Travel and visas

Visa information

Since 21st December 2007 Poland has been a part of the Schengen Area, a zone without controls on internal borders which comprises of 26 countries (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland). Third country nationals may enter Poland if they are in possession of a valid travel document and, if required, a visa. Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 includes the lists of third countries whose nationals must possess a valid visa to cross external borders, and of countries whose nationals are exempt from this obligation. Detailed information on the border-crossing formalities and the list of countries whose nationals may enter Poland without a visa are available at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of Poland website http://www.msz.gov.pl/en/travel_to_poland/entering_poland. Conference participants requiring a visa are recommended to apply for it as early as possible at least one to two months prior to their planned departure to Poland.

Travelling to Białystok

Warsaw Chopin Airport  (Lotnisko Chopina w Warszawie in Polish, frequently called Lotnisko Okęcie by the local population) is the closest to Białystok. It is an international airport located approximately 10 km from Warsaw’s city centre. The detailed flight timetable is available at the Warsaw Chopin Airport website http://www.lotnisko-chopina.pl/en/passenger/Planning-your-journey/flight-timetable?cl=en&set_language=en.

LotDreamliner01
The Dreamliner on the Warsaw Chopin Airport

You can get to Warsaw’s city centre from the Chopin Airport either using public transport or a taxi. As of 1st June 2012 the Chopin Airport and Warsaw’s city centre are connected by a fast and convenient railway. The train ride from the Airport to the city centre takes around 25 minutes.

Warszawa Lotnisko Chopina 1
The Warszawa Lotnisko Chopina Railway Station

The service is operated by two companies –  the Fast Urban Railway (Szybka Kolej Miejska – SKM in Polish) and the Masovian Railways (Koleje Mazowieckie – KM in Polish).

Warszawa Lotnisko Chopina
The Fast Urban Railway (Szybka Kolej Miejska – SKM)

The Chopin Airport is served by three train routes all with stops at the most important Warsaw’s railway stations. Two of them are operated by the Szybka Kolej Miejska: S2 and S3. The third is operated by the Koleje Mazowieckie: KML. If you decide to get a taxi, choose one that belongs to a licensed company or book it by telephone.

You may find more useful information on the public transport in the Chopin Airport at the following websites:
http://www.lotnisko-chopina.pl/en/passenger/access-and-car-parks/access?cl=en&set_language=en
http://www.ztm.waw.pl/index.php?c=574&l=2

Hala odbioru bagażu - Lotnisko Chopina
The Warsaw Chopin Airport (Lotnisko Chopina w Warszawie), to baggage reclaim area

Warszawa Centralna, the main railway station in Warszawa, is located in the heart of the city. You can get here from the Warsaw Chopin Airport using public transport. There are three train lines from the Airport to the Railway Station: S2 (you should get off at the Warszawa Śródmieście stop), S3 (you should get off at the Warszawa Centralna stop), KML (you should get off at the Warszawa Centralna stop), and one bus line: 175 (you should get off at the Dworzec Centralny stop). Warszawa Centralna Railway Station has also direct train connections with many European capitals (Amsterdam, Berlin, Bratislava, Budapest, Kiev, Minsk, Moscow, Prague, Vienna). You may find more useful information on the international railway traffic at the Polish State Railways website http://intercity.pl/en/site/ec-en-m/international-railway-traffic.htm. The detailed railway timetable is available at the Polish State Railways (Polskie Koleje Państwowe in Polish) website http://rozklad-pkp.pl/bin/query.exe/en.

Poczeklania 1 klasy PKP Intercity Warszawa Centralna
The Warszawa Centralna Railway Station, a waiting room

In connection with the renovation of the rail bridge in Warsaw, trains travelling east and north (for instance, Białystok) leave from Warszawa Gdańska, without stops at the most important Warsaw’s railway stations: Warszawa Zachodnia, Warszawa Centralna and Warszawa Wschodnia. The renovation of the rail bridge should be finished by the middle of June. You may find more information on the renovation at the Polish State Railways website
http://intercity.pl/en/site/about-company/news/warsaw-changes-to-rail-traffic-organization-9th-march-%E2%80%93-15th-june-2014.html. In connection with the renovation of the railway tracks across Poland, since 27th April there will be a new railway timetable.

You may find more useful information on the travel to/from/across Poland by train at the Polish State Railways website http://www.intercity.pl/en

Złote Tarasy
The Złote Tarasy shopping and entertainment complex in Warsaw’s city centre

The Chopin Airport is also served by a network of long-distance buses. The long-distance bus terminal is located in front of the south part of Terminal A, at the arrival level. The detailed bus timetable is available at the bus terminal and on bus carrier’s website. The route from the Chopin Airport to Białystok is served by two bus carriers: Podlasie Express and Przedsiębiorstwo Komunikacji Samochodowej w Białymstoku. Long-distance bus tickets can be purchased online at the bus carrier’s website and, if there are free places on the bus, from bus drivers before departure. Without a purchased ticket there is no place guaranteed. The bus driver accept payment only in cash in Polish złoty.

Warsaw Modlin Airport is an international airport located approximately 40 km from Warsaw’s city centre, which is intended for low-cost carriers. The detailed flight timetable is available at the Warsaw Modlin Airport website http://en.modlinairport.pl/modlin-en-new/web/passenger/timetable/flight-board.html. You may find useful information on the public transport in the Modlin Airport at the website http://en.modlinairport.pl/modlin-en-new/web/passenger/access/location-1.html.