We took the train frm Krakow to Warsaw as all the locals told us not to take the bus. We decided to travel first class as second class is over full almost and when you have a bit of luggage, it is a great problem. It was worth the extra zloty that we paid. Much more comfortable and spacious and also not so full.
When we visited Warsaw for Easter weekend in March/April 2013, we decided that the train would be the most convenient and cost effective way of travelling from Chopin Airport to the centre of the city.
The location of our hotel, the Radisson Blu Centrum, played a major part in our decision; it is just a 10 minute walk from Centralna station (or would have been if we hadn't had to take a detour due to large swathes of the road being closed off while work is undertaken on the city's second metro line!).
The train connecting Chopin Airport with central Warsaw only commenced in the summer of 2012, so it's likely than many guidebooks will fail to mention it as an option. In fact, we spoke to a Polish girl at Centralna station when we were planning our return journey to the airport and she told us that no such train existed. We knew that it did, as we had caught it just three days earlier!
The following details were correct at the time of our visit:
We caught the S3 train at 12:25pm on Good Friday.
It operated on the following route:
Warszawa Lotnisko Chopina (Chopin Airport) - Warszawa Sluzewiec - Warszawa Zwirki i Wigury - Warszawa Rakowiec - Warszawa Aleje Jerozolimskie - Warszawa Zachodnia - Warszawa Centralna (Central Station).
The train was carrying on to the town of Legionowo (north of Warsaw) via several other stops in the suburbs of Warsaw.
There is also an S2 train which operates a similar route from the airport but stops at Warszawa Śródmieście instead of Warszawa Centralna. The two stations are close by and connected by an underground pedestrian passageway, so we'd have been happy to alight at either of them.
The station at Chopin Airport is a 5-10 minute walk from the airport terminal. We dragged our suitcases through driving snow to get there.
There were ticket machines at the entrance to the station, but they only accepted coins or credit cards. We wanted to purchase our tickets using notes (as we didn't have any change at this point, having only just arrived in the country). We asked in one of the shops near the platform and were told that we could either purchase tickets on board the train (apparently for the same price) or we could purchase them from one of the other shops (a small shop similar to a cafe-cum-newsagents). We decided to buy them from the shop. Incidentally, had we decided to buy them on board the train we would have struggled to do so; nobody came around the carriages to sell or check tickets during our journey.
The cost of each ticket was 4.40 złoty / £0.90 for a one journey ride. We could have purchased all day tickets, but it wouldn't have been cost effective to do so in our case as we didn't plan to undertake any further journeys on public transport that day.
We validated our tickets in the small yellow machines that are found on board the train.
The train was large and spacious; it had a dozen or more carriages, plenty of leg room and lots of storage space for luggage. There were relatively few passengers on board the train that we caught.
The journey time from Chopin Airport to Centralna Station was around 20 minutes. A digital display continuously showed the next station and announcements were made over the tannoy as we arrived at each stop.
I would highly recommend using the excellent www.bahn.de for timetables. Enter Warszawa Lotnisko Chopina (i.e. Chopin Airport) as the departure station and then whichever of Warsaw's stations is most convenient as the destination station. There was also a timetable displayed on the wall besides the airport's luggage carousel as we waited for our cases.
This is a new addition to Warsaw transport, which everybody, and especially visitors to the city will find a great improvement on the present public transport to and from the airport. You can now reach Chopin's Aiport by train. It takes ca 25 minutes to get to Warszawa Centralna - the main station right in the city centre. There are ticket machines on the train so just make sure you have some Polish currency on you and hop on. If you are coming for the Euro in June 2012, there will be English-speaking conductors on the train then and you can get the tickets from them. Some of the trains will be going directly to the National Stadium or else you may have to change at Warszawa Centralna. Ask the conductor for more info.
After I spent 3 days in Warsaw I left the city by train to Krakow and at the end of my trip I had to return to Warsaw by train.
The main train station (Warszawa Centralna) is located right in the city centre just next to the famous Palace of Culture and Science. The labyrinth of passages and shops in the station is quite confusing and packed with dubious characters. So get yourself out of this place as quick as possible.
I recommend to buy train tickets at a rail agent in town instead of queueing at one of the tiny little booths in the train station.
Via the website of the Polish train company (PKP), it was very easy to make a planning.
You can easily find al the connections and the time schedules.
Mostly I used IC trains, because these trains do not stop so often, so travelling time is shorter.
Via the website of the Polish Intercity company: www.intercity.com.pl/en/main, you should be able to make a reservation. But unfortunately it did not work from abroad.
But like in my case a friendly Polish girl (thank you Anna) made these reservations for me, and then did send me the reservation forms.
And the system works. Once you have your reservation, you have a wagon number and a seat number, you just have to present this reservation form at the conductor and pay the money to him.
So no problems standing in line to get a ticket, no language problems at the ticket office.
So at the end of my Poland trip I travelled from Poznan towards Warsaw.
I had booked an early train towards Warsaw (7h40), like this I still had two days to discover Warsaw before my flight back home left.
Train trip from Poznan to Warsaw:
- Poznan Glowny - Warszawa Centralna
- travelling time : 2h56
- travelling distance : 306 km
- price : 77 zl.
My Hotel in Warsaw (Hotel Metropol) was on walking distance from the station (400 metres)
Even on the train there was a good service, as shortly after the train left the station, a man passed by with drinks.
First I thought, he was selling drinks.
No no, he was bringing free drinks, you could get coffee, tea, orange juice or water. With this drink he also gave a snack (a chocolate waffle).
