Things to do in Zakopane

Explorers can find winter sports, adventure, and a gateway to the Tatras Mountains in this resort town.

Our most recommended things to do in Zakopane

Krakow: Zakopane Day Trip with Hot Springs and Hotel Pickup

1. Krakow: Zakopane Day Trip with Hot Springs and Hotel Pickup

Explore the Tatra mountains on a private or group day trip from Krakow with hotel transfers and a guide. Explore Chocholow, a living museum of historical wooden buildings, and try regional cheese and alcohol. Ride the Gubałówka funicular, explore Zakopane on your own, and relax in a thermal bath. After pickup from Krakow, drive to the village of Chocholow to see the best examples of Goral wooden houses and learn about this characteristic wooden building style. Afterward, try regional treats, including oscypek cheese and local alcohol in a traditional shepherd's hut called Bacówka. Next, take the cable car from Zakopane to Gubałówka, the most famous peak of the Polish Tatra Mountains. In just 3.5 minutes, get to a height of 1122 m above sea level. From the top, enjoy a panorama of Zakopane and the Tatra Mountains. On your descent, enjoy free time on Krupowki, Zakopane’s most famous street. Find local shops with products from the Podhale region. You can buy jewelry (including brooches in the typical heart-shaped “parzenica” pattern), clothes made of wool and leather, and intricately carved wooden souvenirs. Finally, unwind at Terma Bania where 14 pool basins, over 300 meters of water slides, saline pools, geysers, water cannons, and jacuzzis await you. Relax with a gorgeous view of the High Tatras. In the end, be driven back to your hotel in Krakow.

Zakopane: Sleigh Ride with Bonfire, Local Food, and Music

2. Zakopane: Sleigh Ride with Bonfire, Local Food, and Music

Experience the quaint Zakopane wintertime highland atmosphere on this tour. Enjoy a scenic torchlit sleigh ride, gather for dinner around the bonfire, and experience traditional tales and folk dancing. Take a sleigh ride in the Chocholowska Valley for an adventure in the Tatra Mountain winter landscapes. Feel as though you've stepped into a fairytale with snow-covered trees and a quiet atmosphere with no cars or city noise. After the sleigh ride, enjoy the bonfire and a highlander feast with live music. Enjoy traditional regional Polish sausages and mountain smoked cheese cooked on the bonfire. Taste traditional bigos, a cabbage stew with assorted meats, and warm up with some hot tea. Experience a warm welcome with traditional folk music, dancing, and storytelling. Taste highlander alcohol and spend the evening singing together around the fire.

Kraków: Zakopane Tour with Thermal Pool

3. Kraków: Zakopane Tour with Thermal Pool

Enjoy one of the best views in Zakopane with a cable car ride up to Gubałówka. Marvel at the spectacular views of the High Tatras that are covered with snow up until May. Visit Krupówki, the most popular street in the heart of Zakopane, where you can experience the ambience of the mountain region and enjoy the aromas of local foods coming from the traditional restaurants. After your tour of Zakopane, take a break for some rest and relaxation in the thermal pools. Enjoy outdoor and indoor swimming pools, water slides, whirlpool baths and many other attractions in the heart of the mountains.

Krakow: Zakopane and Thermal Springs with Hotel Pickup

4. Krakow: Zakopane and Thermal Springs with Hotel Pickup

Explore Zakopane on a guided tour including round-trip transportation from Krakow. Experience the healing waters of hot thermal springs and in a spa complex, ride a cable car to the top of Gubałówka Mountain, and enjoy a cheese and alcohol tasting. Start with a pickup from your hotel, apartment, or another place of your choice in Krakow. From there the duration of the transport from Krakow to Zakopane is approximately 2 hours. About 20 minutes from Zakopane is the town of Chochołów. Chochołów is famous for its wooden houses that look almost identical. The settlers traditionally wash the wooden walls of the buildings with soap and water, which happens twice a year before Christmas and Easter. Thanks to this cleaning, long-standing buildings look brand new. The village is inscribed on the World Heritage List. Visit the shepherd's hut (cheese factory) where highlanders produce smoked sheep's cheese traditional to the region of Poland. Taste some of the local cheese called Oscypek, and learn about the history of its production. Arrive in Zakopane, the capital of the Polish mountains. Each year, this place attracts many tourists who want to experience the unique style of Górlaskie culture, which is expressed through architecture, food, music, style of speech, and clothing. In the town center lies Krupówki Street. Enjoy time for independent exploration and lunch (not included). This street is the market square of Zakopane, where you can find souvenir shops and many restaurants that serve local food. Zakopane also boasts cable car access. Hop on a cable car and take in views of the Polish Tatra Mountains from the top of Gubałówka Mountain. After exploring Zakopane and the surrounding area, your driver will take you to the Bania Thermal Pools in Białka Tatrzańska. Once there, relax and feel the healing properties of thermal water. After your visit, your driver will take you to your drop-off location in Krakow.

