Zakopane is a large, year-round mountain resort in Małopolskie Province in southern Poland. It's set in the Tatra mountains which form the natural frontier between Poland and Slovakia. It's been a spa and fashionable society spot, and is characterised by wooden chalets in a distinctive local style.
Trains run every couple of hours or so from Kraków, taking 3 hr 30 min. Three of these come direct from Warsaw (6-9 hours), with Sleeper trains most nights. Other destinations usually involve changing in Kraków but there is one direct train daily from Bydgoszcz via Poznan and Wroclaw.
The 1 railway station is 500 m (1,600 ft) east of town centre.
Several bus companies run from Kraków via Nowy Targ to Zakopane, taking two hours, so there's price competition and buses at least hourly. The main carriers are Majer Bus and Szwagropol. Flixbus run direct from Warsaw, 7 hr.
From Kraków take Highway 7 to Rabka and then 47 to Zakopane, 90 min but longer on fine weekends and holidays when everyone heads into the mountains.
You can use the long-distance hiking trails which cross the border with Slovakia.
- PKS buses according to schedule.
- Mini bus — There are a lot of privately owned vans (called mini bus). Most have fixed routes and rates, no schedule. Often there is the possibility of negotiation (route, price, time). Note a driver's telephone number if you think you may need transport later.
- Tatra Mountains.
- Morskie Oko lake
- The Gubałówka Hill Funicular.
- Kasprowy Wierch Cableway.
- Cemetery of the Distinguished at Pęksowy Brzyzek, ul. Kościeliska, by the old church. The oldest cemetery, dating from the 1920s. A burial place of distinguished people connected to Zakopane and the Tatra Mountains. Most of the tombstones are real works of art made of wood, stone and metal. Free.
- 1 The Tatra Museum, The Main Building ul. Krupówki 10, ☏ . Closed on M. Has several buildings throughout the town. 7 zł, reduced 5,50 zł.
- 2 Gallery of 20th Century Art at Oksza villa, ul. Zamoyskiego 25, ☏ . W-Sa 10:00—18:00, Su 11:00-16:00, M Tu closed. 7 zł, concessions 5,50 zł.
- 3 Museum of the Zakopane Style - Inspirations, Droga do Rojów 6, ☏ . Displays the regional Highlander architecture which inspired Stanisław Witkiewicz to develop the Zakopane Style. An ethnographic collection of Maria and Bronisław Dembowski can also be seen in this branch of the Tatra Museum. 6 zł, concessions 4.50 zł.
- The Władysław Hasior Gallery ul. Jagiellońska 18b
- The Gallery of Art in Koziniec ul. Koziniec 8
- The Kornel Makuszyński Museum ul. Tetmajera 15
- Museum of the 1846 Chochołów Uprising Chochołów 75
- Karol Szymanowski Museum (Villa Atma), ul. Kasprusie 19.
- Jan Kasprowicz Museum, Harenda 12a.
- 4 Villa Atma. The Villa Atma (Polish Willa Atma) is a historic chalet housing the Karol Szymanowski Museum, department of the National Museum in Kraków.
- Teatr im. St. I. Witkiewicza, ul. Chramcówki 15, ☏ .
- Kasprowy Wierch
- Białka Tatrzańska
- Bukowina Tatrzańska
- Butorowy Wierch
- Polana Szymoszkowa
- Paraglide. A 15-minute flight as a passenger costs 250 zł. There are couple day courses in paragliding as well.
Many of these activities are outside of Zakopane. However, minibuses, leaving when full, depart from different points in Zakopane all day. Most minibuses leave from the front of the train station. The same system works to return hikers/skiers to Zakopane. Expect to pay about 3.50 zł each for the minibus (around €1).
Additional things to explore:
- Murowaniec hostel in Gąsienicowa valley
- Morskie Oko valley
- Kasprowy Wierch (mountain), 1985 metres. Tatra view point. Restaurant. Skiing area. Cable railway runs from
It's worth buying a map of the area if you're going hiking. Most likely you will be hiking in Tatra National Park. Be aware that as it is a National Park special rules apply—don't be loud, leave any garbage or disturb animals. Maps are sold by the tourist office (17 Kosciuszki St., telephone: 01820 12211), down the hill, on your left, just before getting to the bus stop and cross roads (Krupowki St. and Kosciuszki St.) in the centre of town. They'll also give suggested routes, based on the latest weather forecasts and your fitness and equipment. Entrance fee of 4 zł (2 zł for students and school kids).
