Zakopane is situated in extreme south of Poland right next to Polish Slovakia border. It is deep in Tatra mountains and is a popular destination for Poles both during summers and winters. It is a well-developed town with right amount of tourist traps. If you are seasoned enough, you would easily avoid those & have a blast at this gorgeous place.

How to Get There

Zakopane can be reached in about 7 hours by bus from Warsaw. We used Polskibus service and the journey was great. WiFi in the bus was faster than average but we got caught up in traffic congestion. We eventually reached Zakopane after 8 hours.  One can also break their journey at Krakow, which is only about 2 hours by bus from Zakopane.

There is a train service also both from Warsaw & Krakow.

What to Do & See

After a brief running around to pick up our apartment key from our host’s friend, we settled in with this gorgeous view.

View from the apartment window

Day 1:

We reached in the evening and after a brief rest, stepped out for quick dinner.  Krupowki is the main shopping street of the town. All restaurants/shopping in at this street. It is cobbled and only for pedestrians.

Day 2:

We went to The Gubałówka Hill Funicular. It is situated right at the city centre. One can take two way tickets in which you can go up by funicular and come down by Chair Lift. There are number of marked & unmarked hiking trails in the hills once you get out of the funicular. Descent via Chair Lift is phenomenal. While the embarkation point is some distance away on the top, but being a bright clear day, we were rewarded with enthralling views. Once we were off the chair lifts, it was a 3 km walk into the town along the road.

Zakopane & surroundings as seen from Chair Lift

Day 3:

Today was a hiking day and the destination was Morskie Oko. It is a strenuous hike not because of the terrain which is an absolutely paved road but because of the distance.  It is 9 km walk from the point mini buses from Zakopane centre drop you till the Morskie Oko lake. But this effort was rewarded when we reached at the top to a heavenly view.  Whole trail hugs the Polish Slovakia border and many patches are without any tree cover.  There is one restaurant at the top and the food there matched the views from the window.

Morskie Oko Lake

Deft Tips:

  • Try Grilled Mountain Cheese which is called ‘Serki’ at Zakopane. It is smokey and a must have
  • If you don’t want to walk to or from Morskie Oko, there are horse drawn carriages available at 50 PLN per person one way.
  • Drinking water is available on your way to Morskie Oko. There are enough mountain streams churning out crystal clear water

Zakopane is a touristy town but still a place which should be on itinerary of anyone visiting Poland. We loved it here but 3 nights stay here is sufficient.