Zakopane: Wikis


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Zakopane - view from Gubałówka Hill (Tatra mountains in the background)

Coat of arms
Zakopane is located in Poland
Coordinates: 49°18′N 19°57′E / 49.3°N 19.95°E / 49.3; 19.95
Country  Poland
Voivodeship Lesser Poland
County Tatra
Gmina Zakopane (urban gmina)
Established 17th century
Town rights 1933
 - Mayor Janusz Majcher
 - Total 84 km2 (32.4 sq mi)
Highest elevation 1,126 m (3,694 ft)
Lowest elevation 750 m (2,461 ft)
Population (2006)
 - Total 27,486
 - Density 327.2/km2 (847.5/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 34-500 to 34-504
Area code(s) +48 18
Car plates KTT

Zakopane [zakɔˈpanɛ] ( listen) is a town in southern Poland with some 28,000 inhabitants (2004), situated in Lesser Poland Province since 1999 (in 1975–98, it was part of Nowy Sącz Province). The town, a place of Góral culture and informally known as "the winter capital of Poland," lies in the southern part of the Podhale region at the foot of the Tatra Mountains, the only alpine mountain range in the Carpathian Mountains.



Zakopane is located in southern Poland near the Slovak border. It can be reached by train or bus from Krakow, which is about two and a half hours away.

Zakopane lies in a large valley between the Tatra Mountains and Gubałówka Hill. It is the most important Polish center of mountaineering and skiing, and is visited annually by some three million tourists. The most important alpine skiing locations are Kasprowy Wierch, Nosal and Gubałówka Hill.[1]

Zakopane has the highest elevation (800-1,000 m) of any town in Poland. The central point of the town is at the junction of Krupówki and Kościuszko Streets.


The earliest documents mentioning Zakopane date to the 17th century, describing a glade named Zakopisko. In 1676 it was a village of 43 inhabitants. In 1824, together with a section of the Tatra Mountains, it was sold to the Homola family.

Zakopane's further history was connected with the development of the mining and metallurgy industries in the region — in the 19th century, it was the largest center for metallurgy in Galicia — and later with that of tourism. It grew greatly over the 19th century, as more and more people were attracted by its salubrious climate, and soon developed from a small village into a climatic health resort of 3,000 inhabitants (1889).

Rail service to Zakopane began on October 1, 1899.

During World War II, Zakopane served as an important Polish underground staging point between Poland and Hungary.

In March 1940, representatives of the Soviet NKVD and German Gestapo met for one week in Zakopane's Villa Tadeusz, to coordinate the pacification of resistance in Poland.


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.[2]

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


Climbers from all over Europe travel to Zakopane to climb in the High Tatras. One can take a cart pulled by a horse in the summer to Morskie Oko. This is a lake. It is a ten kilometer ride. In the winter horses pull sleighs which carry 4 people to the lake. At Morskie Oko which is a lake, there is a chalet with food and beds for the night. The lake freezes in winter and one can walk across to climb the trail at the other side of the lake to the next lake, which is several hundred meters above Morskie Oko. Views are spectacular.

Morskie Oko is the starting point for mountaineering climbs. As the mountains are all within view. One follows the trails and then climbs the mountain they choose. It is usually a four to six hour climb up any mountain and the same time descending. Winter climbing is harsh as the wind is strong on top of the mountains. Climbers bring crampons and ice axes. Snow can be two to three feet deep, or up to one meter. One was be watchful of avalanches.

Weather can change fast in the summer. It has snowed in June in the High Tatras. Lightning can also be a problem in the summer. Most climbers start climbing early in the morning. From the tops of the mountains , one can see most of the High Tatras on a clear day.


Koliba villa
Koliba villa
Interior of Koliba
Jaszczurówka Chapel

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

There are many excellent restaurants serving traditional Polish dishes of food all day long.

The are many rooms for rent as well as several hotels.

Taxis and mini buses take tourists to all parts of Zakopane for a reasonable fee.

To escape the crowds, one puts on a pair of hiking boots or rents a bike.

International relations


Twin towns — Sister cities

Zakopane participates in town twinning to foster international links.

