Mountains, snow, ski resorts, fantastic highlander atmosphere, snowmobiles, horse sleigh or dog sleds rides, outside warm pools with stunning views and a crazy New Years Eve until down – sounds like a good plan for the New Year period?
Zakopane is the place where dreams about winter wonderland come true!
Winter in Zakopane is really beautiful. Snowy peaks of the Tatras towering over the towns, many ski slopes located close to the centre of Zakopane and dozens winter attractions that will make your holiday break really special. That is why choosing Zakopane for a New Year’s Eve destination is a great decision.
Winter season in Zakopane starts in the middle of December. This is the time when most of ski slopes start working and the Christmas atmosphere is becoming so tangible. Crowded streets, slopes, hotels and restaurants – about half million tourists in one small region called foot of the Tatra Mountains.
For those who do not like crowds, Christmas and New Year period might not be the best time for visiting. But for those who can celebrate their moments while being in traffic jams and during the extended waiting time for dishes in restaurants – there will be a reward: friendly highlander’s atmosphere, unique winter entertainment and unforgettable time that you will remember for a long time.
What to do during Christmas time in Zakopane?
1. Horse sleigh ride
A number one attraction for all those who want to experience a typical highlander piece of entertainment. When it gets dark, you get on the sleigh that is pulled by horses, then you go through meadows and forests, all covered in white. At the end you reach a mountain hut where some food and highlander musicians are waiting for you to make you evening truly magical.
More about horse sleigh riding -> https://www.tatraheroes.com/what-to-do/winter-activities-2/horse-sleigh-ride/
2. Dog sleds
Something unforgettable! Two rows of extremely nice husky dogs are tearing out to run ahead through a snowy land. Amazing fun in winter atmosphere for the whole family, especially for kids who will for sure fall in love with these friendly animals. Be aware that dog sleds is an attraction that should be booked much earlier, even a few months before your arrival …
Link to get to know more & book -> https://www.tatraheroes.com/what-to-do/winter-activities-2/dog-sleds-ride/
If you have never experienced a snowmobile safari, you just do not know what real winter fun is! 🙂 Snowmobiles by the foot of the Tatra Mountains is entertainment worth spending a lot of savings. And as it is not a cheap sport, you will have to say yes to the diminution of your holiday budget. Snowmobiles are allowed for children from 7 years old so families with kids – feel free to plan the snow safari crazy evening!
4. Christmas Eve Dinner & Night
Christmas dinner in Poland is a very strong tradition. We are waiting for this evening for the whole year. It is because of special and delicious dishes that we normally do not make for the rest of the year. Red borsch with tiny mushroom dumplings, carp and other fish by all means, dumplings with cabbage, plum compote and many other regional dishes are waiting to be celebrated by the Christmas table. Thus if you are about to spend your Christmas Eve-ning in a local way, go to a restaurant which serves a typical Polish Christmas dinner. Remember to book it al least two weeks before – places are limited!
If you already feel full after Christmas feeding, go to do some sports. Skiing in Zakopane lasts from morning to late evening. Despite the sunset at 4pm o’clock, you can ride under the light of lamps at least until 9pm o’clock.
There are many ski slopes near the city centre where you can also rent decent equipment and take ski lesson with an English speaking instructor. However it is best to rent your equipment and plan ski lessons earlier. You can then be sure that the quality of these services is best as possible 🙂
6. Thermal Baths
There are about 5 different thermal pools around Zakopane. And it is not enough! Everyone dreams about warm pleasant water to heal your cold body 🙂 Imagine outside pool with really warm water + stunning views of the snowy peaks of the Tatras…. And what’s more – this water has medical effects as it is being extracted deep from the ground and contains lots of healing minerals. A “must do” in this area.
