Poland is a Central European country with an area of 312,700 sq. meters, and a population of 38.5 million. Over 70% of the country’s inhabitants live in towns and cities. Warsaw by far is the largest Polish city (1,800,000); then comes Łódź (850,000) and Kraków (750,000). Other big cities are Wrocław, Poznań, Lublin, Szczecin, the ‘Tri-City’ area (Gdańsk–Sopot–Gdynia) and Katowice. According to some estimates, 5 to 10 million Poles live abroad. This is basically the result of huge migrations at the beginning of the 20th century and after WWII.
Warsaw, the capital of Poland, owes its contemporary look to two factors: careful restoration after WW II and chaotic expansion within the last 15 years. By the end of World War II, roughly 85% of the city lay in ruins (Warsaw is widely regarded as the city most damaged during WW II) however, parts of it were painstakingly recreated in the years after the war. Indeed, the successful rebuilding efforts of the Old Town were rewarded by being placed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. More recently, modern glass office buildings have emerged and expensive boutiques, restaurants, and hotels have spread along downtown streets.
Warsaw is Poland’s political, economic, cultural and educational heart. Its convenient location makes the city an easy destination to be reached by plane, train or car. There are an impressive number of cultural attractions and sites worth seeing and quite a few museums, palaces and monuments.
Getting to Warsaw
Warsaw can be reached by any means of transportation: plane, train, bus or private car.
The Chopin Airport is located only 10 km from the centre of the capital and Warsaw Modlin Airport is located around 35 km north-west from the city centre.
Warsaw has three large railway stations serving international and domestic long-distance connections: Warszawa Zachodnia, Warszawa Centralna and Warszawa Wschodnia.
Long-distance and international buses arrive at the bus station Dworzec PKS Warszawa Zachodnia, Dworzec Autobusowy Metro Młociny and Dworzec Autobusowy Metro Wilanowska.
Most of aircraft heading to Warsaw land at the Chopin Airport (www.lotnisko-chopina.pl) about 10 km from the city centre.
Important telephone numbers:
- Information on arrivals and departures +48 22 650 42 20
- Information of LOT Polish Airlines (national and international flights)+48 22 577 99 52, +48 801 703 703, from mobile phones dial +48 22 195 72, www.lot.com
- Information about Customs at the airport +48 22 650 28 73
The airport handles more than a dozen airlines. A list of all airlines served by Warsaw airport
To reach the city centre you can use public transportation:
- Bus number 175 runs to the centre and around the Old Town (Stare Miasto)
- Bus numbers 148 and 188 run to the ‚other’ side of the river, to Praga, Grochów and Gocław
- Night bus number N32 runs to the city centre
- by train – more information
Transport tickets are needed to use all lines.
In front of the Terminal is a taxi stop, with selected and reliable taxi companies: Ele Taxi, Sawa Taxi, Super Taxi.
More information about taxi in Warsaw
Avoid people in the arrivals hall who encourage you to use some random form of ‚taxi’ transportation. They often do not have a license to carry people in their cars, and their fees are several times higher than a registered and legal corporate taxi.
There is a multilevel car park at the airport where you can leave your car for several hours or several days.
Warsaw Modlin Airport
Since September 2013 the Warsaw Modlin Airportmodlinairport.pl (located around 35 km north-west from the city centre) has resumed accepting larger passenger aircrafts after six-month long break in its operation. Most of the flights handled by Warsaw Modlin Airport are operated by charter airline companies and Ryanair airlines.
Important telephone numbers:
- The airport information: +48 801 80 18 80, +48 22 315 18 80 (for mobile phones)
- Information for Ryanair passengers: +48 703 303 033; www.ryanair.com
Access to the city from the airport:
- By train:
Departures of Koleje Mazowieckie trains take place from Modlin railway station. In order to get there you can use a special airport bus which leaves from the airport terminal at times coordinated with KM trains timetable. Special airport ticket at the price of 17 zlotys can be purchased in the airport hall.
