Krakow Christmas Market

Krakow Christmas Market
The largest and most popular Christmas market in Krakow is held in the historical city center, Krakow Old Town, which is among the first sites chosen for the UNESCO’s original World Heritage list. It takes place in the Main Market Square (Rynek Główny). The market attracts thousands of guests with bright Christmas lights, joyous music and delicious flavors of spices and freshly baked pastries.

The Old Town Christmas market in Krakow in its modern form was founded in the mid-20th century. However, the city’s market tradition is much older, it dates back to the Middle Ages. Centuries ago, merchants and farmers came to the city about a month before Christmas (typically around St. Martin’s Day) so that local citizens could stock up on foods and other essentials for winter. Over the years, the Krakow Christmas market has become one of the most anticipated events in the city and a major tourist attraction.

The market features several dozen artfully decorated stalls and booths which offer a wide array of traditional Christmas goods including Christmas decorations, handmade glass baubles, ceramics, wooden figurines, knitwear, jewelry, Baltic amber, Bohemian glass, etc. Here you can buy unique Christmas presents for your friends and family, lovely knick knacks to decorate your apartment, or local souvenirs that will remind you of your trip to Krakow. Local artisans present an impressive choice of handicrafts which you won’t find anywhere else.

At the market’s food stalls, you can find traditional Christmas treats and local delicacies. They include oscypek (traditional Polish smoked cheese made in the Tatra Mountains region), sausages served with baked potatoes or sauerkraut, grilled meet and vegetables, roasted chestnuts and almonds, marzipan, gingerbread, bigos (sauerkraut and meat stew), pierogi (dumplings with various fillings), baked ham, mazurek (Christmas cake), pączki (doughnut-type pastries), etc. To keep visitors warm, merchants offer spicy mulled wine, a traditional drink for almost all European Christmas markets, and grzane piwo (hot beer with spices).

The Krakow Christmas market offers a rich and diverse entertainment program featuring attractions for visitors of all ages. It includes caroling, live performances, games and contests, folk dances, nativity plays, and more. One of the market’s main attractions is an impressive display of Krakow nativity scenes (szopki krakowskie). Their unusual and characteristic feature is the use of the city’s historical buildings as backdrop for the Nativity of Jesus Christ. The ornate structures showcased at the market can be up to two meters high and three meters wide.

Krakow Christmas Market




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