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What to bring as a gift from Poland

Souvenirs

The most beautiful souvenirs can be purchased in the "Sukiennice" (i.e. Cloth Hall or Drapers' Hall) of Krakow ( Cracow), and also in Gdansk at St. Dominique's Fair passing annually in August.

From Gdansk also can be brought a miniature copy of ship "Dar pomorza" (that means "the gift of Pomerania . It is one of the largest sailing-vessels in Europe, which is moored there.

Smok Wawelski, also known as The Dragon of Wawel Hill or simply The Wawel Dragon, is a famous dragon in Polish folklore. In Krakow its figurines have been sold in various forms and different sizes - from tiny wooden to plush one, measured one metre and more on a height.

Lajkonik Horseman Traditional Doll - in Krakow the figurine of Lajkonik-Tatar riding a horse is popular. The origin of the Lajkonik can be dated back to the 13th century, when the city of Krakow was attacked during the Tatar invasions of Europe. However the people of Krakow were able to successfully repel the Tatar invasion. The Lajkonik has become one of the unofficial symbols of Krakow. It is represented as a bearded man resembling a Tatar in a characteristic pointed hat, dressed in Mongol attire, with a wooden horse around his waist.

figurine of knight can be brought from Malbork. Malbork (also spelled as Malborg in Polish; German: Marienburg, Latin: Civitas Beatae Virginis) is a town in northern Poland in the Zulawy region. Founded in the 13th century by the Teutonic Knights, the town is noted for the Gothic Marienburg Castle, one of the most striking in Europe. 

There are also carved masks depicting persons of the Polish type (for example, nose "as a potato"). 

If you at the Polish seaside - then it is necessarily to gather some shells straight from the shore.

If you in the Bialowieza Dense Forest (i.e. Bialowieza National Park, also known as Belovezhskaya Pushcha) - thenfigurines of aurochs (European bison or bizon, called in Polish tur or zubr) can be advised as a souvenir - it is a symbol of this dense forest. The Bialowieza Primeval Forest is world famous for its unique lowland woods and is the only such complex in Europe. Poland and Belarus both include parts of the Forest, which totals 150,000 hectares. UNESCO has emphasized its uniqueness by designating Bialowieza Forest as a World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve. Its most valuable portion is situated in Poland and protected as the Bialowieza National Park (established in 1921, with a current area of 5,348 hectares). This is a primary destination of tourist trips. Bialowieza Primeval Forest also contains a strictly guarded sanctuary of nature and is a preserve of aurochs (European bison). The scientific and environmental function of this area is as important as its tourist value. Aurochs are the most famous inhabitants of the Forest. It has lived here for centuries but was nearly exterminated during the First World War. In the early 1950, after many years of breeding, the aurochs were set free and again became the rulers of Bialowieza Forest. There are now about 230 aurochs in the Polish part of the Forest. 

If you in the Polish mountains - then "ciupaga" (a walking wooden stick) or a Gorals' cap can be brought from there to offer it as a keepsake to friends and relatives. In days of yore, the highlanders carried walking sticks called in polish "ciupaga" ("chew-pa-ga"). The handle functioned as an axe; the pointed tip doubled as a spear. Handmade ciupagas are crafted in Poland from a long solid piece of mountain hardwood, and decorated with a solid brass handle and fittings. Ciupaga is an extraordinary piece of history to display in homes or used during a folk dances.  

From the city Poznan can be brought figurines of " Koziolek Matolek". Koziolek Matolek (Matolek the Billy-Goat) is a factional character created by Kornel Makuszynski (story) and Marian Walentynowicz (art) in one of the first and most famous Polish comics back in 1933. It became a cult classic, popular since its creation till today, and becoming an important part of canon of Polish children's literature. 

Souvenirs with images of another animals also can become a memorable gift. 

Gifts with images of castles 

In the Carpathian region souvenirs with images of particular castles and architecture are very popular.

Do not forget to bring from Warsaw an album with photos of the Royal castle. The Royal Castle (Polish: Zamek Krolewski w Warszawie) is a royal palace and official residence of the Polish monarchs, located in the Plac Zamkowy in Warsaw, at the entrance to the Old Town.

