The Easiest way to get to the Tatra National Park is to go to Zakopane first.
-There is a train station at Zakopane but i heard the train ride takes much longer.
-The bus I took from Krakow to Zakopane, which took about two hours through some lovely countryside. The bus does stop at a bunch of little villages on the way. You can pay your fare as you get on the bus.
- At the Bus station in Zakopane take the bus marked Palenica Bialczanska (about 35-50 minutes). This will leave you at the large parking lot, where you will pay your entrance fee
take the bus to Lysa Polana. Cross the bridge and you are in Poland. Take the path off to your right, walk about 15 minutes and you will be at the parking lot where you pay your entry to get in the park
The best way to get to the Morskie Oko is to start early from the parking lot and just hike up, Its a 9 km hike uphill...all of it is paved and really its not a very difficult climb at all. If you are frenzied and don't stop to check out the scenery you can probably make it in 1.5 hours. I started out early and went at a leisurely pace. As i went in September it wasn't terribly crowded (at least when i was going up)
I had a lot of fun. You will definitely not be alone on this trail!
From the parking lot at Palenica Bialczanska you enter the park. Now the trail to Morskie Oko is not difficult by any means. Of course, if you don't want to exert yourself too much on the way up, or if you are too tired and you have gigantic blisters on your feet because you didn't wear proper shoes.. then all you have to do is have your wallet ready (its not THAT expensive) and you can get in one of the horse drawn carriages operated by the local highlanders dressed in their traditional clothes. I must say that as we were coming down it seemed like the horses were excited or the driver was eager to get home and have dinner cause they were going at a good rate of speed
The trip takes about an hour and a half and stops at one of the waterfalls.
If you are planning a hike in Tatrzański Park Narodowy you will have to find an entrance to the park, pay for an entry ticket and then you'll be free to hike as much as you want but you must stick to the trails marked by different colours. Some of the smaller valleys in the park are easily accessible from Zakopane. Other popular trails start in more distant places, like Kiry, Kuźnice or Palenica Białczyńska. It is best to get there taking a small bus from the centre of Zakopane, opposite the coach and railway station. They run frequently in every direction and they are cheap, the prices starting from about $1, depending on where you want to go. To get to Palenica Białczańska, which is quite far from Zakopane, we paid zl7, which is about $3. You can go in your own car too, but the parking lot is quite expensive if you are planning a day trip - zl 5 an hour. Two most popular trails starting in Palenica lead to Morskie Oko and to the Valley of Five Lakes.
- This tip is a repeat of the one on my Zakopane page
For quick access to the Tatras, taking the cable car at Kuznice, 3km south of Zakopane, is a good option. It might be worth reserving tickets the day before if possible, otherwise you'll probably have to queue. As soon as we arrived in Zakopane, we tried reserving tickets at the tourist office for the following day but they were all sold out.
We arrived at Kuznice the next morning at about 9a, and had to queue for 30 minutes for the cable car. It cost us 20 Zl (about 7.50 Euro) each for a single trip. The scenery was stunning on the first half of the journey. We could see Zakopane behind us, beautiful fir trees below us and the peaks of the Tatras in the distance.
Halfway up we left our car and joined another for the ascent to the summit. Most of this journey was through the clouds unfortunately. While we could no longer appreciate the view it was still quite fun to be travelling through the clouds - though rather worrying for our planned hiking. We could only see the about 5 metres of cable car lines behind us and nothing in front of us. Everything else was white. Even the ground below us was hidden. So much for fantastic views from the top.
There's a restaurant, shop and other facilities in the cable car station at the top of Kasprowy Wierch.
From the car park, there are only 3 ways to reach The Lake Morskie Oko. The 9 km road uphill to the lake is best by walking or hiking.
Cars, buses, bikes are NOT allowed further from the car park.
The 3 ways would be :
1. Hiking; Walking : We can walk the distance in about 2 hours ! The trails are not steep & the sceneries are amazingly beautiful !
2. A Drawn Carriage : For old folks or some of us who don't feel like walking ! The carriages leave as soon as they collect 15 people. The trip takes about 1 1/4 hours uphill & costs about USD 7.
Downhill takes 45 minutes & costs USD 5.
In summer, carriages go up until about 4 or 5 pm & return up to around 8 pm.
In winter, transport is by horse-drawn four seater sledges, which are more expensive than the carriages.
3. A Van : For the handicapped people.
As you can see from the photo on the left, many people would prefer walking. The atmosphere is lively, talking, laughing but I was walking alone...Couldn't even understand the jokes they were sharing with each others.
From Lysa Polana, I took the bus (almost every half hour) to the car park at Polana Palenica.
If you would prefer to reach Lake Morskie Oko from Zakopane, it would be a 30 minutes bus ride : USD 1.25 bus ticket.
Photo on the left is the car park at Polana Palenica Hardly we could see any transport because I was there quite early but soon it would be filled with Tour Buses, School Kids, Old People; Very lively atmosphere actually.
There are of course many ways to reach The Tatras Mountain Range but my experience was taking the bus from Poprad ( in Slovakia) to the Polish border.
We arrived at the place called Lysa Polana, the check point between the 2 countries where we got our passports stamped : WELCOME TO POLAND FOR ME !
From Lysa Polana, Marek (my Slovak friend)decided not to follow me hiking up to Lake Morskie Oko, we would decide to meet up later in Zakopane.
Photo on the left is Lysa Polana & notice The High Tatras looming in the background ?
To some places you can go only on foot or by horse carriage. If you want to go to Morskie Oko you can take horse carriage from the Palenica. But be sure that there are enough people who want to go too (about 20 in this case) because otherwise you'll have to wait.
First you should get to Zakopane. You can go there by train, about 3 hours from Krakow or by bus, about 2 hours.
There are several private bus lines, like Szwagropol or or FREJ, they depart from bus station (PKS station).Tickets you can buy in the bus. The price is about 10 PLZ.