Zakopane is a small town located in southern Poland at the foot of the Tatras Mountains near the border with Slovakia. Known as the winter capital of Poland, it is a popular tourist destination for skiing, snowboarding and ski jumping. Nearby ski resorts include Mount Gubalowka, Kasprowy Wierch and Nosal, and cross country ski trails can be found in the forests surrounding Zakopane. Mount Gubalowka can be reached directly from the town center via funicular.
Zakopane is also a great summer destination, with opportunities for hiking, climbing and spelunking in the surrounding mountains, as well as longer excursions to the Dunajec River Gorge and Niedzica Castle, just 25 miles (40 km) away. It is also a great place to experience the traditional Goral culture—a group of indigenous people with their own unique language, food, music, architecture and dress.
The city sees a quarter of a million visitors each year, and no visit to Zakopane is complete without a stroll along Krupowki Street. This popular street in the center of town is lined with shops and restaurants and is a great place to buy traditional Zakopane souvenirs.
Zakopane is most easily reached from Krakow, which is about two and a half hours away by bus. Buses leave Krakow regularly throughout the day, and tickets cost just a few dollars. It is also possible to get to Zakopane by train from Krakow, Warsaw or Wroclaw.