A few hours away from Krakow is Zakopane, which is a city with amazing mountain scenery, hot springs, ski slopes and delicious traditional food. It is a very popular destination, considered a must-see by many tourists.
So, if you do not know what to see and do in Krakow, a good option is to join an excursion that will take you to Zakopane. You can walk a kilometer-long pedestrian street, visit the museum and national cemetery of the region, climb to the top of the Gubalowka mountain by funicular or on a trekking route, among other activities.
1. Take a bus trip to Zakopane from Krakow with trekking activity on Gubalowka Mountain
If you are an enthusiast of outdoor hiking and mountain scenery, then during your visit to Krakow you should embark on a short two-hour bus ride to the Zakopane region. There, accompanied by a specialized guide, you will trek up the Gubalowka mountain and then walk along the main street of the city.
To start this activity you will meet your guide at a previously agreed place in the center of Krakow. Afterwards, the whole group will board a comfortable bus and while the driver drives to Zakopane, the guide will tell you a bit about the history of the region you are heading to.
Once in Zakopane, the first stop will be at the Gubalowka funicular station, which is located just at the end of Krupówki Street. There, you will find a path to ascend the mountain.
It is a journey that may require 45 minutes to climb up and 30 minutes to descend, depending on your physical condition. Approximately, it is 2 kilometers and at least 300 meters vertically.
Besides admiring the panoramic view of the city and the Tatras mountain range from the top, you can eat, drink and rest a little in the restaurants in the area. You will also see some small hills ideal for skiing.
Afterwards, you will descend to the second stop of the excursion, the pedestrian street Krupówki, where you will find stores, restaurants, cafes and bars along one kilometer. You will be able to explore this area at your own pace for about two hours before returning to Krakow.
Details of interest
- Price: The average price of this tour is 80 euros per person.
- Duration: 10 hours (Approx.)
- Means of transportation: The tour takes place in an air-conditioned bus.
- Advantages of this option: You will enjoy a real mountain experience, thanks to the built-in trekking activity.
- Disadvantages of this option: This excursion does not include door-to-door service. Therefore, you will have to make your own arrangements to get from the hotel to the meeting point and vice versa.
2. Enjoy the city of Zakopane and the Chocholowskie thermal baths on an excursion from Krakow
Undoubtedly, a good option to incorporate in your Itinerary to see Krakow in 2 days is this excursion to the city of Zakopane and the Chocholowskie thermal baths.
You will enjoy a comfortable two-hour bus ride, amazing mountain scenery and the hottest waters of the region with 82ºC, to relax.
This is a fun experience, offering views of the city from different angles. Also, before descending you will see the ski slope and some restaurants at the top.
The tour continues with the second stop at Krupowki Street, a pedestrian area with a length of about one kilometer, considered the main street of Zakopane.
There, you will find numerous stores to buy souvenirs and mountain clothing. You will also find restaurants and food stalls, where you can taste traditional food, bars and cafes to try hot drinks or a snack.
Afterwards, you will get back on the bus to return to Krakow, but on the way the driver will make a last stop at the Chocholowskie thermal baths, which are located 23 minutes away from Zakopane.
In this resort you will have three hours to soak in waters rich in microelements (magnesium, sulfur, sodium). You can choose between sports pools, children's pools or pools with massage jets. Definitely an experience to add to your list of things to do in Krakow with children.
Details of interest
- Price: The average price of this tour is 199 euros.
- Duration: 10 hours (Approx.)
- Means of transport: The tour is done in a luxury bus and incorporates pick up and return to the hotel.
- Advantages of this option: With this tour you will not only know the city of Zakopane, but you can also relax in a quiet resort.
- Disadvantages of this option: This tour does not allow any kind of pets, including pets.
3. Join an excursion to the historical center of Zakopane from Krakow
If you still don't know what to see and do around Krakow, then this excursion to Zakopane is a good choice.
It is a tourist town located approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes from the city, where beautiful mountain scenery and many historical sites await you.
