Polish Zakopane lures tens of thousands of skiers despite lower quality of services. Vibrant nightlife, folklore and special attractions lure numerous foreigners to the winter resort.
Zakopane nicknamed the winter capital of Poland is the most visited Polish winter resort. Every year it welcomes some 200 thousand skiers.
It is a paradox that the resort actually does not offer the best services. Tourists may however enjoy other attractions like horse driven sledges. Nevertheless, according to a sledge driver, this year is worse because there is less snow and therefore fewer tourists. If you are interested in something faster than horses you may hire a snowmobile and explore the region in a more exciting way.
According to the Czech Radio, most people come to Zakopane in the south of Poland to ski. There are, however, only few ski lifts so people have to wait in long lines. This year was rather poor for Polish Tatra Mountains. The two most attractive ski lifts at Kasprowy Wierch were not operational at the end of January because of the lack of snow.
According to Pawel Skawinski from Tatra National Park it is rather unusual that people did not ski at the Kasprowy Wierch at the beginning of February. He said that something like that happened only twice in the last 30 years. Despite that Zakopane has welcomed tens of thousands of Poles in the winter season.
The close-by Slovakian mountains are perhaps better for skiing but according to the director of an information center, Zakopane has a more vibrant nightlife. Foreigners are also attracted to the region because of the opportunity to experience firsthand the Polish folklore here.
Among other attractions on offer in the resort is ski touring. There are marked tracks for ski tours and snowshoe walking.