How to go skiing on a budget at this cheap family ski resort

How to go skiing on a budget at this cheap family ski resort

Skiing is an extremely popular winter holiday and it’s not difficult to understand why. Those beautiful snowy mountains are enchanting, the warming après ski is to die for and of course, skiing is an amazing family sport.

But for cost-conscious families, does skiing on a budget really exist and can you really find cheap family ski resorts?

The answer is 100% yes!!

You just need to know where to look and how to plan it yourself to avoid the high costs charged by ski holiday companies.

Which cheap family ski resort and how much will it cost?

If you really are looking to take your family skiing on a budget, then you need to visit Zieleniec Ski Arena in Poland.

Our family of 4 went skiing in February half term and paid less than…

£1350 for 5 nights

That included everything from flights, transfers, accommodation, ski hire, ski passes and food and drink!

Now that’s what I call skiing on a budget and I’ve shared our complete cost breakdown in a separate post – check it out here.

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Planning a skiing trip to Zieleniec cheap family ski resort

If you want to go skiing on a budget then there is some prior planning needed. But don’t worry, that’s where I’m going to make it completely simple for you. I’ll provide all of the information and detail you need to plan your own trip to Zieleniec cheap family ski resort.

And honestly… it is really simple. Keep reading and I will tell you where to stay, how to get there and what to do once you are there.

Please note: prices accurate at the time of writing and have used the exchange rate of 1 GBP (British Pound) = 4.86 (Polish Złoty/PLN) – March 2019

More about Zieleniec cheap family ski resort

One of largest ski resorts in Poland, Zieleniec Ski Arena is unique in that it has a microclimate similar to the Alpine climate (apparently it makes the human body produce more red blood cells).

It benefits from a large amount of snowfall with about 150 days of snow coverage a year. Skiing in Zieleniec can often start at the beginning of November and continue into the Easter holidays.

With 22 kilometres of routes and 29 lifts, the resort has something to offer for every family member regardless of age or experience.

There are longer, more difficult routes for the more advanced skiers, many of which are open and lit up until 10 pm at night.

Whilst for beginners and kids, there are numerous ski schools (including English speaking teachers at approximately 80 zł/£16.46 per hour). There are large, low gradient areas to practice your first ski runs and turns, with belt lifts to help you easily get back up to the top.

There are plenty of family-friendly guest houses and hotels, some with spas and swimming pools. Many offering indoor kids play areas and childcare, allowing parents some free time to enjoy the slopes.

And I can’t forget to mention the many restaurants and bars offering a place to relax in front of a roaring log fire with delicious hearty food and amazing après ski.

Read more about the ski resort here.

How to go skiing on a budget at this cheap family ski resort - Zieleniec Map
Map of Zieleniec Ski Arena (

Where to stay in Zieleniec cheap family ski resort

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One of the reasons that Zieleniec Ski Arena is such a cheap family ski resort is because it mainly attracts Polish visitors and those from neighbouring countries such as Germany and the Czech Republic. This is great because you pay local prices, but it can be difficult to find accommodation due to language barriers and availability on English booking sites.

I spent a long time sifting through lots of Polish websites and using google translate to email a load of hotels (in Polish).

Click here for a list of accommodation within the resort. You can email them directly for prices and availability. Or there are a few available through including these top rated hotels…

Our family friendly stay at Absolwent Zieleniec

We stayed at Absolwent Zieleniec in a triple room for 5 nights on a full board basis and it was perfect – check out the website here (website in Polish only but has some good photos).

Absolwent is located right on the slopes and opposite two of the main chair lifts (just a couple of minutes’ walk). Within a 5 minute walk, you have access to multiple ski hire shops, a convenience shop, other hotels and bars, ski pass kiosks etc.

This hotel is great for friendly staff who speak a reasonable amount of English, good hearty Polish food, free spa access and the best thing of all… free childcare between 3 pm and 9 pm.

It has its own separate kids play area and a lady called Dorota who looks after and plays with the children whilst you go and ski (and sample a few drinks in the snow bars!) 

Top Tipaccommodation gets booked up quickly so make sure plan to book in plenty of advance (at least 3-5 months)

Click on the link below to check out this hotel and search availability. This hotel offers a range of room options including adjoining rooms but if you are struggling to find something to suit your needs, I would recommend emailing them directly at

Consider accommodation in nearby Duszniki-Zdrój

If you can’t find suitable accommodation in Zieleniec ski resort itself, there are more hotels and at even cheaper prices in the nearby town of Duszniki-Zdrój (where you get the train to). From here you can get the free ski bus which runs between Duszniki-Zdrój and Zieleniec Ski Arena regularly throughout the day.

