advertisement

Krupówki merits about an hour's stroll, end to end. Toward the northern end of Krupówki (downhill), follow Koscieliska to the left for a couple of blocks to see two of the town's most interesting sites. One is a tiny wooden church, the Church of St. Clement; the other is the adjoining cemetery, with some of the most ornately carved wooden headstones you're likely ever to see. Look especially for the highly stylized totem pole that marks the grave of Stanisaw Witkiewicz, the architect who first set off the local craze for all things wooden.

Exploring the High Tatras

The real joy of any fair-weather visit to the Tatras is the chance to get out into the mountains. Even though Zakopane can get pretty crowded, it doesn't take long to put the throng behind you. One good out-and-back hike of about 4 hours of moderate to heavy exertion and some awesome views begins from just behind the Hotel Belvedere, about 2km (1 1/4 miles) from the center. Begin by following the yellow-marked path that cuts through the Biaa Valley (Dolina Biaego). After about a 90-minute ascent, turn onto the black trail, following the signs for Stazyska Polana, and returning to Zakopane via the red trail along the Stazyska Valley. The walk will leave you about 3km (1 3/4 miles) from the center. Be sure to take along plenty of water, some snacks, sunscreen, boots or walking shoes, and rain gear (you never know what kind of weather you're going to get). A less-demanding walk, and one that is very popular with the masses, follows the red-marked trail to Morskie Oko, the largest of the Alpine lakes, in the far southern corner of Poland's share of the High Tatras. Many travel agencies in town offer packages that include transportation to the trail head to the east of Zakopane, but once you get off the bus, you'll have to walk or take a horse-drawn cart the 9km (5 1/2 miles) uphill to the lake.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.