs to choose from. University of Warsaw currently has some 50,000 students enrolled.
  • Warsaw University of Technology (Politechnika Warszawska), Pl. Politechniki 1, (+48) 22 234 72 11, [9]. The biggest Polish technical university.
  • Warsaw School of Economics (Szkoła Główna Handlowa), Al. Niepodległości 162, (+48) 22 564 60 00 (), [10]. Poland's largest economics school.
  • Szkoła Główna Gospodarstwa Wiejskiego, [11]. Originally an agricultural school, this is now a rapidly expanding university.
  • Collegium Civitas, Plac Kultury i Nauki, 12th floor, Plac Defilad 1, (+48) 22 656 71 87, [12]. This is a private school located inside the Palace of Culture of Science. Majors include Sociology, Political Science, American Studies, International Relations, and Human Rights and Genocide Studies. For those interested, some programs are conducted in English.
  • Warszawski Uniwersytet Medyczny (Medical University of Warsaw), [13]. A medical college.
  • The Academy of Arts (Akademia Sztuk Pięknych), [14].
  • Uniwersytet Kardynała Stefana Wyszyńskiego, ul. Dewajtis 5, (+48) 22 561 88 00 (), [15]. This is a well-known Catholic university.
  • Leon Kozminski Academy, ul. Jagiellońska 59 (Located in the Praga Połnoc district), (+48) 22 519 21 00 (, fax: (+48) 22 814 11 56), [16]. This is a private school specializing in law and business management majors.
  • Clark University, ul. Łucka 11, (+48) 22 656 36 65 (, fax: (+48) 22 656 36 15), [17]. This is a branch of the U.S.' Clark University. This branch offers M.A. degrees related to business management.

Polish language

  • Institute of Polish Language and Culture for Foreigners, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 32, (+48) 22' 5521530, [18]. Part of the Warsaw University. 1200 zł for a standard course or 1800 zł for an intensive one.
  • Edu & More Polish Language School for Foreigners, ul. Marszałkowska 87/81, (+48) 22' 622 14 41, [19]. 599 zł for a group course. It's also e-learning platform for learning Polish online.


Home to many international companies, Warsaw has an excellent job market for potential expats. Of course there are several immigration hurdles, but landing a job should not be overly difficult if you have the right skill sets.

If you're a backpacker and looking for short-term employment this may be somewhat more difficult, as you are legally required to have a work permit. You could possibly find short-term work in the hospitality industry, or possibly as a tutor or an ESL teacher.

If you'd like to work in Warsaw, or Poland for that matter, but don't want to go through the hassle of finding a job opportunity, there are some employment recruiting agencies you can use in your search for a job. Just a few are:

  • Adecco Poland, Al. Jerozolimskie 123A, (+48) 22 529 76 40, [20].
  • Randstad, Al. Jerozolimskie 56c, (+48) 22 462 25 00, [21].


Touts Handing Out Flyers
Warsaw has many touts, who mainly congregate at the subway station "Centrum", near the northeastern corner of the Palace of Culture and Science. They pass out fliers and brochures for all kinds of imaginable and useless services. If you don't want to start a collection of fliers, a simple and easy way to beat the touts at their own game is to simply make a gesture indicating stop with your hand while stating in English "No, thank you" or "I can't understand Polish". This works surprisingly well, especially on touts who pass out fliers for English language instruction schools.

ATMs (Polish: bankomat) are plentiful around Warsaw. Visa, MasterCard, Visa Electron, and Maestro are widely accepted at most establishments. AmEx and Diners' Club are not as commonly accepted. Some establishments require minimum purchases of 10-50zł for credit card purchases.

Indoor shopping malls (Polish: centrum handlowe pl. centra ~, often abbreviated CH) are also plentiful in Warsaw. Usually open until 8-10PM, most malls will have a food court, restaurants, cinema, and some may have a sports hall with billiards tables or a bowling alley.

Tesco and Carrefour are the largest stores in Europe, and carry just about everything, including groceries, at low prices.


Eating in Warsaw is not the treat it would be in Paris or London, but with that said, eating here can be fun and interesting mostly because Poland lacks large numbers of chain restaurants. Finding a unique dining experience is feasible daily.

This guide uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget 30 zł or less
Mid-range 31 zł - 60 zł
Splurge 61 zł and up

For those on a budget, there are many kebab shops sprinkled around Warsaw, especially in Śródmieście, which offer decent food and portions for the fair price of 7-13 zł a kebab. Other cheap alternatives are milk bars, which are discussed later in the section, and Vietnamese restaurants.

