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Zakopane

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Zakopane [1] is in Tatra mountains in Poland.

Get in

Get around

  • PKS buses according to schedule.
  • There is a large number of privately owned vans (called mini bus). Most have fixed routes and rates, no schedule. Often there is the possibility of negotiation (route, price, time). Note some driver's telephone numbers if you think you may need transport later.
  • Taxi

See

Do

  • Ski
    • Kasprowy Wierch
    • Gubałówka
    • Nosal
    • Białka Tatrzańska
    • Bukowina Tatrzańska
    • Butorowy Wierch
    • Polana Szymoszkowa
  • Hike
  • Climb


Many of these activities aren't in the centre Zakopane itself. However, minibuses, leaving when full, depart from different points in Zakopane all day. Most minibuses leave from the front of the train station. The same system works to return hikers/skiers to Zakopane. Expect to pay about 3.50 zł each for the minibus (around 1 euro).

Hike

It's worth buying a map of the area if you're going hiking. They're sold by the tourist office (17 Kosciuszki St., telephone: 01820 12211), down the hill, on your left, just before getting to the bus stop and cross roads (Krupowki St. and Kosciuszki St.) in the centre of town. They'll also give suggested routes, based on the latest weather forecasts and your fitness and equipment.

The maps are very tourist-friendly, with the "difficultly levels" for different paths marked: possibly slightly patronising for seasoned hikers. People have been seen trying to get prams up steep paths from Zakopane into the mountains. The pram symbol for the 'easy' paths is taken too literally. All the paths marked on the map are well maintained by the government. Note: you will have to pay a small entrance fee. It was 4:40 Zlotys in July 2007.

Whichever route you plan to take, it is advised you dress warmly and bring spare waterproof clothes and water. Put the clothes in a plastic bag in your backpack, to keep them dry in case of a rain. Even midsummer it can hail for an whole day in the mountains! Remember you are already at 1000m, although it doesn't feel like it.

Buy

  • Many shops at Krupówki promenade.

Eat

  • Oscypek, local specialty, cheese made of sheep milk.
  • Actual good eateries are scarce. Most are tourist semi-chain establishments on the main road (Kosciuszki Street) sloping downhill to the cross roads. An OK pizza place is just to the west of the crossroads, along Krupowki Street.

Drink

Zakopane's main road, called "Krupowki" in Polish is dotted with many small shops and restaurants. Although there are not many bars, many restaurants have traditional polish live music played by musicians in folk costumes. These are nice places to sit down, enjoy a extra tall bar (as large as in Munich during Oktoberfest) and warm yourself by the fire if the weather is cold.

Sleep

  • Plenty of private rooms. Tourists coming from Warsaw by train will often find private landlords waiting for them at the station. Negotiate the price. Price per night per person 20-30 zł. More in New Year time. Less off-season. Board often available. Ask to be shown the location on a map. Many locations are outside Zakopane city (which may be an advantage).
  • Good Bye Lenin Hostel Zakopane is heavily advertised, but should be avoided. There is a strong mafia presence there, and the former manager and two members of staff were recently convicted of the rape and murder of a female guest. Two other members of staff are on trial for theft and extortion. The Hostel is still open, but its future remains uncertain. Zakopane is generally a safe place to stay, but this hostel is not recommended.

Get out

  • Gąsienicowa valley
  • Morskie Oko valley
  • Kasprowy Wierch (mountain), 1985 metres. Tatra view point. Restaurant. Skiing area. Cable railway runs from Kuźnice. (get in on foot, or by local bus).
  • Mount Rysy 2499 metres 4 hour hike from Morskie Oko valley
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