Getting Your Shopping Fix in Warsaw
Although not every place is a place where people go specifically for shopping, almost everybody ends up doing some shopping when they get to where they are going. For some it is the basic needs that are sought out, a few groceries during their stay or something fitting to wear out for a night on the town. Others tend to look for items unique to the area, both Warsaw and Poland, and it really doesn’t matter how far they have to go to get to the types of shops that will delight their taste for uniqueness. And finally there are those that seek the most unusual places to shop in the city, the types of shops that people visit just so that they can see the setting as much as, if not more than, the merchandise itself, of which there are a few different choices in Warsaw’s more historical areas.
In order to get the most out of your shopping experience in Warsaw, or should I say shopping experiences, you will want to know where a little bit of everything is. The shopping centers have their usefulness, while the smaller, boutique and specialty stores definitely have their charm. Visiting both will give you the entire feel of what it is like to live in Warsaw, Poland.
Two Shopping Centers to Visit and Why
The shopping centers in Warsaw are not your typical malls. In fact, you may visit one of the Warsaw shopping centers and not even go shopping at all. You may wonder what I ‘m talking about, and you would have to see it to truly believe it, but the shopping centers in Warsaw, or at least certain ones anyway, actually house recreation in addition to a wide variety of establishments typical to a mall. This is very different from most Westernized shopping centers and reason alone to head out on a shopping journey in Warsaw, starting with two particular spots.
- Wola Park – One of the largest shopping centers in Warsaw is the Wola Park shopping center and it has much to offer. Included on the property are a total of 160 stores, restaurants, boutiques, cafes, and service outlets, but those are not even the biggest reasons to visit this particular shopping center in Warsaw. In addition to a two-story “hyper-market” that has everything you can think of, the shopping center also houses both a volleyball and a basketball court, a fitness club, and a skating rink that is open during the winter months. Add to that the fact that the Wola Park shopping center is skirted with 19th century architecture, as well as a public green space to be enjoyed by all, and you can see why this shopping center is by far better than your typical mall.
- Promenada – Another large shopping center, and one that has been around for longer than any of the other larger shopping centers in Warsaw, is the Promenada shopping center. Promenada is located in East Warsaw in the Praga District, a place worth visiting itself, and it is the first center of its type to be constructed in the city of Warsaw. It is surprising to learn that that was as early as 1996, making Promenada young even though it is its counterparts senior. The center is home to a massive 220 unique boutiques and stores, as well as a supermarket, a huge cinema, the only year-round ice skating rink to be housed in a shopping center in Warsaw, and even a bowling alley where you can unwind after a long day of shopping is done.
Historical Shopping in Warsaw
In addition to the larger shopping centers there are a number of shops located in more historic parts of town that are well worth visiting. Usually at these types of shops you will find more unique items, while being able to enjoy the unique settings at the same time. You should start with the obvious choice and first visit the Old Town Market Square.
The Market Square
Old town is already a popular destination in Warsaw, with many things to see and do for visitors there. The area has a rich history, and despite being rebuilt not that long ago, the feel is anything but modern and entirely whimsical. There are four separate sections that make up the old town area and each has different options as far as shopping, dining, and entertainment go. Your best bet is to visit during the summer months, as this is when you will be able to enjoy the patio and garden café establishments that call the Market Square home.
A Few Unique Shops to Visit in Warsaw
There are plenty of unique shops in Warsaw that you will likely not find anywhere else. You may not have time to visit them all but if you want to go home with something that nobody else has then you will want to go to at least a few of them, if you can even refrain from visiting them all. Bring home treasures for everyone on your list by visiting three unique stores in particular.
- World of Amber – If you love jewelry, particularly amber jewelry, or know someone who does then this is a store that is worth a visit during your stay in Warsaw. The store has all different types of jewelry in addition to more unusual, non-jewelry pieces decorated with the striking brownish-orange stone.
- Neptunea – Neptunea is a bit of a variety store, offering everything from decorative sea shells to exotic crafts to oriental styled furniture. There is something for everyone at Neptunea, and it may just be the place where you find something completely unique to take home.
- Morka – Finally, if you want to take home a piece of authentic Poland you can’t go wrong with a piece of clothing designed by Polish designer Ewa Morka. The store is located in the popular Saska Kepa area, so there is plenty more to see which makes a trip to Morka+ even more worth your while. Not to mention you might find the perfect piece to wear out for a night on the town while in Warsaw.
You may not go to Warsaw specifically to go shopping, but a little bit of shopping is inevitable on a vacation. Make it worth your while by visiting some of the best shopping destinations in Warsaw.