Warsaw - The Capital of Poland 

Watch a short video about Warsaw 

Warsaw - The City of Opportunity 

Warsaw is a thriving economic metropolis that is quickly becoming Central Europe's "city that never sleeps". Pioneering Poland's economic growth in the 21st century, Warsaw is currently seeing unprecedented investment from global powers like the EU or the United States, and many of the word's biggest corporations have major offices in the city's center. In Warsaw, business is life, and on any given day the city hosts an eclectic mix of the business world's elite. Since the end of communism in Poland 30 years ago, Warsaw has taken off as a financial powerhouse and shows no signs of slowing down. For an up-and-coming CEO and for a budding business student trying to find his niche. Warsaw is without a doubt an enthralling place to be.

The city is teeming with social life of all sorts. The memory of the Warsaw Uprising during World War II still rings deep in the hearts of many Varsovians, who hold it deat as a symbol of fighting for what is right, no matter the odds. This lively spirit is certainly evident today, and the city has a uniquely creative character to show for it. Art, music and culture all show a haunting mix of traditional and modern characteristics, offering something that appeals to everyone.

Warsaw, boasting over 400 years of pride as the country’s capital, is Poland’s largest city and a major economic, political, and cultural center. The symbol of the city is the Fighting Mermaid, featured on the city seal. A city where a fourth of the terrain is covered by parklands, and a city of culture for all tastes and budgets. It is really good to spend a few days here to experience the city’s memorable atmosphere. Historic palaces and churches meet modern architecture, and cozy cafés  compete with fashionable music-filled clubs. Regardless of the goal of your visit, Warsaw is bound to make a good impression on you.

It is a city with the tallest four-faced clock tower in the world. Its faces are 6 m in diameter, making it the largest clock of its kindin Europe. The tower sits on one of the youngest, yet one of the most prominent, symbols of socialist architecture – the Palace of Culture and Science built in 1956.

Paradoxically, Warsaw’s Old Town is only 50 years old. After World War II it was proudly and laboriously reconstructed to its present form. In 1980 it was placed on the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.

Transportation to and around Warsaw

Getting to Warsaw

 

By air

If you come to Poland by plane, we strongly recommend you a direct flight to Warsaw's Frederic Chopin International Airport, in Okęcie district. Direct flights from many major European cities are available, as well as, from cities placed outside of Europe. Chopin airport is situated 10 km from the city center. The transportation is very good - in order to get to the city center you may take a bus or taxi from the arrival zone or take a train from the train station built-in into the airport.

Flight to Modlin Airport might turn out cheaper but the distance from Warsaw's city is much greater - in order to reach city center you'll need to take a bus from the airport to the train station and then by train you reach the city of Warsaw.

 

By train

Poland has a good network of rail lines. The fastest and most expensive are 'express trains' - Eurocity -  connecting Poland directly with major European capitals (Berlin, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Bratislava, Minsk, Kiev). Standard 'passenger trains' reach almost every big city around the country. 

For detailed information please see the official website of Polish State Railways.

 

By coach

Many travel agencies offer tickets for international coaches running to a variety of destinations across Europe. These buses are equipped with toilets, air-conditioning, reclining chairs, tea/coffee bars and other facilities. "Polski Bus" offers buses from and to Warsaw to 6 different international locations at reasonable price: Berlin, Prague, Brno, Bratislava, Vienna, Budapest. Students under the age of 26 and holders of Euro26 or ISIC cards are offered discounts.

For further information please contact your chosen travel agency. 

Moving around Warsaw and Poland


Buses

Warsaw city is serviced with multiple bus companies, but the most common and easiest to catch is Public Transportation of Warsaw's city, the "ZTM" company. These buses are referred to as "Yellow buses", because of their recognizable paint job. Their range covers most of Warsaw's premises and suburbans. Tickets are available in most of the shops, kiosks and in ticket machines. Some of the buses carry a ticket machine on board, so it is possible to purchase a ticket on the bus, but it is strongly recommended to obtain the ticket before entering. Tickets must be validated on entrance to the bus. All of "ZTM" buses are air-conditioned, suited for disabled and mothers with children.

