There are many things to see and do in Poland. But if you are like me, you love to shop. And Christmas time is one of my favorite times of the year. Dressed in decorative lights and holiday décor Poland comes alive at Christmas. Christmas markets abound and the multitude of traditional and handmade Polish items that can be purchased is fun and exciting.
Old Town Market – Warsaw Christmas Festival
In the Old Town Square of Warsaw (Rynek Starego Miasta), you’ll be intrigued by the history surrounding you. Originally built in the 13th and 14th centuries but totally destroyed during World War II, the Old Town Square was once the heart of Warsaw. This square witnessed much history including citizen marches, celebrations and the passing of judgements on condemned citizens. Rebuilt in the late 1940’s to replicate the style of buildings of the 17th and 18th centuries, this area features the original cobblestone streets, a statue of
the Mermaid of Warsaw who keeps watch over the citizens of Warsaw, and the Warsaw History Museum. Year round Old Town is a gathering place and market for all who visit but it comes alive at Christmas when the Christmas Fair begins during Advent. Lined with 30 wooden chalets, merchants offer handmade and traditional Polish treats as well as food, gifts and local produce.
Gdansk Christmas Fair
Perhaps one of my favorite Christmas Fairs, the Gdansk Christmas Fair runs from December 5th through the 23rd and features a venetian carousel with horses, an ice rink and traditional Christmas trees from around the world. Each year there is a new surprise awaiting visitors and I can’t wait to see what they have planned for this year. Last year Comet and Rudolph (Santa’s reindeers) came to visit with the children as did Santa himself. The bounty of food and handmade gifts that one can find here is truly amazing. You’ll find everything from traditional cakes, roasted chestnuts, fruit covered with chocolate and many other gourmet goodies.
Krakow Christmas Market
In Krakow it is not uncommon to have a white Christmas season and that is one of the things that makes this Christmas market memorable. Held in the huge market square you’ll be taken by the amazing architecture surrounding you. But, don’t get too lost in the architecture because there are plenty of fun things to see, drink, taste and buy in this very traditional market. From locally grown foods, to traditional and locally-crafted baubles, you’ll enjoy your time shopping here while taking in the sights and sounds of a Polish Christmas and picking out gifts for all your friends and family back home. The Krakow Christmas Market typically runs from the end of November through December 26th.
Wroclaw Christmas Market
The Wroclaw Christmas Market is truly a treat. Held in the main market square of the fourth largest city in Poland and surrounded by beautiful, centuries old homes, this festival originated in the 16th century and has a very old world charm. If you’re not feeling the Christmas spirit before you come, you will definitely feel it once you arrive. This Christmas market not only brings together regional treats and delicacies from different areas of Poland (Podhale, Masovia, Pomerania, Wielkopolska, and Lower Silesia) but also different areas of Europe (France, Austria, Germany, Hungary, and the Czech Republic to name a few). There is so much to see and do here you will enjoy every second of it. As holiday music fills the air, the area is decorated with thousands of lights and holiday decorations and you will feel like a kid again. There are rides for children, dwarfs and animated characters walking through the market square, fairy tale puppet shows and so much more.
Poland has so much to offer year round. The Christmas season is definitely one of my favorites and we would love to show you all the sights and sounds of a Polish Christmas. Check out our Poland Tour schedule to book your Christmas tour of Poland.