Are you planning to spend your winter holidays in Poland and you’re wondering where to go?
If you visit Poland in winter you must know that numerous places become lively then and you can enjoy great winter infrastructure. You can also visit places which aren’t popular in winter but they don’t lose anything from their charm.
If you hate winter, snow and freezing cold you might want to try to look for winter sun elsewhere in Europe – but below you will find a list of places for your winter holidays in Poland and I assure you – you will have great fun no matter if you travel solo, with friends, a partner or your family 🙂 Also Poland is cheap in comparison to other European destinations so if you are on a budget, this is perfect for you!
Winter holidays in Poland. Where to go?
Winter holidays in Poland – popular places
Popular places for winter holidays in Poland are popular for a reason – they offer great infrastructure for fans of winter sports, they let you breathe some fresh, freezing air. There is a disadvantage though – crowds of other tourists. However, you can still have great fun 🙂 Below you will find a list of my favorite popular places for Polish winter.
Zakopane and Tatra Mountains
One of the most popular places to visit is Zakopane, Poland in winter. It is a busy town but you will find numerous things to do here. Many people choose Zakopane for skiing holidays. It also is a great place to spend Christmas and learn all about Polish Christmas traditions.
My favorite Zakopane ski resort is Kotelnica Białczańska, especially before or after the highest season. I had the best skiing holidays in Zakopane, Poland on the first days of calendar spring 🙂 If the weather isn’t favorable, you can check one of thermal pools around. I love relaxing in a jacuzzi and a sauna after skiing, you can also have fun on various slides.
Apart from skiing, my favorite Zakopane winter holidays activity is hiking. A walk along Chochołowska valley was one of the most beautiful winter experiences I had in my country. And I didn’t mind the temperature falling to minus 17 degrees C 🙂
Even though most of the trails in the Tatras are dangerous and closed in winter, if you feel like having a more ambitious walk, I recommend you to hike to Five Ponds Valley (Dolina Pięciu Stawów). Extremely popular in the summer, in winter it’s going to be empty and equally beautiful. Remember that to go there you will need to dress appropriately, you will need professional hiking boots. Hiking poles and crampons may be useful too.
Zakopane in winter is full of attractions. You can take a sleigh ride, drive a snowmobile, try skitouring or ice skating. It will be crowded but certainly you will not be bored 🙂
If you’re looking for accommodation in the town of Zakopane in winter, prices can get crazy (up to 1000 zł / 250 EUR a night, which is incredibly high for Poland!). However, it is possible to find options in acceptable price range and great standard, like Rezydencja Zakopiańska.
If you’re looking for something more affordable, check towns around Zakopane, like Poronin, Murzasichle, Gliczarów, Bukowina or Białka Tatrzańska. Check Pensjonat Litworówka, where you can get a great apartment at an affordable price 🙂
In Izerskie mountains you have the biggest chances for snow even during a warm winter. It is the coldest place in Poland, ski season lasts the longest here. Due to the microclimate the temperature can fall below 0 degrees Celsius even in the summer!
It is the best place for cross-country skiing in Poland. You can find over 100 kilometers of cross-country skiing routes on Polish and Czech side of the mountains. Most trails start in Jakuszyce. If you’re a downhill skier, don’t worry – Ski Arena in Szklarska Poręba is one of the best places to ski in Poland and you will enjoy your time there too 🙂
I found the best accommodation in Szlarska Poręba for you:
Willa 654 – a great place only a kilometer away from ski resort on Szrenica mountain and close from main attractions in the city. Tasty breakfast is included in the price 🙂
Hotel Villa Romantica – if you feel like having a relaxing massage or resting in a sauna after spending the day on winter activities – this is the place 🙂 It’s a hotel in great location with SPA.
Wisła & Ustroń
If you wonder where to ski in Poland, Wisła and Ustron will be great too. I learned how to ski here when I was three and a half years old! 😉 My favorite place to ski in Poland in this area is Stożek. The slope is diversified and quite long. In case of bad weather you can spend time in Hotel Gołębiewski’s aquapark.
