This is a recent development for Warsaw transport and applies to both buses and trams. Passengers now open the doors from both the inside and the outside themselves, pressing a button on the right hand side of the door. We have not got used to that yet and you can see people waiting impatiently for the driver to do it - in vain.
Only last week a friend of mine was talking to me on her mobile and I suddenly heard her whimpering 'I can't get out, what's going on?'. I didn't know where she was and was afraid she might be stuck in a lift somewhere. As it turned out, she was on a tram and, a visitor to Poland after a long absence (she lives in the US), she didn't know she was expected to open the door herself. She should have read my Warsaw tips, hehe.
The purpose of this is to keep the cold off in winter but it applies to the summer months as well.
The bus to the city is the way to go on a budget!
It takes about 20 minutes to get from WAW to the train station and costs about .84 cents US.
There are two lines at the airport but 175 is the one to the city center and back.
The bus did get crowded as we got closer to the city but it was not at all unsafe and I was not in fear of any pickpockets.
Some buses in Warsaw have red numbers: they are express buses and don't stop at all stops, only at selected ones. For instance, none of them stops near the entrance to the Lazienki Park, so, if you happen to take one, get off at Plac na Rozdrozu and walk on. If you miss that stop, you will have to walk a long way back from the next stop, like some Japanese tourists I saw on my way back from work today. Black-numbered buses, on the other hand, stop right in front of the entrance to the park, opposite Chopin's monument.
Warsaw has an absolutely outstanding public transportation system, the most important part of which is the extensive bus network. Bus stops are conveniently located all over the city, with numerous bus lines running anywhere you'd need to go. For tourists two of the most useful lines are 116, which goes all the way from Wilanow to Old Town, and 519, which follows the 116 route in the southern part of the city but then veers west and goes north to Centrum, Plac Bankowy, and beyond. I bought tickets that were good for a week at a time, and they also work for the trams and metro.
One word of warning: Do not try to cheat the system by riding without a ticket or failing to stamp your ticket the first time you use it. Law enforcement officers make very frequent spot checks of passengers on buses. I had my ticket checked no fewer than four times during my eleven-night stay in Warsaw, which is a very high enforcement rate.
Note: Bus riders with luggage used to have to buy a ticket not only for themselves but also for each piece of large luggage. This is no longer the case. The rule changed sometime before late August 2004.
More than 1200 buses operate in and around Warsaw. The normal buses run between 5:00 h and 23:00 h. After that night buses with a 6xx number serve most routes.
Fast buses show a red number and skip the smaller stops. The bus lines 180 and 400 are recommended for routes along the most interesting places of Warsaw.
We have 2 tourist bus lines in Warsaw!
The 100 is the newest one- it`s a double decker!!! It runs on the weekends and leavs from the Castle Square and the Lazienki Park. It leaves both places at 9am, 10am, 11am, 12 am, 1pm, 2pm, 3 pm, 4 pm and 5pm. The route is about 50 minutes and it takes you to all the important places- it`s a really nice and enjoyable ride around the city!
The 180 is the other tourist line. It leaves from the Powazki Cementary- the oldest one in Warsaw- and goes through the city all the way to the Wilanow Palace. You can see many important places as well, such as the Castle Square, Nowy Swiat, Krakowskie Przedmiescie and it goes all the way to the Palace, so there you go- another important sight-seeing spot! And the most important thing- it runs daily!
Enjoy your ride!
One of the cheapest and efficient ways of getting from the airport to the city is by taking the Hotel Shuttle Bus. Its a shuttle bus service provided by a number of hotels in Warsaw. The bus picks you up from the airport and drops you off at one of a few hotels is serves.
We we were staying at the Interncontinental, we took it straight to the hotel, and it cost both of us only 15zl!!! What a total bargain!!
They can be found parked next to the car park as you exit the arrivals hall of the main terminal. If you are arriving at Etiuda Terminal, just walk over to the main terminal, and get them from there. They are white Mercedes buses, and tickets are available from the driver.
Apologies for not having a picture of the shuttle bus, I forgot to take one... so I posted a pic of our funky hotel!!
Bus No. 180 will take you to all the major sites you'll probably want to see. Route starts by Wilanow palace and gardens, through the main parts of the city, the "Royal way / King's route" with Belweder and the Lazienki park, the "3 crosses square", Nowy Swiat (new world) street, the Old Town, the Royal castle, the "Warsaw Uprising" monument, the Monument to theHeroes of the Jewish ghetto, up to the Jewish cemetery and the last stop is by the military cemetery.
The all-day ticket (as the 3 day- or the week's tickets) is a good way of using this option. Validate the ticket on first "hop".
I was happy to find cheap bus operator Simple Express that works in Baltic States and also has route to Warsaw and St. Petersburg. The night bus Vilnius - Warsaw costs around 14 euros, sometimes even cheaper if you catch some happy hours or days of discounted ticket purchase. Bus stops at Kaunas, but later goes directly to Warsaw.
It is convenient that bus stops at three places in Warsaw: Wilenski bus station, Centralnia and Zachodnia bus stations.
Actually the quality of service was even better than other, more expensive, operators.
We visited Warsaw in early March, when temperatures are as low as 0ºC or less. Weather was grayish and sometimes there were some drops of rain or snow flakes. And we were traveling with our oldest son who loves to ride the hop-on hop-off tourist bus. So, we decided, that on our first day we would travel by City Sightseeing bus, which would also allow us to get a good idea of the whereabouts of places and walking distances. Our hotel was situated by Centrum, a major transportation hub, which is the departing point of the hop-on hop-off route. So, we waited for the bus and on we went. The complete tour takes about one hour and costs 60 zl per adult (children don't pay) (about 15 euro, March 2011). January through March the bus only operates on weekends, the daily routes begin in April. As of March 2011, there is a bus departing every hour, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
To get the bus, look for the bus stop situated in-between the Palace of Culture and Science and Zlota Tarasy shopping centre on E. Plater.
Once I got to Warsaw from Krakow by PKS bus. Trains are mostly much faster and always more comfortable but a bit more expensive. If there is no direct and fast train from your destination to Warsaw check planes and buses (from Lithuania for example).
Polski Express (webpage exclusively in Polish, why?) runs scheduled long-distance domestic buses which arrive to Central Railway Station and to the airport. Check their timetable here (Poland) or here (Warsaw). They sell tickets (no reservation) in some tourist offices, at the Warsaw airport and at the office (Centralny Punkt Informacji i Sprzedazy Biletów PEX) in al. Jana Pawla II, between Central Railway Station and Holiday Inn hotel.
PPKS Warszawa (webpage in Polish only, why?) runs both domestic and international (Lithuiania!) scheduled long-distance buses which arrive to Warszawa Zachodnia (Western Warsaw bus terminal, Al. Jerozolimskie 144) and Warszawa Stadion (Warsaw Stadion bus terminal; Zieleniecka St.) where tickets are available (for some destinations at some tourist offices as well).
For international buses look here and check :
2. PKP Intercity which runs scheduled buses from/to Vilnius, Lithuania.
3. Comfort Lines
4. Aura - webpage in Polish only, why?
Buses constitute a relatively cheap and popular means of transport. They are not really comfortable (with few exceptions) but reach places where trains cannot reach.
Travelling by bus is safer than by train but you still shouldn't flash your digital camera or laptop computer.
There are several bus stations in Warsaw, the most popular ones close to PKP train stations: Warszawa Zachodnia and Warszawa Stadion (close to Jarmark Europa).