It’s practically impossible to visit the Krakow Christmas Market without becoming infused with the festive spirit and attempting to eat everything in sight.
A basket of smoked cheese at Krakow Christmas Market
One of the first things you’ll see are piles and piles of Poland’s signature smoked cheese: Oscypek. Baked in the open and served with a generous dollop of cranberry jam, these artfully carved cheeses are just begging to be taken home and turned into an elaborate toasted sandwich.
Piping hot Oscypek, baked on the spot
Chestnut based and lavender covered 'chocolate'
Chocolate may be an integral part of any festive celebration but the vendors the market still like to get inventive. Here you’ll find chocolate in every form, from bars to cotton reels to hacksaws. There’s even a special kind of bright pink, lavender covered “chocolate” bar made out of chestnuts which is far too pretty to eat.
A chocolate nut and bolt, because why not?
Some blueberry preserve to go with your Oscypek
It is a long held truth that no matter how good something is, it can always be improved with jam. Even the smokey Oscypek. You’ll find stall after stall of insta-worthy pots of jam, ranging from tart cranberry and blood-orange marmalade through peach and strawberry preserves to the rose or prune jam that fills those mouthwatering Pączki (Polish doughnuts).
Rustic jam on sale at the Krakow Christmas Market
Gigantic bread leads to gigantic sandwiches
The freshly baked wheels of sourdough bread at the market are responsible for the truly gigantic sandwiches you will see throughout the city centre. Freshly sliced, grilled and then topped with heavily seasoned roast lamb and beef.
Create your own mouth-watering combination
Just some of the sausages on offer at the market
Smoked and cured beforehand and then cooked on outdoor barbecues, the sausages on offer come from all over Poland and bring unique regional flavours to the bustling city square. Try the Kiełbaski Myśliwska (Hunter’s Sausage), a smoked pork sausage with crushed juniper berries, or the juicy Kiełbasa Czosnkowa" (Garlic Sausage).
Still hungry? Top it off with a portion of spiced potatoes
Bright colours, even in the middle of a white Christmas
The jewel-like hard candy sold at the market comes both in traditional and non-traditional forms, as emerald Christmas trees jostle for space with laughing emojis and minions. It’s a paradise for shoppers with a sweet tooth and even travellers who prefer savoury snacks will struggle to withstand the lure of these hand-painted sweet treats.
Hand-painted hard candy Christmas trees
Just follow the heavenly smell
A festive sugar rush that’s packed with protein: stalls selling candied nuts are dotted around the market and can usually be recognised by the long queues. Follow the the heavenly smell and get your almonds, peanuts and chestnuts fresh out of a roasting pan or pre-packaged to offer as a gift.
The recipe for the Krakow Christmas Market mulled wine is a closely guarded secret but we detected cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Served hot from a booth designed to look like a giant barrel, this mulled wine perfectly compliments an evening spent admiring the market light displays and eating all the things.
One of the many mulled wine stalls, shaped like a giant wine barrel
Where to sleep it off
Want to try making your own Oscypek toastie or just in need of somewhere to sleep off all those sweet and salty treats? Krakow Old Town is full of self-catered apartments, and here are the three most popular among visitors to the city: Privilege Suites, Feldman 6, Luxury Apartments Mondrian Old Town.