Are you planning to travel to Poland? Don´t miss Krakow – the cultural capital of Southern Poland, the city with Jurassic heritage, mystic legends, and delicious nourishing food! We have prepared for you a detailed list of the top souvenirs to buy in Krakow. Enjoy!
1. Dragon’s Statue
Zamek na Wawelu or Wawel Castle is one of the Krakow´s most renowned sightseeing spots. If you are fond of legends, you will probably like to visit the castle. The legend tells that in old times there was a dragon who was devastating all the flourishing lands of Malopolska. The king promised that the one who saves his kingdom from the beast will marry the princess and inherit the kingdom. The wise men are the simple men. The Shoemaker from the village stuffed a sheep´s skin with sulfur. When the hungry dragon stole the sheep and ate her, his throat started to ache. Furious and thirsty, he headed to Vistula river to relive the feeling. Having drunk almost the entire river, finally, the dragon exploded. No sooner said than done, the artisan happily married the princess and became the ruler. Nowadays, what is left from the legend is a metal statue of a dragon who spews the fire every 15 mins. Bring home a figure of Smok (dragon) to remember the enchanting spirit of poetic Poland.
2. Artsy Postcards
If you are an art lover, don’t miss the Polish national museum. While Krakow is actually famous for centers of contemporary art such as MOCAC or Bunker of art, Polish national museum offers a range of topics for different moments that are placed on the chronological place. Stanislaw Wyspianski was one of the prominent Polish painters, whose works can be found in Polish national museum collections. Check out the museum’s shop if you want to carry the souvenirs of the artworks that impressed you the most.
It is a plum brandy that normally contains up to 80 percent of alcohol. While there are many bars where you can try sliwowica, you don’t really find many places where they sell it. Szczepanski square is the biggest squares in Krakow, where you can find sliwowica selling points.
4. Jan Matejko’s Reproductions
If you are fond of history, you will probably like to get immersed in the historical Krakow of the 19th century through the lenses of Jan Mateiko, an outstanding Polish painter who featured in political and historical events of his epoch. Look up at his Bitwa pod Grunwaldem (Battle of Grunwald), Hold pruski (The Prussian hommage), Dzieje cyvilizacji w Polsce (History of civilization in Poland), Konstytucja 3 Maja 1791 r. (Constitution of 3 May 1791), Stanczyk and find out more about the historical background of the region.
Buying liquors as a souvenir is a classic and nalewka is one of the most typical alcoholic beverages that can be found in Poland and in Krakow. Nalewka is a strong traditional Polish alcohol (40- 75%), a result of macerating fruits, honey, roots, herbs, spices or sugar in vodka. There are plenty of good places to buy nalewkas in Krakow, Nalewki Staropolskie is one of them.
If you want to bring home a piece of jewelry that has a pre-historical background, amber can be a good choice. It is a fossilized tree resin that is spread on the Baltic coast of Poland and Lithuania. While this mineral is originated in the North, it is polished and used for creating beautiful jewelry in the South. Krakow is one of the cities, where you will have plenty of choices when it comes to local craftsmanship and artisanry.
7. Oscypek and Zurawina
Take a look at the map of Poland! You will see that Malopolska region has mountains as one of its natural treasures. Mountains are a good place to go skiing and try local specialties. If you want to share some of them with your friends or family once you are back home, don’t forget to buy some oscypek. It is a type of smoked cheese, traditionally accompanied with cranberry jam (zurawina). I seriously believe that nothing has been invented better as for winter foodie souvenirs yet!
If you are looking for some cheap and unique foodie souvenir, obwarzanek can be one of them. Obwarzanek is a bakery product that definitely cannot go unnoticed. If you see a tiny rolling stall on the corner of a street or on the riverside, typically with an old man or woman surrounded by pigeons, that is definitely the obwarzanek place. Grab a bunch of them and treat your friends or family with some souvenirs from the Polish national food culture. P.S. Choose your obwarzanek with different additions: from poppy to sesame seeds.
9. Souvenirs from Kosciol Mariacki
It comes with no doubt that Poland is a Catholic country with a plentitude of castles. Kosciol Mariacki is an impressive example of local religious architecture. Even if you are not Catholic or believer, Catholicism occupies an important niche in Polish cultural background. Check this spot out and even if you don’t find anything for yourself, this can be a good place to reflect on the history of our civilized world.
10. Souvenirs from Sukiennice
Krakow cloth hall might be a fancy place to buy souvenirs. Indeed, it was listed a UNESCO cultural heritage site for a reason. While it was a center of international trade in the Middle Ages, nowadays you can buy more than spices, salt, and leather there. Visit Sulkiennice and choose clothes, amber jewelry, carved wood products, and fridge magnets.
11. Krzemien Pasiasty
If you want to have a souvenir that is dating back to the Jurassic period, krzemien pasiasty or a striped flint can be quite a gift for the rocks’ and minerals’ nerds. Striped flint was used as a material for manufacturing tools in the Stone Age. If you believe in metaphysical and healing properties of stones, remember that striped flint can be used as a protective talisman. Striped flint can be found exclusively in the Swietokrzyskie region in Poland. This stone is also known by the name of banded flint. Sometimes it is called a Polish diamond. It is actually rarer than diamonds. Another reason why it is called the Polish diamond is quite pragmatic. This stone could be as valuable as a diamond because it could be used to start a fire.
Updated: January 31, 2019