Once in Zakopane, you will get off the bus to follow the itinerary with your guide. This begins with the ascent to the Gubałówkam mountain by funicular, from where you will get a nice panoramic view of the mountain range and the city in general.
Similarly, being at the top, you will enjoy a privileged view and you can visit the restaurants and food stalls located there. In addition, there is a ski hill, which will be interesting for ski enthusiasts.
After descending, it is time to visit the historic center of Zakopane. You will see:
- Pęksowy Brzyzek National Cemetery, built in the 19th century.
- Trata Museum, with its imposing facade and large collections.
- Jaszczurówka Chapel, with sculptures, stained glass windows and a wooden structure, characteristic of the city's architecture.
Before returning to Krakow, you will have free time to stroll along the famous Krupówki pedestrian street. You can buy souvenirs, taste the local cuisine (smoked cheese, veal cutlet, trout, duck, soups), have a drink in a bar or sit in a café and relax.
Details of interest
- Price: The average price of this tour is 74 euros.
- Duration: 8 hours and 30 minutes (Approx.)
- Means of transportation: You will be transported in a spacious, comfortable and air-conditioned bus.
- Advantages of this option: Despite having a guide at your side to guide you, you will have some free time to shop, eat and visit some areas of the city.
- Disadvantages of this option: The tour does not incorporate entrance to the ski hill at the top of Gubałówkam Mountain, so you will have to pay for it separately.
4. Half-day tour to Zakopane from Krakow
This half-day tour to Zakopane is ideal for those who have two days of travel in Krakow, but do not want to miss the most attractive tourist destinations.
Join this adventure and enjoy an amazing view from the top of Gubalowka Mountain. You can also sample local foods, buy some souvenirs and return to Krakow to board a tourist bus, join the best gastronomic tours or do any other activity on your itinerary.
Once you are picked up at the hotel, you will embark on a 2 hour and 20 minute drive to the town of Zakopane. During this transfer time, you will be able to view the scenery through the bus window and listen to the driver's commentary about the history of the town you are heading to.
Upon arrival in Zakopane, you will have approximately two hours to explore the town and enjoy the scenery. In this sense, you can:
- Walk along the famous "Krupowki" street. It is a pedestrian street with a distance of one kilometer, where you will find a lot of commercial activity: stores with souvenirs, clothing, shoes, and mountain accessories. Also, restaurants, bars, cafes and much more.
- Ascend the Gubalowka mountain by funicular. This is a ride that will take you only a few minutes, but will give you a privileged view of Zakopane at all times. Also, when you are at the top, you can take a short time to admire the scenery and take amazing pictures before descending.
After this short but unforgettable adventure through the town of Zakopane, all members of the tour will have to get back on the bus. The driver will then depart for Krakow.
Details of interest
- Price: The average price of this tour is 143 euros per person.
- Duration: The tour of Zakopane lasts 2 hours (approx.)
- Means of transport: The transfer to and from the door of the hotel takes place in a comfortable air-conditioned bus.
- Advantages of this option: You will get to know Zakopane and enjoy its landscape despite the short time available.
- Disadvantages of this option: You will not have the company of a specialized guide.
5. Visit Morskie Oko Lake and the town of Zakopane from Krakow
Among the best tours and excursions from Krakow is this tour that will take you to Lake Morskie Oko and then to the town of Zakopane, right at the foot of the Tatra Mountains. You will discover beautiful natural scenery and a peaceful atmosphere in which to relax.
This tour usually lasts a maximum of 12 hours. From Krakow you travel in a comfortable bus with a professional driver. It takes about two hours, depending on the traffic, to reach the Zakopane area.
Along the way, the driver will tell you some stories about the magical destinations you are about to visit.
When you arrive at the parking lot, you will get off the bus and start walking towards Lake Morski Oko. This is a two-hour walk through dense forest.
You will enjoy the breathtaking mountain scenery and the calm blue waters of the lake. You will also have the opportunity to take some pictures or even, as I did, see some impressive deer.
