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Zakopane – best travel tips for visiting Polish Tatra Mountains

Zakopane in Polish means burried. This town is literally burried in snow during the winter. It’s a great place to visit all year round though. The capital of Polish Tatra Mountains is great for hiking, skiing and simply relaxing. In this post we are giving you the best travel tips for visiting Zakopane.

The town is located only 1,5 hour driving from Krakow and 6 hours from Warsaw. There are many buses from almost every city in Poland to Tatry.

It’s extremely easy to get there because it’s a very popular tourist destination. Check out this post for more transport information in Poland.

What to do in Zakopane?

Everyone will find something for themselves in Zakopane. Below, there’s a list of top tourist attractions in Polish Tatra Mountains.


Gubałówka (1,126 metres AMSL)

Gubałówka is a very easy mountain. You can get hike up to the top or buy a ticket for gondola lift. You’ll get to Gubalowka directly from Krupowki (main street of Zakopane winter capital of Poland).

Morskie Oko (1,395 metres AMSL)

Morskie Oko has been recognized as one of the most beautiful lake on the world by The Wall Street Journal. It’s very easy to get to the top. There’s an asphalt road leading directly to the lake. You can hike up or take a ride by horse-drawn carriage. Click here to read more.

Dolina Pięciu Stawów, Czarny Staw, Wodogrzmoty Mickiewicza, Rysy (1,583- 2,499 metres AMSL)

All of these peaks are located above Morskie Oko. Rysy is the highest peak in Poland. Don’t go there if you are not fit enough! Ascent is really difficult and dangerous. Remember that there’s a snow in Tatra Mountains even in the summer. Dress properly. Nevertheless, it’s worth to go there. Views from the top are absolutely breathtaking!

Kasprowy Wierch (1,987 metres AMSL)

Kasprowy Wierch is a great mountain for hiking. If you don’t like to get tired, you can use cable car to get to the top. In the winter Kasprowy Wierch is perfect for skiing and snowboarding.

Giewont (1,895 metres AMSL)

Giewont is located above Kasprowy Wierch. It’s not easy to hike there, but views are really great! From Kasprowy Wierch to Giewont, you’ll get in 2 hours.


Dolina Chochołowska

Dolina Chocholowska is he biggest and the longest valley in Tatra mountains. It’s 6 miles long and very easy to walk. To get there, take a bus from Zakopane winter capital of Poland to Siwa Polana. It’s the beginning of hiking trail.

Dolina Strążyska

This is the shortest valley, located in the Zakopane. Go to Strążyska street to find the beginning of hiking trail Dolina Strazyska is only 2 miles long.

Dolina Gąsienicowa

This is the most popular valley in Tatra Mountains.It’s about 4 miles long. The beginning of hiking trail is in Kuźnice. Take a bus from Zakopane to get there.

Dolina Kościeliska

The most beautiful valley in Tatra Mountains. It’s 6 miles long. Take a bus from Zakopane to Kira to find the beginning of hiking trail.

Travel tip: Remember that all mountains and valleys in Tatra Mountains are connected. You can mix hiking trails and achieve several goals at once.

zakopane tatra mountainsPools

Terma Bania in Bialka Tatrzanska

It’s great to relax in the pool and watch beautiful Tatra Mountains. The best time to go there is winter. It’s less crowded and it’s really amazing to sit in the hot pool when it’s so cold outside.

Terma Bukovina in Bukowina

It’s very similar to Terma Bania. Both Thermal Spas are very close to Zakopane and you can get there by bus.

Tatralandia Aquapark

So much fun! Tatralandia is in Liptowski Mikulasz at Poland-Slovakia border. It’s great place for families with children, it has many water slides, spouts and other attractions.

thermal pools tatra mountainsVisiting Slovakia

Slovakia is only 13 miles from Zakopane. It’s great gateway to explore another country and hike in the Slovakian Tatra Mountains.

Going to Krupówki

Krupowki is the most famous street in Zakopane winter capital of Poland. You will find there many shops, pubs and tourist attractions.

Don’t forget to eat the best Polish cheese- Oscypek with cranberries. If it’s clod outside, drink Grzaniec Galicyjski– hot Polish wine which is just delicious! It’s our favorite liquor.

Where to sleep?

You will find plenty of hotel, hostels and villas in Zakopane and its neighborhood.

We were staying at the luxurious Villa Gorsky. It was absolutely gorgeous! The house is huge and it was perfect for us and our family. Even though we were a group of 15 people, we had plenty of space. Villa is situated in Poronin. We really like its location- it’s close enough to Zakopane and still far from the hustle and bustle of Krupowki.

Where to eat?

There are so many great places to eat in Zakopane. If you are traveling on a budget, go to Bistro Grota. You can have a meal there for as cheap as 5-15 zloty. To try the best local food (with the live music in the evening) go to Siuchajsko on Krzeptowki. This restaurant is really awesome!

Our favorite patisserie is Coctail Bar Jagoda. It has amazing desserts, ice-creams, cafes, cakes, fruits, pancakes and more. Yummy!

Disclosure: We want to thank Villa Gorsky for complimentary stays. All opinions presented in this post are honest and our own.

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  1. Zakopane sounds like the real deal. Nice article, easy to read does not hit one in the face with blocks of text. Honestly, blogs like this one are the only way some of us get to travel, anyway. Keep up the nice job.


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