Guide

Travel tips

1 Travel tips

Here are a few things to remember during your time in Zakopane: Strange people standing on the side of the road holding cardboard signs written "nocl

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Getting to Zakopane

2 Getting to Zakopane

Above: Fly to Zakopane Left: Or why not go cross country? Below: Alternatively pen a short novel in the time the train takesBy air You…

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Getting around Zakopane

3 Getting around Zakopane

Above: Ride the river Left: Horse around Below: Or risk a run in with Jaws on the cablecar By taxi Zakopane is a small town, so its best to try…

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Money Matters

4 Money Matters

Don't assume that your hotel will take cards, though things are steadily improving in this area. Cash is still king in Poland, so make sure you have…

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Language

5 Language

There's no getting away from it - Polish is a tough language, and any early attempts at it will have you sounding like you're whispering, gargling…

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Info about Zakopane & Poland

6 Info about Zakopane & Poland

Zakopane is Poland's premier centre of mountain hiking and skiing. Although its local population is only about 30,000, Zakopane is visited by a…

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About the guide

Above: A cross on Mount Giewont Below: Archway in winter

As late as the mid-nineteenth century Zakopane was still an undiscovered village in the wilds. And besides a cluster of wooden cottages, only a tiny chapel and a few wayside shrines betrayed a link to the outside world. However, Zakopane's discovery by the famed doctor Tytus Chalubinski changed all of this, and soon the village was drawing visitors from across Poland, inspired as they were by the magnificent scenery and the rich folk culture.

Above all it was artists and writers that embraced the region, and Zakopane became something of a mecca for Polish thinkers, a place where dreams of a reborn Poland were forged. Social conventions were blurred and artists developed profound bonds with the local 'gorale' - the highlanders - and not a few romantic liasons were launched too.

By the 1930's Zakopane had evolved into one of the most popular holiday destinations in the country, with a flourishing winter sports scene and hiking all the year round. It is this character that has endured - above all Zakopane is a place where people come to have fun. Zakopane town itself is a crazy cocktail of fairground commercialism and folkloric charm, where spirited old ladies in patterned headsquares, loaded down with pickled mushrooms and lumps of ewe's cheese, jostle side by side with outsiders selling heavy metal t-shirts and football strips. The main street especially, Krupowki, is a love it or loathe it place, a riot of commercialism set against a backdrop of elegant wooden villas and fin-de-siecle mansions.

Yet away from the bright lights of the main streets there are some revelatory surprises that can still enchant, transporting the viewer back to the magic of one hundred years ago.

But of course it is the great outdoors that is the main attraction of the town. Zakopane is Poland's top mountain resort, and thus a haven for skiers and hikers. The Tatra mountains, the highest stretch of the Carpathian range, rear up over the town in all their ancient majesty. There are a plethora of trails, both in the foothills and valleys as well as up in the craggy peaks. In Spring, the alpine meadows of the Podhale are flooded with carpets of flowers, making this an idyllic place for walking.

A little further afield there are plenty of opportunities for a fine day out. East of Zakopane at Czorsztyn, lies the splendid medieval castle of Niedzica, which is perched above a vast lake. Within easy striking distance from here are a sprinkling of wooden churches of genuinely breathtaking beauty, whilst a little further east lies the Pieniny mountain range, a favourite amongst Poles and foreigners alike.

Our Zakopane Guide in Polish!

Comments

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Veix from Estonia Reply Dec 17th, 2012

Goodday all Following ski areas: Kasprowy wierch, Bukowina slopes, Gubalowka, Nosal main slope, Harenda rides. Is there any common ticket system for all of them, that I could just go from one slope to another without buying a new ticket? Could you suggest some hotel, not far from slopes, suitable for students (not the most expensive one). Thank you!

mynci from United Kingdom Reply Dec 13th, 2012

We'll be in Zakopane over Christmas - do we need to book tables for eating out in advance, or will many places be open, and will cater for walk-ins? Thanks!

sue from Australia Reply Jan 9th, 2012

We are Aussies currently skiing in Zakopane. best exchange for Aust $ = 3.5 zlt. bus tickets available at Krakow station for 19zlt. take two hours - private bus coach - szwzgropol.. stayed at Stara Polana - ok though noisy at night a 15 minute walk from main street. hire of gear - can ONLY hire skis, helmets and boots at - best place is GO SKI at Jagellion St (same as bus station) Tesco supermarket in that street too plus accommodation. dinners cheap at restaurant approx 30zlt. skiing harenda cost 65 zlt for day pass or 45 for 3 hours. other places nearby town cost 7zlt per run. you purchase card and can add to it. deposit 10 zlt. all ski hire and taxis (to ski places) and cost of ski passes only offer cash payments. no credit card. hope this helps. it is lovely and we want to come back...

