Zakopane is a beautiful mountain town that is popular with Poles, but a little more unknown outside of the country. I was luckily enough to visit Zakopane in summer on the recommendation of some close friends. Even though the famous ski slopes had melted away, there was still plenty to do in Zakopane. To help you plan your summer trip to Zakopane, here’s a complete guide, from accommodation to activities.

One thing I noticed when researching my trip to Poland was how many tours only stop in Krakow — and maybe Warsaw if you’re lucky. That’s why I was so glad to have some Polish friends to recommend a few more out of the way places. One of them was Zakopane, a mountain town in the south of Poland that’s a popular domestic travel spot.

In fact, one thing I noticed when visiting Zakopane was that pretty much all the English speakers were there on a recommendation from friends or family. It seems the Polish are doing a great job of keeping this little town a secret — and why not?

It’s a picturesque little town near the base of the Tatras Mountains. In the winter, its famous for skiing and other snow sports, but Zakopane in summer is equally exciting. During summer, Zakopane has plenty of great activities and places to visit. So, here’s my guide to visiting Zakopane in summer.

An introduction to Zakopane

Zakopane is one of the most famous towns in Poland, attracting tens of thousands of visitors every year. I’m quite embarrassed to admit I hadn’t heard of it before I started planning my trip to Poland — but it seems it’s most popular amongst domestic tourists.

Amongst Polish people, Zakopane is known as the “winter capital” and its most famous for its skiing and snowboarding in winter. However, this post will be all about Zakopane in summer, which was when I was lucky enough to visit!

A very brief history of Zakopane

Compared to historic cities like Krakow and Gdansk, Zakopane is positively modern. The earliest history of the town do head back to about the 17th Century, but back then it was believed only a few dozen people were living in the village.

That makes sense, since Zakopane is ultra-south and right near the Tatra Mountains and the border with Slovakia. It can’t have been an easy place to live before cars and modern machinery!

The discovery of precious metals around Zakopane led to its growth and by the 19th Century it was a fairly thriving place. This is when most of the older style buildings, including the Old Cemetery and the nearby Church, were built.

At the end of the 19th century, a railway line was built that even further increased its accessibility and popularity. From here, it was up and up, as more people came to visit the town. A ski jump was installed in 1925, and the cable car followed not long after. It wasn’t long until it was an extremely popular tourist destination.

The bar at Morskie Oko

Zakopane today

Today, Zakopane relies heavily on tourism and it certainly has that “resort town” vibe. Its main street could be described as quite touristy, with lots of shops and restaurants. You can, however, still experience the unique highlander culture of the surrounding Podhale region.

The most obvious example of the unique Zakopane customs is the beautiful, traditional wooden homes. Many of these are used as villas for visitors, however they are very much based on traditional architectural styles.

Although its best known as a winter destination, Zakopane in summer is also fabulous. There is plenty to do, from walking trails to spas and everything in between. Plus its popularity amongst Polish visitors and unique highlander culture means its a unique and authentic place to visit.

How to get from Krakow to Zakopane

Zakopane is about 110 kilometres, or 68 miles, from Krakow. That means you can even visit as a daytrip, although I’d recommend spending at least one night so you don’t spend most of the day in transit. Here’s how to get to Zakopane from Krakow.

Krakow to Zakopane by bus

We went by bus to Zakopane, and I highly recommend it. We pre-booked our tickets with Flixbus, and paid about 20 zloty ($7 AUD) return, each. So it is extremely affordable!

Flixbus was comfortable, with airconditioning and an electrical outlet so you could charge your phone or laptop. The bus left from Krakow MDA Autobus station, and it was easy to find the right platform.

It did get a bit confusing as the bus was late and another bus to Zakopane turned up at the time ours was supposed to. If you get FlixBus, just make sure you check the bus number (not just the destination) on your ticket and then the bus’s windscreen.

Although we decided to book our tickets ahead of time, I have been assured it is not necessary. There are buses from Krakow to Zakopane every 15 – 30 minutes, with all different companies. You could certainly just turn up and buy a ticket — even in the highly unlikely event that one bus is full, there’s sure to be another one soon after.

Drive from Krakow to Zakopane

Our original plan to get from Krakow to Zakopane was to drive. This plan was thwarted by the pesky revelation that you need an international driver’s licence in Poland if you’re an Aussie. As a result, we cancelled our booking and the bus it was!

In hindsight, I think this was actually the best decision for our trip as parking in Krakow and Gdansk is the stuff of nightmares. However, the situation is a lot better in Zakopane and it definitely would have been do-able to drive.

