Zakopane travel guide

Zakopane Tourism | Zakopane Guide

You're Going to Love Zakopane

With its slopes and mountain ski chalets, horse-drawn sleighs, colorful main street and cable cars, you`ll think you've arrived in the Switzerland of Eastern Europe! Don`t miss the beautiful resort town of Zakopane.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Zakopane

1. Visit the Majestic Sanktuarium Matki Bożej Fatimskiej

This incredible Catholic church is worth a visit, for its solemn and stunning interior of wooden pews, burning candles and high ceilings with stained glass windows.

2. Take in the Western Tatras Mountain Views

Head to Nosal or Gubałówka for lookout points that will have you in the heavens above the clouds.

3. Rafting on the Rivers

In the summer, take some friends and rent out a raft to cruise around the Dunajec River or Lagoon Czorsztyński in Pieniny.

4. Experience the "Ahh" in "Spa"

With its relaxing thermal pools, saunas and steam rooms, there can be no better place to unwind and relax.

5. Hiking Fun

What are ski trails in the winter become prime hiking trails in the summer. Don't miss visiting the Morskie Oko and Giewont.

What to do in Zakopane

1. A Magical Musical Museum

Located in the Villa Atma, this small museum is a wonderful introduction to the life and works of Karol Szymanowski - one of the city's greatest sons. The composer lived here for six years during the 1930s before his death from tuberculosis, and it's been preserved just as it was on the day he died. You can see the study where he composed, portraits made by local legend Stanisław Witkiewicz, and you may even stumble upon one of the regular performances of the great man's work.

2. Luscious Lakes And Stunning Slopes

The Tatra National Park is one of Poland's great wilderness attractions, and one of the most breathtaking stretches of scenery in continental Europe. Studded with glacial lakes and criss-crossed with trails, you can easily spend a week exploring various routes with map in hand, while winter brings a vibrant (and affordable) skiing scene to the area's many resorts. And the Tatras are also a biodiversity hotspot, with brown bears, lynx, golden eagles, and a vast array of native plants for biologically inclined visitors to spot.

3. A Stylish Way To Discover The Zakopane Style

For architecture fans, this museum is an absolute must-see. Across the world, Zakopane is famous for its distinctive "style". Inspired by the prolific work of Polish master Stanisław Witkiewicz, who was mainly active in the late 19th century, this style features a heavy use of local hardwoods for the interiors, ornately crafted details, round windows, and harmonious proportions - and the Villa Koliba is probably its greatest expression. After visiting here, you'll be well and truly ready to wander around the Old Town, spotting how the style was implemented and refined, and how it's making a comeback.

4. A Highway From The Present Day To A Romantic Past

The town's oldest street, Kościeliska is often called the "place where Zakopane began", and it's certainly filled with history. There's the Gąsieniców Chapel, which dates back to 1800 (not long after Zakopane was founded), the much larger Church of Our Lady of Częstochowa, which is full of folk paintings, and an array of preserved homes like the Sabała Cottage. It's genuinely like wandering into 19th century Zakopane - an experience that's rounded off neatly by the appearance of the Koliba Villa, where the magic of the Zakopane style will become clear.

5. Mountains Of Engaging Exhibits

A handy supplement to forays into the Tatras, this museum tells you everything you need to know about Zakopane's gorgeous mountain range. Located more or less in the center of town on Krupówki Street, the museum is another gem of the Zakopane style. But the real gems are inside, in the form of a rich ethnographic collection, exhibits introducing visitors to the city's artistic golden age in the 1890s, reconstructions of Podhale cottages, and authentic peasant costumes.

1. A Magical Musical Museum

Located in the Villa Atma, this small museum is a wonderful introduction to the life and works of Karol Szymanowski - one of the city's greatest sons. The composer lived here for six years during the 1930s before his death from tuberculosis, and it's been preserved just as it was on the day he died. You can see the study where he composed, portraits made by local legend Stanisław Witkiewicz, and you may even stumble upon one of the regular performances of the great man's work.

2. Luscious Lakes And Stunning Slopes

The Tatra National Park is one of Poland's great wilderness attractions, and one of the most breathtaking stretches of scenery in continental Europe. Studded with glacial lakes and criss-crossed with trails, you can easily spend a week exploring various routes with map in hand, while winter brings a vibrant (and affordable) skiing scene to the area's many resorts. And the Tatras are also a biodiversity hotspot, with brown bears, lynx, golden eagles, and a vast array of native plants for biologically inclined visitors to spot.

3. A Stylish Way To Discover The Zakopane Style

For architecture fans, this museum is an absolute must-see. Across the world, Zakopane is famous for its distinctive "style". Inspired by the prolific work of Polish master Stanisław Witkiewicz, who was mainly active in the late 19th century, this style features a heavy use of local hardwoods for the interiors, ornately crafted details, round windows, and harmonious proportions - and the Villa Koliba is probably its greatest expression. After visiting here, you'll be well and truly ready to wander around the Old Town, spotting how the style was implemented and refined, and how it's making a comeback.

