Zakopane Travel Guide


Zakopane Coat of Arms - Zakopane Travel GuideZakopane Travel Guide - a place in south eastern Poland in the province of Małopolska. Zakopane is in the very south of Poland near to the Slovenia border and dates back to the 16th century. It is the Winter Capital of Poland.

It developed from humble beginnings as shepherd settlements within the clearings of the surrounding forest at the foot of the Tatra Mountains. In the 18th and 19th centuries it grew into a village due to the iron smelting that occurred at nearby Kuznice, which today is part of Zakopane.

Polish tourism began in the 19th century when Tytus Chalubinski, a physician and others connected with the Tatra Society, established in 1873, (now the Polish Tourist Society PTTK) began to promote the area. Towards the late 19th century it became a popular destination for artistic and literary types to visit and settle in the area. Zakapone is responsible for causing a great impact on Polish culture as well as on Polish tourism and has a great amount of accommodation to offer.

Within the oldest district, ul. Koscieliska, in Zakopane is a very old wooden church called Church of Our Lady of Czestochowa which was built by highlanders in 1847. Inside are three altars sculpted by the highlander W.Kulach, and a number of folk sculptures and paintings on glass. The stone chapel, next to the church was erected by another highlander by the name of P. Gasienica in the 19th century and is the oldest religious building in the town.

The historic cemetery behind the church was established in 1848 by the first parish priest of Zakopane and contains about 250 graves including 50 of the celebrities of Polish culture, tourism of the area and Zakopane itself. Amongst those buried are Tytus Chalubinski, writers Kornel Makuszynski and Wladyslaw Orkan, artists Stanislaw Witkiewicz and Antoni Kenar. There is also General Mariusz Zaruski and the parish priest who founded the cemetery, Jan Peksa.

One of the most important events to be held in Zakopane is the International Festival of Highland Folklore which is in August each year. Participants who are highlanders themselves come from Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.

There are still a number of very old cottages in the ul. Koscieliska district as well as the later villas that sprung up in the Zakopane style designed by Stainislaw Witkiewicz. These include the Koliba, 1893, and Pod Jedlami, 1897 at Koziniec.

The Krupowki (High street) contains the Parish Church of ‘Holy Family' dating back to the 19th century built in the Romanesque and Gothic styles. There is also the Doctor Tytus Chalubinski Tatra Museum built in 1875 and in it is the history of the Podhale and Tatra nature. There are a number of other interesting museums to visit in Zakopane such as the Karol Szymanowski Museum and art galleries.

Many of the houses in the town bear tablets commemorating past distinguished guests.

Zakopane Travel Guide

Poland Travel Guide Information

This site is a travel Guide about the country of Polska which is located in central Europe. You are very welcome to visit my site and I hope that you will enjoy the experience.

My guide is easy to use as each village, town and city has it's own page with useful information for the visitor. Not all sections appearing on the left of my guide, on this place may have information as this is an ongoing project.

It may be the case that sections have not yet been reviewed and written about so if you can contribute any information about this town to improve Zakopane Travel Guide or any other aspects of this Polish guide you are welcome to send it to us.

Accommodation in Zakopane

Zakopane - accommodation in ZakopaneYou will find the full range of accommodation in Zakopane from the most luxurious five star hotels with up to date and modern amenities to pensions (a type of guest house or boarding house) and rooms or apartments at very reasonable prices. Some of the larger towns and cities will also have hostels.

If you prefer accommodation in a rural location there are a number of “Agro” style of accommodation places on farms and in the countryside plus there may be camp sites nearby.

If you see something you like or wish to know further about please contact the accommodation directly.

If you wish to advertise your accommodation on Zakopane Travel Guide or on this site you may contact me.


Willa Adrian

Our Villa is the perfect accommodation to relax at any time of the year. For summer tourists there are hundreds of miles of mountain trails and sports such as horseback riding, mountain biking or paragliding. For the less physically active we will certainly implement your needs at one of the several thermal pools in the Podhale region.

