poland christmas

Shop, Eat, and Be Merry at the Top 7 Christmas Markets in Poland


Step into a winter wonderland as we explore the enchanting world of Christmas markets in Poland. From centuries-old traditions to festive treats and charming decorations, get ready to immerse yourself in the magical holiday spirit that fills the air at these top destinations.

Join us on a journey through the best Christmas markets in Poland, where joy and merriment abound around every corner!

A brief history of Christmas Markets in Poland

The tradition of Christmas markets in Poland dates back to the Middle Ages when merchants would gather in town squares to sell goods during the Advent season. These markets were not only places for shopping but also served as social hubs where locals could come together to celebrate the holiday season.

Over time, Christmas markets evolved into cherished annual events, featuring a wide array of handcrafted gifts, delicious treats, and festive decorations. In Poland, these markets are deeply rooted in cultural heritage and play a significant role in spreading joy and goodwill among communities.

Visiting a Christmas market in Poland is not just about buying gifts; it’s about immersing yourself in centuries-old traditions and experiencing the magic of the holiday season firsthand. Soak up the festive atmosphere as you stroll through twinkling lights and listen to carolers serenade visitors with traditional Polish songs.

Poland Christmas Traditions

Poland is rich in Christmas traditions that have been passed down through generations. One of the most beloved traditions is setting up the Nativity scene, known as Szopka Krakowska, which showcases intricate handmade figurines and decorations.

Another important tradition is Wigilia, the Christmas Eve feast held on December 24th. This meal typically consists of twelve meatless dishes representing the twelve apostles, including fish, pierogi, and various sweets like poppy seed cake.

During the holiday season, Polish families also partake in a custom called sharing Opłatek wafers before dinner on Christmas Eve. This wafer symbolizes forgiveness and unity among loved ones.

On Christmas Day itself, many Poles attend midnight Mass to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The church services are filled with beautiful carols sung by parishioners and choir members alike.

Where is the best Xmas market in Poland?

Looking to immerse yourself in the holiday spirit this season? Look no further than the enchanting Christmas markets scattered throughout Poland.

One of the top destinations for experiencing the magic of Christmas is undoubtedly Wrocław, known for its picturesque Old Town Square transformed into a winter wonderland. The market here boasts charming wooden stalls selling handcrafted gifts and delicious traditional treats.

Another must-visit location is Krakow, with its historic Main Market Square illuminated by twinkling lights and filled with festive cheer. Gdańsk also offers a delightful Christmas market set against the backdrop of stunning architecture along Long Market Street. Warsaw’s market at Castle Square exudes a magical atmosphere with its unique decorations and diverse range of vendors.

For a more intimate experience, head to Torun or Łódź where you can wander through quaint streets adorned with holiday decor. Don’t miss out on Poznań’s lively market featuring ice skating rinks and captivating performances that will leave you spellbound.

How is Christmas celebrated in Poland?

In Poland, Christmas is a magical time filled with rich traditions and joyful celebrations. The festive season kicks off on December 24th, known as Wigilia, which is the most important day of the holiday. Families come together for a special meal that typically includes twelve dishes to symbolize the twelve apostles.

One key tradition during Wigilia is the breaking of the opłatek, a thin wafer embossed with religious scenes that each family member shares and wishes well for one another. After dinner, many Poles attend midnight mass to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

On Christmas Day itself, families gather once again for more feasting and merrymaking. Traditional Polish dishes like pierogi (dumplings), barszcz (beetroot soup), and kutia (sweet grain pudding) are commonly enjoyed during this time.

Christmas in Poland is a time for reconnecting with loved ones, sharing delicious food, and embracing centuries-old customs that make it truly special.

What do Polish eat for Christmas?

Polish Christmas traditions are deeply rooted in delicious culinary delights that bring families together during the festive season. One of the most iconic dishes served on Christmas Eve is “Wigilia,” a meatless meal featuring twelve traditional courses, symbolizing the twelve apostles. These dishes often include mushroom soup, pierogi (filled dumplings), fried carp, and kutia – a sweet dish made from wheat berries, honey, nuts, and poppy seeds.

mushroom soup
mushroom soup

Another staple of Polish Christmas feasts is “Barszcz” – a beetroot soup traditionally served with small dumplings filled with mushrooms or cabbage known as “uszka.” For dessert, Poles enjoy treats like piernik (gingerbread), makowiec (poppy seed roll), and sernik (cheesecake). Mulled wine or spiced tea provide warmth and coziness to accompany these scrumptious meals enjoyed in the company of loved ones.

