Are you looking for a scenic, lesser-visited destination for your next trip away? Look no further than Zakopane, a picturesque resort town located in southern Poland. Nestled in the Tatra Mountains, Zakopane is a popular destination for skiing, hiking, and other outdoor activities, as well as for its rich cultural heritage and charming local traditions.
One of the top things to do in Zakopane is to hit the slopes at one of the many ski resorts in the area. With over 30 kilometres of ski runs and a variety of difficulty levels, Zakopane is a great place for both beginners and experienced skiers alike. If you're not a fan of skiing, you can still enjoy the stunning mountain views by taking a cable car ride up to Kasprowy Wierch or Gubałówka Hill. For a more active winter experience, you can go snowshoeing, sledging or even try ice climbing.
In addition to the natural beauty of the mountains, Zakopane is also known for its traditional architecture and local culture. Take a stroll down Krupowki, the town's main street, to see the wooden houses and shops that have been a part of Zakopane's unique identity for over a century. You can also visit the Tatra Museum, which showcases the history and traditions of the local Goral people, or attend a folk music and dance performance at one of the town's many cultural events.
When it comes to accommodation and dining, Zakopane has plenty of options to suit every budget and taste. For a luxurious stay, you can book a room at the historic Hotel Rysy, which was once a favourite of the Polish aristocracy. If you're looking for a more affordable option, there are numerous guesthouses and hostels in the town, many of which offer traditional Polish hospitality and delicious meals.
Travelling to Zakopane
The best time to visit Zakopane depends on your preferences and activities. If you're a ski enthusiast, the winter months of December to February are ideal, with the best snow conditions and the town's lively winter sports events. Spring and autumn are great times to enjoy the mountain scenery and hiking trails without the crowds, while the summer months of June to August offer pleasant weather for outdoor activities and cultural festivals.
To reach Zakopane from the UK, the easiest way is to fly to Krakow, which has direct flights from most major UK airports. From there, you can take a shuttle bus or hire a car to make the two-hour journey to Zakopane. Another option is to take a train from Krakow, which takes a bit longer but offers scenic views of the countryside along the way.