Fast food

Tourists will be happy to know there's no shortage of fast food in Warsaw. The most popular brand names are of course McDonald's, KFC, and Pizza Hut, but there are also a few Subway sandwich shops and even a Burger King restaurants. The prices charged in most of these restaurants can be expensive by Polish standards.

Milk bars

Remnant of the communist era, milk bars (Polish: bar mleczny, bary mleczne) were originally created in the sixties to serve cheap meals based on milk products. After the fall of communism, most of them closed down but some survived and still bear the climate from the old days. Almost everything inside looks, feels and smells like in the 1980s. Milk bars attract students and senior citizens, because of the low prices (soup and the main course together may cost as little as 10.00 zł). The food served by milk bars can actually be quite palatable. Even if you can afford more expensive meals, milk bars are interesting because they offer somewhat a view of life before democratization in Poland.


Old Town and areas like pl. Trzech Krzyży, ul. Nowy Świat, ul. Chmielna, Krakowskie Przedmieście in Śródmieście are saturated with cafés. Coffee typically costs about 10.00 zł. Beer can cost anywhere from 5.00 zł to 15.00 zł for half a liter (the supermarket price being about 2.50-3 zł). Drink prices in clubs can go up to 50.00 zł (and possibly more). Drinking alcoholic beverages in public places is prohibited, but this is often ignored by locals with regard to public drinking in parks.

Speak easy
If you're looking to mingle with real Varsovians, there's a well-kept, secret row of nameless, dark bars located off of Nowy Świat. They are reportedly good for those wishing to participate in the more decadent side of Varsovian night life. In truth, the places attract a younger crowd who want to socialize over a beer (usually a relatively low 6 zł for a half liter). If you'd like to give one of these bars a try, walk through the gateway at Nowy Świat 22. You'll find a few small buildings with bars tucked away. The number one tip about visiting one of these bars is go early if you want find a seat. You won't be able to find one after 10PM.


Clubs are plentiful in Warsaw and are a very popular way to spend nearly every night out.

The most popular nice and chic clubs are on ul. Mazowiecka in Śródmieście. Note that you will definetly be denied entrance if you wear sport shoes, no matter how expensive they are. Inconspicious black shoes will normally do the trick.

Student clubs are popular and usually moderately priced, but can be hit or miss. Normally, the centrally located Hybrydy is a good option for night out. Other student clubs, like Stodoła or Remont in Śródmieście, and Park in Mokotów, are less predictable and quality isn't necessarily a concern for these clubs' patrons. If the point is to get drunk, then these are the place to go for a cheap drink. Beware of certain bouncers (for example in Park), they are not the talkative kind if they suspect you of something.

In addition, there are clubs in Wola and Mokotów as well as several popular and down-to-earth clubs in the Praga districts.


Warsaw's music scene can sometimes be disappointing, but it's a matter of knowing where to look because Warsaw has an abundance of musical delights, they just need to be ferretted out.

Tea and coffee

Throw stereotypes out the door. For Poles, one of the most important staples to quench their thirst is not wódka or beer, but rather tea and coffee. As such, you're likely come across dozens and dozens of cafés. Chain-wise, Coffee Heaven [73] and W Biegu Cafe are the big players. Starbucks [74] just setup shop in Poland, opening its first store in Warsaw in April 2009. The real treat of Warsaw, however, are small cafés that are littered about Warsaw. For the most part, a good cup of tea or coffee can be had for 5-10 zł a cup. A small tea kettle is between 20-30 zł.


There are plenty of accomodation options in Warsaw at all budget levels. The best accomodation options are located in Śródmieście, Wola, and Mokotów. There are also many business travel hotels in Warsaw/Włochy, near the airport.

If you are on a budget, do not assume that hostels are your only option. Booking in advance at 3/4 star hotels can yield prices only slightly higher than backpacker hostels, for far greater comfort. Check reviews for hostels carefully. Many hostels still have a communist mentality with regard to acceptable facilities like soap in the bathrooms, as well as service. Reception staff are paid low wages and can be quite surly. Nathan's Villa is famous for its bedbugs!

There are campgrounds in Włochy, Wawer, Wola, Ochota and Mokotów.

  • Design City Apartments, Apartments are scattered around Old Town (The adress depends on the apartment you choose.), +48 605 725 100, [22]. checkin: 13 AM; checkout: 11 AM. Stylish & affordable serviced apartments in the Old Town (city center of Warsaw) with free Wi-Fi, friendly & accomodating staff. The location is perfect. You can ask them for a discount if you stay for several nights & book directly through their website. Apartments can be booked by phone or email: [email protected] 50 € for 2 pax, 100 € 6 pax.


Postal service

  • Central Post Office, ul. Świętokrzyska 31/33, [23]. Open 24/7.