Getting out of Krakow is likely to be a bit stress-inducing since you’ll be dodging tourists and meandering through traffic jams. After that, it looked like a pretty easy and scenic drive, albeit with a few roadworks along the way.

You should expect the drive to take between two and two-and-a-half hours, depending on how fast you drive and how much time you spend stopping to look at the mountains!

Organised tour from Krakow to Zakopane

If you are short on time but wanting to visit Zakopane, you can do it as a daytrip. I think this is a really good option, as it allows you to make Zakopane a day trip without having the stress of driving or getting the bus.

There are lots of tour companies that organise tours of Zakopane from Krakow. In fact, it seemed like there were more options coming out of Krakow than out of Zakopane itself!

There are numerous local options, however these seemed a little more aimed at local Polish visitors.

Therefore I recommend booking a tour online, like this one which is a great budget option from. Krakow.

Two buses that say Morskie Oko on them

Getting around Zakopane

If you get to Zakopane without a car, you might wonder how you’ll find getting around the town once you’re there. I know I did!

Luckily, there’s nothing to worry about. Getting around Zakopane without a car is super easy. The town is very small and compact, so you can really easily walk between restaurants and attractions. Most of the attractions, such as the museums, cable car, ski jumps and cemetery are all within easy walking distance of each other.

Getting to the Tatra Mountains is a little different as it is about an hour’s drive from Zakopane. However, there are regular minibuses that are operated that take you to the mountains as well as other further-out destinations.

These don’t usually run on a schedule but instead go as they fill up, so during quieter periods you may need to wait 15 – 20 minutes for a bus. In the busy times, sometimes several come every few minutes!

Uber does work in Zakopane, however when we were there we had no luck whatsoever getting a ride. Instead we did get a regular taxi, which was very modern, affordable and had a meter so you know you aren’t getting ripped off.

Asphalt path through the forest

Things to do in Zakopane in summer

As a popular resort town and holiday destination, there are heaps of things to do in Zakopane during summer. You could easily spend a week or so there, especially if you like hiking. Here are some of the top things to do in Zakopane in summer.

Hike in the Tatra Mountains

As much as I am personally a fan of avoiding hiking, you sort of can’t in Zakopane. Yep, even I broke my “no hikes allowed” rule to make my way up the beautiful Tatra Mountains to do the Morskie Oko hike.

The mountains are kind of a big deal and kind of the point if you visit Zakopane. Honestly, if you really don’t like hiking or the outdoors (no judgement here, Tom calls me a ‘bat’ due to my tendency to stay inside, in the dark), then Zakopane may not be the best use of your time in Poland.

The good news is that hiking in the Tatra Mountains in summer is super accessible. There are so many different trails that suit everyone from inexperienced hikers and young families, to hiking enthusiasts.

The Morskie Oko hike is one of the most popular in Zakopane. It’s fairly long at 18km return, however it is fairly easy because the path is bitumised. At the end, you’ll get a gorgeous view out over the mountain and lake.

Other popular hikes include the 5 Lakes hike up to multi-day treks in the mountains. You might like to go in the company of a licensed guide if you’re planning on going on a longer trek.

Because I am paranoid after reading about many, many missing person cases that start with “they were an inexperienced hiker…” please make sure you take safety precautions! I don’t want to end up reading about you as an unresolved mystery!

The Morskie Oko lake with mountains behind it

Eat Oscypek

After the Tatra Mountains, the other unmissable attraction in Zakopane is Oscypek, a special kind of cheese that is traditional to the area. You will probably find it for sale elsewhere and especially in Krakow, however the best cheese is in Zakopane!

There are so many places eat Oscypek in Zakopane. It’s actually kind of hard to get away from it — you’ll find it being sold from little stalls on the main street and in almost every restaurant.

There’s even a highlander museum that does a whole Oscypek tour! It’s mostly in Polish — TripAdvisor says that parts are translated into English, however we had a pretty bad experience with that. It was pretty much the only rude person we encountered in Poland! So, I feel like I can’t recommend it off my personal experience — but look into it if you’d like to give it a go.

So, what’s so special about Oscypek? It’s a traditional type of cheese that is made from sheep’s milk and then smoked. In order to be real Oscypek, it must be at least 60% sheep’s milk.

That’s not the only regulation for real Oscypek, however! It must also weight between 600 an 800 grams, and measure between 17 and 23cm. Phew, they are really picky about this cheese!

