General Information

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 staggering 2 million tourists a year. Situated in the Malopolska Voivodship, in the southern part of the Podhale region, Zakopane lies at the feet of the Tatra Mountains the only alpine mountain range in this part of Europe. Zakopane lies in big glen between the main Tatra range and Gubalowka Hill.

Zakopane is Poland's highest town: its municipal region extending from 750 to 1000 m above sea level. The highest peak in the area of the town is Mt. Swinica which is 2301 metres above sea level, with the highest peak in the whole of the Polish Tatras, Mt. Rysy, reaching 2499 m above sea level. The central point of the town - the crossroads of Krupowki St. and Kosciuszki St. are 838 m above sea level.

The very first documents mentioning Zakopane come from the 17th century, and describe the Zakopisko glade. Its later history was connected with the development of mining and metallurgy industries and then with the progress of health service and tourism. It gradually evolved from a little village to the region's health-resort and ultimately a reasonable-sized town, named the winter capital of Poland.

There are plenty of museums in the town, the most significant and oldest being The Tatra Museum. There is also the Natural History Museum of Tatra National Park and biographical museums of famous Polish artists, among them great composer Karol Szymanowski, the poet Jan Kasprowicz, and the artist Wladyslaw Hasior.

Tourists can visit numerous exhibitions and local craft and fine art galleries. There are also several artistic schools and, most famously, The Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz Theatre.

Mountain Culture is explored in The Tatra Folk Centre. Zakopane has become something of a mecca for mountain culture beyond Poland's borders, with the folk culture of mountaineers from all continents being celebrated at the annual International Festival of Highland Folklore every September.

In Zakopane the newspaper Tygodnik Podhalanski (The Podhale Weekly) is published every Thursday. It is distributed all over the Podhale region and even among the Polish citizens of Chicago. There is also a local broadcasting station, Radio Alex (FM 72,26 and 105,2 Mhz).

Population: 39 million Capital: Warsaw Major language: Polish Major religion: Christianity Life expectancy: 68 years (men), 77 years (women) Monetary unit: 1 zloty = 100 groszy Main exports: Machinery and transport equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals Average annual income: US $11,300 Internet domain: .pl International dialling code: +48

About Zakopane

Positioned at the centre of Europe, Poland has known turbulent and violent, as well as prosperous times. There have been periods of independence as well as periods of domination by other countries. Several million Polish people, half of them Jews, died in World War II.

In 1989 Poland became the first of the eastern European countries to overthrow Communist rule, following years of demonstrations, strikes and underground political movement led by the Trades Union movement Solidarity. Despite strong Russian objections, Poland joined Nato in 1999 and has been formally invited to join the EU in 2004.

Poland has achieved some success in creating a market economy and attracting foreign investment. However, unemployment is high and incomes and growth low. The huge farming sector is unwieldy and very inefficient, many farms still retaining their medieval land divisions into inefficient, long strips. In spite of this, Poland's agricultural output is greater than that of Great Britain, France and Italy combined, which is why future EU subsidy levels have been a major area of controversy. Corruption has been singled out by the European Commission as a particularly major problem which must be urgently addressed, as well as the necessity to improve border controls.

The Roman Catholic church, a very strong force in Polish life, has expressed concern that modern lifestyles are corrupting moral values. The church has been involved in heated debates over issues such as worship in schools and abortion.


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John Shableski from United States Reply Jan 7th, 2016

My father's sister claims that my ancestors are from Zakopane. I would love to plan a trip to see if this is true. Is there any one in Zakopane who might be able to assist me with locating any of my relatives?

Mary Magarian from United States Reply Jan 17th, 2015

I was told to see the "Crooked House"(?) Dom do Gory Nogami when I visit Zakopane with my daughter in May of this year. Do you know of it and how to get there?

