The ultimate guide to buses in Warsaw

Warsaw Local

Buses in Warsaw

Around the center of Warsaw and outside the city limits you’ll see lots of buses travelling around. In this guide we are going to cover everything you need to know to make the most out of your visit to Warsaw or if you’re moving to the city how to get more comfortable with the public transport system.

In this article we are only going to slightly cover the cost of public transport as we already have a more more detail article and video about the subject. An Important thing to check out is a free website (also available in a mobile app format too that does require mobile internet to function) called Jakdojade. This amazing website allows you to enter your current location and where you’d like to go and it will automatically find you the route, it will tell you the bus or tram numbers, it will tell you where and when to change and also tell you the cost of the tickets. You can find a much more detailed article and video about how to make the most of Jakdojade here.  

Bus Stops

There are two different types of bus stops but they function the same. You’ll find the large roofed style bus stops in most locations and they are styled like most European bus shelters, but in smaller locations where the pavement might be smaller or in last popular locations you’ll find these red stands with the time tables attached. These function the same as the large bus shelters. This more portable bus stops can be used as temporary stops for sports events or if there is repair work being done on the shelter.

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How to understand the bus time tables

All buses stops including the bigger and smaller ones will have a timetable explaining the bus route, when the next bus will arrive and also how long it will take to your destination.

The grayed out text is the previous bus stops the bus has visited. The highlighted name with a black block is the name of the current bus stop you are standing at. If you’re new to the city we’d recommend taking a picture on your mobile phone of the name of the bus stop closes to your hotel or home. The black text below the current stop are the up and coming stops the bus will stop at. The numbers next to the stop names is the number of minutes the route will take.

The large timetable to the left hand side is the arrival times are the bus. The system is based on the 24 hour clock system. You can find the hour and then the minutes next to it. The table is split in to two sections. The larger sections is Monday to Friday and the thinner section are the bus times on a Saturday or Sunday.

The large number at the top is the bus number that you will see lit of a screen at the front of the bus and written on a sign on the side of the bus near the windows.

Cost of Public Transport in Warsaw

If you’re moving to Warsaw then we highly recommend that you read our more detailed article about the Cost of Public Transport in Warsaw were we cover the costs and explain how to get monthly pass which are cheaper than buying single tickets everyday.

Bus, trams and metros ran by ZTM all accept the same transport tickets. These tickets are based on time and you can purchase:

– 20 minute – 3,40 PLN
– 75 minutes – 4,40 PLN
– 90 minutes – 7,00 PLN
– 24 hours – 15,00 PLN
– Weekend ticket (7:00 PM on Friday till 8:00 AM on Monday) 24,00 PLN
– Group weekend ticket (up to 5 people to unlimited number of journeys from 7:00 PM on Friday till 8:00 AM on Monday) 40,00 PLN

5 PLN = 1 EURO

When you enter a bus, tram or metro ticket you’ll need to put your ticket inside the yellow ticket validating machine. You’ll hear a short beep and see a green light to show you that the ticket has been correctly accepted. If you get a red light then simply re-try your ticket if it is unused or try another one of the other yellow ticket validating machines.

When you enter your ticket the timer will automatically start and you are responsible for keeping a track of the time. If you lose track of the time you first use your ticket you can check if it is valid or not by re-entering it inside the yellow ticket validation machine and it will tell you with the red or green light system if it is still valid or not.

This is an important thing to note about buying public transport tickets on a bus. Some trams and buses have ticket machines on-board. On trams you’ll be given a paper ticket that will only begin the timer process when you enter it inside the yellow ticket machine as when you buy a ticket on a bus the timer is already active. The reason we feel this is important to bring to your attention is we would recommend buying three or four cheap tickets and keeping them inside your wallet for when you might need to use the public transport system and can’t find a ticket machine. If you buy four tickets on a bus they will all be active right away and will be useless after the time runs out.

Warsaw Bus Numbers Explained

While the bus number is not very important it is worth noting that for example that a ‘E’ bus you took back to your hotel or hostel only runs on a weekend or that night buses will generally take a longer route than day time buses.

1xx, 2xx, 3xx – regular lines, stopping at all marked stops
4xx, 5xx – accelerated lines (marked in red)
E-x – lines operating in peak hours on weekdays (marked in red)
7xx – suburban lines
8xx – suburban lines operating on weekdays
Nxx – night buses which operate between the hours of 11.15 pm and 4:30 am

Warsaw Night Buses

The great thing about the Warsaw night bus system is that the standard travel ticket you bought in the day time still work on the night buses, which makes life a lot cheaper for those travelling on a budget as you can avoid getting a taxi home.

An important thing to note is we recommend putting your hand out when the night bus is approaching because sometimes depending on the driver they might not stop on every single stop if there is no one standing there. It is better to try and be noticed than risk not being noticed and waiting another hour.

Disability Access and Baby Friendly

The great thing about the Warsaw night bus system is that the standard travel ticket you bought in the day time still work on the night buses, which makes life a lot cheaper for those travelling on a budget as you can avoid getting a taxi home.