The best traditional items to buy on your Poland trip are:
Jewellery shopping in Poland is really addictive (I think I support most of the shops in Lublin with my silver jewellery purchases). Look out for shops with 'Jubiler' at the top - these are the jewellery specialists, and apart from the main ones, you will find plenty small ones in tiny back streets. You can find everything from simple silver earrings, bracelets and necklaces (you often buy pendants separately) to more rock-encrusted pieces. You can normally find jewels in every colour - from blue Amethysts, black Onyx to red Corals - it's all gorgeous.
The post popular gemstone in Poland is by far Amber - 'Bursztyn' in Polish. Amber jewellery is cheapest in the northern coastal cities (look for great bargains in Gdansk) but as long as you stick to the small side-street jewellers you'll get really good deals. Polish Amber jewellery is often available in a warm yellow colour or a green variety. Both shades are lovely and sometimes you can actually find a fossilised insect within the Amber stone - supposed to be lucky! Price wise, simple silver earrings will cost you about £10, bigger ones with rocks are likely to be around £15+.
You can also find lovely silver cutlery and silverware in the bigger jewellers.
Shop online now: Buy beautiful Amber Jewellery (for delivery in the UK) in our ebay Amber Jewellery Shop.
Wicker is available in adundance in Poland. All traditional craft shops sell a big range of baskets, weaved boxes, vases, wicker chairs and even wicker furniture. It's still pretty cheap and it's a lovely thing to bring back (wrap it well so it doesn't break). In the summer, old town markets will have tons of baskets displayed out front, then it's just up to you to haggle.
Zakopane and mountain towns are best for everything wooden. From cooking utensils, bowls, boxes and cups to traditionally carved souvenirs, there are tons of wooden crafts to choose from. Souvenir shops in Warsaw and Krakow Old Town will have plenty of wooden jewellery boxes and other wooden goods to snap up.
Crystal glass is beautiful in Poland (you'll even find a lot of glassware in IKEA and John Lewis that's been made in Poland) and you can find drinking glasses, wine glasses and of course many vodka and liquor glasses.
The other thing Poland is good for is mending/alterations, so if you have any rings/necklaces that need to be made smaller or a leather coat that has a rip that needs to be patched up, the service is really great and the prices are tiny compared to any alterations in the UK. I recommend it.
One thing to remember with Polish shopping is that customer service still has a way to go to get to the English level of refunds/exchanges. If you're not sure of your purchase, it's best to ask if you can return your purchase and the shop owner will normally give you til the next day to decide. You'll often have to exchange rather than refund as well.
Shopping at Warsaw airport is also pretty good. They have a good selection of wooden goods, souvenirs and jewellery and the prices are not bad.
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