More about thermal baths -> https://www.tatraheroes.com/what-to-do/winter-activities-2/thermal-baths-2/
7. Food tasting
You do not have to join a Christmas Eve dinner to try the best local dishes. You can taste them during a special food tasting tour! Food tasting experience is a perfect occasion to discover the traditional local cuisine in a beautiful highlander restaurant. A specially designed menu consists of 5 dishes including a glass of wine/local spirit. There is also a special menu for kids so that younger food lovers will be satisfied too! 🙂
More about food tasting tour -> https://www.tatraheroes.com/what-to-do/winter-activities-2/food-tasting-2/
8. Warming up by a fireplace in a wooden highlander house
Our original highlander architecture is based on wood, which is not only beautiful but also practical. Heating such a house during winter is relatively fast and easy. And there is nothing more pleasant than relaxing by a burning fireplace with hot tea in hand!
If you plan to come to Zakopane for winter and you are looking for a wooden traditional house furnished in a beautiful (mixed modern and traditional) style, you should do it now. The best places are being sold out, but there are still a lots of nice places to rent.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get best offers
How to spend New Years’ Eve in Zakopane?
Polish people love to celebrate New Year! We make parties that last until morning. Here, in Zakopane, you have a great opportunity to spend this New Year’s Eve party in an extraordinary way. Or, if you do not feel like partying too much, at least plan the midnight at the viewpoint from where you will see the fireworks that flashing over the city .
1. Hotel’s party
If you are staying in a hotel, there is for sure a New Years Eve party planned. Most of the hotels offer accommodation with the party included in the price, which means you just have to pay for the party when booking your room for New Year’s period. If you do not want to join other hotel guests to celebrate, you better give up your hotel plans and choose a wooden house in a village nearby… 🙂
2. Horse sleigh ride + highlander party in a wooden hut
A combination of tradition, party that does not happen twice! If you wish that your last day of the year is very special, choose a combination horse sleigh ride + party in a highlander style. This means you will start your evening with a ride through a forest, warming yourself up with a sip of lemon vodka or hot wine, which taste so much better when sitting in a sleigh! Then join the party where there will be some Goral (highlander) live music and of course a lot of modern one, to let you dance on the wooden dancefloor until morning!
3. Altogether in the city!
Each year in Zakopane there is a huge mass party, during which Polish music stars perform all night long! A great mass event during which Polish music stars perform. Thousands of people from Poland and abroad come to celebrate together by the huge stage on Równia Krupowa.
So if crowds are your way to the New Year’s party – we invite you to Zakopane city centre!
How to plan Christmas & New Year time in Zakopane
1. Book your flights first
Flights for the new year period can be very expensive, but booked much earlier can be affordable. Do not postpone booking the flights as knowing your exact date of arrival and departure is essential to plan the rest of the trip.
2. Book the accommodation as soon as possible
As soon as you have your flights booked, book your accommodation immediately. Zakopane is so popular that in some hotels you have to ask for free rooms at least 6 months before. The minimum period of booking an accommodation is 3 months.
3. Book attractions
Most of attractions will be available for the very last minute. But there are some activities that need to be planned much earlier.
Attractions that have to be booked much in advance:
- Dog sleds – best to book 2 months before
New Year horse sleigh ride – very limited option. Book shortly after the accommodation.
- Ski lessons – the earlier you plan it, the better ski instructor & better price you will get.
- Food tasting/ Christmas Eve supper – due to a large number of tourists and just few high quality places for good food experiences , book this attraction earlier to be sure that you will eat in the best possible local restaurant (and it does not mean that they are more expensive)
4. Pray for snow!
Zakopane is a true winter wonderland for most of time. But there are days of rain, very warm wind or a sudden temperature jump. Each of this phenomena can cause the snow to melt very quickly and ultimately to be missing. In these conditions, there are several attractions that you can enjoy, for example thermal pools, food tasting, walks around the city, a cable car ride to Mt. Kasprowy Wierch. However, most winter attractions are those organized in the snow. So let’s join forces and now everybody wishes a very white winter to Zakopane!
WANT TO ORGANIZE YOUR CHRISTMAS or NEW YEAR winter holidays in Zakopane?
Tatra Heroes are the best in planning and organizing your active, unique stay in Zakopane & the Tatra Mountains!
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