The beautiful city of Krakow is usually draped in snow during the festive season, making Krakow Christmas Market an even prettier sight for visitors.
Rynek Glowny, which is the huge market square in the old town’s centre, provides the perfect setting for the Christmas Market and is largely filled with wooden stalls offering a variety of gifts. The Rynek is dominated by the ancient majestic Cloth Hall, which makes for a splendid backdrop for visitors shopping at the Christmas Market.
From mouth watering delicacies to traditional items such as woollen clothes and locally-crafted jewellery, your are sure to find your perfect Christmas gifts. Christmas market usually starts towards the end of November and lasts until early January.
This one special place will provide you with anything you need to survive winter – and this “anything” not only ranges from warm pieces of garment, ginger cookies or Christmas decorations to aromatic hams, replicas of armoury or hand-made crockery, but also has a special “Krakow fraction” to its recipes or design. The charismatic stallholders you will meet in Krakow are usually willing to bargain with you over the things you will rarely have a chance to come across elsewhere.
One piece od advice for you is: it will be hard for you to decide what to rest your eyes on in the Christmas Market of Krakow. The abundance of colours and smells can make you wish you could buy it all! This is why you should choose your objects of desire wisely – which may be even more difficult if you drop in to the place with your kids pointing their fingers at more and more unique things you are passing by. Trying to pick the best items to buy is a personal thing – it is true, however, that the purchase of warm woollen socks, caps or gloves with the distinctive motifs of Tatra Mountains culture will be one of the best choices around. Zakopane-style bedroom slippers will most definitely something you will enjoy buying after putting them on home during a harsh winter.
The finest examples of Polish potteries and ceramic manufactures (including the manufactures in Boleslawiec or Cmielow) will make greatly-decorated and useful gifts to your parents (or grandparents) as you return. At the same time, wooden figurines, pipes, birds, cutlery or other small pieces of handcrafted art are something Krakow Christmas Market has never got a shortage of. These innocent folksy elements will bring back the memories of Krakow in winter each time when looked at upon returning!
Your kids will surely have a great time spent with some of the traditional toys of timber sold in Christmas Market of Krakow! Wooden building blocks, tiny-sized pieces of furniture or hand-painted dolls of wood may quickly become the part of those childhood memories of your offspring that they will never forget. One-of-its-kind jewellery (including the one made of amber that the Polish simply specialise at making), embroidered pieces of cloth, blacksmiths’ pieces of art, the work of local knife-makers, artisans or military re-makers: this is what you may expect as exposed to you behind the counters of Krakow Christmas Market stalls.
Krakow Christmas Market is not only limited to local sellers when it comes to food. There also appear excellent guests from Hungary, the Czech Republic or Austria, offering the most famous cold-cuts and other specialties of their respective regions. Krakow, obviously, also has a lot of to boast with!
The fair is accompanied by a number of events: Christmas carol singing, performances, meetings with the city authorities. You will not be disappointed with the choice of Polish dumplings (pierogi) sold in Krakow Christmas Market – as well as with the carefully-selected smoked hams, sausages or cheeses (particularly, the Zakopane-made “oscypek” of sheep milk), pancakes and crusty bakings present there. Hot grilled items will let you warm up, but just a bit – before you try the famous Krakow mulled wine (“Grzaniec galicyjski”), sold straight from a huge barrel and poured into mugs of clay you may additionally buy as a souvenir.
Both the gourmets and those only wanting to satisfy their appetite will be happy to enjoy the utmost quality of delicacies offered during the Christmas period in Krakow. Those with a sweet tooth will be provided with aromatic gingerbread in a variety of forms, Christmas-themed candies, Polish donuts, chocolate-covered fruits or jars with different types of jams to choose from to take home for later consumption.
The smell of oranges, ginger or vanilla, the omnipresent sugar icing to imitate snow on the surface of sweets of many kinds, will make you wonder if it is really worth eating what you have just bought and have nothing so homely-looking to admire as a result.
Bottled meads Poland is so famous for or a wide selection of stronger beverages to try before buying provide a chance to purchase an original gift for your adult friends while in Krakow. In fact – anything you decide to bring home from Krakow Christmas Market will probably be something you will thoroughly not regret buying!
All in all, if you love wintry landscapes and all these nostalgia-inducing things you come across that make you feel warmer, there is no way you will not enjoy Krakow Christmas Market. Visit Krakow in December or early January and marvel at the sensations it provides, taking a tiny bit of what is offered there home to further enjoy. The special atmosphere of Christmas is, ultimately, what you will be welcomed with there at no cost incurred.
Some photos from the decor around the town:
Have a great day!