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christmas market in warsaw

Experience the magic of Christmas in Poland

A Polish-style Christmas involves a Christmas tree shimmering with colours, fragrant gingerbread, and carols. Unique presents, beautiful decorations and the wonderful aromas of Christmas dishes are just some of the attractions to be found at the many fairs and markets set up in the centres of Polish towns and cities before Christmas. These fairs are a great hit with tourists and residents alike.

Christmas fairs and markets, many of which are held in smaller localities, offer a programme invoking the traditions involved in preparing and celebrating Christmas. You can buy exquisite Christmas tree ornaments, local crafts goods and lots of charming gifts there. You can also try regional dishes, taste local confectionery as well as mulled beer, wine and mead. The goods on sale include ceramic and artistic glass items, silver and amber jewellery, wicker products, hand-embroidered tablecloths and wood carvings, all of which make great gifts for family and friends.

The oldest Christmas fair in Poland is the Kraków Christmas Market held in the unique atmosphere of the city’s Main Market Square (Rynek Główny). It is a fair that comes with grilled oscypek cheese, Galician mulled wine, and the Carollers’ Parade.

In Warsaw, the biggest Christmas fair takes place in the space stretching from Zamkowy Square (in front of the Royal Castle) to the Jan Kiliński Monument in the Old Town. An ice rink in the Old Market Square has long been an extra attraction enjoyed by visitors and Warsaw residents.

A unique and traditional feature of the Christmas fair in Wrocław is a giant windmill and a “fairy-tale forest” for children, both to be found in the Market Square (Rynek). Newer attractions include a three-storey fairy-tale house with an observation deck and Santa Claus’ Gallery in Solny Square.

The Old Market Square (Stary Rynek) and Wolności Square in Poznań always have many attractions for young and old, such as concerts, performances, winter games and animations, an ice carving display, and more.

It is also worth going to the Christmas markets in other Polish towns to explore their attractions and traditions.

While in Poland during the holiday season, you can also take part in the world’s biggest Nativity play as well as educational and cultural events accompanying the Three Kings Parade (6 January). This colourful and merry Christian tradition is an excellent tourist attraction concluding the Christmas season. Several hundred such parades take place across the country on the Feast of the Epiphany, commonly known in Poland as the Feast of the Three Kings.

Kraków’s Nativity-scene structures (szopka) are another incredibly colourful tradition connected with Christmas in Poland. Sumptuous, vibrant and festive, the szopka tradition was added to the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2018. The expertly crafted structures can be admired thanks to the Kraków Crib Competition.
The Christmas season in Poland is a time of charming and intriguing customs well worth exploring — everyone will find them fascinating.

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