Name of Accommodation Address Type
Hotel Poland - Example Full Advert Example Hotel
Willa Adrian ul. Kościuszki 56 B, 34-520 Zakopane - Olcza Villa
Chata Walczaków Oś. Zwijacze 11, 34-500 Zakopane B & B

Activities in Zakopane

Zakopane centre -  Zakopane Travel GuidePoland is a country with a large variety of landscapes, a place where you can experience all four seasons. This provides the visitor with many opportunities for adventure and different activities, whether you enjoy the mountains, lakes, rivers or the beaches you will find something that suits you.

If you see something you like or wish to know more about please contact the activity provider directly.

What ever activity you run, if you wish to advertise your activity on Zakopane Travel Guide or this Polish guide you may send it to us.


Sleigh Rides in Tatra Valleys and Zakopane

Just one of the activities you can try during a winter stay in Zakopane is a horse-drawn sleigh or carriage ride. Available from Zakopane or in the Chocholowska and Kościeliska Valleys in the Tatra National Park. These operate between December and April.

Krzeptówki Sanctuary

The Krzeptówki Sanctuary, located at the foot of majestic Mount Giewont, is a popular place of worship in Zakopane with many thousands visiting every year. The cult of Our Lady of Fatima is celebrated here and it was visited by the Polish pope, John Paul II in June 1977.

During the May celebrations of the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima the local Highlanders put on their finest traditional costumes. The church was built towards the end of the last century but it's style has references to Witkiewicz and is a votive offering of thanksgiving for John Paul's II life saved from the assassination attempt. It was built with love for the Pope and Our Lady of Fatima by many people with grateful hearts.

Ośrodek jeździecki STAJNIA KONSUL

Equestrian Centre STABLE KONSUL is for all those that like to ride horses. From beginners to experienced they will cater for your needs. With pony's for the young and larger horses for adults you can go riding in the Tatra Mountains on the back of a great animal.

Name of Activity Address Category
Górski Ośrodek Jeździecki ul. Słoneczna 17, 34-530 Bukowina Tatrzańska Horse Riding

Attractions in Zakopane

Mt Kasprowy Wierch Tatras - Zakopane Travel GuidePoland is a country with a large variety of attractions for the tourist to visit, a place where you can experience all sorts of places to see. This provides the visitor with many opportunities for learning about Polska, whether you enjoy the many monuments, historic churches or buildings, history of places, or more modern attractions, you will find something that suits you.

If you see something you like or wish to know more about please contact the attraction provider directly.

What ever attraction you run, if you wish to advertise your attraction on Zakopane Travel Guide or this website please send it to us.


Tatra Mountains

Most people go to Zakopane to see the Tatra Mountains. In summer the town is full of hikers and walkers and in winter it becomes the main tourist place in Poland for skying and all things winter sports.

The Zakopané Style

Zakopane's architectural style is evident in a number of buildings, with its exuberance in houses, churches, and even tree-houses.

The Koliba villa was the first building erected to Stanisław Witkiewicz’s (who formalized the style in the 1890's) design known as the Zakopane Style, located at Kościeliska Street being Zakopane’s oldest street with time-honoured houses and characteristic Tatra crofts every where.

The hewn-log architecture used incorporates the rich folk-art traditions of this region’s Highlander culture and traditions involve making everything by hand.

Name of Attraction Address Class
Advertise your attraction here ul.attraction Castle

Geography of Zakopane

Such is the geography of Zakopane it is found hidden between the gentle range of Gubałówka and the rocky Tatra summits in the very south of Poland on the boarder with Slovenia. It lies in the southern part of the Podhale region at the foot of the Tatra Mountains, geographic coordinates of Zakopane  are 49.3000° N, 19.9667° E.

The town of Zakopane is hidden between the gentle range of Gubałówka and the rocky Tatra summits.

From 1975 to 1998 it was in Nowy Sącz Province, but since 1999 it has been in Lesser Poland Province.

History of Zakopane

The beginnings of settlement and origin of the name.

It is thought that the first settlers moved south from the Szaflary up the creeks of Bialy Dunajec, Zakopianka and Silent Water arriving in the area now known as Zakopane, most likely in the vicinity of today's hamlets, Ustup and Olcza, probably in the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

In the sixteenth century, the area was already well known to the miners who made their living from the Tatra Mountains and were from the Nowy Targ area. At the same time a local people called the Highlanders would graze their sheep around the quiet waters in the springs and glades of the Tatras. The grazing of sheep in a nearby part of the Tatra Mountains, still goes on by today's rural residents, zagubałowskich, especially Maruszyna, waiting for the snows to melt, they would make their way using the hiking trails through the back Gubałówka and remaining in the spring around Zakopane, in the valley.

These two methods of settlement, on the east by Ustup and on the south by Gubalówka explain the emergence of the name “Zakopane”. The first of them, no doubt from the old folk story about one of the shepherds, who, had his sheep in a loincloth on the southern slope of Gubałówka, beautifully sunny and warm, saw the exquisite views of the Tatra Mountains on the horizon and decided to check whether the place was suitable for a permanent settlement. So from a poor hut he grew grain oats, and after returning from grazing on the Tatras saw that the grain had grown well and produced a good yield. And so from burying the seed the place called Zakopane was born. You should note that the clearing called Zakopane today is in the lower part of the slope of Gubałówka. It is still the main family of Gąsieniców, who are recognized as one of the oldest in Zakopane.

Legend has it that this was perhaps the first settler former henchman of chivalry, from which came his nickname of caterpillar. To be truthful, scientists, after analysing how to pronounce the name of the city (buried - may be something to do with the polish word zakopać) refuse the legend, as the name may not be derived from the word, as it is pronounced differently (zókopane).

So what of the other legend. Well, somewhere in the region of Poronin in th area of Ustup, and may be living in a clearing by himself, in a place called Kopane, this person, who might have been expelled or was fleeing from the law, When asked where he was living, responds “Kopanem” There is no way of telling if either of these two legends have any validity but there may be some truth in either.

So we can deduce that by the mid-sixteenth century there were created two ancient centres of settlement of Zakopane, around the areas of Ustupu and Olczy and at the confluence of Cichej Wody (Quiet Waters) and Potoku Młyniska (Stream Młyniska). Travelling shepherds (Highlanders) had been in the area for sometime but there had been no permanent homes until 1578 when King Stefan Batory issued a “Settlement Prerogative” in order to organize the Polish lands in which people were settled in areas outside of the towns. (Batory was Poland's first King and Prince of Translyvania). This order (known only from later references) almost certainly was forged at least two centuries later, however, regardless of its authenticity it has been confirmed by the facts.

Museums in Zakopane

Old Wooden House in Zakopane - Zakopane Travel GuidePolska is full of history and the Polish are great lovers of knowledge of the past so you will find many museums in the country.

Poland has a long history and has been an important trading route that has been invaded by many different groups over the past 1,000 years. Museums are a great way to explore the nations history about the inhabitants of the land in the past, their lives and customs.

Some of the museums shown below may have an article about them here. Follow the link for the article. For the rest, if you see something you like or wish to know more about please contact the museum directly as I take the attitude that their own website will have more up to date details on what they offer than if I were to include it here.


Muzeum Tatrzańskie

Muzeum Tatrzańskie - in English, “The Tatra Museum”, was founded in 1888 by a group of friends of Dr Tytus Chałubiński (1820-1889) to celebrate his life and work in discovering the values of Zakopane as a health resort. Dr Tytus Chałubiński was an outstanding physician from Warsaw, also a scientist and social activist, having a passion for the Tatra Mountains and folklore of the local people. For further information visit the site shown below.

Villa Atma

This is the wooden house where the music composer, Karol Szymanowski lived from 1930 to 1936. It now is a museum dedicated to his life and work as a composer showing his contacts with Zakopane and Podhale folklore.

Jan Kasprowicz Museum

The Jan Kasprowicz Museum is housed in the wooden villa where the poet lived with his wife Maria in the years 1923-1926. Jan Kasprowicz stayed in Zakopane frequently, and in 1923 purchased a villa in Harendzie and settled there permanently with his wife Maria. The well-preserved interior hosts works of art, mostly by friends of the poet, house wares, furniture and a library of several hundred books. Next to the museum is the mausoleum where the ashes of the poet and his wife rest.

