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Zakpone area but not for hiking or skiing

I am looking for a destination with thermal spas and a quaint village feel. However, since I will go along, I am not going to hike or ski. My target dates are the last week of April. Not sure how the weather would be like. It'll be cold, for sure. Does the Zakopane area fit this bill? I will rely on public transit.

How big is the village? Is it mainly just one street? Are there other nearby villages to explore?

Is it convenient to go from there to other thermal spas on the Slovakia side?

I like Poland because it's very safe (much safer than western Europe, especially now), affordable, and authentic. It's harder and harder to find places not littered with chain stores.

Posted by
5980 posts

Just my opinion, but I wouldn't consider it quaint or even a village. Its been a popular resort community for a long time so the town is very touristed - that main street is full of shops and restaurants and shops. Its a great place but doesnt sound like what you're looking for.

Posted by
577 posts

Thanks. I guess should have used the term "town" instead of "village". Without a car, I doubt I can reach an authentic village. It's ok for it to be commercialized, but I just don't want to see the same chain stores all over the place and souvenir stores selling junk made outside Europe.

For thermal spas, I am thinking of the Zakopane Aquapark and Chocholowska Thermal Baths. Hope that buses run to these places.

I understand that this is a Poland Forum, but are there regions in other countries that can fulfill these criteria?

Posted by
2214 posts

An alternate Polish mountain resort town to Zakopane I would recommend is called Wisła. It's about 2 hr southwest of Krakow, in the mountains where Slovakia, Czechia, and Poland meet. It's not as big as Zakopane and is less well know with foreign tourists. It's also where the President of Poland has his Presidential Castle, that he uses for winter/summer retreats, it's possible to visit the castle when he's not in. Next to Wisła is the larger spa town of Ustroń, which also makes for a great alternative to Zakopane.

A nice day trip from Wisła/Ustroń is the quaint medieval Czech town of Štramberk, about 1 hr west.

Posted by
41 posts

There are several waterparks nearby Zakopane, but there's just one small waterpark in Zakopane itself.

The biggest and most modern waterpark is Chocholowskie Termy in Chochołów village. I've written about it here:

There are also other waterparks in the area:
Terma Bukovina in Bukowina Tatrzańska village
Terma Bania in Białka Tatrzańska village

However, it might be tricky to travel between Zakopane and those villages by public transportation. The fastest and most convenient transport is still car.

Zakopane isn't a village, it's a mountain resort which has city rights and generally is very lively, especially in summertime (some call it crowded). Here you can read about attractions in Zakopane:

The closest waterpark in Slovakia is in Oravice village. I like Slovak waterparks, but again, you'll need a car to go there. Here's a description of Slovak Tatra waterparks:

Posted by
41 posts

If you're considering other regions, you might be interested in other less popular Polish mountain ranges.
There are Świętokrzyskie mountains, Beskidy mountains (Beskid Wyspowy is very close to Kraków), Karkonosze (close to Wrocław), Gorce (close to Krakow) and Bieszczady.

Here's a list of the most beautiful natural getaways in Poland, I'm sure some of those places might catch you attention:

Posted by
8 posts

April in Poland can be both super hot, and rainy, it's like rolling the dice really. But Zakopane is beatiful every time of the year. Doesn't matter if it rains or is sunny, the landscape is really fulfilling. What I recommend, is sightseeing not Zakopane itself, but the villages around. They are so peaceful and just relaxing. And remember to watch for scammers - there are a lot of them