Poland Info|Virtual Tour| History of Warsaw.

For tourist information in Warsaw please contact the following office:
Warsaw Tourism Information (Warszawskie Centrum Informacji Turystycznej)
Pl. Zamkowy 1/13 (Castle Square)
Phone: (022) 9431 or 628 8768
Hours: May thru September: Monday thru Friday 8 a.m. until 8p.m.
Saturdays 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sundays 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Octber thru April: Monday thru Friday 8 a.m. 6 p.m.
Saturday thru Sunday 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

There are tourist information centers at the Okecie airport in the arrivals terminal, the Central Train Station (Dworzec Centralny), the Historical Museum (Muzeum Historii Warszawy) in the Old-Town Square.

Accommodations Transportation Food Clubs and Bars Museums and Parks Visas and Embassies Recommended Reading Weather


Accommodations in Warsaw

Finding accommodations in Warsaw is not a hard thing to do. Since the fall of communism Poland has become a real transit point between the East and the West. As a result many new accommodations, of all kinds, sprang up. Whether hotel, youth hostel, motel, camping grounds, or a private apartment you should not have problems with finding a bed in Warsaw.

Hotels


You have a lot of choices among the hotels in Warsaw. The hotels are undeniably comparable with those in the West, but so are the prices. To check out the list of hotels click here.

Youth-hostels

In Poland, as well as in Warsaw there are PTSM and PTTK hostels which have their doors open throughout the year. In the summer it is a good idea to use the student dorms which offer decent lodging and reasonable prices. To check out the list of youth hostels in Warsaw click here.

Transportation in Warsaw

While in Warsaw you should be able to get around very well without a car. Actually, you are probably better off without a car and using the public transportation which is well developed. One thing you must remember is that you should never let yourself be caught on a tram, bus, or the subway without a ticket (This can cost you up to 70zl or about $17). (Here is an insider tip): If for some reason you do get caught, don't pay the fine right away, i.e. argue. Once the controller realizes that you are a tourist he might let you go or make you pay a smaller fine. The public transportation tickets (bilety) can be purchased in the Kiosks (newsstands) that are found on almost every major street. The tickets can also be purchased on the bus or the tram. If you want to buy a ticket that way, be prepared to speak some polish with the driver and to pay 20 extra groszy for those tickets. Remember that you might have to punch more than one ticket for some forms of transportation.

Airlines


For many Europeans, as well as non-Europeans the best way to reach Warsaw will be by air. Since the 1990's the number of airlines flying to Warsaw has increased and there are now direct flight to Warsaw from most continents. For further information on airlines and air travel please consult the Airlines page.

Buses


The bus lines have numbers from 100, as well as letters. Busses with 100's numbers belong normal lines, those operate all days and stop at all the stops along the route. Vehicles with numbers greater than 300 operate during business hours. 400's and 500's are faster lines, these operate almost daily, move faster around, because they don't stop at every single stop along their route. The busses with letter are the fast lines. They have only few stops along their routes. The other category are the night busses marked with 600's. They operate in the night along main streets of Warsaw and all have one stop close to the Palace of Culture and Science, so the passenger can easily change the line. Upon entering the bus you should punch your ticket. The ticket punch is usually located next to a window.
When it comes to taking the bus, you should realize that they are kind of slow. So, if you have a choice between a bus, a tram, or the subway make the bus your last pick.

Trams


There are about 35 tram lines in Warsaw. The trams (tramwaj) operate all days of the week. Although many of the trams are old and noisy, they are quite reliable, especially during traffic jams and rush hour. They move on their own tracks and unlike the buses are generally not affected by other road traffic. The tram stops are very often right next to bus stops, so switching between busses and trams is quite easy. When entering a tram one is expected to punch their ticket, which is usually located by a window just like in a bus.

Subway


After many years Warsaw finally has its first subway line (Metro). The line operates from Kabaty in the southern part of Warsaw to the city hall (Plac Bankowy). The trains operate in 5 to 6 min. periods and move very fast from one stop to the other (1-1.5 min). The subway is surprisingly modern, kept clean, and is patrolled by the police (policja). The entrances to the stations are marked with a red "M" on a yellow background, which stands for subway. When entering the subway station one is expected to validate their ticket. Remember this because there are no ticket validators in the subway cars! You can be fined if you are caught without a ticket in the station or in the subway car. Incidentally, if you do want to ride without a ticket, you are most likely to get caught in the subway. the passengers in the subway are checked more frequently than in other forms of transportation.

Taxi

The fares of various taxi companies are pretty much the same. 3.60 zloty is charged for the first kilometer plus 1.60 zloty, depending on time of the day, for each additional kilometer. Maximum prices have also been set for rides outside the city limits. The taxi driver can't charge more than 2.40 zloty at night (10 p.m.-6 a.m.) and on non-working days. The maximum fare per hours' waiting is 30.00 zloty. Some Radio-Taxi drivers ( phone: 919) also take credit cards. Overall, taking a taxi is not too expensive, but foreign travelers should pay attention so that unscrupulous taxi drivers do not take advantage of them. Also, it is recommend to take a taxi at night instead of having to wait for a bus, tram, or subway. It is simply safer that way, even though it costs you a little bit more.

 

Food and Cafes in Warsaw

As with the other things, eating out in Warsaw is not a problem. Whether you want to purchase a hamburger on a street or go to a really fancy restaurant Warsaw has got it. In the list of places to I am going to include only the more interesting places to go out and eat. Sorry fast-food people, but I am assuming that if you come to Warsaw you will want to settle for a bit more than McDonalds, Pizza Hut, or Burger King. To check out the list and descriptions of restaurants in Warsaw click here. If can't hold out, however, there is a McDonalds on Marszalkowska street right across from the Palace of Culture and Science. There is a Pizza Hut on the Castle Square in the Old-Town and behind the East Wall(pictured in the virtual tour).

Clubs and Bars in Warsaw

Still lacking the wild nightlife of many other western European cities Warsaw is slowly catching up. To prove it here is a list and descriptions of some very cool clubs and bars in Warsaw. Everyone will surely find something in Warsaw's nightlife for him/herself.

Museums and Parks in Warsaw

Warsaw was wiped off the face of the earth during the Second World War. Painstaking reconstruction after the Second World War has brought back a small portion of Warsaw back to its prewar state. Today Warsaw's rebuilt historical areas, as well as many of its beautiful parks and museums are a must to be seen when visiting Warsaw. In this section one finds descriptions, addresses, and website links to the best historical attractions. To see the list of the most important museums and parks in Warsaw click here

Visas and Embassies in Warsaw

If you are not sure whether you need a visa, please go to my embassies and visas page and find out. If you need to call your embassy in Warsaw remember to dial 48 for Poland and 22 for Warsaw. Please remember laws and regulations may change periodically. Especially if you are not from a Europe or North America please make sure to find out in order to avoid an unpleasant situation at the border.

Recommended Reading

I can't stress enough how important it is to have some idea of what to expect when going abroad. Learn a few phrases and research some local history by looking at a few books. My favortie tour book on Warsaw comes from the "Eyewitness Travel Series". These very popular books provide great insight on what, where, and when while visiting Warsaw. In addition, the book has many useful maps and pictures and comes in a very portable format. I will soon include several other books which you should consider reading or looking over prior to visiting Poland and Warsaw.

Weather in Warsaw

Ever wonder if it's too cold or hot to visit? Check out the current weather conditions for Warsaw, Poland. To check out average yearly temperatures and rainfall in Warsaw please go to the weather section of my page.



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