From Krakow: Zakopane Day Trip with Cable Car & Tastings

5. From Krakow: Zakopane Day Trip with Cable Car & Tastings

Take in panoramic views of the Tatra Mountains on this full-day tour from Krakow. Visit the charming town of Chochołów and taste traditional local cheese and alcohol. Spend some free time in Zakopane and ride the cable car to the top of Gubałówka.  Go to the wooden town of Chochołów where you can see the traditional wooden architecture. Afterward, savor local produce of cheese and alcohol. Arriving in Zakopane, board the cable car and travel up to Gubałówka Hill. Experience breathtaking views of the Tatra Mountains that are covered in snow up until May. Enjoy free time in the bustling heart of Zakopane on Krupówki street in the town center. Admire the architecture of the 120 years old Wooden Chapel "Jaszczurówka". End the trip with a drive back to your hotel.

Zakopane: Snowmobiles - Expedition + optional bonfire

6. Zakopane: Snowmobiles - Expedition + optional bonfire

Enjoy an adventure unlike any other! Visit locations inaccessible to tourists otherwise, and get in touch with nature in an activity that can provide both adrenaline and relaxation - you get to decide how you experience this opportunity. Feel the thrill of gliding over the snow on a real snowmobile. The vehicles are easy to maneuver so this tour is appropriate for first-time drivers or families with children. As you explore the mountainous terrain, witness stunning panoramas over the Tatra Mountains and beautiful winter scenery. Join other explorers at a bonfire for a satisfying hot meal and drink, included in the price in some tour options. Choose your experience - 1 or 3 hours expedition. Suitable for beginners as well as experienced drivers. Important information: You will meet your guide in the Snowdoo base and get assigned a single or double-seated bisnowmobile. Each person driving a snowmobile must be at least 18 years old and hold a valid driving license (B) or international driving licence. Please remember to take your driving license with you. Children 3-10 years old can participate free of charge if seated in front of the driver without occupying a seat, Snowmobile driver is held liable for any damage caused to the vehicle. Personal self-liability is max. €1000 per snowmobile in the event of an accident. If there is not enough snow, the snowmobiles will be replaced with 4x4 quads - the rest of the program is carried out with no changes. Every Participant is obligated to sign the declaration and accept the terms and conditions. The instructor has the right to terminate the contract without refund of the down payment if the participants are the influence of alcohol

From Krakow: Zakopane Tour with Thermal Springs

7. From Krakow: Zakopane Tour with Thermal Springs

Start your day with a pickup from Krakow and an escorted ride to Zakopane. On the way, visit the idyllic village of Chochołów, famous for its wooden houses which look almost identical. Learn about the traditions that keep these antique buildings looking new. Next, visit a Bacowka ─ a traditional shepherd’s hut ─ to try the regional cheese Oscypek and see how it is prepared. Eventually, reach Zakopane where you can explore the local old-school bazaar and famous Krupowki Street, filled with restaurants, local stores, and regional goods, as well as gift shops. Ride a cable car from Zakopane to the top of Gubałówka and glimpse the Tatra Mountains. After exploring Zakopane your driver will transport you to the thermal pools in Białka Tatrzańska. Relax and enjoy the healing properties of warm thermal water before being driven back to Krakow.

