Winter Travel Tip: A Sneak Peak Into Zakopane


Ski season is just around the corner. If you are looking for a place that will remind you of Santa Claus’s village, then Zakopane is an excellent choice. This charming Polish town, situated in the foothills of the Tatra Mountains, has a population of 30,000 inhabitants and has everything you need (and more) for a perfect winter holiday. You will also be amazed by Zakopane’s architecture, its museums, its attractive houses with fairytale decorations, its scenery, and everything else that Zakopane offers to its visitors.


The nearest international airports are Kraków (110 km away) and Poprad in Slovakia (70 km away). Zakopane can also be reached by train from all the major cities in Poland. The nearest major railway junctions are Krakow, Chabówka, and Sucha Beskidzka. You can also come by bus. As for cheap tickets, you can search with Polski bus, Szwagropol, or the Mobilis group.

Accommodation and transportation

From hostels to hotels – it’s possible to find accommodation that fits your budget. When searching for proper accommodation, keep in mind that Zakopane is divided into districts. Public transportation operates throughout the day (ticket price about 4 PLN, 1 EUR = 4.44 PLN), but sometimes you’ll wish to go to the city center by taxi if it’s too cold outside to wait at a bus stop. Taxis aren’t expensive if several people share the fare (which depends on the distance from the city centre).


Ski-lifts are in service from early morning hours to late evening hours. At almost all of them there are instructors waiting, ready to teach winter sport lovers how to ski or snowboard. In the central part of the town there are two ice rinks with skate rental. For those who prefer easygoing activities like scenic walks, there are beautiful landscapes like The Dolinki Reglowe (valleys) or maybe Morskie Oko, which is the largest and fourth-deepest lake in the Tatra Mountains, located deep within Tatra National Park. Over a half-million visitors come to enjoy this breathtaking sight during the vacation season. You can reach the lake with a two hour walk from the nearest road that allows motorized access. You can also get there by any bus in the city centre that has the sign “Morskie Oko”. 

Krupowki – the main pedestrian zone of Zakopane, full of shops, pubs, restaurants, and cultural destinations. In season, the place gets extremely crowded, but the very atmosphere of the city center is quite entertaining. For souvenir-hunters, a trip around the market is suggested. There you will see locals selling their wares. Later on, you may chill during a trip around town by horse and carriage, or even by sledge if there’s a lot of snow. In Krupowki you can also find the post office, banks, and money exchange offices.

Food tips

“Owczarnia” restaurant is a highly recommended place on Krupowki Street. There you can have a great time eating delicious local food, enjoying live music and a vintage interior. The dishes you should definitely try are Żurek soup, Barszcz czerwony soup, Oscypek, and Shashlyk.



Żurek soup is a traditional soup with boiled eggs and sausages, mostly eaten during the Easter holiday. This unusual combination of ingredients is very pleasant even during frosty winter days.



Barszcz czerwony is known as beetroot clear borscht. This traditional Polish soup is made of red beetroot juice. The most typical and very traditional red borscht is served with uszka (read like ushka), a version of stuffed dumplings.



Oscypek is grilled cheese with, for example, cranberry sauce (or even jam). This delight may become your next favorite winter snack.



Shashlyk is a dish of skewered and grilled cubes of meat. Even half of a portion will fill you up, so one serving will be more than enough for two people.

Last but not least, make a toast with Mulled beer.




Most of Zakopane’s many museums are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Two of the museums that are worth visiting and are also recommended by many visitors are the Tatra Museum (10 Krupówki Street) and the Zakopane Style Museum in Villa Koliba (18 Kościeliska Street). Classical music lovers should visit Villa Atma, a museum honoring Polish composer Karol Szymanowski (19 Kasprusie Street). Also, don’t forget Zakopane’s cute wooden churches like the Jaszczurówka Chapel and the Old Church on Kościeliska Street.

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