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Means of Transportation in Poland

Kamila K  
18 Jul 2007 /  #1
When you are planning your trip to Poland, and are unfamiliar with the means of transportation, below are some suggestions to help you navigate your way around the country.

Poland is quite well connected with the rest of the world. We have several international airports with plenty of direct flights to and from many European and international destinations. If you are interested in taking a domestic flight, you shouldn't encounter any problems either. The polish national airline - LOT operates regular flights from Warsaw to numerous cities of Poland such as Krakow, Gdansk, Katowice, Poznan, Szczecin, Wroclaw and Rzeszow. Usually it takes one hour to get from one place to another. In regards to tickets, you can purchase them from LOT and Orbis offices or the airport itself. Prices vary greatly and they depend on what route you're flying and what time of year it is. Also, most airlines offer reduced rates for children, students and pensioners. You can even get one if you're in tourist groups.

When you're planning to get around Poland by train you will rely on Polish railway network known as Polskie Koleje Panstwowe (PKP) or Polish State Railways which is fairly extensive and, without a doubt, covers most places you might wish to go. It is also the best means of transportation to choose while traveling long distances.

As for the train, there are three types to choose from: express, fast and ordinary. The fastest and most convenient is the express train that you can take while going to all big cities in Poland. It is also important to book a ticket in advance as the train only carries bookable seats. There is also one particular express train, called the Intercity Train that is far more luxurious as it offers, for example, a free meal to all the passengers. Apart from that, the Intercity Train is even faster as it does not stop on the route at all. The main destinations (from Warsaw) include: Katowice, Krakow, Gdansk, Szczecin and Poznan. The journey usually takes anywhere from three to four hours.

In regards to fast trains, they usually run at nights and do not require prior booking, as most of them take passengers no matter how crowded the train is. For example, even if the seats are sold out, you can always travel while standing.

An ordinary train, on the other hand, stops at all stations on the route and is considered to be the slowest train of all. You are not required to make any advance reservations when you are interested in taking this train. It is also important to add that this type of train covers mainly short distances. Ticket prices for all the trains mentioned above vary depending on the train you are taking. Fares for journeys on fast and ordinary trains are quite reasonable contrary to fares for journeys on express trains which are far higher. It also helps if you are a student and own a valid student card to show to the train conductor as it entitles you to a very reasonable discount. All the tickets can be purchased directly from the railway station as well as on the train.

In most major cities you will encounter another means of transportation: trams and buses (buses are operated by PKS -Panstwowa Komunikacja Samochodowa) which are basically considered the basis for public transport. They are very frequent and stop at every station on the route. Tickets can be purchased from a Ruch kiosk (newsagent) or directly from a driver and they are required to be punched in one of the machines installed near the doors right after boarding the tram or bus. Word of warning - the conductors are usually plain-clothed which do not make them look different from the ordinary passengers and foreign backpackers are their favorite target. Although checks by conductors are rare, they do happen from time to time and, if you don't have a ticket with you, you will be fined. When it comes to this, it is better to pay right away as it gets more expensive when you delay and have the fine sent by mail to you.

What is also important to know is that in some cities there is a flat-rate fare for local transport which means that the distance, as well as the duration of the ride, makes no difference. In other cities though, like for instance in Lodz or Gdansk, you pay for the time you spend on a tram or bus. Also, in cities where you pay a flat fare, you have to remember that once the ticket is punched, you cannot use it again which means that if you transfer from one tram to another you will need a second ticket. On trams and buses, like on the ones in Lodz, where there is no flat fare, after using some minutes of the ticket you purchased on one tram or bus you can use the rest on another.

There are also buses that, unlike the ones that run in cities, take you to numerous villages around them. These kinds of buses are very frequent. They typically leave every quarter of an hour or so. When it comes to smaller villages, "in the middle of nowhere," they may get only one bus a day. Also, if you want to be guaranteed a seat, it is advisable to buy a ticket at the bus station itself as the tickets are numbered. You might not be assured a seat when you get on the bus somewhere along the way and you buy a ticket from the driver. You should also be aware of the fact that apart from PKS, there are an increasing number of independent private bus companies in Poland that may be of great service to you as well.

For longer distances, you would be better off if you take a coach although they tend to be not comfortable and the journey times are usually longer than by train.

If you want to travel around Poland by car, car-hire agencies are there for you. Key conditions are your passport and valid driver’s license. Also, you are required to be at least 21, although sometimes the minimum age is even 25 (it all depends on the company). Before signing any documents, read the contract carefully and make sure you get everything right about the level of insurance cover as the driver may have to bear a large percentage of the loss should any accident occur. This insurance is very important in Poland as the car theft rate in the country is very high and creates a major problem.

In general, the transportation system in Poland is very efficient and does not cost much money. Also, these forms of transportation give the tourists as well as locals many options to choose from while traveling.
Zgubiony 15 | 1,553  
18 Jul 2007 /  #2
(PKP) - PKP-Railway Information
casianpopa - | 1  
4 Mar 2008 /  #3
Thread attached on merging:
public transportation


I m tring to find an advisore regarding setting up a company in poland for public intercity transportations ,a good site will do also :)
if you have a offer or a good site please don t hesitate to send it to
plk123 8 | 4,134  
4 Mar 2008 /  #4

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