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Tatras Mountain & Zakopane

I hope to visit the Tatras Mountain at least for a day, if not more.
I can't decide whether I should visit from Poland or Slovakia ? Which side is more beautiful or more convenient ?
Do I need to visit twice, from both sides ? I have plan to visit Warsaw, Krakow & Brastilavia.
Can I travel from Zakopane across the Tatras to Poprad ? This will be most ideal if possible.
Thank you.

Posted by
16769 posts

Several years ago, I loved visiting the beautiful Tatra Mountains from the Slovakian side, by train to Stary Smokovec. In Poland, Zakopane is the end of the train line. Rome2Rio.com suggest you can take a taxi from Zakopane to Poprad for about $55. During ski season, there might be a bus between the two.

Posted by
10792 posts

We have been into Slovakia and the Tatras on three occasions (the fishing is pretty good); but never Poland, so I can’t do a comparative analysis. We head back (fishing) in 2015.

So much depends on your budget and adaptability to transportation. One of my favorite hotels is the Kempinski High Tatras in Strbske pleso; not cheap and I wouldn’t do it during the ski season; but then I wouldn’t go to the mountains in the winter unless you enjoyed skiing. http://www.kempinski.com/en/strba-strbske-pleso/grand-hotel-high-tatras/overview/

The Kempinski will pick you up in Krakow if that’s your desire ($$) and drop you at the train station in Poprad for a train to Bratislava or Kosice ($) or if you desire they will even drop you in Budapest ($$$$).

Some of what we enjoy in Slovakia are: Orava and Spis Castles http://www.slovakia.com/top10/ and the towns of Banská Bystrica http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bansk%C3%A1_Bystrica , Banská Štiavnica http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bansk%C3%A1_%C5%A0tiavnica and Kosice http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ko%C5%A1ice

Posted by
4637 posts

You plan Warsaw, Krakow and Bratislava. Logistically the best would be start with Warsaw then Krakow then Zakopane. From Zakopane there is indeed a direct bus going to Poprad. However not in ski season but from June 15th to October 15th. (At least this year). Otherwise you can still do it by bus but get off in Lysa Polana where the Polish bus ends, walk few meters across the border and catch a bus to Poprad. From Poprad there are many trains to Bratislava (about 4 hours). The direct bus goes in the main hiking season. Poland or Slovakia Tatras? Poland has 1 third of Tatra National Park, Slovakia 2 thirds. If you are a hiker and will be there in hiking season then I recommend hike up the highest mountain of Poland Rysy from the lake of Morskie Oko. Start early morning from Morskie Oko. While the hike is not for beginners you won't need any technical climbing skills just steep hike up (and then down). The hike up Rysy is little easier from the Slovak side (from Popradske pleso /lake/). If you are not a hiker stop at least at Morskie Oko. It is a gorgeous mountain lake right on the foot of Rysy. If you don't want to walk from Lysa Polana you can take a horse drawn cart toward the lake. Google "Morskie Oko" for pictures and more information. I already wrote about Slovak side of High Tatras. You can find my post under Best Destination in Slovakia. Click on country Slovakia. I mentioned few spectacular hikes there. If you would like something easier (or more difficult) you can get all necessary information at Mountain Rescue Service (Horska sluzba) in Stary Smokovec. If you don't want to hike take a cable car from Tatranska Lomnica to Skalnate Pleso and from there up Lomnicky stit (second highest peak in High Tatras). Breathtaking views. The highest peak is Gerlach. Hike up allowed only with a mountain guide, inquire at Mountain Rescue Service in Stary Smokovec.

Posted by
31 posts

Thank you very much for your replies.
I apologise for not being able to reply earlier.
Sounds like it is more of a skiing place. Will it be nice to visit during summer ?

Posted by
4637 posts

I reread our replies and didn't get an impression that it sounds more like skiing place. Obviously there are few ski resorts in these high mountains. IMHO summer is much better. It is warmer, hiking trails above tree line are opened. People go to these mountains in winter for skiing, in summer for hiking and climbing or simply to enjoy vistas.

Posted by
5005 posts

stmalysia Zakopane is a summer resort area too. Hiking is great. If you only have a day, its difficult to do or see much anyway. If you mean doing it on a day trip, it will take half a day to get there from almost anywhere.

Posted by
3 posts

All hiking trails in the High Tatras are available during 15.7. - 31.10. each year, then you can use some of them all year round. The High Tatras Mountains are especially beautiful during Indian summer time - end of September/beginning of October. There is several Tatras Mountain huts with opportunities for simple refreshment and accommodation. The most of them are opened all year round.