Spend Christmas in Krakow in 2023 | Christmas Markets, Nativity Scenes, Festive Feasts, and More!

Krakow is a fantastic trip all year round because of its charming city center, extensive history, and abundance of eating options. But during the holiday season, it is converted into a bright, merry wonderland that is ready to embrace visitors. Among the deeply ingrained Polish holiday customs that can be experienced, Kraków's picture-perfect Christmas market rivals the greatest in Europe and infuses the Old Town center with a joyous, festive energy that spreads throughout the entire city. Read on to find out more about Christmas in Krakow

Why spend Christmas in Krakow?

Christmas in Krakow - Why Spend Christmas in Krakow?
  • Some of the nicest Christmas markets may be found in Krakow's historic center because they are a medieval tradition for this city.
  • Streets and bridges are stunningly lit by decorative lights, which mysteriously appear to be amplified by snowfall.
  • Due to regional customs, Christmas in Krakow is a little more exciting for first-time visitors.
  • The city looks absolutely stunning with its lights and inhabitants joining in with the tourists during the festivities.
  • At Christmas, Krakow offers a large selection of traditional foods and beverages, extending the list of things to try.
  • Krakow’s transport and business scene are not paralyzed during the holiday season, making it quite convenient to explore.

Top 6 things to do on Christmas in Krakow

Christmas in Krakow - Christmas markets in Krakow

1. Visit the Christmas Markets of Krakow

The vibrant Christmas markets in Krakow are among the best in all of Europe and the highlight of the city's holiday season, making them one of the best places to spend the holiday season. This makeshift community's typical wooden kiosks selling vibrantly colored regional items are a riot of color. Your options include locally made gingerbread, sparkling jewelry, carefully painted ornaments, and handcrafted ceramics.

Find the best Christmas market in Krakow at Rynek Główny, under which lies the Rynek Underground Museum.

Christmas in Krakow - Christmas lights

2. See the Christmas Lights

Kraków begins to glow with Christmas lights around the end of November. You may take in the illuminations by simply wandering around the center, but the Market Square Christmas tree may be the most impressive display. The intriguing religious structure known as the Bishop's Palace is also good for visiting when it comes to see Christmas illumination.

The best places to see Christmas lights in Krakow are:

Christmas in Krakow

3. Enjoy local culinary delights

Experience the festive flavors of Krakow during Christmas by exploring the diverse food stalls in the Old Town. Treat yourself to iconic dishes like pierogi, roasted chestnuts, hearty soups, and a variety of cured meats. Meat lovers can savor sandwiches filled with delicious meats, lard, cucumbers, and onions from various stalls. Don't miss the skewers and sausages, served with tempting side dishes such as sauerkraut, potatoes, and a selection of vegetables. The Christmas markets are a culinary haven where you can indulge in a range of delectable local delights.

Christmas in Krakow - Christmas Crib Competition
Christmas in Krakow - Snow Capped Krakow

6. Experience the magic of music and festive cheer

As you stroll through the city center during the Christmas season in Krakow, you can enjoy a variety of free musical performances. From concerts and choirs to lively song and dance acts featuring local artists, children, and street musicians, there's something for everyone. The Market Square is a hub of activity with a dedicated stage where local groups captivate audiences with enchanting Christmas carols.


Frequently asked questions about celebrating Christmas in Krakow

Is Christmas a good time to visit Krakow?

Yes, visiting Krakow over the holiday season is a wise choice. Krakow has exceptional natural splendor, which the Christmas celebrations, lights, and snowfall greatly accentuate.

What are some things to do in Krakow on Christmas?

Some of the things that you must do in Krakow at Christmas are joining the Christmas feasts around the city, visiting the Christmas markets, walking down the streets to watch the Christmas lights, and shopping at the heart of the city.

What is Christmas in Krakow like?

Kraków was designed for Christmas with its storied old town, sizable holiday market in the central plaza, and horse-drawn carriages. And it doesn't let us down; at this time of year, it puts up a spectacular display to compete with other European cities. For a true flavor of winter in Krakow, give in to the local traditions and food.

What is the weather like at Christmas in Krakow?

Winters in Kraków can be chilly, with lows of -10 degrees Celsius. You should therefore bring warm clothing. Do not forget to pack appropriate head covering and boots.

Does it snow at Christmas in Krakow?

Snow is quite likely during Christmas in Krakow.

Is Krakow crowded at Christmas?

Krakow's Christmas is well-known, which increases the congestion of the city. You can still participate in Christmas celebrations despite this. Krakow also has a majority of the attractions and shops open during Christmas.

What’s open in Krakow on Christmas?

The majority of businesses in Krakow are open on Christmas Eve until noon. Most of the businesses are also open on Christmas day. Make your inquiries before arriving at your destination.

What is the most popular Christmas market in Krakow?

The most popular Christmas market in Krakow is at Market Square or Rynek Główny.

Are restaurants open on Christmas in Krakow?

Yes, the majority of restaurants in Krakow are open on Christmas Day and have special menus.

What are the best places to stay in Krakow for Christmas?

The Gródek Hotel & Restaurant is a must-stay location throughout the holiday season in Krakow. During the festivities, it offers wonderful views of the Christmas market. Alternatively, you can think about Pod Różą Hotel & Restaurant and the New Port Hotel.

What should I eat in Krakow at Christmas?

You must try Oscypek, Mulled wine, poppy seed cake, kutya or sour cheesecake, and pierogi stuffed with sauerkraut and mushrooms when in Krakow during Christmas.

What are the best restaurants for Christmas in Krakow?

Some of the best restaurants for Christmas in Krakow are Mo-ja Café & Bistro, Pimiento Argentino Grill, Moaburger, Mazaya Falafel, and Smak Ukraiński Restaurant.

Where can I see the Christmas lights in Krakow?

Bishop’s Palace, Zamek Królewski na Wawelu, St. Mary's Basilica, and Rynek Główny are some of the best places to see the Christmas lights in Krakow.

What are some Christmas traditions in Krakow?

In Krakow, people start Christmas with a crossover tradition between the nativity scene and a gingerbread house. During Advent, wreaths are placed and table decorations are made. Christmas Eve is when most people celebrate with their families. Carp fish are kept at home and cooked for dinner. Later on, gifts are opened.