The best way to travel from Berlin to Warsaw

Dreaming of exploring vibrant European capitals? Look no further than Berlin and Warsaw! Despite their proximity on the map, each city boasts a unique identity and rich history waiting to be discovered.

Berlin, Germany’s capital, is a cultural powerhouse known for its art scene, historical landmarks, and energetic nightlife. Warsaw, Poland’s capital, offers a captivating blend of old and new, with stunning architecture, fascinating museums, and a thriving food scene.

Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an art enthusiast, Berlin and Warsaw promise an unforgettable travel experience.

Why should you travel from Berlin to Warsaw?

Berlin captivates travellers with its rich historical tapestry. But did you know a captivating adventure awaits just beyond the German border? Warsaw, Poland’s vibrant capital, is rapidly gaining recognition for its cultural treasures, charming atmosphere, and welcoming spirit.

The best part? Warsaw is within easy reach of Berlin, making it an ideal add-on to your European holiday. This guide explores various travel options, whether you prefer a short flight, a scenic train journey, or a comfortable bus ride.

buildings in Warsaw old town area
Travel from Berlin to Warsaw Old Town

How to get from Berlin to Warsaw

While Berlin captivates travellers with its historical significance, venturing beyond Germany’s borders unlocks the hidden gem of Warsaw.

Poland’s capital is rapidly gaining popularity as a tourist destination, offering a treasure trove of experiences for singles, couples, and families. Whether you seek a speedy journey or a comfortable ride, this guide explores the various travel options to get you from Berlin to Warsaw, allowing you to add another vibrant city to your travel itinerary.

The Berlin to Warsaw drive

For adventurous travellers seeking flexibility and scenic landscapes, driving from Berlin to Warsaw offers a unique way to experience the heart of Central Europe.

The journey unfolds along the A10 and A12 autobahns in Germany, leading you towards Frankfurt (Oder). Don’t be confused – this Frankfurt sits on the German-Polish border, distinguishable from its namesake further south.

The drive to the border takes approximately an hour and 45 minutes, covering roughly 142 kilometres.

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Continuing Your Journey to Warsaw: Navigating Tolls and Exploring Options

Once you cross the Frankfurt (Oder) border, you’ll enter Poland’s highway network, where toll fees apply. These tolls are typically electronic, so research the available payment options beforehand to ensure a smooth journey.

The road to Warsaw from Berlin is a modern marvel, boasting excellent quality and a 130-kilometre-per-hour speed limit. This translates to a comfortable driving experience, allowing you to cruise through the scenic Central European landscape.

Planning Your Car Rental:

For those seeking the freedom of the open road, renting a car is convenient. Major European airports, including Berlin, offer car rental services, allowing you to pick up your vehicle upon arrival. There are usually no restrictions on driving rental cars between Germany and Poland, making it a seamless way to explore both countries.

Considering a Stopover?

If you prefer a more relaxed pace, the vibrant city of Poznan offers a perfect stopover opportunity. This charming city boasts a well-preserved medieval town centre, ideal for exploring before continuing your journey towards Warsaw.

sitting on a bus
Buses from Berlin to Warsaw

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Catch a bus from Berlin to Warsaw

For cost-conscious travellers seeking a convenient option, buses offer a reliable and comfortable way to travel from Berlin to Warsaw. Most buses operating on this route are direct, whisking you away to Warsaw in approximately 7.5 hours.

Departure Options and Stations:

As of this writing, you’ll find a wide selection of departures, with roughly 14 buses operating daily between Berlin and Warsaw. Your journey will likely commence from Berlin’s central coach station, ZOB (Zentraler Omnibusbahnhof).

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How to get to the Berlin Central Coach Station

The bus station is adjacent to the Funkturm (Radio Tower) and the exhibition grounds. Berlin’s public transport network easily reaches the Zob.

Kaiserdamm U-Bahn station (U2 line) and the Messe Nord/ICC S-Bahn station (S 41/42/S46) are within 400 meters of the station. Local Berlin bus numbers M49, 139 and 218 go directly to the ZOB. Taxi, Uber and Hire cars are also available onsite.

The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin
The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin is a popular tourist attraction

Where will the Berlin-Warsaw bus arrive at?

No need to worry about navigating an unfamiliar city! Berlin’s Central Coach Station (ZOB), known as Zentraler Omnibusbahnhof, boasts excellent public transport connections. Situated conveniently next to the Funkturm (Radio Tower) and the exhibition grounds, the ZOB is easily accessible from various points within Berlin.

Here are your options:

  • Subway (U-Bahn): The Kaiserdamm station on the U2 line is just a short 400-meter walk from the ZOB.
  • Commuter Train (S-Bahn): The Messe Nord/ICC station, served by lines S41, S42, and S46, is also approximately 400 meters away.
  • Bus: Local Berlin bus routes M49, 139, and 218 provide direct connections to the ZOB.
  • Ride-Sharing and Taxis: For added convenience, taxi services, Uber, and car rental options are readily available at the station itself.

