Żywiec is a town in Poland. If you find yourself wandering in surrounding Beskidy mountains, you are likely to pay a visit sooner or later. Some people might have tried beer produced here, which is named after the town.
Pronunciation might be a little tricky - the first sign ż is pronounced as s in pleasure, then y like i in lip, w stands for v, i pronounced as in big, e like in bed and finally c like ts in bits. Good luck.
North towards Bielsko-Biała, Katowice and south towards Slovakia by
Spot nr 1
Coordinates: 49.68855846096437, 19.175523255523174
From the main railway station 'Żywiec' (there are few) go through a foot-bridge above the tracks and turn right into Armii Krajowej street. You will soon get to a roundabout next to a McDonalds restaurant. You may ask for a piece of box for a sign. Walk down Podlesie street which begins behind the restaurant and after a few steps turn left into Sezamowa. Walk along the fence and find an opening which allow people to cross the main road, there is a pedestrian crossing and a little space for cars to stop. Make a visible sign so they see you from the distance
This spot will probably not work during the night. When it's dark there is a better idea - hitchhike just past the roundabout, next to McDonalds. There is little traffic, drivers slow down before the roundabout and even if they won't stop right next to you (they are not allowed) they have the option of turning right for McDolands parking and then calling you.
Spot nr 2
Petrol station next to the roundabout described above. Safer option if you feel insecure about spot nr 1, where people might be going pretty fast.
South-east towards Jeleśnia, Korbielów and Dolny Kubin, Slovakia by 945
Spot coordinates: 49.681932, 19.201831
If you are going to hike Pilsko or Babia Góra, that is the way to go.
From the main railway station 'Żywiec' go down Dworcowa street to the north. Right after you cross the bridge turn right and follow the road. You'll get to a parking which provides quite a lot of space to hitchhike.
Accommodation and Sleep
You might wildcamp at the Soła river bank. Follow instructions for hitchhiking out towards Jeleśnia written above. Instead of looking for the parking find the yellow trail (coordinates: 49.6820428N, 19.2015203E) and turn right into it. After crossing the bridge you may start looking for a good place to put your tent up.
Train (described below) to Rajcza (direction Zwardoń) costs few zlotys and takes you into the mountains. Of course you can hitchhike there as well - follow instructions for Zwardoń described above. Feels way more wild than Żywiec. Provided weather is favourable and you are up for hiking a little: go to Ujsolska street which begins right next to the railway station in Rajcza, hitchhike few kilometers to Ujsoły and hike the green trail to the top of Muńcuł mountain - put your tent up on the meadow and enjoy fabulous views, especially if you wake early enough to catch the sunrise.
Other useful info
Street lights are turned off from 00:00 to 04:30am (20.02.2021)
Rail transport works well. Most trains are operated by Koleje Śląskie and head either north to Katowice or south to Zwardoń. Katowice is the capital of the region, where a night in a hostel can be as cheap as 20PLN (5 EUR). The route to the south goes through the mountains all the way to the Slovakian border, where it is possible to cross the border by foot and take a train at Slovakian side. The last train towards Katowice departs more less at 10pm. Buy a ticket at the railway station, if for any reason you don't have a valid one use the first door to board the train and wait for the manager.