Poland, Zakopane – The Mountains Next Door
The fact that the Polish mountains are often neglected by the Czechs is pity. However, mountains in Poland are comparable to the Krkonose or the Tatras in Slovakia. However, some consider Poland to be cheaper. We consider it a must go!
Zakopane is located within a short drive from Krakow. Zakopane itself has about 26 000 inhabitants and is nicknamed the main winter town of Poland. And there is nothing to be amazed about 3 million tourists over the whole year! In the winter there are crowds of mainly domestic. Winter sports here are on a daily basis. And in the summer it is crowded with hikers and families with children.
The first mention of Zakopane dates back to the 17th century. Later developments are linked to the expansion of metallurgy and mining. Subsequently, tourism is developing, and it is very dominant here today. The town of Zakopane has a smaller center where you can find everything you need. From the station you will be on the main street and then you can not miss anything. You will find many fine cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops or sports clothing. There is also a post office, an ATM and a health center. But most importantly, I must not forget to mention a myriad of hotels, guesthouses, residences or Airbnb for rent. I think everyone chooses to choose early. And the prices are not too exaggerated, for Poland such an average.
The city can be reached by direct buses from Krakow. They come out at 31 zlotys (about 7€) and the ride takes slightly more than 2 hours. By car you are here a bit faster. You can park at the main station or in the center of the city, but pay attention to the paid parking.
Everywhere in the city center or under the slopes you will find refreshments and souvenir shops. If you have a free afternoon, I would recommend you take a ride on Gubalówka. Travel lifts can be purchased online, which will make you a little cheaper (both 27 zlotys). Or you can go all the way on foot, which is quite a nice walk. The top view is a beautiful view of both the city and the surrounding mountains. There are many typical stalls with Polish products and snacks. You can also rent a ski or snowboard here. Originally, we thought we were just going upstairs and going back to watch, but there was really something to do, and maybe just two hours of watching.
Zakopane is ideal place for young families with children as well as for older couples or friends. There are many activities, prices are acceptable, local people are happy to see Czechs. So I definitely recommend this destination!
GPS: 49°18'23.3"N 19°56'03.4"E
Text and photos: Martina Koşar
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