Located just two hours away from Kraków, the Bukovina Thermal Baths are the perfect restorative for an aching body, leaving you feeling utterly rejuvenated. Read on for our walk-through of the Bukovina experience.
Bukovina Thermal Baths
Some 120km from Kraków (and 15km outside of Zakopane), Termy Bukovina is a spa complex on the edge of a forest. 30-38°C water is pumped from 2.4km underground into 15 indoor and outdoor pools. Passing through different layers of rock, the water collects 28 different minerals, such as magnesium and potassium, which help to relax a tired body. The massaging water jets and sun loungers make this a fantastic place to completely unwind.
In addition to the pools, there is a wellness centre and sauna, food and drink facilities, and plenty of fun for kids. Termy Bukovina is open year-round, and there’s nothing like the experience of warm-water swimming outside on a snowy day.
The easiest way to reach the Bukovina Thermal Baths from Kraków is via an organised day trip to Zakopane. You will be picked up at your accommodation and driven in a comfortable minibus. All tickets will be taken care of and you’ll be dropped back to your departure point at the end of the day.
Read on for a full walk-through of visiting Bukovina Thermal Baths near Zakopane, followed by all the practical information you need.
What To See At Bukovina Thermal Baths
Bukovina Thermal Baths
Bukovina has five levels of thermal pools, filled with mineral waters pumped from deep in the earth. Each bath has a different temperature and a different focus. For example, Bulgotnik gives a full-body water massage and Cepersko Płań is for a colder plunge.
There is a kids’ area with water slides and flumes, a wellness centre with sauna, and lots of sun loungers to relax on. You are guaranteed to come away feeling completely relaxed.
The centre is open year-round, which means you can bob about in the warm water on snowy days. It can get very busy but, if you time it right, you’ll find you have a lot of room to yourself.
The clever thing is that entry and the locker system are controlled by an electronic wristband. Any snacks or drinks you buy at the restaurant or outside refreshment stand can be charged to the wristband and settled up at the end. Same with any supplementary health treatments you choose, such as the sauna.
The baths are situated on the edge of a forest and is attached to a hotel, if you wanted to really make the most of the waters.
Bonior Basisty pool
What To Expect At Bukovina Thermal Baths
The Bukovina complex is nestled in a rural area of the Tatra highlands, close to the Slovenian border. There is a small town nearby and a bus stop at the top of the road, but otherwise, this is forest territory.
If you’re driving or coming as part of an organise tour, you’ll arrive at the car park in front of the main entrance, a squat building that look a bit like motorway services.
Bukovina Thermal Baths exterior
There’s a ticket desk immediately in front of you as you enter. You can turn up and pay, but we recommend booking in advance. There’s a full price list on the Termy Bukovina website but annoyingly the ticket portal only seems to be in Polish. See Buying Tickets For Bukovina Thermal Baths below for general advice.
If you book a tour from Kraków, everything will be arranged for you.
You’ll be given an electronic wristband, like a Fitbit. This gives you entry to the baths, controls the lockers, and lets you charge any refreshments or extra services to settle up when you leave. It’s a great system!
Bukovina Thermal Baths ticket desk
Touch your wristband to the electronic gates to gain entry to the complex. There are staff on hand in case something goes wrong. There’s a small flight of stairs, with a mid-point for removing footwear.
Carry on downstairs and you’ll come to the locker room. There are changing cubicles lining the wall of this room but it’s best to sort out your locker first and get what you need. You have access as often as you need, but it can be a bit confusing the first time you use it.
Bukovina Thermal Baths locker room
At the end of each locker aisle is a control panel. Touch your wristband to it and a number should light up with a green light to tell you that it has been unlocked. You simply need to find the locker with that number and you can start using it.
However, it will lock itself again after a couple of minutes or if you close the door manually. In which case, you’ll need to unlock it again by touching the wristband on the control panel. The same goes if you didn’t catch or forget your locker number. Wait a couple of minutes and touch the panel again.
The catch here is that once you’ve used your locker, you need to open it using the nearest control panel, the one at the end of your aisle. You don’t need to remember the number but look for something in the room that tells you which panel to use.
If you don’t remember which panel, you can touch any of them and the ‘Other section’ option will light up. You will need to try each panel in turn until you find the right one.