After you have seen the lake, the bus will drive you to the town of Zakopane. Depending on the tour, you may have the opportunity to take a funicular up to the top of Gubalowka Mountain for a privileged view of the Tatra Mountains.
Afterwards, you will descend again and, before returning to Krakow, you will walk along the mile-long pedestrian and shopping street Krupowki, where you will find a large number of souvenir stores, restaurants, cafes and bars.
- Price: The average price of this tour is 107.17 euros per person.
- Duration: 11 to 12 hours from the time of hotel pick-up.
- Means of transport: Air-conditioned bus.
- Advantages of this option: Tickets for the funicular and Morskie Oko Lagoon are incorporated in the excursion.
- Disadvantages of this option: The tour does not include food and beverages, so you will have to buy any food you want on your own.
6. Visit Zakopane from Krakow and discover this beautiful region at your own pace
This tour to Zakopane from Krakow is aimed at people who enjoy exploring new places at their own pace without having a guide or a large group of people by their side. You will discover the city, beautiful landscapes, taste traditional food, observe the local architecture, relax in hot springs and much more.
The adventure begins at the door of your hotel in Krakow, where you will board a minivan to be transferred to the tourist town of Zakopane. There, you will have plenty of time to stroll through the streets of the city and stop at the stores to shop, have breakfast or lunch in one of the restaurants, sit in a café and enjoy a hot drink, among other things.
Usually, this type of free excursions offer tickets for some additional visits in Zakopane, so if you want to discover more of this popular winter destination, you cannot miss these activities:
- Climb aboard a funicular, which will take you to the Gubalowka Mountain. This will give you a privileged view of Zakopane.
- Soak in a thermal pool in Chocholow for about three hours and enjoy the benefits of these waters for your skin while you relax.
- Visit the Tatra National Museum and learn interesting facts about the particular style of wooden architecture in the region.
- Go to the Wielka Krokiew hill, which is a famous ski slope used for world-renowned competitions.
Finally, you will meet the minivan driver at the previously arranged place and time. You will then be driven back to your hotel in Krakow and continue with the activities on your itinerary to see Krakow in 1 day.
Details of interest
- Price: The average price of this tour is 48 euros per person.
- Duration: Up to a maximum of 24 hours.
- Means of transportation: The tour offers an air-conditioned minivan with comfortable seats.
- Advantages of this option: You will be able to tour Zakopane at your own pace and, if you wish, enjoy some complementary activities.
- Disadvantages of this option: The tour is not suitable for wheelchair users.
Tips for an excursion to Zakopane from Krakow
If you are planning a trip to Zakopane from Krakow, you should follow some basic tips, which will allow you to enjoy the tour to the fullest:
- Wearwarm clothes. Keep in mind that the temperature in Zakopane is lower than in Krakow, especially at the top of the mountain.
- Wear comfortable shoes, since during the excursion you will have to walk a considerable distance and you don't want to get tired.
- Take with you the appropriate accessories for each activity. So, for trekking you cannot forget your walking stick, hiking boots and hydration, while for soaking in the hot springs, you will need a bathing suit and towels.
- If you do the tour on your own, you should previously make a small itinerary of the attractions you want to visit and make sure of both the schedules and the method of purchasing tickets.
What are the advantages of taking a guided tour vs. visiting Zakopane from Krakow on your own?
Opting for a guided tour to visit Zakopane from Krakow allows you to save time and money. For example:
- You will have transportation to and from your hotel or a meeting point in the city of Krakow.
- During the tour you will have an experienced person by your side, who will take you directly to the sights and tell you the history of the place.
- You will not have to worry about tickets for a certain attraction selling out at the last minute, as these tours usually include them.
The opposite happens when visiting Zakopane on your own, as you will have to travel by public bus or cab, and this leads to an increase in travel time and budget. Also, when you arrive in town, you will feel a bit disoriented as to where to start the tour.