Morskie Oko is the largest and most beautiful lake in the Polish Tatras mountains, lying in the upper part of the Valley of Rybi Potok. It is located at an altitude of 1395m above sea level, opening up breath-taking views. Hiking to Morskie Oko takes about 18km both ways – longer if you decide to walk around it, or up to another lake to see the view down from the top.
Travelling to Morskie Oko
To get to Morskie Oko, you have to travel to Zakopane, the mountain city in south Poland. Check out my guide here to find out how to get to Zakopane from Krakow.
Once you arrive in Zakopane, you have to take a bus to Palenica Białczańska. It costs 10zl and your journey will include a few stops around the city. The bus isn’t hard to find at all because the buses have big signs on them.
You can also drive to Morskie Oko, but parking spaces fill up quickly so you might add a few extra kilometres to your walk by having to park further away. In high season, you might even be turned back!
The entry fee for the Tatras National Park is 5zl. You can pay by card or cash and there are food trucks and toilets available, too.
Hiking around Morskie Oko
Access to Morskie Oko is via a comfortable, wide, asphalt route with a gentle slope. If you don’t fancy the long hike though, you can also take a horse and cart for 40zl, but it’s not really recommended because it’s very hard work for the horses. The cart ride takes you to Włosienica, leaving a 20-minute hike to the lake.
At the halfway point, you can rest and refuel with the BBQ food and ice cream sold there.
Your hike doesn’t have to end when you reach the lake, though, and with a view that beautiful, you might want to stay a while. Conveniently, there’s also a restaurant and a hotel here to help you do so, but you’ll need to book several months ahead to get in.
After reaching Morskie Oko, you can stroll around the lake, hike to Czarny Staw (another lake located a bit higher), or even tackle Rysy, the highest mountain peak in Poland. Dolina Pięciu Stawów is also a good choice, being one of the most beautiful places in the Tatras mountains.