Zakopane is in the Tatra mountains of south Poland 110km [ 68 miles] from Krakow. Can be reached by train or bus from Krakow, bus is far quicker [2hours journey]. It is a pretty place of wooden houses, it attractes hikers, artists, and in winter sports enthusiasts.
I strongly recommend a nice trip to Zakopane to get to know the countryside! It is a popular resort for Poles and others where you can get a breath of wonderful air, marvellous nature-experiences, great views, food and buy local handicraft at the market. You can buy wonderful, almost black honey from the woods and all kinds of different shepherds cheeses, clothes and kitchenware. The village has lots of picturesque houses and views.
We went by car together with a friend from Kraków. It took us about two and a half hours to travel by car, but then we took small stops on the way and visited some villages around Zakopane as well. Time seemed to stand still there with the cultural and rural habits of every-day country life. The people we met seemed happy with their lifestyle, far, far away from computers and stressful living.
In Zakopane we went to a really great restaurant on the main road. Inside it was decorated with old carriages and built in the local-traditional-wooden- style with great soft-soaped logs (they preserve a wonderful light colour to the wood). The restaurant bread was marvellous! One of the best ever. I had soup ( mmm, the Polish soups, yummie!), this time with mutton, cabbage and potato. Marvellous! The others had dishes of sausages or roasted pork or trout. Everyone was happy with their meals and we each got a shot of really strong and tasty Slivowitz (plum vodka, do not miss it!) on the house.
Then there was the nature scenery... Majestic! The view is breathtaking. I wanted more time in the Zakopane-area but am still happy with what I got. I hope to come back another time.
(zäkôpä´nĕ) , town, Ma³opolskie prov., S Poland, at the foot of the Tatra Mts. A leading health resort and winter sports center, Zakopane was the site of the world skiing championship competitions in 1929 and 1939
Many people would go to Zakopane for a day trip from Krakow but I was in Zakopane first before reaching Krakow.
Either way, Zakopane is a must when you are in the south of Poland.
It nestles at the foot of the Tatras & a famous mountain resort in Poland. Also the winter sports capital.
Zakopane is basically a base to explore the mountains around the region but the town itself is so lovely to wander around.
It has lots of tourists facilities.
Shops & souvenir stalls are very many & quite easy to find a private room, depends on which season you to.
This is a town near the mountains a few hours away from Krakow; it's been a resort town for years, so the main drag is pretty touristy. However, you can take a cable car up in the mountains and hike down, and that is really nice. In some parts you are actually in Slovakia (apparently they used to have guards posted up there to keep Poles from getting to Czechoslovakia). Be careful and stick to the path; I think there are fines if they catch you off of it. While we were hiking a friend of my brother's actually dropped his passport and it fell down a couple hundred feet. He was Bosnian, so he really had to get it back. My brother and he went down and got it while I freaked out that my brother was going to fall and die.
Take my advice, though, and if you have a choice, opt for the easy hike rather than the hard one. I was with my brother and all of his law school friends, and they all wanted to go on the hard hike, so I had to go with them. It was pretty, but a killer. The weather could change from second to second, and in some places the rocks were very worn and rather slippery, so I had to go slowly. I was chastened several times, though, by older Polish men who would bound past me with no hesitation in their step. By the time we got to the bottom--about five or six hours later, as I recall--my knees were killing me and I was very pleased to see that there was a bar at the bottom. Then the woman who was arranging the tour left, and none of us knew what the name of our hostel was and we walked about another hour to find it. A little too much exertion for me.
This is the easiest centre for mountain walking to get to from Krakow. The town is a traditional holiday location for Poles as well as international visitors. Although the main street is quite commercialised, eg its own McDonalds, its really no worse than popular tourist haunts in your own country.
Zakopane is probably the most beautiful location in southern Poland. In the winter it is a ski resort, and in the summer it is a great escape.