My First Look at the Krakow Christmas Market

The first time I arrived in Krakow, it was December 22nd  2014. Everything would be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day; so I figured it would be a good idea to get some sightseeing in right away. I took the tram from my apartment at Krowodrza Górka to the main square and although it was freezing that day, I think it was one of the most memorable from my first few weeks in Poland. Walking down Ul. Floriańska in the snow was a sight to see. Christmas garlands hung from the colorful buildings that line the street and the Mariacki church towered above everything. But the Christmas market took the prize for coolest attraction of the day.

I was surprised to see so many people out in freezing temperatures. Locals and tourists alike were at the market getting their last minute shopping done. Walking through the aisles of vendors I found smalec, pierogi, fresh bread, ocsypek, waffles, and piernik. There was so much food that I couldn’t pick just one thing. I ended up getting one of everything and eating so much that I got sick later. I would not recommend doing the same.

No matter my unfortunate case of overzealous eating, the Christmas market still makes the list of my favorite things to do in Krakow during the winter months. If you happen to be visiting Krakow anywhere from the end of November to the beginning of January, you must go visit the markets. It’s an amazing way to spend a few hours outside and see the most well known monuments in the city at the same time. The Christmas market itself is nestled between the Mariacki church and the Sukiennice on the huge main square in Krakow’s old town, so you can stop in the church, grab some hot beer and a snack afterwards, and do all of your Christmas and souvenir shopping without having to get on a tram or leave the old town.




Aside from the number of things that you can get at the markets, the price of everything is extremely reasonable. Food usually ranges from 2-10zł and gifts are much cheaper than anything you could get back home in America or most of Western Europe. Not only can you get your Christmas shopping done a more than a quarter of the price, but also everything is completely unique. Most of the goods are handmade and distinctly Polish, making them way more exciting and personal than another pair of socks for your grandmother this year.

Another thing that I love about the market is the events that are held there. Last year, I was able to see the “Choinka pod choinkę” Christmas tree giveaway put on by the Polish radio station, RMF and although they won’t be holding it in Krakow this year, it was certainly a site to see. There are events going on at least once a week in the market, so if you frequent it enough you are likely to witness an adorable children’s choir singing carols or other concerts put on by local churches and venues.

No matter if you celebrate Christmas or not, the market in Krakow is a great place to get acquainted with Polish culture and to enjoy the chilly, snow-laden days of the harsh Polish winter.

Wesołych Świąt, 


Be sure to check out our article 12 Things to Put on Your Krakow Christmas Market List This Year


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