When in Krakow don't bother looking for a cheap lunchroom, just buy your bread at a street vendor. The local pretzel and bagel (Obwarzanki Krakowski) shaped bread is just delicious.
The origin of these bread rings goes back to the 14the century and already in 1611 the regulations for the street vendors were set (kind of lottery system).
What to buy: Obwarzanki
What to pay: PLN 1.30
High Fidelity is the best record shop with personal service and attention I ever visited.
Piotr, the owner is one of a kind, with his musical heart at the right place.
Just talk to him about your passion for music.
We stayed for more than two hours in this cosy shop and I ended up with a free flexible record (the ones I special like) next to the stack of records we bought.
What to buy: Polish records and if you want a rare Russian one.
There are Shiva shops in several locations in the Old Town.
I liked them the first time I visited in 2006...and in 2010...and in 2013. I'm pleased they've managed to keep going.
They are excellent for scarves, tops, skirts, dresses, trousers, bags, jewellery, some ornaments. It is mostly 'Indian' clothing although I noticed several items with UK labels such as Next and Yessica. Prices are at least half what one would pay in the UK for similar items and even less when they have a sale, as they have done on my last two visits.
I always stock up on scarves (not the woolly kind but the silky, floaty or cotton kind) because they are my passion. :-)
It's well worth popping in when you pass a branch....and you almost certainly will. They do seem t move around a little (presumably as leases end). In 2013 I spotted one on Ulica Slawkowska (runs parallel with Ulica Florianska) and one on Ulica Krakowkska (on the way to Kazimierz).
What to buy: Scarves!
What to pay: Anything from 8 zloty upwards depending on type of scarf and whether there's a sale on or not.
it is a cafe plus chocolate shop - you can order different kind of coffees and smoothies, but what´s really special about the place is the selection of excellent chocolates at very reasonable prices. The founder of the company (they have shops in several Polish cities) trained at a Belgian chocolatier, and the product is fresh and beautifully arranged.
What to buy: chocolates, truffles, pralines - you can select the mix for a box of chocolate, picking from maybe two dozen different tastes, for example capucchino, dark gianduja, and also a lot of cocktail named chocolates like pina colada, mojito, cosmopolitan, as well as malibu rum or wodka chili. for the courageous ones - they also have chocoalates with tomato, cheese or pumpkin taste
What to pay: a selection box costs 20 Zloty and contains between 25 and 30 pieces of chocolate
This is a chain of chocolate shops that we
found while looking for some good Polish
chocolate to snack on and bring home.
Since we were staying at the Old Town
Sqaure, we went to the store in the sqaure.
(Rynek Glowney 33)
They have 3 locations in Krakow:
1.) Rynek Glowney 33
2.) Masarska 6
3.) Wroclawska 17
They also have 7 other locations around Poland.
What to buy: Choclate bars are great, and you can get up
to 99% cocoa .... (a little bit too bitter for us)
Mary likes the 90% chocolate bars.
We also got some wrapped candy for gifts,
but we ate them all .... ha ha ha ha
At least the chocalate candy bars made it home
ok, now the question is, how many will we eat
before we give some away?
What to pay: The chocolate was not expensive at all,
so we bought 20 chocolate bars.
(for gifts of course)
We spent a lot of time scouring all the antique shops in the old Jewish district. There were a few galleries along the way, where we saw this type of primitive local art. There is much of this crude wood carving throughout Poland. The pieces are often religious....sometimes birds and people. They are quite whimsical.
If you're looking for authentic naive folk art, the gallery has it in great choice! From statues inspired by Christian religion to those expressing Jewish tradition and culture. All made by local folk artists - the owner of the gallery picks his stuff very carefully and does not sell anything of "mass production" (authenticity before quantity). And he speaks English :-)
The gallery is in the Jewish part of the Kazimierz district, and in a major street there. It's a must at least to check when visiting that area.
What to buy: Little statues of old Jews in traditional garments, as well as statues and pictures inspired by Christian religion.
What to pay: That really varies and depends on the size.
Another type of items in the naive art gallery is made by artists who simply follow the naive style and those pieces are quite sweet. Some of them look as if made by children.
The gallery also organizes exhibitions promoting the naive style artists. When I was there they were preparing for an exhibition of paintings - all of one wall was literally covered with pictures and the artist himself was arranging them.
If necessary, the owner of the gallery ships the items abroad for you at an additional fee.
What to buy: These would be paintings, statues and a variety of seemingly useless objects, like a 1.5m long crocodile or the Wawel dragon (see the picture).
Prices will vary with size.
I had been looking and searching for a nice pair of Amber cuff links for years. Could not find in Russia, but I found here and at a very reasonable price.
Their stock is good quality.
I was thrilled
What to buy: Amber set in silver is one of their specialities. I love mine.
What to pay: Probably about average.
Located by the Vistula River within walking distance of the Kazimierz district is the Galeria Kazimierz providing excellent shops, a Costa coffee shop, money exchange (Kantor) and out front a genuine Pizza Hut. It would seem pizzas are something new to Krakow as most pizzas ordered from the central tourist restaurants arrive minus sauce - just the topping !!!There is also an upmarket Supermarket on the main floor named Alma offering everything one could need including a well stocked wine dept.
If you are looking for stamps for your souvenir postcard and a letterbox to mail them, just go to the mail carriage at the central market square.
If you are looking for more than just a stamp, the nearest post office is located at ul. Lubicz 4 (close to the railway station).
What to buy: Stamps
The market at Plac Nowy on Saturdays and Sundays is a must for any collector.
Count on everything from War War II items to the most obscure Russian memorabilia.
But there also are fruit and vegetable stalls and in the central building traditional sausages are sold.
If you are looking for souvenirs I recommend exploring the smaller shops in ul. Floriañska (Floriañska Street). There are several gift shops stacked away in the corridors to inner courts or the deep hallways at the groundfloors of the buildings at both sides of the street.
What to buy: Souvenirs
On Sunday morning we headed over to the Jewish Quarter (Kazimierz) to the flea market but we didn't realize that it was a clothes market on Sunday and I certainly wasn't looking for any clothes. When we came through later in the day with the Jewish Krakow walking tour all of the booths had been folded up and carted away and just a few produce sellers remained.
There are 300 or so trading stalls surrounding the rotunda and there's a market here daily from 5:30am until early afternoon. According to In your Pocket, there is always fresh produce, sweets and junk, Sunday is the clothing market and and Tuesday and Friday a "small critter expo/pigeon fair".
If flea markets are your thing then this bustling sunday market is the ideal place for you. It is a treasure chest of clothes, when I was here in winter my friend Sharon picked up some great gloves very cheaply. There is also a fruit and veg stall the strawberries looked delicious.
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