180 – the sightseeing tour bus

Bus 180 is simply a conventional service used by Warsaw’s shoppers and commuters which doubles as the sightseeing tour bus because its route takes in or passes close by to almost all of the city’s main tourist attractions.

The on-bus route map helpfully indicates which of the main attractions are close to which bus stop.

Warsaw buses are clean, modern, safe, frequent (in this case expect 4 or 5 buses each way in a one hour period Monday to Saturday with a less frequent service on Sundays and Public Holidays) although occasionally crowded so be prepared to stand for a couple of stops before getting a seat.

Warsaw buses are also extremely good value for money! A one-day rover ticket costs just over £1.00 while a three-day ticket is less than £2.00 and a one week ticket is under £4.00. As tickets are usable on any city bus, tram or metro the cost will cover other travel as well as excursions on the 180.

Catch the 180 and hop off wherever the fancy takes you to see the sites and then re-board to move on to your next destination. Good places to pick it up for the first time - if you are not too familiar with Warsaw - are probably by the Hotel Bristol, near the junction with Foksal on Nowy Swiat or at the Miodowa stop (opposite or by St.Anna Church just off Castle Square. Alternatively of course you will be able to find it near any of the sites mentioned below.

It’s a good idea to carry a tourist street map of Warsaw of the sort that can be found in the centre of every free and cheaply priced English language monthly tourism magazine and guide available in hotels and at news stands and book shops.

So where will the 180 take you?

The bus route runs from Wilanow, the beautiful Palace of King Jan III Sobieski, into Warsaw. You can pick up the Katyn Museum before coming to the glorious Lazienki Park and the Belvedere Palace.

Cross Three Crosses Square and get off at Rondo Charles De Gaulle if you fancy a visit to the National Museum or the Army Museum.

Enjoy bustling Nowy Swiat (why not coffee and cake at Blikles or pick up some books, CDs, Videos or DVDs at Empik on the corner with Al. Jerozolimskie?) and then along Krakowskie Przedmiescie with its many Churches and Palaces including the Presidential Palace. Look out for the monuments to Mickiewicz, Kopernik and Poniatowski.

If you hop off at the Bristol Hotel and head over the road down the side of the Europieskiej Hotel it is a few seconds walk to Pilsudski Square which you can cross to visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and stroll in the magnificent Saxon Gardens which lie just behind.

Back on the bus you shortly arrive at the edge of the Castle Square from which you can explore the Royal Palace and the whole of the famous Old Town including the magnificently restored Rynek – Market Square. For that you need to allow plenty of time to take in the sites, succumb to purchasing those postcards and mementos – by the way amber jewellery is the real thing to go for. Maybe take a horse and carriage trip around the Old Town. Enjoy a cold Polish Beer, a massive ice-cream, coffee and apple cake or indeed a whole meal at any of the outdoor bars on the Square. If you feel that you really deserve a treat why not some truly superb Polish cuisine of the very highest standard in the relaxed old world luxury of Fukiers?

By the way the City’s main Tourist Information Office is also on Castle Square if you are in need of further information or assistance.

The bus skirts the largely pedestrianised ‘Old’ and nearly as old - so don’t be put off by the name -‘New’ Town but allows you easy access to both. The ‘New’ Town is less commercialised and less well known but well worth a visit.

Then discover the Memorial to the fighters of the Warsaw Uprising and the Army Cathedral whose memorial plaques catalogue Poland’s military heroes and the suffering of the country.

Stray into the Krasinski Park to view the monument to Monte Cassino – part Nike and part mountain in its white stone symbolism.

Divert a little to explore the pitifully few remains of Jewish Warsaw, perhaps trace part of the outline of the Ghetto and certainly pause in thought at the memorial to the heroes of the Ghetto Uprising.

If you get off near the junction of Swietojerska and Andersa it is a few minutes walk up Andersa to see the monument to those who were deported by the Soviets in World War II.

Eventually at the end of the line – just after Warsaw’s upmarket Klif Shopping Centre - is Warsaw’s magnificent Powazki Catholic Cemetery – the final resting place of the great and the good not to mention many others and a massive military cemetery - with adjacent Protestant and Jewish cemeteries. With the “Avenue of Merit” and many magnificent memorials, including some superb stone carvings in Secessionist style, the Powazki is one of the great cemeteries of Europe.

In fact you can make the 180 Bus Route the backbone of an inexpensive exploration of all the main tourist sites over several days or use it simply as the means to hit a few key targets in a one-day programme. It’s cheap, it’s reliable, it makes good use of your precious time and it is as flexible as you want it to be and that’s the real attraction!

A single journey is 2.40zl reducing to 2zl between 9.00am and 2.00pm, for students that is 1.25zl reducing to 1.05zl per journey. Please remember you can only obtain student rates with an ISIC card!

There are a whole range of reduced rates to meet your needs:-

  • A ten journey ticket is 21.60zl (students 11.20zl);
  • A sixty minute ticket is 3.60zl (students 1.85zl);
  • A ninety minute ticket is 4.50zl (students 2.35zl);
  • A 120 minute ticket is 6zl (students 2.35zl);
  • A 24 hour ticket is 7.20zl (students 3.70zl);
  • A 3 day ticket is 12zl (students 6.20zl);
  • A One Week ticket is 24zl (students 12.40zl). If you are carrying baggage bigger that 120cm – or any framed rucksack (small ones are O.K.) you should have an extra 2.40zl ticket for each piece.

    Tickets are available at Kiosks, newspaper shops, news stands and post offices and are ‘validated’ on the first trip for which they are used – push (magnetic strip side down) into the little yellow machine near the door inside the tram or bus as soon as you alight – the ticket is then returned stamped with the appropriate expiry time and date. Make sure that you always carry a valid ticket.

    Tickets for Bus, tram and metro are interchangeable and any ticket allowing more that one journey can be used on all of them further adding to the convenience.