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Travel by bus/train from Warsaw to Gdansk without prior reservation?


Karex 1 | 3
20 Oct 2013  #1
Hello,
i'm really, really interested in visiting Poland next year as the country fascinates me!
I will arrive and leave from Warsaw as it's cheaper for me, but as soon as I arrive I will go to Gdansk then continue my travel (which finishes in Warsaw :).

So here is my question: can i catch a bus/train from Warsaw to Gdansk without prior reservation? It would be next august and I would arrive at 6h30. By extension, is Polskibus reliable?

Thank you very much,
Regards from Lebanon!
Harry
20 Oct 2013  #2
So here is my question: can i catch a bus/train from Warsaw to Gdansk without prior reservation? It would be next august and I would arrive at 6h30.

You don't need a reservation (unless you want to travel on a national holiday or other date when there are lots and lots of people who want to travel).

By next August the current work that's being done to upgrade the Warsaw - Gdansk railway line should have been finished, which means that the train will take a little more than half the time the bus takes (as well as being much more comfortable). I'd take the train.
OP Karex 1 | 3
20 Oct 2013  #3
Thank you very much Harry :)
Have a nice day.
Zibi - | 336
20 Oct 2013  #4
To answer your questions:

1. Polski Bus is reliable and you have to buy a ticket online for that (and be able to print it)
2. Some trains require you to buy a reserved seat so prior purchase is required (reservation). Otherwise, technically you will have to stand during the whole journey.
kpc21 1 | 763
20 Oct 2013  #5
You don't need a reservation (unless you want to travel on a national holiday or other date when there are lots and lots of people who want to travel).

With the exception of PolskiBus coaches.
Harry
20 Oct 2013  #6
Really? Has that changed recently? My Mrs took a PolskiBus a couple of months ago and bought her ticket on the bus with no reservation. I've never actually taken a PolskiBus and hope to never need to.
kpc21 1 | 763
20 Oct 2013  #7
Maybe they changed it recently, but previously there was no possibility to buy a ticket from the coach staff. For sure they are sold in offices on stations and online. You can buy a ticket online even a moment before departue and it will be OK, but as far as I know, it can't be bought from steward or driver. Unlike most of the other coach lines, where tickets are sold by drivers.

2. Some trains require you to buy a reserved seat so prior purchase is required (reservation). Otherwise, technically you will have to stand during the whole journey.

Not exactly. You won't buy a ticket without a reserved seat (unless all the seats are already bought, then you don't have guaranteed seat, but the price is the same). But you don't have to do it in advance. You can do it even in train, but if on the station there is open cash desk, you pay extra cash for it.
OP Karex 1 | 3
20 Oct 2013  #8
So if a resume:
I will find a way to move from a city to another one without making any reservation, there are other buses company other than PolskiBus and if all the seats in the train are reserved I have to stay standing but i'm 100% that i can catch the train.

Is that right?

Thank you again :)
kpc21 1 | 763
20 Oct 2013  #9
Yes. Or if you have mobile internet access, you can buy a ticket for PolskiBus online :)

Bus (other than PolskiBus) can be full and don't take you, but it is rather not likely to happen unless it's a day when everyone wants to travel (like national holidays just before weekend giving "long weekend").

Timetables of almost all bus companies are at: e-podroznik.pl, timetables of trains at: rozklad.sitkol.pl or rozklad-pkp.pl. Every of these websites has English version, only names of cities, towns, stations or stops are in Polish.
sobieski 107 | 2,128
20 Oct 2013  #10
Really? Has that changed recently? My Mrs took a PolskiBus a couple of months ago and bought her ticket on the bus with no reservation. I've never actually taken a PolskiBus and hope to never need to.

PolskiBus does only accept online reservations. My wife returned from a trip to Białystok last week, and wanted to catch PolskiBus, but despite the fact that the coach was half-empty the driver told he could not help her.

I do like the company though, I take the coach to £ódż often and cannot complain about them. I have never used them long distance.

Furthermore Harry, travelling by Intercity (as to Gdańsk) requires a reservation, TLK in 1st class as well, and TLK in 2nd class as well on certain routes.

Though you can of course buy a ticket from the conductor - but then it could be you have to move a few times during the trip if other passengers want to take their reserved seat.
OP Karex 1 | 3
20 Oct 2013  #11
Thanks I think i'll make all the reservations before leaving, via PolskiBus. But PolskiBus doesn't have a Poznan-Wroclaw line so i'll figure it out there :)
kpc21 1 | 763
20 Oct 2013  #12
Though you can of course buy a ticket from the conductor - but then it could be you have to move a few times during the trip if other passengers want to take their reserved seat.

If there are free, not reserved seats, conductor will book for you one of them. They have mobile cash terminals, connected with the reservation system. Sometimes it's funny when a conductor wants to sell a ticket, but can't do it, because there is no network signal. If there are no free seats, you will get something called "seat ticket without pointing a seat", meaning that you can sit on arbitrary free seat until a person having a ticket for it will come.

