From historic trading halls dating back to the 15th century to lived in flea bazaars packed with communist trinkets and novelty Soviet hats, Krakow’s got some top-notch markets for the budding bargain hunter. Check them out…
Plac Nowy is the beating heart of the Kazimierz district, where countless bars and beatnik beer dives spill on to the pavements. Right throughout the week (but especially on Sunday mornings), it’s also home to an array of ad hoc market stalls, who tout a curious medley of old Soviet trinkets and Red Army paraphernalia (almost all of it fake, by the way). There are stacks of vintage records, tie-dye clothing and used cameras for sale too, not to mention the usual mix of fresh fruit merchants and veg shops. Everything (apart from the food) is up for haggling here, so be sure to prep your bartering skills before you arrive.
Coming up to almost 100 years of trading, the large farmer’s market that bustles and hustles at Nowy Kleparz is now surely one of the most iconic in Krakow. It’s centrally located and easy to reach, and comes laden with sellers of great regional (and some not-so-regional) produce: fruit, flowers, veg, bread, cheeses, homemade pierogi dumplings – the list goes on. There are also plenty of places to grab a bite, with zakpiekanki (half-baguette pizza breads) and Polish blood sausage both top of the menu.
Nowy Kleparz, Kraków, Poland, +48 12 632 45 41
If it’s a glimpse of local life and local produce you’re after, then there’s arguably nowhere better than the sprawling local market at Plac Imbramowski. Away from the much-trodden Old Town area, it’s reachable on a number of buses from the main station. The place is packed with local farmers touting their goods, with stacks of pink-hued beetroot and orange pumpkins converging with a multitude of forest mushrooms and nuts. There are also pet shops, domestic stores, health emporiums, butchers and bakeries, all of which attract a crowd of people not yet wooed by the arrival of multinational supermarkets in Poland.
Plac Imbramowski 179, Kraków, Poland, +48 12 415 00 77
Hala Targowa Unitarg
Just a short ride on tram 50 from the main train station, or a 10 minute walk from the Old Town area, the sprawling marketplace of Hala Targowa spreads out below the rumbling rail tracks. It’s a lively, lived-in place, where butchers and spice sellers and local Polish delicatessens all vie for customers throughout the week. However, it’s on the weekends that this place really comes into its own, when everyone and his cat comes to set-up shop and hawk the antiques from their attic.
Hala Targowa Unitarg, Grzegórzecka 14, Kraków, Poland, +48 12 425 59 29
Although there’s nothing authentically local about the Sukiennice, stood in the middle of the Krakow Market Square and attracting mainly tourists with its array of cookie-cutter souvenir shops and novelty travel t-shirt sellers, it’s still worth a visit – if only for the history! Yep, this huge trading hall was first built way back in the Renaissance, and boomed with silk sellers and rich crochet merchants throughout the 15th and 16th centuries. It’s also a part of the Krakow Old Town UNESCO World Heritage Site, and surrounded by excellent cafes and beer bars.
Sukiennice, Rynek Główny 1-3, Kraków, Poland, +48 12 433 54 00