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Visiting Zakopane with kids is an adventure the whole family will love, with so many things to do in Zakopane throughout the year. This popular vacation destination in Poland is extra magical in winter though!
Poland is often referred to as the winter capital of Poland, although there is plenty to see in Zakopane all year round!
Discover the best things to do in Zakopane with kids, from mountain visits to the Polish Tatra Mountains to hiking and outdoor activities to water parks and holiday season fun.
Zakopane is a popular holiday destination, not only for the rest of the world (at least those who have gotten word of it) but also for Polish natives, who come during the winter months for skiing, snowboarding and other family activities.
In the cooler months, Zakopane transforms into a winter wonderland, becoming one of the most picturesque towns in the world.
The unique wooden architecture the area is known for is made even more beautiful with snow-capped roofs and roads, giving the entire town a festive vibe.
This makes it very popular during the winter months of December to February.
However, there is just as much to do when the weather is warmer, with scenic heights, mountain day trips, family fun and pampering too.
Some of these things can only be enjoyed when the weather is fine.
The weather in Zakopane, Poland can vary depending on the time of year. Here is a general overview of the weather conditions you can expect:
Spring (March to May): Spring in Zakopane is typically mild with temperatures ranging from around 4°C to 15°C (39°F to 59°F). It can be quite unpredictable, with occasional rain showers.
Summer (June to August): Summers in Zakopane are pleasant and relatively mild, with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). July and August are the warmest months, and it’s a popular time for outdoor activities in the surrounding Tatra Mountains.
Autumn (September to November): Autumn in Zakopane brings cooler temperatures, ranging from 4°C to 15°C (39°F to 59°F). The foliage in the nearby mountains displays beautiful autumn colours, making it a great time for hiking and sightseeing.
Winter (December to February): Zakopane is known for its winter sports and skiing opportunities. During winter, temperatures can drop significantly, ranging from -6°C to 3°C (21°F to 37°F) on average. Snowfall is common.
Zakopane gets an average of 200mm of snow daily in winter between December and February, with snow falling up to 6 months of the year, making it possible to enjoy a visit on the shoulder months of winter too.
How To Get To Zakopane
To reach Zakopane in Southern Poland, the closest international Airport is in Krakow. There are regular bus services to take you between Krakow and Zakopane. This trip is around 90 minutes. You can also visit Zakopane as a day trip from Krakow.
Popular during the winter holidays when Zakopane transforms into a tourism hotspot are the horse-pulled sleigh rides. The beautiful horse carts are yet another part of Zakopane that makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
Known as kuligs, they tend to hang around in the main part of town or up the top of Mt Gubalowka.
We had a kulig ride on the night before New Year’s Eve when attending an event somewhere on the outskirts of town.
It was in the dark, and with minimal light pollution in the area, it is truly dark in the forest. We could see very little apart from the ghostly white snow-capped trees along the edge of the road.
A very memorable experience though and one we enjoyed, especially with the entertainment, folk music and dancing, hot food and drink at the end.
Snowlandia is Zakopanes winter amusement park. With unique winter attractions, this is a place like no other!
There is a snow labyrinth and castle, toboggan run, igloos and heaps more of fun that the kids will absolutely love.
There is a mini zoo with an adorable array of wildlife:
Polish mountain sheep
Arctic fox and silver fox
They also have kid-friendly ski slopes and a chair lift for fun outdoors.
The Best Things To Do In Zakopane With Kids All Year
What about fun things to do in Zakopane summer, spring or autumn – when the snow isn’t falling?
While you can, of course, visit the incredible Kasprowy Wierch by cable car any time of year, for the chance to enjoy the Tatra Mountain views, that’s only the beginning of places to visit in Zakopane.
There is plenty of fun to be had all year round in Zakopane with kids, with both indoor and outdoor attractions, and some incredible day trips too!
Here are some family-friendly Zakopane activities for any time of year:
9. Visit Mt Gubałówka
Above Zakopane, in the Gubalowskie Foothills is Mt Gubalowka.
This is a popular tourist attraction providing breathtaking views of the Tatras. On a clear day, you can see so far and the sight is enough to impress the whole family, as you prepare to feel dwarfed by their size.
You will find the entrance to Mt Gubalowka an easy walk beyond the town centre, where you can catch the funicular (even the name sounds fun).
It’s essentially a small train-type carriage to take you to the top of the hill.
This is much quicker than walking and much more fun to travel with kids. It is a super quick trip but definitely, a way to save some energy so you are ready to explore what is at the top of the mountain.
At the top of Gubałówka Mountain, you will find a village, with more beautiful wooden houses the area is known for, as well as plenty of tourist-friendly activities such as cafes and stalls serving delicious local food. Enjoy dining with beautiful views over the high Tatras.
You can also buy traditional Polish souvenirs, do ski lessons or go for a dog sled ride.
We went up Mt Gubulwka on Christmas Eve and it was one of my fondest memories of our Zakopane day, as it was relatively quiet as everyone prepared for the traditional Christmas Eve feast – Wigilia.
Although even in Australia, this is part of our family tradition too as Simon’s parents are from Poland.