Free wi-fi is available in most of the Old Town, as well as in several cafés and restaurants, including McDonald's, KFC, Subway, Starbucks, Coffee Heaven, and W biegu.

Computers / Internet Cafes

Internet cafés (Polish: kawiarenka internetowa) are rare in Warsaw.

  • Tourist Information Center, (Palace of Culture and Science Building, just opposite the Central Train Station). You can use the computers with internet for 30 minutes for free.
  • Arena, Booth 2001D, Centrum metro station building (500m north from Central Train Station at ul. Marszałkowska, across hotel Novotel), +48 (22) 620 80 32, [24]. 7am-12pm. 20+ machines. 5 zl/hour, pay as you go.
  • Cafe NET, Booth 2010C, Centrum metro station building (500m north from Central Train Station at ul. Marszałkowska, across hotel Novotel). 7am-12pm. 20+ machines. 6 zl/hour, prepay.
  • Verso, Freta 17 (Stare Miasto - Old Town), [25]. Photo and printing shop in which there are 3 computers for public internet access. 5zl/hour; 1zl/5 minutes.


The area code for Warsaw is 22, and it must be dialed even when making local calls. When calling internationally to Warsaw, dial the country code, +48, followed by the rest of the number. There is no necessity to use "0" at the beginning of the telephone number. When dialing from a mobile phone, you must dial any number as if it was an international number.

Pay phones are very rare and it is therefore best to rely on other means of communication. Pay phones are only operable using calling cards that can be bought at post offices.

Pre-paid SIM cards with Polish phone numbers cost as little as 5zł and can be purchased from just about any major carrier. Many kiosks sell them.

Stay safe

Warsaw is generally a safe city. The city center has a strong police presence and is generally a very safe area. The Praga districts are reputed to be dangerous, but this is generally more hype than reality. Of course, it would be wise to exercise a little extra caution if you're in an area you do not know well. The bus and rail stations can be a magnet for homeless and drunkards, who, for the most part, will leave you alone.

Pickpockets can sometimes be a problem and you should be careful to hold onto your belongings when in a large crowd or on buses (Number 175, which runs from the airport to city center, is reportedly infamous for pickpockets). At bars and clubs, a good rule of thumb is the cheaper the door entry and the laxer the bouncers are about letting people in, the more likely you're going to want to keep extra care of your wallet, passport, cell phone, and camera.

Violent behavior is rare and if it occurs it is most likely alcohol-related. While pubs and clubs are generally very safe, the nearby streets may be scenes of brawls, especially late at night. Try to avoid confrontations. Women and girls are generally less likely to be confronted or harassed since the Polish code of conduct strictly prohibits any type of violence (physical or verbal) against women.

Just like in any other major European city, football hooligans can be a problem before or after large football events. Naturally, it's best to avoid them, because they might be violent. At the same time, all major sport events are monitored and controlled by special police units, so unless you find yourself in the middle of the confrontation between hooligans and the police, you should be fine.

In 2011, the 11 November Independence March resulted in some violence between the right, the left and the police forces. While this should not discourage travellers from coming to Warsaw for the Independence Day celebrations (or for the march itself), it is worth noting that this event has become extremely politicised and may at times turn violent. Just use common sense, as you would in the case of any political marches in Europe.

In case of emergencies, call emergency services. The number for the police: 997, firefighters: 998, Ambulance: 999. The common European emergency number 112 works too.


Religious services

  • Chapel of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Kaplica Niepokalanego Poczęcia Najświętszej Maryi Panny), ul. Radna Street 14, (+48) 22 826 73 95, [26]. The Holy Mass in English on Sunday at 11:30AM.
  • International Christian Fellowship, ul. Pulawska 114 (Corner of ul. Pulawska and ul. Maczewskiego. In the Mokotów district), (+48) 22 844 7996 (, fax: (+48) 22 844 7996), [27]. Mass is held every Sunday at 5PM. . This is a non-denominational church with Protestant leanings. Anyone and everyone is welcome and if you're a newcomer you're likely to be greeted by people who notice a new face in the crowd. You may even be invited for coffee after the service. The congregation is made of Brits, Germans, Poles, Americans, and Aussies, and other nationalities.
  • Nożyk Synagogue (Synagoga Nożyków), ul. Twarda 6, (+48) 22 652 28 05 (, fax: (+48) 22 652 28 05), [28]. Erev Shabbat services begin 15 minutes before sunset. Shabbat morning services begin at 9:30AM (Weekday services at at 8AM and 9AM on Sunday). . This is Warsaw's only Orthodox Jewish synagogue that is still in operation. (52.235,21.002)
  • Warsaw International Church, ul. Miodowa 21b (Metro: Ratusz), (+48) 22 842 23 51 (), [29]. Worship service and Sunday School every Sunday at 11AM.
  • Islamic Center of Warsaw, ul. Wiertnicza 103, (+48) 22 88 56 276.


