In my ongoing series, Living in Poland (Mieszka W Polsce), I write about everyday experiences and situations living here.
Despite the fact that I love living in Poland, not everything is easy here. I have personally had a lot of mishaps and problem situations to go alongside the many advantages of life as an immigrant here. When I solve them, I also want to write about them to help others out.
Today I cover life in Warszawa and using public transport. In Warszawa there are a few different types of public transport.
4.Metro train system
5.Local train system
6.National and international train system
I have written before about the fact that Warszawa seemingly has FIVE central train stations. I have also written about the excellent Bilet Weekendowy (weekend ticket) for travelling all over Poland. Today I write about the Warszawiaka – Warszawa resident’s public transport card.
If you live and work in Warszawa, or at least are registered living and working in Warszawa, you are entitled to the special Warszawa residents travel card. This is known as a Warszawiaka. This is different from the normal Karta Mieszka (city card), which even a tourist can get. If you live and work here, you should get a Warszawiaka card, which saves you a lot of money. Here is how to get it.
Where to get a Warszawiaka Card
You can get your Warszawiaka card from any of the transport offices in the city. These are located at some of the major metro and train stations in the capital. Examples are Warszawa Centralna, Świętokrzyska, Ratusz Arsenał, Dworzec Gdański and Dworzec Wileński. Here is a full list (though slightly blurred, apologies).
These ticket offices have limited opening hours so check in advance of your visit. Generally most of them seem to be open at least from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The below opening hours and rules are correct as of October 2010 at Ratusz Arsenal.
You need to physically go there. You cannot do this at a ticket machine. Doing it online is also a possibility but too long to wait and also slower to organise and more complicated than a simple 5 minute face to face chat.
What do you need to get a Warszawiaka Card?
I will make this easy for you. You need precisely all of these things. If you do not have one of them, then you cannot get a Warszawiaka. So get them all. I photocopied a physical copy of each, as well as bringing my originals.
1.Photo ID. Polish people can use their Polish ID card. Me, I can use either my Driving Licence or my Passport. I chose my passport.
2.Proof of PESEL or NIP. I don’t have a PESEL number yet. But luckily a NIP is also acceptable. I brought my original NIP confirmation document from 2017, when I first registered a NIP.
3.One passport sized photo. Easy.
4.PIT-37. You must have proof you are paying tax in Warszawa. All this information is on your latest PIT-37. It must be a PIT-37 from the latest tax year. Older ones are not accepted. So in 2020 for example, you need your 2019 PIT-37. Your employer is obliged to give you this. There is an annual PIT-11 that you are given. You convert this into a PIT-37 online.
5.Confirmation of PIT-37. Just having the PIT-37 Form isn’t enough. You need the confirmation.
6.One filled in application form
7.Payment. The price for 90 days is 250 złotych (£50) for use of ALL Warszawa public transport in zones 1 and 2 (strefa 1 i 2). Please note there is NO zone 3 in Warszawa so this covers you in the entire city! Amazing!
Choice of cards.
Once you have all your documents in order, you have a choice of which design you want on your card. Remember, Poland just doesn’t know how to do boring. You can get Chopin, Warszawa skyline, city map etc. I chose a map of Poland on my card.
If you follow everything I have written above and go to the office with all the correct documents, getting the Warszawiaka card shoudl take you LESS than 10 minutes! Now, that is something to love about life here!
Good luck! Powodzenia!