Are you interested in skiing in Poland? Read on, and we’ll detail all you need to know about it!
When you think of skiing in Europe, alpine resorts in France, Switzerland or Austria might come to mind.
In fact, Poland is often left out – which is a crying shame, as the Polish skiing scene has so much to offer!
Over the last couple of years, Poland has become one of the top alternative skiing destinations in Central Europe.
Improving slope infrastructure, a diverse array of hotels, convenient transport and great value equipment hire and lift passes mean that a ski holiday in Poland is a great idea.
The best bit? It’s great for everyone. Yes, no matter if you’re a casual skier, want to try some backcountry skiing or want to tackle some steep runs with near-vertical descents, there’s a Polish slope for you!
Plus, Poland is one of the most scenic ski spots in Europe, with wooded valleys and stunning views from every mountain top.
Here is a full guide to skiing in Poland.
Where can I ski in Poland?
Poland has hundreds of kilometres/ miles of ski slopes, with ski resorts offering excellent conditions for both beginners and professional skiers, many of which are family-friendly.
Skiing is a popular winter activity throughout the whole country, which means that don’t even need to go deep into the mountains to ski.
In fact, you’ll find many local small ski resorts within a relatively short distance of the biggest cities in Poland.
These days, if you’re staying in Kraków in winter on a city break, you don’t have to go all the way to Zakopane to catch the snow.
Skiing near Kraków is possible in Podstolice ski resort, which is located just 20 km from the city.
Before you head off to the mountains, you could even visit GoSkiing Kraków ski slope, which is an artificial slope offering ski lessons in the city center.
It also means you can enjoy Kraków’s numerous attractions and the city’s nightlife while on a ski break!
When is the ski season in Poland?
Ski season usually runs from early December to April, however, January and February generally guarantee the best snow coverage.
You don’t generally have to plan your ski trip to the Polish mountains in detail ahead of time – although I’d recommend booking flights and accommodation as early as possible during peak times, especially if you want the cheapest rates.
It’s also possible to visit the mountains just for a weekend trip, which isn’t the case in many European countries.
Where to ski in Poland: best resorts and slopes!
There are so many amazing places to ski in Poland.
And more keep popping up! In fact, due to the increasing popularity of winter sports in the last few years, new pistes have been created in regions all over Poland.
For example, artificial slopes have been created in Warsaw and Poznań, as well as in many smaller cities.
However, many people claim that the Polish skiing resorts in the south guarantee a truly magical winter trip as you’re surrounded by beautiful, picturesque sceneries of mountains blanketed in fresh snow.
So, it’s no surprise that skiing in South Poland is very popular!
Here, you can find whole chains of mountains, including the following:
- Sudetes Mountains
- Tatra Mountains
- Beskidy Mountains
- Świętokrzyskie Mountains
- Bieszczady Mountains
The Tatra Mountains are perhaps the most famous ski area in Poland.
Running alongside the Slovak border, they are home to the towns of Zakopane and Kasprowy Wierch, these mountains can rival alpine skiing.
As well as your usual trails, there are also marked trails for professional downhill skiing here!
With towns like Karpacz (a popular Polish spa town!) and Szklarska Poręba, Sudetes are well-prepared for ski lovers, with more than a dozen ski centres. It’s located close to the Czech border.
The Beskid Mountains are in the Silesian region of Poland, also quite close to the Czech border, and are famous for resorts like Szczyrk, Wisła, and Ustroń.
Best places to ski in Poland
Thanks to its charming scenery, Białka Tatrzańska is considered one of the best places to ski in Poland.
Białka is located in the Tatra Mountains and currently consists of three ski stations: Bania, Kotelnica and Kaniówka.
Conveniently, you only need one ski pass to enter all of them, and you can change the stations by using the T-bar lift that connects them.
This means that you can start your day in one ski area and finish in another!
With 23 routes, 11 lifts and 9 chair lifts spanning 16 kilometres/ 10 miles at your disposal, this resort is equipped with modern snowmaking systems, guaranteeing great conditions on downhill runs throughout the winter season.
If you’re visiting Białka Tatrzańska, expect gentle, ski trails that are ideal for first-time skiers, intermediates and snowboarders.
If the main purpose of your visit to southern Poland is to learn to ski, Białka Tatrzańska is an excellent choice.
What’s also great about this location is that after a day spent on the slopes you can stay in nearby Zakopane, a fun town close to the Slovakian border, which is considered to be the best town to visit in winter in Poland.
