Try delicious traditional treats at Warsaw Christmas Markets

Every year Christmas markets return to Warsaw with their goods and goodies. They open in November and run until Christmas or the first days of the new year. The most attractive and popular stalls are set in the picturesque surroundings of the Old Town – on the Market Square and around the Barbican. Wooden stalls are filled with ceramics, jewellery, candles, amber, hand-made crafts… For anyone looking to buy an original present for their nearest and dearest, or aiming to find inspiration for the festive table décor, then this is the place to be.

The diverse mix of vendors and entertainment attract crowds of both locals and tourists. Over the Christmas season, some Warsaw markets feature not only Polish exhibitors, but also those from Czech, Ukraine, Croatia and Lithuania, offering interesting goods and delicious food typical of their home countries.

While soaking up the festivity, why not warm up with some steaming mulled wine and try the seasonal specialty loved by the Poles – hot beer with honey and spices. Why not let your nose lead you to one of the food stalls where you can try various traditional treats. For example, bigos made with stewed sauerkraut, meat and sausage, barszcz – a beetroot soup served with tiny dumplings stuffed with a mix of dried mushrooms and fried onion, pierogi in their festive version with sauerkraut and dried ceps, gołąbki – cabbage rolls stuffed with buckwheat and dried forest mushrooms, and oscypek – a salty Polish smoked cheese made from sheep’s milk, grilled on an outdoor barbeque and served with a side of cranberry preserve. Christmas markets are also heaven for those with a sweet tooth, with offerings of traditional Polish Christmas cakes such as makowiec – poppy-seed cake – and piernik – old Polish gingerbread full of exotic spices, including ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Locations and dates of top Christmas markets in Warsaw:

Barbican: 25 November – 5 January

Shopping mall Złote Tarasy: 1-23 December

Koszyki Market Hall: 4-23 December