Editor from Poland Jan 17th, 2015

Hi Mary, The best translation for "Dom do góry nogami" is probably "Upside Down House" and the name speaks for itself. Everything in this house is upside down, and you start the sightseeing from the attic:) The address is Aleja 3 Maja, not too far from Krupówki main street. It's open 10-18, tickets ca. 10 PLN. Have a great time!

Derek from United Kingdom Reply Jun 23rd, 2014

Details and prices for trip to Morskie Oko in August please using bus and horse / carriage

Boergia from Netherlands Reply Jun 30th, 2013

Hello Lorek, is it true that the bus from Krakow to Zakopane (18 October) 18:45 to 19:15 and 20:00 drive, that will be beautiful then I directly from the airport to Krakow to Zakopane. Greetings from the Netherlands.

Lorek from Poland Reply Sep 6th, 2010

Hello, for the fastest way ro get to Zakopane from Cracow : it is by bus: check the website also the timetable for Christmas and new year period is: 24.12 there is bus service 25.12 there is no bus service 31.12 and 01.01.2011 Is it the same timetable as below: Cracow - Zakopane 6.40, 7.35, 8.40, 9.40, 10.10, 11.05, 12.00, 12.40, 14.10, 14.50, 15.40, 16.10, 17.10, 18.15, 18.45, 19.15, 20.00, 22.05 Zakopane - Cracow 5.50, 7.15, 7.50, 8.30, 9.15, 10.15, 10.45, 11.20, 12.40, 14.00, 14.50, 15.15, 16.00, 16.55, 17.50, 18.30, 19.15, 20.10. Ho[pe it helps.

eva from Poland Reply Sep 5th, 2010

try madame c, it s a littel nice resturant in the end of the main street. the owner is very warm and frindly, I sure she will make some good dinner for you and your group. I use the resturant every time me and my famly is in town. good luck!

Lorek from Poland Reply Aug 27th, 2010

Hello Janet, usually restaurants in Zakopane are not expensive unless you choose a five star restaurant.I think there is in both hotel where you will stay a restaurant with affordable and less affordable menus.Otherwise, I may recommend you ADAMO PIZZERIA RESTAURANT, SIWOR, Nosalowy Dwor, WATRA and MORSKIE OKO restaurants and dancing together , Karczma Regionalna Przy M³ynie (very close to your 2 hotels).Most of restaurants are also in the main street( there are 120 ).Hope it helps.

Janet from Ireland Reply Aug 19th, 2010

I am travelling with a group in september and am looking for good restaurants not to expensive to accommodate 20 people on 10th sept and 15th sept. Will be staying in Hotel renesans and hotel crocus.

Lorek from Poland Reply Aug 13th, 2010

Hello Ahmed.The weather at the end of September should be good, not too hot and a lot less tourists on trails, paths and touristic attraction it shouls be more enjoyable than now. At the beginning of December, it sghould be colder but I cannot assure you that there will be snow and so possibility to ski as I wrote in previous email to Kerry. Just few days before coming, you may get informed if it is possible to ski or not on this website for example of by checking the many webcams located in Zakopane

Lorek from Poland Reply Aug 13th, 2010

Hello Kerry, last year the first snowfall fell end of October but for this year I cannot assure that there will be snow in November, more chance of snow end of November.Also, I cannot reassure you that it will be possible to sli on any slopes in Zakopane.Maybe nearby in Slovakia, but it is when you will be there that you will assess if it is possible to ski, nordic ski walking.

Ahmed from Egypt Reply Aug 9th, 2010

Would like to ask about weather at the end of September and first days in December .If it will be snowing or not

kerry cross from United Kingdom Reply Aug 8th, 2010

Hiya i would like to know will there be snow in november?? it is my 30th birthday & i would like to do something differnt & special....

Lorek from Poland Reply Jun 10th, 2010

I would suggest you to buy tourist trails maps sold in kiosks/library in Zakopane and surroundings .They are for most of them in polish and english language.Otherwise, there are websites like or others,where you can get and print maps.

