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Earth > Europe > Eastern Europe > Poland > Warsaw

Warsaw (Polish:Warszawa, German: Warschau, French: Varsovie) is the capital of Poland.

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Hitching Out

Unfortunately for its inhabitants and fortunately for the hitchhikers, Warsaw does not have a district motorway nor is it linked to any major town with an expressway. As the city begins, most motorways and expressways end and turn into regular surface streets. This is largely due to the density of city construction and importance of existing city transit systems: The destruction of either in order to construct an inner-city freeway network is viewed as unbeneficial. This makes reaching a good spot for hitchhiking much easier, as most major roads in fact start in the city centre.

Droga krajowa 7 (E77) Radom, Kielce, Kraków

  • Cost from PKP (Polish State Railways):
  • Last verified: September of 2007
  • Directions: There are generally two places to hitchhike, one just outside the city centre and the other one in the commercial suburb of Janki.
    • Option 1: Get any tramway from the city centre (Aleje Jerozolimskie, Main Train Station, Centrum (Warsaw Metro)) going towards the final stop of {{{2}}} (9, 15, 25). Once you get there, there is a bus stop some 50 metres away from the tramway terminus further down the road. It is one of the usual hitchhiking spots in Warsaw and many drivers often drive slowly to check if there are hitchhikers waiting. It also has the merit of being located some 50 metres from lights, which give the drivers some time to see you. There is also a kiosk and a filling station located within a minute's walk should you need anything. This location has the downside of being a popular hitching spot for workers returning home for the weekend, usually to Kielce or Radom. It should be noted that for the most part, these people are not "hitchhikers", but simply individuals wishing to get a ride home, often in exchange for a small fare. As a result, rules commonly accepted amongst hitchhikers (such as waiting in line) may not be respected at this spot. Furthermore, drivers stopping to pick up passengers at this particular location are aware that it is used by migrant workers, not hitchhikers, and will often expect a small payment of about 5PLN. This can be avoided by making it clear that one is in fact a hitchhiker (for instance, by displaying a sign with the name of the destination, and by wearing a rucksack). You can get to Janki (described in the following option) by taking a public bus that stops a short way down the road.
    • Option 2: From the city centre, take the free bus to Centrum Janki (timetable), a large shopping mall district some 20 kilometres from the city centre. The best place to catch the bus is on Al. Jerozolimskie, just west of the Warszawa Centralna train station, near the WKD rail terminus. The trip takes 40 minutes to IKEA, and 45 to Geant. Once you're there, notice that the road splits into two separate roads. The earlier, eastern one (closer to the bus stop at IKEA) is droga krajowa 7 (E77) to Kielce, Radom, Kraków and the border with Slovakia in Chyżne. The other, droga krajowa 8 (E67) is located between IKEA and the Geant shopping centre, see below for more details.

Droga krajowa 8 (E67) (dubbed "Katowicka" or "Gierkówka"), to Łódź, Częstochowa, Katowice, Sosnowiec, Wrocław

  • Last verified: August of 2007

Follow either path mentioned above. In Okęcie there is a risk that the driver would only get you to Janki. In Janki itself however the road is easy to reach. The droga krajowa 8 (E67) is located between IKEA and Geant shopping centres, at most some 10 minutes walk from the free bus stop. If you wish to go down E67 towards Katowice, it is best to get off at the stop after IKEA, that is Geant. Further down the road there is a nice and wide shoulder so there should not be a problem with finding a decent place. The road itself leads to Piotrków Trybunalski, where it joins the pan-European droga krajowa 1 (E75). The latter connects Warsaw with Łódź, Katowice, Sosnowiec, Wrocław and all other major towns in the south. For Łódź leave the motorway at Rawa Mazowiecka, for Wrocław leave the road at Piotrków Trybunalski.

The E75 is also a possible connection to Kraków. While longer than E77 through Radom and Kielce (see above), it is in much better condition and much faster. In Katowice-Sosnowiec area the road ends, but there also starts the A4 motorway linking Silesia with Kraków to the east and with Wrocław and then the German border to the west. However, many hitchhikers going to Kraków take the straight route, often making the trip in one or two cars (switching at the roundabout in Radom), as many trucks going south from Warsaw to Kraków follow E77, rather than the detour through Katowice.

