Zakopane is THE city to visit in the mountains. It´s a Mecca for those who want to see the mountains even if they don´t necessarily want to hike one 🙂 that’s where we started our journey through the peaks. And there are a few things to do to get in the mood 🙂
- Eat oscypki like there is no tomorrow
Oscypek is a typical smoked cheese from the mountains. From every baca (old man from the mountain) you will hear a different story of how it was first made. We like the one where it was supposed to be always in baca’s pocket waiting for rough times to come and then when it would come baca would nibble on it a bit to ease his hunger. From that activity came the name and from the pants the pattern on the cheese. Every product needs a bit of a legend. We heard the real ones are made only from May till September.
It’s best to eat them grilled with cranberry sauce. They are just insane!!!
- More good food at the the U Wnuka restaurant
The first two floor house in the region built around 1850, then the first post office, shop and even a casino 🙂 now it’s “just” the oldest and probably best restaurant in Zakopane that serves insanely good food and looks sooooo charming and cosy!! It has obviously oscypki but also a lot of other local dishes like moskole (kind of potato pancakes) and a selection of local meat for example sheep meat 🙂
- Feel like a star next to the Zakopane sign
Maybe Hollywood’s one is bigger, maybe the one in Amsterdam is more known but just look at the one in Zakopane, it is amazing! It was built for an International Mountain Folklore Festival a few years ago and they just kept it. The sign itself is as folklore as it can get and the view just behind it on Giewont (The Sleeping Knight Mountain) is just unbelievable.
- Warm up your muscles going to Gubałówka mountain
There is a cable car going there but it’s cheaper and greener to just walk there. It’s not really challenging and it doesn’t take long (around an hour) and it’s nice to warm up your muscles before hitting the real deal. The walk itself is quite nice as it goes through the forest but once on the top it’s actually quite disappointing. There are a lot of shops, restaurants, cars etc. It’s more like a circus than a mountain. But there are beach chairs that you can use for free to sit around and read a book or just enjoy the view.
- Go on an amazing hike- Małołączniak mountain (2096 meter above sea level)
It’s a very spectacular hike which begins at Mała Łąka. It’s really easy to get here from Zakopane you just take a bus that passes through there and the bus driver will leave you by the road. It will take maybe 15 minutes and cost 4zl pp. After paying the 5 zl entrance fee to the path you are free to start the adventure. Mała Łaka Valley is actually already pretty. It will take you slowly through the forest and next to a small river and then slowly you will go up. It’s not too difficult and the views are insane. First you take the yellow path and then the blue one. The only surprise might be a few chains almost at the top of Małołączniak but once there, it will all be worth it. The views on the peaks, the air and when we were there the clouds… all spectacular. From there we took the red path to get to Kopa Kondracka which is another peak with amazing views. From there we followed the yellow path and went down up till Wielka Polana where we picnicked a bit. We just really couldn’t resist. It was such a stunning forest glade with views on the mountains and the end of the hike 😀 Yep from there it’s literally just a walk in the park to get to Mała Łąka and from there a bus to Zakopane.
It took us a day to do the hike stopping all the time to take pictures, drink water and enjoy the views. You can download our hikes for Maps.ME not to get lost (Małołączniak-Mountain-Hike and Gubałówka-Mountain-Hike) or use this life saving app (Android, IOS, Windows Phone)…. That will take you there (only in Polish unfortunately but still great to have).
Interested in more hikes in the Tatra mountains? The're right here.