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Getting around Warsaw

Public transport

The Municipal Transport Board - ZTM (tel: 19115, in Poland only; www.ztm.waw.pl) operates the bus, tram and metro network, connecting all parts of Warsaw. Night buses converge on Ulica Emilii Plater, next to the Palace of Culture and Science.

Tickets, valid for all modes of transport, are available at Ruch and Relay kiosks, post offices and some shops and hotels. It is also possible to purchase tickets on board buses, but a surcharge applies. With every change of vehicle, you must punch a new ticket in the metal boxes inside the bus or tram, or before entering the platform on the underground.

One-day passes are valid for 24 hours after you first punch the ticket. Weekend passes and group weekend tickets (allowing up to five people to travel together) are also available. Students with an ISIC get a 50% discount and children under seven years of age travel free. Pickpockets operate on some routes (especially bus 175 to and from the airport).

Taxis

Taxis in Warsaw are metered and can be hailed on the street, although fares are usually cheaper if the taxi is ordered by telephone.

Reliable firms include MPT Radio Taxi (tel: +48 22 19 191, www.taximpt.com.pl), Halo Taxi (tel: +48 22 19 623, http://halotaxiok.pl) and Super Taxi (tel: +48 22 19 622, http://supertaxi.pl). Unofficial taxis should be avoided; only use a taxi with the telephone number displayed on the top. Tipping is usually around 10% of the fare.

Driving

In the past decade, traffic congestion in Warsaw has increased dramatically. Many of the city's drivers travel at high speeds and perform dangerous overtaking manoeuvres, which may trouble nervous visitors.

Be mindful of tramway lines when driving as the tracks are not always on a separate road area. At red lights, a small green arrow indicates that it is permissible to turn right, but priority must be given to cross traffic. At intersections without lights, traffic must stop for pedestrians once they have begun to cross at zebra crossings.

Paid street parking is in effect and there are some underground car parks in the city centre. There is also 24-hour parking around the Palace of Culture and Science.

Car hire

Drivers must be at least 21 or even 23 years old (depending on the company). There is no mandatory insurance, although collision damage waiver is advised. The major car hire providers in Warsaw are Avis (tel: +48 22 572 65 65; www.avis.pl), Budget (tel: +48 22 113 91 10; www.budget.pl) and Europcar (tel: +48 22 50 01 620; www.europcar.com.pl).

Bicycle hire

Warsaw is a flat city and has some wonderful cycling paths especially along the Vistula River, but beware that drivers are not supportive of cyclists sharing the road with them.

The city's bikeshare scheme, Veturilo (tel: +48 22 19 115; https://en.veturilo.waw.pl), has docking stations throughout Warsaw and runs in spring, summer and autumn.

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Epic nightlife, rich history and fascinating culture make Warsaw, Poland’s capital, an exciting city to visit and explore

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Mercure Warsaw Grand

 The Mercure Warsaw Grand is conveniently located in the city centre, only 5 minutes from the nearest metro and 15 from the nearest train station. The hotels facilities include a gym, bar/lounge area and a restaurant. Mercure Warsaw Grand also offer transportation to and from Warsaw airport.

Radissson Blu Centrum Hotel Warsaw

The rooms at this top-class hotel offer a choice of three styles of décor ranging from 'Maritime’ and 'Scandinavian’ to 'Italian’. Each style differs through its colour scheme, furniture and layout. The Italian style is most whimsical. Staff are accommodating, and there's a first-rate fitness centre in the basement, featuring a pool, fitness machines plus massage and beauty services.

Mamaison Hotel Le Regina Warsaw

Mamaison Hotel Le Regina Warsaw is a cut above the competition. Located just north of the Old Town in a quiet neighbourhood, it’s housed in a gorgeous 18th-century palace and filled with period furniture. But the hotel is modern where it counts, with sparkling new bathrooms and Wi-Fi connection throughout. Rooms are bright, breezy and decorated in eye-catching chocolate and beige.

Hotel Bristol

Looming over the river, this stately property preserves the feel of a classic 19th-century hotel. First built in 1619, it opened for guests in the late 1800s, and was the first hotel to have electricity in the city – earning it the name 'Electric Hotel'. It has hosted everyone from monarchs to Sigmund Freud. Today, expect a blend of traditional atmosphere with contemporary service.

Premiere Classe Varsovie

It lives up to its name in cleanliness and prime location (very close to Warsaw's main train station) but this is a straightforward 'tourist class/budget' hotel with few frills beyond rather cramped en-suite facilities and a colour TV with a satellite connection. Wi-Fi access is available. What you lose in character, you'll gain in saving zloty for more interesting pursuits.

Castle Inn

Castle Inn Oki Doki has plenty going for it. It's the only hotel within the limits of Warsaw's Old Town, is stumbling distance from the Royal Castle, and is housed in a 17th-century tenement house that miraculously survived WWII. Rooms (most of which are 3-star, a handful 4) are colourful ensembles, each sporting a unique and playful theme, such as 'Alice in Wonderland' or 'Oriental Express'. 'Viktor’ is named after a reclusive street artist, complete with artsy graffiti.