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Berlin Warsaw Flights

For travellers seeking the fastest option, a flight from Berlin to Warsaw provides a swift and convenient way to bridge the distance. Airlines like LOT Polish Airlines offer direct flights between the two cities, whisking you to Warsaw in under two hours. This can be ideal for those who want to minimize travel time.

Beyond Direct Flights:

Numerous indirect flights with a single stopover are available for maximum flexibility and potentially lower fares. Major airlines like KLM, Air France, and Lufthansa are among the carriers offering such connections. While the travel time will be slightly longer than a direct flight, these options can be budget-friendly and cater to various travel schedules.

Flying from Berlin to Warsaw

Travelling by plane from Berlin? No sweat! Thanks to the city’s well-connected public transport system, reaching the recently opened Berlin Brandenburg Airport (opened in 2021) is a breeze.

Here are your convenient options:

  • Express Buses: Frequent express buses labeled X7 and X71 depart every 5-10 minutes, whisking you between the Rudow underground station (U7 line terminus) and the airport terminals.
  • Airport Express Train: For a speedy connection, the Airport Express Train conveniently travels through Berlin Hauptbahnhof four times per hour.
  • Ride-Sharing and Taxis: If you prefer door-to-door service, taxis, Uber, and private transfer services are readily available at your Berlin hotel to take you directly to your airport terminal.

Landing in Warsaw: Navigating Your Way to the City Center

After touching down at Warsaw Chopin International Airport, you’ll have a few convenient options to reach the city centre.

trams on a street in Warsaw
Trams in Warsaw are a popular option

Public Transportation:

  • Trains: For a fast and efficient connection, hop on the S2 line towards Warsaw CBD (Central Business District) or the S3 line to reach Warsaw’s Central Railway Station. These trains offer a budget-friendly way to get into the city’s heart.
  • Buses: Consider the various bus routes serving different areas for a more comprehensive network. Bus lines 175, 188, 148, 331, and N32 connect the airport to various parts of Warsaw. Single tickets range from 3.40 to 7.00 Polish Zloty, making them a cost-effective option.

Alternative Options:

  • Taxis: Taxis are readily available at the airport and provide a direct route to your hotel. This can be a convenient choice, especially with luggage.
  • Private Transfers: Pre-arranging a private transfer service offers a hassle-free experience. Upon arrival, your driver will wait for you and whisk you directly to your destination.

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Unwind and Enjoy the Scenery: Exploring Berlin to Warsaw by Train

For travellers seeking a comfortable and scenic journey, trains offer a delightful way to travel from Berlin to Warsaw. With eleven departures daily, you’ll find a train schedule that perfectly aligns with your travel plans. Trains conveniently depart from Berlin Hbf (Hauptbahnhof) and arrive at Warsaw Centralna station.

A Speedy and Scenic Journey:

The first train departs bright and early, just before 6:00 a.m., allowing you to maximize your time in Warsaw. Night owls can relax on the last train leaving Berlin at 10:41 p.m. The train journey itself takes between 5 hours and 28 minutes and 6 hours and 15 minutes, whisking you through some of Europe’s most picturesque landscapes.

Onboard Comfort and Amenities:

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the comfortable surroundings aboard modern trains featuring first- and second-class air-conditioned seating. Feeling peckish? No worries! A convenient bistro-restaurant car is available onboard to satisfy your cravings.

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Effortless Connections: Reaching Berlin Hbf

No need to worry about navigating an unfamiliar city to catch your train! Berlin Hbf (Hauptbahnhof) boasts excellent public transport connections. S-Bahn lines S5, S7, and S75 conveniently link the station with Berlin’s eastern and western parts.

The U55 U-Bahn line also whisks you towards the government district, offering easy access to iconic landmarks like the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag Building.

Departing trains to Warsaw, utilize the above-ground platforms at Berlin Hbf to ensure a smooth and efficient transition for your onward journey.

Warsaw Central Station: Your Gateway to Exploration

Warsaw Central Station offers a convenient and comprehensive hub for travellers from Berlin to other destinations. Like many major European train stations, it features a network of arrival and departure platforms, ensuring a smooth flow of passengers.

from berlin to warsaw central station
The Berlin-Warsaw train is a popular mode of transportation for travellers between the two cities.

Essential Amenities at Your Fingertips:

There is no need to fret about last-minute needs! The station boasts a variety of shops and cafes catering to your essentials. Warsaw Central Station covers you if you require a quick bite, a new SIM card for connectivity, travel information, or cash from an ATM.

Onward Travel Made Easy:

A Polish Rail office is conveniently located within the station for those continuing their journey. You can seamlessly purchase onward tickets for domestic and international destinations, ensuring a stress-free travel experience.

Connecting to the City:

Reaching your Warsaw destination or exploring the city upon arrival is a breeze. Taxi ranks are readily available at the main entrances, offering a convenient transportation option.

A handy tunnel under the main road allows easy access to trams and buses, seamlessly integrating you with Warsaw’s public transport network.

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Navigating Warsaw’s Public Transport: A Ticket to Adventure

Warsaw boasts a convenient and affordable public transport network, perfect for exploring the city. To hop on trams and buses, you’ll need to purchase a valid ticket beforehand.

