Szklarska Poręba: 12 Things To Do & Places to See (Local’s Guide)

Update: February 14, 2023 r
Karkonosze Poland mountain view Szklarska Poreba
Karkonosze Poland mountain view Szklarska Poreba

Szklarska Poręba is a popular destination for trips in the Lower Silesia District of Poland, located at the foot of the Karkonosze Mountains and Jizera Mountains. It’s one of the famous mountain towns in Lower Silesia with Karpacz, Kudowa Zdrój and Świeradów Zdrój. There are many reasons to visit Szklarska Poręba.

I have selected the TOP 12 things to do & places to see in Szklarska Poręba, along with good restaurants, cafes and accommodations. Tourists come here to admire the natural attractions, hike the trails of the Karkonosze National Park, enjoy the bike trails and ski slopes, and hop over to the Czech Republic.

Szklarska Poreba is good for day and weekend trips as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Lower Silesia – along with Wrocław, Świdnica or Bolesławiec. I recommend you combine sightseeing with hiking in the mountains (check 55 ideas for hiking in Lower Silesia). So it’s time to start exploring!


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1. Listen to the sound of the second-highest waterfall in the Karkonosze Mountains

The Szklarka waterfall is one of the most popular places in Szklarska Poręba and the second-highest waterfall in the Karkonosze (after the Kamieńczyk waterfall, which we will also visit!). It lies within the Karkonosze National Park (in its exclave).

The waterfall is 13 metres high and was created along the charming Szklarka stream flowing down from the surrounding mountains. Next to it is the mountain hut “Kochanówka”, where you can order something to eat in a beautiful natural setting.

To avoid crowds, come here early in the day. If you have time for a day trip, you can follow the blue trail along the bank of the Szklarka stream all the way to the “Pod Łabskim Szczytem” chalet and on to the Czech side of the Karkonosze Mountains.

How to get to the Szklarka waterfall? You can get to the Szklarka waterfall by taking the black trail from the town centre (approx. 4 km, 1 h), passing the Old Walloon Cottage (Stara Chata Walońska), and then walking along the Szklarka stream. You can also get there by car, parking at Jeleniogórska Street.

2. Look at the Karkonosze Mountains from the “Złoty Widok” Viewpoint

The “Golden View” lookout point is one of the newest natural attractions in the area, built several years ago. From here, you can see a sweeping panorama of the Karkonosze Mountains. There is sometimes a coffee bicycle with surprisingly good coffee just before the entrance. 🙂

The Golden View is a viewing terrace with two levels, where there are benches and wooden deckchairs. Somehow I automatically got the idea of having a picnic here in the beautiful scenery.

Entry to the viewing platform is free. The views depend on the weather – we got hit with a big fog.

How to get to the Golden View? Get off the train at the Szklarska Poręba Średnia station and follow the blue trail (3 km, approx. 1 h). If you arrive by car, leave it at the car park on Matejki Street or the Szklarka waterfall, located slightly below. However, I recommend a walk.

3. Unfold the giant rock Chybotek with one hand

Chybotek (The Wobble) is a rock that weighs several tens of tonnes and is famous because it takes very little force to set it in motion. Chybotek has just two support points, so you only need a bit of cleverness and a little force to set it in motion.

Everyone who gets here wants to test it out for themselves, so sometimes you’ll have to wait your turn 😉

The rock can be swung if you know how to get down to the whole process. Remember to be careful – the ascent to the Wobble is not secured, and a fall from a few metres can be painful.

How to get to Chybotek? The rock is located by the blue trail, 2.2 km from the Szklarska Poręba Dolna railway station towards the town centre.

4. Put on a helmet and discover the highest waterfall in Karkonosze

You already know the Szklarka waterfall, but there is also a record-holder waiting in Szklarska Poręba. At 27 metres high, the Kamieńczyk Waterfall is the highest waterfall in the Karkonosze and one of the most fascinating natural attractions in Lower Silesia.

Visiting the waterfall means walking along a steel path attached to the rock, overlooking the Kamieńczyk River canyon. When climbing the Kamieńczyk, you will get a helmet to feel like a real caving expert!

After exploring the Kamieńczyk canyon, you can stop at the Kamieńczyk chalet (schronisko Kamieńczyk) above and have a snack before continuing. Admission to the waterfall is extra – check the price on the website (regular tickets to the Karkonosze National Park do not apply).

How to get to the Kamieńczyk Waterfall? You can get to the Kamieńczyk Waterfall from the centre along the red trail in a few minutes. The waterfall is a popular stop on the way to the Szrenica peak (for a description of the route with a map, see 55 ideas for mountain hikes in Lower Silesia).


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5. Climb Szrenica – the highest peak rising over Szklarska Poręba

Szrenica is the most frequently climbed peak by tourists setting off on the trails of the Karkonosze National Park from Szklarska Poręba. Perhaps only Śnieżka is more popular, but you can get there from Karpacz.

