Poland is becoming more and more popular as a tourist destination. It’s not only full of traditions and rich in history, but also is affordable and beautiful. But whenever someone visits Poland, one question seems to surface: “Should I visit Warsaw or Krakow?”

Each of these cities is great, but if you decide to visit Krakow and read my article about what to do in Krakow, don’t miss the chance to visit Zakopane too. Plan your adventure with my guide to travelling to Zakopane from Krakow.

Why visit Zakopane?

Zakopane is the most popular mountainous city in Poland. If you’re limited in time you can take a day trip, walk around, do some shopping, try a traditional meal and oscypek (the best cheese ever – a little like Halloumi, but better) take photo with Gorals (an ethnic group living in the south of Poland, who have amazing outfits), and take the railway up to Gubałówka or Kasprowy Wierch.

If you have more time you should definitely stay overnight and do some hiking – Morskie Oko is a popular destination.

You can also ski and snowboard during the winter, visit museums, try tasty food and admire stunning views in Zakopane – it has a lot to offer!

How to get from Krakow to Zakopane

There are three ways to make the journey: car, train and bus.

I drove there a few times and if you choose to drive out of season, during the week you should be fine. There is only one way to get there and you always hear on TV about massive traffic jams on that route, so off-peak times are best.

The train is another option. But, if you choose the slower train it can be a nightmare. I took that train in the winter and the heat under the seat was turned on so high it was way too hot! You can also choose the intercity train. This one is much better because you have more privacy and you can control the temperature. Both trains take around three hours.

The last option is to take the bus from Krakow to Zakopane. I took a bus recently and like travelling by car, it can take about two hours without traffic. But if you return on Sunday night and don’t have your tickets pre-booked, the seats may be full. Check with companies like Flix Bus or Szwagropol to get your ticket online, or buy it at the bus station.

How far is Zakopane from Krakow?

Zakopane is 109km (67 miles) from Krakow. It takes two to three hours to get there.

How much is the bus or train to Zakopane?

It might change for popular travel dates, but in general the bus costs around 18-20zl (£4/$5.50) one way and the train is around 25zl (£5/$7).

Where to stay in Zakopane

The city is not very big and there are public buses and taxis available, so you can stay anywhere in the city. Cosy, traditional places get my vote!

As you can see, it’s not very difficult to travel from Krakow to Zakopane, so if you’re visiting Poland, especially Krakow, I would highly recommend a visit to the mountains!

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links which mean that if you choose to book through it I earn a small commission at no cost to you. I appreciate your support to keep this site up and running!

18 COMMENTS

  1. I am always willing to go any place to travel. We love to travel and this place looks absolutely gorgeous. I’m hoping at some point I can explore here. It looks like a place to definitely put on my bucket list.

  2. My husband travels to Krakow quite often for work. He loves it there and states it is so beautiful. I would love to go with him at some time to see all these sights as well.

  3. Poland is somewhere I have never been I have to admit. It is a country I would love to go and explore one day though, it always looks so beautiful and full of amazing things to do.

  4. This looks like a fun place to explore. I like that there are a lot of options for getting around. Thanks for sharing your tips, I would enjoy visiting this area.

  5. I haven’t been here in both places and who would not love to see this amazing places. I guess, I need to add this on the places that I must visit this year. Let’s see if can dream come true.

  6. I was planning to visit Krakow soo. I heard it is such a beautiful place. You gave a great idea to plan visiting Zakopane on the same trip!

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