Thermal pools in Zakopane region. Termy Bania or/and Bukovina – which one to choose? Honest review and comparison.

Zakopane region in the South of Poland is a popular choice for hikes in the summer and early autumn as well as for skiing in the winter. But Zakopane offers more than that – since several years the region develops its wellbeing offer with thermal baths being one of the biggest attractions. The bath complexes are an excellent way to relax your mind and body, the waters have also many curative properties. Few hours (or entire day) in the pool is a great way to regenerate after a long trek, rest tired muscles after intense skiing or just to enjoy a tranquil time in jacuzzi or in a floating bar. The bigger complexes often have a spa and saunas (normally extra paid) so you can even more focus on your mental and physical recharge. Bathing in the pools is beneficial in easing ailments such as headaches, muscle and joint pains. It also  tones skin ailments, regulates endocrine system, reduces high blood pressure, improves metabolism and lowers the stress levels.

In Termy Bania you can find information about the properties of the water used in the pools. Main ingredients of thermal water in Termy Bania are: calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), iron (Fe), sulfur (S), chlorine (Cl), manganese (Mn), sodium (Na), potassium (K), lithium (Li), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), silicon (Si). During the bath, the elements are absorbed. This process has a beneficial effect on the human body and its physical condition.

In general Tatra mountains area is known for the geothermal water pools, you can also check the wellbeing facilities in neighbouring Slovakia. If you would like to compare the Slovak offer check out the post below where I review Tatralandia and Besenowa complexes:

Thermal pools in Slovakia. Tatralandia or/and Besenova – which one to choose? Honest comparison.

If you want to try both Slovak and Polish pools, you easily visit them during the same trip to the Tatra mountains, you can get from Zakopane to Liptovský Mikuláš in less than 2 hours if you drive by car. If you plan to spend some time on the Slovak part in the winter, check out this post for some ideas:

Long weekend in Slovakian Tatra mountains in the winter. Is it a good idea?

During my last stay in Zakopane region I have visited two thermal pools: Termy Bania and Termy Bukovina. In this post I will reviews those two water parks so you can decide if these complexes are well suited to your needs.

Before I will list the things that Termy Bania and Termy Bukovina have in common as well as their differences I’ll give you few practical information to plan your trip to the region.

Practical information:

  • The most convenient way to get to Zakopane if you arrive by plane is to fly to Poprad or Krakow and then rent a car or choose public transport to get to Tatra mountains. If you land in Slovakia, there is plenty of trains to get you to the Slovak water parks and to the Slovak mountains, however the connection with Poland by public transport is scarcer.
  • If you’re already in Poland and plan a trip to the Tatra mountains as a part of your itinerary, there is a direct train from Warsaw and local and express trains from Krakow that will get you conveniently to Zakopane. There is also a good offer of public and private buses between Krakow and Zakopane.
  • Termy Bania and Bukovina are not strictly located in Zakopane. Termy Bania are situated in Białka Tatrzańska which is a small town just 25km away from Zakopane, and Termy Bukovina are located in Bukowina Tatrzańska which is 20km away from Zakopane. If you plan to have your base in Zakopane, it’s best to rent a car to get to the water parks. There are also private buses which will get you from Zakopane to the pools, however I find their schedule less reliable and they’re often quite crowded.
  • Both mentioned towns – Białka Tatrzańska and Bukowina Tatrzańska – have pretty good tourist offer with plenty of hotels and guest houses as well as bars and restaurants. Since they are a bit further from the hiking trails in the higher Tatra mountains and not as popular as Zakopane, the services offered may have lower prices than in Zakopane. Both of the towns are also quieter and more cameral than central Zakopane so you may consider the area if you search for a calm stay with less crowds.
  • If you decide to stay in Białka Tatrzańska or Bukowina Tatrzańska, there are private buses which operate between Termy Bania and Termy Bukovina. Thus, you can visit both of them during your stay even if you ropt to travel without car. However, mind that the schedules as well as quality of the service can be unreliable. It’s a good idea to ask locals for actual timetables as well as stops which are more frequently served. As much as I love to use public transport (especially trains), car is a better option to move around Zakopane. I sincerely hope for a positive change and some frequent and comfortable public transport solution between major tourist towns in the region. This would for sure help to minimize traffic jam and pollution, and traffic can be really an issue here during peak hours.
  • Zakopane region is touristy and attracts many international guests. You will easily communicate here in English in restaurants and guest houses.
Views at the Tatra mountains in Białka Tatrzańska
When in the Tatra mountains, take some time to try local cuisine. For an authentic experience, I recommend going to small family restaurants in Białka or Bukowina Tatrzańska. Check out the ratings before deciding to avoid tourist traps. Solid delicious dinner after few hours in the pool or a long trek will restore your energy perfectly and warm you up as the evenings tend to be cool.


