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Shopping - Poland


Poland is a country famous for the cheap purchases, which attract thousands of visitors coming from the neighbour countries. Thus the bazars of Tuszyn, Rzgow and Gluchow attract customers of Germany, Czech Republic and the CIS while Bialystok is an appreciated destination for Ukrainian, Belarussian and Russian purchasers. The amber and the jewels are searched out by the tourists, just as leather, wood and embroideries. The open air markets and the galleries offer opportunities for antique and other kinds of purchases.

Opening hours

In Poland shops are usually open from early morning to late evening. In big cities you may also easily do shopping at weekends; many shops are open 24 hours. 

The offices are opened at 8-10 a.m. and closed between 3 and 5 p.m., but there are many exceptions to this rule. 

Buying things

Stamps are bought in the kiosks (Ruch) or at the Post office. The cigarettes can be found in many places: kiosks, supermarkets and other stores, coffees and pubs, hotels... However, it is generally prohibited to smoke in the public areas.

The legal tender in Poland is the Polish złoty (zł, PLN). Poland is expected to adopt the common European currency Euro (€) in ca. 2010 but it can be used to pay in many bigger shops ("hypermarkets") even now. Remember to always check the conversion rates though! 

• 1 zł (złoty, pl. złote (2, 3, 4, then 22, 23, and so), or złotych (5-21 then 25, 26 and so)) = 100 gr (grosz, pl. grosze or groszy as above) 

The lengths of journeys on the main domestic routes are:

  • 10 zl
  • 20 zl
  • 50 zl
  • 100 zl
  • 200 zl 
And face values of coins:
  • 1 gr
  • 2 gr
  • 5 gr
  • 10 gr
  • 20 gr
  • 50 gr
  • 1 zl
  • 2 zl
  • 5 zl

Ffood is cheaper in Poland than in Western Europe. It is not always the case with other products, but, generally speaking, shopping may be quite economical. 

Silver, amber and wooden goods are certainly worth your attention, especially those sold at stands in the Cloth Hall in Krakow, a wonderful historic building itself. When you visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine, small salt sculptures may be an attractive souvenir. In Zakopane or Krakow you should have a closer look at sweaters and socks made of sheep wool in a traditional way by the local women. They also sell leather slippers called kierpce and a kind of cheese produced from sheep milk mixed with cow milk, called oscypki - it is the regional speciality. In Zakopane tourists often buy wooden ciupagi which echo the old weapons carried by Polish legendary highwaymen - nowadays they may serve as walking sticks.

Gourmets should remember about the peerless Polish vodka and excellent meat products.

Useful sections of the website

kuPractical life and expatriation in Poland

kuPolish currency

kuRetail and distribution in Poland


More resources

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