How to get to Zieleniec cheap family ski resort

Getting to Zieleniec is easy but you need to do a little research and planning beforehand. But don’t worry, we’ve already done it all so all you have to do is keep reading!

You could hire a car or arrange a private transfer but we would recommend public transport because it is so cheap and easy in Poland.

We spent less than £30 on all of our transport to Zieleniec and back to Wroclaw.

Here’s a quick summary of the transport you’ll need to take to get to Zieleniec Ski Arena but I’ll explain where from and how to do each leg of the journey.

By the way, the kids loved this bit. Particularly the train, where we played games, enjoyed the scenery and played ‘the first one to spot some snow’! There was a lovely old Polish lady on the train who couldn’t speak a word of English but took a liking to the girls and ended up giving them a chocolate bar to share.

Follow the above in reverse to return back to Wroclaw Airport.

Click here to see our complete breakdown of our costs.

How to get to Wroclaw Airport – booking your flights

Flights to Wroclaw are usually really cheap. We flew from Manchester during February half term to Wroclaw for £235.15 for the 4 of us plus 1 x 20kg checked luggage.

If you want to know exactly what to pack for your family ski holiday, click here.

You can also download our free ‘Family Ski Trip – Packing List’ by clicking the ‘DOWNLOAD NOW’ button below.

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Download your FREE Ultimate Packing List now!

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In order to find the very cheapest flights, try to be as flexible as possible and use Skyscanner to check different dates to fly and different airports to fly from. Click here for a step by step guide on how to book the cheapest flights using Skyscanner (even during school holidays).

How to get from Wroclaw Airport into the city centre – take the city bus

Once you’ve landed in Wroclaw, the cheapest way to get to the city is by bus. Buses from the airport run regularly and late into the night, so you shouldn’t have to wait too long.

You can either get the airport shuttle bus (usually a blue bus that says ‘Wro Airport Express’ on it) which runs every 50 minutes, takes 30 minutes and costs 10 zł/£2 per person (paid directly to the driver). This bus will drop you off at the bus station right behind the train station.

Or you can get the city bus (number 106) which runs every 15 minutes and takes 40 minutes. The cost is cheaper than the airport shuttle bus (10 zł/£2 for all 4 of us). This bus drops you off in front of the train station up a street called Dworcowa.

IMPORTANT! If you take the city bus 106, you must pay using a card at one of the ticket machines inside the bus. You must do this at the beginning of your journey once the bus engine has started (the machines don’t work when the engine is switched off). You can change the language to English so is fairly straight forward to use.

How to get from Wroclaw Railway Station to Duszniki-Zdrój – take the train (or bus)

Once you arrive at Wrocław Główny railway station you can purchase your train tickets from the ticket offices (signed ‘KASY BILETOWE’ in Polish).

You can pay in cash or by card and the staff speak good English. Ask for tickets to Duszniki-Zdrój (type it into your phone or write it down if you are worried about the pronunciation).

We paid 44 zł/£9 for the 4 of us and the journey takes 2hr 15 minutes but the time passes really quickly. We played games and enjoyed the scenery. The last part of the journey is particularly picturesque as you pass through the forests and start to see snow.

What to do if you have an early flight?

Once you have booked your flights, you can check out the train times here.

If you have an early flight and some time before your train departs, you can store your luggage in the luggage lockers at the train station for 12-16 zł/ £2.50-£3.30 for up to 24 hours. The luggage lockers are just around the corner from the ticket offices and have English instructions.

You can then spend whatever time you have exploring beautiful Wroclaw. The Market Square is an approximately 25-minute walk or there is a lovely modern shopping centre right behind the train station to kill some time.

If you have missed the last train that day (usually leaves at lunchtime), there are buses that also run throughout the day. Buses to Duszniki-Zdrój cost about the same price as the train and takes a similar time. We just prefer to travel by train because we avoid the risk of the kids getting travel sickness and it’s much more comfortable. You have the freedom to move about as well as access to toilets.

What to do if you have a late flight?

There is no shortage of accommodation in Wroclaw. We actually did 2 nights in a lovely Airbnb that we would highly recommend. It was a few minutes’ walk from the railway station and right next to one of the best places for breakfast in Wroclaw – check out Folgujemy Instagram page here

Our Airbnb was a bargain at £95.52 for 2 nights, you can take a look here.

Top Tip – if you choose to stay at our recommended Airbnb, Dworcowa, where the bus drops you off, is only a 5-minute walk to the accommodation.

If you haven’t tried Airbnb yet, sign up through our link and get £25 off your first booking.

