Practical Information (check this page for updates)


Warsaw, the capital and the largest city of Poland, is located in the central part of the country (and hence in the centre of Europe). It is a city with a fascinating history, nowadays full of charm and activity, where the past meets the future in harmony. Take time to enjoy it as much as it deserves. Make sure to spend enough time in the Old Town, have a look at fine palaces, historical monuments, statues and houses along the Royal Route, enjoy a relaxing stroll in Lazienki park, take a small ride to Wilanow residence at the outskirts of the city, on a nice day go (by lift) to the top of the Palace of Culture and Science,... Some links at the bottom of this page provide more detailed information.


To visit Poland you need a passport valid for at least 3 months after the date of your expected departure from Poland. For many countries there is no visa requirement.

You can not enter Poland without a passport even if you are a EU citizen.

If you need a visa, contact the appropriate Polish Consulate. The list of Consulates and visa application forms are available from the web pages of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


By Air

Warsaw Frederic Chopin Airport is located 10 km from the city centre. (From the Polish Airports page choose Warsaw Frederic Chopin Airport.) You can get to the city centre by bus number 175. Bus 188 wil take you to the eastern parts of Warsaw (Praga). There is a place in the arrival hall where a taxi can be ordered (MPT Taxi 919, Sawa Taxi 644 44 44 or Taxi Merc 677 77 77). The cost (day fare) of the taxi to the center is about 25-35zl. If you are willing to take a cab it is advisable to do it there. Do not take a taxi offered by a stranger.

By Train

There are direct train connections with many European cities. You can check your train on the Polish Railways web page or here). The main railway station, Warszawa Centralna, is located in the heart of the city. You can get fast and easily to any part of Warsaw from there either using public transport or a taxi. If you need a taxi, choose one that belongs to a licensed company (check names and phone numbers on the list below) or book it by telephone.

By Coach

There are two main bus terminals Warszawa Zachodnia and Warszawa Stadion Station. There are regular connections with many European destinations. Consult your local bus companies or visit this page.

By Car

Warsaw is located in the central part of Poland. You can plan your route at Expedia, Shell, or many others. You can check delays at the border crossings at Polish Border Guard site (check "Wjazd osob." when going to Poland and "Wyjazd osob." otherwise; if you see any number consider taking another route). This page is updated only once a day at 7.00pm from Monday till Friday.


In the center of Warsaw in most areas a parking fee is charged. Parking is payable Mon.-Fri. from 8:00 to 18:00. It costs 50 gr for 15 minutes, 1 zl for 30 minutes, 2 zl 60 gr for one hour, and every next hour costs 2 zl 60 gr. You might also encounter (especially in the city center) people asking you for money for "watching" your car.

Local Transportation

Public transport consists of a network of tramlines, buses and (single-line) underground. It is reliable and (mostly) fast. Tickets are available form newspaper agents (they are marked with red and yellow ZTM logo), ticket machines located at undergronund stations, and from the bus/tram drivers (only single tickets available and additional fee is charged). Tickets are valid for all means of municipal transport.

Basic prices

single trip (no transfer):
normal: 2 zl 40 gr
night: 4 zl 80 gr
suburban zone: 4 zl 80 gr
travelcards, valid for consecutive:
24 hours: 7 zl 40 gr
3 days: 12 zl
7 days: 24 zl

The fare for (large) luggage is equal to the price of a normal ticket (2 zl 40 gr). 24-hour, 3-day and one week tickets are also valid on night lines. Detailed fare information is available in English from ZTM Web pages (choose Ticket tarifs). Timetables are there too, unfortunately only in Polish (click "Rozklady").

Check schematic maps of the areas of ETAPS'03 venues, hotels, and other important places, with brief description of typical public transportation routes between them.


It is advisable to book a taxi by telephone. If you pick a taxi on the street or a taxi stand, be sure you choose one from a licensed company. Several licensed taxi companies are listed below.

ELE Taxi 811 11 11
Euro Taxi 822 22 22
Lux Taxi 96 66
MPT 919
Nowa Taxi 96 87
Sawa Taxi 644 44 44
Super Taxi 96 22
Volfra Taxi 96 25
Wawa Taxi 96 44

Maximum rates per kilometer vary from 3 zl (city area between 6:00-22:00) to 9 zl (Saturday night far from the center). Additional start fee is always charged which is no more than 6 zl. These are maximum fares and most companies charge up to 2 zl per 1 km in the city during workdays. A ride from the airport to the city center should not cost much more than 30 zl. The driver should give you a receipt on demand.

Car rental

The following major companies have their offices in Warsaw:
Avis, Hotel Marriott 6307316
Auto Plaza 8632700 exe 119
Europcar 853066077
Prices range  from 200 to 1000 zl  per day.

