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Getting to Zakopane

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 By air

Unfortunately, Zakopane has no airport, thus, the only way of getting here by plane is by choosing one of the nearest airports. The closest one is situated 70 kilometres away in Poprad (Slovakia), whereas the nearest Polish airport is located in Cracow (Krakow-Balice) – 100 kilometres away from Zakopane.


 Getting to Zakopane via Cracow

The easiest way to get to Zakopane is to choose Cracow as a starting point as it is situated about 100 kilometres from Zakopane and the public transport offers a good connection with the winter capital of Poland. One can choose from a train (which frequently leaves for Zakopane from Cracow Plaszow railway station), private buses and mini buses (running several times a day) or a public coach (PKS bus running every few hours). There are two privately-owned companies offering transport services at the prices competitive to those offered by the state-owned PKS.
 
These are as follows: Trans-Frej and Szwagropol.
 
Both offer fast, if possible, and effective connection between Cracow and Zakopane. Their stations are situated more or less opposite the PKS Coach Station. The buses run from 6 a.m. till 8 p.m. nearly once every hour. The fare is PLN 13,00 (concessions : PLN 10,00).
 
The tickets can be booked in advance:
  • the Trans-Frej services at the backyard of the ''Dom Wczasowy PODHALE'' at 9 Kosciuszki Street (tel.: 018 201 41 99)
  • the Szwagropol services in the shop next to the bus station at 19 Kosciuszki Street (tel. 018 201 71 23).

 By car

 If coming by car, the best idea is to take the picturesque route, called ''zakopianka'', which though is the shortest one, it is usually packed. One more disadvantage, if taking this No. 95 national road, is the reparation and construction works under way, which slow down the traffic and make the road jammed. The good news, however, is that by 2010 the dual carriageway will have been completed, making it possible for motorists to cover the Cracow-Zakopane distance within1.5 hours. Nowadays, on the average, the journey takes about 2 hours or from 4-5 hours while travelling at extended weekends and at the height of the season.To avoid the jams on this one-hundred-kilometre long route, it is advisable to use the alternative routes, which though of worse quality, are more interesting and less frequently crowded. One of the ideas is e.g. if coming from the direction of Upper Silesia, go via Korbielow (Polish-Slovak border), through Sucha Hora and back to Poland from Chocholow get to Zakopane.


 By rail or coach

As for the train, it takes about 3-4 hours to get from Cracow to Zakopane. Some Polish cities offer direct connections with Zakopane, thus, coming to Zakopane by train is quite common.
 
 
PKP Railway Station, whose building is a monument of the Galicean railway architecture, is situated in Chramcowki Street. Though quite empty as compared to the PKS Coach Station, it thrives with life at the season. The major facilities include: the open non-stop left-luggage office, a bar, a bufet.

Zakopane has direct train connections with Cracow, Warsaw, Katowice, Poznan, Szczecin, Czestochowa, Olsztyn, Gdynia, Jelenia Gora and Lodz.

PKP services telephone info: 018 201 4504
 
PKS Coach Station (Dworzec PKS) is situated within a walking distance from the PKP Railway Station (Dworzec PKP) in Kosciuszki Street. Upon getting off the bus, do not be surprised being offered accommodation by the locals claiming to have ''tanie noclegi'' (in Polish, meaning - cheap accommodation). The practice shows that the prices are not the lowest ones, whereas the standard leaves a lot to be desired.
PKS offers transport both to the nearby villages and to the major Polish cities like Warsaw, Cracow, Katowice, Czestochowa, Bielsko-Biala.

The PKS Coach Station facilities include ticket offices, the information desk, the newsagents' stands and confectionary's. At the front of the building there are also a lot of grocery shops and various types of bars with tasty and cheap snacks on offer.

PKS services telephone info: 018 201 4603
 
 
NOTE: It is a good idea to purchase your ticket in advance (even the return one) to avoid queuing on the day of your trip!
 
                                                                                                
                                                                                              

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