Most hotels and hostels either offer laundry services or have washers and dryers available for use by guests. Additional fees may be incurred for use of these services or machines. Otherwise, you can find a full-service laundry shop at just about any mall, however, these might be expensive. There are self-service laundromats in Warsaw:

  • Blanc Lys Laundry, ul. Księcia Janusza 23, +48 508 162 810, [30]. 8:00-20:00.
  • Lili Laundry, ul. Surowieckiego 12A (Metro Ursynów station), +48 22 644 93 77 (), [31].


  • Bo-flag.png Belarus (Ambasada Białorusi), ul Wiertnicza 58, +48 22 742 0990 (+48 22 842 5202, , fax: +48 22 742 0980), [32]. M-F 8AM-4:15PM.
  • Ca-flag.png Canada (Ambasada Kanady), ul Jana Matejki 1/5, +48 22 584 3100 (, fax: +48 22 584 3192), [33].
  • Gr-flag.png Greece, Gornoslaska 35, +48 22 622 9460, +48 22 622 9461 (, fax: +48 22 622 9464).
  • Hu-flag.png Hungary (Ambasada Węgier), ul Fryderika Chopina 2, +48 22 628 4451 (fax: +48 22 621 8561), [34].
  • Ei-flag.png Ireland (Ambasada Irlandii), ul Mysia 5, 6F, +48 22 849 6633 (fax: +48 22 849 8431), [35]. 9AM-1PM and 2PM-5PM.
  • Ja-flag.png Japan, ul Szwolezerow 8, +48 22 696 5000 (fax: +48 22 696 5001), [36].
  • Rp-flag.png Philippines (Ambasada Filipin), ul. Stanisława Lentza 11, +48 22 490 2025 (fax: +48 602 541 012), [37].
  • Ro-flag.png Romania (Ambasada României în Republica Polonă), ul Fr. Chopina 10, +48 22 621 5983 (+48 22 628 3156, , fax: +48 22 628 5264), [38]. M-F 8:30AM-5PM. (52.2515531,21.2220526)
  • Ru-flag.png Russia (Ambasada Rosji), ul Belwederska 49, +48 22 621 3453 (+48 22 621 5954, , fax: +48 22 625 3016). (52.21053,21.02765)
  • Sp-flag.png Spain, ul Mysliwiecka 4, +48 22 583 4000 (+48 22 583 4001, , fax: +48 22 622 5408).
  • Uk-flag.png United Kingdom (Ambasada Wielkiej Brytanii), ul Emilii Plater 28 (Inside the Warsaw Corporate Centre), +48 22 311 0000 (+48 22 696005696, , fax: +48 22 311 0250), [39]. M Tu, Th-F 8:30AM-2PM, W 8:30AM-noon.
  • Us-flag.png United States (Ambasada Stanów Zjednoczonych), Aleje Ujazdowskie 29/31, +48 22 504 2000 (Emergencies during business hours are 8:30AM-5PM +48 22 504 2784), [40]. If you have an emergency outside of normal embassy business hours, dial the first phone number and ask to speak with an Embassy Duty Officer.
  • Up-flag.png Ukraine (Ambasada Ukrainy), Al. J.Ch. Szucha 7, +48 (22) 629-34-46, 622-15-49, 622-47-97, 629-05-79 (, fax: +48 (22) 629-81-03), [41].

Get out

Chopin's mansion in Żelazowa Wola
  • Kampinos Forest (~15 km, take the 708 bus) – A wild and beautiful primeval forest, often called the green lungs of Warsaw, and an ideal choice for a day off from the noise of the city
  • Konstancin-Jeziorna (~20 km, take the 700 bus) – A spa town with a spacious park. Famous for its clean air and high housing prices.
  • Krakow (~300 km, in just under 3 hours by hourly IC/Ex trains) – The former capital of Poland, this was the European City of Culture in 2000.
  • Lublin (~200 km) – A medieval city with a well preserved old town, it is now the largest city and main tourist attraction in eastern Poland.
  • Kazimierz Dolny (~150 km, less than two hours by TLK train to Puławy, then half an hour by bus) – A Renaissance town with a picturesque marketplace, it is a hub for painters and Boheme.
  • Brest is a city in Belarus on the border with Poland and is rich with history from both the Soviet times and before. You can see a Brest Hero Fortress, perhaps the most impressive soviet monument every built. It is 200 km away from Warsaw. You can go there by train (runs 3-4 times/day and takes 3-4 hrs. Same visa regulations as rest of Belarus.
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