Also if skiing isn’t your thing, from here you can take a trip to Koniaków, Istebna or Jaworzynka. It’s a so called tri-village (Trójwieś) and each of them has something interesting to offer. In Jaworzynka you can take a walk to the tripoint – a spot where borders of Poland, Czechia and Slovakia meet. In Istebna you can see the museum of Jerzy Kukuczka, famous Polish climber. Koniaków is famous for its lace products – you can find lovely lace tablecloths as well as sexy underwear… 🙂
Oh, and did you know that Polish famous ski jumper Adam Małysz comes from Wisła? This is another reason to visit the area 🙂
I found some great accommodation options in Wisła for you:
Leśny Dwór – located close to the above mentioned Stożek ski slope. Comfortable rooms – and you can use a bathtub with hydromassage… 🙂
Apartament na urlop – perfect place for a family or a group of friends. They offer apartments for three to seven people 🙂 It is conveniently located in Wisła city center.
In Szczyrk you will find what I consider the best ski resort in Poland – Szczyrkowski. Currently they have 40 km of ski slopes and as far as I know, they plan to make more. It’s the only ski resort in Poland where I had to look at a map to decide where to go 😉 I choose this place the most often when I wonder where to spend my winter holidays in Poland.
If you choose Szczyrk you can also hike Klimczok or Skrzyczne – the highest peak of Silesian Beskids. I hiked both of them in winter and it is a great start to winter trekking. Remember though, you need to have good hiking boots and dress properly. Trekking poles may be useful too. Don’t even think of going there in regular sports shoes.
In case of bad weather you can take a trip to Bielsko-Biała. It is a pretty city – and home for one of the most famous Polish cartoons, Bolek and Lolek – they even have a monument in Bielsko! 🙂
If you choose Szczyrk to look for best skiing in Poland and other fun activities, stay in Apartament Parkowy. It’s in perfect location in the center of the town, it’s comfortable and offers tasty breakfasts. SPA and sauna is included… 🙂
Winter holidays in Poland: off the beaten path
All above places are extremely popular for everybody visiting Poland in winter – including the Poles. However, there are numerous other places, which don’t lose anything of their charm in winter but don’t attract so many tourists. Where to look for them?
Recommended by Wojtek from Road Trip Bus
Swietokrzyskie Mountains are one of the oldest mountains in Europe. Due to their age, they are not the highest but sometimes it gives them more charm. They are one of the best places to visit in Poland in winter, sprinkled with small amount of snow, when from under white fluff you can see stone runs. Winter landscape totally changes what they look like so when you go there for the first time in winter, even on the same trail you can feel you discover them again.
In winter time Swietokrzyskie Mountains are not the most besieged touristic attraction, which definitely is an advantage. Trails will be empty so everyone who looks for a little bit of loneliness, will find it there. During this period everyone who wants to hike the Crown of Polish mountains in winter should visit as well.
The best place to start your hikes is a village called Święta Katarzyna. From there it’s just a 1h walk to the top of Łysica, the highest mountain in the area. It is also close to Kielce. Stay in guest house u Skiby located right on the red hiking trail! Moreover, from here you’ll be able to enjoy outstanding views at the area 🙂
Polish wildest mountains still aren’t among the most popular places to visit in Poland in winter and it is a mistake. The views are outstanding and almost for sure you will hike the trails alone.
Even though Bieszczady try to catch up with other mountain regions, they still don’t have much of winter tourist attractions – which is an advantage if you want to rest and spend time with nature. I recommend Bieszczady to you especially if you want to start your adventure with winter hiking or you love it already 🙂
A great village to stay in Bieszczady is Wetlina and one of the best spots there is Borsuczyna guesthouse. It is cosy, comfortable and you can relax by the fireplace 🙂
Recommended by Marta from Spójrz przez okno
Have you heard about Spisz? Polish Spisz is a geographical and historical land between Podhale and Pieniny. In other words, if you are skiing in Białka Tatrzańska, you enjoy your holidays in Podhale but if you go for the slopes in Czarna Góra or Jurgów, suddenly you find yourself in Spisz. Much bigger part of this region is in Slovakia, which is also worth visiting if you are already nearby.
