Shopping in Zakopane, Poland - buying souvenirs of your holiday and places to stay
There are many treasures to be found in Poland to take home as souvenirs, each region offers its own specialities. Zakopane is no exception. You will find superb wooden 3D carvings, chess sets, trinket boxes, toys and other wooden items galore. All items represent good value for tourists from the UK. You can purchase these on the market or in the gift shops.
Woollen, leather and sheepskin products abound, this being a sheep farming area. You will find sheepskin rugs, slippers at around 16 zloty, coats, sweaters in the local rough wool at about 30 zloty, bags, gloves and hats. These make excellent gifts to take home to friends and relatives.
On the arty side, Poland specialises in exquisite glass baubles for the Christmas tree, in many shapes and sizes. We found small Santa's, red and white spotted toadstools, nativity scenes, angels galore, shepherds, 3 kings, and everything else imaginable. Each bauble is a complete work of art and can take 30 minutes to 2 hours to paint. You will find several shops in Zakopane and other places selling these for you to take home in strong wooden boxes. We successfully took a fair number home without a single breakage. A small selection, at a good price, is available at the airports in the duty free shops.
Tiffany lamps seem to be everywhere. These are particularly beautiful but very expensive starting around 1,200 zloty but are the real hand-made articles. Amber lamps are especially prized.
Poland is famous for its amber and silver products. You will find a large selection of jewellery, ornaments, even decorated glass. Crystal has long been a good export for Poland with a selection of plain and coloured crystal glasses, vases and dishes commonly available. Collectors of small glass and crystal animals will find a treasure trove to choose from. We particularly liked the porcelain products; ornaments, mugs, coffee sets. They're delicate and beautifully painted but would have to be transported with great care.
The market at Zakopane deserves a special mention for some of its unusual stalls. Among the farm produce, vegetable, sheepskin and leather goods, fur, wooden items, clothing stalls you will come across ex-military items. I have never seen machine guns and revolvers sold on any other market, anywhere. Embroidered cotton tablecloths and lace items are of a good quality and value. Just make sure that the item you select and purchase is the one that gets packed!
The station for the funicular trains to ferry people to the top of Gubalowka Mountain is at the rear of Zakopane Market. Buy tickets here and take the 3 minute ride to the top for fabulous views over Zakopane, skiing in winter, walks and a string of places to eat and stay.
Most shops accept credit card payment. We also found that we could purchase items using Sterling on the market at a favourable exchange rate.
Don't leave the purchase of souvenirs until you get to the airport. The range of items is limited although prices of duty free items at Warsaw airport are reasonable. Goods are much overpriced at Krakow airport's non-duty free shops.
House to let in Rabka for a self catering holiday, 25 miles from Zakopane - sleeps 10+
The house has 5 bedrooms, 3 living areas, small kitchen, 2 bathrooms - one with jacuzzi bath, 2 shower rooms, 2 additional WCs. Spacious driveway for up to five vehicles. Small garden. Balcony with table and chairs plus BBQ.
Full gas central heating. Open fire in one living area.
Rabka is known as the 'town of the world's children'. It's built around an enormous central park with swing parks, restaurant, paths and cycle trails. There are 3 ski slopes in winter, toboggan run and an ice skating rink. In summer enjoy horse and cart rides, swimming pools, Rabkoland funfair, hill walking, horse riding, quad bikes.
Bus fare into Krakow is just 12 zl each way (takes just over an hour), less to Zakopane. Frequent local buses.
Click on the photograph of this holiday let in Poland for details and prices or Telephone +44 (0) 1245 325 273 for bookings and information.
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