Before leaving for Warsaw, I booked my accommodation and looked at the various options of how to get there from Warsaw–Modlin Mazovia Airport. My initial thought was to get the train because it seemed like a straight route. However, things are never as simple as they seem. Well, not in my case at least. So, what happened?
Having retrieved my backpack from the carousel at Modlin Airport, I walked through the doors and found an ATM immediately to my right. Armed with złoty, I walked over to the desk selling train tickets. When I enquired about buying a ticket, I realised the journey wasn’t going to be quite as simple as I had initially thought. I looked to my right and saw a massive queue for the ModlinBus. That’s obviously people’s preferred choice and understandably so if it’s a direct route. Even if it was more expensive than the train, I was prepared to pay extra for a quicker, more direct route, like all the other people queuing up. I joined the long line of people and, when it was my turn, I asked for a ticket to the centre of Warsaw. To my surprise, the person at the desk told me the bus was full and I’d have to wait an hour for the next one. Rather than hanging around the airport, I joined the small queue that had formed in front of the train ticket desk and bought a ticket to the centre of Warsaw.
I asked again to check if it was direct. I was told that I would have to change trains. Not only that, but I had to first get a bus from the airport to the train station. Thankfully, I was able to get on the airport bus straightaway because it was there ready and waiting. After a 5 minute ride or so, we all got off and followed the signs for Warsaw, which were pretty clear, and got on the waiting train. So far so good.
The conductor came round and I said, ‘Warszawa Centralna’ because I needed to know where to change trains. She didn’t speak English, but she got out her phone and showed me a text in English with directions of how to get there. I took a photo of it with my phone because I really didn’t want to get lost.
I watched out for the stop and followed the directions. I got to the correct platform, but I had no idea whether to get a train from the left or right track. There was a train waiting on one side, but I wasn’t sure if that was the train I needed. I couldn’t see Warszawa Centralna written anywhere. I tried asking someone in uniform, but he didn’t understand English and had no time for me. Great! I waited and then asked someone getting on it and he confirmed that it was the train to Warszawa Centralna. I got on, sat down, and looked out of the window to make sure I didn’t miss my stop. I didn’t see any that said Warszawa Centralna, but I saw some people, who I thought had been at the airport, getting off. I also thought I heard someone say, ‘Warszawa Centralna’. I was a little confused because the station was Warszawa Śródmieście. I asked someone, ‘Warszawa Centralna?’, and he nodded. I quickly got off the train. As it was departing, I wondered if he was confirming that I was on the correct train to Warszawa Centralna rather than at the station. I went up to a lady and said, ‘Warszawa Centralna?’ and she nodded. I was still confused because there was no sign for it. I thought I might have to get a metro to it. However, when I asked someone else, who could speak English, he said it was the station I was at. Once I left the station and saw the Novotel building and the Palace of Culture and Science, I knew I was in the correct place. It must have taken me a good hour and a half to get there with a bus and two trains compared to one 40 minute bus ride.
I spoke to a member of the hostel staff about it and he was surprised at the difficulty I had had. He said there is a direct train from Modlin to Warszawa Centralna, but there was maintenance work or something going on at the time. That’s just my luck!
- Modlin Airport, a former military airfield, is about 40 kms from the city centre.
- According to the airport’s website, there should be a direct train from Modlin train station to Warszawa Centralna. I think I was unfortunate, but it’s worth checking that you don’t have to change trains should you decide to use this mode of transport.
- Warszawa Śródmieście is connected to Warszawa Centralna by an underground pedestrian passage. Because the latter serves long-distance trains, the train will probably stop in Warszawa Śródmieście. Just alight the train and walk up the steps until you leave the station. Look for the Palace of Culture and Science (pictured above), the Novotel, or the Marriott. If you see any of those, you now you are at Warszawa Centralna.
- If you book the ModlinBus online, in advance, it can also work out cheaper than taking the train. If you wait until you get to the airport, it will be more expensive and you won’t be guaranteed a seat.
- For simplicity, book a ModlinBus ticket online and that will remove all the stress, hassle, and guesswork. That’s what I’ll be doing next time I use this airport.
I have pinpointed everything on the map, so you can see the route I took.
Have your say
Which would you prefer, the bus or train journey?
Please note: I don’t have any affiliation with ModlinBus. I haven’t been asked to write anything for them; I haven’t been given anything free nor have I had anything paid for by them.