I first visited the Krakow Christmas Market when I was sixteen with my aunt. It was a lot bigger than I expected, taking up most of the Rynek. For presents, it's perfect! Everything is so unique and majority is handmade. Being outside in the freezing cold with the smells of delicious warm food, sweets and drinks made my Christmas shopping ten times more fun - and a lot cheaper! All the stress of finding the right things fell away thanks to the beauty of the city and the lack of highstreet shops was a breath of fresh air. It's really cheap to get a flight out at this time of year and there are some excellent hostels just off the square. I loved this trip and I am definitely looking to go back again one Christmas soon. I probably spent less on this holiday and all the gifts than I would buying presents in the UK. I can honestly say that the Krakow Christmas market was definitely the highlight of my winter.
Last year, my aunt and I visited Krakow to do our Christmas shopping. While there, we stayed just off the main market square in a neat little hostel. Every morning we were awoken to the smell of fresh food coming from the market below. It was the perfect place to find homemade, tasty foods and drinks for the family. I bought everything from honey, homemade wine to delicious handmade biscuits. It was perfect. The snowy landscape made the hot foods even better, as it warmed you from the inside out. I enjoyed it so much I'm hoping to go back next year.
The Rynek, Market Square, Old Town
Google map: bit.ly/v0TgXw
The Christmas market in Krakow is wonderful and a great tonic for those suffering from the winter blues back home. I’m lucky enough to have been living in Krakow for nine months and in my opinion the old town has never looked as beautiful as it does right now.
After a week or so of preparation the market is now in full swing. Stalls selling spicy mulled wine, roasted meats and grilled mountain cheese served with cranberry sauce help keep the cold at bay long enough to get some good Christmas shopping done.
Those looking for something a bit different for the loved ones back home have plenty to choose from the huts selling festive ornaments, wooden toys, woollen clothing from the highlands and delicious soft gingerbread from Torun. The old cloth hall (Sukiennice) on the market square also has a plethora of stalls hoping to tempt you to part with your cash. Here you will find items such as amber jewellery from the Baltic coast, hand-stitched embroidery and other bits and pieces such as wooden chess sets and even swords!
Shopping aside, it is the magic and the old town and surrounding cobbled streets that make Krakow so special this time of year. I can’t recommend it enough.
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