Christmas holidays in Krakow

Christmas holidays in Krakow

Christmas always seems a bit more ‘Christmasy’ to us when it comes with both a bit of good old-fashioned tradition and a wintry climate in which to enjoy it.  If that’s what you’re after, welcome to Poland, where a snowy ‘święta’ (holiday) is almost guaranteed! Moreover, there’s a full calendar of holiday customs and traditions! It will surely make your experience here unique! Jerulita helps you get into the local Christmas spirit by detailing them below. So you’ll be well-read and ready when you find yourself in Krakow!

Whether you’re hoping to find the perfect handmade gift for your loved ones back home or you want to experience a traditional Christmas Eve feast, Polish style, December is chock full of festive events and cultural celebrations in Krakow.

Krakow is a popular summer destination but it’s becoming more well known as a great weekend destination during the Christmas and New Year period. It’s a fun, young city, with so much history, great nightlife and laid-back cafe culture.

Christmas tree in red and white garlands on the background of a backlit castle and Christmas market
Winter Krakow

1. Buy gifts on Krakow’s Christmas market

Krakow’s Christmas market is a huge annual success. The largest in Poland, it attracts visitors from around the world. Main Market Square becomes festive with carriage rides, Christmas decorations, and the smell of mulled wine. Don’t miss Christmas in Krakow!

The Christmas market in Krakow is lined with timber huts where they prepare delicious specialties and slow-cooked hearty soups, and goulash. You can also find handcraft toys and Christmas decorations to take home or preset as gifts. The Krakow Christmas Market usually opens up towards the end of November and lasts until December 26! Although it is often extended to early January because Three Kings Day marks the end of the Christmas season in Poland.

View of the super-crowded European Christmas market, decorated with garlands
Krakow Christmas Market

2. Visit Christmas Creche Competition

On the first Thursday of December (December 5th this year), annual Christmas Creche Competition takes place in Main Market Square! It invites local and international chefs to prepare their best versions of ‘szopka’, the Polish version of creches.

Something of a strange cross between a nativity scene, gingerbread house and dollhouse, ‘szopki krakowskie’ are the bizarre result of a slowly evolving folk tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages. The making of Christmas creches is a Krakow tradition. That is to say, Krakovian Christmas creches are elaborate works of art that pull elements from the city’s architecture, distinguishing them from creches made for the holiday season elsewhere.

An elderly man in the Polish national costume with a pipe in his hand, the woman next is holding colorful bright toy castle
Christmas Creche Competition

3. Discover Krakow Mountain Festival 

This festival is an ongoing mountaineering event that takes place throughout the month of December. It attracts mountain climbers from around the world. This year it will happen on December 5-8 because it’s the best moment to sum up the whole climbing year. Rock climbing and big mountain seasons are over, while winter climbing hasn’t fully begun yet. That’s why organizers invite to Krakow famous climbers, mountaineers, trail runners and ski alpinists to share with guests stories of their adventures. The Festival also includes film screenings and workshops along with competitions in this favorite local pastime. Are you an explorer? Adventurer? Rider? Wanderer? Climber? Don’t miss it!

A huge hangar filled with people with a big screen on stage
Krakow Mountain Festival

With people booking Christmas holidays in various popular European destinations, Poland may not pop up as an obvious holiday destination. Although, being rather cold, Warsaw and Krakow a lot to offer as a perfect place for a Christmas weekend getaway. For example, for a skiing trip or a gastronomic escapade. It is easy to get there with direct flights from Europe and UK airports.

There is a warm, charming atmosphere during the winter months. If you are looking for Christmas or winter holidays in Warsaw and Krakow, contact us via mail travel@jerulita.lt. Whether you have a single question or a special request, we’re here for you! We will do our best to make your winter weekend truly ‘Christmasy’.


Jerulita Travel