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Traditional Souvenirs from Poland

If our shelf already bows under the weight of collectibles like a turtle made from sea-shells, we recommend a return to tradition. After all, "Poles are not geese" and they have their souvenirs. Apart from practical souvenirs like mugs, T-shirts and printed canvas bags, there are decorative souvenirs for special occasions, such as Christmas tree ornaments and universal gifts like key-rings, figurines, playing cards or puzzles.

From Wieliczka, there is a gnome with accessories that include a refrigerator magnet in the shape of an axe, a miner's lamp or a wheelbarrow. In Zakopane, we could be tempted by coins cast with the image of the Rysy Mountains or an image of a young local shepherd, also a fridge magnet. There are some really nice dolls dressed in traditional Krakowian costumes. A colourful frog holding a coin for good luck and prosperity looks interesting from a shop at the National Mint Shop on the courtyard of Wawel Castle.

From a sailing holiday, it is worth bringing back a carved sailboat with the inscription "Warmia and Masuria". A glass Princess Lyna in a blue dress will remind you of Olsztynek. The Princess Lyna miniature statuettes are presented at various occasions, if it is just as a good-bye present or for official congratulations and awards. There are uniquely shaped candlesticks from Torun with a packet of gingerbread or a beaver with brown fur and a sash with Srokowo on it and a crest of the town.

Hand embroidery from Lowicz is beautiful. Earrings and necklaces with embroidered designs from Lowicz were the prototypes of jewellery sold in the W. Kruk shops and were an ideal gift for every woman.

At the Sukiennice in Krakow it is easy to find a case for a mobile phone, decorated with folk embroidery. You just have two types of design to choose from, either from Modlnica or from Bronowice.

A souvenir for real connoisseurs is an openwork egg with the town crest of Tarnow. This openwork gift is hand-crafted from a blown out goose egg shell by drilling holes in the un-hardened shell. Who would buy cheap imitations of Russian Faberge eggs if they already have one of these Polish miracles? Also, the lacy blown out eggs from Tarnow have conquered the European Fair of Souvenirs, Presents and Interior Design in Brussels.

Szumek from Roztocze is a type of gnome that lives among the stream valley of the Roztocze region. Szumek from Roztocze is also a great souvenir of your holiday in Eastern Poland. Szumek may be inconspicuous as he is made from straw, but how many of them will be found in people's homes between Krasnik and Lwow.

Poland also has souvenirs, let's say, that are less durable. Whilst being in Stary Waliszow in Lower Silesia it is impossible not to be tempted by the Waliszow smoked carp. The fish is served on dried aromatic herbs and grasses from meadows around Waliszow. To prepare the carp, only natural ingredients are used, which means it does not really fulfil the role of a holiday souvenir as it is eaten too quickly. An equally short-lived gift from Roztocze is a tincture made from the young shoots of pine trees.

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Polish National Tourist Office
980 N. Michigan Ave, Ste. 1550
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 1 (551) 344-3057
e-mail: info.na@poland.travel