Name of Museum Address Category
Muzeum Tatrzańskie ul. Krupówki 10, 34-500 Zakopane Local Museum
Jan Kasprowicz Museum Zakopane, Harenda 12a Museum of the poet

Places to Eat in Zakopane

ZakopaneThere are many restaurants covering the usual pizza to those offering local Polish traditional and regional cuisine.

If you see something you like or wish to know more about please contact the place to eat directly.

Places to Eat

Karczma Szymaszkowa

Karczma Szymaszkowa is located on the route to Kościeliska Valley in the vicinity of the “Szymoszkowa” thermal baths and the “Polana Szymoszkowa” ski complex. It has a unique wooden interior with characteristics of Highlander regional culture helping to create a good location for your next meal, often accompanied by Highlander music.

Specialising in Polish and Italian cuisine they offer regional dishes based on natural and fresh products as well as a broad selection of wine and spirits from across the world. A bonus is the play area and amenities for children as well a children's menu.

Name of Place to Eat Address Type
Karczma Szymaszkowa ul. Szymaszkowa 1c, 34-500 Zakopane Restaurant

Tourist Information in Zakopane

Centrum Informacji Turystycznej - Zakopane Travel GuidePoland Travel Guide - This web site will eventually have tourist information on most of the places in Polska. Being a web site you will be able to access the information on most digital platforms, including your laptop, personal computer or a mobile phone.

Tourist organisations are welcome to contact me for details on how to display their information on Zakopane Travel Guide or any where else on our guide.

PTTK - Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Society is a non-profit organisation that you will find in many places in Poland.

It is one of the oldest tourist societies in Europe and was was created by the merger of two societies: Polish Tatry Society (1873) and Polish Country Lovers Society (1906).

Official Tourist Information Centres in Poland are divided into 1*, 2*, 3* and 4* Certified and Non-Certified. All Certified Tourist Centres provide information in one or more foreign languages and have an expanded range of services as compared to the Non-Certified.

Tourist Information

Awaiting Article

No further information as yet.

Name of Tourist Office Address Category
Centrum Informacji Turystycznej ul. Kościuszki 17 - 34-500 Zakopane Town Information Centre
Małopolski System Informacji Turystycznej ul. Kościeliska 7 - 34-500 Zakopane Regional Tourist Office
TATRA PEAK - Grzegorz Kubicki ul. Małe Żywczańskie 2E, 34-500 Zakopane Mountain Guides

Transport in Zakopane


Zakopiański Dworzec Autobusowy - Zakopane bus station, built in 2010 has services to many places in Poland and also a number of international destinations. There are many frequent services to Krakow. You can find it at the address: ul. Kościuszki 23, 34-500 Zakopane. There are also a number of minibuses that operate from other streets in the town serving local places and Krakow.

Here are some useful websites to help you find your way to Zakopane.


Awaiting Article

No further information as yet.

Name Type URL Bus & Train Timetables
Krakow Airport Airport
Przewozy Regionalne Railways

Websites of Zakopane

If you have a website that is an official one linked to this town, or you administer a local community or an important trade site you are welcome to contact me at Zakopane Travel Guide as I may be interested in including it.


Urząd Miasta Zakopane

This is the main official link for Zakopane. Much of it is in Polish but there is also helpful information in English.

Name of Website Address Category
Urząd Miasta Zakopane ul. Kościeliska 7 - 34-500 Zakopane Official site
Zakopane Invites ul. Kościeliska 7 - 34-500 Zakopane Town site Tourist site

Regional Links


The Małopolska Voivodship (Little Poland) was created in 1989 and is located in the south of Poland.





Places in Province

The cities, towns and villages of the region of Małopolska.

Places in Province

Map of Zakopane


Zakopane Highland Music - Zakopane Travel Guide
Zakopane old Wooden House - Zakopane Travel Guide
Zakopane in Winter - Zakopane Travel Guide
Mt Kasprowy Wierch Tatra Mountains - Zakopane Travel Guide


Zakopane Travel Guide - Małopolska - Poland Travel Guide
Tatra Mountains in southern Poland