I love to visit farmers' markets! I enjoy the colors, the friendly people and, of course, the chance to buy some top quality fresh foods. The entire experience lends itself to photography and exploration.
While in Krakow we visited two markets, both very good but very different in character. The larger of these, 'Hala Targowa,' is considered to be the city's best outdoor market and is the one we'll look at today.
During weekdays in the summer and fall, it's a typical farmers market. Our visit was on a Friday in early October and the produce offerings reflected the season. There were lots of excellent plums, a large variety of monstrous apples, a few pears and lots of root vegetables. There were some items here I'd never seen at other markets, including sunflower heads (not just the seeds, but the entire fruiting structure), and the largest variety of wild mushrooms I've seen anywhere -- probably 9 or so different types. I was amazed at how inexpensive everything was. In most Western European cities the prices you see posted would be in Euros, but in Poland they're zloty (currently about 4 zloty to 1 US$)
The market also featured several smaller enclosed shops where you'll find butchers and seafood vendors, as well as clothing and shoe shops, flower vendors and the like. There aren't nearly as photogenic as the outdoor markets but certainly are practically for the colder weather that lies ahead.
On Sunday the market morphs into an outdoor flea market where you’ll find lots of antique items including books, postcards, paintings, Catholic icons, pirated DVDs and wristwatches, and a variety of junk. Never got to visit on Sunday, but I bet it would be fun.
And some sights from the Krakow market....
(this is the fermented base used to make traditional borscht and sour rye soup)
(the smaller shops contain butchers, seafood, clothes, etc)