Rabka Zdrój - Good buys on holiday in Poland

Polish goods
Lots of good buys and bargains to be had in Poland, especially wooden products, glass, amber, porcelain, stained glass, jewellery, lights, Christmas decorations and original works of art.

Wooden articles represent excellent value. You will find everything from cheap chess sets through to elaborate carvings, icons, fruit bowls and ornaments. There is a gift shop in Rabka that sells wooden carved cats in a range of sizes at amazing prices. Zakopane market is a good source of wooden products.

Amber and silver jewellery and gifts abound.

We all like shopping and most people want to bring home souvenirs and gifts for friends and family.

The Poles artistic talents are exhibited in their arts and crafts. The Christmas tree baubles of blown glass are exquisite - family heirlooms to be handed down through the generations. I would recommend that you invest in these because cheap inferior imports are being increasingly sold in Poland which will undermine this industry and it's decline would be a huge artistic loss.



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Peter's stained glass and lamps:

Rabka stained glass

Reasons to visit Poland to shop:

  • Dental treatment for excellent service at a fraction of the cost back home. See dental holidays in Poland also medical services. An ultrasound scan costs around £15.
  • Plants and shrubs for the garden at bargain prices less than half of the equivalent in the UK. These are seasonal - early May is good for bedding plants and shrubs.
  • DIY goods
  • wood burners - see www.leroymerlin.pl
  • branded over the counter medications are generally cheaper than those in the UK
  • The same IKEA goods sell for less in Poland - compare websites for prices.
  • Locally manufactured shoes and sheepskin slippers are cheap but we haven't tested them yet regarding durability. A pair of ladies (very light) leather flip flops costs around £3.
  • Original art such as paintings on canvas, wood and glass. There are galleries in every town and village. Many artists have galleries in their own homes.
  • Good quality glassware; anything from vases to ornate hand-crafted drinking glasses. The UK have imported tons of Polish glass in recent years because of its quality and price and sell it in stores such as John Lewis and Marks and Spencer.
  • Take advantage of Polish tailoring and dressmaking services. Every town still has a tailor willing to repair and alter, or make to measure. It might be financially advantageous for wedding dresses although you would probably have to bring the fabric from home. There are also plenty of upholsterers but the cost of moving furniture makes this service less attractive.

Goods which are expensive in Poland:

  • sportswear and sports equipment
  • childrens' toys
  • clothing is generally more expensive than Far Eastern products imported into UK and the quality inferior although Poles still scoff at Chinese imports
  • coffee and decent tea

Food products that are difficult to find in Poland

  • marmalade
  • gravy granules
  • custard
Check out details of a holiday home to rent near Zakopane

Before you leave Rabka, step across the road from the house to visit the workshop of Piotr (Peter) who creates the most beautiful Tiffany lamps, mirrors, light catchers etc. and he'll help you put together something special as a memento of your holiday in years to come.


Drinks and alcohol

Poland produces a good choice of fruit drinks like blackcurrant, raspberry and cherry nectar that is difficult to find back home.

It's more famous though for its 50 plus flavours of vodka. If you go on one of the horse drawn sleigh rides in Zakopane you may be offered warming honey vodka or Krupnik.

Plum orchards in the Rabka and Malopolska region grow plums for very strong sliwowica.

Polish beer is widely acclaimed, and some brands like Zywiec can now be purchased in the UK. If you have a Makro card, the Krakow Makro offers excellent choice. We bring beer, fruit juices, and certain food items that we like, back to Britain. Cigarettes are around £14 per 200 for well-known brands, Polish brands cheaper. Customs regulations permit only 200 of Polish bought cigarettes to be imported into UK.

Food, drink, public transport and entertainment are all at much lower prices than in the UK hence the popularity of hen and stag weekends in Krakow.


Lower rates of pay in Poland

It's essentially lower rates of pay in Poland compared to the UK and some other European countries that make certain Polish manufactured goods such good value. Polish creative talent and diligence should not be overlooked because these result in such beautiful stylish products.

Imported materials and goods tend to be expensive except in cases where companies such as Ikea and Leroy Merlin appear to operate a 'what the market will bear policy' and sell the same items at a lower price.


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