Main Cities around the Tatras

The main city, which is also called the Gateway to the Tatries is Zakopane. Nestled in the valley between Tatra Mountains, which form the border with Slovakia in the south, and Gubalowka Hill in the north, this idyllic resort town attracts visitors (a staggering 2 million every year) for its natural beauty, well marked hiking trails in summer, winter sports, charming cafes, and a number of quaint shops and restaurants.

Its superb location, the foothills of the Tatra Mountains, gives it immediate access to the beautiful alpine range of ski slopes, and a trip to Zakopane in winters is almost a rite of passage for the Poles. This premier mountain town is exceedingly well known for its ski-jumps and cross country trails and was also in the running to host the 2006 Winter Olympic Games.

Situated just 62 kilometers south of Krakow, this is a famous health resort town known for its treatment of respiratory and circulatory diseases. It has four natural springs that spout therapeutic saline water, which is used in many hospitals and sanatoriums. It is also known for its neo-Gothic wooden Church of St. Mary Magdalena which was erected in the 17th century, local ceramic works and folk sculptures.

Nowy Targ
The oldest town in the region, it is famous for its market which is held every Thursday. You can buy many souvenirs from here, as well as different types of cheese, woolen sweaters and shoes at reasonable prices. Also, it is here that Lenin lived for over a year in 1914 before he moved to Switzerland and hence this is also the start of the Unofficial Lenin Trail.

Niedzica is primarily known for the 14th century medieval castle, which was constructed to provide a stronghold on the Hungarian border. Today, the reconstructed castle, houses a museum, which displays a nice collection of local folk crafts.