Shopping and stores
The most beautiful souvenirs are sold in Krakow’s Cloth Rows (“Sukennice”) or at the St. Dominica, which takes place in Gdansk every August. At the latter, you can buy gold and silver jewelry with coral and amber, antiques, paintings, carved sculptures, ceramics, original fabrics and clothes, book and musical rarities, and household items.
In Krakow, there are many small antique shops with cute little things. There is original jewelry, traditional Hutsul carpets with geometric patterns, woolen slippers with embroidery. From Wieliczka, you should definitely bring a lamp made from salt mined in local mines. And in Warsaw, you can’t ignore megamalls like Arcadia and M1: at the end of each season, they arrange sales with discounts of up to 50-70%.
Zubrovka, herbal liqueur Goldwasser with pieces of real gold and Babuni cherry liqueur are traditionally brought from Poland. See other countries beginning with P. For a snack, you can buy Krakow sausage or Oscypek sheep cheese.
Shops are open from 9:00 to 17:00-19:00 on weekdays and until 14:00 on Saturdays. Large malls and resort outlets may be open daily until 10:00 pm. Department stores and supermarkets do not close even on holidays, night shops have a 24-hour regime.
- Where in Poland you can buy Krakow sausage
Cuisine and restaurants in Poland
In Poland, they feed at home: without any frills, but tasty. Western European and Slavic traditions are mixed in the local gastronomy, so that all the treats will seem to the Russian tourist as variations on the theme of something very familiar. The Poles love soups: beetroot botvinka, cold zhurek on bread sourdough with smoked meats, rosul with meat and dumplings, noodles “strike” and “kapustnyak” and “krupnyak” that do not need to be deciphered. The signature appetizer is “lard”, melted lard with onions and spices. Fish (carp, pike perch, cod and herring) are popular for hot dishes, meat dishes include golonka pork shoulder with pea puree, Krakow-style duck stew with mushrooms and bigos stew with cabbage and spices. For dessert, they prefer pastries: cakes “mazurek”, poppy seeds, gingerbread, rolls and crunchy sweets “favorki”.
The most courageous gourmets are obliged to try “chernina” – goose blood soup.
Most restaurants with national cuisine are in Krakow: many of them are located in old buildings with an interesting history and authentic interiors. Warsaw is more cosmopolitan, with Russian, Jewish and Ukrainian menus, pizzerias and sushi bars. Branches of world fast food brands are open in large cities, but it is better to give preference to cheap food with a Polish flavor. It is offered in “milk bars” that have survived from the times of socialism: a full meal will cost 7-10 PLN. For a more refined lunch in a cafe, you will have to pay from 30-40 PLN per person, for dinner in a restaurant – from 70-100 PLN. Tipping is optional, but desirable: the standard 10% of the bill will suffice.
Entertainment and attractions
Poland has seen a lot in its lifetime: bloody wars, constant redistribution of state borders, the horrors of fascism and peacetime thaws. Each era has left its mark on its modest territory. Impregnable fortresses, elegant castles, gloomy churches and medieval squares – numerous sights add up to a colorful mosaic, which you can admire endlessly.
Most of the tourist routes start from Warsaw: the detailed recreation of the Palace Square, the Royal Castle turned into a museum, the cobbled streets of the Stare Miasto quarter seem to invite you on a journey into the depths of centuries. Krakow is no less impressive: the local royal residence may well compete with the capital in beauty and grandeur, and the Market Square is recognized as one of the largest and most spectacular in Europe.
In the vicinity of Krakow are the Jewish city of Kazimierz, where Schindler’s List was filmed, and the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, which killed more than a million lives.
The main attractions of Wroclaw are the Cathedral in the Gothic style, the Centenary Hall, erected at the beginning of the last century, the majestic Cathedral of St. Mary Magdalene and the Baroque Royal Palace, reminiscent of a Venetian palazzo. In Gdansk, St. Mary’s Church of incredible size, Artus Court – a magnificent architectural ensemble of the knightly era, an old crane crane on the Motława embankment and three town halls at once are remarkable: Main, Old Town and New.
- How to visit Auschwitz on your own
5 things to do in Poland
- Enjoy classical music at one of the Sunday Chopin concerts in Żelazowa Wola near Warsaw from spring to late autumn.
- Visit the famous Dragon Cave on Wawel Hill in Krakow.
- Conquer the exciting tourist route “Eagle’s Nest Road”, which is located on the Krakow-Czestochowa Upland in the Ojcowski National Park.
- Spinning in dance all night long in the halls of the 7-storey underground city of Wieliczka, where balls are held to this day.
- Visit the Crusader castle in Malbork, the capital of the Teutonic monastic order.