Kraków Christmas Markets Review

Every year, Poland’s medieval city of Kraków is transformed into a whimsical treat during the festive season. The main Christmas market takes place in the Old Town Square, however, there are a few other smaller ones scattered around the city.

Chelsea at Kraków Christmas Markets
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In this review, I’ll be dishing out all the important Kraków Christmas Market info, like the available activities, food and drink prices, and the best places to stay during your Kraków city break.

This visit was part of my Christmas Market Crawl, where I set myself a challenge to rate and review seven European Christmas Markets in just seven days, as voted for by my followers!

Everything You Need To Know About The Kraków Christmas Markets

Kraków’s Christmas market traces its roots back to the early 14th Century. Today the entire city lights up and a massive Christmas tree becomes the focal point of the main square. While the main festivities unfold in the central square, you’ll also find one or two smaller markets dotted around the city.

Kraków Christmas Markets

What Christmas Markets Are There in Kraków?

Kraków’s main festive attraction and biggest Christmas market is held in Rynek Głwony, the Old Town Square. The Kraków Christmas Market goes all out with a stage hosting live performances, and you can even hop on a coach and horse ride around the square. There are 80 timber huts selling everything from seasonal gifts to Polish snacks and festive drinks.

Kraków Christmas Markets

The Galician Advent Fair takes place right outside the Galeria Krakowska shopping centre (Galicia is a historic region that now lies across Eastern Poland and Western Ukraine). It’s got an ice-skating rink, a stage hosting concerts with rock and folk music, and a unique letterbox where kids can drop off their letters to Santa.

My Christmas Market Crawl took me to the city’s biggest festive attraction – Kraków Christmas Market held in the main square.

When do Kraków Christmas Markets Open in 2023?

Krakow’s Christmas markets open around late November until just after Christmas. In January the main market at Rynek Glwony morphs into the New Year’s Eve Market which is a bit smaller with fewer stalls.

Is Kraków a Good Destination for Christmas Markets?

The Krakow Christmas markets are great for a few drinks and to get into the festive spirit. The city also hosts other festive activities like ice rinks and the annual Kraków Nativity Scene Competition. We heard that nearby Wrocław is where it’s at for a big market if that’s what you fancy!

I’m giving the lowdown on all Vienna's Christkindlmarkt am Rathausplatz Christmas Market has to offer, including festive food and drinks, fun activities and shopping.

How Expensive are Kraków Christmas Markets?

The Kraków Christmas Markets are pretty affordable compared to some of the other markets around Europe. You can expect to £2 – £6 for food and £3.95 for a draft beer.

Kraków Christmas Markets

My Review of Kraków Christmas Market

Krakow Christmas Market

Kraków Christmas Market Opening Dates and Times

Opening dates
Friday 24 November 2023 – Friday 1 January 2024

Times (for 24 Dec – 1 Jan times can vary)
Monday – Sunday: 10am–8pm (food stalls stay open later)

My First Impressions

I’ve visited Kraków before and know how big the main square is, and so my first impression was ‘Oh, is this it?!’

The Christmas Market only takes up about a quarter of it!!

Kraków Christmas Markets

However, AS WE ALL KNOW, size isn’t everything and so I dove in to see if the quality of the market could help shift my initial impression.

Size aside, the market had a lovely glow thanks to some beautiful lights strung throughout the huts – and so it looked very inviting!


The first thing I spotted was a pierogi stall, which if you haven’t tried them before are delicious Polish dumplings. You could get six for 25 PLN (£4.95) and there were lots of different fillings to choose between.

Pierogi at Kraków Christmas Markets
Pierogi dumplings Kraków Christmas Markets

There were also at least three ‘grill’ huts which were serving up not only your classic sausages, but other meats too. I went for the bratwurst (standard Chelsea) which cost 18 PLN (£3.55) which came with two slices of bread and some condiments. However, there were plenty of sides to choose from for 15 PLN (£3) and I went for some cabbage and potatoes which were delicious.

I actually really liked that it was more of a meal and it really filled me up, though it’s probably one of my least favourite sausages I’ve tried on this crawl.

Food at Kraków Christmas Markets

The most budget option has got to be the soups – there were two soup places – and you could get a beetroot soup for just 10 PLN (£2). A hearty goulash would set you back 30 PLN (£5.95).

