Zakopane's Museums & Galleries

The unique character of Zakopane and Podhale region, as well as the creativity and artful inclinations of local highlanders, have definitely contributed to the abundance of museums and galleries this cosy town is home to. Gain insight into the folk customs, design and history of Podhale by exploring the best cultural and exhibition venues the winter capital of Poland has to offer.

Tour Overview

With a competent local guide by your side, you will be introduced to the vivid artistic traditions of Zakopane and Podhale region in a complex way. During your tour of the most remarkable museums and galleries of Zakopane, you will quickly learn to distinguish the works of local artists from any other pieces of art, having your knowledge of the engaging history of the town broadened. Sightsee Zakopane City Art Gallery, Wladyslaw Hasior Gallery, the Tatra Museum, the Museum of Zakopane Style or Tatra National Park Nature and Education Centre, among others, to discover the rich heritage of this seemingly recreation-oriented winter spa resort.
Regardless of the size difference between Zakopane and Krakow, the former one has its ratio of cultural venues really close to that of the cultural capital of Poland – but what does it originate from? Well, they say that "once born a Goral [a Polish highlander], one will always stay a Goral". Upon your first visit to Krupowki precinct of Zakopane, you will immediately notice how much its residents are attached to their customs and tradition. Their faithfulness to the Zakopane Style Architecture, the readiness to wear their beautifully patterned folk costumes or practice regional dances as a regularly undertaken activity will be also indicative of another thing: their approach to art. The number of local artists is really hard to overlook while in Zakopane, with some of them gaining more than only regional fame due to their intensely exercised talent. Additionally, the art they create – be it wood-carving, sculpting or painting – always has this distinctive local factor to it, deeply rooted in the traditional art and design of Podhale. Your trip around the galleries and museums of Zakopane will be available for customisation, due to the large number of worth-seeing attractions falling into this category. If you decide to visit them all, prepare yourself to having a whole day filled with a tour of the best venues of this kind present in the city.
Krupowki street is where the City Art Gallery is still available for a visit, being one of the oldest galleries of Poland made open to the public (1911). This venue has its exhibitions devoted to contemporary art (particularly – by the artists of Zakopane) and encompasses a permanent exhibition of masterpieces by Wladyslaw Skoczylas, Stanislaw Witkiewicz and his son, Xavery Dunikowski and Jacek Malczewski. The works of influential Wladyslaw Hasior – filled with surrealism, new realism and pop art – will be available for seeing at Wladyslaw Hasior Gallery: housed in a building where this prolific artist once lived and created. Summer visitors will enjoy the exotic exhibition of eastern / Asian carpets and fabrics collected at the Art Gallery in Koziniec, a place where also the works of Marek Zulawski are put on display. The Twentieth Century Art Gallery at Villa Oksza will be where the collection related to the golden age of Zakopane as one of the centres of Polish artistic life will expose you to some of the best pieces of Polish art created during the Young Poland movement and period of Interbellum. Devoted to the broad scope of paintings, drawings, sculptures, photography and functional art, the gallery includes the work of such individuals as Jacek Malczewski, Zofia Stryjenska or Jan Szczepkowski.

The name of Tatra Museum is indicative of the fact that its prime function is to expose its visitors to the multidimensional history, nature, folklore and heritage of this mountainous region. Housed inside a two-storey building representing the Zakopane Style (1913-1922), it enables you to sightsee its permanent exhibitions laid out inside beautifully embellished halls. The Museum of the Zakopane Style itself, operating in Villa Koliba (1892-1894), is one of the most popular venues of the town. Built according to the vision of Stanislaw Witkiewicz, this jewel of architecture once set a revolutionary trend of building construction and design with its structure. Inside the villa, a stunning mix of Art Nouveau and traditional elements of Podhale cottage houses, there will be plenty of beautiful furnishings, pieces of decorative arts and works of Stanislaw Witkiewicz for you to see. A branch of this inspiring museum also operates at the homestead of Gasienica-Sobczak family in the same Koscieliska street. Villa Atma is where the Karol Szymanowski Museum presents its memorabilia related to this outstanding pianist and composer. The building used to be where the musician spent 5 years in the 1930's, currently – also holding a number of chamber music concerts each season. Another similar museum (Museum of Kornel Makuszynski) to occupy a Zakopane-Style villa (Villa Opolanka) will be advisable for a visit for those travelling with their children, with the monument of Koziolek Matolek [Silly-Billy Goat, a character created by Makuszynski] adorning the space in front of the building. Jan Kasprowicz – a poet who immortalised the charm of the Tatras in his extensive works once – has a special museum collecting his memorabilia operating at another villa of Zakopane: beautiful Harenda. The venue is also known for having a mausoleum of the poet and his wife adjoined to it. The Manor and Park Complex of the popular Kuznice district is a meticulously restored mansion where you may learn a lot of the once-influential Zamoyski noble family. Its coach house also boasts a complex exhibition of Tatra vertebrates. The Nature and Education Centre of the Tatra National Park will definitely be enjoyed by those interested in the natural environment, providing a lot of information on the territory of this preserved area in a multidimensional and multimedia-propped way.

Ready to discover what awaits you behind the doors of Zakopane museums and galleries? Contact us to thoroughly explore the most outstanding venues for the history, culture and one-of-its-kind folklore of Podhale!

Tour Details

  • It is possible for you to visit the galleries and museums of Zakopane regardless of your place of stay in Poland. Simply - inform us of where you are and what the date of your intended visit is - we will do the rest!
  • The price includes: transport (pre-arranged hotel pick-up and drop-off), admission fees to pre-arranged attractions, the assistance of a guide for individual tourists / small groups of visitors.

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