Skiing in Zakopane


The number one reason that people decide to take a holiday in Zakopane is because of its world class skiing, even if there is plenty more to enjoy in the town as well. Zakopane Poland is often thought of as Poland’s “winter capital,” though, so it only makes sense that the town would cater to skiers from around the world that flock to Zakopane during the winter season. To be sure, the town is just as welcoming any other time of the year, but winters in Zakopane offer a very special experience, especially if you love to participate in winter sports.

Zakopane first began to take on the characteristics of a ski town in the late 19th century, even though the town was established as early as the 17th century. At first Zakopane begin to transform into a health resort town, after it had already become established as a mining town, and more people became attracted to the town and its snowy winters. It didn’t take long for word to get around about the joys of Zakopane life and it quickly began to take on the characteristics of a resort town. Now today Zakopane gets in upwards of 250,000 visitors every year, many seeking the great skiing that the town itself, and the magnificent Tatra Mountains, are known for.

Anybody who is an avid skier knows that ski holidays can be somewhat costly, particularly for those that also need instruction due to being first-timers. If you are an avid skier you also probably likely know that the cost of skiing can vary considerably from one town and/or country to the next, and Zakopane is a much more budget friendly ski resort town. That being said, one thing you do not want to experience are any surprises regarding price when you go to take your ski holiday, so it is important to assess the costs at the ski resort you plan to spend your time at, before you get to your destination. It is also good to have a few helpful hints regarding your destination and its ski-related offerings, so that you do not have to spend any time searching for information when you get there. A few tips in particular can make your entire ski holiday go a little bit smoother.

  • Ski Lift Prices and Options Vary Considerably – In Zakopane there are no less than 50 different lifts to choose from, and the lift prices from one lift to the next vary considerably. Some lifts allow you to purchase day passes, while others may only allow a certain number of rides, while others may require you to buy points to put on a card and charge points per lift ride. With so many options it is sometimes difficult to determine where the better value is. Add to that the fact that some lifts are more popular and take longer to catch a ride on and you have really got your research cut out for you. If you examine the costs at the various lifts that you plan to use, as well as the average number of people that use them every day, though, then you will have a much better idea as to what to expect during your ski holiday and can plan accordingly.
  • Rental Equipment is Low Cost Option – It may come as a complete surprise to some people, but not everybody brings their own ski equipment with them on a ski holiday, and this is an option for you too when you take a ski holiday in Zakopane. For some it is much simpler to worry about ski equipment after arriving at their destination, as traveling with a bunch of ski gear is not necessarily simple, nor desireable. Some people purchase ski equipment when they arrive in Zakopane and then simply bring it back with them or have it shipped back, but many also rent ski equipment when they get to Zakopane and then return the equipment before departing to go back home. This is a simple solution and there are a number of places available to choose from so you will surely find what you are looking for.
  • Skiing Consists of Both Slopes and Cross Country Areas – When people who are not avid skiers think of skiing they often picture huge slopes that no beginner skier could ever imagine conquering, but not all skiing starts 1300 feet in the air. In fact, Zakopane has a number of great cross-country ski areas in addition to the many fantastic slopes that so many avid skiers come to see. There are also smaller slopes close to the foot of the magnificent Tatra Mountains that are ideal for both beginners as well as children, and individuals who simply are looking for something a little less difficult. For advanced skiers there are also ski jumps that can be attempted if a little extra excitement is sought. The point is, regardless of what level skier you are, there are options in Zakopane for you.
  • There are Specific Rules Regarding Avalanches – Avalanches are a danger that exist almost anywhere you can go to ski and they are a possibility in Zakopane as well. There are obviously certain times that avalanches are more common, but skiers should always be cautious, regardless of the time of year. There are specific rules in regards to when dangers are present and when skiers will be allowed on certain slopes. In addition there are certain precautions that are to be taken by skiers in regards to noise levels, climbing on overhangs, and cutting snow. All of these things can factor into the dangers of an avalanche, so it is important to pay attention to anything you may be told in this regard.
  • Zakopane Has a Particularly Long Ski Season – For those individuals that find it difficult to find time to take a ski holiday in the short window of time that many places have snow, you will be happy to learn that Zakopane has a particularly long ski season. In most years ski holidays in Zakopane are possible as early as November and as late as May. This leaves a fairly large timeframe from which to choose to take your ski holiday. Generally the busiest seasons are in December and February, so planning a holiday outside that window may offer some benefits in regards to costs, as well as the size of the crowds. With a little research you may find that a ski holiday in Zakopane is much more affordable than you imagined.
  • There are Multiple Options in Regards to Accommodations – When it comes to accommodations you may be amazed at the variety of options that are available to you, both in regards to the type of accommodation, as well as the location and the price. There are accommodations of various types located right in the town of Zakopane and there are accommodations located a little bit outside of town where it is more secluded. There are typical hotels with rooms available, hostels both right in town as well as on the outskirts, and there are villas and ski chalets available for rental. And for those that are keeping a budget in mind, there are definitely budget friendly options available, just like there are numerous luxury options available for those looking to splurge. One thing is for sure, and that is that you will have no trouble finding Zakopane accommodations that fit the profile of exactly what you are looking for.

Skiing may not be the only thing you do when you take a holiday in Zakopane but it will likely be on your itinerary. Having a little knowledge in regards to all facets of a ski holiday in Zakopane can go a long way towards making your ski holiday absolutely perfect, which is what a holiday is supposed to be.