Warsaw airports are not very big, nor are they difficult to get to. However, getting there can be confusing. This article will help you plan your short ride to Warsaw from one of them so that you can start exploring as soon as possible. And once you arrive, our audio guides to Warsaw will help you experience all that the city has to offer.
The two airports
Warsaw is the largest city in Poland. Large enough to have two airports. The first of them is Warsaw Chopin Airport, IATA Code WAW, located close to the city centre, is reachable by train, bus and taxi. If you don’t fly an international Ryanair flight, you will land here. The second is Warsaw Modlin Airport, IATA Code WMI, where all international Ryanair flights land. And almost no one else.
Getting to/from Warsaw Chopin Airport, or WAW
This is the easy part. The larger of the airports in Warsaw (and the largest airport in Poland) airport is located close to the downtown, which means that there are multiple options available 24×7.
The train station is located right next to the bus terminal, with a direct passage from the arrival hall. When you leave the luggage collection area/customs, turn right and walk, as far as you can, to the very end of the terminal.
There are three lines operating from the airport. SKM line S1 and S2 (the red-white trains) and the Koleje Mazowieckie airport line RL (green trains). Both are good for travel to the downtown. The Koleje Mazowieckie train will take you to the Modlin airport.
The tickets are available from the ticketing machines located right before the platform on your left. A single-ride ticket will cost you 4,40 PLN per person.
You can check the train timetable online.
By the municipal bus.
The airport is 15 minutes by municipal bus from the city center. No wonder there is no airport shuttle operating to or from the terminal. You will find the bus stop right in front of the arrival hall, look for the famous bus number 175. It will get you straight to the city centre and then to the Old Town area.
If you arrive late at night, the 175 line may not operate. If you don’t want to take a taxi, take the night bus, N32.
There is a decent city route planner for Warsaw that covers both lines.
By a long-distance bus.
Some bus companies offer direct connections to and from the airport. The bus terminal is located right next to the railway station.
Check the airport website for the most up-to-date list.
There are three official taxi companies operating from the airport. The taxi rank is located right in front of the arrival hall. You can’t miss it.
Depending on the time of the day and the traffic, the ride to the city centre will take between 15 and 45 minutes, with an average time of around 20-25 minutes. The cost will vary from the time of the day, keep in mind that it doubles at night. On a weekend night, it can be as high as four times the standard rate. Ask the driver about the price when in doubt.
Typical travel times by taxi:
- The downtown, next to the Novotel hotel: 15 minutes
- The Old Town – castle square – 20 minutes
- Modlin Airport – 60 minutes, traffic permitting
- Warsaw Central Station
The uber default collection point is located in front of the departure area, upstairs at the far end of the terminal, close to the parking exit and opposite the Marriott hotel. If you can see the parking entrance, not the exit, walk along the terminal until you can see the exit.
Getting to/from Warsaw Modlin, or WMI
The second of Warsaw airports is dedicated to low-cost carriers, which means that it is cheap, simple, and located far from the city centre. Despite that, there are a number of transportation options to and from Warsaw. Note, however, that the taxi may be your only option if you arrive late at night or depart very early. Double-check the timetables to avoid surprises.
There is no direct train to the terminal, yet. Koleje Mazowieckie runs an hourly connection to Warsaw from the nearby station in Modlin. A shuttle bus will get you there, which is free if you continue your journey by the Koleje Mazowieckie from Modlin.
What is often missed is the PKP Intercity offering. Most or all of the TLK and IC trains stop there. This allows you to go directly to other major towns in Poland, like Kraków, Wrocław, Olsztyn, or Gdańsk. Check the official PKP timetable.
Modlin Bus is the bus line operating from the airport to various destinations in Poland. This includes the Warsaw city center. The ride takes some 60-75 minutes and will get you right to the downtown next to the Palace of Culture and Science, and then to the Chopin Airport. You may consider it an airport shuttle, however, it does not run too often compared to similar routes elsewhere.
Check the website here.
There are two official taxi companies at the airport, Sawa Taxi and Modlin Taxi. They have a fixed price list depending on your destination in Warsaw, the ride by taxi takes 40 to 60 minutes. You can find all the relevant details at the airport website.
Uber will get you from the city center to the airport without any problems. However, relying on Uber on your way in the opposite direction, that is, FROM the airport to Warsaw can be risky, though. This is because Uber is not officially present in Modlin and the drivers may not be available.