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Shopping in Warsaw

Hundreds of new shops have sprung up all over Warsaw since the political transformations of 1989. There are also licensed and illegal street vendors that offer wares ranging from cloth napkins, wooden sculptures, cooking pots and freshly picked mushrooms.

Key areas

The main shopping streets areas lie in the maze of streets between the Palace of Culture and Science and swanky Ulica Nowy Świat. The eastern end of Aleje Jerozolimskie and the southern part of Ulica Marszałkowska are also good bets. Check out the restored Ulica Chmielna too.


With the demise of one of Europe's largest flea markets, known locally as the Russian Market, Warsaw's market scene is a little bare. There are still a few spots worth visiting, however, such as Bazar na Kole (Ulica Obozowa) in the western reaches of the city, which has mountains of junk and antiques to sift through, ranging from CDs and old postcards to farm implements and WWII relics.

Shopping centres

Shopping arcades, both in and outside of Warsaw, have become very popular, including Galeria Centrum, Ulica Marszalkowska 104/122, the biggest department store in the capital; Arkadia, Aleja Jana Pawla II 82; and the very central Złote Tarasy, Ulica Złota 59. These malls and stores have both national and internationally known brands including H&M, Levi's and Zara, and often in-house cinemas and restaurants.

Opening hours

Shops in Warsaw are generally open Monday to Saturday 1000/1100-2100/2200 and Sunday 1000-2100. Usually open seven days a week, Warsaw's shopping centres and hypermarkets are the best places to stock up on Polish staples - such as pickled herring, preserved meats and, last but not least, vodka.


More than any thing else, arts and crafts are the main things to shop for on a visit to Warsaw. Particularly popular items that are widely available include glass and enamelware, hand-woven rugs, silverware, jewellery made with silver, dolls in regional costumes, woodcarvings and clay and metal sculptures.

Probably the best spots in Warsaw for souvenir hunting are in the Old Town, among the colourful facades and artists' stalls. But the nationwide chain Cepelia, with four branches in the capital, including one at Ulica Marszałkowska 99/101, is a good place to start - its shops stock a good range of local handicrafts. Another much-loved item available widely is amber from the Baltic Sea. This can be sold in many forms, from large lumps to exquisitely carved necklaces. For art, bric-a-brac, curios and the odd real antique check out the chain of shops called Desa Unicum; its most central outlet is at Ulica Marszałkowska 34/50. Bear in mind that the export of anything produced up until the end of WW11 in 1945 is strictly controlled (though the people at Desa Unicum are very familiar with the procedures and will help with the necessary paperwork).

Tax information

Tax-free shopping in Warsaw is available to non-EU residents spending a minimum of 300 PLZ or equivalent in one transaction at participating outlets. Cash refunds are given out at airports on presentation of the tax free documents.

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Featured Hotels


Maria Hotel

Away from the city centre, but handy to the city's Jewish sights and just a few tram stops from the Old Town, Maria Hotel is a small, family-run and family-friendly hotel with modern amenities and a decent restaurant on the premises. Rooms are generally big, bright, and airy, and all are en suite. It’s in a rambling old house with rooms set over three floors (no lift) with atmosphere in spades and a friendly, welcoming staff.

H15 Boutique

 Don't be fooled by the H15 Boutique’s 19th century plane exterior the interior is the complete opposite, high quality modern furnishings and colourful yet cosy rooms. The hotel also offers conference rooms, a restaurant and beauty salon.

Mercure Warsaw Grand

 The Mercure Warsaw Grand is conveniently located in the city centre, only 5 minutes from the nearest metro and 15 from the nearest train station. The hotels facilities include a gym, bar/lounge area and a restaurant. Mercure Warsaw Grand also offer transportation to and from Warsaw airport.

Radissson Blu Centrum Hotel Warsaw

The rooms at this top-class hotel offer a choice of three styles of décor ranging from 'Maritime’ and 'Scandinavian’ to 'Italian’. Each style differs through its colour scheme, furniture and layout. The Italian style is most whimsical. Staff are accommodating, and there's a first-rate fitness centre in the basement, featuring a pool, fitness machines plus massage and beauty services.

Mamaison Hotel Le Regina Warsaw

Mamaison Hotel Le Regina Warsaw is a cut above the competition. Located just north of the Old Town in a quiet neighbourhood, it’s housed in a gorgeous 18th-century palace and filled with period furniture. But the hotel is modern where it counts, with sparkling new bathrooms and Wi-Fi connection throughout. Rooms are bright, breezy and decorated in eye-catching chocolate and beige.

Hotel Bristol

Looming over the river, this stately property preserves the feel of a classic 19th-century hotel. First built in 1619, it opened for guests in the late 1800s, and was the first hotel to have electricity in the city – earning it the name 'Electric Hotel'. It has hosted everyone from monarchs to Sigmund Freud. Today, expect a blend of traditional atmosphere with contemporary service.