Open from spring until winter, at the top of Mt Gubalowka is the Summer Toboggan Run.
Also known as the Gubalowka Gravitational slide, this is a local attraction for those of you wanting a bit of a thrill.
This man-made Zakopane toboggan run is perfect when visiting outside of the snow season, when the usual winter activities aren’t possible.
Check out the video below to see the Gravitational Slide in action:
There is an admission fee for the attraction and kids under the age of 8 must ride the toboggan run with an adult.
13. Hiking In Zakopane
One of the best parts of staying near the surrounding mountains is the opportunity to enjoy nature walks.
Zakopane hiking tracks are perfect for exploring the beautiful scenery and the crisp fresh mountain air.
Start with a shorter track if your kids are younger, to see how they go.
Find the best walking tracks in Zakopane and details on length and difficulty on the Discover Zakopane website.
During the summer months, if you’re feeling especially energetic, you may want to try an easy hike up one of the smaller Tatra Mountains.
Depending on the age of your kids, one of the most popular options is Rysy Peak, which is the highest peak in Poland. The trail begins near Morskie Oko. Prepare to enjoy some of the best views in Zakopane!
14. Explore Krupówki Street
Krupówki Street is the main street of Zakopane, lined with restaurants, shops and entertainment.
The street is around a kilometre long and a fun town centre to explore as a family. There are plenty of places to stop with the kids for fun too, with arcade games or street performers.
Follow it to the base of Mt Gubulwka, visiting the markets along the way and finding some cool handmade Polish souvenirs.
15. Kids Park Janosika
Sometimes parents need a little bit of down time, while the kids need to turn off energy and play with other kids. This is where Kids Park Janosika is the perfect option!
This mammoth indoor play centre is 540 square metres of fun, over two levels.
With a play area just for toddlers and loads of fun for the older kids too. There’s slides, huge ball pits, a basketball court and a pontoon track.
Rainy Day Activities In Zakopane Poland
Sometimes bad weather cannot be avoided so have some indoor activities ready for rainy days in Zakopane.
Here are some indoor things to do with kids in Zakopane:
There are lots of other things to do in Zakopane with kids, especially during the peak tourist seasons when you will find street performers in town, extra food stalls and souvenirs, and other seasonal events.
It is especially amazing visiting Zakopane in December when all the festivities are happening! There are so many Zakopane winter activities on, but plenty to do all year round too.
You could even consider doing as we did, hiring a private home and enjoying a white Christmas and New Year celebrations in Zakopane.
And to the delight of kids from countries like Australia, no permit is needed to purchase and let off fireworks.
While this is probably a little on the risky side, Simon’s youngest brother thought this was the coolest thing ever and we did buy a few to let off in a park. At your own risk…
WHERE IS ZAKOPANE?
Zakopane is situated in Poland’s extreme south, at the foot of the Tatra Mountains. It can be reached in approximately 2 hours from Krakow by bus, train or private transport.
The main area of Zakopane is Krupowki Street, where you will find shops, restaurants and other facilities.
DAY TRIPS & TOURS TO ZAKOPANE FROM KRAKOW
There are many fantastic day tours to visit Zakopane from Krakow, as it is only a relatively short distance between the two cities. If you aren’t planning to stay in Zakopane, you can visit on a one-day tour instead and see the highlights.
Or if you are spending a few days in Zakopane, you can organise tours from Zakopane to see the Tatras and other beautiful sights nearby.
Absolutely! Zakopane is a beautiful destination known for its stunning natural scenery, charming wooden architecture, and vibrant local culture. Whether you’re a nature lover, an adventure enthusiast, or simply seeking a relaxing getaway, Zakopane offers a wide range of attractions and activities to enjoy.
How many days do you need in Zakopane?
The ideal duration for a visit to Zakopane depends on your interests and the activities you plan to engage in. However, spending around 2 to 4 days in Zakopane allows you to explore the main highlights, experience the local culture, and enjoy outdoor adventures such as hiking, skiing, or exploring the Tatra Mountains.
Does Zakopane have snow?
Yes, Zakopane experiences snowfall, particularly during the winter months. The town is a popular winter destination, attracting skiers and snowboarders from around the world. If you visit Zakopane during the winter season, you can enjoy snow-covered landscapes, go skiing or snowboarding in the nearby ski resorts.
How do you get to Zakopane from Krakow?
The best way to get to Zakopane from Krakow is by bus, car or private transfer.
Book your flights – We use WayAway or Skyscanner to research and book flights. You can set up a price alert for your travel dates, plus it compares most major airlines in one place.
Book your tours & attractions – Our favourite attraction and tour booking services are Get Your Guide and Viator. Booking ahead will mean you don’t miss out on popular tours!
From fun things to do in Zakopane winter and Zakopane indoor activities, to fun outdoor activities in Zakopane, we’ve covered it all! It really is a must-see destination when venturing through Poland and one we look forward to taking our own kids one day, so they too can experience the magic of a white Zakopane Christmas.
We hope this guide helps you plan plenty of fun things to do in Zakopane for kids and families visiting this beautiful Polish gem!
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