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Traditionally, many visitors to Poland head for the bright lights of the big cities but this little gem has become a star attraction. Even some of the locals are surprised by the surge in popularity but we’re not. It’s a wonderful place to visit that will give you another glimpse of how life varies from region to region in our beautiful and fascinating country.

Maybe it’s down to aesthetics. Zakopane’s mountainous landscape and unique style of architecture gives it something of a storybook feel. Quaint, ornate wooden buildings, traditional folk motifs with a hint of Art Nouveau about it, there is certainly an air of fantasy about it.

Perhaps when all is said and done, people want to add a little magic to their holiday and fairy-tale Zakopane delivers it.

Zakopane is great to visit all year-round and each season offers a different vibe. It is very popular in winter and the big draw at that time of year is the first-class range of active snow sports on offer.  Zakopane transforms into a winter wonderland attracting skiers and snowboarders from around Poland and indeed around the world. It’s often referred to as Poland’s ‘winter capital’.

It is just as enchanting in spring and summer when the weather is at its finest and visitors can experience the magic of Zakopane in all its glory - in shimmering sunlight.

However, like most pretty destinations, there’s something special about visiting in autumn as the landscape turns from lush green to a warm burnt orange and vibrant golden palette. It’s like a real-life painting where the artist has saved his richest and best colours for this masterpiece. But don’t take our word for it – come and see for yourself!

Although there can be lovely sunshine in autumn, Zakopane can also get chilly, especially in the evenings. Don’t worry if you forgot to pack your winter woollies, you can easily buy inexpensive jumpers, gloves, hats, and sheepskin products at the local market.

Speaking of shopping, visitors should head to Krupowki – Zakopane’s most famous street. If you need a little retail therapy, be sure to drop by. This bustling thoroughfare is packed with delightful shops and stalls. It’s an ideal spot to stock up on well-priced local goods as well as picking up unique and authentic souvenirs of your trip.

What else can you get up to in Zakopane?  You won’t be stuck for things to see and do, that’s for sure.

You could visit the famous ‘Old Church’ or spend a day wandering around some of the fascinating museums. The Museum of Zakopane Style at Villa Koliba might be a good starting point for first timers hoping to delve into the town’s architectural back story. It was the first building erected to Stanislaw Witkiewicz’s design concept.

And another top place to visit is the Be Happy Museum – the first Polish museum of happiness and illusion, it’s the place to be if you love social media!

If that’s not your thing and you prefer to explore the great outdoors, why not take a mountain cable car ride – they’re so exciting.  You’ll be rewarded with a bird’s eye view of the natural wonders below.  One of the most popular rides is the funicular railway from Zakopane to the top of Gubalowka Hill which offers amazing views of the Tatra Mountains. The scenery is spectacular so don’t forget your camera!

And if you’re wondering what to do when night falls, there’s an easy answer to that. After all that exploring throughout the day you might want to cosy up on one of the many restaurants and inns. Here you can sample authentic local dishes and you may get lucky as there’s often live music in the evenings. Don’t forget to try a delicious, warm mulled wine – this is a common tipple in the area. After a long day in the mountains, you may find this a very welcome refreshment.

These are just a few suggestions for your visit but sometimes it’s better to just go with no tick list, no plan and simply experience the magic for yourself and create your own Zakopane story.

 

 

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Polish National Tourist Office
221 River St. 9th floor
Hoboken, NJ 07030
Phone: 1 (551) 344-3057
e-mail: info.na@poland.travel