In Malbork there is the largest medieval castle in Europe. It is the biggest brick castle in the world that used to be the residence of Grand Masters of the Teutonic Order. It occupies an area over 20 hectares. In 1997 the fortress has been included in the list of the World heritage of UNESCO. Inside the castle there is a jeweller shop in which prices on amber are less than in the centre of Gdansk.  

Christmas gifts

Fur-tree toys manually painted with decorative patterns there are on sale beginning a month before Christmas.

Tableware

There is possibility to purchase crystal and glass wares with patterns of silver, amber and metal.

Different types of glasses with sights of Krakow or other city are remarkable gift too.

Beer mugs

Boleslawiec ceramicsand pottery

In the west of Poland there is a town Boleslawiec. It is known by the production of Boleslawiec ceramics, which by colour remind the famous Russian Gzhel. Crafted with pride this Polish art is sure to please all who enjoy traditional folk art ceramics. Those handmade potteries are decorated using a unique method of hand stamping. Each ceramic dish is made of white clay beatified with lead-free glazes creating a durable collection. This collectible pottery is safe for use in the microwave, oven and dishwasher.

However in regard to Boleslawiec ceramics it is necessary to have in view that this is rather expensive pleasure and not every Pole can take the liberty such " present ". 

Things from Salt Mines

Salt lamps from Salt Mines (in Polish: Kopalni Soli) also deserve our attention. From >Salt Mines, first of all fromKopalnia Soli Wieliczka, is needed also to grasp with self a sack of salt (3 zl and more). The Wieliczka salt mine is one of the oldest in the world having opened in the 13th century. The historic Salt Mine in Wieliczka is the only mining site in the world functioning continuously since the Middle Ages. Legend attributes the discovery of salt to the Hungarian Princess Kinga (Kunegunda) on her way to marry the ruler of the city of Krakow, Boleslaus the Chaste. From the Middle Ages the miners who extracted the "white gold" left behind passages, chambers, chapels and statues which today are a worldwide attraction for tourists.  In 1978 the Wieliczka Salt Mine was entered, as one of the first 12 sites from the whole world on the first UNESCO List of Cultural and Natural Heritage.

Decorations with corals and products made of amber

Jeweller decorations with corals and amber attract a look. However, it is needed to have in view an opinion, that amber - it is a good idea, but not so cheap.... It is considered that the most expensive amber is white one, so-called "royal". Nevertheless, the transparent amber was traditionally valued in Russia. Transparent, dark-coloured amber moreover if inside it big insects "are soldered" by the nature, is valued also. The more and more darkly a whole piece the its cost is more expensive.

Amazingly beautiful green amber can be seen in Gdansk. Prices are less than in Krakow on the market square. Ringlets, beads with amber can be inexpensively bought from trays straight in a street. In shops prices reach up to 1000 standard units and above. 

In Malbork there is the largest medieval castle in Europe. In the castle there is a jeweller shop that offers amber under convenient prises, which are less than in the centre of Gdansk.  

Tourists with pleasure buy in Poland wares made of amber (especially on the Baltic coast). There are such items as bijouterie in silver, combined pictures done by spreading amber crumb, paints, bark and suchlike. Crystal, glass with patterns of silver, amber and metal available as well.   

Silverwares

Silver - on silverwares note should be taken especially. For example, rate of hand watch on a simple cast bracelet is about 600-800 roubles. And little things such as earrings, rings and similar bijouterie in silver are cost "simply copecks" (20-50 roubles, depending on the size andlabour-intensity of production process . 

Author's silver decorations can be brought as well, because silver here available at low rate in general.  

Garments

 There are linen clothes, which can be found, embroidered by beautiful patterns also.

 Decorative national suits attract a look.

 Sheepskin coats and padded jackets, as well as kind of home footwear made of thick felt are useful clothing too.