Billy Coyle from United Kingdom Reply Jun 7th, 2010

Hi, we would like to hill waking in the mointains .Could you suggest the best map or book to buy.

Adamek from Poland Reply May 26th, 2010

Hi John, most of the bars have not prepared anything for the World Cup as mostly because Poland team will not be part of this World Cup. But some may decide in few weeks to install screen in their bar/restaurant.Otherwise, there is the bar/restaurant SPORT CORNER which for sure will show the World cup matches.

John from United Kingdom Reply May 22nd, 2010

8 of us will be hiking in June, any advice for a good bar to watch World Cup games

Adamek from Poland Reply Apr 14th, 2010

Me too I know a lot of mountains in Europe mostly. Now about Zakopane:there is less snow but it is possible to ski on some Kasprowy slopes(check out spring is there but everybody's mind is on Tragical loss of 96 polish persons on president plane crash.God bless forever Poland and their people!

jackie from United States Reply Apr 13th, 2010

i really know a lot of mountans

Lorek from Poland Reply Apr 6th, 2010

Latest info on Zakopane: Snow is back , it has fallen at bottom hill at least 10 cm of fresh snow since 12 hours, so a lot more on slope and high mountain.It should snow few days more according to weather forecast.But will it be enough to have ski slopes reopened and have good ski conditions a sthe temperaature is about 3 on bottom hill.Check websites like,, be sure that slopes may be opened for skiing.

Robin from United Kingdom Reply Apr 3rd, 2010

Let me assure - no snow now. Still the mountains look beautiful and are good for walking.

lorek from Poland Reply Mar 5th, 2010

Of course, I am not GOD to affirm you that there will be a lot of snow in April and very good ski conditions but however, Zakopane is made of so many slopes that you can find your delights in (Kasprowy) and around Zakopane(Bialka, bukowina, male ciche, Jurgow...and Slovakia slopes nearby).For your information, the snow was disappearing for 1 week with 10 degre temperature by day, and today, it has fallen 30 cm grounds since morning.Let 's hopeit will last.If you have any wonder about accomodation, please do feel free to conatct me by replying to this review.i check regularly.Bye now

Nigel from United Kingdom Reply Mar 1st, 2010

I have been to Zak a few times skiing usualy Feb time, this year we are looking to visit April 9th Ive heard the ski lifts are all open but not sure about the snow- can anyone tell me if its worth coming out then to ski ie Bialka / Kasprowi

valdek from Poland Reply Feb 11th, 2010

To get to Morskie Oko from Zakopane, you have to go to Palenica Bialczanska, where a huge car park is situated. The best idea is to take the PKS bus (which in the high season runs several times a day; the journey takes about 50 minutes), the mini bus (bus stops are situated near the PKS Coach and PKP Railway Stations; 35 minutes) or a car. From here the tourist may either access Morskie Oko on foot walking a tiring distance of eight kilometres or take a horse-drawn carriage (in summer) / a sleigh (in winter).

Denis Maingard from South Africa Reply Feb 3rd, 2010

Are you able to assist by giving directions to Morskie Oko since i've been unable to find directions on or a map

Mary from United Kingdom Reply Jan 31st, 2010

hi, i hear the markets in zakopane are well worth a visit. does anyone know if they are on all the time - due to visit 8 Feb. thanks

michael from United Kingdom Reply Jan 28th, 2010

I have been to Zak several times, brilliant place. There used to be a great flea market on a small plaza just off Krupowki,near a small park, it wasn't there on the last couple of visits. Does any one KNOW if it has moved or just ceased to be?

