From hypermarkets to country markets, from exclusive boutiques to more traditional shops. In Poland you can shop where you like and how you like: quickly or sedately, at three in the morning or during your Sunday walk.
On the main streets of large cities squares and shopping centers have antique shops, luxurious boutiques and café-bookshops, with coffee tables placed between bookshelves, and confectionaries and bakeries with long traditions, (Blikle in Warsaw, Wentzel in Cracow and Elite in Poznan). There is much to choose from.
Arkadia in Warsaw, the Dominican Gallery by the old town in Wrocław, or the Krakow Gallery by the main railway station are vast shopping areas, somewhere to spend the whole day. You can shop, have lunch, go to the cinema, or go skating with your children.
Shopping in Poland can also be combined with sightseeing. A visit to the Renaissance drapers' hall, the Secession Barasch Brothers’ department store in Wroclaw or the Neoromantic Mirowska market hall in Warsaw, once called the stomach of the capital, is an opportunity to do some historical research in the architecture of the buildings you see. Poznan has the unique Stary Browar shopping center which has won several international awards for its design.
Don’t forget the Fairs, the many different kinds, from commodity exchange to flee markets. The Warsaw flee market in the Koło district attracts the curious and buyers from the whole country. June in Poznan has the St John’s Market, a lively, open-air event in the Old Town and Gdansk draws tourists with a sea of amber products during the Dominican Fair.
Everyday shopping also has its own traditions. The inhabitants of Krakow buy their vegetables and fruit in the Stary Kleparz, the oldest market place in the town, where cattle and wheat were once brought in and traded. The inhabitants of Gdynia go to Jana Kolna Street to buy fish and fresh meat and the people in Wrocław buy flowers in the Solny Square from the florists who are open all night long.
In small towns and villages time passes at a slower pace and people do their shopping in shops where they know the owners. At a villages perhaps deeper in the country away from the rush of the cities market days (Tuesday and Friday) can be very lively and colourful. Here you will find products and local delicacies which are unavailable in the cities: fresh farmyard eggs, white cheese wrapped in gauze, bread baked on horseradish leaves, tasty local meats and sausages and much, much more.