I often get asked what would be good to buy from Poland. There is so much to bring back!
For my brother and Ania (and Husband and I when we lived in London) almost always went with an empty bag – and filled it with mostly food and alcohol (always to the limit).
However, normal people (like friends visiting from London) always want to buy amber jewellery and ceramics.
The easiest place to look for souvenirs is Sukiennice (The Cloth Hall) in the middle of Rynek Glowny (Main Market Square). Built in the 14th century, it’s said that Sukiennice was the first shopping mall in the world. Inside, many stalls sell all sorts of traditional Polish handicrafts, art, amber, wool clothes etc.
Amber jewellery shops and galleries are everywhere in Poland. It is all sourced locally from the Baltic Sea and is the native gemstone of Poland. They even make amber letter openers, ornamented cutlery, perfume bottles, boxes, chess sets and even lamps!
People believe that amber brings good luck and draws bad luck away.
Buy some soon because the price is steadily going up as more and more Chinese tourists buy it in bulk.
To stock up on food we always head to Krakowski Kredens. Their shops, label designs and packaging look like something from the beginning of the 20th century. I haven’t been disappointed with any of their products yet. It is more expensive but worth trying as they use old traditional Polish recipes. We buy sausages, fruit preserves, sweets and liqueurs. These are great to bring back as presents or souvenirs.
We discovered a new place for chocolates: Krakowska Manufactura Czekolady. Beautiful handmade chocolate, truffles and pralines. Definitely try their milk chocolate with coconut – it’s my favourite right now.
And let’s not forget Krakow’s flea markets. You can find some real gems and bargains there. Usually, open on Saturdays and Sundays, the most popular ones are at Place Nowy and Plac Targowy Unitarg. Old Kleparz Market is the only one opened during the week Tuesday and Friday).
Liqueurs from Krakowski Kredens
Amber pendants. When buying amber or any jewellery in Poland you will get a 10% discount if you pay by cash, before you do any bargaining. Further bargaining works with shop owners, less with hired shop assistants. When buying amber ask for a certificate of authenticity.
Hand made and hand painted pottery Boleslawiec. Made out of stoneware clay in Boleslawiec, a small town in the south west of Poland. My Mum is a big fan of their pottery. For years during communism Boleslawiec’s pottery was not easy to buy in Poland as all of it was exported – and only came in one pattern. Now there are dozens of patterns. Some traditional, others modern including floral and geometric designs.