Zakopane is a ski resort town with a beautiful river running beside its busy pedestrianised high street. Four ski areas are distributed round the mountains circling the town. Even in the ski areas, it is often required to pay for every ride on each lift individually. The most Alpine of the ski zones is Kasprowy Wierch, a bouldered crag accessible by a venerable 30-person, two-stage cable-car. Because it can just carry around 180 persons per hour, the queues look endless, although one can be possibly short-cut this issue by reserving a time slot the day before. When you're at thepeak, two good chairlifts maximise two adequate runs with interesting off-piste variations. The modern funicular railway on Gulbalowka is the best pick for intermediate skiers, although they'll be needing nerves of steel for the high-velocity chicane across the mid-mountain bridge. The hill has a half-pipe and offers night skiing, with the train running until 9pm.
Beginner skiers will enjoythe wide stretch of nursery slopes at Nosal, yet the main run is abrupt, narrow, frigid and hostile. Novice skiers will better choose to level up to Polana Szymoszkowa having two advanced chairlifts, snowmaking and night skiing on leveled, open pistes.
The luxurious Belvedere Hotel, patronised by the Polish president, has good food in the penthouse Pod Aniolem Restaurant. Guests can and enjoy long night time drinks in the subterranean U-Boot bar. The Litwor, located at the center and under the same ownership, is of similar standard although with less showy opulence. The high street has an extensive selection of bars, one of them Seagrams Pub-Cafe where draft Guinness is famous.
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