You can reach other cities of Poland by bus - "FlixBus" offers 26 locations on the territory of Poland, the most important being: Kraków, Wrocław, Zakopane, Gdańsk. Most of long distance buses are available from Warszawa Zachodnia and Wschodnia stops (Warsaw West and Warsaw East station).

 

Trams

All of the Warsaw's trams are operated by above mentioned "ZTM" - the Public Transport of Warsaw City company. Trams uses the same kind of tickets that are valid on the buses, same rules of validating tickets apply. Their range is limited compared to the buses, but travel time is far superior, especially during rush hours. Most of the trams are suit for people will limited movement capabilities. 

 

Metro

Warsaw is currently supporting 2 metro lines. M1 line is complete and travels north-south of the city, while M2 is incomplete (planned completion in year 2022) and travels east-west, passing under the Vistula river. It is the fastest way to get across the river and from district to district, especially to Ursynów district. Metro accepts public transport tickets. Tickets are validated at the gates to the stations. 

See the MAP of Warsaw's metro lines.

 

Trains

As mentioned above, Poland has a decent network of rail lines that is constantly developed and upgraded. You can travel both short and long distances using trains. In Warsaw, you can use SKM (Szybka Kolei Miejska), KM (Kolei Mazowiecka) and WKD (Warszawska Kolei Dojazdowa) train to travel short distances around city's districts, as well as suburbans. SKM accepts public transport tickets on the same basis as buses and trams. Other companies use their own tariff and usage of public transportation tickets is limited - make sure you have the right ticket.

To travel to different major cities of Poland you'll need a ticket with seat reservation. Most of them will departure from (1) Warszawa Wschodnia, (2) Warszawa Zachodnia or (3) Warszawa Centralna ((1)Warsaw East, (2) West and (3) Central stations).
You can choose between "express trains" or "standard trains". The major difference will be the price, comfort and time of travel. Standard "TLK" trains are old-timers, time of travel is long. Express trains will be more expensive but the travel itself will be much more comfortable. Express "Intercity" trains also include routes done by the Pendolino - currently the fastest train on stock of Polish State Railways. Tickets bought very early can turn out very cheap for students - you can even find tickets for 49 PLN, if you decide early enough.

For detailed information please see the official website of Polish State Railways.

 

Taxi

Multiple taxi companies are available through Warsaw. Average cost of 1 kilometer is around 1,80 PLN (day tariff). There is a starting fee of around 8 PLN. Most of the company require to be ordered by phone call, some of the companies support designated mobile apps (Taxify, myTaxi, iTaxi).

Uber is currently still available to use in Poland.

Living in Warsaw

Cost of living in Warsaw 

A reasonable total monthly budget would be about 2000 - 2500 PLN (excluding travels outside Poland as well as the tuition). Although some students live on a much tighter budget. Note, that the students are often offered various discounts (shops, transportation, theater, cinema, museums, bookshops). Always remember to present your student card. Examples below are based on good standard of accommodation:

Expenses
Accommodation in a students dormitory ~ 500-1000 PLN/month
Accommodation in a shared flat or apartment ~ 1500-3500 PLN/month
Approximate cost of living ~ 700-1200 PLN/month
Other, unexpected expenses ~ 500 PLN/month

 

Examples of prices for products and services in Warsaw in 2018 given in PLN. Usually the exchange rate for EURO is about PLN/EUR = 4.2-4.3/1

Student ticket refers to Public Transportation Company (ZTM) tickets. Those tickets are valid to use in buses, trams, metro and selected railway company's trains as well (SKM, limited usage in KM and WKD).

