Morskie Oko in Poland is situated just like 30 minutes drive from the famous town Zakopane. This mountain lake was on my bucket list ever since i saw a beautiful photo of an emerald lake located right in front of a high mountain, giving it all a stunning look.
This year we got the chance to visit the polish mountains along with Zakopane and Morskie Oko itself. What was our experience and what can you expect from this place?
We arrived at 8:40, waited in a car queue for an hour and a half just to be told, that the parking lot is full and we can´t but leave. Another option is to leave the car in the closest village and take a bus or a taxi, but i decided to go to a different place and return the next day, where we were much clever. The other day we arrived at 7 already paid 30 PLN for parking (which was half full already at that time). You can actually book a spot on a parking lot right by the park entrance
There is a paved road all the way to the lake and so anybody can come. Just not dogs. Your furry friend is unfortunately not allowed to enter this national park. The trip is 9km long with two spots, where there are "dry toilettes" in case of need. If you really do not want to walk the distance, you may get a ticket for a horse carriage with 11 other people. We personally did not like this option. When the carriages were full we could clearly see it was not easy for the horses to go 9km uphill so easily.
There is a wooden cottage with a hotel and a restaurant (more like a bistro) and some outdoor seating space to grab a snack. You can also sit by the lake, but only in the morning as then it gets ridiculously crowded. We were returning around three in the afternoon and we had a hard time even finding a path through without stepping on anybody.
So we highly recommend you to continue around the lake and maybe get above the lake on some other hiking paths, but be ready for some serious workout.
We chose the shortest of them all and that was the Czarny Staw which took us only like 40 minutes maybe. Another beautiful lake with way fewer people and much more peaceful.
We have to say, that we wanted to go to the mountains to find some peace, silence, sounds of leaves in the air and birds chirping on the trees. This was not. Even though it was a beautiful view, truly stunning, we would not come back simply because of the number of people, that put us off.