Zakopane is a mountain town located in the south of Poland at the base of the Tatra mountains.
It truly is a town that embodies the whole mountaineering spirit, everything from the hotels to the restaurants feel like they belong. Each aspect has its own sense of purpose in creating the great atmosphere.
All the buildings have a wonderful wooden architecture giving the whole town a very rugged feel which defiantly works in its favour, it gives off a great atmosphere when strolling up and down the streets.
At night the town truly comes to life, the streets are illuminated, the restaurants and bars are packed and this overwhelming lively atmosphere appears out of seemingly nowhere.
Every direction you look has restaurants with roaring fires, bars full of cheery people and street performers making for an incredibly enjoyable experience.
During the day it calms down as most people are up in the mountains however there is still plenty to do in town. You will find all the high street shops, and most bars and restaurants are open.
However, when in Zakopane the best thing to do with your day is go up the mountains, you really have two options either hike it or get a cable car up.
Both are great in their own respect although I think it simply comes down to how much time you have. If you have the whole day I would personally walk up it, but if you only have a few hours then take the cable car.
If you get the cable car I defiantly recommend booking the ticket in advance and arriving early as it can get seriously busy. If you do not book in advance the chance is you will be stuck in a queue, most people who go mid day wait around three hours in the queue.
Zakopane really is a unique place to visit and it truly does capture the Polish mountaineering spirit, offering great food, drink and experiences.