Any taxi, and:
1. You should NOT reply to all those "mafia taxi" hunters, in the arrivals hall, offering their services.
2. You exit the hall to the lane outsied and take any taxi with name of the company and phone number on top, yellow/red stripes and the city emblem on the front doors.
Fare is by the meter, about 35-50 PLN depends on time, trafic etc. (unless it changed dramatically during last 7 months). Don't be cheap with tipping the driver, the earn very low salary..
Most taxi driver can understand basic English, i.e. the name of the hotel and the word "please".
We arrived at the airport and collected all but one piece of our luggage. After reporting its non-arrival from Paris, we made our way out. VT Evaanna and her husband were waiting for us to make sure we got to the hotel safely. Ewa found us a combi, a large taxi because we had so much baggage. From the airport to the hotel cost 40zlty.
She had warned us only to use Sawa taxis, or ones with telephone numbers on the side.
The day of our departure, the clerk at Okidoki called a cab from this company because we needed to be at the airport early in the morning. The taxi came in about 3 minutes after calling and charged us 27.85 zloty for taking us to the airport.
In the printed bill we got we're charged 2 tariffs: one before and one after 6am but I see both tariffs are the same so I'm not sure hehe. We rounded the bill to 30 zloty because I didn't want to have coins and because we were very satisfied with the service.
Taxis are known to charge a bit of extra in Warsaw. Although the price doesn't rise too high, you might want to try to agree on the price beforehand with the driver. This is a problem we didn't come up with in Wroclaw.
Athens, Belgrade, Bucharest, Kaunas, Kiev, Krakow, Minsk, Moscow, Prague, Riga, Rome, Sofia, Warsaw, Zagreb.
Something all of these places have in common is no shortage of taxi drivers who see it as a divine right to rip off tourists. In Bucharest, Minsk and Moscow in particular it is utterly outrageous and if there is an honest taxi driver anywhere in these cities then I am yet to find them.
Some thing else each of these cities have in common is a well developed public transport system based on any of metro / tram / trolley bus. The public transport systems are simple, efficient, quick and inexpensive and provide a welcome alternative to the inevitable taxi driver rip off.
Warsaw Frederic Chopin Airport recommends the services of three taxi companies, namely:
Merc Taxi, phone: +48 (22) 677 77 77
MPT Radio Taxi, phone: +48 (22) 9191
Sawa Taxi, phone: +48 (22) 644 44 44
I advise you against using unlicensed taxi carriers which offer their services in the arrivals hall of the airport. Tourists complain of being ripped off by them.
One of transportation possibilities in Warsaw is taxi. There are lots of taxi's standing along the streets, near railway, bus stations, near shoping centres waiting for clients. It is possible to order taxi by a phone. There are many companies that provide taxi service and many different cars are in choice - Polish Polonez's, foreign cars, mini-buses....
Warsaw taxis changed for better! The city government has almost resolved the problem of taxi mafia organizing public, open tenders for law to use key taxi stands. Fixed maximum prices were introduced (follow the link below). Most taxi companies belong to corporation which uses one common radio-taxi service system using GPS to shorten waiting time.
You may hail a taxi on a street (most won't stop :-), go to the nearest taxi stand (marked on good maps; open the next picture, please) or call the taxi, which is my recommendation as this way you may get 5-10% company discount. Bring a mobile phone with unlocked SIM and buy Polish card (the cheapest cost 9 zl - 2.5 euros). Phone operators usually speak some English. I asked locals about taxi companies and used myself a few. My recommendation is ELE Taxi tel. 811 11 11, MPT tel. 91 91 or Express Taxi tel. 96 23 (by mobile add +4822 at the beginning). ELE and MPT accept cards.
Taxi fares, based on cost per km, initial charge, day/night fare, are always displayed on the rear passanger window and are mostly similar among various companies as I noticed. Expect to pay 50% more from 10 pm to 6 am and on Sunday and public holidays. Warning: some hotels offer own taxi transportation which is more expensive. Le Meridien Bristol charged 90 zl for picking up a guest from the airport, while 60 zl in opposite direction. We used hotel taxes exclusively when we couldn't call "normal taxi." It may rarely happen in rush hours (add Friday/Saturday evening) and especially, like in our case, in a very bad, snowy weather with very slow traffic on icy streets. Better call for a taxi a bit in advance althogh I usually waited up to 5 min. for my taxi.
