High Tatras in Slovakia is a series of resort towns in the Tatra Mountains, all conveniently linked by an electric train and various buses. You can approach from Poland, via a white-knuckle bus ride, but the easiest approach is the train from Poprad, Slovakia. Main towns include Štrbské Pleso, Starý Smokovec, and Tatranská Lomnica. For budget and hostel travelers, it's a great place to enjoy a European ski resort without quite so high of prices.
Outdoor activities are king in High Tatras, especially in winter -- not only are there ample skiing opportunities for various levels, but you can go snow tubing, ice skating, or night sledding down a three-kilometer run. Hiking is good year-round, though you have to be careful and well prepared, since weather conditions change rapidly. Tatranská Lomnica's cable car is a great way to get above the tree line into alpine territory, where all the miniature plant life hugs the ground, and summer hiking showcases great views. The cable car doesn't operate in windy conditions, so keep your plans flexible.
Sprinkled throughout High Tatras, you'll see great examples of a colorful style of architecture popular in Czech and Slovak spa towns. There are plenty of atmospheric restaurants and fancy bakeries, though groceries are a bit limited.
Pensions and guesthouses, with or without partial board, account for most of the accommodations. There are also hostels in High Tatras, though you may have to take a bus to towns outside the center of action, like pretty and laid-back Ždiar.
Hi, I'm Melinda Brasher,
the Hostelz.com local expert for High Tatras hostels. Welcome.