Zakopane is a city in the extreme south of Poland with just under 28,000 inhabitants, located in the Lesser Poland Voivodeship. It is the winter sports center par excellence in Poland and a popular base for hikers in the Tatras.
For a long time Zakopane was no more than a small mountain village. For example, it is known that in 1646 there were no more than 43 inhabitants. It was not until the middle of the 19th century that Zakopane began to gain in importance as a city and began to attract tourists and artists from Kraków 100 km to the north. In 1889 the city had 3000 inhabitants. From that time on, the town was also easier to reach by train. Between January 3, 1795 and November 11, 1918 Zakopane belonged to Austria. It had joined Austria through the Third Partition of Poland and by the end of World War I it joined the newly formed state of Poland.
The town is located at an altitude of 800 meters at the foot of Mount Giewont and on the White Dunajec River. Today the city attracts many tourists, there are numerous hotels and guest houses. Due to the typical architectural style of the Podhale with wooden houses and lots of carvings, the town still has a village character. Also Villa Atma, the house where the composer Karol Szymanowski lived from 1930 to 1936, is such a wooden house with rich carvings. The villa now houses a museum dedicated to Szymanowski.
The local population, who in Poland are called the Górale (= mountain people), attach great importance to traditions. In the street you can often hear a chapel playing traditional music for the region. The town houses a museum, the Muzeum Tatrzańskie ("Tatra Museum"), which presents a picture of life in the nineteenth century through permanent and temporary exhibitions in a restored mansion from this period.
Outside the city is an artificial ice rink called Tor Cos. The World Junior Speed Skating Championships were held here in February 2009. In 1939 the Alpine Ski World Championships were organized in Zakopane.
Places of interest nearby:
Kasprowy Wierch (1987 m above sea level) - there is the funicular from Kużnice that takes you to the top;
Morskie Oko, mountain lake at the foot of Poland's highest peak, Rysy (2499 above sea level), to which a comfortable paved road leads. It is only a short walk to visit beautiful valleys: the Strążyska and the Biała Valley.
Gubałówka mountain, also accessible by a funicular; it is a perfect vantage point to admire the scenery of the Tatra Mountains.
Water parks in Szaflary and Bukowina Tatrzańska offer relaxing in the thermal waters.
Chochołów - a village where almost all the houses are the old, highland cottages. The houses are built with logs of huge noble spruce and the village is very unique in the whole region of the Podhale.
Zakopane is a day trip and can be done from our B&B. Need more info? Send us your question.