The maps are very tourist-friendly, with the "difficulty levels" for different paths marked: possibly slightly patronising for seasoned hikers. The pram symbol for the 'easy' paths is taken too literally - people have been seen trying to get prams up steep paths from Zakopane into the mountains. All the paths marked on the map are well maintained by the government.
Whichever route you plan to take, it is advised you dress warmly and bring spare waterproof clothes and water. Put the clothes in a plastic bag in your backpack to keep them dry in case of rain. Even midsummer it can hail for a whole day in the mountains! Remember you are already at 1000m, although it doesn't feel like it.
See also: Hiking from Zakopane to Giewont
Mount Rysy 2499-metre, 4-hour hike from Morskie Oko valley
- Many shops at Krupówki promenade.
A local specialty is Oscypek, smoked sheep's milk cheese.
There are many good eateries within Zakopane. Look for authentic-looking wood huts. Avoid ones with colorful lights and multi-colored lamps. Good "Bacowkas" include "Bąkowo Zohylina Wyźnio and Nizino" right off of Krupowki. Chata Zbójnicka on Jagiellońska is also good for authentic food (and experience.) You can also try the fried fish eateries anywhere in town for a quick, cheap meal. Trout is the specialty in this town.
There is a cheese market every day. It's probably best to come early in the morning while the produce is still fresh, but it's fine to eat whenever it's purchased.
All of these are in the city center:
- 1 Meta Seta Galareta, Mariusza Zaruskiego 2.
- 2 Chatka Puchatka - Obiady Domowe, Krupówki 35.
- 3 Bar Górski, Weteranów Wojny 2.
- 4 Bar Mleczny Nowotarska 4A, Nowotarska 4A.
- Regional Restaurant Nosalowy Dwór, Balzera 21d. The choice of meals from both regional and international cuisine.
- Restauracja 'U Wnuka', ul. Kościeliska 8, ☏ . First restaurant in Zakopane, opened around year 1850. Obviously they have the traditional highlander cuisine.
- 1 Cafe Piano, ul. Krupówki 63, ☏ . Daily 15:00—00:00. Full of surprises, strange sculptures, lamps made of (fake) amber. And the best thing is that there are swings in place of bar stools!
- 1 Camping 'Pod Krokwią', ul. Żeromskiego, ☏ . Place for tents and campervans as well as small wooden houses and rooms.
- 2 Good Bye Lenin Hostel, ul. Chłabówka 44, ☏ . Wooden house, reputed to be 100 years old. It is located around 2 km out of town. Clean, but noisy and mostly occupied by foreign tour groups, Thefts and fights have been reported. Dorms from 35/40 zł, double 120/130.
- 3 Target Hostel, ul. Sienkiewicza 3B, ☏ . In the centre.
- Plenty of private rooms. Tourists coming by train or bus will often find private landlords waiting for them at the stations. Negotiate the price. Board often available. Ask to be shown the location on a map. Many locations are outside Zakopane city (which may be an advantage).
- 4 Villa Vita, ul. Krupówki 2, ☏ . 5-min walk from a cable-lift to Gubałówka. From the windows you can admire a beautiful view over Krupowki and Tatra Mountains.
- 5 Nosalowy Dwor Resort & Spa, Balzera 21d, ☏ . Two hotels of the Nosalowy Dwór Resort & Spa complex are situated at the foot of Mount Nosal in Zakopane. There is 3* regional style hotel Nosalowy Dwor and 4* Hotel Grand Nosalowy Dwor.
- 6 Aries Hotel and Spa, Mariusza Zaruskiego 5, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Rather new upscale hotel in the former building of Dom Turysty, the former main budget accommodation provider of Zakopane. Now it is a rather luxurious hotel with spa. starting at 440 zł.