Zakopane: Snow Mobiles in Tatra Mountains

8. Zakopane: Snow Mobiles in Tatra Mountains

Explore Zakopane and see the Chocholow village, featuring traditional wooden houses built by the local highlanders years ago. Spot the beautiful and historically famed wooden chapels. Enjoy beautiful landscapes on a funicular ride and emerge from the forest floor upon the mountain. Start with hotel pickup in Krakow and have a comfortable journey in an air-conditioned van. Jump on a one or two-person snowmobile in Zakopane and enjoy a 1-hour ride through the snow. Meet the locals in Krupowki and see what village life has to offer as you shop for souvenirs. Take a trip up the mountain Gubalowka on a funicular and experience the natural surroundings. Get a spectacular view of the Tatra Mountain range at the top. See the ski jump hill, used for the Grant Prix Ski Jump Competition. Relax in the warm waters of the Chocholowska Baths, the largest thermal complex in Podhale. Dip into natural waters extracted from a depth of nearly 3,600 meters below ground and enjoy the stunning panoramic views.

Zakopane and Tatra Mountains Day Tour from Krakow

9. Zakopane and Tatra Mountains Day Tour from Krakow

Start your day trip in the morning where you will be picked up at the reception of your hotel. Enjoy a 2-hour drive to the lovely village of Zakopane while your English-speaking driver provides commentary along the way.   After arriving in Zakopane, you'll have 5 hours of free time to explore the village on your own. You can try delicious Polish cuisine, or visit the local market to admire the creations of Polish craftsmen and try the popular smoked cheese. Enter a wooden villa built in a traditional architectural style, or walk through the picturesque streets — the choice is yours.  Select the option including tickets for the funicular railway and travel to the top of Gubałówka mountain. Enjoy the view of the village and admire the peaks of the Polish Tatra Mountains around you. During your visit, the driver will wait for you, and after 5 hours you travel back to Krakow together. Alternatively, choose the option which includes tickets for 2.5 hours in Chochołów Thermal Pools or the other option which includes guided visits to Gubałówka Mountain, Wielka Krokiew Ski Jump, and a Wooden Mansion built in a traditional architectural style.

Krakow: Zakopane Polish Mountains with Hotel Pickup

10. Krakow: Zakopane Polish Mountains with Hotel Pickup

Escape the city and spend a day exploring the Polish countryside in the comfort of a private vehicle. See traditional wooden houses, view the Tatras mountain range from the top of Gubałówka Hill, and taste traditional smoked sheep-milk cheese. Begin your tour with a pickup from a location of your choosing in Krakow. Hop onboard an air-conditioned vehicle and head towards one of the most picturesque locations in Poland, Zakopane and the Tatras Mountains. Once in Zakopane, head straight to Krupówki Street located in the center of town. Explore the many boutiques, restaurants, and curio shops that line this pedestrian-only street. At the end of Krupówki Street, you'll find your next stop on the tour, the station for the Gubałówka Hill funicular. Hop onto one of the cable cars and enjoy fantastic views of Zakopane and the surrounding mountains as you make your way up Gubałówka Hill.  Once at the top, marvel at the breathtaking views of the Polish Tatras Mountains. Make the most of this fantastic location and enjoy a glass of mulled wine or a refreshing drink while taking in the views. Visit the Jaszczurówka Chapel, a wooden building located on the outskirts of Zakopane, and see Wielka Krokiew, the biggest and most famous ski jumping hill in Poland. The final stop on your tour is the village of Chochołów. Admire the unusual architectural style of the famous wooden houses and see the Bacówkach, the traditional houses where Oscypek or smoked cheese is produced.  Learn how this local specialty is made and sample various types to discover the different flavors created by the level of smoking.

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Frequently asked questions about Zakopane

What top attractions are a must-see in Zakopane?

Insider Tips: Planning a trip to Zakopane

Etramping is a travel website run by Agness Walewinder and Cez Krol. It's devoted to discovering and sharing the passion for outdoor adventure in all its forms and it's a place for those who seek adventure, have curiosity for new destinations and who are eager to experience the world with all of their senses.

What should I do on my first trip to Zakopane?

One of the absolute necessities during your trip to Zakopane is to take a cable car to Mount Kasprowy. This incredible natural feature makes for a stunning sightseeing destination all year round. If you're an experienced hiker, then taking a 5-hour walk up Mount Giewont is a definite great nature fix. Throughout the year, this is a stunning location that offers some of the most breathtaking views in all seasons. Also, visiting the local markets, which pop up all over the streets of Zakopane, is a great way to experience the culture and immerse yourself in the cuisine.

