Krakow Christmas Markets
Krakow during Christmas time is bustling with activity. The whole town is decorated with white and blue lights. People walk huddled together through the streets covered in white snow. They are carrying Christmas shopping or stopping for hot chocolate at one of Krakow’s many coffee shops. Skating rinks go up all over town and sparkling Christmas markets appear everywhere. In their wooden huts, sellers go about their business selling Christmas decorations, sweets and games. The atmosphere is festive. People sip at hot mulled wine (grzane wino in Polish). Polish mountain smoked cheese is fuming on grills and you can savor it, combining its strong flavor with cranberry jam, a mix well worth discovering. For the ones looking to fill their bellies and warm up from Poland’s biting cold, meats and vegetables roasting away in big circular pans are on offer. Join the queue.
The Christmas markets are a tradition in Poland and they can be found in most cities. Krakow’s market is particularly beautiful, the lights filling the huts warm the Old Town Square. Braving the small crowd surrounding the stalls is worth it. Entering this tiny wonderland you will notice fragile Christmas baubles hanging down from the ceilings and wooden toys covering the tables. In one hut, candles are being made, the whole process described to the crowd and the final product sold. Handcrafted jewellery, leather bags, lacework and fur coats are also part of the treasures found at the Christmas market. The market stalls remain open until late in the evening. Ones looking to shop at a slower pace should head over when the sun has set so as to avoid the crowds and enjoy seeing the market lit up.
Weekend markets are also put together in Krakow’s Maly Rynek, (in English Krakow’s Small Square located just behind the tall Mariacki Church). In Podgorze, white tents are set up where merchants will sell homemade goods. Less touristy, the few stalls here are erected before the impressive St-Joseph’s Church. Items such as candles and soaps are sold as well as homemade jewellery or foods such as fresh bread and jams. It will be hard to leave empty handed. Happy shopping!