Having a day or two beforehand also makes your journey to Duszniki-Zdrój a bit less rushed. You can have a leisurely morning and go somewhere nice for breakfast before cathcing your train. We’d highly recommend Folgujemy (already mentioned and right next to the Airbnb) or Dinette (oposite the Opera House).

How to get from Duszniki-Zdrój to Zieleniec Ski Arena – ski bus or taxi

Duszniki-Zdrój railway station is small and unmanned. When you arrive, you will probably find a few taxi’s outside, which will take you on to Zieleniec. Or you can wait for the next free ski bus, there is a timetable right outside the station. We would have had to wait just over an hour so we decided to take a taxi. The 12 kilometre/7.5 mile journey takes about 15 minutes and cost us 30 zł/£6 in a taxi.

Top Tip – if you stay at Absolwent, they should be able to give you a lift back to Duszniki-Zdrój railway station

Arriving at Zieleniec Ski Arena

Once you have arrived and checked into your accommodation, you will want to sort out your ski hire and ski passes. There are plenty of ski hire shops, clearly signed along the main road that runs through the resort. I would choose the one closest to your accommodation to save you carrying them too far – they are all similarly priced.

Ski/lift passes can be purchased from the kiosks situated near the main lifts and central car park. There are a number of ski pass options at different prices – to find out more read the section on ski passes in this post.

What to do at Zieleniec Ski Arena

We spent the mornings together skiing and playing in the snow

Our typical day started with a relaxing breakfast where we filled ourselves up on hot sausages, eggs, breads, cheeses, meats and cereals. Then we’d go out and spend the morning together skiing and playing in the snow.

Top Tipbase yourselves at the bottom of a ski lift

If you choose to stay at Absolwent, directly opposite is a great place to base yourselves if you have got younger kids. There is a chairlift that takes you right up to the top of the mountain and a couple of button lifts that take you so far up and are great for kids to go up. There’s also snow bars either side if it gets cold and you want to go and get a warm drink.

Freya (our eldest, aged 6) skied constantly, taking herself up on the button lifts and skiing back down to us. One of us stayed at the bottom with Florence (aged 2), making snowmen and going inside if she got cold or bored. And the other would either ski with Freya or go up to the top and make our way back down (towards the end, Freya was coming up to the top with us and even coming back down the red routes).

How to go skiing on a budget at this cheap family ski resort - Florence

A hearty dinner before hitting the slopes in the afternoon

After working up an appetite in the snow we’d return back to our hotel, get out of our ski clothes and have a leisurely lunch together.

After dinner, the girls were always excited to go to the kids play area. One of the best things about Absolwent is the free childcare available between 3pm and 9pm. At 3pm, we would drop them off with Dorota, the child minder and hit the slopes for 3 hours.

This was our time to explore the resort, attempt the different ski trails, improve our skiing technique and sample a few drinks in the snow bars.

We’d return for our evening meal with the girls before heading out again together for skiing at night. The resort is not overly crowded anyway but in the evening, it is even quieter as the day visitors have left.

Our final thoughts…

Hopefully, you can see that skiing on a budget is possible even with your family in tow and even during school holidays.

Zieleniec Ski Arena is a cheap family ski resort but certainly doesn’t lack in terms of what it has to offer.

We’ve visited twice now and although we will be on the hunt for other cheap family ski resorts, I have no doubt that we will visit again.

It’s big enough to satisfy those who have a more advanced skiing ability but is also great for kids and families wanting to learn how to ski, improve their technique and generally just have lots of fun.

If you want to go skiing on a budget and fancy trying out Zieleniec Ski Arena, then I hope I have provided enough information in this post to help you plan and book your own family skiing trip.

We love Zieleniec and I hope you will try it for yourself. If you have any questions or can recommend any other cheap family ski resorts, then I’d love to hear from you… please leave a comment below.

Gemma x

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Claire P

    Hi Gemma, I have never heard of this amazing ski resort and moreover it cheap. Will definitely plan to visit Zieleniec Ski Arena it soon and I am sure my kids will love it. Thanks for taking efforts and sharing this amazing guide and tips about Zieleniec Ski Arena.

    1. Gemma

      Hi Claire, thanks so much for your comment. I’m glad you found the information useful and I’m certain your kids will absolutely love it!
      I think there are plenty of cheap ski resorts, it’s just most families don’t venture to places that aren’t geared up for tourists.
      We’re visiting the High Tatras in Slovakia in a few weeks time and this is another place that is supposedly very good for skiing but also cheap. We hope to scope it out and plan to return in winter.
      Would love to hear back from you if you do decide to visit 😊
      Gemma x

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