When you visit the Tatra National Park from Zakopane, you can explore 275 km of marked hiking trails with varying degrees of difficulty, ranging from very easy to extremely challenging, some even equipped with safety devices such as chains, buckles and ladders. You can hike these trails individually or with a guide, but remember – organized groups and school trips must be led by authorized Tatra guides.
The Tatra National Park offers several starting points for hikes. In this article I am going discuss best starting points and way on how to get to Tatra Park from Zakopane. Lets get into this.
Starting Points and Parking Near the Tatra National Park
Here is the list of places where you can enter Tatra National Park. You may check each of those in Google Maps, but I do not suggest doing it. Keep on reading, and you will find out what the best places are.
- Koscieliska Valley (Kiry) – paid parking
- Dolina Małej Łąki – paid parking
- Chałubińskiego – paid parking
- Jaszczurówka – Free of charge
- Dolina Filipki – paid parking
- Poroniec Wierch – paid parking
- Poroniec Wierch „Kaniówka” seasonally open – free of charge
- Łysa Polana (former border crossing) – paid parking
- Palenica Białczańska – paid parking
- Chałubińskiego 42 a – paid parking
If you’re in Zakopane, I recommend visiting these two places:
↳ Make sure to check out my guide to ALL attractions in Zakopane, so you don't overlook anything interesting: 66 Best Attractions in Zakopane 2023 – What to Do – Interesting Places
- Morskie Oko in the Tatra National Park (starting from Palenica Bialczanska)
- Bystra Valley: Click Here For Google maps location
Discover Morskie Oko in the Tatra National Park
Although not the closest entrance to the park, Morskie Oko is definitely the most popular spot. Known as the most famous spot in the Tatra Mountains, it offers an easy and undemanding trail suitable for all ages and fitness levels.
The picturesque views, breathtaking ridge and lush vegetation make it worth visiting in any season. In addition, the area around Morskie Oko offers a variety of interesting trails for both beginners and more experienced climbers looking to reach the highest peaks in the country.
You may be interested in reading this articles about Morskie Oko:
- A Guide to Visiting Morskie Oko, The Emerald Lake Near Zakopane
- Step by step: How to Get to Morskie Oko From Zakopane
If you’re short on time and want to fully enjoy Morskie Oko, you can also book a private guide and transportation from Zakopane to Palenica Białczańska.
They will organize everything for you, so there is no need to worry about any details. The guide will take care of your safety in the Tatra Mountains and will pick you up from your location in Zakopane.
↳ Book a private transfer from Zakopane to Morskie Oko by clicking here!
Explore the Bystra Valley (Dolina Bystrej) in the Tatra Mountains
The entrance to this valley, which is about 6.5 km long and covers an area of 16.5 km2, is located at the junction of numerous mountain trails in Kuznice. Here you’ll also find the lower station of the cable car to Kasprowy Wierch. From here the Bystrá Valley „rises” and branches off into the Kondratowa, Jaworzynka, Kasprowa and Goryczkowa Valleys.
Walking along the main path you can admire the peaks of Nosal, Kasprowy Wierch, Czerwone Wierchy and Giewont.
Caves of the Bystra Valley
One of the natural wonders of the Bystrá Valley are the caves in its vicinity: Magurska, Kasprowa Niżnia and Bystrej, as well as the springs of the Goryczkowy and Kasprowy streams, which together form the Bystra stream, which gives the valley its name.
Hiking in the Bystra Valley is one of the most pleasant experiences in the Polish Tatras. From here you can set out on other adventures to the peaks, such as the blue trail from Kuźnice to Giewont through the Kondratowa Valley (popular with tourists with a PTTK shelter on Hala Kondratowa), the green trail to Kasprowy Wierch, the yellow trail to Przełęcz między Kopami, or the black trail to Czerwona Przełęcz (passing through Hala Kalatówki, among other places). Alternatively, you can follow the trail to Nosal peak or explore the Caterpillar Valley.
You can choose either Morskie Oko or Bystra Valley as your starting point. You’ll be able to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Tatra National Park. In my experience, both locations offer unique and memorable experiences.
They allow you to connect with nature and enjoy breathtaking views. As you plan your visit, remember to respect the rules and regulations of the park. This will ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy this breathtaking landscape.
How to Get to the Tatra National Park by Bus
Here I’ll describe how to get to Morskie Oko and Bystra Valley of the Tatra National Park by bus.
How to Get to Bystra Valley by Bus
First of all, go to the bus stop in 3 Maja Street. Here’s its Google location: Click Here
Take bus number 11, which leaves every 40 minutes. Get off at the „Bystre” stop and then walk for about 15 minutes to reach the Bystra Valley.
Reaching Morskie Oko by Bus
Many visitors to Zakopane don’t have cars and rely on buses to reach the trail. Here’s a link to a table with all the details about bus services in Zakopane and the surrounding area:
To Palenica Białczańska (Morskie Oko) – 10-20 PLN.
There’s no difference between discounted and regular tickets, all trips cost the same. Pay in cash (preferably in small change) when you get off the bus.
Bus Departure Locations
Buses depart from the train station in Zakopane. Go to the bus stop and wait for the bus. Drivers often encourage and advertise their services; they may even approach you and ask if you need a ride.
Departure times are irregular and timetables can be difficult to read. However, the area is well connected, so even those without a car should have no trouble getting to their chosen trailhead.
Please check my other article in which I describe most interesting mountain peaks you can reach by hiking from Zakopane: Trekking to the Highest Mountain Peaks Near Zakopane
What To Pay For?
Entrance fees to the Tatra National Park (TPN) cover the construction and maintenance of tourist infrastructure (portable toilet rental, trail cleaning and repairs, sign replacement, etc.), educational facilities, and nature conservation. 15% of the fees support the Tatra Voluntary Rescue Service.
- Read more about Tatra entrance tickets and how to purchase them here: Planning a Visit to Tatra National Park: Ticket Prices and Buying Guide
Tatra National Park Entrance Fee
The following prices apply regardless of the season from March 1, 2023:
- Regular ticket: PLN 9.00
- Reduced ticket: PLN 4.50
- 7-day regular ticket: PLN 45.00
- 7-day discount ticket: PLN 22.50
- Regular group ticket (group of 10 people): PLN 81.00
- Discount group ticket (group of 10 people): PLN 40.50
In addition, there is an admission fee of PLN 5.00 for the Frost Cave. Children under the age of six are exempt from this fee.