7 Best Winter Holiday Destinations in Poland

Gone are the days when travelers head for the Alps or Rockies for a winter vacation experience like no other – Poland has more than enough to satisfy your cravings. Poland’s winter holiday is all about the food, snowcapped mountain peaks, and an array of winter activities such as winter hikes, skiing, snow, and snowshoeing to keep you and your loved ones from getting bored. If, for instance, the snowfall is light you can opt for winter hikes and explore its many trails, but it is however important that you come prepared. 

When to Go?

The best time of the year to go on a winter holiday in Poland is from November to February. All through the winter season, there are periods when you will experience a more pleasant weather. Nonetheless, visitors are advised to always layer up and pack weather-appropriate clothing. 

If you are a snow freak, then be sure to stick around till January and February when the snow is at its peak. For an atmosphere you can’t beat, be sure not to miss out on the exciting activities and events held throughout Poland in December. Churches, Christmas markets, and other significant places in Polish towns and villages are colorfully adorned and brightly illuminated. No matter where you are in the country, you’d feel Christmas in the air. 

Where To Go?

Winter tourism in Poland promises to be worthwhile and ideal for people of all ages and budgets. Visiting in the winter months gives visitors a chance to appreciate the natural appeal of wintertime national parks; the lively Polish Christmas markets; and the breathtaking views of the snowcapped mountains. 

With plenty of winter activities to enjoy, here are some of the best spots where you can spend your winter holiday in Poland. 

1. Szczyrk

Szczyrk Poland

For the best ski resort in Poland, give it to Szczyrkowski. This picturesque town is popular with nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Located in Silesian Beskidy Mountains in Southern Poland, Szczyrk is one of the most visited travel destinations in Poland, thanks to its proximity to Krakow. It is just 2 hours drive from Krakow. You can take a day trip from Krakow. 

The mountain resort in Szczyrk is extremely affordable and cheaper than in other bigger cities both in Poland and across the globe. Featuring state-of-the-art infrastructure, the town is considered a haven for skiers and snowboarders during the winter season. 

If you love spending time amid nature and are looking for a stunning landscape, no other place can satisfy your winter activity needs than Szczyrk mountain resort. This is a great spot for families with kids. It is also an ideal spot for those who are learning to ski. 

Szczyrk mountain ski resort starts operation from mid-December to early April. If you are unlucky to visit when the snow is light, not to worry, the ski resorts have invested in machines that ensure the slopes are covered in snow.

Everyone who visits the ski resort is guaranteed a swell time exploring the ski area. 

Where To Stay?

2. Zakopane

Zakopane Poland

Zakopane, the capital of winter sports in Poland, is always bustling with activities year-round. It is a prime spot for beautiful selfies just make sure you bring your cameras alongside. Located at the foot of the Tatra Mountains, in the extreme south of Poland, this popular tourist town offers all kinds of attractions, especially in winter. 

Winter sports enthusiasts will have a swell time in Zakopane. The city plays host to the annual Ski Jumping World Cup, one of the world-renowned winter competitions. It is also home to lots of beautiful ski slopes and hiking trails worth giving a try. Popular winter activities to try in Zakopane include ice skating, skiing, snow scooter riding, and snowboarding. No matter how you want to spend your winter vacation, Zakopane has something that fits perfectly. 

Don’t miss a chance to explore Krupowki, the town’s most popular thoroughfare. It is a prime spot to discover an authentic Polish Christmas atmosphere. To catch a stunning view of the city and its snow-covered roofs and streets, head to Gubalowka Hill. Here you can also ski and shop for some locally made souvenirs. 

One thing is sure – you can’t love Zakopane cuisine any less. Food range includes Pierogi (dumplings), kwasnica (sauerkraut soup), and oscypek – a tasty milk cheese.

Where To Stay?

3. Krakow

Krakow Poland

This list of winter destinations in Poland will be incomplete without mentioning Krakow. Krakow, the former capital of Poland, has a lot to offer. In winter, the streets are adorned with spectacular lights and stunning décor. You’ll love the city for its beauty. 

When in Krakow in winter, you don’t want to miss a trip to the most beautiful Christmas markets in Poland. The city host one of the largest and perhaps the most popular Christmas holiday fairs in Krakow’s Market Square. Here, you will learn everything there is about local culture and traditions as well as the most popular Polish foods during Christmas like cabbage rolls, pierogi, and hearty soups. 

