Zakopane is located 85 km south of the district capital Kraków, can be reached by train or bus. The big attraction by Zakopane is the Tatra Mountains which creates a border between Poland and Slovakia and boasts the highest range in the Carpathian Mountains that arc through Eastern and Central Europe. There are two Nationals parks, one for Poland and the other for Slovakia, however, the Slovakian side is over three times the size of the Polish National Park.
There is no end to the fun, adventurous activities in Zakopane – the perfect base to explore the Tatra National Park by hiking, skiing, or generally observing the jaw-dropping views in the Polish countryside!
EXPLORE THE BEST ACTIVITIES IN ZAKOPANE
Catch the Kasprowy Wierch Cable Car
If hiking isn’t your thing, you will not miss out if you take the cable car to the summit of Mount Kasprowy (1985m). It takes approximately 15 minutes and takes place in two stages with a change in Myślenickie Turnie (1325m). Once at the top, you can sit on the terrace by the restaurant overlooking the peaks of the Polish High Tatra mountains and the whole of Podhale region.
To reach Kasprowy Wierch cable car station – Make your way to Kuznice, the upper part of Zakopane. Please note that the road to reach Kuznice from the John Paul II roundabout is closed for private cars, so use the public minibus or taxis.
Trek to Morskie Oko Lake
If you are ready to hike to Morskie Oko, from Zakopane, give yourself enough time to reach Palenica Bialczanska as this could be anything from 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the traffic. It is best to go in the off-peak period to avoid the jams!
From Palenica Bialczanska, you can enter the car park at the Tatra Mountains National Park. From there, follow the 8 km walking trail to Morskie Oko, the largest lake in the High Tatras. The hike is not too steep making it open to trekkers of all levels.
Conquer Rysy Mountain
Rysy is the highest peak in Poland at 2,499 metres. It is a steep climb but not technical and will take between 10-12 hours so you should be an avid hiker and in good shape to complete the summit.
You can start from more than one place but the most popular is Palenica Bialczanska past the Morskie Oko via Black Lake to Rysy in the High Tatras.
> RELATED ARTICLE: DISCOVER THE MUSHROOM ROCKS IN STOŁOWE MOUNTAINS
Skiing on Tatra’s Slopes
In the winter months, one of the popular activities in Zakopane is skiing and snowboarding, mainly in the areas of Kasprowy Wierch, Nosal, and Gubałówka Hill. The Polish Ski Resort of Zakopane has direct access to 16 individual pistes with 20 ski lifts. The routes are varied which is perfect for beginners and advanced to enjoy the cracking views of the Tatra Mountains as they glide down the slopes.
Relax in the geothermal pool
After a hard day trekking in the Tatra Mountains, the best way to treat the aching muscles is a trip to the geothermal pools which are filled with the thermal water extracted from 2,4 km below the earth’s surface on the Northern – Western Hill of the Wysoki Wierch Mountain. You will find slides, classes, and a beautiful hotel if you want a complete getaway in the mountains.
Termy Buvokina is located in the pretty town of Bukowina Tatrzańska, only 15 km from Zakopane.
Indulge in Oscypek
Wander down Krupówki in Zakopane, you will discover many local products, jewellery, and handicrafts from the Podhale region. One culinary attraction you can’t miss tasting is Oscypek, a traditional highlander’s smoked ewe’s milk cheese, which is delicately carved and is surprisingly addictive!
HOW TO PLAN THE BEST ZAKOPANE TRIP
Plan ahead for your Zakopane trip
- Find the best hotel deals in Zakopane on Booking.com
- Get your private car transfer booked from Krakow
- Find the best train ticket deals with Rail Europe
- Download WeSolo Travel App to plan trips with like-minded travellers
Book your Zakopane tours
Disclaimer: Our article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one of these links, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps us to keep bringing you awesome content, trips, and partnerships!