Krakow at Christmas: 73rd Annual Szopki Competition

Every year on the first Thursday of December, the Historical Museum of Krakow holds the annual Szopka Competition! This year was its 73rd year. Children, adults, everyone brings their handcrafted szopka to the statue at the heart of the Main Square. Krakowians and visitors gather together, starting around 9am, to watch the szopki be brought in. Some are as small as a thumb- while others require multiple people to carry them.


If you miss the event- don’t worry, you can visit the museum to see many szopki up close, as it is also the home to winners from every year.  You will also find szopki all around town, for sale as souvenirs, or as decoration in every sort of establishment from churches to restaurants to hotels! Every one is different, and while some show the traditional nativity scene, others feature Polish symbols like the Lajkonik!

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Photos from the 72nd Annual (2014):

Nativity with kids Nativity full with SM Close Up Nativity

If you will be in Krakow for the Christmas holidays and need to know what restaurants are open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day check out our list here or download the pdf. And don’t forget if you have any questions, comments, or want us to make you a custom made list or itinerary, you can always email us at 


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