In reality, this sounds more complicated than it really is and the system works well for most people.
Locker control panel
Here is an activated panel with the locker number to use and the green light signifying that it is now unlocked:
Once you’ve sorted out your stuff, you can get changed in one of the cubicles at the end of the locker room. You can take a towel into the pool area or wear flip-flops.
Put your clothes into the locker and go through to the shower room. Look for ‘damska’ (women) on the left of the locker room or ‘męska’ (men) on the right. You can have a shower here before and after using the pools, and there are toilets as well.
Male and female shower rooms
You’ll come out of the shower room into the main pool area on the ground floor. There’s a high ceiling with a wooden ribcage supporting the roof, and balconies running around the upper floor. It forms the central hub to the rest of the complex.
The pool is named Bonior Basisty and is shaped like a large bass guitar, complete with strings and sound holes on the bottom of the pool. The temperature is around 31°C and the depth is 1.35m. There are various fountains and water nozzles, and clouds of bubbles erupting from the base.
All measurements show below refer to the depth of the pools. You can gauge widths and lengths from the images.
The main pool is filled with different activities, such as fountains that periodically cascade.
There are pressurised jets that issue a full blast and give the muscles a good pummelling!
There are hydromassage jacuzzis on either side of the main pool, with comfortable room for about 10 people at a time in each. There are sun loungers all over the complex, ready to absorb the sun coming in through the huge windows.
The ground floor also has a wellness centre with 12 different rooms and three saunas – these treatments cost extra, although you can charge them to your wristband. The wellness experience also include the intriguing Graduation Tower, a microclimate built around brine and blackthorn twigs, and designed to clear your breathing.
Sauna and wellness centre
You can also access the children’s zone from the ground floor. This contains the Bystry Potok (Swift-Flowing) pool, which is between 0.4m and 0.9m in different places, and the Mocydełko (Wetty Wetty) pool, also a shallow 0.4m, with a small water slide. Both pools are indoors. The 1.3m Zostawnica pool connects indoors and outside. All children’s pools are 30-36°C.
There are three big water slides: the 100m indoor Wartko Ruła (Rapid Pipe), the 53m outdoor Krynconka (Kinky-Sprinky), and the 15m outdoor Łostry Śwung (Craze Amazed). The outdoor slides are only open during spring and summer.
The outdoor slides emerge in a lower pool called Corny Staw (Black Pond), which is 1.2m deep and 30-32°C. Next door is the shallow 0.4m Letnie Mocydełko pool, at the same temperature. However, these pools are also closed out of season.
Children’s pools and waterslides
There are four other levels with different pools. You can reach the first of these – Niebieska Dolina (Blue Valley) – by descending the steps into a transitionary pool – seen here through the doors – and paddling directly into the water.
Entrance to Niebieska Dolina (Blue Valley)
You can also reach all the lower pools through a network of stairs, so you never need to walk outside on cold days. You can just swim directly into each bath from the comfort of a heated corridor, by using the transitionary pools from indoors.
Staircase to the lower pool areas
Niebieska Dolina (Blue Valley) is a covered pool with open access to the fresh air. It has a row of submerged recliners, with strong jets of warm water to massage your back and neck. This is the warmest pool at up to 38°C and one of my favourites.
Niebieska Dolina (Blue Valley)
There is a terrace with the Summer Gastronomy stand, where you can get burgers and other snacks and refreshments, even a beer. You charge anything you buy to your electronic wristband and settle up when you leave the complex.
Niebieska Dolina terrace
The complex looks out over a forest. So you can recline on the massaging recliners and look out on the swaying pines. Bliss!
The next pool down – the 1.5m Cepersko Płań (Lowlanders’ Flood Plain) – is completely outdoors and at a cool 30°C, this feels much chillier than the others.
This is the best pool for swimming and I’m told that calming music is pumped in under the water, but I must confess I didn’t notice!
Cepersko Płań (Lowlanders’ Flood Plain)
The pool at the bottom level is called Jaskinia nad Porońcem (Poroniec Cave). This has a tunnel with a gentle current, which gives it a bit of mystery, and waterfalls cascading over the water. It is 1.3m deep and has a temperature of 30-36°C.
