Public transport in Warsaw

by Maciek Bogdanski

Warsaw public transport

Public transport in Warsaw has a variety of means of transport to use. This includes buses, trams, metro and local trains. So, regardless of the place you want to get to in Warsaw, public transport will get you there.

Warsaw public transport ticket system

Warsaw public transport zones

There are two zones in Warsaw. Most of the interesting areas, including Warsaw Airport, are located in Zone 1, but if you want to go further, be prepared to buy Zone 2 tickets. If you are in doubt, about whether your destination is in zone 1 or 2, consult this site before your journey.

Public transport in Warsaw – tickets 

The ticket system seems to be confusing at first, but when you start to use it, you will get accustomed fast. First of all: all the buses, trams, metro and SKM trains have the same tickets. You are free to change between all of those means of transport, What you need to remember though, is that not all trains are SKM trains, so you need to be careful when you board a train and make sure that your ticket is valid.

You may check actual information on Warsaw public transport tickets here

ZTM tickets 24 hours and longer are also valid on Koleje Mazowieckie trains and Warszawska Kolej Dojazdowa trains, but only in a limited area. If you want to use ZTM tickets on those trains, check if it is possible for your destination on this map. Also, you need to validate the ticket before getting on board.

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All ZTM tickets are valid on trains running between the Airport and Warszawa Wschodnia and Warszawa Pludy stations.

Where to buy tickets for Warsaw public transportation system

Tickets may be bought at the metro stations, kiosks, ticket machines or by mobile app. Tickets need to be validated inside the vehicle or at the Warsaw metro gate.

ZTM ticket machine fot Warsaw Public Transport
ZTM ticket machine in Warsaw

If you use the mobile app, be aware of the changes in mobile tickets rules that took place in April 2021. While in other cities ticket is validated as you buy it, in Warsaw, you need to validate it on board or at the metro gate. So you may buy a ticket in advance, and validate it when you get on the vehicle. Look for QR codes and scan them with your ticket App.

Qr code in ZTM vehicles in Warsaw
Qr code in ZTM vehicles in Warsaw

Metro in Warsaw

This is the only subway in Poland. It started to work in 1995 and is still growing, although the speed of growth could be much faster. The underground system consists of two lines: M1 (blue line) and M2 (red line). This is without a doubt the fastest means of urban transportation service within Warsaw, but the area covered by the lines is very limited.

Public transport in Warsaw - Metro entrance
Public transport in Warsaw – Metro entrance

Bus network in Warsaw

This is the most extensive means of transport in Warsaw. It is also least reliable, mostly due to traffic jams, but at the same time the only that may bring you to your destination. There are over 200 daily bus lines in Warsaw and almost 50 suburban lines. There are also over 40-night buses that run regularly during the night.

Tram network in Warsaw

Tram network in Warsaw is operated by 26 tram lines. It is located mainly in and around the city centre and is a convenient way of moving through the city. Not all trams are modern and some vehicles remember the communist era, but it is getting better every year.

Public transport in Warsaw - trams
Public transport in Warsaw – trams

Local trains in Warsaw

Public transport in Warsaw is supplemented by local trains, which are the fastest way to travel long-distance routes within Warsaw, as well as getting to the Warsaw Airport. There are three types of local trains in Warsaw: SKM trains – owned by the city, Koleje Mazowieckie trains – owned by the local state, and WKD trains owned by the local states around Warsaw. Unfortunately, different owners means different tickets, so you need to be careful when you board the train and make sure your ticket is valid. There are some tickets that enable you to travel on SKM, WKD and Koleje Mazowieckie trains – read more in the tickets section.

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SKM trains

SKM trains are owned by the city, therefore tickets for those trains are the same as those for subway, trams or buses. Trains are marked with SKM letters on the information boards, and they are usually painted in white and red. The range of the SKM trains covers more than just Warsaw – it stretches from Pruszkow/Warsaw Airport to Sulejowek and from Otwock to Wieliszew. There are four lines:

  • S1 going from Pruszkow to Warsaw
  • S2 – going from Warsaw Airport to Sulejowek
  • S3 – going from Warsaw Airport to Wieliszew
  • S9 Going from Wieliszew to West Warsaw Station
Public transport in Warsaw - SKM trains
Public transport in Warsaw – SKM trains

ZTM tickets are valid on all SKM trains

Koleje Mazowieckie trains

Koleje Mazowieckie trains are usually painted in green and yellow and are marked with KM letters on the information boards. KM trains run within the whole province, and the ticket price usually depends on the distance. However, they have lots of special offers so it is always worth checking if you can find something better than the one-way ticket. Also, some ZTM tickets are valid on those trains – please read the tickets section.

Public transport in Warsaw - Koleje Mazowieckie train
Public transport in Warsaw – Koleje Mazowieckie train

Warszawska Kolej Dojazdowa trains

WKD network is the shortest one, as trains run only between Warszawa Środmiescie and Grodzisk Mazowiecki, south-west of Warsaw. WKD sometimes uses regular platforms, but sometimes (for instance in Warszawa Srodmiescie) it has separate platforms. Its trains are painted in white, blue and red. Ticket price depends on the distance, or rather on the scheduled time, and varies from 3,6 PLN to 7 PLN. Also, some ZTM tickets are valid on those trains – please read the tickets section.

Public transportation in other Polish cities

If you are considering going to other cities in Poland, read our guides on public transport in Krakow, Gdansk, Poznan and Wroclaw. You may also read our articles on how to travel around Poland.

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