Zakopane is located in the far southern portion of Poland and sits at the base of the Tatra Mountains. There are several transportation options for reaching Zakopane, which is connected to the capital city of Krakow by both taxi and bus.
There are three bus companies that travel between Krakow and Zakopane, and each one makes several journeys a day. All leave from the Krakow bus station that is located a few minutes north of the train station. The journey takes just under two hours, and there is some nice scenery to view along the way, especially as you get closer to the Podhale region. One advantage of traveling to Zakopane by bus is that it takes less time than by train. However, construction on the main road between Krakow and Zakopane can sometimes cause significant delays. Once in the city, buses remain a very good way of travelling around. Minibuses go almost everywhere for a reasonable price.
Counterintuitively, the bus is actually faster than a train travel journey, which can take between four and six hours. Because of the mountainous terrain between Krakow and Zakopane, the trains are extremely slow. Still, if you have your heart set on riding the rails, there are several daily direct trains to Zakopane. On the other hand, if you want to go directly from Warsaw to Zakopane, there is one daily overnight train.
For quick access to the Tatras, taking the cable car at Kuznice is a good option. Kuznice itself is only three kilometers south of Zakopane, and it’s worth reserving tickets the day before in order to avoid lines at the cable car station. You may also find that cable car rides are sold out if you delay too long on buying tickets. The ride stops halfway up the mountains before the rest of the trip continues in another cable car. Following your journey, you’ll find a restaurant, shop, and other facilities at the final station.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about taxi, train, bus, and airport transportation to Zakopane.