From the vast shopping malls, local markets and exclusive boutiques to the more traditional family-owned shops which are now open at most times during the day where tourists can browse at their leisure on weekdays or at the weekend.
Every high street, square and promenade in all major cities is crammed with art galleries, antique shops, designer boutiques, bookshops, cafeterias, confectioneries and traditional old bakeries like the famous Blikle Patisserie in Warsaw, Café Wentzel in Krakow or Poznan’s Elite Bistro.
Warsaw’s “Arkadia”, “Galeria Dominikanski” near Wroclaw’s Old Town and “Galeria Krakowska” that overshadows Krakow’s main train station are vast complexes where visitors can loose themselves for a whole day at a time. Shop, dine or see a movie while your children enjoy the ice rink.
Shopping can be coupled with sightseeing. A visit to Krakow’s “Sukiennice” (Cloth Market), to the “Barasch Brothers'” secessionist department store in Wroclaw or Neo-Romanesque “Hala Mirowska” in Warsaw, which used to be called the heart of the capital, can turn into a lesson in architecture.
Tourists are encouraged to pay a visit to one of the many flea markets and fairs which can be found everywhere. Warsaw’s antique fair in the “Kolo” district attracts visitors from every part of the country. Poznan hosts the “Swietojanski” Fair in June and Gdansk lures travelers with the allure of amber artifacts.
Daily shopping has also its own tradition in Poland. Residents of Krakow buy their fruit and vegetables at the city’s oldest town market in “Stary Kleparz”, where formerly meat and grain were traded. Inhabitants of Gdynia get their fresh fish and meat from the market hall at “Jana z Kolno” Street and the citizens of Wroclaw can pick their flowers on Solny Square where trading goes on through the night.
Times passes more calmly in smaller cities and trades there are recognized by the names of the respective merchants. On a stall at a Saturday fair in “Milanowek”, visitors can still buy the freshest strawberries that have been celebrated in songs, traditional cottage cheese wrapped in gauze with a knot or a loaf of bread baked on horseradish leaves.
From the times of the Temple of Sybilla, the first museum in Poland created in Puławy, some 200 years have passed. Today’s museums have become increasingly very modern places with interactive facilities, which enlighten us about our world; they intrigue and can even provoke laughter. They are often established as a result of someone’s passion, some person so interested in the subject that he or she wanted to pass on this passion…
Tourists in search of engaging entertainment or simply wanting to spend their time enjoyably will find a broad range of destinations to choose from: clubs and night clubs for dance enthusiasts or atmospheric concert halls, cinemas or aqua parks for visitors preferring to wind down to the sound of water.
Polish people are very sociable and lively, no less than Brazilians. Our love of dance and entertainment is particularly visible during the carnival. For us it is a time of increased amusement, with its culmination during the last week before Ash Wednesday.
We like to have fun. And we know how to do it. Krakow, Warsaw, Wroclaw, Lodz, Sopot … the party map of Poland is quite full. Each year new night clubs, music venues, concert halls or even huge dancing complexes spring up. Take, for example, the venues in the Raclawickie Forts or the rear courtyard at Dobra Street in Warsaw. In the Niepolda Passage in Wroclaw there are more than 13 nightclubs as well as restaurants for those who get hungry after a night of dancing can be found in just one alleyway.
In every major town visitors can find everything that has been invented in the field of night entertainment and night clubs, from live-acts to drag queens. During any one night you can dance at a party in retro style, listen to old jazz repertoires and participate at a poetic gathering or a modern poet’s competition. Here you will find a cross-section of styles and eras. There are also many clubs in Poland with no signs outside, very discreet and well guarded where only selected guests can enter.
Cultural and social needs can be satisfied in café clubs, where private viewings, meetings with interesting people, discussions, the photographic screenings from exotic lands are regularly organised. Student clubs, such as the “Stodola” (Barn) in Warsaw, “Od Nowa” (A Fresh) in Torun, “Eskulap” (Snake) in Poznan or the “Rotunda” in Krakow specialize in organizing rock concerts.
Jazz fans should visit the “Rura” (Pipe) in Wroclaw, “Mozg” (Brain) in Bydgoszcz and the cult “Club Aquarium” in Warsaw. It is also worth keeping up to date with events in the “Spodek” (flying saucer) in Katowice, the “Hala Stulecia” (Centennial Hall) in Wroclaw, the “Arena” in Poznan and the Congress Hall in Warsaw where once the Communist Party held its regular meetings during the time of Polish People’s Republic and also where The Rolling Stones once played during those times.
For tourists who wish to relax with their family in Poland, there are many different proposals on offer. For those who prefer contact with nature and the rural environment, we recommend a stay at a village in agro-tourist accommodation. Our wide and sandy beaches are perfectly ideal for small children and parents will not be bored for long during a stay at the seaside. It is worth to ensure the safety of children, especially close to water. Are you children familiar with the rules of playing safely on or near a lake? What should you do or not do for your safety by the sea? What does the red flag mean on the beach? These questions and more are answered in the game which can be found on the website of the Podlaskie Police Department.