Termy Bania and Bukovina – things in common:

  • Termy Bania and Bukovina are both modern and big complexes, with outdoor and indoor pools filled with geothermal water in a temperature of 30-38 Celsius degrees. You will find zones with shallow pools for children, numerous jacuzzi and relaxion pools.
  • Children zone in Termy Bania
  • Both water parks offer different passes (and fares) to suit your needs. You can choose an all–day pass (unlimited time during facilities’ opening times), as well as evening, morning and few-hour access tickets. There are also discounts for children and seniors as family passes. The offers are quite diverse and I recommend taking time to understand which pass is most optimal in your case.
  • You can book your pass online or at the counter upon your arrival. The tickets are rarely sold out but booking in advance can save your queuing time. However, the weather in the Tatra mountains can be whimsical and the water parks are a good option in case the weather conditions are too bad for a mountain trek. Keeping your schedule flexible without extra bookings can be a smart move if you need to reschedule your activities in the mountains due to the weather conditions.
  • Both complexes have adjacent hotel facilities with an access to the water park included in the price. This is a convenient option if you want to enjoy the pools and spa services at different times of the day without staying in the complex for all this time, as well avoid the hassle of getting to the complex, changing clothes, etc. If you arrive by car, there are parkings in both facilities.
  • Both water parks have a dining zone where you can enjoy lunch, dinner or small snacks. You will receive bracelet which you need to press to the special reader to register every purchase (also for spa and sauna services if you’re fare doesn’t include them). You pay for your purchases at the end, when returning the bracelet. You can also bring your own food and drink to each complex so you don’t need to rely only on the restaurants offer.
  • In case you forgot flip flops, swimsuit or any other bath accessories, both water parks have small boutiques where you can purchase basic items.  However, the prices will be higher than in usual shops, so I recommend to check your bag before leaving your hotel.
  • Both water parks can get extremely crowded in a peak season such as Christmas, winter and summer school holidays, New Year’s Eve, etc. If your schedule is flexible and you want to have a calm and relaxing experience without queues to jaccuzzi, water massages, restaurants and many other attractions, I suggest avoiding busy times and try to come in a week day in low season. Hotels also have much more reasonable pricing outside the peak time.
Indoor pools in Termy Bania (upper picture) and Termy Bukovina (lower picture).
Outdoor pools in Termy Bania (upper picture) and Termy Bukovina (lower picture).


Termy Bania and Bukovina – differences:

  • One of the most important differences are the prices and types of passes. The prices change often enough to really list them and compare here, but the open access day pass has a different price, the type of passes – for how many hours, which facilities are included also vary, and in many cases it’s not obvious which offer is better value for money. I recommend spending some time analyzing the fares and also do some simple math, for instance: even if 3.5 hours pass in one facility is cheaper than 4.5 hours in another, if you recalculate the price you pay per hour, longer pass can be a better value for money.
  • Termy Bania offers access to Finnish and herbal saunas in Relax Zone, so you can actually enjoy the sauna experience without buying extra access to saunarium. In Termy Bukovina you need to purchase extra access to sauna. On the other hand, Termy Bukovina have a special pool with a water massages where you can massage different part of the body as you move along specially designed circle.
  • Saunas accessible in Relax Zone in Termy Bania
  • Termy Bania has a floating bar in the outdoor pool whereas in Bukovina you can have food and drinks in bars and restaurants outside of the pools.
  • Termy Bania offer a panoramic view at the Tatra mountains from external pools whereas Termy Bukovina is more surrounded by the spruce forest.
  • Views at the mountains in Termy Bania and at the forest in Bukovina.
  • Termy Bania is adjacent to the skiing complex, so you can easily combine those two activities even in the same day, whereas the location of Termy Bukovina is more queiet and cameral.
  • Skiing complex next to Termy Bania
  • Termy Bukovina has a cooler outdoor pool which is suitable for swimming and 2 outdoor pools for relaxation. In Termy Bukovina all pools are suited for relaxation only.
  • In the peak times both water parks are getting overcrowded, however, my impression is that there is more changing cabins and lockers in Termy Bania.
Termy Bukovina
Termy Bania

To summarize, I like both of the complexes, in fact many visitors often visit both of the facilities to enjoy some variety. I’d say that both water parks have comparable facilities suited for families with children, however the wellness offer slightly vary. In Termy Bukovina you can enjoy the external pool for swimming (whereas in Termy Bania external pools are for relaxation only), however, Termy Bania has access to Finnish and herbal saunas included in the access to the Relax Zone whereas in Bukovina all saunas are extra paid.

The outdoor pools also have a bit different ambiance, if you like floating bars, then you may opt for Termy Bania, for a more cameral experience in outdoors pools you may want to choose Bukovina. The general vibe and facilities are comparable, both parks are clean and well-maintained, I couldn’t say which complex is better suited for couples, solo visitors or families as the differences are not that big. However, the facilities offer different passes and the  pricing is not always obvious in order to determine which offer is the best value for money based on your needs. Thus, I really recommend spending some time analyzing both offers to choose the pass which best suits your needs since the similarities and differences are not that obvious at the first glance.

If you travel around the region by trains, check out this post to see how to extend your itinerary to neighbouring countries if you travel from Krakow:

Countries reachable from Kraków by train

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