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.
As in most countries, you can rely on 2 groups of people to rip you off - the government and airport taxis. Warsaw International to town centre cost 85zl, rounded up to 90zlt. At least Dick Turpin wore a mask !!
Return journey was 18zl, but I gave the driver 20zl. This company were called Bayer Taxi and quote 1km=1,30zl
Tel: 96 67
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)
In case you need fast and reliable way to get somewhere ASAP or you are just tired of getting on the wrong bus or tram that takes you into unknown, hop on the cab that should take you to your destination.
For Western standards cabs/taxis are pretty cheap here and you can expect to be charged PLN 5 + (PLN 1.4 to 2 per kilometer), that converts into around less than USD 10-15 at night in the downtown and its close outskirts. Of course the prices refer to honest cab drivers (I prefer two corporations -MPT (call 919) or Extra Taxi (call 96 83)). Beware of some scalpers that happen when you take taxi straight from the street in most touristy or nightlife areas of Warsaw.
You can take a taxi. Please remember to call for one by phone, never pick it from the street unless you want to be cheated.
There is no extra charge for ordering a taxi by phone.
The standard charge per kilometer is 2 PLN, which is about 0.5 EUR. Below you will find information on my favourite taxi company in Warsaw - they charge only 1.30 PLN per kilometer and have good cars (no hidden catch).
When I am in a strange city, I feel much safer when having a number to a taxi company I can rely on.
In Warsaw of course they have planty of them, but I do remember one with an easy telephone number and nice staff :-)
TAXI SAWA +48 (0)22 6444 444
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