It will be hard for you to miss the mountain – the town lies at its foot, and you can see it perfectly well after getting off the train at the Szklarska Poręba Górna station. The car park in front of the station is a good viewpoint. 😉

How to get from Szklarska Poręba to Szrenica? The route to Szrenica (6 km, about 3 hours) goes along the red trail through the Kamieńczyk Waterfall and Hala Szrenicka. It’s a route just right for a day trip – the trail is easy but requires some stamina. I always managed to catch the last train back to Wrocław.

6. Look for remnants of the glacier in Śnieżne Kotły

Śnieżne Kotły (Snowy Cauldrons) are glacial cirques visible from many points in the town. You can conquer them during a day trip from Szklarska Poręba. The exciting idea is to go on a loop around the Snowy Cauldrons with a rest in the shelter “Pod Łabskim Szczytem”.

From the Śnieżne Kotły, there is a view of the Karkonosze, towns located in the valley of the Kamienna River and a large part of the Jeleniogórska Valley – a natural observation deck for the area.

In winter, visibility sometimes drops to a few metres, and you must watch your every step. The trail at the bottom of the kettles is closed due to avalanches.

How to get to Śnieżne Kotły from Szklarska Poręba? You can get to the Śnieżne Kotły from Szklarska Poręba along the yellow trail (8 km, 3:20 h).

I recommend you make a loop around them (in the warm part of the year, because there is no risk of avalanches) and return to the hostel along the green trail at the foot of the glacial cirques.

7. Run in the snow in Jakuszyce – the Polish capital of cross-country skiing

Have you tried cross-country skiing? Szklarska Poreba is the perfect place to start your adventure. Polana Jakuszycka (the highest part of Szklarska Poręba) is the Polish centre of cross-country skiing.

You do not need to have your own equipment to start your cross-country skiing adventure. There are rental shops on the Polana Jakuszycka, where you can rent a set consisting of cross-country skis, poles and ski boots for the whole day for very little money (in 2023, it was 50 PLN).

If you want a bit of training, you can book online an hour-long class with an instructor. If you’ve never had cross-country skis on your feet, you’ll pick up enough basics in an hour to hit the trails without any problems. I only fell over about 20 times the first time 😉

How to get to the Polana Jakuszycka? You can get to the Polana Jakuszycka by train from the station Szklarska Poręba Górna going in the direction of Liberec in the Czech Republic.

Get off the train at the Szklarska Poręba Jakuszyce station (the highest railway station in Poland!), right next to the glade. You can also get here by car, preferably in the morning – parking spaces quickly run out on winter weekends.

8. Climb to Wysoka Kopa – the highest peak of the Jizera Mountains

In Szklarska Poreba, you will find several exciting walking trails that don’t require setting off to the high parts of the Karkonosze. The route to Wysoka Kopa is an easy hike, which you can start at the Szklarska Poręba Górna railway station.

On the way, you will pass the Wysoki Kamień chalet with a beautiful view of the Karkonosze and Szklarska Poręba. From here, you can return to the city or continue to the Stanislaw Quartz Mine.

This is the highest mining site in central Europe and another viewpoint. The site mines high-quality silicon used in the metallurgical, glass and electronics industries.

Occasionally you’ll find beautiful quartz underfoot – but remember to stay on the trail, as the mine site is dangerous.

You can continue along the red trail up to the Wysoka Kopa and follow the forest path to its summit (the trail does not go over the summit itself), and then turn around a few hundred metres and follow the green route to reach Jakuszyce. The whole route is 15 km long and will take about 5 hours to complete.

9. Explore one of the most dangerous (and beautiful) curves in Poland

Zakręt Śmierci (The Dead Curve) is one of the most famous curves in Poland. It takes its name from the large number of accidents suffered by cars driving along this winding stretch of road.

The rocks just above the curve are a viewpoint over Szklarska Poręba and the Karkonosze. The view from the Zakręt Śmierci is unfortunately partly obscured by trees (Złoty Widok is better in this respect), but I recommend reaching both points.

By the terrace, there is a board with a description of the mountain panorama to help you find your way around the names of the Karkonosze peaks in front of you. Entry to the terrace is free.

How to get to Zakręt Śmierci? You can get to Zakręt Śmierci from the Szklarska Poręba Górna station, walking north first on the red trail and then on the black path (3.5 km). You will also find here free parking below the rocks.


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10. See the treasures of the earth and… of the cosmos at the Mineralogical Museum

If you are a mineral lover, you should also visit the private Mineralogical Museum. Its owners have collected more than 3,000 artefacts in a small, inconspicuous museum, including the Gibeon meteorite, an exhibit straight from space.

You wouldn’t suspect that you’d find a piece of the cosmos in a Polish mountain town, would you? In the museum, you will also see a section dedicated to fossils and dinosaur skeletons.

