As the holiday season approaches, Czech shoppers are heading in droves to Polish border markets, such as Zabelkove, located a few kilometers from Bohumin. These markets serve as a one-stop shop for cheaper food items and Christmas cookies, ornaments, and trees. Adding to the shopping frenzy are the Polish gift cards, which are becoming increasingly popular among the Czechs.
The recent Thursday morning’s influx of cars trying to park at the Polish market in Zabelkove took the parking attendant by surprise. She admitted that it had been a long time since there was an issue with parking space – a clear testament to the Czechs embarking on their Christmas shopping.
The most enormous queues were at stalls selling meat, dairy products, cookies, and Christmas decorations. Shoppers were pleased with the prices and the quality of the items. One shopper, Tereza Lovečková, happily shared with us her shopping experience. She bought ten mushrooms for twenty crowns and half a kilogram of oyster mushrooms for forty-five crowns, stating that she wouldn’t get half that amount for the same price back home, and the quality would be questionable.
Lovečková’s shopping bag was filled not only with vegetables, famous Polish sausages, five kinds of butter for thirty-six crowns each, goat and sheep cheese, and sweets but also with Christmas cookies. She pointed out that they have various kinds of Christmas cookies for just one hundred and forty crowns per kilogram. If you buy two boxes, it’s just two hundred and forty crowns.
Another shopper, Michal Jirásek from Opava, visited the Polish market to buy food and a Christmas tree. He stated they have beautiful artificial trees here, with prices varying based on size. The smallest is for four hundred crowns, and the biggest is around one thousand two hundred. He pointed out that similar trees back home cost two to three hundred crowns more.
This year, Czechs shop for Christmas gifts at Polish markets and stores and buy Polish gift cards. These gift cards come in various forms, such as a wellness stay in Poland or the Baltic Sea or a Christmas discount card for shopping at their favorite Polish restaurants, drugstores, furniture stores, fashion stores, and shoe stores. It seems like the allure of the Polish markets will continue to draw Czech shoppers for many holiday seasons.