Polish Spisz consist of 14 beautifully situated villages, full of peace, tranquility and offering amazing walking paths. Visit Łapszanka with its picturesqe chappel and breathtaking view on the Tatra mountains. Have a look into charming little churches of Krempachy, Trybsz and Frydman. Take a walk along the rigde of Grandeus, between Łapsze and Dursztyn, which offers amazing view on the mountains – Tatry, Pieniny, Gorce and Babia Góra. Spisz is worth visiting at any time of the year but if you wonder where to go in Poland in winter – Spisz is exceptionally beautiful then. And it is easier to meet husky sled than tourists 🙂
If you choose Spisz, stay in Czarna Jagoda guesthouse in Czarna Góra. It is a convenient spot to start your exploration of Spisz. Also if you’ll feel like skiing and spending time thermal pools, you’ll reach them in 15 minutes from here.
If you’re wondering where to go in Poland in winter remember that it is a great time to visit cities. Yes, the frost bites your cheeks, the wind penetrates all layers of your clothing. You need to hide in coffee shops and restaurants more often to drink a warming tea or mulled wine. You use buses with pleasure where normally you would walk.
But in winter cities are equally charming as in other seasons, they are often still illuminated by Christmas lights and they are much less crowded. I recommend you all Polish cities in winter. I’ve recently spent one day in Warsaw, Szymon below chose Opole in winter – and we both have positive impressions. Kraków’s old town should be less crowded too – check this itinerary for 3 days in Kraków for inspiration.
If you want to spend your winter holidays in Poland you might choose one of our lovely cities – I guarantee you that due to the temperature outside, each and every warm regional dish or a shot of regional vodka tastes so much better… 🙂
Here’s what Szymon has to say:
Recommended by Szymon from Za miedzą i dalej
At first, Opole doesn’t seem to be the first choice for a winter trip in Poland. In general, the capital of Opolskie region is out of the main tourist paths and it isn’t well known among tourists. I decided to go there out of the season – in January and find out what it is all about.
The Old Town in Opole is small but it is well maintained and I liked it. The same with the surroundings – they look pleasant and even though they might not be the most beautiful in the world, they have their charm. What I also remembered from Opole is a colorful fountain on one of the squares. It drags your attention especially if it is white around. If you look closely you will see it shows butterflies 🙂
Even though I was there during the weekend, the city was empty. There was snow, no sun so at times it seemed to be grey – bit I liked it! The Old Town was pretty empty which normally is hard to believe. Outside of it, it was even emptier, I met a couple of people. In general I think winter is a great time to visit cities.
Recommended by Emilia from Emi w drodze
Winter is my favourite season to visit the Polish seaside – mostly because only then there are almost no tourists there. Although Baltic beaches are wide, in the summer there are full of windbreaks blocking the access to the water – Polish phenomenon. But in the winter they’re almost empty – and on the windless, sunny days my favourite place to go for a walk.
The scenery is at its most beautiful when it’s really cold – when the temperature drops down to -15 or even -20 degrees Celcius (which, unfortunately, doesn’t happen too often in this region), even the water in the sea freezes! You can then walk on the frozen waves far into the sea, even few hundred meters!
For those looking for some adrenaline, in Mielno, called „Polish Ibiza” (in the summer) or „Polish capital or winter swimming”. So if you wonder what to do in Poland in winter this is a unique option – every winter Sunday you can swim in the cold water together with many other daredevils. On the beach there’s an interesting mix of onlookers dressed in the thick winter clothes and the crazy ones running along the beach wearing just bikini and a winter hat. They say such winter baths are good for boosting your immunity – but I’m not brave enough to give it a try 😉 Would you dare?
An advantage of spending your winter holidays in Poland at the seaside is cheap accommodation. You can book places which cost a fortune in the summer in a very affordable price. Check Apartments Dune Resort. For me – a little luxury at a great price!
