Krakow’s Christmas Market

Poland is not generally known for its Christmas markets. In fact, I’d been told by many people here not to expect too much of them—maybe because our previous post was Vienna!

While most Polish markets can’t compete with those in Austria or Germany, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the Old Town market in Warsaw. It’s not that big, but there are some nice handicrafts for sale, along with lots of good food. It ain’t Vienna, but it will certainly do. (There is much larger market at the National Stadium, but I don’t do Christmas markets in stadiums. That is just wrong!)

On the other hand, Krakow’s market, held in the massive Rynek Glowny, or market square, is the largest in Poland, and a true competitor among European Christmas markets. It reminds me very much of the markets in Prague and Budapest. The square is beautiful to begin with—a perfect setting. The market is large, with a good variety of vendors from both Poland and neighboring countries, and plenty of mulled wine. We visited over the weekend and had a great time shopping for interesting (and cheap!) handicrafts.

Here’s a few pics of the items on offer. Food pics to follow in the next post!

Cold and drizzly in the Rynek Glowny.
Cold and drizzly weather doesn’t slow things down a bit here.
Ukrainian ornaments on offer.
Handmade Ukrainian ornaments.
More ornaments.
More Ukrainian ornaments. Yes, we bought some.
Sheepskin (or faux sheepskin) slippers are a popular gift.
Sheepskin (or faux sheepskin) slippers are a popular gift in a cold country.
Lots of Christmas wreaths and candles.
Lots of Christmas wreaths and candles.
Polish lace and embroidery are beautiful.
Polish lace and embroidery are beautiful if you are into that kind of thing.
We bought one of these gaudy little Nativity scenes. I love it!
We bought one of these gaudy little Nativity scenes. I love it!
Stained glass is a local specialty.
Stained glass is a local specialty.
Nativity scene at the market hall.
Large wooden Nativity scene at the market hall.
Lots of gingerbread for sale. It is intended for decoration and is not actually very good to eat.
Lots of gingerbread for sale. It is intended for decoration and is not actually very good to eat. But pretty!
Saint Nicholas.
Saint Nicholas.
Christmas trees.
Christmas trees.
Beautiful little gingerbread houses.
Beautiful little gingerbread houses!
Wooden toys are a big thing in Krakow.
Wooden toys are a big thing in Krakow. I may have to stock up on a few before I leave…just in case.
I love this. Chocolate tools for a hardworking people!
I love this. In Vienna, they sell frilly Mozart and Sissi chocolates. In Poland they sell solid chocolate tools for a hard-working people!
Yeah, this will do.
Yeah, this will do.
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One comment

  1. I’m afraid to say, the chocolate tools have been in Vienna for a couple of years. Last year was the first for the Ukrainian ornaments; and the weird Sisi candies seem to have found a home in the new market at Michaelerplatz.

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