I mean, they have been making it since the 15th Century — so they’ve had some time to work out the guidelines!

Oscypek is interesting, if a little “beige”, by itself. However, where it’s really at is to have it with a generous blob of cranberry sauce – yum!

A meat and cheese platter on a board

Take a dip in a thermal pool

If you do hike up into the Tatra Mountains – or you don’t – then you totally deserve a relaxing dip in a thermal pool. And luckily, Zakopane has several!

Now, I know that some people might disagree that a visit to a thermal pool is a summer activity. However, if you ask me, there’s no bad time to float in a soothing warm bath. That said, I am basically cold-blooded, so maybe it’s that.

One good thing is that many of the thermal pools also have cooler pools as well. So if you’d prefer to take a refreshing dip — or maybe try both — Zakopane has got you covered.

For thermal pools in Zakopane, you can either choose the au naturale option, or go to a spa that has a thermal pool as well as other spa facilities.

A popular option for thermal pools in Zakopane is Bukovina. Not only does it have some delightfully warm heated pools, but there are also some classic swimming pools — complete with waterslides. Fun and relaxation? I like it!

Check out the famous ski jumps

If you want to be stunned – and kind of terrified – by just how ridiculous ski jumping is, then you’ve got to check out the world famous ski jumps in Zakopane.

Sure, during summer you’re unlikely to actually catch any feats of human bravery (some would say stupidity), but it’s still pretty amazing.

Since the early 1900s, the Podhale region around Zakopane has produced some of the world’s best aerial skiers. So, in 1925 they built one of the world’s largest ski jumps – Wielke Krokiew.

Just the sight of this huge jump is kind of nauseating. As someone who barely managed to stand up on a ski, I can only imagine the kind of nerve it takes to jump far in excess of 100m through the air. In fact, the longest recorded ski jump at Wielke Krak was an eye-watering 143 metres.

Given the Polish prowess for leaping into the air on skis, it’s no surprise Zakopane has become a stop on the world championship circuit. Again, you’re not likely to see it during summer – but you it’s still cool to see if you’re interested in snowsports.

Go the water park

I’ve already talked about the fabulously relaxing thermal pools and saunas that are found in and around Zakopane. If you’re looking for something a little more fun but still water based, then check out Zakopane’s water park.

I’ve got to admit I absolutely love waterparks (all those childhood memories of escaping the Aussie sun!), and visiting this one is definitely one of the best things to do in Zakopane in summer.

The water park is large but not enormous, meaning it’s relatively easy to get around it. It has several big swimming pools that are different depths, so great for visitors of all ages.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a water park without a thrilling waterslide. Actually, the Zakopane Aquapark has two – and both are over 200 metres long. It’s hours of fun, I tell you!

You’ll also find a waterfall, and a sauna if you want your time at the waterpark to be a little more relaxing and healing. There’s also an onsite restaurant so you can make a day out of it – but, the food isn’t amazing and you could bring in a picnic lunch if you prefer.

Take the cable car

Another of the “must do” attractions in Zakopane in summer is the Mount Kasprowy Wierch Cable Car. Along with hiking to Morskie Oko, it’s probably the most popular thing to do in Zakopane.

Just like with Morskie Oko, Mount Kasprowy actually isn’t in the centre of Zakopane. Instead, it’s in the upper part known as Kuznice. This means that you will need to take a bus or taxi to Kuznice.

From there, you can get your ticket for the cable car. The ride up the mountain takes around 15 minutes, and you get a beautiful view of the mountains while you’re suspended from your little car.

The journey is actually separated in two parts, so don’t be concerned if you have to change over.

Once you get to the top of the path, you’ll be treated to an amazing view as you’re about 2000 metres above sea level. However, if you can stomach more hiking, then it’s just a bit further to the meteorological observatory.

It’s the highest point in Poland, so well worth it for the bragging rights!

The gorgeous view of the mountains from the top of the funicular railway in Zakopane

Take the funicular railway to the top of the mountains

Not far from the local market at the end of the main street lies the Gubalowka Funicular Railway. It’s perfect for when you really want to take in some more of those beautiful mountain views, but you really don’t want to climb up any more mountains.

You actually can hike up or down the mountain yourself, but if you ask me, the 24 zloty I spent on a return ticket were well worth it.

The funicular railway sees you climb up the mountain in a kind of enclosed glass box. From said glass box, you get a beautiful view as you ascend 1,300 metres in about three and a half minutes.

