Europe

Warsaw Chopin (WAW) Airport First Timer’s Guide: Things To Know!

Updated on:  
October 21, 2021
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Chloe Lay
Chloe Lay
Contributor
https://chloelaywrites.co.uk/Follow us on Linkedin
Learn about Warsaw's Chopin (WAW) Airport, because why not get a head start so that you can travel with ease? From transportation, accommodations, to getting around, we're gonna cover all you'll need to know about the WAW airport. Keep reading!

Warsaw, the capital city of Poland, is becoming more and more popular as a tourist destination every year. And with picture-postcard architecture and streets, a historic old town, and fascinating museums to visit, it’s easy to see why.

There are so many things to do in Warsaw, you’re sure to have a great trip.!

If you’re flying into Warsaw, though, getting around the airport can be tricky. Fortunately, we’re here to help. Read on for a quick and simple guide to Warsaw’s airports.

Where Is Warsaw Airport?

The first thing you should know about traveling to or from Warsaw by plane is that the city is actually served by two international airports.

The main airport in Warsaw is the Warsaw Chopin Airport (airport code WAW), named after the famous composer and former resident Frédéric Chopin. It’s just 8km (just under 5 miles) from the city center and is the busiest airport in Poland.

The other international airport is the Warsaw Modlin Airport (airport code WMI). It’s about 40km (25 miles) to the north of central Warsaw and is more popular among budget airlines that operate only within Europe.

When you book a flight, make sure you know exactly which airport you’re flying into or out of—you definitely don’t want to be trying to check-in at the wrong place!

Getting Around Warsaw Airport

Navigating around an airport can be tricky, but both airports in Warsaw provide maps on their websites to make things a little easier.

Chopin warsaw Airport’s Departures floor.
Image courtesy of Warsaw Chopin Airport.
Modlin warsaw Airport map.
Image courtesy of Warsaw Modlin Airport.

Both airports in Warsaw have only one terminal, meaning you don’t have to worry about shuttling between terminals to make sure you’re at the right place.

How to Get from the Airport to the City Center

Since most travelers will fly into Chopin Airport, let’s take a look at the options for transportation into the city from there. There are a number of ways to get from the airport to the city center—we recommend taking public transport.

Three public buses run between the airport and the city center: the 175, 188, and the N32 (which is a night bus). Check out the bus timetables, fares, and ticket information before you travel so you know which bus will be the best option for you. Buses depart from the lower level of the terminal building, next to the arrivals hall. (Buses drop off from the city center outside the departures entrance, but you won’t be able to board a bus there.) 

Public transit from Warsaw airport to city center.
Photo by Valik Chernetskyi on Unsplash

Alternatively, you can take the train directly from the airport building. The RL and the S2 both run between Chopin Airport and the city center, and the RL also runs to Modlin Airport.

Public transport tickets in Warsaw are a bargain. Buy a daily ticket for use on all trains and buses for just 15zł (about $3.75), or you can buy 20-minute, 75-minute, or 90-minute singles for even less.

If you’re traveling in a group or have a lot of luggage, it may be more convenient to take a taxi. A taxi between the airport and the city center should cost around 40zł (about $10), but it’s important to be wary: Always ride in licensed taxis that display the tariff clearly in the window. Chopin Airport’s website recommends a taxi company, so we suggest following their suggestion and calling ahead if you’re unsure!

Covid Rules at Warsaw Chopin Airport

Traveling these days means you need to plan ahead to think about any covid-related rules and restrictions that may affect your trip. If you’re flying to or from the Chopin Airport, you’ll need to look at the covid rules for your country of departure and your country of arrival. Make sure you have all the right paperwork and information with you, such as proof of vaccination and/or a negative test, and a passenger locator form.

If you need to get a covid test at Chopin Airport, there are several test centers around the airport. Test points include one at gate 34–35, two at baggage reclaim, and two in the arrivals area.

How Early to Arrive for an International Flight

With extra rules and regulations in place all over the world, most airports and airlines are recommending that passengers factor in additional time to get through the airport. Chopin Airport has been suggesting that anyone traveling should allow for at least an extra 30 minutes. So, if you’re traveling internationally and have bags to check-in, we suggest arriving at least 2½ to 3 hours before your flight is due to leave.

Hotels Near Warsaw Airport

There are several great places to stay in Warsaw, but if you’re looking for hotels near Warsaw Chopin Airport, don’t worry—you’ll have plenty of choices.

One good option is the Hampton by Hilton Warsaw Airport, which is just minutes from the airport itself. A free shuttle runs between the airport and the hotel, meaning it’s easy to travel between the two. Breakfast is also included in the price of your stay.

Traveling on a budget? Try the Sangate Hotel, where prices start at $34 per night (for an economy room). It’s also only 900 yards from the airport itself.

If you’re looking for a bit more luxury, Courtyard Warsaw Airport (by Marriott) is a four-star hotel just a 3-minutes walk from the airport.

Alternatively, splash out even more on a five-star option, the Renaissance Warsaw Airport Hotel. This hotel is also an easy walk from the terminal building.

Can You Sleep in Warsaw Airport?

If you find yourself looking for a place to get a bit of shut-eye inside the terminal building at Chopin Warsaw Airport, there are a few good places to go.

If you head through security, there’s plenty of comfortable seating with no armrests, so you should be able to find somewhere to lie down. There are also five executive lounges in the airport. None are open overnight, but it could still be worth splashing a little extra cash if you’re looking for a spot to snooze during the day.

If you’re struggling to doze off, there is free unlimited Wi-Fi at Chopin Airport, so it won’t cost an arm and a leg to entertain yourself.

City of warsaw
Photo by Maksym Harbar on Unsplash

Time to Start Planning!

Now that you’re an expert in air travel in and out of Warsaw, it’s time to start planning your trip.

Don’t forget to try out our travel planning app, Pilot! We provide a space for you and your travel buddies to keep all the travel plans organized—transportation, accommodation, and activities all in one place.

Leave the stress at home and make organization a breeze, giving you more time to enjoy your travels. Try it out now!

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