How does Poland say Merry Christmas?

In Poland, the traditional way to say Merry Christmas is “Wesołych Świąt!” This festive greeting fills the air as families and friends come together to celebrate the holiday season. The phrase captures the essence of joy and goodwill that permeates throughout the country during this special time of year.

Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas

“Wesołych Świąt!” is not just a simple wish for happiness but a heartfelt expression of warmth and unity amongst loved ones. It’s a reflection of the Polish spirit of togetherness and sharing in each other’s company during Christmas festivities.

As you wander through the enchanting Christmas markets in Poland, you’ll hear this cheerful greeting exchanged among locals and visitors alike. The phrase carries with it an air of excitement, anticipation, and a sense of community that makes celebrating Christmas in Poland truly magical.

So, next time you find yourself in Poland during the holiday season, don’t forget to spread some joy by saying “Wesołych Świąt!” to everyone you meet!

The top cities for Christmas markets in Poland

When it comes to experiencing the magic of Christmas markets in Poland, several cities stand out for their festive celebrations. Wrocław, known as the “Christmas Capital,” enchants visitors with its charming market set against a backdrop of colorful townhouses and historic buildings.

Krakow’s Christmas Market, located in the picturesque Main Square, is a winter wonderland of handmade crafts, traditional food stalls, and live music performances. Gdańsk’s market by the sea offers a unique coastal twist on holiday festivities with nautical-themed decorations and local seafood delicacies.

Warsaw boasts one of the largest Christmas markets in Poland at Rynek Starego Miasta (Old Town Market Square), where visitors can shop for Polish handicrafts and sample regional treats. Torun’s medieval charm shines during the holiday season at its Christmas market filled with gingerbread cookies and mulled wine.

Poznań’s Stary Rynek (Old Market Square) transforms into a magical fairytale land during Christmas time, complete with an ice rink and light displays. Łódź surprises visitors with its artistic approach to holiday decor at its annual Christmas market featuring unique gifts from local designers.

Wrocław Christmas Market

Nestled in the picturesque old town of Wrocław, the Christmas Market is a winter wonderland that will transport you into a magical holiday realm. The market square comes alive with twinkling lights, festive decorations, and the sweet aroma of mulled wine and traditional Polish treats.

Wrocław christmas market
Wrocław christmas market

Visitors can wander through rows of charming wooden stalls adorned with handmade crafts, ornaments, and unique gifts. Local artisans showcase their craftsmanship, offering one-of-a-kind treasures perfect for holiday shopping or souvenirs to remember your visit by.

Indulge in delicious Polish delicacies like pierogi (dumplings), kielbasa (sausage), gingerbread cookies, and oscypek (smoked cheese). Warm up with hot beverages like grzaniec galicyjski (mulled wine) as you take in the joyful atmosphere filled with music and laughter.

Don’t miss out on cultural performances, carol singing, and even a visit from Santa Claus himself. The Wrocław Christmas Market promises an enchanting experience that will leave you feeling merry and bright.

Krakow Christmas Market

Krakow christmas market 2024
Krakow christmas market 2024

Nestled in the heart of Krakow, the Christmas Market is a magical winter wonderland that enchants locals and visitors alike. The Main Square transforms into a festive hub filled with twinkling lights, colorful stalls, and the scent of mulled wine wafting through the air.

At the Krakow Christmas Market, you can browse an array of traditional handicrafts, from intricate decorations to cozy woolen mittens. Indulge in Polish delicacies like pierogi (stuffed dumplings) and oscypek (smoked cheese), warming your hands with a cup of steaming hot chocolate or spicy mulled wine as you wander through the market’s charming lanes.

Experience live music performances and carol singers spreading holiday cheer while children delight in riding on beautifully adorned carousels or meeting Santa himself. With its vibrant atmosphere and rich cultural offerings, the Krakow Christmas Market is a must-visit destination during the festive season.

Gdańsk Christmas Market

Gdansk hotels
Gdansk hotels

Nestled along the picturesque streets of Gdańsk, the Christmas Market is a festive wonderland that captivates visitors with its charming atmosphere. As you wander through the market, you’ll be greeted by twinkling lights and the delightful aroma of traditional Polish treats filling the air.

