Spending a weekend in Zakopane is a great idea. Not only are you surrounded by the breathtaking Tatra Mountains, but there’s something for everyone, no matter what your level of experience. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you’ll be able to enjoy the outdoors and the many activities the city has to offer. Plus, it’s the largest city at the foot of the mountains, so you can expect plenty of visitors.
For many years, Zakopane has been a popular destination for weekend getaways, especially long weekends. During your three days in our mountain town you can really relax and be active, visit many fascinating places and experience the highlander culture. Zakopane and the Tatras are ideal for families with children, senior citizens and experienced climbers.
- If you still haven’t decided on the accommodation in Zakopane, you can use this search tool to find appropriate stay.
You can easily explore Zakopane and its surroundings in 3 days. This trip is perfect for those who are visiting Zakopane and the Tatras for the first time or after a while. It can be done without exhaustion even by children, seniors and people who don’t do sports regularly. Make the most of your weekend with this plan and get a taste of the best that Zakopane has to offer.
Day 1: Kasprowy Wierch Peak, Krupówki Street, Cemetery, Ski Jump
The first day is a mix of the mountains and the city of Zakopane itself.
↳ 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
Kasprowy Wierch: Easy to Reach Mountain Top
Start your day by driving or climbing to Kasprowy Wierch, a peak of 1987 meters high located on the Polish-Slovak border in the Western Tatras. You can reach the top either by cable car or on foot – the station and the start of the trail are in Kuźnice. To get to Kuźnice from Zakopane, you can take a bus or walk.
- Pictures and Google Maps Location of Kasprowy Wierch Top: Click Here
- Pictures and Location of Cable Car Station and Trails Start Point: Click Here
The cable car ride to the top takes only a few minutes and you can buy tickets at the ticket office or online. If you decide to hike, it will take about 3 hours to reach the top and about 2.5 hours to descend.
At the top you’ll find a meteorological observatory, a restaurant and a shop. You’ll have a wonderful view over the Polish and Slovak Tatra Mountains and Zakopane. Ski lifts with great slopes are available in winter.
If you plan to take the cable car up and down Kasprowy, you’ll need 2.5 – 3 hours of your time. That means 30 minutes for the ride down and two hours for the ride up. In addition, be prepared for long queues to buy tickets during the high season.
Krupówki Street: Zakopane’s Heart
After a morning spent on Kasprowy, why not take some time to relax and recharge your batteries? Krupówki Street, the most famous promenade not only in Zakopane but in Poland, is a great place to do just that. The street is closed to traffic and now it’s filled with shops, taverns, bars and souvenir kiosks.
Krupówki is always bustling with life – you’ll hear the sounds of traditional highlander music and people having a good time. You can also buy fresh oscypek and other local delicacies such as preserves and sauces. You might even get a chance to ride in a carriage driven by a real Highlander, if you’re lucky.
In Krupówki (or on the roads leading from Krupówki) we can also visit several other places:.
- Tatra Museum
- Parish Church of the Holy Family in Krupówki
- The Holy Family Sanctuary
- Upside down house
- Parrot House.
Check out all the sites you can find there. Be sure to read about the Steel Figures Museum, which I think is great: Discovering the Best Sites of Krupówki: Zakopane’s Old Town
If you don’t have too much time or prefer to visit Zakopane without any hassle, you can alternatively book a private tour around Zakopane and Krupówki. You will receive a professional guide who will take care of you and teach you about local history and traditions.
↳ Book the fascinating tour around Krupówki with the best guide by clicking here!
Cemetery in Pęksowy Brzyzek
Only a few hundred meters from Krupówki you can discover the historical cemetery in Pęksowy Brzyzek. It was the first cemetery in Zakopane, named after Jan Pęksa, who donated the land and it was established in 1851. In 1931 the cemetery was included in the register of monuments and received the title of the Cemetery of the Meritorious.
According to the statute of the cemetery, every burial had to be supervised by a monument conservator. Only people who had done something important for Zakopane and Podhale could be buried there.
The 500 graves that can be found there are amazing works of art. Most of them are made of wood with Podhale elements. Among them you can find the graves of Kornel Makuszyński, Jan Długosz, Kazimier Przerwa-Tetmajer and Stanisław Mursarz – polish famous writers.
To enter the cemetery, you’ll have to pay an entrance fee of 3 PLN. This money is used to maintain the graves.
Wielka Krokiew: Ski Jump
Your lunch in Zakopane is over. Don’t let the sightseeing stop. Head south to the Wielka Krokiew ski jump. This massive ski jump stands high on the north side of Krokiew Mountain, 1378 meters above sea level. It’s the largest ski jump in all of Poland and hosts international championships.
If you’re feeling adventurous, take the chairlift to the top. It will cost you 15 PLN, but don’t worry if you don’t want to go that far – you can still enjoy the stunning views of the Tatras from the base of the hill.
Day 2: Koscieliska Valley, Mroźna Cave, Gubałówka
On your second day in Zakopane, you’ll have a bit of an adventure. You’ll spend most of the day in the Tatra National Park, so wear comfortable shoes and bring a raincoat as a precaution.
Discovering the Kościeliska and Mroźna Valleys
Start your day with a trip to the charming village of Kiry, where you will find the entrance to the Kościeliska Valley. With almost no physical effort required, this is an easy route in the Tatra Mountains, offering breathtaking views.
Follow the good road without any hills. You will reach the PTTK hostel at Hala Ornak in only 1.5 hours. Once there, take a break and enjoy a hot meal. It’s a great warm-up for the more challenging routes ahead.
If you’re looking for an extra adventure, you can deviate from the main trail and visit the Mroźna Cave. It is a popular attraction and well worth the extra effort, although it is more challenging than the path to the shelter. Climbing over rocks and through the narrow and low corridors of the cave can be an exhilarating experience.
In my experience, you have two choices: you can limit yourself to the Kira-Hala Ornak trail, or you can increase the difficulty and explore the Mroźna cave.
Gubałówka: The Perfect Afternoon Trip
After a morning of hiking, it’s time to return to the Krupówki area and make your way to Gubałówka, a picturesque hill rising to 1120 meters above sea level. There are two ways to get to the top:
- you can either hike
- or take the cable car, which is located right at the foot of the hill and takes only a few minutes.
It’s important to note that the trail is on private land, and visitors must pay to use it, as the city has not yet been able to buy back the land from the private owners. Alternatively, the cable car is a great option, offering stunning views as you climb to the top.
Once at the top, you’ll find an observation deck with a panoramic view of Zakopane, the Tatra Mountains and Podhale. There are also several hotels, restaurants and entertainment for children. In my experience, I recommend taking your time to explore the area and take in the breathtaking views before heading back to the city.
Day 3: Trekking to Morskie Oko
On the third day of your Zakopane adventure, it’s time to step up the difficulty level with a trek to Morskie Oko. The route to this stunning lake is more challenging than the Kościeliska Valley, but it is still considered easy. There is virtually no elevation gain and the entire route is on an asphalt road. The round trip takes about 4-4.5 hours, and if you plan to spend some time at the lake, you should reserve a full day.
Morskie Oko is a beautiful natural wonder that is part of the Tatra National Park. To get to the entrance, located in Palenica Białczańska, you can take a private bus.
- Read more about how to get from Zakopane to Morskie Oko and which route to choose.
The trip to Morskie Oko itself is very pleasant and ideal for beginners. From my experience, you’ll want to bring comfortable shoes, a camera and plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the trek.