Arriving in Poland – Trains and Airports
If you fly to Poland, you will likely land at Okecie, Warsaw’s newly remodeled airport, which lies about four miles south of the city. If you travel to Warsaw by train, you will likely arrive at the main station: Warsawa Centralna. Because it’s located right in the heart of the city, this is your best bet, unless you have a specific destination.
Though recently remodeled, Warsaw’s Okecie International is not as large as most international airports. Nevertheless, many of the amenities you would expect to find at a major airport are available in the new terminal.
Negotiating your way around Okecie may actually be much easier than getting to and from it. Taxi drivers going to and from the airport sometimes try to take advantage of foreigners who aren’t yet street savvy.
Because Poland is a much larger country than the others dealt with in this program, you will find that you have a greater number of different train stations to choose from. Although Poland’s train system generally runs efficiently, most train stations are old and often cluttered. Though first class is a designation that may be applied to certain train coaches, it does not apply to many train stations.
In the train stations of the larger cities, beware of pickpockets, thieves, and bands of children who can sleight you of your wallet with their tiny hands. You will be surprised at how quickly they can make off with the contents of your pockets and your backpack or handbag.
All major train stations post departure and arrival times on big reader boards that usually are situated above the main passageway to the train platforms. Arrivals are marked przyjazdy, and departures are marked odjazdy. Make sure to determine what kind of train you are boarding. Express and inter-city trains don’t stop at all the little towns along the way, while local trains do. You won’t travel quickly on a local train.
Because train travel is relatively inexpensive and therefore crowded, you should consider upgrading to first class on longer trips. You will be virtually guaranteed a quieter, more pleasant ride. First class cars generally are cleaner and less attractive to thieves, who tend to hang out in more crowded environs where they are less likely to be noticed.