My flight departs at 6am,I wonder what is the best means how can I get to airport? I check taxi costs around 40 PLN, the apartment owner offers me 100 PLN one way(is it a ripoff?) . I understand it is not a normal hour. I am afraid to stay on the street to wait for taxi as a female solo traveler. Can I use Uber service? Or any reliable means? Worse case I can depart apartment at 10pm the prior night and stay at airport. Please advise. Thanks.
100 sounds like a ripoff to me.
Here is my experience, in July 2018, below. For context, we were traveling as a couple. Our flight departed from WAW at 10:25 am, so not nearly as early as yours. We were out on the street looking for a taxi at around 7 am (I like to get to the airport with plenty of time). Here's my write-up of what happened to us...
Our day began early with a hunt for a taxi. We had spent our last night deep in Warsaw’s old town, where driving is limited and there are no cabs readily available. Fortunately, we were just a short slog from a portal (a gate through the old city walls) to the New Town, where cars are allowed and where we had seen taxis the night before, so we grabbed our bags and headed there to look for a cab.
It was pretty early in the morning and there wasn’t much traffic on the streets but we quickly spotted a lone cab and flagged him down. The driver started going for our bags and I stopped him to negotiate. Rick's guide book said a cab to the airport should not be more than around zł 40 – 50 (Poland’s currency is the złoty; at the time, 40-50 złoty was around US$10-13). I asked how much to the airport. He replied, “one hundred and fifty.” Incredulous, we stopped, looked at each other, and checked our book again. Then we laughed, and said no firmly. He asked how much we thought it should be. We said the book suggested no more than 40 to 50, and showed it to him. He said, “OK, 100.” Nope. “OK, 80.” Nope. “Come on, that’s just 20 Euros,” he whined. We said no and moved to pick up our bags. He shouted “seventy five” as we started walking away. “No,” I replied. He gave us a dirty look and just drove off.
We saw no more taxis for the next 10 minutes as we wandered the streets. I was starting to get worried – we had a plane to catch. Then I spotted a taxi a couple blocks away. The cab pulled up and parked in front of a portable toilet on the sidewalk. The cab driver got out, and went into the port-o-potty. We hurried down the block to the cab. The driver emerged from the loo, having finished his business. I smiled and said “English?” He shook his head but then said “a little”. I said “OK…to airport…how much?” He shrugged, thought a minute, then held up his hands, flashed all 10 fingers – once, twice, three times, then wiggled one hand, which I took to mean, “more or less.” I returned the sign-language, 30 more-or-less, followed with an “OK” sign. He nodded yes, we jumped in, he switched on the taxi meter, and off we went.
When we got to the airport (a trip of about 15-20 minutes), the meter read 28 złoty. I handed him 35 (less than US$10) and we parted with smiles and a wave.
Your situation is a little different, but not that different. 100 złoty is about US$26 at current rates. That's more than it should be - yes, it's early, but there will be no traffic and I'd expect the drive to be about 10 minutes at that hour. Still, although I think 100 złoty is indeed a ripoff, if $26 gets you a safe, reliable ride then that may be worth the cost (even if it's inflated).
Personally, my view of Uber is that it may work fine (and often does), but if I really need to be somewhere on time and reliably, I take a taxi. If I were you, I would look some more for a taxi booking service or other ride booking service.
I was in Warsaw in early October and took Uber from a city center hotel to the airport at 6:55 a.m. for 28 PLN. You are departing earlier, so I can’t tell you how available they are that early in the morning, but just wanted to share the rate.
I will be back there again in February, so I will be interested in knowing if you try Uber and it is easy to get that early in the morning.
I was also a solo female traveler when I was in Warsaw. I always stayed the night before my flight out at the Airport Hotel Okecie, which has a free shuttle service that leaves every half hour around the clock. (https://airporthotel.pl/en/shuttle-bus). It was just easier and gave me peace of mind to know I was basically already at the airport, and definitely had a ride there. It also has a nice little restaurant. It looks fancier than it costs, if that makes sense. For example, I plugged in come random dates for next week and got a room for 287PLN - or about $75.
Thanks David, SandyO and Allison.
David, what's an experience. I would be more vulnerable as I have no ground to negotiate in the early morning without much taxi around.
Sandy, I will be there in May. You will be there in Feb, you may share your experience with us after your trip in Feb.
Allison, what a good idea. I will check out the hotel.
Worse case scenario, I take public transportation (Train) to airport the night before, if I can manage the weight of my luggage.
Alas, this is another drawback of staying in an apartment instead of a hotel, with a front desk. Warsaw is not expensive, and it's hard to believe you're saving that much money by taking a local apartment off the market, for an investor's benefit.
Anyway, the meter price estimate of 40 zl. (unbelievable, right?) is quite accurate. Because 100 zl. is not a princely sum for Americans, if you are afraid for your personal safety, take the car service offer. We don't know where your apartment is, or, really, how safe the area is. But Warsaw is a sophisticated, big city. I'm male, not female, and my big worry would be finding a cab to hail. Have you looked at any taxi doors for phone numbers? Why not take a cab NOW, to some museum, and get the driver's card. You are making this harder than it is.
In several big Polish cities, in 2019, we were pleasantly surprised to experience zero taxi-hustling and zero attempts to go off-the-meter or otherwise deceive us.
I just got back from Warsaw and promised to share my experience with the group. I took Uber throughout the city (from work to the hotel and back). However, I did not take Uber to the airport. Like you, I had a 6:00 a.m. flight and my work colleagues told me is was challenging to get Uber so early in the morning. I had my hotel arrange a car service. It was 90PLN from the Sheraton in the city center to the airport.