Food menu at Kraków Christmas Markets

Overall, there wasn’t lots of choice – and it was quite meat based – but there were some really great prices and food that will fill you up and keep you warm!

Polish cabbage and potatoes


If you’re after some mulled wine, Kraków Christmas Market has got you sorted! I saw at least three different places serving it up but being a popular market, it did mean I had to queue a little while to get to it.

Given that Kraków is usually so affordable – and the food was really well priced – I was shocked to discover that the mulled wine was the most expensive one I’d tried on my Christmas Market Crawl so far!

Krakow Christmas Market

Costing 25 PLN (£4.95), I thought it was quite steep for Poland though you did get a 300ml cup which is a good 100ml more than you get in many of those mugs that you can collect. However, I’d personally prefer to buy less at a cheaper price as you risk your mulled wine going cold unless you’re gonna neck it.

I was also disappointed that it was in a coffee cup, but it did taste lovely.

They had a whole host of different mulled wine flavours and you could buy a 400ml draft beer for 20 PLN (£3.95) from the stall too.


What’s nice about Kraków’s Christmas Markets is that if you’re there to shop, they’re all situated in one area and it’s easy to hop from stall to stall. I would say there was a higher level of tourist tat here than in others – think Kraków magnets and plastic trinkets – but there were some artisanal bits and bobs too.

Polish cookies
Krakow Christmas Markets

I liked the look of some locally-made pottery, the laced tablecloths (am I officially old now?) and the patterned rolling pins – the latter you could buy from £15.85.

Rolling pins


There was a stage set up and I have heard that there can be Polish dancing on it, but I was there a good 3.5 hours – between 4pm and 7:30pm – and I didn’t see anything which was a shame.

Otherwise, there is a nativity scene and you may spot a man dressed as Santa as he strides around but otherwise, it’s simply that you go to eat, drink and shop.

Where to Stay

As everyone voted for me to visit the Berlin Christmas Markets the next day, I didn’t have a chance to stay in Kraków that evening! However, if you were hoping to stay close to the markets, I’d take a look at Cracow Central Aparthotel and if you fancied a treat, the Hotel Saski Krakow Curio Collection is beautiful. I had a tour around it last time I stayed in the city because I’m a saddo like that.

Saski Krakow Curio Collection

It’s a 15 minute walk away, but I really recommend PURO Kraków Stare Miasto as well which is close to the train station.

Chelsea at Puro Stare Miasto hotel Krakow

I ended up catching a train and staying at the NYX Hotel Warsaw which was five minutes from Warsaw Central Station and it was great. I’d recommend it!

NYX Warsaw Hotel
NYX Warsaw Hotel

Are Kraków's Christmas Markets Worth Visiting?

My Overall Thoughts

I am a huge fan of Poland and the city of Kraków, but I can’t help but be a little disappointed by their Christmas markets! Though, after speaking to some people they said that they were much bigger pre-pandemic and so perhaps they just need a bit more time to get back to where they used to be.

Also, after Budapest and Vienna where I was spoiled with the magnificent buildings the markets were positioned beside, it felt like it didn’t have the same ‘wow’ factor.

Chelsea Cheap Holiday Expert at Krakow Christmas Market

If I was to give my two cents, I’d say shift the markets to the other side of the square so it’s in view of St. Mary’s Basilica or even the Town Hall Tower. Also, spread the lanes out a little! It got busy really quickly which felt mad when they have so much potential space in the markets.

Wow, that all sounded very critical but in truth, it’s just a couple of tweaks away from being really special. The great thing is that Kraków is such a good city to visit at any time of year and so this would make a lovely evening on top of a trip.

That, and they had their official light switch on the day AFTER I left (2 December) and so I think having the Christmas tree lit up would add to the magicalness – perhaps check to see when that will happen if you’re planning to visit in future years.

Overall I’m giving the Kraków Christmas Market a 6.5/10.

Other European Christmas Markets to Visit

Follow my Christmas Market Crawl challenge where I visit seven markets in seven days, as voted for by my followers on Instagram.

See what I thought of Budapest Christmas Markets and Vienna Christmas Markets, plus you can browse our rundown of the top Christmas markets in Europe.

Get ready for a wild festive ride across Europe. We're exploring seven Europe Christmas markets in seven days - all chosen by you!
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Krakow Christmas market review

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