A Guide to the Krakow Christmas Market

William Newman
July 26, 2023

A Guide to the Krakow Christmas Market

Are you looking for a traditional Christmas market to get you into the holiday spirit? Look no further than the Krakow Christmas Market in Poland! This market is located in the heart of the city and is full of festive stalls selling everything from gingerbread to mulled wine. In this blog post, we'll give you a guide to the Krakow Christmas Market, including what makes it special, what items you can find there and what food options are available.

What Makes the Krakow Christmas Market Special?

The Krakow Christmas market is one of the oldest and largest markets in Poland located in the heart of Krakow's UNESCO World Heritage Old Town.. It's been running for over 20 years and attracts around 1 million visitors each year. One of the things that makes this market special is its location. It's held in the city's main square, which is surrounded by historic buildings, including the beautiful St. Mary's Basilica. This gives the market a truly festive atmosphere.  

The market is a great place to find unique gifts and souvenirs and a range of handmade goods like handmade woollen clothes and socks as well as traditional Polish dishes and drinks. There are over 200 stalls at the market, selling everything from traditional Polish folk art to hand-blown glass baubles to Polish pottery. These vibrant ceramics make for beautiful and unique Christmas decorations.. You're sure to find some unique Christmas gifts here!

Visitors can also enjoy live music and entertainment, making the market a festive and enjoyable place to visit during the holiday season. While the market is only open for a few weeks each year, it is definitely worth a visit if you are in Krakow during the Christmas season.

Popular Food at the Krakow Christmas Market

Gingerbread, Fudge, and Sweets

One of the most popular items at the Krakow Christmas Market is gingerbread. This sweet treat is made with spices, honey and nuts, and comes in a variety of shapes and designs. If you're not a fan of gingerbread, you can also try some of the delicious fudge on offer. Visitors can also purchase traditional Polish candies, such as krowki and ptasie mleczko.

Roasted Chestnuts

As the weather gets colder, there's nothing quite like a roasted chestnut to warm you up. And if you're lucky enough to be in Krakow for the Christmas market, you'll find that chestnuts are everywhere. They're roasted on open fires, sold from stalls, and even used as decorations. But what makes Krakow's chestnuts so special? Part of it is the quality of the nuts themselves. They're brought in from all over Poland and roasted to perfection, giving them a rich flavor that's perfect for the winter months. But it's also the tradition that makes Krakow's chestnuts so special. For many years, they've been an essential part of the city's Christmas market, and they're sure to put a smile on your face. So next time you're in Krakow, be sure to grab a few chestnuts and enjoy the true flavor of the season.

Grilled meats

No Christmas market is complete without the smell of grilled meats wafting through the air. And at the Krakow Christmas market, there is no shortage of savory delights to choose from. Pork knuckle, kielbasa sausage, and kebabs are just a few of the mouth-watering options on offer. The meats are cooked to perfection and served with a variety of tasty sauces, making them the perfect snack to keep you warm as you wander through the market stalls. So if you're looking for a festive feast, be sure to head to the Krakow Christmas market – you won't be disappointed!

Pork Knuckle (Golonka)

Polish pork knuckle, also known as golonka, is a traditional dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. The hallmark of this dish is its succulent, slow-cooked meat, which falls off the bone and melts in your mouth. In addition to the pork, golonka typically includes potatoes, sauerkraut, and veggies like carrots and onions. The sauerkraut provides a tart contrast to the rich pork, and the potatoes add a hearty foundation. Golonka is usually served with a side of bread, making it a filling and satisfying meal. This dish is popular throughout Poland and has become a staple of Polish cuisine. Whether you enjoy it at a restaurant or make it at home, golonka is sure to please.

Kielbasa Sausage

Kielbasa is a type of Polish sausage that is made from pork or beef. You can try a red Kielbasa, white Kielbasa, or even one with cheese! You can't deny the satisfying aroma of Kielbasa being roasted and sizzling on the grill! the normal way to eat is with bread and a serving of mustard and ketchup.

Open Grilled Sandwich (Pajda)

One of the best things to eat there is the Open Grilled Sandwich, or Pajda. It's a hearty and filling snack that will keep you warm in the cold winter weather. The bread is cut from a crusty loaf of rye bread and slathered with either bacon lard or garlic butter. Its then filled with your choice of meats like grilled kielbasa sausage and cheese and finished with fried onions and/or pickles. This sandwich is sure to hit the spot and leave you wanting more!

Grilled Cheese with Cranberry Sauce (Oscypek)

One of the most popular attractions at the market is the grilled cheese with cranberry sauce (oscypek). One of the most iconic and popular dishes from Poland, is a type of smoked cheese made from sheep's milk. The cheese is traditionally made in the Tatra Mountains, and it gets its name from the Poles' word for "sheep" (oscyp). The cheese is typically smoked over a fire made from juniper wood, giving it a distinct flavor.

The cheese is grilled over an open flame and served with a sweet cranberry sauce. The combination of flavors is irresistible since you have the saltiness of the cheese and the sweetness of the cranberry sauce, and it's no wonder that this dish is a favorite among visitors to the market.

Mulled Wine

And if you want something to keep you warm, why not try some mulled wine? This festive beverage will definitely get you into the spirit of Christmas!

Mulled wine is a traditional winter beverage, made by heating red wine and adding spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. It's the perfect drink for a cold winter night, and it's also available at many Polish bars and restaurants.

Mead (Miód Pitny)

Polish Mead, also known as "Miod Pitny" is a delicious and unique alcoholic beverage that is perfect for keeping warm in the Market. Made from honey, water, and yeast, Polish Mead has a sweet and smooth flavor that is unlike any other drink.

This sweet drink has a distinct honey flavor and is served warm. The alcohol content is around 15%.

Hot Chocolate

If you think Nesquick Hot Chocolate is the real thing, you haven't yet tried the Krakow Hot Chocolate!  

There's nothing quite like a mug of hot chocolate to warm you up on a cold winter day. And when it comes to hot chocolate, the Krakow Christmas Market Hot Chocolate is in a class all its own. Made with rich milk chocolate and topped with whipped cream and marshmallows, this indulgent treat is sure to hit the spot. But what really sets it apart is its unique history. Unlike most hot chocolate recipes, which can be traced back to Europe, the exact origins of this drink are a bit of a mystery. Some say it was first created in Warsaw in the early 1800s, while others believe it originated in the city of Krakow. Whichever story you choose to believe, one thing is for sure: the  Christmas Market Hot Chocolate is a must-try for any chocolate lover.

Homemade Flavored Vodka

There's nothing quite like a sip of vodka, especially when it's infused with delicious flavors.

Poland is home to some of the world's finest vodkas. Poland's main vodka brands are Zubrowka, Wyborowa, Chopin, and Krupnik. But if you want to appreciate a wide selection of vodka flavors, the Market stalls will not disappoint, and another way to stay warm!

If you're looking for a traditional and festive Christmas market, be sure to add the Krakow Christmas Market to your list! We look forward to seeing you here for the festivities. Book a Food Tour with Us!