Once I had a situation when a person travelling with me had wrong ticket (with student discount, although he had no student ID with him). A new ticket sold by conductor had a different car and seat number printed on it, because the previous seat was still marked in the system as booked. Conductor printed also a paper confirming that the previous ticket wasn't used, but it had to be cancelled in a ticket office to get money back. Obviously he stayed on the same seat and it was not a problem, because the old ticket (or rather a part of it pointing a seat - previously, before they made booking seats obligatory, if somebody was booking a seat for extra fee, there were sold seperate tickets called "miejscówka", meaning "seat ticket" or something like this) was still valid.

Now "miejscówkas" are on the same paper as the main ticket. You would get a seperate "miejscówka" only if you are going to change a train - for a second train.
sobieski 107 | 2,128
21 Oct 2013  #13
If there are free, not reserved seats, conductor will book for you one of them. They have mobile cash terminals, connected with the reservation system.

Hmm...I didn't know this. Although on regional trains (Przewóż Regionalny) such as between £ódż and Warsaw you can only pay cash.
Harry
21 Oct 2013  #14
My wife returned from a trip to Białystok last week, and wanted to catch PolskiBus, but despite the fact that the coach was half-empty the driver told he could not help her.

Could be just that he couldn't be bothered to go to all the trouble of writing out a ticket and them making change for her.

Furthermore Harry, travelling by Intercity (as to Gdańsk) requires a reservation, TLK in 1st class as well, and TLK in 2nd class as well on certain routes.

Or at least you have to have an assigned seat: reservations, by definition, need to be in made in advance.
kpc21 1 | 763
22 Oct 2013  #15
Hmm...I didn't know this. Although on regional trains (Przewóż Regionalny) such as between £ódż and Warsaw you can only pay cash.

Between £ódź and Warsaw there are TLK trains by PKP Intercity and InterRegio train by Przewozy Regionalne. The TLK train on this route (if I remember it well - only in 2nd class) are an exception from all the TLKs - they don't have obligatory reservation of seats. It is because many people use them to get to work every day. They usually buy a single ticket for total month. To have a seat guaranteed, they would have to visit the ticket office every day to obtain a seat ticket for the train they are going to go by. So all the trains of PKP Intercity company, except the ones on the route £ódź-Warsaw in 2nd class, have obligatory reservation.

In Przewozy Regionalne the situation is different. As I know, the reservation is avaliable only for RegioExpress trains (they have Regio, InterRegio and RegioExpress) and it's not compulsory.

Although on regional trains (Przewóż Regionalny) such as between £ódż and Warsaw you can only pay cash.

The fact that conductors have mobile terminals does not mean that you can pay there by card. They are only for printing tickets, in some cases - for specific seats in specific train, in other ones - for specific route and time.

Generally train tickets in Poland are not for a specific train, but for a specific route and time. If a ticket isn't tied with a seat reservation (so in Przewozy Regionalne and in 2nd class in Warszawa-£ódź TLK trains) you can choose a later train or a connection on the same route with changing trains and a ticket will be still valid, unless it will expire. Tickets with seat reservation (so for most or PKP Intercity trains) are always valid for the time interval corresponding to the departue and arrival of the specific train, so for example if you are late, you can only obtain a paper confirming that a ticket wasn't used and return the ticket.
sobieski 107 | 2,128
22 Oct 2013  #16
Generally train tickets in Poland are not for a specific train, but for a specific route and time.

This is not completely true. Przewozy Regionalne and TLK belong to different operators, and their respective tickets are only valid on their own trains.
And if you with a TLK ticket want to board an IC train, you will have to pay extra, because the pricing is different.

The fact that conductors have mobile terminals does not mean that you can pay there by card.

I already paid often by card on an IC.
kpc21 1 | 763
24 Oct 2013  #17
You are right - tickets are for specific routes of specific types of trains. Even if you board a Regio train with a ticket for TLK, you must buy a new one, because they are different companies. There are exceptions:

1/ if you buy a ticket for a total month for TLK, you can use Regios on the same route

2/ in special cases if something fails, as written here: intercity.pl/pl/site/niezbednik-podroznego/przepisy-i-taryfy/honorowanie-biletow-pkp-ic-w-pociagach-innych-przewoznikow.html

* a train breakdown or accident
* if you were going to change a train and you lost it because of a delay:
- longer than 60 minutes
- shorter than 60 minutes on condition that you would have to wait more than 60 minutes for the next TLK train
* and the point 3 - I am not sure how should I understand it, Polish is sometimes hard even for native speakers using almost only this language :) I will translate it word by word.

If the passenger resigns continuing the journey due to a train cancellation or a predicted delay of the arrival greater than 60 minutes and is going to return to the departure station, having a valid ticket of our company (meaning PKP Intercity), can - without extra payments - continue the journey by the train of Przewozy Regionalne.

And you can buy tickets for PKP Intercity trains in the offices of Przewozy Regionalne, but they are still valid (with the exceptions mentioned above) only for PKP Intercity trains.

In terms of paying by card, probably PKP Intercity allows paying by card in trains, Przewozy Regionalne not (maybe their mobile terminals do not have this function).
Pawel32 - | 1
2 Dec 2013  #18
hello,
proposes a journey, a transfer from travelgdansk.pl


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