Train Travel In Poland
About traveling by train in Poland and buying tickets.
Travel by train is the choice of most experienced travelers when moving between cities in Poland.
Both of the tourist or persons not familiar with the system bulk buying tickets and using the system can be a daunting task.
I have lived in Poland for many years as an expatriate and have traveled many thousands of co-op members around the country on all sorts of trains. So I write this page with the perspective of inexperienced traveler.
In reality there are two train systems. There is the intercity train system and everything else.
You can buy tickets online for trains that run between the main cities. Here is a link to that page. InterCity Reservations
And here is a link that discusses the intercity trains. Intercity Trains Poland
Even though the intercity train ticket page allows you to buy tickets online when you use it, you might find it a bit difficult.
I live in Warsaw and when I want to travel between the cities I have one of my Polish associates go to the station and buy the intercity train tickets.
And when they want to buy intercity tickets, they do the same thing.
Now once you have the tickets and get on an intercity train travel is quite convenient. They are fast, efficient, and it is easy to determine the station that you are coming into the decide whether it is a place that you should get off.
That is not to say that as the tracks are continually upgraded that he will not run into delays. So even though the trains in the very high-speed capability, there are often delays due to construction.
Practically speaking, if you are a tourist coming to the Country and intended only to travel between the major cities that are served by the intercity train network, being a do-it-yourself travel arrangement maker may be okay once you work through the intercity ticket system.
But once you want to go to a station that is not served by the intercity train network, you enter a different world.
These trains are often overcrowded, slow and best used only by someone who speaks Polish.
Often it is very difficult as you travel on these trains to know where you should get off. There are no announcements and you suddenly come up on a train station and have to look at the sign to see if that is your stop. If you're carrying baggage it can be quite difficult.
Additionally you generally cannot buy these tickets online. Tickets have to be bought at the train station. And in many cases the people do not speak anything but Polish.
There are alternatives to you having to go to the train station.
Some people offer to buy your train ticket and send it to you before you travel.
But you should understand, that you will pay for that service. These people do not work for nothing.
If you work with the travel agency, a travel agency will generally make all your travel arrangements including arranging train tickets for you.
In an effort to say money and good percentage of the people like to arrange their own travel.
If you are traveling between cities and can use the intercity train system that probably makes sense.
But if you are going to travel to a station or city that is not served by the intercity train system, you are probably best served to have a travel agent make all your travel arrangements. If you allow the travel agent to set your hotels and everything else for you , they will as a matter of courtesy arrange your train travel.
And they will arrange it properly. And you are likely to find that you will have better travel arrangements, better accommodations for what you're trying to do and more time for yourself at the same or less cost than you would have paid had you done it yourself.
Once again, I say this from the perspective of someone who lives and works in Poland and does a lot of travel around the country as part of my work.
Here is a direct link to the page where you can make intercity train ticket arrangements. InterCity Reservations
And once again, here is the link to the page discussing intercity trains. Intercity Trains Poland
And here is a link to a page that discusses other trains to non-intercity train stations.