We often find ourselves talking about the skiing, eating and drinking in Poland being good value for money. One thing better than good value for money, is free. Here are some great things to enjoy during your ski holiday in Zakopane without needing to open your wallet.
WALKING ALONG KRUPOWKI
The centre of Zakopane is a long and pedestrianised street called Krupowki. Whilst there are enough restaurants away from Krupowki to mean you could spend a week in Zakopane without the need to go into the very middle of town, it’s a place you should visit. Walking the length of Krupowki you can enjoy Christmas lights from mid-December through the end of February, when the streets are full of snow and the lights are on at night, it’s magical. Day and night you can enjoy a great atmosphere on Krupowki, window shopping, sliding on the icy street, kids being dragged on sledges, the odd horse and sleigh passing through, it’s worth seeing.
ZAKOPANE’S LOCAL MARKET
Once you get to the bottom of Krupowki (mentioned above), you come to a main road, take the underpass and you enter the local market in Zakopane. Oscypek (sheep’s cheese), slippers, wooden kitchen utensils and leather clothing are the main things sold at the market. You can sample the cheese from every single stall, give it a go, they may all look the same but the taste varies significantly through the stalls. When it comes to slippers, you’ll never have seen such a collection! Walking through to enjoy the sights and smells cost nothing. The market is open daily from mid-morning until 7-8pm.
Gubalowka is a hill that overlooks Zakopane and the Tatra mountains. Last year they renovated a large viewing platform at the top and decorated it with Christmas lights through the winter. There is a small train that runs up and down Gubalowka, however, there is also a walking path up to the top so we’re counting it as a free activity. The walk up will take about 30 minutes (the train’s £4 return) but the views at the top on a clear day both day and night are magnificent.
FOREST TRAILS AND SHORT WALKS
There are numerous, easily accessible trails you can enjoy in Zakopane. From all our accommodation options you can be on top of a hill overlooking town, deep in the forest or strolling through the park in town within 15 minutes. Our staff will be happy to point you in the right direction and give you options for anything from a short walk to a full day out. All you need are your winter boots, a good pair of gloves for snowballs and a camera to capture the views.
SKI JUMP AREA
Located at the top end of Zakopane is Europe’s largest natural ski jump. Host to a world cup event every January and regular national competitions, ski jumping is one of Poland’s favourite sports. Standing at the foot of the ski jump, looking at how far they jump/fly will leave you speechless. If you’re lucky enough to be in Zakopane during an event or training session you will see just how crazy it looks in real life. The ski jump is often lit up at night as well, worth the walk from town to take a look.
SLEDGING AND SNOWBALLS
Here at White Side Holidays we have been looking after people enjoying ski and snowboard holidays in Zakopane for over 10 years now, we have sledges hidden in most accommodation ski rooms, so yes, it’s a free activity. Ask at reception and there will most likely be sledges to borrow. You can take a sledge to the slopes (so long as you return it and use it safely away from where people are skiing) or take one out to a hill around town at night.
There you have it, a few suggestions of free things to do in Zakopane during the winter season. You’ll need to be wrapped up warm for all of them and if you run out of ideas of what you can do, just ask.