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!
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