The Trail of the Eagles’ Nests
This year at the beginning of January I had an opportunity to visit three castles on the trail of Eagles’ Nests. The trail connects numerous medieval castles built to protect early Poland. Even though it was cold but with no snow and it was impossible to visit the castles inside – I loved them much more that I do in spring and summer! Why is it a great answer to where to go in Poland in winter?
Around the castles there were no people which doesn’t happen in other seasons. Two castles – Mirów and Bobolice looked completely abandoned. I met a couple of people around the biggest and most popular one – Ogrodzieniec. It was so quiet, I just heard wind and nothing else. It’s so much more pleasant to admire these impressive buildings and imagine what they were like at their best, in medieval times. In high touristic season you look at them surrounded by places selling hot dogs, magnets and shining swords.
I will gladly go back there in autumn or winter, I’ll bike along the trail of Eagles’ Nests or walk between a couple of them. I’ll enjoy the castles and outstanding nature of Kraków-Częstochowa Upland in peace.
Look for accommodation in Podzamcze – I checked options for you and the best one is Agroturystyka na Jurze. Modern apartments – and you can see the castle from the garden 🙂
Malbork Castle is one of the best examples of Miedieval architecture in Europe. Crowded in the summer, you will be able to enjoy it in peace in winter. Just like the previous castles, you will feel like you moved back in time to middle ages.
If you go to Malbork, stay in Apartament Blisko Zamku (Apartment Close To The Castle). It really is close to the castle 🙂 You will find all utilities you need there.
Białowieża Forest (Puszcza Białowieska)
Białowieża Forest is a great place to escape the crowds all year round. But in winter you definitely are more likely to meet a wild animal than another person!
I’ve heard that it’s the easiest to see a wild bison or a deer in winter. You can also go “hunt” them with a guide.
Also, if you’ve wondered “can you ski in Poland?”, I will surprise you. The answer is yes – and not only in the mountains 🙂 Wide and long trails in Białowieża Forest are perfect for cross-country skiing. If I ever want to try it, I will do it there. You can also arrange a sleigh ride with fire and sausages at the end – perfect for winter holidays in Poland with kids and not only 🙂
Make sure to check this guide to the wild region of Podlasie, north-eastern Poland – all places mentioned there will be great in winter!
If you visit Białowieża Forest, stay in Białowieża village 🙂 Check Białowieski Raj (The Paradise of Białowieża) – perfect location and I bet you will feel like you went straight to paradise… 🙂
Masurian Lake District (Mazury)
I bet you didn’t think of a lake district for your winter holidays in Poland. I haven’t either initially. But then I started reading more and it turned out there are SO many things to do!
Did you know about a sport called ice yahting or ice sailing?! You can try it, borrow a boat and a trainer for a full day in Giżycko or Mikołajki in Masuria. More information is available on this site but it’s in Polish only. I hope Google translate will do its job – or just go there and ask when you arrive!
Except for ice sailing, you can also try snowkiting or iceboarding – winter versions of kitesurfing and windsurfing. Moreover, if you’re brave enough, you can jump into the freezing-cold water – they say it’s great for your health 🙂 You can watch dog sledding races and do cross country skiing and explore this beautiful area.
In Giżycko you will find great apartments at a cheap price in winter. Check this stylish Apartament Witosa in the center of the town, close to the lake 🙂
I admit – I had no idea that winter kayaking exists. While writing this post I found out that it is popular especially on Czarna Hańcza river, but not only. If you plan your winter holidays in Poland, check if there are any winter kayaking trips in the area. It can be a great idea for spending the day. Let me know how was it 🙂
I hope that this post will help you decide where to spend your winter holidays in Poland – and that you will have fun and avoid crowds if you wish to! 🙂
Another option worth considering is visiting Auschwitz concentration camp – it is popular all year round but it is way less crowded in winter. Just make sure to dress very well – it gets much colder than you expect there…
If you want to know more outstanding places in Poland check this post about the most beautiful trails in Polish mountains. Check this guide to the wild region of Podlasie or a full guide to my home city – Katowice. And have fun discovering my beautiful country any time of the year! 🙂
In case you feel like checking other fun things to do in winter, I found the best place to see northern lights in Iceland 🙂
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