Moving around - public transport, taxi, city bikes, parking, car rental

Public Transportation System

Public transport in Warsaw consists of a network of tramlines, buses and (single-line) underground. All means of transport are governed by City Transport Authority (Zarząd Transportu Miejskiego <ZTM> in Polish). It is reliable, (mostly) fast, and relatively inexpensive. Tickets are available from vending machines located near major stops and in the buses/trams, newspaper agents/kiosks (they are marked with red and yellow ZTM logo), and from the bus/tram drivers (only if there is no ticket machine in the vehicle). Tickets are valid for all means of municipal transport. Every ticket has to be validated in yellow machines located in the buses and trams. If you plan using Warsaw's public transport intensively, it is advisable to buy 24h travel pass. They are reasonably priced and give you flexibility in changing means of transport. Also, with travel pass you do not have to remember to validate ticket every time, it is enough to do it only once, during first ride. But, if you just need 1-2 rides a day, stay with regular tickets.

Note: Only single fare tickets are available if purchasing from the driver and passenger is required to pay exact amount. The driver may refuse to sell the ticket if bus/tram is overcrowded or delayed. In general, this is not a recommended method to purchase tickets.

Note: Two types of ticket vending machines are installed in buses and trams. The older type accepts only coins while the newer type accepts only credit/debit cards. Only ticket machines located at bus/tram stops and subway stations accept bank notes.

The  Web page of City Transport Authority contains a very reasonable step-by-step guide to Warsaw public transport system.

Tickets:

single trip up to 20 min. (no transfer): 3.40 zł
single trip up to 75 min. (transfer allowed): 4.40 zł
travel pass, valid for consecutive 24 hours: 15 zł

Detailed fare information is available from ZTM Web pages.

The ZTM also provides quite useful  trip planning Web service.

The bus line that is of interest to participants is 175. It starts at the airport and goes to the city centre, passing by most of hotels and the University (conference venue).

Important note 1: If you want to travel from the airport by bus 175, you may need to walk few dozen metres to the stop.

Important note 2: The airport line 175 is a main mean of transport for many tourists and visitors to Warsaw. That, unfortunately, makes it also a favourite for various unpleasant characters such as pickpocketers and beggars. Police and transport security service are regularly scooping them, but you still should be aware of possible threat, and watch closely all your belongings while traveling on this line.

If you want to reach the conference venue by bus, you need to select a line that stops on any of the bus stops listed below. This list contains bus stops that are within 300 meter radius from where conference is held and is ordered by proximity (closest first):

  • Uniwersytet
  • Hotel Bristol
  • Ordynacka
  • Pl. Piłsudskiego
  • Pl. Małachowskiego
  • Zachęta

Taxis

It is advisable to book a taxi by telephone. If you pick a taxi on the street or from a taxi stand, be sure you choose one from a city-licensed company. Licensed taxis are under watchful eye of city authorities, which means that they are treating customers with due respect and don't overcharge. The taxis with city license are easily recognisable by city logo and red and yellow ribbon with number on the front doors. Several licensed taxi companies are listed below.

The taxi driver cannot charge the passenger more than the limit set by city authorities. Usually, the actual price is 15-20% below the allowed maximum.

Current prices (maximum rates legally permitted):

Initial/starting fee - 8 PLN
Day fare, in the urban zone - 3 PLN per km
Night fare, in the urban zone, and day fare on Sundays and holidays - 4.50 PLN per km
Day fare, in suburban areas - 6 PLN per km
Night fare, in suburban areas, and day fare on Sundays and holidays - 9 PLN per km
1 hour in which the driver waits for the passenger - 40 PLN

A ride from the airport to the city centre on a weekday should not cost much more than 40-50 zl. The driver should give you a receipt on demand. Some taxi companies accept credit cards, but reluctantly, as additional paperwork is involved. You may be charged additional fee of up to 4% of your bill if you want to pay with card. To reach the conference venue you need to tell taxi driver to go to: "Uniwersytet, Krakowskie Przedmieście".

Veturilo city bikes

One of the best ways to move around central Warsaw is on bicycle. Over 100 rental stations of the city's Veturilo bike rental system are located in the city.

Veturilo bikes can hired in two ways, either by registering on the Web page en.veturilo.waw.pl and paying an initial fee of 10 zł via the webpage or by registering by credit card at the terminal located at every bicycle station.

The rides of up to 20 minutes are free.

Parking

In the centre of Warsaw in most areas a parking fee is charged. Parking is payable Mon.-Fri. from 8:00 to 18:00.

Parking fees:

  • first hour: 3 zł
  • second hour: 3.60 zł
  • third hour: 4.20 zł
  • fourth and each subsequent hour: 3 zł per hour

Car rental

Several major rental  companies have their offices in Warsaw. Most of them have their booths at the airport.
Avis, 0-801-1-200-10
Europcar  
Hertz
Prices range  from 200 to 1000 zl  per day. In general, car rental is not the most convenient way to move around central Warsaw. Renting a car makes more sense only if you plan to travel outside  the city.

Warsaw - The Old Town

Panorama of Warsaw

Chopin statue in Łazienki park

University of Warsaw - Library and gardens

Warsaw - Palace in Łazienki park

University of Warsaw - WIC 2014 venue

University of Warsaw - Central Campus

Glimpse of modern Warsaw

Warsaw - Castle Square

Warsaw - Downtown by night

Warsaw - Royal Castle seen from the river

Warsaw University of Technology