Notable structures

Notable residents

Notable visitors



  1. ^ Seattle Times - Scenic Zakopane
  2. ^ "Alpine Skiweltmeisterschaft 1939 – Wikipedia" (in (German)). Retrieved 2009-05-06.  
  3. ^ Krystyna Tokarzówna and Stanisław Fita, Bolesław Prus, 1847–1912: Kalendarz życia i twórczości, pp. 178–79 and passim.
  4. ^ Stanisław Kasztelowicz and Stanisław Eile, Stefan Żeromski: kalendarz życia i twórczości, p. 18 and passim.


  • Stanisław Kasztelowicz and Stanisław Eile, Stefan Żeromski: kalendarz życia i twórczości (Stefan Żeromski: A Calendar of His Life and Work), Kraków, Wydawnictwo Literackie, 1961.
  • Krystyna Tokarzówna and Stanisław Fita, Bolesław Prus, 1847–1912: Kalendarz życia i twórczości (Bolesław Prus, 1847–1912: A Calendar of His Life and Work), edited by Zygmunt Szweykowski, Warsaw, Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy, 1969.

External links

Coordinates: 49°18′N 19°58′E / 49.3°N 19.967°E / 49.3; 19.967

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

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Zakopane [1] is a very popular winter resort and summer getaway town in the Tatra mountains at the southern tip of Poland.

  • PKS buses according to schedule.
  • There is a large number 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 some driver's telephone numbers if you think you may need transport later.
  • Taxi
  • Ski
    • Kasprowy Wierch
    • Gubałówka
    • Nosal
    • Białka Tatrzańska
    • Bukowina Tatrzańska
    • Butorowy Wierch
    • Polana Szymoszkowa
  • Hike
  • Climb

Many of these activities aren't in the centre Zakopane itself. 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 euro).


It's worth buying a map of the area if you're going hiking. They're 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.

The maps are very tourist-friendly, with the "difficultly levels" for different paths marked: possibly slightly patronising for seasoned hikers. People have been seen trying to get prams up steep paths from Zakopane into the mountains. The pram symbol for the 'easy' paths is taken too literally. All the paths marked on the map are well maintained by the government. Note: you will have to pay a small entrance fee. It was 4:40 Zlotys in July 2007.

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 a rain. Even midsummer it can hail for an whole day in the mountains! Remember you are already at 1000m, although it doesn't feel like it.

  • Many shops at Krupówki promenade.
  • Oscypek, local specialty, 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.
  • Gofry. Waffles with cream, ice cream, berries, fruit or whatever you want. Tasty dessert. ~7 zlot.  edit
  • 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.
  • Club Rockus, Zaruskiego 5 (Same building as Dom Turysty PTTK). It is nice medium-sized club. One very good feature is that it sometimes plays rock music, so those who are bored with all usual club music can come here and try to ask the DJ to play some rock.  edit
  • Villa Vita, 2 Krupowki Street, [2]. The hotel is located in a historical part of Krupowki Street, 5 minuts walk from a cable-lift to Gubalowka.From the windows one may admire a beautiful view over one of the most famous promenades in Poland- Krupowki and Tatra Mountains.  edit
  • Plenty of private rooms. Tourists coming from Warsaw by train will often find private landlords waiting for them at the station. Negotiate the price. Price per night per person 20-30 zł. More in New Year time. Less off-season. Board often available. Ask to be shown the location on a map. Many locations are outside Zakopane city (which may be an advantage).
  • Good Bye Lenin Hostel Zakopane Nice hostel just out of town.
  • Dom Turysty, [3]. The Dom Turysty advertises that it has the largest wooden roof in the country. Very cheap room rates in the center of the city for backpackers.  edit
  • Murowaniec hostel in Gąsienicowa valley
  • Morskie Oko valley
  • Hiking from Zakopane to Giewont
  • Kasprowy Wierch (mountain), 1985 metres. Tatra view point. Restaurant. Skiing area. Cable railway runs from Kuźnice. (get in on foot, or by local bus).
  • Mount Rysy 2499 metres 4 hour hike from Morskie Oko valley
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