OK, OK, RELAX, this is not a call to boycott any shops or chains, of course not, buy what you like, and from wherever you wish! There are plenty of places to do shopping in Katowice.
With this in mind, as your friendly neighbourhood travel guide to Katowice and the surrounding area, what we’d like to do is give you some unique shopping suggestions – places to buy genuinely quirky items direct from producers in Kato, and not mass-produced items made thousands of miles away (kitsch fridge magnets, ahem…). Kato is full of local businesses selling some tops stuff and in some rather fun formats…
If you’ve walked around tourist hotspots in Poland, across all cities, you may have spotted that amber from the Baltic Sea is a pretty big deal, sold in various forms from jewellery to antiques! Yeah, amber is special to Poland and the other Baltic states, but what about Silesia? What does it have that just screams ‘This is Silesia!’ at you? Coal! No, honestly, hear us out – this is one gift idea from Poland that is utterly unique!
On our adventures in Katowice and upper Silesia, we’ve experienced some unique locations, from natural beauty to industrial tourism hotspots by the bucketload. And with the latter in mind, you’d never expect to see nuts, bolts and industrial size chains being sold as jewellery in the museum shops, however, have you considered the potential to make jewellery from coal? Kato is a great place to buy some coal-themed products, all locally sourced (lo-coal, ha ha…).
It sounds like a dirty business, leaving marks all over your skin, going for that authentic ‘coal miner finishing his shift’ look. But nah, although the manufacturing process may be messy (check out the video!), the end product is fantastically cheerful!
If you’re visiting the Nikiszowiec area of Kato, we wholly recommend a visit to I Coal You (great name, huh?!), found in a small, unassuming street containing a collection of artistic workshops. Here you will find Katarzyna Depa, producing some truly unique pieces, all made from Silesia’s black gold. Luckily for you, even if you don’t get a chance to go to Nikiszowiec, I Coal You products can also be purchased throughout Upper Silesia, all listed here, and more on that below.
Jewellery is one thing, but soap made from coal? Is it even a thing? Well, kinda… bars of soap using natural active charcoal made to look like lumps of coal that work wonders on your skin’s complexion! This is Sadza Soap!
Near Katowice’s UFOesque Spodek, you can find Geszeft, a hip shop that sells clothing, literature and various funky items that are unique to, and promote, the wonderfulness of Kato and the region! Kato mugs, Sadza Soap, coal jewellery – we can’t think of anything better to buy in Silesia. It’s certainly different from the usual diatribe people bring back home as gifts…sigh…tacky fridge magnets…