In the markets, you can purchase handmade souvenirs like crocheted lace, Lemko glass bead collars, hand-woven baskets, pottery, or wood carvings. Be sure to check out the Christmas Ornaments Workshop, a nativity scene exhibition, and contest, where participants decorate baubles. That’s not all. Participants will also get to see how Christmas ornaments are made. 

There can’t be a better way to celebrate Christmas in Krakow. 

Where To Stay?

4. Karpacz

Karpacz Poland

Located in the Karkonosze Mountains, Karpacz is not just known for its skiing resort but also for its range of winter sports activities available. Vacationing in Karpacz means skiing and tourism. Its location makes it a prime spot for sports and recreational activities all year round. Take a joyful ride around the town on your snow scooters. Families with kids will find the special winter playground with snow tubes a beauty to behold. 

Kopa, a popular ski resort, is a great place to ski featuring 7 lifts, two chair lifts, and five t-bars. Skiers’ safety and security is guaranteed right here. Generally, Karpacz is a town where tourists can relax, unwind, and experience massive fun at any time of the year.

With its many tourist facilities and infrastructure, Karpacz has become a hot vacation spot amongst local visitors and foreign tourists. In the town, there are no shortages of places to stay – hotels, holiday houses, pensions, hostels, private rooms, and camping sites.

Where To Saty?

5. Ustrzyki Dolne

Ustrzyki Dolne Poland

Located in the Subcarpathian Voivodeship, Ustrzyki Dolne is the capital of Bieszczady County. This district town has favorable weather conditions for the winter season. More so, its location in the mountain region makes it a hot spot for some winter activities. 

Fondly called the winter capital of the Podkarpackie Voivodeship, Ustrzyki Dolne boasts various ski lifts and clear mountain air. It is an attractive destination for skiing enthusiasts and hiking buffs. A few kilometers from the heart of the town, you will find ski centers Laworta and Gromadzyn, and ski lifts on Maly Krol. 

The popular Polish winter resort attracts foreign travelers all year round, who come to explore magnificent monuments including the Greek-Catholic Orthodox, neo-Gothic church of St. Mary the Queen of Poland, the Museum of Bieszczady Mountains National Park, and the old Jewish cemetery, amongst others. 

Where To Stay? 

6. Wisla

Wisla Poland

Wisla is a popular year-round tourist destination, with its mountainous region a hot spot for skiing enthusiasts. If you are looking for the best place to ski in Wisla, look no further than Stozek. One of the reasons for its popularity is because of its long and diversified slope. 

Surrounded by lush green forests on nearby mountain slopes, Wisla caters to the needs of travelers seeking relaxation or seasonal sports. In terms of winter sports, the city has gained popularity for being the birthplace of the most successful ski-jumper in Poland, Adam Malysz – a man whose sporting achievements knows no bound. 

Apart from the recreation activities, Wisla also treats its visitors to some amazing attractions that include the Protestant church, the Habsburg’s Hunting Castle, the Museum of Beskidy, and the President’s Castle.

No matter the time of year you visit, Wisla is always bustling with life. Plenty of eating establishments and drinking places adds to the vibrancy. There is never a dull moment here. 

Where To Stay?

7. Bialowieza

Bialowieza Poland

There’s nothing quite like keeping track of bison in the cold winter months. This is without a doubt a rewarding experience and no better place to do this than in Bialowieza Forest. Bialowieza is a village that sits right in the heart of the forest and has lovely accommodation options for those who would like to stay there for the night. 

Spanning across more than 140,000 hectares, Bialowieza Forest stands out for the opportunities it offers. Here, you will find the largest population of the iconic bison in Europe. The forest is duly protected and preserved. Proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1970, this is the last remaining primeval forest in Europe.

During winter, visitors can spot the animals easily as they will be out looking for food. Winter is by far the best time to visit Bialowieza for wildlife tours.

Where To Stay?

The Best Travel Resources

Booking.com –  very good global booking engine, they have a very comprehensive database of locations and hotels to choose from.

HotelsCombined – hotel booking site focused on finding you the best variety of rates.  Save you time by looking at hundreds of providers.

Get Your Guide – great platform to book endless
activities, tours and tickets for attractions across the world.

Discovercars.com – price comparison and bookings website for cars, at very affordable prices, one of the best on the market.

Omio – great platform for booking trains, buses and flights in Europe.

Bartosz is a travel writer, photographer & founder/editor of theuniquepoland who tells stories of adventure, history and current affairs. He writes mainly about travel, with special focus on Poland. He loves travelling, discover new unknown and inspire others.

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