One of the most popular happenings in Krakow is the annual Christmas market at the main square (Rynek Glowny). This event normally opens in the end of November and remains open until December 26th. If you come to Krakow during this period, it is impossible to miss out on the Christmas market at the main square. But, it is also a fact that many people travel to Krakow in this period because of the Christmas market.
The famous Christmas market at the main square in Krakow is a fantastic event. Here you can eat and drink all sorts of local food and drinks. Besides this, you can enjoy programs from a stage at the square. You can watch folklore performances and listen to local Polish music from the area.
Would you like to buy someone a nice souvenir from Krakow? Or maybe you would like to buy some Christmas presents? You can, of course, do that at the Christmas market in Krakow. Do not forget that the square is fantastic, so you can easily enjoy the Christmas market, visit the restaurants at the square, walk through the Sukiennice (clothes hall), and then eat some Polish sausage and taste local vodka.
The dates for the Krakow Christmas market in 2023.
November 25, 2023 – January 1, 2024
Dates for the Christmas market in Krakow in earlier years.
- 2022: November 25 – December 26.
- 2019: November 29 – December 26.
- 2018: November 30 – December 26.
- 2017: November 24 – December 26.
- 2016: November 25 – December 26.
- 2015: November 27 – December 26.
If you come after December 26th, there will still be a market at the square, but it is a smaller version of the Christmas market only. In other words, to get the whole experience, visit Krakow in the period mentioned above.
Where to live near the Christmas market in Krakow?
It is always an advantage to live near the Old Town of Krakow and close to the Christmas Market. It saves you a lot of time, and it is also positive that hotels and apartments in this area aren’t extremely expensive, even though they have a great location.
The map below shows you the location of the Christmas market in the center, and then you can pick and choose from the hotels and apartments surrounding the area. You will also see price estimations making it easier to find accommodation based on how much you want to pay for your room.
All the hotels and apartments you see on the map above have a good location in Krakow. This makes them ideal for sightseeing, and of course, shopping at the Christmas market.
What to eat at the Christmas market in Krakow?
Are you finally coming to Krakow to take a closer look at the popular Christmas market at the city’s main square? What should you buy once you are there?
There are many similarities between Christmas markets worldwide. The most common similarity is warm wine. Wherever you visit a Christmas market, you should taste the local version of warm wine or glühwein (Grzaniec). Some places serve you warm w,ine and that’s it. In general, however, this combines warm wine with Christmas spices such as cinnamon, sugar, cloves, and some other spices.
Poland is well-known for its drinks, especially Vodka. This is extremely popular at the Christmas markets, especially as the temperatures go below 0 Celsius (which they frequently do).
If you drink lots of wine and Vodka, you should probably eat something as well. If you want to taste local food, start with a giant sausage. There are sausages of all sorts at the Christmas market in Krakow. These are spiced up and served with mustard and ketchup.
Would you rather eat something else? Eat a sandwich (Pajda) with delicious meat, garlic butter, salad, sausage, onion, and other snacks on top. These are gigantic, and you will not need more food for hours if you eat such a sandwich.
Polish people like to eat pig dishes, and so should you. The crispy pork knuckle is a delicious dish at the Christmas market in Krakow. The knuckle is the upper part of the leg, and it is really juicy, especially the way it is prepared in Krakow. This dish is best enjoyed combined with a side dish of your wish.
There are many other fantastic things to eat and drink at the Christmas market in Krakow. Do not forget about the legendary Polish cheese, of which the most famous is the sheep’s cheese. You will also find cheese from goats at the Christmas market. These cheeses are fantastic for eating directly or bringing home as a souvenir. You can also buy them in a grilled version, which feels even better on a cold December day in Krakow.
What to buy at the Christmas market in Krakow?
When you have tasted local gastronomy, it is time for shopping. What should you buy?
Honestly, many people consider the objects for sale at different Christmas markets as junk. That might be true, but there are gems for sale at the Christmas market in Krakow. What should you look out for?
A great way to remember your stay in Krakow is to buy decorations for the Christmas tree. There are lots of handmade decorations for sale at the Christmas market in Krakow, and they will beautifully decorate your Christmas tree as your return home. They will also bring forth the sweet memories from your Krakow trip whenever you add them to your Christmas tree, year after year.
Another great thing to bring home from Krakow is cheese, sweets, and chocolate. You will find these in all shapes and sizes at the Christmas market at Rynek Glowny in Krakow. Whether you eat it all yourself or give them to someone else as a present is entirely your decision.
It can get extremely cold in Krakow in December. In 2022, there were temperatures around -15 Celsius at times. What can you do to resist the cold? Buy some woolen clothes at the Christmas market. You can find jackets, gloves, and hats made out of wool and more at the Christmas market in Krakow. These objects might not be extremely cheap, but they will warm your body and soul at once!
Are you looking for something else? Do you have too much money that you want to spend? You might not need it, but there are many Matryoshka dolls (stacking dolls) at the Christmas markets in Krakow. These are available in all shapes and might make a great present to someone you love or hate (depending on the motive).