Jaskinia nad Porońcem (Poroniec Cave)
The final pool – Bulgotnik – is my personal favourite. It’s up on the top floor and can be reached via staircases in the main pool. It contains two concentric circles of water jets. The hydromassage focuses on different parts of the body with different amounts of pressure.
You join at the first point, on the outside ring, and move along to the next massage when a buzzer sounds. Once you’ve completed the outside ring, you move to the inner ring, with some 24 massage points in all.
Stairs to the top floor
The entire session takes the best part of an hour and your muscles will feel nicely worked over by the end of it.
The top floor has plenty of quiet sun-drenched recliners around the balconies and you’ll also find the “Na Wiyrchu” Restaurant (On the Mountain). Again, you can charge anything you buy here to your wristband.
Once you’re done, you go back through the same shower room you entered – ‘damska’ for women, ‘męska’, then back out to the locker room. Don’t put your shoes on until you reach the little mezzanine!
Take off your wristband. If you’ve charged anything, you can settle up at the counter. Otherwise, just feed it through the gate and you’re free to leave!
There’s a cafe upstairs if want coffee and cake before you leave. Exit through the same doors you first came in through.
How To Vist Bukovina Thermal Baths
Bukovina Thermal Baths balcony view
Bukovina Thermal Baths address: Sportowa 22, 34-530 Bukowina Tatrzańska, Poland
Bukovina Thermal Baths are open daily between 9am-10pm, including all public holidays.
The ticket office closes at 9pm and the water attractions are turned off at 9.45pm. You will be charged extra if you stay on the facilities after 10pm, so you really need to be dressed and ready to leave by then!
Buying tickets for Bukovina Thermal Baths
Ticket prices change depending on season – the more expensive high season runs from the end of June to the start of September. And there is a broad array of ticket options, depending on factors such as age and how long you are likely to stay in the pool. You can, for example, pay for 30 minutes and your wristband will automatically add an extra fee for every minute you spend onsite after that. Otherwise, you can pay for a 3.5-hour session or for the whole day.
At time of writing, an adult high-season ticket for 3.5 hours costs 95zł, which is roughly 21€. This is definitely worth it in my opinion. A child’s ticket is 69zł.
There are also family and VIP tickets, as well as a range of concessions. The best place to make sense of this is on the official Termy Bukovina price list, which comprehensively breaks all the options down.
You can just turn up at the baths and buy tickets. But this risks making the journey to find it sold out. It’s better to buy tickets in advance via the online ticket portal, although there are no language options that I can find. Some web browsers allow you to automatically translate a site into English and that has worked very well for me.
However, the easiest option is to book a tour from Kraków and all the tickets will be arranged for you.
If you’re feeling brave and decide to book yourself – and you don’t know how to translate the page – you choose the date at by clicking on ‘Data’ in the centre near the top of the page. A calendar will pop down. Again, this is in Polish, so work out the days and months by clicking forward from today’s date.
You don’t need to select a specific time. Once you have booked for that date, you can enter the pool whenever is convenient. However, you can only book VIP tickets if you try to order more than three months in advance.
Once you have selected the date, you need to select the types of ticket you want – ‘rodzaj biletu’ means ‘type of ticket’. The menu should offer you a choice of 30 minutes, 3.5 hours, all day (‘cały dzień’), special offers (‘oferty specjalne’), VIP, family tickets (‘rodzinne’), and gift tickets (‘pomysł na prezent’).
Choose which of these categories is most appropriate and select the Select button marked ‘Wybierz’ on the right. You should get a drop-down menu with the different tickets available. These pretty much map onto the price list, so you can cross reference to find what you’re looking for.
In order, these are roughly ‘Normal’ (‘Normalny’) for adults, ‘Children up to 13 years old’ (‘Dzieci do 13 lat’), ‘Seniors over 60 years old’ (‘Seniorzy powyżej 60 lat’), ’Disabled persons’ (‘Osoby niepełnospr.’), and ‘Carer of a disabled person’ (‘Opiekun osoby niepełnospr.’).
The VIP packages are easy to decipher and you can ignore the special offers. The family packages match the price list.
You can adjust the quantity of tickets required in the column marked ‘Ilość’ and then click the ‘Dodaj’ button to add to the shopping cart. Ignore the blue button on the left. It will just give you more information about the ticket (in Polish).
