I went to Poland and Slovakia this year for my spring break with Alex Ewen. I decided on these locations after reading this list of best ski resorts in Eastern Europe and finding a cheap flight to Krakow from New York. We flew on Norwegian air, which is a budget transatlantic airline. Our flights from New York to Krakow (with a layover in Oslo) were only \$508(!!), but we did have to pay an additional \$50 fee each way to bring ski equipment. This was our trip itinerary:
After leaving JFK at 10:30 pm, we arrived in Oslo the day day at around 11 am (Oslo time). Our flight from Oslo to Krakow didn’t depart until 7 pm, so we decided to head into the city for the day. We took the airport express train from the airport to the central train station in Oslo, which only takes about 20 minutes. From there, we walked to Karl Johans gate, which is considered the main street of the city. We ate a delicious (and very expensive!) lunch and then walked along Karl Johans to see the Oslo Cathedral, the National Theatre, and the Royal Palace. From there we strolled along the water (the Inner Oslofjord) to the Oslo Opera House and then returned to the train station to get back to the airport. It was a beautiful, sunny day and a great way to spend a layover!
We arrived in Krakow at around 9 pm (Krakow time), and, after collecting our bags, we caught a taxi to our apartment. The apartment was fantastic, and its location could not have been more perfect. We spent the next two days exploring the city, and Krakow very quickly became one of my favorite cities in Europe! We spent most of our time exploring the Old Town and Kazimierz. The buildings are beautiful, and the food is delicious (especially the pierogis!).
Krakow is also famous for its jazz bars, which are fantastic! We went to Harris Piano Jazz Bar, which is a cellar-like jazz bar with live music every night!
After our time in Krakow, we rented a car and drove to Auschwitz. It was a very harrowing, yet important, experience.
We then drove from Auschwitz to Liptovský Mikuláš in Slovakia to ski (interestingly, we did not see any sort of border control, nor was there any sign that even indicated when we left Poland and entered Slovakia…!?). We stayed at Penzion Maria, which was conveniently located near Jasna ski resort (~15 minutes drive) and also included a sauna and wine bar!
Jasna ski resort is great. The mountain is large and diverse with a nice range of easy, intermediate, and difficult slopes, as well as a large amount of freeride terrain. The runs are also really long, and we didn’t wait in a single lift line!
Our first two days were overcast with lots of fresh snow, but also very poor visibility:
On our third day, the sun came out a bit and we were able to see while skiing and also see some of the beautiful surrounding mountains in the Low Tatras mountain range!
The town had some fun apres ski activities. One evening we went to the Hurricane Factory to try out the indoor skydiving wind tunnel. It was incredibly fun!
The next night we went to Tatralandia, which is an indoor waterpark. We did not go into the main park area, but we did play around in the surf wave section, which was basically extreme boogie boarding (if that's a thing?!). It was also very fun!
We woke up early on our last morning to drive back to the Krakow airport and had an uneventful trip back to the USA. This was a fantastic and easy ski trip in Eastern Europe, and I would highly recommend it!