What are some hidden gems to see in Zakopane?

Some of the most wondrous hidden gems in Zakopane include the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, which is a popular religious site, Quadoo Adventure Zakopane, and Cmentarz Zasluzonych na Peksowym Brzyzku, which is a hauntingly-beautiful cemetery.

How much time should I spend in Zakopane?

Even though it’s more than possible to make just a day trip to Zakopane, we suggest you spend two or three days here. If you want to immerse yourself in the culture fully and enjoy all of the delicious food Zakopane has to offer, then definitely consider spending a couple of days here.

What food is Zakopane known for?

Zakopane is a hub of Goral culture and is often referred to as ‘the winter capital of Poland’. Some of the most popular tourist activities in this town include skiing and mountaineering since Zakopane resides near the mountainous border between Slovakia and Poland.

What is the best way to get around Zakopane?

The great thing about Zakopane is that it’s a very compact town and the roads are partially closed to vehicles. So, the best way to get around town is on foot!

What are the best months to visit Zakopane?

September and October in Zakopane are often temperate, sunny, and dry, so if you’re looking for a warm, beautiful destination, then this may be it. However, winter is when the town really starts to come alive, with frequent snowfalls and some incredible white landscapes.

What are the best neighborhoods to visit in Zakopane?

Kasprowy Wierch (Tatra National Park) is easily the best place to visit when you’re in Zakopane. It’s easy to get to the top of Kasprowy Wierch via cable car from upper Zakopane. Once you reach the top station, you’ll be greeted by friendly locals and incredible scenery. The area is calm and quiet, and you’ll find a restaurant, souvenir shop, and, if you go in winter, ski rental.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

An excellent shopping neighborhood in Zakopane is Podgorze - a historic district on the southern bank of the Wisla River. It features the spacious Bonarka shopping mall, complete with your typical range of chain stores and services, as well as a cinema and food court.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Zakopane?

The area around the Kasprowy Hotel is one of the best places to stay in Zakopane, thanks to its central location. It’s located in the heart of the city, and is surrounded by plenty of nightlife spots to spend your evenings at. If you want something a little more tranquil, consider staying in the mountains - most of the time, the only sound there is that of singing birds and rushing water.

Other Sightseeing Options in Zakopane

Want to discover all there is to do in Zakopane? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Zakopane

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,648 reviews

This trip has been the highlight of our visit. We were in Krakow for 4 days and wanted to make the most of it, with concerns we had booked up too much over our short trip these doubts were immediately squashed. We were picked up my Magda at our hotel at an early, but decent hour and taken to the mini van with three other couples. We drove for 1.5 hours and arrived in a pretty village where we got to see a living museum of a traditional old house. Back in the van and we headed to the snowy areas higher in the mountains where we tasted cheese and drank vodka. We then head to zakopane where we rode the funicular, and had some free time to take in the most breathtaking views of the mountains. It’s tons of shopping opportunities we wandered the markets and got ourselves some lunch. Then at the hot springs (the real highlight for us) we explored the several warm pools, enjoyed the swim up bar and relaxed. As two working mums we couldn’t have asked for more, well planned and well executed.

It was an amazing experience and the whole day was really well put together. Starting from the communication with the guide, Monica and, being clear where the pick up was. From really good guide during the transport and opportunities to take photographs. Experiencing the really traditional culture of the mountain people in Zakapone and tasting cheese and Vodka. Also the wonderful thermal spa. The day was not rushed but was plenty of time to look around. Also the guide was very accommodating to peoples' individual needs.

10/10 experience. Definitely do this if visiting Krakow! It is completely different to the city and well worth seeing. The mountains are breathtakingly beautiful. Our guide Joanna was lovely and very informative. The stop off to the cheese smoke house and to see the original wooden houses was amazing. The mountains / thermal springs and shopping all top class. Really enjoyed this was the perfect experience for the last day of our trip to unwind and really experience Poland more.

We had the best trip thanks to our tour guide Patrick! Everything was explained very well, we had enough times at each place. The thermal springs made our day!

It was our best day on our trip to Poland and will recommend for everyone to go to