The Krakow Easter Market is open! And you’ve got a little less than 2 weeks to head over to the Main Market Square for a little shopping; some food; and if you’re in the mood a drink or two! If you’re lucky you might even catch a performance on the main stage.
It’s finally spring and the Kraków Easter Market has opened! It runs everyday from 10am to 9pm with traditional Polish food, drinks, souvenirs, Easter decorations and supplies, plus daily entertainment! Just behind the Cloth Hall, or Sukiennice, on the Main Square, or Rynek Główny. Shown in this video are: Easter Palms Local Polish Honey Souvenirs Wooden Patterned Rolling Pins Polish Pottery Pierogi Polish Bread and Cheese Handmade Toys Handmade Gifts And more!!! #krakow#poland#travel#tourguide
For 2023 the Krakow Easter Market is open from March 30th to April 10th from 10am to 9pm and we’ve put together a collection of photos of what you will find!
Local Honey produces from the closest hives to Krakow bring all different types of honey to sell. Honey from different flowers, to different fruits, you can also buy bee pollen or beeswax candles- or even a wooden honey dipper. Made in Poland; specifically the Malopolska region- this honey is tasty- and maybe even helpful for your spring allergies.
You will see a lot of arrangements of Easter style greens. These boquets are a little different than the traditional palms we’ll show you later, but it’s the same idea- and it will be a great addition to your Easter basket.
Here you see the traditional tops of a Polish Eater Palm. If you’re in town on actual Palm Sunday head to the Main Square to see a competition of the best palms- they’re as tall as a room. But you can buy ones as small as a pencil. Feeling festive- head to church on Palm Sunday to get your fanciful palm blessed.
These arrangements are a two-birds-one-stone style; or should I say three-plants-one-basket. This bouquet has the two plants plus the palm you need for your traditional Polish Easter basket. The green-leafed plant is called boxwood or in Polish “bukszpan”- and is considered the Easter evergreen. The one with little cotton ball like buds are pussy willows or “bazie Wierzbow” in Polish. Want to make a traditional Polish Easter basket? Here’s how!
Ahhh my favorite market snack! Oscypek cheese is straight from the Tatra mountains; traditionally made of sheep’s milk, it is both salty and smokey, and rarely eaten cold. Which is why you can get pieces of it that have been slowly melted over the grill. You’ll find it is often wrapped in bacon, and sometimes with a dried plum- but we prefer it all by itself. There was a recent crackdown on the cheese market- and strict regulations are being enforced when it comes to the name of the cheese. While it all tastes like oscypek should, it can really only be called that if it is made by a baca, in the Tatra mountains. So many stands have had to rename their cheeses. The white ones are more salty- less smokey. And the shapes dictate how you eat it. The braids melt quickly and lose their shape, so they are meant to be eaten cold. The log shapes are meant to be sliced so you have small circles to throw in your pan at home. And the ones you see cooked over the grill, the thicker oval shapes, aren’t supposed to be sliced. The warm cheeses go nice with a tart jam like cranberry!
It’s hard to see here, but this is a large display of pierogi! There’s about 12 different types to choose from- the most traditional pierogi being mushroom and cabbage; potato and farmer’s cheese; or meat (usually beef). But in the spirit of being good hosts- this pop-up pierogarnia has made some specialty ones as well. I’ve never seen a colored pierog at my family’s house but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try them! We’re sure these Polish dumplings will be pillowy soft and packed with flavorful fillings.
These wooden three-dimensional puzzles are a fun activity for kids of all ages. Some come painted already- while others are meant to be assembled and then decorated. The one that stands in the center is a replica of St. Mary’s Basilica on the Main Square.
Whether it’s the Christmas Market in Krakow or another holiday- you’ll always found handmade wooden toys for sale. These handcrafted items are a fun little souvenir for any kid, whether they’re with you on your trip or not. Plus most of these stands have some other wood items, such as spoons; trivets; ornaments; nutcrackers; or cutting boards. It’s the perfect mix of gifts for an adult or a child.
“Pisanki” are Polish Easter eggs and they come in many varieties as pictured here. Traditionally the pisanki made at home are dyed dark, dark brown with onion skins, and are then designs are etched into them. You can also hand paint the eggs. Or with wax, create a design on the egg before you dye it. These eggs are made very close to Easter, as you’ll have to get them blessed on Saturday, and actually eat them on Sunday.
Directly translated into “Country Loaf of Bread” these rustic style loaves are sliced and grilled for your enjoyment. Usually smalec, or lard, is added to each slice- making it a hearty snack with historically Slavic roots. You’ll see a few options for additions to your slice down in front, so maybe there are more options than just lard, but to be honest I haven’t had it in years.
Polish people love soups! And every festival has at least one soup stand serving the most traditional Polish soups. Your most traditional soup at Easter is Zurek- described here as a sour rye soup, it’s full of veggies and usually hard-boiled egg halves. Barszcz Czerwony (the clear red kind) is traditionally served on Christmas Eve or as the late-night last course at parties next to a croquette. If you’ve never had it before, it’s a very famous Polish soup, so even though we don’t normally eat it on Easter- you should try it while you are in Poland if you haven’t before. Bigos is a hearty cabbage and sausage stew that can be a meal on its own.
In front here you see more Easter palms, but behind it you see full decorative displays. These Easter items are meant to be placed around the house as decoration, with some looking like big bunnies (far right middle shelf) and others being a more normal spring-themed-Easter scene.
This is a terrible picture. But, you’ll always find stalls with grills that have the tastiest sausage, or “kielbasa”, that is charred to perfection and full of flavor. There are usually sides as well, like cabbage or potatoes. This sausage is really good- but if you want the best in Krakow all year-round, head here on a late evening in Kazimierz.
If you’re looking to drink during the Easter market, maybe have an alcoholic beverage to walk around with while you are at the market, there are stalls with “wino grazne” which is hot-mulled-wine. You should be able to find “piwo” or beer as well; and most likely someone has “miod pitny” or hot mead [side note: mead in America is often sparking- hot mead in Poland is usually flat]. If it’s chilly out, and you’re looking to keep drinking, I love to find somewhere for a hot beer. Yes, you heard that right! It’s like hot wine (so spices and flavors) but with beer as the base instead. It’s actually really good. “Imbir”, which is ginger is the best flavor in my opinion.
These stands have traditional Polish Easter Cakes like Mazurek or Babka- but they also have these adorable lambs, that are actually bread! They’re meant for your Easter basket, or for decoration, but I reckon you could also eat them. You can see Babka cakes pictured below all the way to the left. And even smaller versions of them on the picture below that!
These are a really fun take on a traditional Polish roll. Rolls of some sort are usually a part of the Easter breakfast- and these are probably the cutest way to add them! “Krolik” means rabbit- and from what I can tell their little mouths are slivered almonds— so cute!
Any stall with “Litewskie” in the title is actually Lithuanian foods. Hundreds of years ago Lithuania and Poland were under the same ruler, so some culture has been shared I’m sure. The cakes you see here that look like tall towers are really good, and also interesting. I suggest getting one to try with your group and breaking apart pieces of it by hand as a snack. It isn’t too sweet so it’s a nice snack for sure.
Handmade cloths of all sizes are always available at markets. Some are meant to be table-runners; the larger ones are full tablecloths; others a centerpiece cloth; and some are specially made to cover your Polish Easter basket when you take it to church.