Usually drive among popular tourist attractions (some 2-4 km) cost some 3 - 5 euros. For a longer drive (Wilanow, airport, outside the city) you can also agree the fare with the driver before taking the ride.
Polish taxi is the most convenient to get around Warsaw. I found it cheap compared to London.
The counter starts at 6.00 Zl.
Some taxis accept Euro or credit cards.
You should be able to stop a cab anywhere or request your hotel to get you one.
So after a quiet flight, I arrived in Warsaw airport. The luggage handling and the passport control went very quickly.
So now I needed to find a taxi to bring me to the central railway station of Warsaw (Warszawa Centralna).
Outside the airport building there was a row of waiting taxis.
Maybe because it was the 1st of May (festivity of Labour), the road were very empty, and so in less then 15 minutes I was standing in front of the railway building.
The taxi was equipped with a meter (this meter started at 6 zl.), and it was 2 zl. per kilometre.
Upon arrival the meter showed 33zl. Of course when you arrive for the first time in a country you do not have small money. So I gave the driver 40 zl. And He told me that he had no small money to return. Like this I paid 7 zl. to much, that is almost 2 euro.
A week later, for the return trip, I paid only 25 zl. So probably the driver took a longer road, or it was because of the festivity day.
When you deplane in Warsaw you will be approached by guys who want to drive you to your hotel. They'll ask about $50 and work their way down to $20. The real cost is about $7-10. Ignore these guys, step outside and pick a taxi from the line. They post their rates in the rear right window.
Alternatively, you could call in advance and have a taxi waiting for you. One that treated us well was ME.RC Taxi. They accept credit cards and are honest as far as I can tell. I'm not sure the country code for Poland or city code for Warsaw.
Taxis in Warsaw are not expensive, usually not more than 2 zloty per kilometer (this is something between 30 and 50 cents as of 2003).
Basically there are two types of taxis operating in Warsaw:
"independent" and "corporate". One of the differences is that "corporates" can be ordered through phone and the "independent" can not.
I would strongly suggest using only corporate taxis.
Unlike the independents, the corporates will always have their phone number (usually 4 or 7 digits) clearly displayed on top of the car. Generally you can expect them to be much more responsible and honest. There are probably several dozens of these corporations in Warsaw. Some are larger, some others are small. Their tariffs and quality can differ significantly (and more expensive does not need to mean better quality). Some of them can be ordered through Internet or SMS. All will accept Polish cash. Some would also accept EURO cash, I'm not sure if this is legally correct. If you intend to pay with plastic, better make it clear when ordering the car.
Usually you should order your taxi at least 10 minutes before you would like it to arrive. Allow 15 minutes in rush hours or even more if you're somewhere in the suburbs. Some small tips are expected (but not necessary). The tariff is usually higher at nights and weekends and doubles if you're travelling outside the town. Don't expect the driver to speak English unless you're lucky. Specifically avoid taking an independent taxi at the airport or railway stations as it's quite likely they would try to cheat you. Again, as a rule of thumb always try to use the corporates.
When you're in a hurry or when it's too late for public transportation don't forget about just taking a taxi. I couldn't believe how cheap taxis in Warsaw were. I could easily take one from the Centrum or Old Town area to my hotel in the southern part of the city for around $5 or sometimes even less. I never had a bad experience with any taxi I took. They all went directly where I wanted to go as quickly as possible.
A word of caution: The airport does still have its infamous "mafia taxis," men who will approach you inside the terminal and ask whether you need a taxi. You'll get where you want to go, but for dramatically more money than you'll pay if you just exit the terminal and get a taxi from the que outside. Just make sure the taxi you take has an official sign and a phone number on the outside and you should be fine.
Well there's plenty of warnings about rip-off taxi's, so I was surprised to get caught out by a hotel taxi. The Airport Taxi took us to the Holiday Inn for 22 zl, yet the return journey was a fixed 50 zl - that's a bit naughty Holiday Inn.
The safest - though not cheapest option is to stick to Taxi MPT in Warsaw. The have the best cars, and the girls on the phone speak english (even some drivers - if they are in a good mood :-)To order just dial 919 (from your mobile 022 919) - though you usually find plenty of them at the airport, the Central train station, and around the city.
(Yes, sometimes the girls of the other companies do speak English too ... though you can not rely on it ... yet)