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Polish Markets

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The Malopolska Region has a rich tradition for outdoor markets. These outdoor street markets are full of tradition and character, both in the form of the sellers as well as the variety of items sold on many of these markets, making them a kind of tourist attraction in them self. The markets often function as a place where people not only go to shop, but also a place where people go to meet and have a chat with friends, others go to try to haggle out some really great deals, that you would not be able to get in any normal shop.

At many of the markets, you will find that the people selling, are the actual producer of the products, and they can often offer the best advice on what to buy and how to look after the product that you are buying from them. Markets are usually held weekly, on selected days of the week, at designated locations. Below is a description of a few of these markets including some of the lesser-known that take place in Małopolska.

Nowy Targ Market

Nowy Targ is a town with a rich tradition for trade. Its name indicates this fact; “Nowy Targ” translates into “New Market”. Already at the beginning of the thirteenth century, when King Casimir the Great granted the town the right to hold an annual market the tradition of trading here was born. It soon became a popular farmer's market. Originally, the Market in Nowy Targ was held once a year and lasted then for eight days. To protect the merchants and the people wishing to use the market in those troubled times, there was a special so-called “Mounter peace, Pax Dei” put in place, which provided personal security to merchants and the inviolability of property. This peace agreement was followed by all and was very important at the time. To commemorate this tradition, Nowy Targ Fair is organized annually, called the “Podhalański” It is an event of cultural and leisure, which takes place in the main square of Nowy Targ, usually in the middle of August.

Today's markets in Nowy Targ, are traditionally held every Thursday and Saturday. There are no fixed hours for when the market starts or finishes, but it usually begins in the early morning, i.e about 6.00am and ends in the early afternoon, i.e around 13.00-14.00. Nowy Targ market is one of the biggest outdoor markets in Poland and the largest in Little Poland. It is located on the outskirts of the town, just off the main road from Nowy Targ to Nowy Sacz. There are two very large car park on the far side of the river just after you have passed the market. It is recommended to leave your car in one of these car parks as traffic in the town can be very busy on market days, and some road are normally closed off or so busy that you cannot get past with a car. Everyone who comes to Nowy Targ Market is surprised with the wealth of goods that can be bought. Traders sell almost everything, from regional products, garments, including the famous furriers, industrial products, products of artistic smiting, and ordinary food products, vegetables and fruits. Of considerable interest is the so-called “Horse market” where you can see many animals that are waiting for their new owners. There will normally be horses, cows, pigs, sheep and others for sale here. Furthermore a little way from the main market is the poultry and small animal market where chicken, turkeys, pigeons and eggs are sold. If you seek to try the true oscypek or fresh Bunce, then this is the place to look for them, as many of the local producers are selling these products here. The Nowy Targ market is a very popular shopping destination among people from Slovakia. Weekly, they visit this market, that is only about 20km away from the boarder to Slovakia. Taking advantage of the wide range of products that are being sold at a very competitive price. When visiting the Nowy Targ market, be sure to negotiate prices, if you do not, then one of the unique aspects of shopping at this market is lost.

Zakopane - Market by Gubałówka

The Market “under” Gobałówką in Zakopane is a small kind of copy of the Nowy Targ market, with the main difference being the size. This market in Zakopane consists of interesting and in their own way charming regional stalls. Where many vendors offer a wide range of products, most of these are local products and souvenirs. Including a street of stalls selling the famous Oscypek cheeses, be sure to try before you buy as many of the sellers will cut off little pieces so you can taste this local delicacy. You will find that the taste is a little different in each of the stalls as each family has their own family formula for how this cheese should be produced. An interesting attraction at this market is the Highland Shepherd puppies being sold for 400-500 zł and may be purchased on almost every corner of the marketplace. Usually, they are displayed in a very “comfortable” cardboard boxes in which they are trying to escape from. However, their efforts only attract tourists. The Market “under” Gubałówka is open daily from early morning until dusk and is located between the main walking street in Zakopane, Krupówki Street, and the lower cable station to Gubałówka.

Krościenko nad Dunajcem - Market by the brook Krośnica

Krościenko marketplace by the Dunajec river is a small, but certainly a very charming event that takes place weekly. The market in Krościenko takes place, beside the beautiful mountain stream Krośnica, a few dozen yards away from where it joins the Dunajec River. The market in Krościenko takes place every Monday. There are no fixed hours for when it starts or finishes, but it usually begins in the early morning, i.e about 6.00, and ends in the early afternoon, i.e approximately 13.00. This market is famous for the countless species of flowers, shrubs and trees, including many fruit trees that are offered here. The village of Krościenko and its surrounding area is famous for its mild micro climate. There are many farms and orchards in this area, a nearby village, Łącko, which is known for its centuries-old tradition of growing fruit is just one of these places. Many gardeners who wish to sell the best of freshly grown fruit and plants in the region turn out to sell their goods at this market. You can also find many of the goods similar to those offered at the market in Nowy Targ. However, this market is much smaller, and it is a market used by the "locals" so there are no souvenirs and touristy things for sale like you would find at the market in Zakopane.

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