Once you get to the top, there’s a beautiful view of the mountains. You could easily spend an hour or two here as there are a few cafes and restaurants – making it a gorgeous lunch spot.

There is also a tobogganing track which sees you shoot around the track in a kind of luge. This is definitely open in summer, and looks like a lot of fun (honestly, I chickened out of giving it a go).

Local market with green hills in the background

Shop at the local market for souvenirs

If you go to the funicular railway, then chances are you’ll stumble upon the local market. You really can’t miss it, it’s filled with cute little wooden stalls selling anything and everything associated with Polish pride.

In particular, there are lots of handicrafts including beautiful lace fabrics and wooden ornaments. You’ll also find the usual touristic tat (I, for one, love me some touristic tat occasionally), like beer mugs and snowglobes.

As well as traditional handicrafts and souvenirs, there’s also an emphasis on food. As you’d expect, the famous cheese from the Zakopane region – Oscypek – is generously represented, although I hear the quality varies a little.

You can either buy it by the huge block, or get a little taster from a street food vendor. I’d possibly recommend going for the latter unless you’ve tasted it before (it’s a bit of an acquired taste).

Parents be warned that the local market also has a lot of kids toys, as well as some kind of creepy looking people in bear costumes. There is certainly every chance that your kids will be tempted to part with some zloty!

Visit the Pęksowy Brzyzek, the Old Cemetery

Paying a visit to the Old Cemetery in Zakopane was probably my favourite stop during our visit to the town. The name Zakopane actually roughly means “buried”, so you’d better hope they had a nice final resting place!

Indeed the do, in the form of Peksyowy Brzyzek. It’s one of the most unique cemeteries in the world, as just about every monument is unique. Many have been carved out of wood, while others are made from large rocks.

About half of the 500 people who are buried in the cemetery are notable people. In particular, artists, war heroes and skiers are well represented.

Even if you’re not familiar with many Polish celebrities, it’s so interesting to find out more about the significant characters in the country’s past.

In addition to the cemetery, the area is also home to Zakopane’s oldest wooden church, as well as another small chapel. The church is open to the public and free to visit, and is well worth a brief stop.

The Old Cemetery is very conveniently located and is only a few minutes’ walk from the main street of Zakopane. If you have any interest in historic cemeteries, I would highly recommend a visit to this one.

Go kayaking or rafting through the Dunajec Gorge

One of the most magical things about the landscape around Zakopane is the ups and downs. Literally! Mountains are super beautiful on their own, but when they have picture-perfect gorges nearby, they’re totally mesmerising.

At least I think so!

Apparently, I’m not alone, as taking a trip through the Dunajec Gorge is another popular activity in Zakopane in summer.

The Dunajec Gorge is actually located about fifty kilometres away from Zakopane, making it a great day trip.

Depending on how much physical exertion you’re up for (I personally always choose the laziest option), there’s a few choices. Kayaking trips are apparently lots of fun, and if you get a fit group you can expect to really conquer the gorge and flex those muscles.

Another choice is to serenely float down on a traditional raft. The water is very slow flowing, and you might also spy a few tiny villages or signs of traditional life happening on the banks of the river.

You’ll probably want to go as part of an organised tour so you don’t accidentally float on over the Slovakian border!

Visit the town’s museums and galleries

The weather was absolutely exceptional while we were in Zakopane, but if it’s a bit gloomy or you just want a quieter day, then museums are a great option.

Zakopane has a number of museums and art galleries, mostly devoted to local customs and personalities.

There’s the Museum of Highlander Culture, although unfortunately we had a pretty terrible experience there. We might have just got the guy when he was having a really bad day, though.

Some other options include the Museum of Zakopane Style which is built in a traditional villa, or the Kornel Makuszyński Museum which is devoted to one of Poland’s most famous and beloved children’s authors.

Zakopane has long attracted artistic types, so it’s only right that they’d have a good selection of art galleries to check out as well. These include the Władysław Hasior Gallery, which celebrates one of Zakopane’s most famous sculptors, as well as the general Zakopane Art Gallery.

Polish pierogi dumplings on a plate
Pierogi – my favourite!

Restaurants you have to try in Zakopane in summer

Apparently, Zakopane isn’t totally renowned for its food, but we did find a few good places that we really enjoyed. Here they are!

The best cheap eats

When we got off the bus from Krakow, we were kind of hangry so decided to drop into about the first restaurant we could find that looked reasonable.

We chose Obiady Domowe, and it ended up being one of our favourite restaurants in Poland! It’s definitely “cheap and cheerful”, but as someone who loves cheap and cheerful, I approve.

