Warsaw is a big city, so walking is an option only within specific areas, such as the Old Town or in Sródmiescie. For longer distances, you'll want to use public transportation or taxis.
Trams trundle down Warsaw's enormous avenues regularly from about 4:30am to 11pm and are the best means for covering large distances quickly and cheaply. The tram network will look highly confusing at first, but once you have learned the names of major roads and intersections, you'll get the hang of it. You can also get the free map of the tram and bus routes (www.ztm.waw.pl) from the tourist information centers. Warsaw Transport Authority (tel. 22/194-84) has public transportation information and usually has English-speaking operators.
Tickets costs 2.80 z per ride, and you can buy them from Ruch kiosks around town or almost any place near a tram stop that sells newspapers and cigarettes. You can also look out for the new ticket machines that have been installed at selected points. You may have a hard time finding a place to buy a ticket in the evening, so buy several during the day and stock up. You can also buy reasonably priced long-term tickets: for 1 day (9 z), 3 days (16 z), and 1 week (32 z). The Warsaw Tourist Card (www.warsawtour.pl), issued by the Warsaw City authorities, is available at various places, including tourist information centers. It gives access to public transportation, and free or discounted rates for attractions, restaurants, and hotels. A 24-hour card costs 35 z; a 3-day card is 65 z.
Buses supplement the tram network and run pretty much the same hours and use the same ticketing and information system. The bus layout is even more confusing than the trams, so get specific directions to your destination.
DIY Sightseeing: Hop-on-Hop-off -- You can easily see the top sights in town using public transportation. Bus no. 180 runs daily from the Powazki Cemetery to Wilanów and passes by the Old Town and Royal Route in its 1-hour north-south traverse. Weekends from July to August, Tram T, a restored historical tram, is a loop service starting from pl. Narutowicza. It trundles into Praga and passes through places like the Socialist Realism housing project pl. Konstytucji. For both options, a day ticket is all you need.
Warsaw has a small subway (metro) system, and most likely, you won't use it. There's only one functioning line, and it connects the center of town to the districts in the north and south of the city. A much-needed east-west line is under construction, but it won't be ready till late 2013. Tickets are the same as for the buses and trams, and must be validated before boarding the train.
Taxis are a cheap and reliable way of getting from point A to point B. The meter starts at 6 z. The rates vary depending on the company. Expect to pay about 25 z for in-town destinations. Dishonest drivers have been a problem in the past, but the situation is improving. Nevertheless, use only clearly marked cabs and always make sure the driver has switched on the meter. It is also common to book by phone, even when there's a taxi rank nearby. Most of the time, there are English-speaking operators who can help you. Good choices include Merc Taxi (tel. 22/677-77-77), Super Taxi (tel. 196-22), and MPT (tel. 191-91).
Cycling in the city is getting more common, but it's still viewed by many as a suicidal undertaking. The bike rental shop Wygodny Rower (Stawki 19; tel. 888/498-498; www.wygodnyrower.pl) is open weekdays from 11am to 7pm and on Saturday from 10am to 3pm. The Oki Doki Hostel also has bikes for rent.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.