Zakopane Tourist Traps
Zakopane is a very popular destination for travelers in Poland, however, it also has a reputation as a tourist trap. Avoid getting snared, you’ll get the most for your money and have a better time.
Krupowki Street is the main street in Zakopane where the majority of people visit, it’s hard to avoid this street and it’s set up to trap tourists into spending money. The street is lined with vendor booths as far as you can see with not much variety in wares. Many visitors are likely to get ripped off by people selling tacky souvenirs, sheepskin products and poorly made, high-priced food. If you are in Zakopane, try to avoid spending too much time on Krupowki Street as it is not only expensive but extremely crowded. Also, beware many restaurants will charge you to use the toilet, sometimes even if you are a customer.
Gorale and Their Carriages
Gorals (“locals”) set up and down Krupowki Street waiting for the tourists to pay to ride in their carriages. The prices are typically overpriced. Zakopane is compact and walking through town is not difficult, the hardest part is probably getting through the crowds.
Skiing in Zakopane
The skiing in Zakopane is cheaper, but you must travel to each slope by bus and this is not easy, especially if you have kids. It’s hard enough to carry your ski gear. It’s more enjoyable to pay a little more and go to another resort in the area. If you’re willing to go about 10 miles away, Biakla Tatrzanska is a lot better and less expensive. You can take a taxi there.
Upside Down House
If you look up “Tourist Trap” in the dictionary, you will see a picture of the Upside Down House. This house was built for one purpose, to take your money. It’s pricey and kind of a waste of time, although, it is good for the kids. There are so many other beautiful things to see in and around Zakopane, it’s better to spend your time and money on these. Just take a picture of the outside, and move along.
If you really want to avoid the tourist traps, another option is to go visit one of the other mountain towns around Poland. You’ll get a better sense of how locals live.
Also, if you need to exchange your cash, go to a Kantor, not a bank. The rate is better and there are no commission charges.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about Zakopane tourist traps.