Product/Service PLN
bread 3
0,5 bottled water 1.5
milk 2.5
butter 6
cheese 18/kg
coffee in a cafe 4-10
cinema ticket 25-35
fast-food meal 10-20
dinner in an average restaurant 50-80
pizza 15-40
20 minutes student ticket 1.70
1 month/3 months student ticket 55/140

 

You should expect additional expenses which may occur during your stay. Those might be:

  • A refundable deposit for your accommodation (usually 1 or 2 month's rent)
  • Initial expenditures (sheets, towels, cooking utensils, books, etc. depending on the accommodation provider)
  • Utilities (if they are not included in rent)
  • Tickets, entrance fees, reservations if you would like to do sightseeing in Poland
  • Different fees and subscriptions, monthly tickets for public transportation, internet etc.
  • Health insurance (mandatory for non EU students)

More details about cost of living in Warsaw click here.

Entertainment in Warsaw

Entertainment 

 

Poland is a place with great history, spaning on a period of over 1000 years. Warsaw, de facto capital of Poland since 1611, is an ideal place to discover some of Poland's most recent history as well as much more distant times. Mentioned below are places worth seeing during your stay in Poland, as they will provide you with an overview of Polish culture:

Also, in and around Warsaw you'll find multiple places to spend your free time, if you are not a museum type. Those mentioned below are definetely worth your time to check it up:

If you rather spend your time actively here are some examples of places that you can do just that:

  • KillHouse - Paintball ground, placed inside unused manufacturing hall. Available throughout the whole year. Except for Paintball, Killhouse also offers Laser Tag, Air Soft and Nerf- games. 
  • LetMeOut - escape room right next to city center. There are multiple escape rooms scattered around the city.
  • Hangar 646 - a trampoline park - basically huge hall filled with trampolines, landing zones and springboards.
  • A1Karting - one of the biggest Go-Kart covered track, open all year, 7 days a week. It's placed across the street from the university. 
  • HulaKula - bowling alley and club, just across the street from the university.
  • Copernicus Science Centre - interactive museum-exhibition popularizing science in Poland, consisting of over 450 exhibitions.

Warsaw is the host city to multiple regular and periodic events. Just to name a few:

  • Warsaw Orange Festival - music festival, spanning over few days.
  • Warsaw Film Festival 
  • "Zimowy Narodowy" on National Stadium - football pitch turns into winter sports arena, available to anyone. National Stadium (Stadion Narodowy) host mulitple different events (excpet for sport events) throughout the year, like: concerts, races (eg. Top Gear, Drift Championship), exhibitions (LEGO exhibition, International Cat Exhibition).
  • Festival of Colours 
  • International Chopin Piano Competition

And if you are not keen on sightseeing or on visiting any of the above mentioned attractions, here are some of places worth even a second of your time:

 

If you need any basic needs products you can visit one of below mentioned shoping centers. The variaty of shops available makes them the best place to buy all the necessities that one might need. 

Shoping Centers in Warsaw:

  • ARKADIA (Jana Pawła II st. 82); List of shops
    Mall: Monday - Saturday: 10:00 – 22:00; Sunday: 10:00 – 21:00;
    Carrefour: Monday – Saturday: 08:30 – 23:00; Sunday: 09:00 – 22:00;
    Cinema City: Monday – Sunday: 09:30 – 22:30.
  • ZŁOTE TARASY (Złota st. 59); List of shops
    Mall: Monday - Saturday: 09:00 – 22:00; Sunday: 09:00 – 21:00;
    Carrefour: Monday – Saturday: 10:00 – 22:00; Sunday: 10:00 – 20:00;
    Multikino: Monday – Sunday: 09:00 – until last screening.
  • GALERIA MOKOTÓW (Wołoska st. 12); List of shops
    Mall: Monday - Saturday: 10:00 – 22:00; Sunday: 10:00 – 21:00;
    Carrefour: Monday – Sunday: 09:00 – 22:00;
    Cinema City: Monday – Sunday: 09:00 – until late night hours.
  • BLUE CITY (Al. Jerozolimskie 179); List of shops
    Mall: Monday - Saturday: 10:00 – 22:00; Sunday: 10:00 – 20:00
Daily Issues

Travelling around:

In order to move around Warsaw and other major cities it is advised to use "jakdojade" website or mobile app - an online timetable of all of public transport in 44 cities, like:

  • Warsaw,
  • Gdańsk and Tri-city,
  • Kraków,
  • Wrocław,
  • Toruń,
  • Poznań.

