Public transport in Poland

How to get around in Poland

Public transport in Poland

Moving around Poland can be fairly easy through their public transportation system. Depending on the size of the city you can find buses, trams and trolleybuses. Warsaw is the only city in Poland with a metro.

Each city in Poland has a Public Transport Authority that manages the transportation system. Most cities, however, have the same type of public transport and work in the same way. The following information is specifically for Warsaw, but applies to most cities unless indicated otherwise.

Fortunately, Poland is quite advanced when it comes to handicapped transportation. All public transportation services are readily equipped to handle wheelchairs or other requirements. Even metro validation machines are available by the disabled lifts in the metro stations.

Bus service

There are many different bus lines in the city, connecting every point throughout. In smaller cities, there will be less lines available. There are standard lines (numbered 100 to 399), seasonal lines, zone lines and even night buses (marked with the letter N). Standard buses are the most commonly used as they make stops throughout the whole city allowing great mobility for pedestrians.

Tram service

Trams are available in every city and town in Poland. They are quite reliable timewise because they have their own rail system. Trams, unlike buses, only make stops at very basic places and are available throughout the day. During week days and peak hours, trams numbered 40 to 49 are opened to relieve pedestrian traffic. In the case of breakdown or failure, substitute modes of transports, such as buses marked with the letter Z, will be available.

Metro service

The subway is only available in the city of Warsaw, as it is the major and most populated (and visited) city in Poland. The metro is not as frequent as some of the systems in counterpart countries, with a train arriving on average every 15 minutes. The system connects three districts within the city. This service runs from 5am to 1am Sunday through Thursday, and from 5am to 3am at the weekend. You are permitted to carry luggage and animals on the metro as long as you meet certain rules .

Urban rapid rail service

Known as SKM (Szybka Kolej Miejsk) this rapid rail service runs over two zones. This is also only available in Warsaw and the same rules apply as for every form of transportation.

Ticket system

There are two tariff zones in Warsaw marked as 1 and 2. You may travel in zone 2 with a ticket from either zone, but in zone 1 you must only travel with a zone 1 ticket. Passengers must validate tickets before boarding. Undercover officials are often dressed as passersby and hefty fines (which can be up to 180 PLN / 42.64 EUR) are applied to those without validated tickets.

Tickets are available at newspapers stands, authorised selling points and from machines marked with the word ‘Bilety’. It is often complicated to purchase a ticket onboard, so it is highly recommended to buy yours beforehand. They must be validated at the start of the journey.

It is possible to get discounted tickets (eg. for students), but if you are found with a discounted ticket that you are not eligible for, you will be fined.

You can check timetables, ticket fares, and everything about the Warsaw transportation system in their official website .

Further reading

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