The market showcases an array of local artisans selling handmade crafts, perfect for finding unique gifts for loved ones. From intricate ornaments to cozy knitwear, there’s something for everyone at this magical market.

Immerse yourself in the holiday spirit as you sip on mulled wine or try some delicious pierogi while listening to carolers singing classic Christmas songs. The joyful ambiance will warm your heart and create lasting memories of your visit to Gdańsk during this special time of year.

Don’t miss out on exploring the stalls adorned with festive decorations and discovering one-of-a-kind treasures that embody the spirit of Christmas in Poland. Gdańsk Christmas Market truly offers a magical experience that enchants both locals and tourists alike.

Warsaw Christmas Market

Warsaw Christmas market 2024
Warsaw Christmas market 2024

Welcome to the magical Warsaw Christmas Market, where the festive spirit truly comes alive. Located in the heart of Poland’s capital city, this market is a winter wonderland filled with twinkling lights and holiday cheer.

Stroll through rows of charming wooden stalls adorned with traditional decorations and handcrafted gifts. Indulge in delicious Polish treats like pierogi, kielbasa, and mulled wine as you explore the market’s offerings.

Immerse yourself in live music performances, cultural displays, and interactive activities for all ages. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the picturesque streets of Warsaw.

Experience the warmth and hospitality of Polish traditions as you shop for unique souvenirs and ornaments to bring home. The Warsaw Christmas Market is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking an unforgettable holiday experience in Poland’s vibrant capital city.

Torun Christmas Market

Torun christmas market 2024
Torun christmas market 2024

Nestled in the heart of Poland, Torun Christmas Market is a magical winter wonderland that captures the essence of the holiday season. The market’s charming setting against the backdrop of medieval architecture creates a picturesque scene straight out of a fairytale.

Visitors can wander through rows of traditional wooden stalls adorned with twinkling lights, offering an array of handcrafted gifts, ornaments, and delicious treats. The scent of warm mulled wine and roasted chestnuts fills the air, inviting guests to indulge in festive delights.

Live music performances and entertainment add to the joyful atmosphere, while children can delight in carousel rides and visits with Santa Claus. The market truly embodies the spirit of Christmas, making it a must-visit destination for locals and tourists alike.

As dusk falls, the market transforms into a dazzling display as thousands of lights illuminate the square, creating a magical ambiance that enchants all who visit. Experience the enchantment and warmth of Torun Christmas Market this holiday season!

Poznań Christmas Market

Poznań Christmas Market 2024
Poznań Christmas Market 2024

Poznań Christmas Market is a magical winter wonderland that will immerse you in the festive spirit. Located in the picturesque Old Market Square, this market is one of Poland’s oldest and most charming. The historic setting adds an extra touch of charm to your holiday shopping experience.

As you stroll through the market, you’ll be greeted by rows of wooden stalls adorned with twinkling lights and decorations. The aroma of traditional Polish delicacies like pierogi and kielbasa fills the air, tempting your taste buds with every step.

Don’t miss out on trying local specialties such as oscypek cheese or warm mulled wine to keep you cozy as you explore the market. You can also shop for unique handicrafts, ornaments, and souvenirs to take home as gifts for loved ones.

The Poznań Christmas Market truly captures the essence of Polish traditions and hospitality during the holiday season. Whether you’re savoring delicious treats, browsing artisanal goods, or simply soaking in the festive atmosphere, this market is sure to make your visit memorable.

Łódź Christmas Market

Located in the heart of Łódź, the Christmas Market is a delightful celebration of Polish holiday traditions. The market is a magical wonderland filled with twinkling lights, festive decorations, and the aroma of traditional Polish delicacies wafting through the air. Visitors can stroll through charming stalls selling handmade ornaments, local crafts, and unique gifts perfect for loved ones.

The market offers an array of activities for all ages, from horse-drawn carriage rides to live music performances that create a joyful atmosphere. Indulge in mouthwatering treats like pierogi, kielbasa, and pierniki (Polish gingerbread) while sipping on mulled wine or hot chocolate to stay warm during chilly winter evenings.

With its bustling ambiance and friendly locals spreading cheer, Łódź Christmas Market is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to immerse themselves in the enchanting spirit of the holiday season.

What to expect at these markets

As you wander through the enchanting Christmas markets in Poland, expect to be greeted by a festive atmosphere filled with twinkling lights and the aroma of traditional holiday treats wafting through the air. The market stalls are adorned with handmade crafts, unique gifts, and seasonal decorations that will surely spark your holiday spirit.

