Zakopane, a small resort town nestled into the base of Poland’s scenic Tatra Mountains, is often referred to as Poland’s “winter sports capital.” It’s no wonder, because the skiing, mountain climbing and snowboarding are all world-class. Plus, the views aren’t just scenic – they’re exceptional.
Every year, tens of thousands of tourists flock to Zakopane to enjoy excellent winter sports and partake of friendly Polish hospitality. In addition to skiing, mountaineering and snowboarding, they come to see a number of sights.
The Tatra Mountains, Including the Giewont
Many come just to see or hike in the beautiful Tatra Mountains. The Tatras are the highest range in the Carpathian Mountains and form a natural border between Poland and Slovakia. At 1,895 meters (about 6,217 feet) at its highest point, the Giewont is the tallest summit in the Tatra range, but it’s actually comprised of three individual peaks (Small Giewont, Great Giewont and Long Giewont). Two of the three are clearly visible from the town of Zakopane.
According to Polish legend, the three Giewont peaks are a sleeping knight who will awake and come to Poland’s defense when the country is facing danger. Some say the three mountains actually do resemble the body and face of a reclining man. The entire Giewont lies within Tatra National Park, and it’s a beautiful region.
Morskie Oko Lake
Many travelers also check out Morskie Oko Lake while they’re in Zakopane. In fact, this lake is one of Poland’s top tourist attractions. Walks around the lake are peaceful and relaxing, and the vistas are beautiful.
History, Culture and Tradition
Zakopane’s history is rich and long. During the 19th century the town was considered to be Poland’s cultural capital. Once you arrive, you’ll see that Zakopane has the museums, historical sites and interesting architecture to prove it.
Hotel and Dining Options
Naturally, all these visitors need a hotel in Zakopane. Fortunately, there are plenty to choose from. Zakopane hotels come in a wide range of prices, and they’re all close to the main attractions. Zakopane also has a number of terrific restaurants and cafés that offer everything from traditional Polish fare to fine cuisine. Many (although not all) of the town’s hotels, restaurants and shops line colorful Krupówki Street, giving you a handy base from which to explore the town’s sights.
Zakopane has a quaint ambiance and a beautiful setting. Many of the sights and activities there revolve around the Tatra Mountains or Morskie Oko Lake. Even so, the scenery is some of the best in the entire country. There’s more than enough in Zakopane to create memories that will last a lifetime, even if you’re not a skier or a mountain climber.Google+