Once you have selected all the tickets you want, you’ll notice a little shopping cart at the top of the page (also marked ‘koszyk’, which means ‘basket’). Click on that to go to a summary of your order. Click the yellow button.
You’ll be taken to a screen with the following fields, in order: first name (‘Imię’), surname (‘Nazwisko’), email address, telephone number. Make sure the ‘osoba fizyczna’ tab is selected – it refers to an individual purchase, rather than a business purchase. Then the remaining fields are: street and house number (‘Ulica i nr domu’), postcode (‘Kod pocztowy’), and town or city (‘Miejscowość’). The PayU button should be pre-selected. Click the top box (‘Zaznacz wszystkie’) to accept all the terms and conditions. Then click the yellow button at the bottom of the page.
A page will temporarily load before forwarding you to a page that lets you choose how to pay. Pick the third option with the Visa symbol. Add your card number in the first field, the expiry date in the second, and the CVV security code in the third. Don’t click the checkbox, as this is asking if you want to store your card details on the site. Click the green button to pay and you will get confirmation of your tickets via email.
I stress again that the best option is to book a tour from Kraków, so you don’t need to worry about buying tickets at all.
Bukovina Thermal Baths
How to get to Bukovina Thermal Baths
Termy Bukovina is located on the edge of a forest, roughly 15km from Zakopane, a 2-hour drive from Kraków. This means there are really only three ways to reach the baths: by car, by coach, or by booking a day trip.
If you are driving, you need to drive south for 10km until you reach the E77 motorway. You can effectively follow the signs to Zakopane once you are clear of Kraków. The E77 merges with the DK47 after 59km, continue on this road for just under 39km towards Sportowa, where you’ll see road signs for Termy Bukovina.
FlixBus runs regular coaches from Kraków bus station to a 7-minute walk away from the baths. The journey takes roughly two hours and can cost less than 10€. You can check times and book online. You want to get off at the Kosciuszki stop in Bukowina Tatrzańska.
Finally, the simplest option is to book a tour from Kraków. You’ll be picked up at your accommodation, shown all the sites at Zakopane, and all the arrangements for Bukovina will be taken care of.
You can also stay at the attached hotel for the full Tatra highlands experience.
Bukovina Thermal Baths
Tips For Visiting Bukovina Thermal Baths
- Make sure you take a towel and bathing costume. There is a shop, however, in case you forget anything
- Parking is free
- 3.5 hours is plenty of time to get the most out of the baths
- The men’s shower room is marked ‘Szatnia męska’ and ‘Szatnia damska’ is for women
- Photography and filming are allowed in the pool. And you’ll see a surprising amount of people take their phones in the water with them
- There are lots of activities aimed at children, although some of slides are closed out of season
- The museum is accessible within limits. There is an elevator to the changing area but most of the pools are accessible only via stairs. Contact the venue if you have specific requests
- You cannot bring your own food and drink into the pool, but there are plenty of options onsite
- You can use your electronic wristband to put any purchases ‘on tab’ and then settle up the amount when you leave
- Termy Bukovina hosts many different events and sessions. See the official website for full details
Visit Kraków Zakopane Map
Plan your Zakopane visit with our comprehensive Zakopane map to explore Zakopane’s attractions, restaurants, sightseeing and hotels.
Each type of landmark has a different colour marker on the map:
- YELLOW: Zakopane Sightseeing
- GREEN: Zakopane Transportation
- DARK RED: Restaurants In Zakopane
- LIGHT RED: Zakopane Bars / Clubs / Music Venues
- BLUE: Zakopane Hotels
- PURPLE: Shopping In Zakopane
Click on a marker and it will give you the name of the landmark, with a brief description and links for more information and directions. You can pan, scroll, and zoom around the map, or use the + or – buttons in the bottom left of the map to zoom in and out.
Click on the icon in the top left corner for an index of every location, sorted by category. Scroll down or use the map search (the magnifying glass icon) to find the place you want. Click the name of the place in the list. Its location pin will be highlighted on the map.
Each category is on a different layer, which can be switched on and off. So you can just see the Hotel or Restaurant pins, for example.
If you are using the map on your phone, open the Visit Kraków Zakopane map and then search for the name of the place. The map will then zoom in on its location.