Here, you can relax in one of many bars, try local delicacies like a salted cheese called oscypek in restaurants and enjoy its unique wooden-tiered architecture.
Popular for its fantastic climate in both summer and winter, Szczyrk Mountain Resort is located in the mountain range of Beskid Śląski, about 600 m above sea level.
In Szczyrk Mountain Resort, you’ll find the longest pistes in Poland – slopes with a length of up to 25 kilometres!
There are three six-seaters and one ten-seater gondola lifts in the station area and, thanks to cooperation with the Central Sports Centre and Beskid Sport Arena, customers of the resorts can use a joint ski pass for nearly 40 km of slopes.
Don’t worry if there’s not much snow cover while you’re in Szczyrk! The pistes here have modern snowmaking systems, which help you to enjoy good conditions during each ride.
While in Szczyrk, you can also enjoy the attractions in neighbouring tourist towns – Wisła and Ustroń, which both have plenty of accommodation options.
Zieleniec Ski Arena is undoubtedly the largest network of ski resorts situated in the Polish Sudetes.
Located between the peaks of the Orlickie and Bystrzyckie mountains and lying at an altitude of 800-960 metres, Zieleniec is known for an unusual microclimate, similar to the Alps.
It also has a unique air pressure system which causes the human body to produce an increased number of red blood cells. This helps visitors feel happier and recover from exercise quicker!
With around 23 kilometres of ski slopes, Zieleniec is definitely one of the best skiing areas in Poland.
The conditions suit beginners, families with children and experienced skiers.
In total, there are 30 ski lifts in the resort.
The ski area has plenty of accommodation and restaurants. We recommend staying in the spa hotel Skałka – click here to read more!
Czarna Góra is a resort located by the Śnieżnik massif in the Sudetes Mountains.
While it’s not as popular as other Polish ski resorts, it is becoming increasingly famous amongst lovers of winter activities.
There are 13 ski runs, each about ten kilometres long, and movement is facilitated by three cable railways, six T-bar lifts and four belt lifts.
To enjoy skiing on Czarna Góra, you’ll need to purchase the Ski Region Śnieżnik pass, which also includes the Lądek Zdrój and Kamienica stations.
You can also use the Czarna Góra Resort SkiPass card. This allows you to enter the slope and use all the privileges of the ski resort, without the need to activate it at the ticket offices.
Czarna Góra has a wide variety of terrain, but some of the slopes are also suitable for beginners, and there is an excellent ski school – so don’t worry if you’re a beginner or need to brush up on your skiing!
There are many beautiful hotels and restaurants in Czarna Góra. The Chatka Gaździnek chalets look divine – click here to see them!
The Jaworzyna Krynicka ski station has eight routes, only one of which has a relatively easy descent; so it’s more of a resort for advanced skiers!
At this resort, you’ll find a slalom run, three cableways and five ski lifts.
If you are planning a trip with children, Jaworzyna Krynicka has a ski kindergarten offering trails for children and multi-lingual teachers.
The Krynica ski pass connects three ski resorts located in the Krynica-Zdrój area.
Skiers have 21 km of slope and 14 different ski lifts at their disposal.
The town of Krynica is definitely associated with winter sports and it’s often called the second winter capital of Poland after Zakopane.
In Krynica, you’ll find many picturesque landscapes, well-developed accommodation options and catering facilities.
Ski Arena Szrenica is a popular ski resort located in Szklarska Poręba, on the border of the Izera Mountains and the Karkonosze Mountains.
The Ski Arena Szrenica resort is a real paradise for more advanced downhill skiers, as it is the steepest route in Poland.
Located in the Karkonosze Mountains, the station offers 12 kilometres of trails with various difficulty levels, and the entire route is characterised by its mountain and forest views.
An additional attraction in Szklarska Poręba is the cross-country skiing routes located in the Izera Mountains.
Szklarska Poręba is a typical tourist ski town, so there are numerous tasty restaurants, enticing hotels and even spas.
Lift passes in Poland
Lift passes in Poland are inexpensive compared to other European countries.
Many lifts pass offer access to nearby slopes in other resorts.
For example, with the TatrySki pass, you can freely descend the slopes of Czarna Góra, Białka Tatrzańska and Jurgów.
Plus, you can use the BeskidCard in twelve resorts, including Krynica – Zdrój, Piwniczna – Zdrój and Kasina Wielka.
