Tuesday, February 12, 2013

How to get to Zakopane, Tatra Mountains, Poland

The most popular way to get to Zakopane is road from Cracow called Zakopianka. It is 102 km long and it takes approximately 1,5-2 hours to travel it by car. It's first part is an international road number 7 and second part a national road number 47. In the rush hours and on holidays you may stuck in a traffic jam at the entrance to Zakopane or Cracow.

Zakopianka road, photo by Andrzej Śliwiński
From Katowice the best way to get to Zakopane is to go to Cracow and then take Zakopianka. There is also another possibility via Bielsko Biała - Korbielów - Slovakia - Chochołów. You can try this when you want to avoid traffic jam on Zakopianka.

From eastern part of Poland you can go via Nowy Sącz to Nowy Targ and then take Zakopianka to Zakopane.

There is also a possibility to get to Zakopane from Slovakia. There are 3 main car border crossings close to Zakopane:
- Łysa Polana - Javorina,
- Chochołów - Sucha Hora, 
- Jurgów - Podspady,
- Chyżne - Trsténa.

In the Tatra Mountains also exist the pedestrian border crossings. The state border crossing within the Tatra National Park may only be crossed in a places where the tourists trails of the Polish and Slovak National Park meet, i.a.:
- Rysy,
- Kasprowy Wierch, 
- Wołowiec,
- Grześ.

1. By train:
- departs from Warsaw Main Station or East Station, arrives at Zakopane train station
- duration: 6,5 - 10 h
- you can check the timetable here

2. By bus:
  • 'Polski Bus':
    - 3 times a day, one night bus, customized for passengers with disabilities, wi-fi, air-conditioning, toilet
    - duration: 7,5 h
    - tickets - reservation online
    - departs from Warszawa Metro Wilanowska; arrives in the center of Zakopane
  • 'Polonus':
    - 1 or 2 times a day, a night bus, wi-fi
    - departs from West Bus Station, Warsaw; arrives at bus station in Zakopane

The express train from Warsaw (6,5 h) is the most convenient way to get to Zakopane, but it is also the most expensive (130 PLN). 'Polski Bus' is a high standard bus, not very expensive (60 PLN) and trip duration is quite short.


1. By train:
- several times a day
- departs from Cracow Main Station
- duration: 3 1/4 - 4 h
- you can check the timetable here

2. By bus:
- busses depart 3-4 times per hour between 4 AM and 10 PM
- departs from Regional Bus Station in Cracow, arrives at bus station in Zakopane
- the best are direct busses like: 'Szwagropol', 'Trans Kos', 'Majer'
- you can check all bus connections here
- tickets: you can buy at the driver. If you plan to go on friday afternoon or on the beggining of holidays in Poland, it is better to buy tickets earlier.
- ticket price: 20 PLN

The best way to get from Cracow to Zakopane is by bus - it is faster and cheaper.


1. A direct bus from Katowice to Zakopane.

 2. A bus from Katowice to Zakopane with a change in Cracow (see connections from Cracow) - more frequent connections.

From other Polish towns and cities:

Bus connections between Zakopane and: Wrocław, Gliwice, Gdynia, Zielona Góra, Jelenia Góra, Poznań, Lublin, Toruń and many others.

To search connection click here.


1. Direct bus connections from Poprad (Slovakia) to Zakopane: 'Strama' - check the timetable and make a booking.

2. You can take a local bus from towns and villages in the southern foothills of the Tatra Mountains (Slovakia) to the border crossing in Javorina. Then take a small shuttle bus from Łysa Polana to Zakopane (if you want to stop a bus - wave your hand:).

About hitchhiking in Poland and Slovakia read here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We invite you to comment, suggest, ask questions, agree or disagree with us...