As Kraków is getting colder with every day and the first snow starts falling from the sky, it’s a great reminder of upcoming Christmas season! And as many popular and cultural cities in Europe, Kraków also annually organizes a Christmas Market on the Main Market Square. This season again for about a month the center of the city will change into a festive, magical place full of Holiday spirit!
You can not miss this event as there are so many amazing things to try and see. Traditionally, it always starts in the last week of November and this year the grand opening is planned for 25th November. However most booths will open today(!) already. The event is attracting more visitors from around the world every year and it has been named one of the top 10 Christmas Markets in the world!
Kraków’s Christmas Market is not only about shopping! The organizers prepared a long and diverse programme to make every day special. Get ready for many concerts of professional bands or musicians, as well as children performances and local schools’ youth caroling. Speaking of children, don’t forget to take them for a meeting with Santa December 6th! The President of Kraków will also show up to symbolically share a communion wafer with citizens. Moreover there will be a special Christmas Tram cruising around the city, inviting passerbies to ride for free and to visit the market. Many charitable events are also planned to help the poorest residents and hospital patients to celebrate this important season as well.
What to eat and drink?
As always food will play a great role this coming season. If outside is cold and frosty start with warming yourself with some hot chocolate or mulled wine served from a huge barrow and known as grzaniec galicyjski. Once you’re warm there are many possibilities of (not only) Polish cuisine that you couldn’t try in one day. Before trying many hot and nutritious dishes like bigos or kiełbasa try as a starter oscypek (a type of smoked cheese made in Polish mountains). It tastes the best grilled with a bit of cranberry souse.
What to buy?
Once you are warm and well fed it is time to look around the shops and maybe find some gifts for the loved ones. The variety of items that can be purchased includes Christmas decoration, lewellery, pottery, metalwork, paintings, sculptures and more… It’s also worth mentioning candy stores that look simply amazing and provide colorful sweets like candies, lollipops, ginger breads and fudge.
Why is Nativity Scene important to see?
The Kraków Nativity Scenes is a unique style of art in the whole world and the tradition of making them comes from 19th century. Those beautiful and incredibly detailed sculptures are exhibited thanks to the annual contest. Every year on first Thursday of December (7th Dec 2017) around noon in front of Adam Mickiewicz monument in the Main Square crib makers are gathered in order to show their newest crafts. Families and tourists and TV camera operators’ teams surround them with admiration and the winner is revealed later by a special Jury (Museum’s Director, ethnologists, art historians, artists, employees of Historical and Ethnographic Museums). After the competition it is possible to admire contest’s exhibition, which takes place on the Krzysztofory Palace ground floor.