In my series “Mieszka W Polsce” (Living in Poland) I detail all the best ways to organise your life while living here as a foreigner, immigrant and tourist like me. These are all personal first hand posts and experience from my loving honest heart. For anyone living in Warszawa, even just for a few months, it is worthwhile getting a “Warszawska Karta Miejski“. Warszawska Karta Miejski translates as Warsaw City Card. It is used for public transport in the city and is so handy as well as saving you a lot of time and money if you are here for a few months. I got one in 2016 and then I changed to a Warszawiaka card as I am a longer term resident now. I explained how to get a Warszawiaka Card here. However, the normal city card, the first one I got is a Basic Warsaw Travel Card (Warszawska Karta Miejska) and my first one of these looked like this –
What is a Warszawska Karta Miejski?
It is a card that allows you to use the public transport system in Warszawa. It avoids the need for buying tickets every time you hop on a bus. You can use four types of public transport with it:
- city trains (not the long distance ones but includes the train to Lotnisko Chopina!)
How to get a Warszawska Karta Miejski
There are two ways to get a Warszawska Karta Miejski.
- In person at a train station.
I love doing things face to face and paying in cash so I recommend doing it this way. You need to visit any major train or metro station in Warsaw that has a ticket office. I got mine at Dworzec Wilenski, but most major stations sell and issue them on the spot. The advantage of going face to face is you will have your card in your hand within 20 minutes, something not possible online. Tradition wins my friends, yet again! You will need 5 main things:
I took my passport in as Identification, it should be an official document with your photo on it. A Polish residency card, official student card or driving licence is probably also OK.
2.A head and shoulders photo
Your photo goes on the Warszawska Karta Miejski so you’ll need to take in a photo, passport size of your head and shoulders, for use on the card. You surrender this. It must be in colour.
If your address is not on your Identification (which mine wasnt) then you will need to provide proof of your address. A bank statement or a rent agreement should do. Though to be honest i heard from others who wrote a fake address and that worked.
4.A filled in application form
Either print it from the internet or fill it in inside the ticket office (as I did).
You can pay in card or cash and as of 2021, the cost of this was 290 zlotych for 3 months in zone 1 only, and over 300 zlotych including zone 2. This will probably rise.
You can choose your Card style
There are over 10 different designs on the Warszawska Karta Miejski to choose from. As you can see I chose the Frederic Chopin one to begin with.
If you want to get the card online, the irony is you still need to go to the train station to get it anyway, as they need to verify your ID, so to me, it seemed even pointless getting it online as it took me less than 10 minutes at the train station itself. I went to Dworzec Wilenski in Nowa Praga which seemed a fast and easy option. However, to get it online, you can follow the instructions on here – http://www.ztm.waw.pl/index.php?c=557&l=2
Do I need a new Warszawska Karta Miejski every three months?
No. You keep the same one and renew it.
Can anyone use my Warszawska Karta Miejski?
In theory during those three months yes. But do you really want to risk that? If you’re out of the city for a few days and give your card to a friend it’s still a risk. Your photo is on it as well as your name. Your address is also registered so it’s better not to do that.
What transport can I NOT use it on?
Pretty much anything other than bus, tram, metro or train. Taxis, helicopters, boats etc. are not covered.