Krupowki Street is the center of Zakopane. It’s the downtown, if you like. Running right through the middle of it all, it goes for just over 500 meters from end to end. Along its path is where you’ll find many of the best bars, pubs, restaurants, and shops in the city. It’s forever bustling with bodies and is a joy to explore no matter the season – the winter brings a market to its north end, while summer sees it come alive with hikers in the open-air pubs.
We recommend first-time travelers look for a hotel that’s at least within walking distance of Krupowki Street. Doing that will give you ample choices when it comes to the evening meal, while also opening up the nascent Zakopane nightlife scene – think jazz bars and underground Disco Polo clubs. What’s more, Krupowki is riddled with amenities and shops. It’s the place to go to stock up on food if you’re staying self-catering, but also great for getting those new hiking boots or skiing salopettes ready for your day on the slopes.
This guide outlines everything you need to know about Krupowki Street. It’s got info on how to find it, the best bars and eateries along its length, and even where to stay to enjoy this amazing corner of the Polish winter capital. Let’s begin…
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This is just a single part of our complete in-the-know guide to Zakopane
What’s in this guide to Krupowki Street, Zakopane?
Where is Krupowki Street?
Krupowki Street is right in the middle of Zakopane. It’s the Zakopane main street, as the Yanks would say. Starting in the north at Kościeliska street it runs roughly southeast towards the Tatra Mountains, eventually intersecting with Hr. Władysława Zamoyskiego at the Watra brewery.
You can get to Krupowki from almost all parts of central Zakopane. The walk from the bus and the train station is about 10-15 minutes. Buses (or cars for that matter) can’t drive up Krupowki because they aren’t allowed. The closest public transport stops are either on Kościeliska or next-door Aleje 3-go Maja.
What’s on Krupowki Street?
The short answer: Everything!
Yep, this really is the vena cava of Zakopane. Just over one kilometer in length, it’s the mainstay drag for the biggest shopping centers, the best bars, and the main sights. Every restaurant owner or hotelier in town wants a location here. Not all of them have it, but the point is that it’s the beating, pulsing, heart of the resort.
As you’ll see in this guide, the street is rammed with more drinking holes than you can shake a frothy Polish keg at. It’s got a run of excellent hotel options. And there are one or two unmissable attractions to get through. Let’s push on…
Things to do on Krupowki Street
Because Krupowki Street is very much the main street in Zakopane, it should hardly come as a surprise that it’s home to many of the town’s top attractions. Here are what we think are the top things to do up and down its length…
The vintage Gubałówka cable car caps off the northern end of Krupowki Street. Well…people call it a cable car but it’s much more of a funicular. It’s got a long history going all the way back to the 1930s and it’s a pleasant way to get a taste of the mountains here without pulling on the hiking boots. We’ve got a complete guide to the Gubałówka Hill funicular if you want to learn more, but for now we’ll just say it’s 23 PLN well spent for what’s certainly one of the finest views in the city. Just be sure it’s a clear day.
The northern end of the street hosts a regular craft market in the summer months. It’s often closed on weekdays in the winter. Some say it’s filled with tat. They aren’t wrong – think novelty plates bearing the Pope’s face and wooly socks probably made in China. But it’s also a charming place to while away your time, especially if you catch it before Christmas with a cup of mulled wine (graze wino) in hand.
The street lights
Where else in the world are the street lights an attraction in themselves? Krupowki is the only part of Zakopane with purpose-built lanterns. They look like something out of Whoville, all twisted and gnarled like an ancient tree. We think they look downright lovely in the midwinter when the snows start to fall. Get yourself a selfie and move on.
Mostek na Krupówkach
The small park of Mostek na Krupówkach lies on the southern third of Krupowki Street. It’s a charming little mix of babbling riverways and folly bridges. During the festive period, this is where you’ll find the bright town Christmas tree rising high above the cobbles. It’s a good place for a picture with the mountains in the background, but also worth remembering as a convenient meeting points.
Where to eat on Krupowki Street?
Look, Krupowki is the gastronomy hub of Zakopane. There’s simply no room to list everywhere you could sit down for dinner. The good thing is, we’re serial Zako foodies and we’ve got a few stand-out favorites in the town. Let’s share:
- Karczma Zapiecek – One of the longest running taverns in the city (it’s been going strong for the 10 years we’ve been going back to Poland’s wintertime captial), Karczma Zapiecek is a wood-built kitchen with a menu of classic Slavic food. The potato pancakes are excellent. Sit downstairs to be by the fire and enjoy the band.
- Gazdowo Kuźnia – A dark and brooding bar come tavern with long tables and stone walls. This one serves Polish food and big beers. It’s great fun and very atmospheric.
- STRH Bistro Art Café – A top place for breakfast and brunch on Krupowki Street, the STRH Bistro Art Café is one of a new breed of eclectic cafes in the town. We love the burgers and the fried-egg breakfasts.
Where to stay on Krupowki Street?
These days, many of the best hotels in Zakopane don’t actually sit on Krupowki itself, but rather one or two streets away. First and foremost, that’s to make sure that you can sleep – the whole drag stays loud until late, particularly on weekends. There are still a few accommodation options on Krupowki itself, though. For example…
- Aries Hotel & Spa ($$$) – The style and service at this hotel is so good that it’s bordering on ridiculous. If you can push $150/night then you can’t beat it. Aries is hidden in a small park about 50m back from Krupowki, right in the heart of the town.
- Hotel Sabała ($$) – A charmer of a hotel that really looks the part and has an unrivalled location on the quieter north end of Krupowki, Hotel Sabała comes with its own pool and an encahtnign highlander-style restaurant.
- Top Hostel ($) – This is the budget choice. As hostels go, it’s pretty sleek. There was even an attempt at a rebrand into a guesthouse some years back but it’s still cheap and cheerful. Better for the younger crowd who aren’t bothered by loudness out the window.
You can search for all other hotels in and around Krupowki below: