Zakrzówek Park & Reservoir

  Dębniki         06 Jun 2024
This fantastic reservoir just southwest of the city centre was serendipitously created when the limestone quarry operating here accidentally pierced the water table in the 1990s. A popular place for swimming and summer barbecues, as well as hiking and rock-climbing year-round, Zakrzówek is known for its irresistible blue and seemingly bottomless water, as well as the gorgeous views from atop its limestone bluffs. Unfortunately it has also been known as the frequent site of fatal accidents throughout its history, forcing the city to take steps to improve the safety and accessibility of the area, which reopened in 2023 after extensive works.
Swimming pools in the southern part of Zakrzówek Quarry, April 2023; photo by Krzysztof Kalinowski,

Zakrzówek 2.0

Despite the initial obligatory grumbles, the new Zakrzówek Park has proven to be a massive success. In addition to new pathways, safety barriers, new benches and picnic tables at overlook points and much-needed waste bins throughout the park, the southern part of the reservoir now features five enclosed swimming pools of varying depths (including one 40cm deep pool for small children), set inside the quarry and cleverly connected by wide wooden floating docks. Although entry is free, there is an entrance gate that limits the number of people in the pools to prevent overcrowding (600 max), and long lines have been known to form on warm afternoons (the best time to visit without crowds is weekday mornings).
Morning swim in Zakrzówek.

The pools are lifeguarded and open to the public from mid-June to early-September, 10:00-18:00 (the official 2024 season is June 19 to September 9). Note that swimming in other parts of the reservoir is also possible, but you do so at your own risk. Alcohol is forbidden. Near the pools there are also new changing facilities, toilets, food trucks and a cafe with lovely views overlooking the quarry.
Zakrzówek Quarry, April 2023; photo by Krzysztof Kalinowski,

In the northern part of the reservoir there is now a beach and boat launch, which though it lacks sand, gives direct access to the waters of the quarry. Note that no lifeguards are on duty here, but it is permitted to swim. Part of the infrastructure works around the park included the building of a new Water Sports Centre, which should open soon and allow the rental of kayaks and other water equipment.

In the past, Zakrzówek was also home to a scuba diving school, which we suspect will again be the case someday, but it's unclear when. With a depth of 7-21m/23-69ft, the bottom of Zakrzówek Quarry is cluttered with all kinds of things that shouldn’t be there: several vehicles and sunken boats, including a small aircraft with two fake skeletons in the cockpit, as well as the former changing rooms of the quarry workers.
Things you'll find in Kraków caves: dragons, sorcerors, bats, spiders, IYP readers...
The surrounding cliffs and woods are still a wonderful and wild place to go for a walk; the quarry rim offers fantastic views of Wawel Castle and the Old Town. The wooded area next to the quarry is also the fabled former stomping ground of Kraków's legendary alchemist and occultist 'Pan Twardowski,' who purportedly had his workshop in one of the caves - see if you can find it. In addition to several caves, intrepid adventurers may discover large, abandoned and very creepy Austrian bunkers carved in the cliffs (though most have been sealed off in recent years). There's even a whacked-out monument to Elvis Presley in the vicinity!

Getting to Zakrzówek

The closest tram stop is ‘Norymberska,’ which takes you to the swimming pools and more developed south side of the quarry. For a wilder Zakrzówek, take the tram to ‘Kapelanka’ and enter via ul. Twardowskiego, or take a bus to ‘Zielińskiego’ (a requested stop) and enter via ul. Pietrusińskiego. Check live transport connections here.


Pools open June 1 to August 31, 10:00-18:00.

Price/Additional Info

Admission free.


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