Having heard that Krakow is home to two amazing flea markets I could not resist checking them out. Even though we have agreed to not purchase any souvenirs on our around the world trip, I just can’t pass up looking for that killer deal on an underpriced camera, lens, vintage watch, or propaganda war poster.
Krakow started as a Stone Age settlement and in 1038 AD became the capital of Poland and flourished as a major trade hub. Krakow also saw the start of World War II in 1939 with Germany’s invasion of Poland and after the war Poland became a Communist country. With so much history there was bound to be some interesting treasures to be found at the flea markets.
Plac Nowy Flea Market in Jewish Quarter
The best time to visit the flea market at Plac Nowy in Krakow’s Jewish Quarter is on Saturday mornings. This market started in 1808 and has been going strong ever since. Here you can find 310 stalls selling an assortment of war memorabilia, antiques, vintage cameras, books, clothing, crafts, and even a large selection of fruits and vegetables.
In the center of Plac Nowy is the rotunda, a former slaughterhouse. Through one of the many fast food windows in the rotunda you can buy one of the best street foods in Krakow, the zapiekanka. The zapiekanka is half a baguette with melted cheese and assorted meats and vegetables. There are many to choose from, but I highly recommend the ones with chicken and garlic sauce!
Plac Targowy Flea Market
The flea market at Plac Targowy is best visited on Sunday mornings before noon. It is not as polished as the one at Plac Nowy, but you will most likely find better deals here. This market has got to be one of the biggest in Europe and has everything from war memorabilia, antiques, Russian watches, Russian cameras, pirated DVD’s, clothing, paintings, furniture, computer parts, wood wagon wheels, and even porn. You will find stuff for sale anywhere there is place to throw out a blanket or table, including a nearby alley. If your Polish is a little rusty come prepared with a pad of paper and pen to haggle for the best price.
Flea markets are the best kind of markets. These are the places where you can find tiny treasures. I once bought a fur hat (I was a vegetarian, but it was just too good to not buy) at a flea market somewhere in the suburbs of an Austrian mountain town for like 2 euros. SO worth it.
Nothing wrong with a vegetarian buying a fur hat… unless you eat it! BTW, the European fur hats are really nice. They would really keep you warm during the winter.
What’s not to love about finding a great flea market?! Even if you don’t buy anything, they’re just fun to see what treasure you might find. And those sandwiches look amazing!!
I was hoping to find some really good deals on old Soviet watches and cameras/lenses, which have a cult following. Unfortunately, with the internet everyone around the world now knows what the current world market rates are for items. Many of the collectable items I found could have been purchased on a certain online auction site for cheaper. There was still lots of cool stuff, though, and it was fun to look through it.
Thank you so much for this information. I’ll be in Krakow this coming christmas and will stay for a couple of weeks. I’m always looking for the flea market places where ever I go. But you are right, the net based auctions are really settling the prices for everything worldwide. But I must say I still find the odd bargain everywhere in Europe!
Adrian Raddock says
I am from Western Australia & I collect memorabilia of all sorts, I am new to Krakow and certainly found the Plac Nowy markets a worth while visit, not speaking the language I found if I brought 2 or three items from the same stall, I was certainly able to get it for a much lower price!! ( if you don’t ask you will most likely pay more!! ) be polite smile and the magic will happen for you!, the people here are more than happy to help you.