Aram from United Kingdom Reply Oct 19th, 2011

HI how much is cost in an hour for snowmobile and dose any com rent snowmobile for short hours like 2 hours or over please?

Aram from United Kingdom Reply Oct 19th, 2011

hi cold some body till me what temperatures going be in end of January pleas ?

salva castejon from Spain Reply Sep 25th, 2011

Good morning from Barcelona, Spain.I would like to know, How can I arrive to Morskie oko lake from Zakopane?, I will arrive 8/10,, only I have one day I have a car Thank you Best regards Salva

Ogrodygorskie from Poland Reply Apr 7th, 2011

Hello, for your information, almost all slopes in and around Zakopane are closing down.Few are still opened for few more days, some slopes of Kasprowy, Bialka tatrzanska and out of Zakopane:Vysocke tatry.Enjoy your last sensations at ski this season and already think to book your accomodation for a future stay in Zakopane for trekking, camping, climbing...Staff of Ogrodygorskie Residence of comfy apartments-Zakopane

Alexey from Russia Reply Dec 23rd, 2010

Hello! Tell me please how much will be cost ski-pass 30.12 - 4.12?

Lorek from Poland Reply Sep 4th, 2010

Hello William, I can affirm you that Zakopane in mid September will be more enjoyable than in July-august by the fact there will a lot less people on trekking and touristics paths, streets, shops and restaurants...

William from United Kingdom Reply Aug 31st, 2010

What are the campsides like in mid Sept? I heard that Zako can be a bit of a 'honey pot', could you recomend a nearby quite town with good access to the mountains? Thanks

Lorek from Poland Reply Apr 9th, 2010

Guys, get ready your trekking shoes and motivation as spring season started already in Zakopane with warm weather and sunny days.The snow is disappearing surely but leave the high peaks still beautiful.Also, if you look for comfy accomodation at affordable price and advices, please do feel free to reply to me by writing a review too on this webpage.

Kasia from United States Reply Feb 26th, 2010

can't wait to be back in poland. especially Zakopane!

lorek from Poland Reply Feb 18th, 2010

Hello everyone, if you have any wonders about your future coming to Zakopane(accomodation, transfer from/to the airport, activities there(spa, snow doo, ski...), ski rental...)and any questions you would like to have answers to, please do nor hesitate to contact me at the email address: info@ogrodygorskie.pl .As I work and live there, i am aware of all what is going on in Zakopane and surroundings.

Skiing in Zakopane from Poland Reply Oct 23rd, 2009

Contact for the below: sts73@o2.pl

Skiing in Zakopane from Poland Reply Oct 23rd, 2009

I offer ski instructing for beginners and advanced skiers. Slopes in and around Zakopane. As a ski-instructor I help with arranging ski buses, ski rental and other services. In case of worse weather or simply for a day off I'll take you for hiking in the Tatra Mountains - I am a mountain guide, as well.

Bart from United States Reply Sep 28th, 2009

Am looking forward to getting my skis on...

Simon from United Kingdom Reply Sep 25th, 2009

Go ski in Belchatow cheaper and less people

lorek from Poland Reply Sep 8th, 2009

I forgot to mention that there is of course possibity to do some off pist alone(at your own risk) or with some guides in the Tatras mountains.

Lorek from Poland Reply Sep 8th, 2009

Zakopane has many slopes which are of course for all ski level.For adavnced level.There are not in the same place. There is Kasprowy wierch, Bukowina slopes, Gubalowka, Nosal main slope, Harenda and you may even get more nearby in Slovakia.You may even get spa half indoor/outdoor, snow scooter rides...How many days do you intend to be in zakopane, do you have an accomodation, and how many people?I may have an offer with www.ogrodygorskie.pl

David Harries from United Kingdom Reply Sep 8th, 2009

Hello, can someone tell me if this resort is good for advance skiers, is there much offpiste etc?

lorek from Poland Reply Aug 28th, 2009

I would recommend anyone to get the Zakopane Life city map and Zakopane Life trails or paths map before starting any visit around.And if you need comfy accomodation at affordable price, contact us after visiting www.ogrodygorskie.pl.Thanks

Mariusz from Poland Reply Jul 31st, 2009

I recommemd the Zabi Dwor inn. A great place. Like old Zakopane, different to the commercial bars on Krupowki

Ed from United States Reply May 27th, 2009

Thanks guys, have been using those links

fruitos from France Reply Mar 4th, 2009

suce vinchatte et avale ratacradoski

suce from Albania Reply Mar 4th, 2009

tape ton chibre!

from United Kingdom Reply Aug 8th, 2008

l am goind to the birth place of my father kazimierz and my grandad tadeusz schiele l can not wait to go my first time in zakopane friday the 15th of augest 2008

Steve from United Kingdom Reply Dec 24th, 2006

great

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