Christmas attractions for everyone!
Vibrant Christmas markets
Filled with aromas of spices, resounding with carols, captivating with nativity scenes and folk motifs, Christmas markets take visitors to a truly enchanted world.
In the season of Advent and Christmas, Wrocław, Kraków, Gdańsk, Warsaw, as well as other cities tempt everyone with their wonderful markets full of sweets, delicacies from the world, regional craft products and, above all, Christmas tree ornaments. They also offer plenty of attractions for visitors of all ages. But this is not everything yet. Far from it.
Wrocław dwarfs join the festivities
Only once a year, a special dwarf makes an appearance at the Market Square in Wrocław. Prezentuś is his name, meaning Gifty. His visit is a sign that another Christmas Market has begun. Just touch his pointed cap three times, and he will release mighty magic from his huge sack. A huge Christmas tree shimmering with ornaments will pop out of the ground together with a Fairy Tale Forest full of fables and music (which also sounds from the big stage), the merry-go-round will start to spin, the “Santa Express” roller coaster will come alive, and from the terrace of the new attraction – a three-story cottage with a tower with an illuminated clock – will you see the entire market. Mulled wine is served in some of the nearly two hundred wooden alpine chalets, reminiscent of gingerbread houses. Make sure to enjoy yours responsibly in a ceramic mug shaped like a boot that has been the market’s symbol for years. Among the specialties are Alsatian flammkuchen, Dutch and Italian cheeses, Hungarian salami, Spanish churros, Podlasie smoked meats, Turkish baklava, local honey, as well as fairy-tale “Wrocław tenement houses” made of gingerbread. On top of that, there is a multitude of certified local products and craft items to choose from. Even before its inauguration, this year’s event was hailed as the largest and best-value Christmas market in Europe by the Daily Mail.
The royal city of Kraków: Miracle on every street
At the Kraków Christmas Market, expect further miracles happening on the Main Market Square. The first wonder is the ceremonial lighting of the sky-high Christmas tree and another, perhaps the most fascinating wonder, is the annual Kraków Crib Competition. The tradition of building these little masterpieces representing the Nativity has been included on the national list of intangible cultural heritage since 2014, and in 2018 on the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage. The most colourful event of the season is the carollers’ procession, in which amateur folklore groups meet at the Barbican to walk together to the Main Market Square. There they sing carols for their audience on a special stage. By the statue of the national bard Adam Mickiewicz, artists perform his most famous play, Dziady (Forefathers’ Eve). On Christmas Eve – which is also Adam’s name day in the Church calendar – Kraków’s florists from the Main Market Square place the most beautiful bouquets at the poet’s feet. The Kraków market is believed to be the oldest in Poland, and in years past it was named one of the most beautiful in Europe – in 2008 it was recognised by the Times, and in 2016 by CNN.
In the holiday season, the Kolejkowo Museum invites you to the world of fairy tales, promising a feast for all senses. Two world’s largest models of miniature Gingerbread Towns (100 sqm each), are on display in Wrocław’s Sky Tower and Gliwice’s CH Central Europe. On the website of the Wrocław one you can learn that it was built from over one and a half tonnes of dough with of 140 kg of honey, 321 eggs, 365 kg of powdered sugar, 40 kg of spices and 168 lemons. The gingerbread town hall, church, train station, mill, zoo and hundreds of houses are wrapped in a snowy icing. For the first time, the exhibit features a scene from the fairy tale about Hansel and Gretel, of course accompanied by Baba Yaga. It is the work of Jowita Woszczyńska, Polish Champion in cake decoration at Expo Sweet 2017 and 2019 and World Champion in cake decoration Cake Designers World Championship FIPGC in Milan in 2019. Jowita also arranged a scene from the fairy tale about the Little Red Riding Hood in the Gliwice version of the town, which differs in detail from the Wrocław one, such as the rendering of the Gliwice Market Square with the Town Hall. Both can be admired until February 2023.
Even more magic
The frost and snow of Christmas markets gave the winter that glow that we all missed in previous seasons. In addition, the period of isolation caused by the pandemic made everyone hungry for human interaction and good fun, so people came to Christmas villages in exceptionally large numbers. In Warsaw, where the village is tucked away in the pedestrian street called Międzymurze Piotra Biegańskiego, it is so crowded you’d think you’re at a rock concert. The decorations there and in the “food zone”, i.e. on the Old Town Square, where you can drink mulled wine, winter spice tea or coffee and have “a little something”, are exceptionally fabulous this year. The market will be open until 6 January 2023.
The Gdańsk Christmas Market has expanded with new locations – apart from Targ Węglowy and Tkacka and Bogusławskiego streets, it spread to the courtyard of Forum Gdańsk and the Great Armoury (Zbrojownia Sztuki). With its regular guest, i.e. Lucek the Moose, St. Nick sitting on the throne and a merry-go-round for all ages, the market guarantees lots of fun for everyone. Unfortunately, it ends before Christmas.
A boutique (as it only lasts a couple of days) Christmas Market in Szczecin takes place every year in the Castle of the Pomeranian Dukes in early December. On the other hand, Lublin runs its very own Christmas Festival with a rich workshop and music programme until 9 January 2023.
Energylandia, the famous amusement park in Zator and this year’s winner of the Polish Tourism Organisation’s certificate in the competition for the best tourist product, opens a Christmas Market for guests as an additional attraction, too.