We had the periogis (of course) and they were delicious, and easy on the budget. There was also a crepe with spinach and cheese that was mouth-wateringly good. Win!

A cozy brunch spot

We didn’t eat a lot of the main street of Krupowki, but we did make a stop to enjoy a delicious brunch – because it’s not a holiday without a delicious brunch!

We loved the cozy and stylish STRH Café & Gallery. As the name suggests, it does art and brunch – the perfect Zakopane combination!

As well as excellent coffee, there’s also a range of sweet treats like cake and waffles to satisfy any sweet tooths (e.g. Tom).

A meat and cheese platter on a board

Gettin’ fancy

For a more fancy dinner/lunch that won’t totally break the bank, we really liked Restauracja Watra. The vibe was a little odd at first, until we learnt it takes inspiration from traditional feasts over bonfires.

This restaurant is definitely aimed at carnivores and the vegetarian selection is a little disappointing. That said, the food is good and there’s also live entertainment most evenings. It’s in Polish, it’s very extra, and I kind of loved it.

Although this is one of the more expensive restaurants in Zakopane it is certainly not over the top – even this budget traveller OK’d it. Tom and I shared the meat platter which was so huge that we both filled up on it, and managed to sneak away with some leftovers in our bag (old habits die hard).

Looking for a fancier restaurant than this one? Sorry, I can’t help you, I’m kind of stingy.

Nightlife in Zakopane in summer

Being a resort town where most people are on holiday, Zakopane offers its fair share of nightlife. Sure, it can’t compete with powerhouses like Krakow or Warsaw, but there are still a few places to check out after the sun goes down.

Laidback drinks in Zakopane

Poland might be known for vodka internationally, but beer seemed to be the drink of choice! Throughout Zakopane, you’ll find plenty of places to stop and enjoy a casual beer – or maybe a vodka or two.

You can basically take your pick from the bars and pubs along Krupowki Street.

Cocktail bars in Zakopane

If you’re looking to enjoy some chic cocktails in Zakopane, you’re in luck! Not only are there a couple of lovely bars, but the price is good, too. Forget 30 euro cocktails in Chamonix, and go for a 5 euro cocktail in Zakopane!

One popular cocktail bar is called Le Scandal. If laidback cocktail and wine bars are more your thing, then a good option is Café Piano Zakopane, which attracts an older crowd.

Nightclubs in Zakopane

It seems to me that Zakopane in summer has a more chilled out vibe that isn’t totally conducive with all-out nightclub raves. That said, there are a few nightclubs in Zakopane including Dworzec Tatrzański and Va Va Voom. You can check out their calendars, to keep an eye out for touring DJs from nearby Krakow, or even further afar.

The bar at Morskie Oko

A word of warning…

In researching Zakopane’s nightlife, I came across a number of fairly colourful reviews of Zakopane’s, ah, “adult entertainment venues”. Now, I would like to assure you, dear reader, that I did not frequent such places – but hey, I’m not judging!

You do you, but it appears that more than a few clubgoers have woken up with more than just a hangover after visiting Zakopane’s strip clubs. I read quite a few reviews of people waking up to have had thousands of euros charged to their cards, while some even alleged they’d been drugged.

Is this true? A convenient story to explain away some damning receipts? I don’t know, honestly, but I’m very inclined to believe people, and there are lots of consistent stories. So, consider yourself warned!

Where to stay in Zakopane in summer

Accommodation in Zakopane varies wildly from cheap hostels to ultra-luxurious chalets and hotels. We stayed in a gorgeous, affordable guesthouse (more on that soon).

For the purposes of this article, I also did some research on other choices – but for transparency, I want to note that I did not stay at the hostel or luxury option! I did, however, stay at Villa Dewatjis.

Hostels in Zakopane

There are a couple of hostels in Zakopane, if you’re travelling solo or just looking to keep costs really low. The two big ones, Top Hostel and Good Bye Lenin Hostel Zakopane, both get similar ratings on Hostelbookers (86% and 88% respectively). They’re also great value, at less than 10 euro per night for a dorm bed.

The main thing that differentiates the two is the location. Good Bye Lenin Hostel is actually pretty far out of Zakopane, on the way to Morskie Oko. It is, however, right across the road from a bus stop which will take you either to Zakopane or the mountains.

Therefore I think this is a good choice if you’re seeking some serenity in Zakopane and want to spend more time in the mountains than in the city.