LOREK from Poland Reply Jan 25th, 2010

Hello Darren, do you have any idea in which kind of shop that Magda is working?Clothes, drugstore, restaurant...?Did she finish work at about 23.00 on that 8/01 or was she at bus station on a day off?I would like to help you but need more info from your side if possible.

darren power from Ireland Reply Jan 10th, 2010

i met a great girl , magda, at midnight on 8th of jan at bus station, but i gave her wrong phone number ,,she works in a small shop .. can anyone hepl me get my correct number to her

fransis from United States Reply Jan 1st, 2010

this page is wierd

Zakopane Info from Poland Reply Dec 22nd, 2009

I offer help with plane transfers, accomodation in Zakopane, ski lessons, mountain guiding and other services. Don't hesitate to contact me.

george a from United Kingdom Reply Nov 7th, 2009

we went to zakopane early last year and we had a good time exploring the town and gubalowka hill even if only for a day

george a from United Kingdom Reply Nov 7th, 2009

we went to zakopane early last year and we had a good time exploring the town and gubalowka hill even if only for a day

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.

from United States 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 . As well, if you need any information about your future visit at Zakopane, please do feel free to contact us.We would be pleased to answer and help you.See you soon

Lydié from Poland Reply Mar 25th, 2009

helo, me lydié from polski. me loves zakopane, i born here. my schol is good and i has many good friends. nice places to come and many happy lovey peoples to meet. hope my can see you soon, i am mayors child. my is 15years. loves lydié PS. zakopane is 'superb' for the skii

ROSS from Italy Reply Feb 27th, 2009

hi there i will be in zakopane this sunday first march and i will like to know polish woman...sunday i will be in mac donald at 7 pm.. kisses

karl schiele from United Kingdom Reply Feb 27th, 2009

hi does anyone know a ania-schiele-slowinska she from warszawa she a relation to me anyone knows her send me please her e-mail address thank you

karl schiele from United Kingdom Reply Feb 27th, 2009

hi my name is karl my dad and grandad are from zakopane my grandad was famous in the 2nd world war he flew the supermarine spitfire sqt tadeusz schiele 308 squard he also an anthor he written blisko nieba and wspinaczki po churmach he lived at 8 w piaseckiego zakopane. anyone whos family knew him or even seen to e-mail on my address l never got to see him l did get to see his grave he buried with his father kazimerz which is my dads name also. my great grand father was a twin aleksander they where from warszawa but buried in zakopane and had 7 other brothers feliks,piotr,pawel,ryszarsd,jerzy,arkadiusz,

Elsiv from Poland Reply Feb 22nd, 2009

Eh I lieve in Poland and i must tell you true, in my country politic situations is not good, so our touristic is in low level.

Diane Handley from United Kingdom Reply Feb 22nd, 2009

Zakopane is a wonderful place for a skiing holiday - nosal very good for begginers with english and polish speaking instructors' Not much english spoke there but we manage to get by and it doesn,t spoil the holiday at all - travelled with a group of people aged from 9yrs - 48yrs (including teenagers) and everyone enjoyed it. Bset to book indepently it works out a lot cheaper when you 'do it yourself'

KELSEY from Ireland Reply Jan 31st, 2009

How cold is it in Zakopane in mid Feb? What type clothes do i need to bring a.for walking around the town day/night? b. skiing(beginner)? Also are there laser bank machines?

Emily from Ireland Reply Jan 8th, 2009

"What are Zakopanes slopes like for a complete beginner? Are there green slopes? Are instructors English speaking? Is it a good for kids? Phew! lots of questions! Thanks ;-)

Julie from Ireland Reply Jan 7th, 2009

Hi all, Only back from Zakopane for the New Year and I fell in love with the place, Ideal for a winter holiday and I have heard the same for a summer holiday, :-) hopefully soon.. would recommend it to anyone. food,people everything was great.

Brendan i from Ireland Reply Nov 6th, 2008

Was in Zakopane end Jan 2008. Went with a group sking and has a great time. Planning on going again - Can anyone tell me when the school holidays are in Jan/Feb 2008 ? Also if anyone knows nice Hostels / Hotels in the town centre please send me details

Basia from Australia Reply Oct 14th, 2008

Hi, I stayed in a lovely modern apartament in Zakopane that I would definately recommend. Close to the city centre and close to the ski lifts. I had a lovely time, Zakopane is a really beautiful place to spend not only in winter but in summer too. I have the owers email address... for anyone visiting.