Practical Information


Weather in April is always impredictable. It might be sunny and warm as well as cold and rainy. Average temperature in Warsaw is 7.7 degrees Celsius. You can get a recent weather forecast at ICM or CNN


Polish currency unit is called "zloty" (abbr. PLN or zl) and it is divided into 100 groszy (abbr. gr) (More information about banknotes and coins). You can change cash in banks, hotels and exchanges called "Kantor". The rates are always listed outside and may slightly vary between different exchange offices. Please do not accept exchange offers from strangers. Here you can find current exchange rates (Click "Exchange rate table").

Most restaurants, hotels, travel agencies and shops accept credit cards. The most popular are Visa (also Visa Electron), Master Card (also Maestro and Eurocard) but many others are accepted, e.g., American Express, Diners Club, JCB.

Cash dispensers (ATMs) accept major credit cards and are easily accesible in many places.


Over 20000 beds in about 100 various hotels in Warsaw await tourists. Everyone will find something suitable. But Warsaw is a busy city, and the hotels can get crowded, so book early. See our hotel page for more hints.


Most shops in Poland are open from 9.00 to 19.00, Monday-Friday, and from 9.00 to 14.00 on Saturdays. Many supermarkets are open also on Sundays.


Poland's electricity supply is 230 volts (50Hz), and typical (continental) European outlets are in use.

Post office

You can easily buy and send postcards almost everwhere in Warsaw. If you want to send the postcard you should put it into one of the post office red boxes. The name of the post office is Poczta Polska (page is only in Polish).
The stamp for an "economical" postcard or letter (i.e. up to 6 days for Europe) costs 2.10zl and it does not depend on the destination. See detailed info and choose przesylki listowe ekonomiczne.
The stamp for an "proritaire" postcard (i.e. up to 3 days for Europe, up to 6 days for the rest of the world) costs 2.60zl for zone (pl.: Strefa) A (European countries, Russia and Israel), 2.80zl for zone B (Africa and United States), 3.00zl for zone C (South America and Asia) and 3.60zl for zone D (Australia, New Zeland). See detailed info - and choose przesylki listowe priorytetowe.
The costs apply only for postcards and letters up to 20g - choose the links above for more information.

Prices in restaurants

There are roughly four types of eating places in Warsaw. There are:

A cake in a Warsaw cafe will cost you 3-8 zl, a cup of coffe 4-10 zl. A beer in a pub 5-10 zl (drinking alcohol in public places is prohibited in Poland). In general, food is more expensive in the city center.

Other information

Mobile phones

All Polish GSM operators use GSM 900/1800 network type.

Time zone

The time zone is GMT+1 (so, for instance: the same as in Germany and France, 1 hour ahead of Portugal).

Dial-up Internet connection

There are several access numbers you can use, for instance 0202122, 0202422 (Telekomunikacja Polska) 0209568 (Aster City Cable). The login name is ppp and the password is ppp. The cost is the same as that of a local call.

A few useful words

Personal data: Imie - First name; Nazwisko - Last name; Data urodzenia - Birthdate; Miejsce urodzenia - Birthplace; Kraj - Country; Obywatelstwo - Citizenship.
Week days: Poniedzialek - Monday, Wtorek - Tuesday, Sroda - Wednesday, Czwartek - Thursday, Piatek - Friday, Sobota - Saturday, Niedziela - Sunday.
Months: Styczen - January, Luty - February, Marzec - March, Kwiecien - April, Maj - May, Czerwiec - June, Lipiec - July, Sierpien - August, Wrzesien - September, Pazdziernik - October, Listopad - November, Grudzien - December.
Greetings and others: Czesc - Hello, Dzien dobry - Good morning, Dobry wieczor - Good evening, Dziekuje - Thank you, Do widzenia - Goodbye, Przepraszam - Excuse me.
Miscellaneous: Tak - Yes, Nie - No, Otwarty - Open, Zamkniety - Closed, Haslo - Password, Bilet - Ticket, Cena - Price, Minuta - Minute, Godzina - Hour, Dzien - Day, Dworzec autobusowy - Bus station, Przystanek autobusowy - Bus stop, Dworzec kolejowy - Train station, Lotnisko - Airport, Pociag - Train, Autobus - Bus, Samochod - Car, Tramwaj - Tram, Restauracja - Restaurant, Sklep - Shop, Adres - Adress, Ulica - Street, Uniwersytet - University, Centrum - Center, Kino - Cinema, Teatr - Theatre, Poczta - post office, Kartka pocztowa - Postcard, Znaczek pocztowy - Stamp, Telefon - Phone, Toaleta - Toilet.

Useful links

Information maintained by Slawomir Leszczynski