Going to Gdansk, Torun, Masuria

  • Where to: Gdańsk, Gdynia, Toruń, Bydgoszcz, Płock, Olsztyn
  • Cost from PKP:
  • Last verified: July 2006
  • Directions: There are generally two main routes, both starting at the Plac Wilsona sq.
    • Option 1: Go to last Metro Station (Plac Wilsona) or to the final tram stop of Tram 15 and take bus L towards Łomianki (private line; timetable). Get off at the stop called Woycickiego (you should press the bell as the bus doesn't always stop there; the list of bus stops is within the bus itself and all bus stops are visibly marked). This is a perfect place to hitch-hike northwards, there is a lot of space for cars to stop. For Toruń, leave the road at Płock.
    • Option 2: Go to the Metro station Plac Wilsona and take bus 181 towards Cmentarz Północny. Get off at the stop called Dzierzoniowska and from there you'll see the main road leading northwards. The road is fairly straight and has plenty of good spots to hitch-hike. An additional pro is a McDonald's eatery located nearby with a toilet free of charge.

For Bydgoszcz and Toruń leave the road at Płońsk and take the national No. 10. For Olsztyn - ask the driver (plenty of options, no main road)

Hitching place to Poznan and Germany

Going to Poznan and Germany

To go in the direction of Poznan and Berlin: Take the tram 26 and get off at Fort Wola. There you can get in the bus 713 and get off at the last but one stop. The stop is just around the corner, you can stand at the street, there's a bus stop where cars can stop and a street lantern so you can also stand there in the dark.

    • Traffic is going too fast
    • Trucks cannot stop for you because there is not enough space on the bus stop.

A better option is to get off the bus some kilometers before (forgot to write down the bus stop) where there is an ORLEN petrol station on the right-hand side of the road (forgot the name of it but it is reddish). Do not hitch rides at the petrol station as mostly local people stop there, but there is a lot of space for cars and trucks to stop in front of the petrol station. Holding a POZNAŃ sign could help.

Going to Bialystok and Lithuania

  • Last verified: August 2008

To go in the direction of Bialystok and Lithuania: Take tram 25 from Central Station or any tram from Metro Ratusz. Get off at Dworzec Wilenska/Park Praski tram stop, walk right down the underground passage, walk out the other side and turn right onto the bus top. This is situated beside the big clock on the commercial building. Catch bus 718 until the 2nd from last stop (this is where the bus turns). Note that the 718 goes outside of the city limits and an additional ticket is required. The first stop outside the central fare zone is a place loved by controllers, so beware.

You can hitch from the traffic lights, there is a street light, which helps at night. You can also hitch from the bus stop but The cars go very fast and appear reluctant to stop.

Also, if all of the above is bad, walk for 30 minutes from the 718 bus stop (see above), in the direction of Bilaystok, and you will come to traffic lights that are better for hitch hiking and where more cars stop. Niall Dolan waited 2 minutes.

Traffic from Warsaw into Lithuania stops at the Budzisko-Kalvarija border checkpoint. There is a series of petrol station past the Budzisko-Kalvarija border checkpoint. If you are heading to Estonia, Finland or Russia, you might want to stop at the busiest one and get a trucker from there.

Going to Lublin and Ukraine

To go in the direction of Lublin: From Central Station, get on tram 9, 22, 24 and get off at Rondo Wiatraczna station, from there get bus 704, 720, 722, 730 and get off at the Szosa Lubelska station. Try to hitchhike right from the bus-station at Szosa Lubelska.

Going to Brest and Belarus

To go in the direction of Brest: From Central Station, get on tram 9, 22, 24 and get off at Rondo Wiatraczna station, from there get bus 704, 720, 722, 730 and get off at the Szosa Lubelska station. Try to hitch right from the bus stop at Szosa Brzeska