Zalipie - The prettiest villages in Poland

Our Polish friends told us about Zalipie and we knew we had to see it. It’s an easy two-hour drive from Krakow.

The closest town is Tarnów, about 35kms away.

Why is Zalipie so special?

Zalipie is a small village where a unique tradition lives on. Back in the 19th century, the women of Zalipie village decided to cover the dirty walls blackened from soot.

The smoke from the chimneys would turn the interior of the house dark and dirty after some time.

The women painted the walls with colourful paint made with powdered dye and milk and then decorated these walls with flowers.

These bright floral patterns were painted everywhere. On the walls inside and outside, on the furniture, on the ceiling and very quickly everyone in the village was participating. The world got out and in 1948 the first competition for the best-painted cottage was held here in Zalipie. 

It is truly one of the most picturesque and photogenic places in Europe to see. 

What to see in Zalipie?

Once you arrive, I recommend heading straight to the Felicja Curyłowa Farmstead Museum. It was named after the most celebrated artist, Felicja Curyłowa.

This small ethnographic museum runs a guided tour that will grant you access to three houses that are now part of the museum (Chata Biedniacka’ cottage with its thatched roof, and Stefania Łączyńska house and Felicja Curyłowa house). 

The tour begins at every hour and it is only in Polish, but you might have a few tourists in the group that can translate some information into English. 

Zalipie - The prettiest villages in Poland inside the museum

Either way, seeing the houses inside was definitely a highlight! Flowers are painted everywhere and they are all unique.

While you wait for the tour to start you might enjoy the small garden and take photos of the houses.

Once your tour is finished, explore the village. You can simply drive slowly around and pull over when you need or you might walk.

Most of the houses with paintings are on the same street as the Painter’s House mentioned below.

Don’t miss the Painters House or Dom Malarek. This is a painted house (the back half of it has been destroyed though) and is one of the most picturesque places in Zalipie. 

Before you set off from Krakow, I recommend bringing some food as there is virtually nothing in the village. Also, GPS or navigation might be needed to get here and then get out. 

Zalipie - The prettiest villages in Poland interior

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When is the best time to visit Zalipie in Poland?

You can visit anytime, although spring and summer might be the best time.

Also every spring, right after Corpus Christi in June, many women from Zalipie and surrounding villages create new art and enter their houses and farms into the contest.

Apparently, everyone wins a prize! 

Zalipie - The prettiest villages in Poland countryside

Getting To Zalipie from Krakow:

Zalipie is about 100km northwest of Kraków, the journey to Zalipie from Kraków takes about 1hr 45mins by car, and the fastest route is via Tarnów. 

If you don’t have a car, don’t worry. while there is no train or direct bus from Krakow, you can join this day tour from Krakow to visit Zalipie.

Krakow has some amazing day trips, see your options below:

Zalipie - The prettiest villages in Poland fence

Have you visited Zalipie village? Do you agree that it’s the prettiest village in Poland? Let us know in the comments.

Planning more Travels in Poland or Europe?

In the planning stages for your trip to Poland, don’t miss our post about our 8 Favourite Cities to visit in Poland. We cover some essential information about top places to see and some tips on where to eat the best Polish food too.

You might also enjoy this post about the 7 Misconceptions about Eastern Europe and 8 Useful Things to know about travelling in Eastern Europe. It’s also worth noting that Poland is one of the 10 Cheapest Countries in Europe to Visit.

We’ve also got you covered for what to pack for your trip. Our Ultimate Packing list for Europe has all the essentials!

And if you’ve got a thirst for knowledge, learn more about nearby nations in this post, Slovakia vs Slovenia and also Lithuania vs Latvia.

Finally, our 7 Best Tips for Traveling to Europe is unmissable and we recommend getting yourself the best eSIM for Europe to stay connected.