Estimated time of the journey: 1 hour 15 minutes
- By bus:
Departures of Modlinbus take place 24 hours a day at times coordinated with the schedule of flights. The bus stops in Warsaw at Młociny metro station and in the car park in front of the Palace of Culture and Science (Marszałkowska street),at Dworzec Zachodni, Chopin Airport and Dworzec Wschodni.
Estimated time of the journey: 45 minutes. More information at www.modlinbus.pl
- By taxi:
The airport recommends the services provided by the two taxi companies Sawa taxi and Taxi Modlin. The costs of the transfer to the centre of Warsaw range from 100 to 200 zlotys (depending on a district.)
CAUTION ! We strongly advise against using the services offered by the persons whom you can accidentally meet in the hall of arrivals and highly recommend sticking to licensed carriers.
There are two routes leading from the airport to Warsaw. One can take either S7 (Warszawa – Gdańsk) or alternatively follow Modlińska Street and continue through Jabłonna and Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki.
Estimated time of the journey: 40 minutes
There are two car parks in the area of the airport, where one can leave a car. There are also privately-owned car parks in the surroundings, which provide free transport to the terminal.
Warsaw has three large railway stations serving international and domestic long-distance connections:
- Warszawa Centralna , Aleje Jerozolimskie 54
It is located in the heart of the city, and has very good connections with all districts of Warsaw.
- Warszawa Zachodnia , Aleje Jerozolimskie 144
Thanks its location right next to the international bus station, it’s a good connection and changing location for people using long-distance (both national and international) buses.
- Warszawa Wschodnia , ulica Lubelska 1
It is located on the Praga side of the river.
Suburban rail traffic is supported by:
- Koleje Mazowieckie (KM) www.mazowieckie.com.pl
- Warszawska Kolej Dojazdowa (WKD) www.wkd.com.pl
- Szybka Kolej Miejska (SKM) www.skm.warszawa.pl
- PKP Przewozy Regionalne www.przewozyregionalne.pl
Those trains stop at most of railway stations, eg.: Warszawa Śródmieście, Warszawa Śródmieście WKD, Warszawa Wschodnia, Warszawa Stadion, Warszawa Zachodnia, Warszawa Powiśle, Warszawa Gdańska, Warszawa Ochota and Warszawa Wileńska.
Railway tickets can be purchased at the cash-only windows (kasa) in the stations, on the Internet or at selected travel agencies. You can also purchase your ticket on the train from the conductor, whom you must seek out immediately upon boarding the train, to buy the ticket. Tickets sold on the train are subject to an additional fee.
Timetable of trains is available at:
tel. +48 197 57 (from mobile phones, dial +48 22 197 57)
tel. +48 22 391 97 57 (from abroad)
The bus station Dworzec PKS Warszawa Zachodnia at Aleje Jerozolimskie 144 serves the international and national connections.
Tickets for domestic trips can be bought at the cash-only windows (kasa) in the station, while tickets for international trips are sold in the Aura Travel Office (Centrum Podróży) at Dworzec Zachodni, and at selected travel agencies.
- Information on domestic traffic:
tel. 0 708 208 888 (1,29 zł/min)
tel. 703 402 802
- Information on international traffic:
tel. 703 402 802
- Ecolines www.ecolines.net
Private bus carriers also operate from the centre of Warsaw to its surrounding suburban towns. These buses depart from pl. Defilad, Aleje Jerozolimskie in front of the Marriott Hotel, and from ulica Marszalkowska in front of Galeria Centrum shopping mall.
The main way to access to Warsaw by road is to take one of four major European routes:
- from the north: Route E77 (from Gdańsk)
- from the east: Route E67 (from Białystok), route E30 (from Terespol)
- from the south: Route E67 (from Wrocław), route E77 (from Kraków)
- from the west: Route E30 (from Poznań)
Along the roads are signs giving the number of kilometers to the centre of Warsaw.