These tickets are a great solution if you want to visit a few different ski resorts without buying multiple passes!
For singular resorts, ski pass prices vary a lot depending on the exact location.
In bigger resorts, prices may fluctuate between 50-150 PLN (10-30 EUR) per person for a day, and in smaller resorts prices are usually much lower.
Ski rental in Poland
You will easily be able to find ski/snowboard rental shops in almost all the ski resorts in Poland. You can even rent ski clothes from here!
The price of equipment hire is usually less than 70 PLN (15 EUR) per day.
Also, almost all areas offer passes and rent per hour – so you can adjust the price depending on your needs.
Cost of skiing in Poland
Poland offers much more affordable prices than other countries in Europe. Here are some average costs for a week’s skiing in Poland:
- Lift pass: 100 PLN (20 EUR) per day, 700 PLN (140 EUR) per week.
- Equipment hire: 50 PLN (10 EUR) per day, 350 PLN (50 EUR) per week.
- Accommodation: As an example, hotels and self-catered apartments in Zakopane cost between 1,200 – 2,500 PLN (250-500 EUR) for a week in January. Some of these are less than a kilometre/ mile from the nearest ski lift. There are also cheaper places to stay than in Zakopane, which is one of the most touristy places in Poland in winter.
- Transport: Expect to pay around 65 PLN (14 EUR) for a one-way ticket from Kraków to Zakopane. Rates to other resorts vary
For one person, it could cost around 400-500 EUR to ski in Zakopane for a week.
Obviously, any extras like food and drinks would cost extra. Expect to pay between 20 – 50 PLN for a meal, and the average beer price is around 5-10 PLN.
Flights to Kraków are also an extra cost, although these can be very cheap.
To score the cheapest rates, avoid school holidays and the Christmas period and book as far in advance as you can!
How to get to Polish ski resorts
The easiest way to get to Polish ski resorts in the south of the country is to fly to Kraków or Katowice. From each airport, there are specially designated private buses.
These buses travel to most of the tourist towns in the mountains regularly.
They’re inexpensive; for one ticket from Kraków’s airport to Zakopane, you’ll pay around 65 PLN (14 EUR).
Another way to get to your destination is by train, as Poland has an excellent rail system.
Renting a car is also a good option, providing you with more convenience and flexibility. However, make sure that you’re comfortable driving in the snow and in a foreign country!
You could hire a car in Kraków and drive to Zakopane, which is a doable drive at less than 2 hours.
Prices of car hire depend on the exact car type, basic car rental can cost 75-120PLN per day.
Skiing in Poland FAQ
Does Poland have good skiing?
Yes, Poland has awesome skiing! If you want somewhere affordable, with a range of slopes and a great atmosphere, Poland is an excellent choice for skiing.
Are there any ski resorts in Poland?
Yes, there are lots of ski resorts in Poland! Take a look further up in this article to see the best resort for skiing in the country.
When can you ski in Poland?
There is skiing all over Poland, but the best areas are near the border with Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
Where is the best place to ski in Poland?
There are so many places to ski in Poland, it’s hard to think of the best!
Popular spots include Zakopane and Karpacz.
Can you go skiing in Kraków?
There is no actual Krakow ski resort, but you can go skiing at the GoSkiing Kraków artificial slope!
Alternatively, the mountains near Kraków are an excellent spot for skiing, and it’s a doable drive to reach them – or you can take a bus. The closest mountains are just a 20 minute drive away!
Kraków is a great place for a city break, even in the winter, so if you want to do a trip with just a day or two of skiing, this southern Polish city is perfect.
Can you ski in Poland in April?
Polish resort skiing in April is possible, but the weather conditions change rapidly this time of year and you may find that there’s little snow. Instead, I’d recommend visiting in January, February or March.
Can you ski in Poland in the summer?
No, you can’t ski in Poland in the summer. The very latest that the season runs to is April.
You can, however, enjoy the stunning views of the mountains in the summer months!
With lots of options for both expert and amateur skiing, Poland is the ideal location for a winter sports holiday. If you want to learn to ski here, there are beginner options like easy slopes and ski lessons, or there’s plenty to excite advanced skiers.
Poland has exceptional slopes, and the affordable prices, ideal conditions and picturesque views from each mountain top make it one of the most incredible destinations for skiing in Central Europe.
Hopefully, this guide to skiing in Poland has proved useful – if you’re searching for somewhere welcoming, affordable and with perfect skiing conditions, Poland is waiting for you!