Experience the joy of sipping on mulled wine or hot chocolate as you browse through the various vendors offering an array of local specialties like pierogi, kielbasa, and gingerbread cookies. Don’t miss out on trying oscypek, a smoked cheese made from sheep’s milk—a delicious Polish delicacy.

Immerse yourself in live music performances, cultural displays, and interactive activities for all ages. From carol singers spreading cheer to ice skating rinks set up in picturesque settings, there is something for everyone at these magical markets.

Join locals and visitors alike in celebrating this special time of year where laughter fills the air and memories are made. Soak up the festive ambiance while shopping for unique souvenirs and indulging in delicious treats—it’s an experience not to be missed!

Traditional Polish holiday treats and gifts to try

The Christmas markets in Poland offer a delightful array of traditional holiday treats and unique gifts that are sure to tempt your taste buds and spark your festive spirit. One must-try treat is the iconic piernik, a spiced gingerbread cake that has been enjoyed for centuries during the holiday season. Another popular sweet treat is makowiec, a delicious poppy seed pastry filled with nuts, honey, and dried fruit.

poppy seed pastry
poppy seed pastry

For those looking for savory options, be sure to sample pierogi – dumplings filled with various ingredients such as mushrooms, cabbage, or meat. And let’s not forget about kielbasa – Polish sausage that is often grilled and served hot with mustard on the side.

When it comes to gifts, you’ll find handcrafted ornaments, intricate lacework, colorful pottery pieces, and beautifully painted wooden decorations that make perfect souvenirs or presents for loved ones back home. Soak up the festive atmosphere as you browse through stalls filled with unique treasures while savoring the flavors of Polish holiday traditions at these enchanting markets.

Activities and events at the markets

At the Christmas markets in Poland, visitors can immerse themselves in a festive wonderland filled with activities and events that capture the holiday spirit. From traditional carol singing to dazzling light displays, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

One of the highlights at these markets is browsing through rows of wooden stalls adorned with handmade decorations and unique gifts. Visitors can sip on mulled wine or hot chocolate as they explore the various offerings, from intricate ornaments to local crafts.

For those seeking a bit of adventure, ice skating rinks are often set up at the markets, providing an enchanting backdrop for some winter fun. Families can also look forward to meeting Santa Claus himself or enjoying puppet shows and live performances.

Throughout the season, special concerts and cultural performances add another layer of magic to the atmosphere, creating unforgettable memories for locals and tourists alike. Whether it’s admiring towering Christmas trees or joining in on traditional dances, there’s no shortage of entertainment at these charming markets.

Tips for navigating and enjoying the markets

Navigating and enjoying the Christmas markets in Poland can be a magical experience. To make the most of your visit, arrive early to beat the crowds and take your time strolling through the stalls. Be prepared for cold weather by dressing warmly and wearing comfortable shoes for walking.

Consider trying traditional Polish treats like pierogi or oscypek cheese while browsing for unique gifts such as handcrafted ornaments or amber jewelry. Keep an eye out for local artisans showcasing their talents and don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation with them about their craft.

Take breaks to warm up with a cup of mulled wine or hot chocolate, and immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere by listening to live music performances or joining in on some holiday-themed activities. And most importantly, have fun exploring all that these enchanting markets have to offer!

Why visiting a Christmas market in Poland should be on your bucket list

Immerse yourself in the enchanting holiday spirit of Poland by exploring its magical Christmas markets. From the charming streets of Wrocław to the historic city of Krakow, each market offers a unique experience filled with traditional treats, handcrafted gifts, and festive activities. Whether you’re sipping on mulled wine, indulging in pierogi, or admiring the twinkling lights and decorations, these markets are sure to create unforgettable memories.

So why wait? Add visiting a Christmas market in Poland to your bucket list and discover the joy and warmth of Polish holiday traditions. It’s an experience that will leave you feeling merry and bright during this special time of year. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to celebrate Christmas like never before at some of Europe’s most magical winter wonderlands right here in Poland!

by Sorin

Sorin is a freelance travel writer. He is an experienced travel writer and traveller. Since 2012 he explored more than 60 countries on 4 continents: Asia, Europe, Africa and North America. Currently is based in Romania after spending the last 7 years in Myanmar.