The Best Day Trips from Zakopane to Explore Slovakia

Zakopane is the perfect starting point for exploring the enchanting landscapes and rich culture of neighboring Slovakia. Having traveled extensively through these regions, I can tell you that Zakopane’s strategic location in the heart of the Tatra Mountains offers unparalleled access to both Polish and Slovak gems. I am sure that its proximity to the border makes it not only convenient for day trips, but also the ideal starting point for longer excursions.

Why is Zakopane the Perfect Base for Exploring Slovakia?

In my opinion , there are several reasons why Zakopane is an excellent choice for those wishing to explore Slovakia. Firstly, the stunning Tatra National Park on both sides of the border offers a variety of hiking and outdoor activities.

Here, you’ll be surrounded by the rugged beauty of the Carpathian Mountains as you traverse lush forests, shimmering lakes and craggy peaks. In addition, Zakopane boasts a well-developed infrastructure with an array of comfortable accommodations, delicious restaurants, and reliable transportation options. This ensures that you have everything you need for a smooth and enjoyable trip.

In addition, the cultural richness of Zakopane serves as a fantastic introduction to the region. I believe that experiencing the unique mix of Polish and Slovak traditions will pique your curiosity and inspire you to delve deeper into the history and customs of both countries.

↳ 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

Among the things you won’t want to miss are the beautiful wooden architecture, the vibrant folklore, and the tantalizing local cuisine that blends the flavors of both nations. I know that as you explore the area, you’ll come to appreciate the shared heritage and distinct characteristics that set each country apart.

Another advantage of using Zakopane as a base is its excellent connectivity to popular Slovak destinations. You can easily reach places like Poprad, Spiš Castle and the High Tatras, making your trip hassle-free and enjoyable.

There are also numerous organized tours and well-marked trails to suit a wide range of interests, from history buffs to adrenaline junkies.

Exploring Slovakia’s Culture: Day Trips from Zakopane

As someone who has traveled the region extensively, I can confirm the abundance of amazing day trips you can take from Zakopane to explore Slovakia. From adrenaline-pumping via ferratas to stunning castles steeped in history, there’s something for everyone. Here are some of the best day trips I managed to find, which are available in several travel agencies.

1. Via Ferrata Děčín Pastýřska Stěna (1 Day)

This trip is not to Slovakia, however I believe it is worth to be mentioned. If you’re new to via ferratas and want to learn the basics, this one-day trip to the Czech Republic is perfect for beginners. With a basic via ferrata course included, you’ll can gain the skills and confidence needed to conquer these exhilarating climbing routes. The picturesque Děčín Pastýřska Stěna via ferrata offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, making it an unforgettable experience.

2. Skalka via Ferrata near Kremnica (1 Day)

This can be a perfect 1-day trip to the Slovakia to practice via ferrata near Kremnica. This place offers an excellent introduction for those who want to get started. With a basic via ferrata course provided by local instructors, you’ll be able to navigate these exciting routes safely and confidently while taking in the stunning scenery.

3. Slovak Paradise Via Ferrata ABC (1 Day)

Click Play to See How Slovak paradise looks like from insde

Are you familiar with the Slovak Paradise? This one-day trip usually offered by agencies combines a basic via ferrata course with the opportunity to explore some of the region’s most impressive natural features. Perfect for beginners, you’ll get a taste of the adrenaline rush that comes from tackling these exciting routes while enjoying the unparalleled beauty of the Slovak Paradise.

4. Via Ferrata ABC – In One Day (1 Day)

For those curious about via ferratas but short on time, this one-day trip offers a crash course in tackling these exhilarating routes. The basic course will provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge to safely navigate these fascinating climbing routes, focusing on Slovakian via ferratas.

5. Adventure Via Ferrata C/D (1 day)

If you already have some experience with via ferratas and are looking for a more challenging adventure, this one-day trip to Slovakian via ferratas of difficulty C and D will satisfy your adrenaline thirst. Designed for those who are not afraid of heights and enjoy pushing their limits, this trip is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

6. Trenczyn and Beckov (12 hours)

Follow in the footsteps of the Great Pole of Medieval Europe on this trip through the beautiful valleys of Orawa and Vág. Along the way, you’ll visit the enchanting Beckov Castle, its open-air museum, and the magnificent Trencin Castle, as well as the charming old town of Trencin. This 1 day trip offers a unique blend of history, culture and breathtaking scenery that you won’t want to miss.

Spiš Castle and Lubovna Castle (9 hours)

You can also take a day trip to the impressive Spiš Castle and Lubovna Castle in Slovakia, where you’ll be immersed in the region’s rich history. As you travel through the historic towns of Levoča and Kežmarok, you’ll have the chance to appreciate the stunning architecture and fascinating stories behind these ancient landmarks.

8. Strečno and Lietava (10 hours)

This can be a day trip that will take you to the fascinating castles of Strečno and Lietava in Slovakia. In addition to exploring the castle ruins, you’ll also visit the open-air museum beneath Strečno Castle, which offers a glimpse into the region’s fascinating past.

9. Bojnice Castle (about 10 hours)

Bojnice Castle is considered one of the most beautiful and alluring castles in Central Europe, and this day trip to Slovakia is the perfect opportunity to experience its charm for yourself. In addition to the castle, you’ll have time to explore the old town, the museum and the local zoo, making for a well-rounded and enjoyable day.

10. Orava Castle and Lupca (7 hours)

Finally, this trip to Slovakia features the stunning Orava Castle and Lupca Castle. As you explore these historic landmarks, you’ll learn about their fascinating history and the region’s rich heritage. The trip also includes a visit to Banská Bystrica, where you can enjoy a leisurely stroll through the charming old town.


Each of these day trips offers a unique opportunity to explore the beauty and history of Slovakia. Whether you’re a beginner looking to try your hand at via ferratas, an adrenaline junkie looking for challenging climbs, or a history buff eager to explore ancient castles, there’s something for everyone. These day trips will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on you, and in my experience represent the very best of what Slovakia has to offer.

As you plan your adventures, I’m sure you’ll be captivated by the stunning scenery, exciting activities and rich culture that await you in Slovakia. With Zakopane as your base, you’ll have easy access to these unforgettable experiences, making your trip to this enchanting region one for the record books.