Yuletide in Poland is a Christmas tree glimmering with colors, gingerbread’s aroma, and carols’ sound. Unique gifts, beautiful holiday decorations, and delicious smells of traditional food are just some of the attractions at Christmas markets, which pop up in Polish city centers and towns in anticipation of Christmas. Visitors can discover regional and local dishes, taste sweet treats, enjoy beer, wine, and mead, and buy charming gifts.
Poland’s oldest Christmas market is the Kraków Christmas Market, held in the unique atmosphere of the Main Market Square. Set among glimmering Christmas lights, the Cloth Hall looks splendid, with its double row of stalls displaying wonderful souvenirs and gifts.
Stretching along Międzymurze Piotra Biegańskiego street from Castle Square to the Jan Kiliński Monument in the Old Town, the Warsaw Christmas Market is the capital’s largest. For many years now, an additional attraction has been the ice-skating rink in Old Town Square. Warsaw will again captivate visitors with its breathtaking Christmas installations located along the Royal Route.
Another magical place and special event are the Christmas Market in Wrocław, illuminated with multicolored lights. A characteristic landmark of the Wrocław Christmas Market has traditionally been an enormous windmill and a “fairy tale forest” for children.
Merry carousels, cheerful processions, aromatic dishes, and romantic spots with mistletoe create a unique atmosphere at the Gdańsk Christmas Market, which came in 3rd in the 2020 Best Christmas Market in Europe competition. It’s probably the most romantic Christmas market in Europe, with a specially designated gazebo to get together for a kiss underneath the mistletoe!
Poznań usually hosts as many as three Christmas markets. Like the Christmas Market in Gdańsk, the one in Poznań has been distinguished by winning 3rd place in the 2021 Best Christmas Market in Europe competition.
It’s also a great idea to see Christmas markets in other Polish cities and learn about their local attractions and traditions.
In Poland, you can also take part in the world’s largest Nativity Play and the educational and cultural events accompanying the Three Kings Parade (January 6th). This colorful, cheerful Christian tradition is a great tourist attraction that concludes the Christmas period. Several hundred parades are organized nationwide to mark the occasion of Epiphany, commonly known as the Feast of the Three Kings.
A truly unique Polish tradition of the Christmas season is krakowskie szopki, or Kraków cribs (Nativity creches). These stunning, colorful, and intricate creations, with a long history going back to the Middle Ages, were entered into UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2018. An exhibition of the most magnificent of these handicrafts can be admired thanks to the annual competition.
Christmas time in Poland abounds with charming and vibrant traditions that appeal to everyone.
Looking for the coolest destinations in Europe? Visit during November to February, the European winter season. Northern skies are glowing, ski slopes are glistening and Christmas markets are magical.
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From fresh Atlantic cod to giant king crab, Europe has an amazing selection of seafood. Explore the regional cuisine of traditional plates from around the coasts of Europe. Find the freshest seafood at a fishing village market or in a five-star restaurant. Head onto the waters with a guide and catch your own fish and learn how to prepare it. Whether it’s caught in the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean or the North Sea, European seafood is a treat.