 The Gorale (Polish: Gorale; Slovak: Gorali; Cieszyn Silesian: Gorole; literally "highlanders") are a group of indigenous people found along southern Poland, northern Slovakia, and in the region of Cieszyn Silesia in the Czech Republic. There is also a significant Goral diaspora in the area of Bukovina in what is today Western Ukraine and northern Romania. Gorals' home slippers can be found in different form - from leather light indoor shoes to warm footwear with fur trimming. This accessory of clothing can be very pleasant to your relatives and companions.

 There are Gorals' caps and also hats and leather or fur elements of clothes of Hutsuls.

Hutsuls (Ukrainian: Gutsuli, Romanian: HuЕЈuli, Hutsul dialect: Hutsule; alternatively spelled as Huculs, Huzuls, Hutzuls, Gutsuls, Guculs, Guzuls, or Gutzuls; Polish: Hucul) are an ethno-cultural group of Ukrainian highlanders who for centuries have inhabited the Carpathian mountains, mainly in Ukraine, but also in the northern extremity of Romania (in the areas of Bukovina and Maramures), as well as in Slovakia and Poland.

Products made from spun sheep wool - something similar have been offered in Orenburg, but under overpriced trading propositions (there is a difference in 5-6 times). For example, waistcoats and footwear (such high boats), which are very warm.

 Textile products

There are charming Hutsuls' carpets (Hutsuls are inhabitants of mountain areas of Carpathians, Western Ukraine and other regions as mentioned above, and their carpets are thick, multi-coloured, with a geometrical pattern, small) sheepskin, rather hard rugs.

Flax - as well as in Baltic countries, here have been sold linen products (from bed-clothes and kitchen accessories to garments with embroidery or plain surface of the fabric). 

Handiworks of Hutsuls

Handiworks of Hutsuls such as carved figures, smoking pipes, axes, and also hats and leather or fur elements of clothesare very popular.

Canvases and articles of Art

There are beautiful canvases of artists from Area Kazimierz in Krakow. Also pictures can be bought at centre of Krakow on Florianska Street (Ulica Florianska).

 Canvases with sights of Warsaw a wonderful article of Fine Arts too.

 There are also beautiful pictures done by spreading amber crumb, combined with paints, barks and similar materials. It can be offered as an exclusive gift to friends and relatives.

Cosmetic products

cream for hands of brand Ziaja - Kozie Mleko (white tube) - isn't expensive, but very good.

Foodstuff

Among sausage products the most tasty are pork (wieprzowina) kabanosy and frankfurters(small row-smoked sausages).

Kabanos (plural: kabanosy) is famous Polish sausage and probably the finest meat stick in the world. It is the high quality product. The name Kabanosy comes from the nickname "kabanek" given to a young fat pig. Currently, kabanos (the mainly sold type) is made of pork. Although kabanosy have been made of different meats, including horse, beef and lamb. These kabanos variants can be found in rural parts of Poland, but the majority of kabanos remains a pork product. It is often seasoned only with salt and pepper. But stick sausage snack can be seasoned with garlic and a touch of caraway as well. Kabanosy, unlike other meats such as sausages, are typically eaten alone as an appetizer, or served with cheese. They are most commonly dried to very dry in texture, smoky in flavour and can be carried easily as it is a light product. Typically they are quite long - 30-60 cm (12-24 in) but very thin, with a diameter of just over one centimeter (0.39 in), giving them a very characteristic appearance, or braided in a plait (from 3 pieces). It looks interesting and it is delicious! It matches perfectly to vodka Chopin as well!

 Dry Krakow's sausage is also very tasty; the best of all from brand "Krakus".

 Polish yellow cheese with holes is very good too!

 Oscypek is the sheep cheese. Oscypek (Polish; plural: oscypki) is a smoked cheese made of salted sheep milk exclusively in the Tatra Mountains. Also anywhere the Gorals (Tatra Mountains natives) emigrate, e.g. Lithuania, Ukraine, Hungary, etc. It is made by the Gorals under a special recipe and its readiness is checked by someone's elbow. Small smoked oscypki are most delicious. Buying hunches of the cheese is advantageous, but they are excessively salted. It is advised to roast small pieces on a grill before serving and add a spoon of cranberry jam (a cooking from zurawina, i.e. Ејurawinowa konfitura).