But this was only the case on the IC-trains, like from Poznan to Warsaw, it was an EC-train and there you needed to pay for your drink.
Unless you ride the " Inter City " train where standard conditions are more then acceptable, It is advisable to choose the first class ticket, if you travel in Poland using the standard train. Less crowded and more chance to get free seat.
For route planner (timetable) in English see here: http://rozklad.pkp.pl/bin/query.exe/en?
Or http://www.intercity.pl for realy express/direct high standart trains.
And keep your luggage close and supervised.
We arrived in Warsaw by train, traveling from Krakow. Before traveling, I searched the Polish Rail website for info about timetable and prices. There are several trains a day between Warsaw and Krakow, the journey takes about 3h (no stopping train). However, I noticed there were different prices for the journey, and we decided to take the cheapest train, which is also direct (about 3 hours) and costs 43.5 zl (about 11 euro, March 2011). The difference for the more expensive tickets (more than 100 zl) is that there is no reserved seating and trains are not as modern. But they are fairly reasonable for a 3hour trip and much cheaper, so on or way back from Warsaw we choose to travel, once again, on the cheapest trains.
My advise would be to arrive early at the train station and decide fast when your enter the train. We we weren't aware of this, we took our time to enter the train in Krakow (our first trip) and we had a hard time finding 3 seatings with space for the luggage. The train seems to be packed with both tourists and young people (students?) - we travelled to Warsaw on a Friday and returned to Krakow on a Sunday. On our way back to Krakow, conscious of the lack of space, we were amongst the first to enter the train and we managed to sit on a small, quiet and more comfortable cabin (former 1st class, nowadays the train is only 2nd class, eventhoug some carriages still hold the old the 1 sign).
Both Warsaw and Krakow Central Stations are within walking distance of city centre and near other transportation such as buses and underground/ tram. Sometimes signs are only in Polish and platform is Peron.
An advice concerning buying your tickets: in Krakow there seemed to be some queuing at ticket offices, so arrive early and don't miss the train!
Taking a train to Krakow wasn't part of our original plan but after our flight from Chicago arrived late and LOT didn't hold our connecting flight for us or the other dozen or so passengers on our flight, our options were to take a train and get into Krakow at 9pm or wait for the next available flight and get in around midnight, missing night one of the VT meeting. We arrived at the Central Station with about 7 minutes to spare, we knew we'd never get through the ticket line so we headed to the train where we confirmed with station staff that we could purchase a ticket on board. We also didn't have any Polish currency so a helpful American passenger traded us some USD for some Polish zloty and we hopped on the train. Turns out we didn't need it as the ticket agent carries around a portable credit card machine. For the two of us it was 227zl one way for a fast IC train.
Be sure to check the travel time, trains to Krakow take anywhere from 2 1/2 hours to about 5 hours, we almost got on the wrong train as two trains to Krakow were arriving on the same platform at the same time.
The IC trains are comfortable, the 2nd class compartment we were in didn't appear to have any required reservations and sat 6 to a compartment
Warszawa Centralna is a major European station, and the hub of the Polish network. It has direct connections to all over Poland, and to many Eastern European capitals. There are direct connections to Budapest (12 hours), Prague (9 hours), Vienna (7 hours) and Berlin (7 hours). There are also overnight trains to Moscow via Belarus.
The main station is bang in the centre of town, right underneath the Palace of Culture and Science.
last autumn I took the night train to Lvov. This time I have been checking: db.de, pkp.com.pl and uz.gov.ua
These web services don't sell tickets to Lvov.
Does anyone know a nice travel agency in Warsaw, which could get these tickets before us arriving to Poland.
Take the central station to change trains. Although, I must say it can be quite confusing as to which platform you have to go to. If you have to change to a regional train ie to Malbork like I did in 2006 then you may better change in the station where the train starts as you may get dead lucky to get a seat especially on a weekend on vacation time.
I Travelled from Cologne Germany to Warsaw Poland on the night train,quite comfortable in mixed couchettes, where the seats are seats by day and pull down as beds by night,with sheets, blanket and pillow. I stayed 3 nights in Warsaw before continuing by day train to Vilnius in Lithuania, if you are doing this journey make sure your train is not travelling through Belarus, unless you have a Belarus visa.
I usually get to Warsaw by fast, safe and comfortable express trains of PKP Intercity (compulsory reservation; check their prices and numerous promotions/savings). There are 3 large railways station located along the east-west line: Western Warsaw Station (Warszawa Zachodnia), Central Warsaw Station (Warszawa Centralna - in the heart of the Warsaw centre), Eastern Warsaw Station (Warszawa Wschodnia) - all three are not my favourite places in Warsaw :-).
I buy train tickets alway 2nd class at the railway station usually just before departure of the train: in 2006 from Tychy it cost in total 78 zl (20.5 euros) one way. The fare is based on distance (km) + seat reservation fee. So, expect to pay similar price from/to Krakow, Poznan or Gdansk. Very rarely (Friday evening from Warsaw, Sunday evening to Warsaw; it happened to me only once) tickets are sold out and one must wait for the next train (1 hour or so). Tickets are available in some tourist offices and at conductor at train (warning: you must find him immediately after boarding the train and pay small additional fee).
Time of travel (hours:minutes) to Warsaw from:
Berlin, Germany 5:40
Wien, Austria 7:28
Bratislava, Slovakia 7:59
Prague, Czech 8:46
Vilnius, Lithuania 9:34
Minsk, Belarus 9:55
Moscow, Russia 20:37
Check up-to date European railway timetable, the link below.