There is far more to visiting Zakopane than eating cheese and buying souvenir chotchkas, and while a city’s high street is often a lure for tourists, these tend to be jam-packed and far more commercialised than one would wish for.
Most guides to the city will point out the indisputable charm of Kasprowy Wierch, Krupowki high street and Morskie Oko but there are some gems to be found if you don’t follow the crowds.
Taking a walk off the beaten path, you can be sure to witness the diversity of the Tatra nature and, in the city itself, the historically unique architectural developments marked by a trail called ‘Szlak Stylu Zakopianskiego’, one of the finest examples of which is the old chapel in Jaszczurowka; an iconic building with an interesting history.
Czarny Staw Gasienicowy, especially when visited outside of high season, is a truly delightful mountain lake situated against the stunning backdrop of the Polish High Tatras. A couple of hours hike from Kuznice, it is a delightful place to be during late spring, when the snow begins to retreat and on a warm day you can bask in the sun overlooking the frosted water, gazing at the intricate rock formation.
Glodowka Glade is a beautiful place set just outside the city, which offers a wonderful and truly unique 76km wide panorama of the Tatras. The shelter there, which was built in the early 1930s, is a very family-friendly place and is a favourite among tourists heading towards Morskie Oko lake or High Tatras, as well as Scout organisations who were largely behind the reconstruction of the shelter after the original wooden structure burnt down in 1938.