4. A Highway From The Present Day To A Romantic Past

The town's oldest street, Kościeliska is often called the "place where Zakopane began", and it's certainly filled with history. There's the Gąsieniców Chapel, which dates back to 1800 (not long after Zakopane was founded), the much larger Church of Our Lady of Częstochowa, which is full of folk paintings, and an array of preserved homes like the Sabała Cottage. It's genuinely like wandering into 19th century Zakopane - an experience that's rounded off neatly by the appearance of the Koliba Villa, where the magic of the Zakopane style will become clear.

5. Mountains Of Engaging Exhibits

A handy supplement to forays into the Tatras, this museum tells you everything you need to know about Zakopane's gorgeous mountain range. Located more or less in the center of town on Krupówki Street, the museum is another gem of the Zakopane style. But the real gems are inside, in the form of a rich ethnographic collection, exhibits introducing visitors to the city's artistic golden age in the 1890s, reconstructions of Podhale cottages, and authentic peasant costumes.

Where to Eat in Zakopane

Because of its destination as a 'resort' town, it can seem hard to find food in Zakopane that is well-portioned and affordable. But there are definitely hidden gems like U RYŚKA (MARZANNA) on ul. Oswalda Balzera 17E (opposite to Nosal). Here, you can feast on large pork chops, seasoned potatoes and hearty soups. A meal for 2 adults and a child comes to zł50-zł60.

When to visit Zakopane

Zakopane in December
Estimated hotel price
€19
1 night at 3-star hotel
Zakopane in December
Estimated hotel price
€19
1 night at 3-star hotel

When you should travel to Zakopane depends on what kind of activities you like. If you're going for freshly powdered mountains and challenging slopes, winter is best. Temperatures are 41.9°F-22.46°F and summer reaches only 59.5°F.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Zakopane

Plane

Travelers arrive at the international airports of other cities, like Krakow's John Paul II Balice Airport or in Warsaw. Use the train to get to Zakopane from these destinations.

Train

Several train services arrive at Zakopane's main terminus. From Krakow, for example, fares cost zł25.

Car

From Krakow, take the route 7 to Rabka and then use route 47 to get to Zakopane.

Bus

Along with the PKS bus system, there are also tour operators like MaxBus, MajerBus and Szwagropol. Fares start at zł12-zł15.

Airports near Zakopane

Airlines serving Zakopane

United Airlines
Good (2,837 reviews)
Lufthansa
Good (2,146 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (4,380 reviews)
KLM
Good (348 reviews)
Air France
Good (395 reviews)
British Airways
Good (1,412 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (3,045 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,323 reviews)
SWISS
Good (454 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (955 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (1,406 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (278 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (307 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (320 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (539 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (100 reviews)
Finnair
Good (694 reviews)
Ryanair
Good (1,669 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (438 reviews)
Air Europa
Good (146 reviews)
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Where to stay in Zakopane

Kasprowy Wierch - One of the most beautiful and accessible mountain ranges in Zakopane, this region offers beautiful summer hiking trials and skiing opportunities in the winter.

Popular Neighborhoods in Zakopane

Nosal - Another district in the Western Tatras mountains, this is Zakopane's highest peak. Its lookout points make it a great spot to go gliding.

Gubałówka - Offering great slopes for ski and snowboard enthusiasts, this mountain range also offers relaxing spas for travelers.

Where to stay in popular areas of Zakopane

Most booked hotels in Zakopane

Hotel Aquarion Family & Friends
Excellent (9.1, Excellent reviews)
€61+
Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa, Merlin Beach (Sha Plus+)
Excellent (8.9, Excellent reviews)
€176+
Holiday Inn Resort Phuket
Excellent (8.9, Excellent reviews)
€112+
Kalima Resort And Spa
Excellent (8.7, Excellent reviews)
€89+
Hotel Rysy
Excellent (8.7, Excellent reviews)
€79+
Grand Mercure Phuket Patong (Sha Plus+)
Excellent (8.7, Excellent reviews)
€98+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Zakopane

Public Transportation

Zakopane is a small ski town, so public transportation is not necessary for the most part. Getting into Zakopane, people use the PKS buses, but there are also privately owned van services called 'mini buses', with rates that are variable and negotiable.

Taxi

Getting around on foot is easy, but if you're going to use a taxi, make sure to call for one rather than simply hailing one off the streets; it will be 30% cheaper. Fares from companies like Radio Taxi TATRY start at zł8 and cost around zł6/mile after that.

Car

Rent a car locally from service providers like Wypożyczalnia samochodów Zakopane Value24 Rent a Car. Fares start at zł120/day for 1-3 days, zł100/day for 4-6 days or zł80/day for 7-30 days.

The Cost of Living in Zakopane

Shopping Streets

Local shops, kiosks for food and crafts, restaurants and entertainment spots are all lined up in one convenient location in Zakopane: the Krupówki Promenade.

Groceries and Other

A quart of milk costs zł4 and a dozen eggs will be around zł7.38.