 

Public Transport:

Before entering any mean of public transport (buses, trams, metro, trains) you should obtain a ticket. Ticket selection is wide, so you should make sure you buy correct one. Range of the buses is divided into two ticket zones - if you are not planning on leaving Warsaw's premises you can buy zone-1 only tickets, as zone-2 are sububrans only. They are much cheaper, compared to both-zones tickets. 

Tickets available are:
time limited (20 minutes, 75 minutes, 90 minutes)
short-time (1-day, 3-days, weekend)
long-time tickets (30-days, 90-days)

All those tickets allow for unlimited number of rides, on all of the means that accept above mentioned tickets. Here you can see complete list of tickets and their costs.

Time limited and short-time tickets come in paper form, while long-term tickets must be coded on special, personalized cards. Your students ID can take the role of such personalized card - meaning you can use it as your travel card. It is recommended for students to buy 30- or 90-days tickets as it turn out much cheaper overall, if you will be using public transport everyday.

 

How to use "jakdojade":

Step 1:

  • Enter www.jakdojade.pl
  • Select the city from the drop list or with the use of search engine

Step 2:

  • After you pick the city, you'll see it's map. Now you have to establish the route
  • You should input "Punkt startowy" (starting point) and "Punkt docelowy" (final destination) or you can select it on the map - simply click "pokaż przystanki" (show stops)

Step 3:

  • Set the starting point - for example Chopin Airport (Lotnisko Chopina)

Step 4:

  • Select final destination of your travel - for example "Pimot", stop the nearest to the university

Step 5:

  • Select the time. You can input the time manually or use arrows - each click moves the time 10 minutes back or forth
  • Select the date. When clicked a calendar will drop down
  • Choose between departure (odjazd) or arrival (przyjazd) time that will be shown
  • Proceed with green arrow button

Step 6:

  • Now you will see droplist with planned routes for you. It will show time untill departure, number of means of transport, the time of travel, departure and arrival times
  • You can choose alternate route (marked grey) or you can alter it by yourself

Step 7:

  • When you select your transportation, you can check the details of your chosen route

 

Emergencies


Legal assistance:

If you need a legal assistance, you may contact the Information Center for Foreigners in order to get it free of charge (http://interwencjaprawna.pl/cic/information-centre-for-foreigners/).

Contact:
Address: Siedmiogrodzka st. 5/51
Tel. (+48) 22 629 56 91 


EMERGENCY NUMBERS 

In order to call an emergency service via public phone, please dial:

999 – Ambulance
998 – Fire Fighters 
997 – Police
986 – Municipal Guard (Straz Miejska)

In order to call an emergency service via mobile phone, please dial:

112 – All the above services.

Calling any of emergency numbers is free of charge.

 

Emergency Services (by city districts):

Śródmieście - Poznańska st. 22
Praga Południe - Grenadierów st. 34
Wola - Górczewska st. 27/35
Mokotów - Puławska st. 120
Żoliborz - Wrzeciono st. 41
Marymont - Słowackiego st. 52/54
Praga Północ - Brzeska st. 12
Ochota - Joteyki st. 9
Ursynów - Jastrzębowskiego st.  22
Wilanów - Morszyńska st. 33
Ursus - Sosnkowskiego st. 18
Bemowo - Kartezjusza st. 2
Białołęka - Marywilska st. 44
Targówek - Łojewska st. 6
Międzylesie - Dzieci Polskich st. 20