Wroclaw’s most recognisable market hall offers a myriad of goods sold by sellers from Poland and abroad inside an old, stylish and characteristic building.
Named "Hala Targowa" (simply market hall in English), the building lies just around the corner of Piaskowa street next to the famous Tumski bridge. The market now sports a splendidly refurbished tower at its front together with a beautiful doorway, both of which are stand-outs for those keen to take in building's architecture.
If it's shopping you've come for though, Inside there is much to found. Lovely craft stalls are the first thing that catches the eye. On the ground floor you'll find plenty of small booths and stalls selling food and drink, as well as a rather modest and cramped cafeteria that serves Polish staples via the entrance. If you take the stairs the second floor you'll also have the chance to browse through a number of old fashioned local shops selling items such as shoes, toys, souvenirs and glassware.
While those shops do have their own charms, the main attraction at Hala Targowa is evidently the food produce. There is an abundance of colourful fresh fruit and vegetables on sale, the price of which can vary from stall to stall. In comparison with the supermarkets, many Wroclawians say they find Hala Targowa more expensive. However there are some bargains out there and I found myself able to pick up plenty of good value produce without too much trouble. When it comes to meat, there are also a number of butcher stalls that provide better quality produce than you'd find in your average supermarket.
Aside from the fresh produce on display, another plus point for me are the stalls selling a wide variety of special tea and coffee. The amount of choice gives you plenty of food for thought, and on an my visit there was no shortage of locals and tourists plundering over which brew to go for.
Hala Targowa isn't just limited to local food and drink either, as there are now a few interesting stalls run by foreigners living here in Wroclaw. One of them is a Turkish market, which was pleasant surprise for me being a Turk myself. The place has a super friendly owner and sports authentic Turkish pasta, snacks and of course Turkish coffee and tea. In fact they can even serve you some Turkish coffee, which is definitely worth trying! On top of that, Hala Targowa also has Spanish and Portuguese stalls selling cured meats and other delights from their respective countries.
Aside from the food and drink, the market is also home to many florists, whose flowers add to Hala Targowa's eclectic mix of smells and colours. Most of the florist stalls also sell pots and candles, while those with greenfingers may find what they are looking for at the gardening stalls at the back.
All in all, Hala Targowa is a bustling spot to take in for anyone wishing to get an insight into local culinary life in Wroclaw. Meanwhile tradition seekers can also take pleasure in the actual building, which is an attraction in its own right.