Polish Local Crafts
I've found that the best place to buy local crafts in Poland is Zakopane. They have by far the largest selection and the cheapest prices. Here you can find leather crafts such as slippers or traditional jackets, embroided traditional costumes made out of linen and wool, as well as wool sweaters and linen table coverings. You can find all kinds of carved wood items, such as kitchen bowls and utensils, or sewing boxes and dolls. There is plenty of jewerly, wooden, leather, silver and amber.
The largest selection of amber and silver jewerly, however, I have found to be in Krakow. There must be hundreds of shops around the main square, specializing in this type of adornment, not to even mention Sukiennice. The prices are very reasonable, surprisingly, even in the expensive looking shops.
I would advise against buying anything in Warsaw. The selection tends to be poor even in Old Town, and the prices are double or even triple of what you could pay for the same thing in Zakopane or Krakow. Remember, the capital city is always priced with rich tourists in mind!
You can often find street vendors in Warsaw. Many of them sell crap: huge Russian bras, plastic radios, chinese lamps and other things you won't buy.
Sometimes however you can meet a person who sells good products at fair price. I personally think that those vendors are at least worth a little attention.
What to buy: In Zakopane and Tatra mountains - oscypek, local cheese. It won't be original but it's worth trying anyway.
In other places - local crafts, fruit, vegetables, sunglasses, sun hats, umbrellas.
What to pay: When buying from street vendors don't expect high prices. And don't expect high quality of what you buy (with some exceptions).
Local markets and town street shops...
In the medium polish cities you must go to the local market, as it is there where you can feel the soul of the city. After all, most of goods are really cheap at the central markets, and you can buy a lot of local products. Anyway, in the city main streets shops I am sure you can get another kind of products and souvenirs with a better quality. My opinion is, firstly visit the local market buying all that you need, then go to the street shops to buy the quality souvenirs.
What to buy: Take a look for the textiles, drinks, honey, handcrafts and amber souvenirs.
Try the little roadside shops
This little market was along the road to Pajezsno. Not every shopping experience needs to be glamorous or pricey to be satisfying. My daughter takes a lesson from our wonderful guide, Gosia here. An attempt at the language and the money exchange can be a challenge...but fun.
Stores: Stores - general information
Place when you can buy goods we call "SKLEP" (shop/store). often with appropriate adjunctive:
SKLEP SPOZYWCZY = food store, grocery (sometimes it's written on it: ARTYKULY SPOZYWCZE = food articles or DELIKATESY);
sklep monopolowy = liquor store;
sklep motoryzacyjny = store with goods for cars;
sklep fotograficzny = store with photo/camera equipment etc.
Usually stores selling various goods (not food) operate from 11am till 7pm Mo-Fri (i.e. Krakow, Warsaw) or 10am-6pm (i.e. Tychy, Katowice), on Sat 9am-3pm or 10am-4pm, closed on Sunday.
Food stores (groceries) are usually opened longer: 6/7/8am-6/7/8pm.
Usually in cities there is at least one grocery opened from 6am to 8 or even 10pm and opened the same hours on Sat and Sun.
In smaller towns and villages opening hours are various: in some you can find grocery opened even on Sunday all the day (i.e. Sopotnia Wielka), in some forget it, Sat-Sun all groceries are closed.
What is the best gift?
As any other woman I like go shopping...not too much time i had, but in the center of Krakow so many small nice places to visit and to buy gifts for yourself and friends and family!Related to:
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