Elaine from Ireland Reply Sep 11th, 2008

Hope to go skiing for new years. Is the snow good in zakopane this time of year?

MICKY from Ireland Reply Sep 5th, 2008


michal from United States Reply Sep 2nd, 2008

Freddie, dress well, if you're going to visit the high mountains, the temperature falls downto about 0 deg. Celcius (don't forget heavy duty shoes)... if you intend to walk up and down Krupówki (general shopping alley) casual shoes and a raincoat is enough :-) I'm visiting Zakopane this weekend - can't wait!

Freddie from United States Reply Aug 19th, 2008

My first trip to Zakopane, Poland region. Should I dress for Winter, from NYC need to know

Elona Gentile from United States Reply Aug 10th, 2008

My dad was born in Poland and came to the USA in the 1930's. I have never visited Poland but hope to someday. My question, where can I find the traditional shoes made in Zakopane? Thanks.

jane abbott from United Kingdom Reply Aug 10th, 2008

wonderful place! Have been in search of the white stuff for some time now and everywhere we have booked disappointed us with either no snow or an abysmal few piles of sludge. NOT ZAKOPANE though. Wow, excellent, Knee deep in the stuff and my grandaughter loved it too. Bought a wonderful warm leather hat for hubby from one of the huge array of little kiosky type shops that line the main street. Well recommended and will return as we love Krakow as well. Go, it's beautiful.

dave from Ireland Reply Jul 28th, 2008

does marc from ireland have an email address going to krakow 9th august would like to email him

Marc from Poland Reply Mar 9th, 2008

I anyone needs any help planning their trip. Where ever it be in Poland, please feel free to call me on 0048501541212. I'm an Irish guy that's been living in Poland 12yrs now, and Irish guys like to help. P.S next few weeks should be fairly cold in Zakopane. But this Polish winter has proved one of the warmest on record for some years.

Scott from United Kingdom Reply Mar 3rd, 2008

Great place, love it.. Friendly and nice. Well worth going winter or summer.

Emma Hamilton from United Kingdom Reply Feb 26th, 2008

Been 10 times now. Summer and winter. Take our dog in summer. Usually camp in summer - try gazdowka chalets. Awesome in winter. Off back on Thursday. No snow though at minute. Where can i pre book a kulig - altius have not repsonded to me despite 5 phonecalls and 7 emails

Natalie from United States Reply Feb 22nd, 2008

Does anybody know of any cute cabins in Zakopane with a view of the mountains to stay in during the summer? I would like it to be close to the mountains (for hiking) and not far from the centre. Thank you.

villian from United Kingdom Reply Feb 12th, 2008

the only reason i first went to poland was my job. to be honest i did not want to go i had the idea in my head it was a grey dump of a place. how wrong i was i fell in love with poland on my first trip some 150 visits later i love it even more.

stevie from United Kingdom Reply Jan 30th, 2008

hey kasra, i just3got back from zakopane snowboarding trip. the snow was quite sparce but it has been snowing since we got back and is pretty good now. we flew to krakow airport with Central Wings and they aredoing some good deals now. I wish i could go back out there now but have to wait until next year. One of the best holidays i ever had. i love the place so much!

kasra from Netherlands Reply Jan 17th, 2008

Hi, Is there anybody who can help me for managing a trip for skiing to Zakopane? is the weather good mid or late February for skiing??

