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.

Comments

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John Shableski
United States

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?

Reply Jan 7th, 2016
Mary Magarian
United States

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?

Reply Jan 17th, 2015
Editor
Poland

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!

Reply Jan 17th, 2015
Derek
United Kingdom

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

Reply Jun 23rd, 2014
Boergia
Netherlands

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.

Reply Jun 30th, 2013
Lorek
Poland

Hello, for the fastest way ro get to Zakopane from Cracow : it is by bus: check the website http://szwagropol.eu/index.php?pageid=10139 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.

Reply Sep 6th, 2010
eva
Poland

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!

Reply Sep 5th, 2010
Lorek
Poland

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.

Reply Aug 27th, 2010
Janet
Ireland

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.

Reply Aug 19th, 2010
Lorek
Poland

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 points...so 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

Reply Aug 13th, 2010
Lorek
Poland

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.

Reply Aug 13th, 2010
Ahmed
Egypt

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

Reply Aug 9th, 2010
kerry cross
United Kingdom

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....

Reply Aug 8th, 2010
Lorek
Poland

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 www.tpn.pl or others,where you can get and print maps.

Reply Jun 10th, 2010
Billy Coyle
United Kingdom

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

Reply Jun 7th, 2010
Adamek
Poland

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.

Reply May 26th, 2010
John
United Kingdom

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

Reply May 22nd, 2010
Adamek
Poland

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 www.pkl.pl) 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!

Reply Apr 14th, 2010
jackie
United States

i really know a lot of mountans

Reply Apr 13th, 2010
Lorek
Poland

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 nosal.pl, pkl.pl, szymoszkowa.pl ...to be sure that slopes may be opened for skiing.

Reply Apr 6th, 2010
Robin
United Kingdom

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

Reply Apr 3rd, 2010
lorek
Poland

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

Reply Mar 5th, 2010
Nigel
United Kingdom

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

Reply Mar 1st, 2010
valdek
Poland

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).

Reply Feb 11th, 2010
Denis Maingard
South Africa

Are you able to assist by giving directions to Morskie Oko since i've been unable to find directions on http://en.mappy.com/ or a map

Reply Feb 3rd, 2010
Mary
United Kingdom

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

Reply Jan 31st, 2010
michael
United Kingdom

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?

Reply Jan 28th, 2010
LOREK
Poland

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.

Reply Jan 25th, 2010
darren power
Ireland

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

Reply Jan 10th, 2010
fransis
United States

this page is wierd

Reply Jan 1st, 2010
Zakopane Info
Poland

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

Reply Dec 22nd, 2009
george a
United Kingdom

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

Reply Nov 7th, 2009
george a
United Kingdom

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

Reply Nov 7th, 2009
Skiing in Zakopane
Poland

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. sts73@o2.pl

Reply Oct 23rd, 2009
United States

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 . 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

Reply Aug 28th, 2009
Lydié
Poland

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

Reply Mar 25th, 2009
ROSS
Italy

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

Reply Feb 27th, 2009
karl schiele
United Kingdom

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

Reply Feb 27th, 2009
karl schiele
United Kingdom

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,

Reply Feb 27th, 2009
Elsiv
Poland

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.

Reply Feb 22nd, 2009
Diane Handley
United Kingdom

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'

Reply Feb 22nd, 2009
KELSEY
Ireland

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?

Reply Jan 31st, 2009
Emily
Ireland

"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 ;-)

Reply Jan 8th, 2009
Julie
Ireland

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.

Reply Jan 7th, 2009
Brendan i
Ireland

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 brendan.murray@intel.com

Reply Nov 6th, 2008
Basia
Australia

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... holmarta@interia.pl for anyone visiting.

Reply Oct 14th, 2008
Elaine
Ireland

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

Reply Sep 11th, 2008
MICKY
Ireland

IM GOING OUT TO ZAKOPANNE ON 20 SEPT ON A HIKING TRIP THE ALL IRELAND FOOTBALL FINAL IS ON THE NEXT DAY DOES ANY ONE KNOW OF ANY BARS WERE I COULD WATCH THE GAME? CHEERS.

Reply Sep 5th, 2008
michal
United States

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!

Reply Sep 2nd, 2008
Freddie
United States

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

Reply Aug 19th, 2008
Elona Gentile
United States

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.

Reply Aug 10th, 2008
jane abbott
United Kingdom

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.

Reply Aug 10th, 2008
dave
Ireland

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

Reply Jul 28th, 2008
Marc
Poland

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.

Reply Mar 9th, 2008
Scott
United Kingdom

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

Reply Mar 3rd, 2008
Emma Hamilton
United Kingdom

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

Reply Feb 26th, 2008
Natalie
United States

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.

Reply Feb 22nd, 2008
villian
United Kingdom

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.

Reply Feb 12th, 2008
stevie
United Kingdom

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!

Reply Jan 30th, 2008
kasra
Netherlands

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??

Reply Jan 17th, 2008
HALINA SUZANSKI
Australia

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.

Reply Jan 7th, 2008
Dolores Gatward
United States

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?

Reply Dec 11th, 2007
Andrew
United Kingdom

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.

Reply Nov 16th, 2007
Justin Bielawski
United Kingdom

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

Reply Nov 8th, 2007
Nicola
United Kingdom

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??? nicolapeers@googlemail.com Help...!!

Reply Nov 6th, 2007
Nikola
United States

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

Reply Oct 6th, 2007
Pat Allgood
United Kingdom

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.

Reply Sep 1st, 2007
Stephen.P
United Kingdom

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?

Reply Jul 12th, 2007
Cliff Carl
United Kingdom

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.

Reply Jul 3rd, 2007
mike turner
United Kingdom

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

Reply Jun 18th, 2007
Tamas
Hungary

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!

Reply Jun 17th, 2007
Rick
United States

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.

Reply May 11th, 2007
anthony samways
United Kingdom

the best

Reply Mar 7th, 2007
john mlynarczyk
United States

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

Reply Feb 17th, 2007
gupta
United Kingdom

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

Reply Feb 16th, 2007
Matt
United Kingdom

Loved it!!

Reply Feb 14th, 2007