Warsaw Shopping and Districts
(Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland)
The shopping scene in Warsaw has changed dramatically in recent years and many familiar Western chains have now well and truly made a presence within the city, alongside the Polish favourites. Countless old shopping centres from Warsaw's long communist period have now made way for more glamorous, modern department stores, such as Marks & Spencer on Al Jerozolimskie.
A variety of large supermarkets and Western-style shopping centres have also made a mark in Warsaw and have gained considerable popularity with the locals, who have become used to the ever-changing facades of shops and streets. In fact, the recently opened five-floor Arkadia mall, close to the Rondo Babka traffic circle, is amongst Europe's largest.
However, if it is traditional Polish souvenirs and handicrafts that you are after, then you won't be disappointed, particularly if you visit the enormous Russian Market along the Ulica Waszyngtona, which is the largest of its kind in the whole of Europe.
When to Shop and Opening Hours
The shops around Warsaw tend to open at 10:00 or 11:00 on weekdays, closing at around 19:00.
You can expect shorter shopping hours on Saturdays, roughly from 10:00 to 13:00 or until 16:00, although most malls are open considerably longer throughout the week, between the hours of 08:00 and 22:00. Many shops are now also open on Sundays.
Where to Shop
Downtown Warsaw (Centrum) is where the best selection of shopping is to be found and the Ulica Marszalkowska is filled with interesting retailers. Along this stretch you will find the recently modernised Galeria Centrum, which is amongst the biggest department stores in the whole of Poland and is state owned.
Nearby, the shopping along Warsaw's Ulica Chmielna is particularly good and this street is well pedestrianised and filled with interest, including gift shops, theatres, cafes and fashion boutiques.
Hard to miss on the Ulica Krucza is the eye-catching Smyk Building, a gleaming glass department store, which dates back to the early 1950s and contains books, clothing, postcards, shoes, stationery and more.
Located on the southern side of central Warsaw, the Sadyba Best Shopping Mall resides on the Ulica Powsinska and contains many fashion stores selling designer labels, along with a multiplex cinema and plenty of eateries. To locate some of the most authentic Polish handicrafts and souvenirs, spend an afternoon exploring Old Town Warsaw and its countless interesting shops, especially the interesting Cepelia outlets. For traditional ceramics, the pottery along the Ulica Prosta is the place to be.