HALINA SUZANSKI from Australia Reply Jan 7th, 2008

Strona polska jest dosyc dobrze zrobiona ale moim zdaniem jezlei chcesz pojechac do zakopanego czy polski bardzo wazne jest pokazanie miasta i kraju widokowo ludzie chca wiedziec gdzie jada,jst to troche trudno otworzyc i gdzie mozna pozyczyc auta ,jakie i za ile bo czesto jadac do polski porzyczamy auta w niemczech a dlaczego?. to tyle jestem urodzona zakopianka i do polsi jezdze co 2a lata ale polski internet nie dziala zbyt dobrze dlatego korzystamy z serwisu niemiec bo szybcie latwiej taniej a dlaczego? my tez mamy duze mozliwosci.

Dolores Gatward from United States Reply Dec 11th, 2007

I have a hand carved chess set in my possession, with the name carved inside Pauset I am having trouble with the last name it looks like Szcrerbol. Any Help?

Andrew from United Kingdom Reply Nov 16th, 2007

I have been going to Zakopane since 1969. I now treat it as my second home and have met and made many realy good friends there and in Krakow. Great for winter skiing and summer walking. there is a tourist season but if you can manage outside those time and Polish school holidays it is not so busy but sometimes thats the point.

Justin Bielawski from United Kingdom Reply Nov 8th, 2007

Nicola, fly into Krakow airport (Poland) then catch one of the local buses to Zakopane. Its very easy, I have now done it 4 times. Buses leave Krakow bus station almost every 30 mins for Zakopane and it is really cheap. Journey time is approx 2 hours. Flying into Slovakia is nearer but takes longer to transfer to Zakopane.. Hope this helps

Nicola from United Kingdom Reply Nov 6th, 2007

Hey all... anyone know how to get from Zakopane airport to Zakopane centre? is it possible by public transport? I believe this airport is actually in Slovakia???? maybe??? Help...!!

Nikola from United States Reply Oct 6th, 2007

Best place in Planet, . My dear friends Monika j lost you. lost you before 24 year. Nikola Odzaci

Pat Allgood from United Kingdom Reply Sep 1st, 2007

I fell in love with Zakopane the minute I stepped off the coach. What a wonderland especially walking round at night, and so little traffice on the streets in the centre. Beautiful and so friendly and helpful too.

Stephen.P from United Kingdom Reply Jul 12th, 2007

Zakopane is set in some of the most beautiful mountains, but I think it has become a victim of its own success. There is a real traffic problem, and hordes of people. The traders selling tat get tiresome, and there are alot of them. However as I said the mountains are wonderful with excellent well marked paths and cable car systems. Maybe Zakopane is very diffent in winter?

Cliff Carl from United Kingdom Reply Jul 3rd, 2007

I think Poland is a fantastic place to holiday and in particular Zakopane. We had a great time and met some wonderful people even if the language was a problem. I will never forge the views and the Highlander folk night we had. We will be back for more next year.

mike turner from United Kingdom Reply Jun 18th, 2007

my wife and i loved your village and hope to visit again

Tamas from Hungary Reply Jun 17th, 2007

Zakopane - it was love at first sight!! Lovely town in beautiful enviroment. The wooden houses, the tip-top clean town and mountain-style wooden houses everywhere, friendly people, good food, beautiful polish girls :)... Great place! We will return as soon as possible!

Rick from United States Reply May 11th, 2007

Was very interesting, I loved the Cabin home Architecture. I hired a cab driver to give me an informal tour for a day and treated him to a Traditional Dinner and Pevo. Try the Meod it is the best. Very historical and interesring City. Well worth the travel time from Warsaw. I drove myself in the dead of winter.

anthony samways from United Kingdom Reply Mar 7th, 2007

the best

john mlynarczyk from United States Reply Feb 17th, 2007

Very nice! Also,anybody: kindly send me emails of tourist farms around Zakopane.

gupta from United Kingdom Reply Feb 16th, 2007

very informative. going to zakopane in august and site is very informative. the truffle hunters will love it.

Matt from United Kingdom Reply Feb 14th, 2007

Loved it!!