Cracow Christmas Market

December in Poland

places to visit in Poland in December

Places to visit in Poland

Go south to Zakopane for Goralskie culture and mountain scenery.

ski holidays in poland

Skiing and snow

Sleigh rides complete with jingle bells are still a reality in Poland in the winter. Fur coats and rugs are sold in the shops and markets.

travel guide poland

Travel Guide

The various ways of getting to Cracow and around Cracow.

Cracow Christmas Market

Cracow Christmas Market stalls

Visiting Cracow and the Christmas Market in December is a lovely introduction to the festive season. There are all the lights, Christmas decorations, Christmas carols and food that one would expect but with certain Polish differences.

The big preparation for Christmas begins a little later in Poland, after St. Nicholas Day on the 6th of December when children receive a gift of sweets and tangerines. It is only then that shops and businesses decorate their windows with twinkling lights and Christmas decorations. The Christmas market begins slowly from the end of November but come too early and you may be disappointed with the lack of colour. The 7th of December until just after New Year are recommended to see the market, Christmas festivities and traditions at their best.

The Christmas market takes place on one side of the enormous square in the old town in Cracow called Rynek. The size of this square has to be seen to believed, and for tourists to Cracow it is the centre of their holiday. Smart town houses line the square and house restaurants, shops, pubs and cafes to keep Cracow's tourists entertained, fed and happy.

A life-size nativity crib is erected in the square, some of the most beautiful Christmas trees you will see anywhere are placed at intervals in the square and around the city. A stage is erected for carol singing and New Year's Eve pop music performances and it all contributes to the festive atmosphere.

There are lots of stalls selling goods of all kinds. Some years are better than others. Watching craftsmen working on an item is always fascinating and gathers a crowd.

There are stalls with:

  • woollen products such as slippers, fleeces, sheepskin rugs
  • glass including crystal and painted glasses and candle holders
  • hand carved and decorated candles and candle centre pieces
  • Christmas cards (these are artistically superior to those found in many other countries)
  • novelty items such as babushka keyrings
  • Christmas decorations
  • Polish sweets, including Krowki, and biscuits, gingerbread
  • food stalls selling warm cheeses oscypki, grilled meats, potato pancakes, bigos, hot sausage and other gut warming dishes

Come warmly dressed, enjoy great food, good Polish beer, mulled wine and a glass or two of honey vodka or Krupnik to keep warm to make the most of the Christmas fesivities of Cracow in December.


  1. Traditional Polish crafts
  2. Polish china and pottery
  3. Polish traditional costumes
  4. Polish alcohol and drinks
  5. Polish folk culture
  6. Polish churches and religion
  7. Chopin peformances in Cracow
  8. Cracow carriage rides