Zakopane

The Winter Capital of Poland

Zakopane is a town nestled in the foothills of the Tatra Mountains within the Lesser Poland Voivodeship and is Poland’s best-known mountain resort and a popular destination for outdoor activities and tourism.

Zakopane is visited by over 2,500,000 tourists a year, who flood to the town each winter to take part in winter sports activities such as skiing, snowboarding, ski jumping, snowmobiling, sleigh rides, snowshoe walks, and Ice skating. The two most popular ski destinations are Kasprowy Wierch and Gubałówka, which can be reached by cable car and funicular. There are also a number of cross country skiing trails in the forests surrounding the town.

Summertime brings tourists of a different kind who come to the mountain town to do activities such as hiking, climbing, cycling, and horse riding. There is a network of well-marked hiking trails in the Tatras and according to the national park regulations the hikers must stick to them.

No matter the season, or the weather, the town’s most popular street; Krupówki is crowded with tourists visiting the shops and restaurants. The street is packed full of market stalls selling local Goral apparel, leather jackets, fur coats, hats, shoes and also the famous oscypek smoked sheep cheese, fruit, vegetables, and meats. During the evening, Krupówki is popular for nightlife.

Championships

Zakopane hosted the Nordic World Ski Championships in 1929, 1939, and 1962; the winter Universiades in 1956, 1993, and 2001; the biathlon World Championship; several ski jumping world cups; and several Nordic combined, Nordic and Alpine European Cups. It hosted the Alpine World Ski Championships in 1939, the first outside the Alps and the last official world championships prior to World War II.

The town recently made unsuccessful bids to host the 2006 Winter Olympics and the 2011 and 2013 Alpine World Ski Championships.

Climbing, Skiing & Hiking

Climbers from all over Europe travel to Zakopane to climb in the High Tatras and thousands of people arrive to go skiing in the winter, especially around Christmas and in February.

Zakopane has many hiking trails and ski slopes. This makes Zakopane a tourism mecca for all seasons. The downtown bustles with outdoor wear shops and ski rental stores. Tourists come here in large numbers in summer and during the Christmas and New Year Season.

For detailed tourist information about Poland, please visit our travel partner, the Poland Travel Agency.