Krakow is a great place to do many things, such as enjoying the nightlife, having a great Polish meal, and getting a breath of fresh air, but it is also a wonderful place to go shopping. Most travelers tend to do a little shopping when they visit a foreign city, hoping to take a piece of that city home with them. And lucky for those people there is plenty of opportunity for that in Poland’s Second City. In fact, the shopping here is definitely comparable to Warsaw, Poland’s capital.
There are so many markets and specialty shops that Krakow is definitely a shopper’s dream. And although the sheer number of places that you can shop at may be overwhelming, visitors here are happy to find that they will find that perfect thing to take home with them. Plus, if you go prepared, knowing where the best shopping venues are before you get there, then it won’t be so overwhelming and you can relax and enjoy the shopping experience for what it is. There are a few areas and things to look for on your shopping adventure, whether you are looking for something to enjoy during your stay or looking for something wonderfully unique to take home.
Areas With the Best Shopping
- Old Town Market Square – This is by far the best shopping area in Krakow if what you are looking for are unique items and gifts. There are many stores selling locally made crafty goods, which make excellent souvenirs to take home, for both yourself and others. And if you are really feeling daring you can look through one of the many antique shops for something beautiful to have shipped home, as there are plenty of these as well. While in the Old Town Market Square you will want to be sure to peruse the shops in the Rynek Glowny area as well, as this is where some of the best of the best of the shops in the area are.
- Kazimierz Area – Being that the Kazimierz area is known for being a Jewish community, you will find that many of the shops in the area offer Jewish goods. There is a market square in this area as well, and plenty of shops and stores to choose from. In addition to traditional and specialty shops, you will also find a number of museums at which you can shop for souvenirs and gifts as well.
- The Royal Route – Last but not least, there are plenty of places to shop along the Royal Route to Wawel Castle too. The route will bring you to the Sukiennice where the best shopping for local goods is. The Royal Route also runs into Old Town, so if you shop in one place you might as well shop in the other as well.
Where to Shop When You Get There
- Flea Markets – Flea markets, or open air markets, are very popular in Krakow and these are where you can find some of the best local wares. There are excellent flea markets in both the Old Town Market Square area, as well as in the Kazimierz area. In Old Town one of your stops should be the Sukiennice, as this is, and always has been, where locals bring items to sell. Shopping here will give you the opportunity to find that special item that will remind you of your visit to Krakow, such as a piece of amber jewelry or a locally crafted rug. In the Kazimierz area there is a Jewish flea market where you can find local goods as well, a great place to find food items that you want to enjoy during your stay.
- Specialty Shops – There are all kinds of specialty shops throughout the city selling various types of items. Art galleries at which you can buy from are a common thing in Krakow. Also, you can find numerous specialty shops selling Polish food items. A great store of this type to pay a visit to is Krakowski Kredens, which sells the locally loved soup zurek, as well as many other local goods. Buying items like these is a great way to delve into Polish culture during your stay.
- Antique Stores – Antique stores are everywhere in Krakow, and they tend to sell a wide range of items, both large and small. You will find plenty of items small enough to take home, but you also may find a piece of wooden furniture that you love and have to have shipped home. Either way a trip to some of these shops will be worth your while because you will likely end up with a fond reminder of your trip to Krakow.
To be sure, there are also plenty of traditional stores in Krakow as well, but if you want to experience Krakow for all that it is you will want to visit the stores and shops with locally crafted goods. There are plenty of them to make a day of shopping during your Krakow vacation.