Sweets and confectionery products

There are wonderful candies "Bird's milk" (i.e. cukierki "Ptasie Mleczko" on Polish).

 Chocolate of brands Wawel, Wedel, Kruk are excellent souvenirs. E.Wedel(Cadbury-Wedel Polska since 1999) is a famous Polish confectionery company, producing many varieties of high-quality chocolates, cakes, and snacks. Wedel is also a well-recognized brand of sweets in Poland.

 Wawel is one of the oldest and best know chocolate and confection makers in Poland. Adam Piaseckie founded the company in 1898. Throughout the years, Wawel has become synonymous with a lot of traditional polish chocolate likeKasztanki, Michalki, Malaga, Krowka, Kukulka.

 Sweets "Krowki" - it isn't known to everyone that these candies are Polish and they are not of Russian origin.

 Candies Tiki-taki and Kasztanki are amazing sweets too.Tiki Taki - are sweets with an uncommon combination of flavours. These chocolates taste different than others. The top layer is a nice mild peanut butter praline, and the bottom layer is a smooth but crumbly fondant of coconut like the Kokosowe. It seems to work pretty well; the roasted nut flavours of the peanut butter go really well with the coconut.

 Kasztanki is a large chestnut looking piece like the others. This one is a semisweet chocolate covering a centre of cocoa cream and crushed wafers. It's crunchy and has a light rum and perhaps coffee flavour to it. The crunch is really interesting because the bits are so small and the flavour is rather light.

 Torunskie pierniki (Cakes from Torun - are honey thin cookies with spices. It is a tradition! Well, also it is very delicious. They can be kept for a long time. It is available on pieces as well as in a beautiful box.

 Also can be advised to purchase "Sekac" - is a kind of pie-fruitcake that practically cannot be baked in domestic conditions.

Alcoholic beverages

Miod Pitney (also spelled as Mead Pitny) - is Polish strong drink that made from fermented honey. Jadwiga Mead is aPoltorak Miod Pitny, what means that is made from 3:1 proportion of honey and water. It is the richest mead with incredible intensity, aroma, and depth of flavour, balance, length and sweetness. It is most definitely for dessert or by itself. The basket bottle is wicker with ribbons, and a metallic medallion inlay on a wax seal. The Jadwiga Poltorak Miod Pitny is the queen of all meads. No words can fairly describe its sweet, complex flavours with hints of raisins and it's huge warming effect. One must try it to believe.

 Among alcoholic beverages can be recommended "Krupnik" - liquor and honey fruit liqueurs (Polish: nalewka).

 Grzaniec is a sweet wine that is drunk warmed up with honey and seasonings (such as carnation, cinnamon) - it can be advised to taste this bewitching drink in winter evenings and especially around Christmas. Grzaniec Galicyjski - is traditional red grape mulled wine, also known by the German name Gluhwein, French: Vin Chaud, Swedish: Glogg. It is the recipient of The Best in Poland Award and many other international awards and medals.

 Slivovitz - is a kind of plum brandy (rakia). As raw material for the slivovitz fermented plum juice is used. Degrees of slivovitz equal 45%, and at double distillation even 75%. "Sliwowica Paschalna" (Easter Slivovitz) is the most known among produced in Poland. It is made with observance of kosher rules, under the supervision of a representative of the Jewish community. It is 70% vodka from select plums, absolutely without any supplements, even water, with the observance of exceptional cleanliness. Distilled 73-75% drink ripens not less than two years. It is characterized by a very rich plum aroma, light yellow colour and original characteristic for the slivovitz taste.

Goldwasser is the anisette vodka with pieces of 24 carat gold; its production was begun in free town Gdansk in the 16thcentury.

There are also brands of vodka such as Wisniak and Chopin.

From series "it is cheap, but angrily", can be given advice to pay for Zubrowka - traditional Polish alcoholic drink with apple juice.

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