Thanks to a well-established transport system, expats will find that getting around in Warsaw is relatively stress free. While many choose to have their own car, the city offers a good public transport system that makes it easy and convenient to move around Warsaw.
Public transport in Warsaw
Public transport in Warsaw is operated by ZTM and consists of buses, trams and a metro system, which all work on an integrated ticketing system. Tickets are time-specific and commuters can buy a ticket valid for a certain period of time and then travel as much as they need within that time frame. The ticket validity can range from 10 minutes up to one- or three-day passes. There are also weekend passes available.
Tickets can be purchased at ZTM points, at newspaper kiosks and at ticket machines located in metro stations. Children under the age of seven and people over the age of 70 are entitled to travel free of charge on public transport, while students are also entitled to discounted rates.
Warsaw’s metro system consists of two lines. The north-south line (M1) runs through the city centre from Ursynów to Młociny. The second line (M2) runs east-west from Rondo Daszyńskiego in the west to Dworzec Wileński in Praga, on the right bank of the Vistula River. Both lines intersect at Świętokrzyska Station. The metro runs till midnight on weekdays and until 3am on weekends.
There is an extensive and well-run bus system in Warsaw, with buses covering a larger area than the metro. Buses operate from around 5am till midnight, after which a night bus system is in operation, running from the city centre to major suburbs.
One of Warsaw’s oldest forms of public transport, the tram system is a convenient means of getting around the city, and is especially ideal for sightseeing. The tram system consists of about 25 lines, most of which run until midnight.
Taxis in Warsaw
Taxis are readily available in Warsaw and are relatively inexpensive when compared to other European cities. All official taxis are metered and expats should be sure to check that the meter is set correctly before embarking on a journey.
Legitimate taxis always have their company logo and telephone number displayed on the vehicle – there have been reports of illegitimate taxi operators trying to take advantage of unsuspecting foreigners, so expats should be aware of this before getting into any taxi.
While it’s possible to flag a taxi on the street, it’s safer to order one ahead of time via the telephone. Ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Taxify also operate in the city and are becoming a popular means of getting around Warsaw.
Cycling in Warsaw
The city operates a public bicycle scheme from March to November each year. Bike stations are located throughout the city centre and near metro stations. The first 20 minutes are free, after which an hourly fee is charged. Bikes don’t have to be returned to the original location but can be returned to any station in the city.
►Learn more about the expat lifestyle in Warsaw
"Warsaw's public transport is great, though a lot of routes get suspended during summer holidays. We don't own a car and don't feel any need for one in the city, but it would be handy for going away. I mainly use the bus, since I generally have my kids with me in the pram and it's easy to get on and off. Trams are also a good option (though can be slow) and the metro is very fast (though limited in its reach)."
Learn more about expat life in Warsaw by reading our interview with Australian expat Rose Moore.
Are you an expat living in Warsaw?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Warsaw. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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