On the other hand, if you want to stay right in Zakopane, then Top Hostel is likely to be a better option. It’s actually on Krupowki Street, which is the main street in Zakopane. You’ll be literally steps away from the restaurants, shops and bars of Zakopane here.

It’s also easy to get elsewhere as the Watra bus stop is just a few steps away.

Trees, blue skies and the villa
Views of Zakopane in summer, just down the street from the villa

Budget hotels/guesthouses in Zakopane

When we stayed in Zakopane, I had three requirements for our stay: it had to be central, easy on the budget, and charming. We definitely got all three with Willa Dewatjis. As a result, I’d highly recommend this villa if you are on a budget.

The location is excellent, about a ten-minute walk from Krupowki. Personally, I think this is the perfect place to stay – close enough that you can easily walk to all of Zakopane’s main attractions while avoiding too much noise.

In addition, the villa is in a beautiful old wooden home that is just so gorgeous. We stayed in the attic room, and it felt just like a little cabin.

*Note: emphasis on the little. This room was teensy. I didn’t mind (the price, location and service were fab) but poor old Tom, who stands at 6’4, only just fit through the door. You might want to keep this in mind, and perhaps book another room if you prefer some space above your head!

Finally, it’s worth mentioning Ted, the owner of the villa. He was one of the kindest and most informative people we met in Poland. He took a lot of care to explain everything to us, and even went to the trouble of translating sections of a Polish book about the cemetery for us. He has a thick book of guest reviews singing his praises, and I’m not surprised!

This definitely gets a strong personal recommendation from me.

Luxury hotels in Zakopane

Zakopane is the kind of place where you can totally relax and recharge – it’s that mountain air, I tell you! So, if you’re looking for a luxurious and recharging getaway, it’s a great choice.

There are quite a few luxury hotels in Zakopane.

One that looks particularly magical is Tatra Chalet. It’s a bit of a cliché, but it really does mix traditional charm and modern conveniences. Just the look of the gorgeous building surrounded by green space was enough to get me thinking about a return trip to Zakopane!

There’s also an onsite spa so you can leave Zakopane looking years younger… or at least with that crink in your neck all sorted out. Yes, it’s a bit of a hike from Zakopane, but at least you’ll be far away from any raucous behaviour on Krupowki!

River at Morskie Oko

Tips for visiting Zakopane

  • Despite what we read online, we had no luck whatsoever finding drivers with Uber. Although the app did work, we could never find a ride and it just timed out. It may be that it’s easier during peak season, however I wouldn’t rely on it. Luckily, we found taxis to be reliable, and your villa or guesthouse can help you book it if you’re unsure.
  • For most attractions, such as the railway and cable car, you can just book your tickets at the station. However, you should be prepared for there to be a fairly large line, and for most signage to be in Polish. If you’ve got a limited or set time when you need to do something, I’d recommending that you book the tickets in advance.
  • If you don’t speak Polish, don’t worry! English is spoken in Zakopane, especially around Krupowki and in the tourist-orientated places. However, we did notice that it is not as widely spoken as tourist hotspots like Krakow and Gdansk. I’d definitely recommend preparing a few Polish phrases if you can! (Good luck – Polish is hard!)
  • If you are hiking in the Tatra Mountains, be aware that you’ll want to take some safety precautions. This is especially the case if you are planning to try some of the more challenging or off-road hikes. Some tips include:
    • Let someone know where you are going, your approximate route and when you expect to be back. If you tell your family or friends back home, make sure you give them your accommodation details so they know who to contact if they don’t hear from you!
    • Bring PLENTY of water. Not only is this important if you get lost, but I was shocked at how much water Tom and I went through while we hiked to Morskie Oko. Even if it doesn’t seem that hot in Zakopane, you’ll likely drink a lot.
    • If you get lost, don’t keep walking aimlessly. You’re almost always better off staying close to the trail, so you can be found easily. The Tatra Mountains are huge, and you could easily get hopelessly lost.
    • If you are planning on hiking away from the main trails, you must be in the company of an official guide.
    • Check your travel insurance to make sure it covers hiking. For example, my travel insurance had an extra fee if you wanted to be covered for hikes above 2,000 metres. You’ll want to make sure you’re covered in case of an accident.
  • There is an app that you can download that gives you quite hefty discounts on everything from restaurants to taxis. Your guesthouse can likely give you the QR code to download it, or you’ll see it advertised in most restaurants. It is in Polish, but it’s relatively easy to navigate. You will just need to get your guesthouse to activate it for you (I think they get a cut of what you purchase).

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