Some of the fossils are even … 570 million years old. The exhibition is cross-sectional and shows fossils from all over the world. Details of the tour can be found on the website (in Polish). An entrance ticket costs approximately 3-4 EUR.

11. Take a day trip to Karpacz

Karpacz and Szklarska Poręba are “arguing” over the title of capital of the Polish part of the Karkonosze. If the criterion is proximity to the highest peak of Karkonosze, Karpacz has the advantage.

If you like long mountain hikes, you can take the several-hour route along the Karkonosze ridge from Szklarska Poręba via Szrenica and Śnieżne Kotły to Karpacz (30 km, 11 h). In addition to an excellent range of hiking trails in the Karkonosze, unique attractions await in Karpacz.

In Karpacz, you can see the wooden Wang Church (Kościół Wang) brought from Norway in crates, the disused Orlinek Ski Jump with a record held by Poland’s best ski jumper Adam Małysz or the gravity anomaly point where cars drive themselves uphill.

12. Test your physical skills in the rope park Trollandia

Verification of your skill in moving between trees awaits at Jedności Narodowej Street, where the Trollandia rope park operates. It’s a good idea to occupy your free time and get moving after an extended stay in a restaurant.

Trollandia has a permanent belay system, so you will feel confident here even if you aren’t fearless. There is no need to change belay when changing routes – you are only clipped in once (at the start) and unhooked at the end of the trek.

A visit to a rope park is good training before going to the mountains

There are 4 routes available – from the easiest one designed for children to the most demanding, which can only be walked by people measuring at least 160 cm. Visit the website for ticket prices and opening times.

How much time do I need to visit Szklarska Poręba?

It takes 2-3 days to fully explore the attractions of Szklarska Poreba, as many require a hike on mountain trails, which could be time-consuming.

In one day, you will see the attractions not far from the centre, e.g. you will make a trip to the Szklarka waterfall, the Chybotek rock, to the Złoty Widok viewpoint, which are not far from each other.

You will still have time to walk along the town’s main street, Jedności Narodowej, and enjoy some restaurants.

However, I recommend staying in Szklarska Poręba for at least one night. You could spend one of the days hiking in the Karkonosze Mountains and the other exploring the attractions closer to the town centre. Where to stay overnight?

Where to sleep in Szklarska Poręba?

Before choosing a place to stay in Szklarska Poreba, think about your sightseeing plan. I have selected below 3 hotels & apartments that meet my criteria and are well located on the city map.

If you prefer mountain hiking, stay in the southern part of the town, close to hiking trails. After breakfast, you’ll quickly hit the trail without wasting time getting to your starting point.

Suppose you mainly plan to walk around the city and its close vicinity. In that case, you will be most comfortable staying in the city centre, around Jedności Narodowej Street.

Where to eat in Szklarska Poręba?

You won’t have much trouble finding a restaurant where you can relax after a day of mountain hiking.

Most of them are on Jedności Narodowej and 1 Maja Streets or around these streets. Here are some of my favourite places to eat in Szklarska Poręba:

  • Niebo w Gębie (Jedności Narodowej 20) – my absolute number one in Szklarska Poreba. They serve tasty, varied dishes for quite an acceptable price by local standards, and the portions are huge. I had problems eating everything even though I felt hellishly hungry after coming down from the mountains.
  • Młyn Łukasza (1 Maja 16) – a restaurant occupying a unique building – the St Luke’s Mill. Dating from 1870, it’s one of the city’s oldest landmarks. Now it’s occupied by a restaurant serving regional dishes prepared from local products.
  • Michalowa Gospoda (Wrzosowa 1) – if Niebo w Gębie is full, check out the excellent Michalowa Gospoda on Wrzosowa Street. They have a wide menu, so you’re sure to choose something from it to suit you. Guests praise both the taste and the portion size.

How to get to Szklarska Poręba?

You can reach Szklarska Poręba comfortably and ecologically by train. It stops at 3 stations in the town – Szklarska Poręba Dolna, Szklarska Poręba Średnia, and Szklarska Poręba Górna. The latter station is the closest to the centre and is where I recommend you get off the train.

At the Szklarska Poręba Górna station, you can comfortably change to trains between Szklarska Poręba and Liberec (Czech Republic), which also will take you to Szklarska Poręba Jakuszyce station (ideal if you go cross-country skiing).

You can check train timetables from Wrocław, Wałbrzych, Jelenia Góra and other parts of Poland on Portal Pasażera. The journey from Wrocław takes about 3 hours.

You can also use the buses from the bus station in Jelenia Góra on Obrońców Pokoju Street (see on the map). The station is about 2 kilometres from the Jelenia Góra railway station, so if you come to the city by train, take into account the time needed to reach the bus.

You have just seen my suggestions of the TOP 12 things to do & places to see in Szklarska Poręba. I like this town’s mountainous atmosphere and the many attractions available even if you only have a few hours to spare. There is a reason why I return to it several times a year. I wish you a pleasant trip to the Karkonosze and Jizera Mountains!


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