Zakopane - 11 Fun Facts To Know Before You Visit

Interesting Facts About Zakopane

Zakopane is a beautiful mountain town nestled into the peaks of the Tatra Mountains. This historic town is a popular destination as it is well known for its year round outdoor activities including skiing, hiking, biking, and more! Find out more interesting facts about Zakopane below!

1. Zakopane is the highest town in Poland


The town of Zakopane is located 3,281 feet (1000 meters) above sea level making it the highest town in Poland.

2. Settlers have lived in the Zakopane area for at least 5 centuries


The first settlers arrived in the area in the 15h century. Though the area was granted settlement rights in 1578, Zakopane did not become Polish in character until 1889, which Polish patriot Władysław Zamoyski purchased the area at public auction from a Berlin businessman. He eventually donated this property to form the basis of the Tatra National Park.

3. Zakopane is a popular tourist destination


Zakopane is visited by over 2.5 million tourists each year. It is popular for its year round outdoor activities. In the winter this includes skiing, ski jumping, sleigh rides and ice skating. In the summer, hiking, biking, horse riding, and climbing are very popular activities.

4. Zakopane has some truly beautiful accommodations

zakopane-accommodation (1).jpgPhoto of Zwijaczówka by Kasia Krynicka 

Because Zakopane is such a popular destination for travelers, there are some truly beautiful hotels, inns, and bed and breakfasts. You will find a diverse range of ultra modern to cozy, hygge. Whatever you are looking for, you will find it here!

Read more about choosing accommodation in Poland.

5. Krupówski Street is a famous walking street in the heart of Zakopane


Krupówki Street is the main street in the heart of Zakopane. This now famous street was once a narrow dirt pathway that served as a commute for local workers. Closed off from cars, today the street is filled with many restaurants, shops, cafes and street vendors.

6. In Zakopane there is an aerial tramway that travels to the top of Kasprowy Wierch


Kasprowy Wierch is a high peak in the Tatra Mountains. From 1910, this area became so popular for ski tourists that an aerial tramway was constructed in 1936 and is one of the oldest in all of Europe. The tram was modernized in 2007 and is very popular for visitors to the area.

7. Zakopane is home to Morskie Oko, the largest lake in the Tatra Mountains


Morskie Oko (English: Eye of the Sea) is the the largest and fourth-deepest lake in the Tatra Mountains. You can easily access this lake by a gentle two hour hike.

8. Zakopane is famous for its traditional oscypek cheese


Zakopane, and the Podhale Region, are famous for their traditional food oscypek. Oscypek is a traditional smoked cheese from salted sheep milk that is made in a strict traditional method. It is often served warm and grilled with a side of cranberry jam. You will find many vendors preparing and selling this delicacy on the streets of Zakopane.

9. Zakopane has a specific type of architecture known as Zakopane Style


Zakopane is known for its unique style of architecture that you can observe in many of its homes and buildings. Zakopane style is a display of the connection between the culture of the Polish Highlanders (Górale) and the landscape of the mountainous Podhale region. The homes, based loosely on the Podhale hut, have long roofs, with a chalet-like frame and use stone and wood-carved folk decorations.

10. Zakopane is rich in Polish Highlander culture


Polish Highlanders, also known as Gorals, are the traditional culture group of the Zakopane region. They are known for their specific Polish dialect, traditional costumes, shepherding practices, and rich folk culture traditions.

11. Zakopane is famous for ski jumping


Ski jumping is a very popular sport in Zakopane. The ski jump, Wielka Krokiew, was built in Zakopane in 1925. It is a regular venue for the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup and the surrounding stadium can hold 40,000 spectators. Since 2001, due to the success of Polish ski jumper Adam Małysz, the sport has grown in popularity in Poland.

Read more fun facts about visiting Poland!

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We are Damian and Elizabeth, a Polish-American couple, and we are excited to share Poland with you! We have traveled around the world and seen many places but find ourselves most inspired by our home countries.

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