Go Shopping in
Krakow, have fun.
Old Town historic district, mostly
turned into a pedestrian precinct, is stuffed with
shops of all sorts. Diverse retail stores line every
street in the area teeming with shoppers. At its main
commercial strips – Florianska Street,
Szewska Street, Grodzka Street, or Slawkowska Street –
various retailers are crammed into almost every available space:
front and the backyard, ground floor, upstairs, cellar, even
attic here and there. Their wares vary from designer garb to
jewelry to antiques to books to sportswear to
At the same time the natives have acquired a taste for
brand-new shopping malls in Krakow
and sizeable shopping centers accompanying the giant
hypermarkets foreign retailing giants such as France’s Carrefour
and Britain’s Tesco studded the city with. Nonetheless, in every
part of Krakow, traditional marketplaces swarm as ever with
bargain hunters and shoppers looking for produce fresh from the
Shops in Poland are closed on major national holidays, namely
New Year, January 6th,
May 1st, May 3rd, Whit Sunday, Corpus Christi, August 15th,
November 1st, November 11th, and
(December 25th and December 26th). Pharmacies and gas stations
stay open on those days.
Sales, discounts, and other bargains in
Clearance-sales seasons in Krakow shops take place twice a
year. Every retailer has its own timetable and it often
changes from year to year, yet winter sales prevail in the
city from mid-January through February. And July to
mid-August there comes time for massive summer discount
sales. Price reductions range from 30 percent to 50 percent
to solid 70 percent off. What makes Krakow's bargain hunting
more exciting is the fact that few retailers cut their
prices across the board and many, notably the smaller ones,
post up spectacular discounts but they apply only to a token
number of items.
On the other hand most Krakow stores lure customers
throughout the year with special promotions and limited
rebates for selected goods. Also, there are pretty many
factory outlet stores and discount shops in the city.
Paying for your Krakow purchases.
Poland has its own currency, Polish
zloty (plural zlote, abbreviation PLN), and it's the legal
tender in the country. Since Poland is the member state of
the European Union, shops are allowed to accept euro as
well. Yet even as some retailers, notably big hypermarket
chains, can boast cash registers that process transactions
in euros, most establishments don't bother with them and
take the Polish zlotys only.
All major currencies are easily convertible into Polish
zloty. The exchange rates have stayed pretty stable for long
the level of about four zlotys per euro.
You may pay either in cash or with a major payment cards,
credit or debit, such as Visa or MasterCard. The plastic
money is widely accepted by shops and
restaurants in Krakow
save the smallest establishments.
Krakow's wartime street recreated in
Shopping guide: your purchasing power in Krakow.
Buying clothing for men in Krakow.
Menswear with internationally recognized labels, such as Pierre
Cardin or Hugo Boss, occupy the higher end of the market in
Poland but expect neither bargains nor the latest fads in
Krakow's shops. Domestic garment industry produces solid clothes
at solid prices. Three-piece suits start under 300 euro, leather
jackets at 200 euro or so. At the market’s lower end, taken up
by local clothiers, jackets are for about 50 euro, trousers 30
euro, coats 120 euro, lamb-wool turtlenecks 40 euro, etc.
Buying clothing for women in Krakow's stores.
Those bent on the likes of Versace and Gianfranco Ferre may come
by leftovers of some last year’s designer pret-a-porter
collection in one or another of Krakow boutiques. Yet the
mainstream women’s clothes in downtown stores and shopping malls
arrive from the mid-size Polish and European garment makers
whose labels are often obscure beyond the national borders.
Internationally recognizable labels with strong presence in
Krakow are Zara and H&M. Most evening dresses are priced at
about 400 euro, skirts at 100 euro, women’s coats at 350 euro.
And plenty of small boutiques throughout the city sell the
output of midget local producers, in that number happen shops
specializing in (very) limited series by Krakow’s aspiring young
Shopping in Krakow for casual and sportswear.
One finds outlets trading exclusively in the wares of Levi’s,
Wrangler’s, Adidas’, Nike’s, Benneton’s and the like everywhere
in downtown Krakow and in the city’s shopping malls. The same
with their less known and sometimes cheaper competitors. A pair
of Levi’s 501 is usually available for roughly 80 euro.
Footwear in Krakow's shops.
Fashionable high heels come with price-tags of euro 90 to 200.
Quality men's shoes may cost anything between 80 euro and 350
euro. On average the world-brand sneakers, be it Nike or Puma or
Addidas, cost an equivalent of about 80 euro.
Purchasing books and magazines in Krakow.
Besides books in Polish most of Krakow’s downtown bookstores
have a limited stock of paperback foreign literature, mostly
classics and recent bestsellers in English, German and French.
They often sell the best-known foreign weeklies and magazines as
well. Also newsstands in the biggest Krakow hotels vend foreign
press. But do not be surprised that a copy of a day-old
newspaper costs sometimes tenfold the cover rate, whereas most
foreign magazines are reasonably priced.
Buying music and film in Krakow.
New CD releases of international stars and Hollywood movies
on DVD and Blu-rays are available in Krakow about the time they are
launched in the Western Europe. Big-name CDs cost 10 to 15
euro or so. Blockbuster DVDs sell for about fifteen euro,
Blue-ray discs for roughly 25 euro. Many older movies are
available at DVD format for as little as an equivalent of
four euro or less.
The nearest grocer and/or
a local supermarket remains a main source of foodstuffs for most
Krakow dwellers though a great many of them opt for purchases by
cartload in one of the mushrooming ‘hipermarkets’. There are
also loyal patrons of marketplace stalls trading in fresh farm
products. Anyway, local staples generally hold their ground
against imports, though the latter have largely taken to
themselves the up-market niches. Average bread loaf costs one euro or
so, a six-pack of the Polish beer is an equivalent of six euro,
price of kilogram of domestic apples equals one euro or so, the
average cost of imported French cheese is some 15 euro a
Click here for more Krakow tips.
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other dairy products, fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood, etc.
Buying real estate
You can still get property cheap in Krakow. But with a
couple of million euro you may have a centuries-old palace.
There are over 25,000 welcoming Krakow beds, available in the city's
hotels, hostels, guest rooms, and the like
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