Bus, Tram & Trolleybus
Polish cities offer excellent public transport. Every large and medium-sized city will have a comprehensive autobus (bus) network, while some cities will also have tramwaj (tram) and trolejbus (trolleybus) systems. Warsaw is the only city with a metro.
- Public transport normally operates daily from around 5am to 11pm. Service is less frequent on weekends.
- Trams and buses are likely to be crowded during rush hour (7am to 9am and 4.30pm to 6.30pm Monday to Friday).
- Timetables are usually posted at stops, but don’t rely too much on their accuracy.
Tickets and fares
Each city has a slightly different system of ticketing and fares, so be prepared to watch what the locals do and do likewise.
Most cities have a fare system based on the duration of the ride, with a standard 60-minute ticket costing around 3zł. There may be slightly cheaper tickets available for shorter rides (20 or 30 minutes) and more expensive tickets for longer ones (90 minutes).
There are many common features across Polish buses and trams:
- There are no conductors on board buses and trams. Buy tickets beforehand and punch or stamp them in one of the little machines installed near the doors once you enter the bus or tram.
- Buy tickets from newspaper kiosks like Ruch or Relay or from street stalls around the central stops.
- Buy several tickets at once since you may find yourself at a far-flung stop with no chance to buy tickets locally.
- Plain-clothed ticket inspectors are always on the prowl and foreigners are not exempt.
Taxis are easily available and not too expensive. As a rough guide, a 5km taxi trip will cost around 20zł, and a 10km ride shouldn’t cost more than 35zł. Taxi fares are higher at night (10pm to 6am), on Sunday and outside the city limits. The number of passengers (usually up to four) and the amount of luggage doesn’t affect the fare.
- Avoid unmarked pirate taxis (called ‘mafia’ taxis by Poles), which usually have just a small ‘taxi’ sign on the roof with no name or phone number.
- You can flag down cabs on the street or order them by phone. We recommend ordering by phone if possible, as it cuts down the chance you'll get a rogue driver.
- Remember to carry small bills, so you’ll be able to pay the exact fare. If you don’t, it’s hard to get change from a driver who’s intent on charging you more.