Purchasing Your Ticket:

Ticket Machines: Look for ticket machines conveniently located at most bus stops and metro stations. These machines often offer an English-language option, making purchasing a breeze.

Onboard Purchase (if no machine): While less convenient, some trams and buses allow ticket purchases directly onboard. However, this might require having an exact change in Polish Zloty coins.

Payment Options: Ticket machines typically accept cash (coins) and credit cards, offering travellers flexibility.

Finding Your Perfect Berlin Getaway: Accommodation for Every Traveler

Berlin transforms into a magical wonderland during Christmas, and finding the ideal place to stay is critical to a memorable experience. Luckily, the city offers diverse accommodation options to suit every taste and budget.

Tailored for Your Needs:

Whether you’re a solo traveller seeking a social hostel atmosphere, a family prioritizing spacious apartments, or a couple yearning for a romantic hotel experience, Berlin caters to you.

Christmas Market Convenience:

Many accommodations are near the bustling Christmas markets, allowing you to step out your door and immerse yourself in the festive cheer.

Exploring Your Options:

While this article mentions the Meininger Alexanderplatz hotels as a potential choice, numerous other fantastic options exist. To discover the perfect place, consider reputable travel booking websites or apps that allow you to compare prices and filter properties based on your preferences.

The best place to stay in Warsaw

Warsaw Welcomes You: A Haven for Every Traveler

Warsaw offers a delightful selection of accommodations catering to diverse needs and budgets. Whether you’re a solo adventurer seeking a hostel dorm, a family prioritizing spacious apartments, or a couple yearning for a romantic hotel experience, Warsaw has you covered.

Exploring Your Options:

Hostels, hotels, and apartments are readily available throughout the city. Hostels are perfect for those seeking a social atmosphere and a budget-friendly stay. Hotels provide a range of amenities and comfort levels, while apartments offer a more homey feel and additional space.

A Haven in the Old Town:

This article recommends Safestay Hostel near the Old Town and Royal Castle. While specific hostel recommendations become outdated quickly, highlighting this area is a wise suggestion.

The Old Town is a charming and central location, ideal for exploring Warsaw’s historic core. Travellers can research hostels or hotels in this area to find the perfect fit for their needs.

Planning Your Warsaw Adventure: Essential Tips

While finding the perfect place to stay is crucial, your Warsaw vacation itinerary deserves equal attention. Here’s a comprehensive overview to address frequent traveller queries:

Arrival Options:

  • Air: Warsaw Chopin International Airport is the main gateway, conveniently located 10 kilometres from the city centre. Major airlines like LOT Polish Airlines operate alongside budget carriers like Easyjet and Ryanair.
  • Train: An extensive rail network connects Warsaw to Polish and European cities. High-speed trains offer swift connections, like the 2-hour journey between Warsaw and Krakow.
  • Bus: Flixbus provides daily connections to Warsaw from various domestic and international destinations.
  • Car: Poland boasts a well-developed highway system, although newer EU-funded highways incur tolls. Consider car rentals readily available at airports across Poland and Europe.

Navigating Warsaw:

  • Public Transport: Warsaw’s efficient public transport network, comprising buses, trams, metro lines, and urban/regional rail, allows easy exploration. ZTM tickets grant access to buses, trams, and the metro and can be purchased at most stops or onboard.
  • Taxis and Ridesharing: Taxis and Uber are widely available throughout the city of Warsaw for added convenience.

Currency and Communication:

  • Currency: The Polish Zloty (PLN) is the official currency. Consider using a travel card like Revolut for multi-currency convenience and minimal withdrawal fees.
  • Mobile Connectivity: While Wi-Fi is available in many places, staying connected throughout your trip is important. Research and purchase a local SIM card before your departure to ensure seamless communication.

Additional Considerations:

  • Travel Insurance: Although Poland boasts a high-quality healthcare system, travel insurance remains a wise investment to safeguard against unexpected medical expenses.

Warsaw Awaits: Plan Your Perfect Polish Adventure

This comprehensive guide has equipped you with the knowledge to navigate your journey from Berlin to Warsaw. Warsaw, with its rich history, vibrant culture, and charming atmosphere, promises an unforgettable experience.

Exploring Beyond Warsaw:

Poland offers a treasure trove of destinations to discover if you want to expand your European adventure. From the medieval charm of Krakow to the breathtaking natural beauty of Białowieża Forest, Poland caters to diverse travel interests.

Start planning your dream Polish vacation today!

This revision maintains a positive and informative tone while avoiding subjective statements like “the very best options.” It also suggests further exploration of Poland without explicitly mentioning another country.

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Author Bio: Mark Wyld

Mark Wyld is a Father, husband, traveller, and writer at Poland Travel Expert and other blogs. I have accumulated a wealth of experience over multiple visits to Poland. Thanks to our friends in Poland, we stay connected to the nation’s pulse, ensuring that our content is up to date with our first-hand experience. The information on this website is backed by genuine expertise.