Lying on the very southern edge of Poland near the border of Slovakia, Zakopane is often called the ""Winter Capital of Poland"", as it is famed for the local skiing and mountaineering opportunities it affords. At 1,000 metres above sea level, the town is situated in a valley that is surrounded by the High Tatra Mountains, providing a scenic backdrop for this popular tourist destination. Activities in the area range from hiking and climbing in summer to cross country skiing and snowboarding in winter.
The town's main street is filled with plenty of shops, restaurants, bars and entertainment, such as sleigh rides and carnival rides. Ski and snowboard rental are possible, and skiing lessons are offered. Accommodation is available in a number of forms, from cottages and chalets to apartments and hotels.
Zakopane is situated to the south of Krakow at a distance of 106 km, so reaching the resort using various modes of transport is fairly easy. There are many train and bus services that operate from Krakow and the drive from Krakow is relatively straightforward too.
Trains to Zakopane tend to be less frequent than public buses, but five trains depart at Krakow every day. The journey is not particularly quick as it makes various stops along the way. A daily train also runs from Warsaw, but the journey takes twice as long.
There are plenty of regular PKS bus services that operate in the local area around the resort. To reach Zakopane from Krakow, visitors can take one of the regular bus services, such as Trans-frej, which run to the resort every 30 minutes. A direct bus service also runs to the town from Budapest.
Visitors planning to reach Zakopane by car can drive directly south from Krakow on the DK47. It is possible to drive from Slovakia, but this route involves traversing the Tatra Mountains and is subsequently longer.
The peak season for visiting Zakopane in summer is between July and August. However, for those planning to ski, the best time to visit is in the winter season from December to March. Skiers can buy a variety of ski passes, ranging from one run on the ski lift to two and four hours or a complete day pass.