More about Zakopane

It used to be that Zakopane was visited primarily by the Poles and travelers from Eastern Europe. But fame of its natural scenery, world-class ski slopes and great value for money accommodation has spread far and wide and today it attracts many visitors from overseas as well.

Zakopane as we know it is only four centuries old. It was originally founded as a shepherds and farmers settlement. Its fame as a holiday destination began only in the second half of the 19th century, and by the turn of the century it was connected to the rail network, starting a new chapter in its history as a health resort. Interestingly, Pope John Paul's visits to Zakopane have become the most important events in the town's history and have done much to promote tourism in the area.

If you're not a sports buff, don't fret. In addition to the beautiful natural surroundings, Zakopane also offers the usual round of museums and galleries. It's a pleasure to just take in the invigorating environment of the town, which has a laid back feel to it. Traditional wooden cottages are made from roughly cut logs and the 'Zakopane-style' architecture which features delicately carved patterns and intricate woodwork decorations. It is also known for its fascinating highland folklore, as Zakopane is something of a Mecca or mountain culture from all over the world. In fact it plays host to the International Festival of Highland Folklore every September.