If you’re planning on visiting the Wroclaw Christmas Market, read on for my full review!
Wroclaw, or Poland in general, might not leap to mind when you think of Europe’s most Christmassy destinations.
Surely the markets of Bavaria, or the slopes of the Alps, have more to offer?
Wrong. Poland is actually one of my favourite winter destinations in Europe – and during Christmastime, it shines.
While Vienna and Prague may have the more famous Christmas markets, Wroclaw’s festive fair ticks all the boxes when it comes to attractions, food and drink – and it comes at a much smaller price tag than Europe’s more famous markets.
What’s the Wroclaw Christmas Market like?
Sprawling around the Old Town Hall in Market Square – one of the largest squares of its kind in Europe – Wroclaw Christmas Market is largely regarded as the best in Poland (and one of Europe’s prime Christmas destinations!).
In fact, it also boasts the impressive titles of Poland’s oldest and biggest festive market – if you’re planning a Christmas trip to Poland, Wroclaw should undoubtedly be on your agenda.
I headed to the expansive Wroclaw Christmas Market first thing on my morning in the city.
Even at 11am, the market was already pounding – the lights weren’t yet lit, but families with wide-eyed children gazing at the many attractions, adults cheers-ing at the bar and vendors calling out Christmas wishes only added to the atmosphere.
I was lucky enough to visit Wroclaw on a snowy December’s day – we don’t get this every year, locals warned me – and my toes felt decidedly chilly as I crunched on snow underfoot. But, nothing a glass or two of gluwein couldn’t warm up!
If you’re looking for the full package of Christmas markets – food, drink, activities and a fantastic festive atmosphere – at relatively low prices (especially compared to their German counterparts!), I highly recommend visiting Wroclaw.
Food at the Wroclaw Christmas Market
There’s so much food on offer at the Wroclaw Christmas Market!
One of my highlights was traditional Polish pierogi. These delicious dumplings, a staple in Polish cuisine, were available in various fillings – I had the veggie cheese-and-potato-filled pierogi. They’re hearty and perfect for the chilly weather!
You’ll also find an eclectic mix of European cuisines; there was even a Georgian food stall, along with your typical German bratwurst.
I also found falafel and baba ghanoush at a Lebanese stall, but this didn’t quite hit the mark as the falafel was tough and chewy and the hummus tasted a bit milky!
Price-wise, I paid 28 zloty (around 6.50 euro) for the pierogi and 22 zloty (5 euro) for the falafel and baba ghanoush plate.
Drinks at the Wroclaw Christmas Market
Drinks-wise, expect predominantly traditional mulled wine and beer at the Christmas markets. They did offer a variety of different types of wine, including white wine and different fruity wines.
Lots of stalls will serve up a hot wine for 15 zloty (around 3.50 euro), plus a 20 zloty deposit for the mug. You can keep this – it makes a budget-friendly souvenir!
The wine was warm, spiced perfectly, and just what I needed to ward off the chill.
Fancy a coffee? I headed to the cosy nearby cafe, El Gato.
Their brews are top-notch – my cappuccino was rich and just the right amount of frothy. Prices were on the higher side though (around 30 zloty or 7 euro for a coffee and cake).
And here’s a tip: bring cash! Many of the drink stalls at the market are cash-only, so it’s good to have some on hand. However, most other stalls (that don’t require a cup deposit) accept card.
Entertainment at the Wroclaw Christmas Market
There’s quite a lot on offer when it comes to Wroclaw Christmas Market’s entertainment!
First up, there are the fairytale cabins. These are small cabins each detailing a different traditional fairy story. They were told in Polish, but they were enchanting regardless!
There are several fairground rides scattered around, including a carousel. Most of these are targeted at children.
The shopping scene at the market is also a form of entertainment in itself – there was plenty on offer including local wool products and Christmas tree ornaments – prices weren’t bad too!
Of course, most of the adult groups gather around the bars – and there are plenty of them (both indoors and outdoors). There was also a wonderful viewing platform above a bar.
Check out my video of the Christmas market in Wroclaw!
Other things to do near the Wroclaw Christmas Market
Speaking of views, the St Elisabeth of Hungary Church sits at one of the corners of the festive market, and you can climb up for a view over the whole city.
It costs 15 zloty to enter and climb the 300 steps to the top of the tower. However, I must add that when I reached the top I did struggle to see over the railings due to my height (I’m 5 foot 2)! There were a few gaps below where I could take the view in, however.
Wroclaw’s Old Town Hall, which is the centrepiece of the market, was initially constructed in the late 13th century and expanded over 250 years; it once housed the city’s authorities and court. Today, as you wander through its rooms, now the City Museum of Wrocław, you’ll discover a blend of historical significance and cultural heritage, from the original consistorium to the opulent Royal Chamber. Don’t miss the renowned Piwnica Świdnicka, one of Europe’s oldest restaurants, in its cellar.
Embark on the Walkative free walking tour of Wroclaw, which includes Wroclaw Town Hall, historical sites like Ostrów Tumski with the John the Baptist Cathedral and landmarks like the Ossolineum. On the way, you’ll weave through Wroclaw’s multifaceted past, from its founding by the Czechs to the tumultuous events of World War II.
Wrocław’s dotted with dwarf statues – look out for them while you’re here! These bronze statues represent a whimsical tribute to the Orange Alternative movement, which used dwarves as symbols of peaceful protest against Poland’s communist regime. As you explore Wrocław, look out for over 400 unique dwarves engaging in various activities – from a doctor with a mini stethoscope to a pair of dwarves performing a symphony!
Look out for the lamplighter when you’re in Wroclaw for the Christmas market! A lamplighter in a distinctive cape and top hat diligently lights 103 gas lamps on Ostrów Tumski, the city’s Cathedral Island, each evening. This dates back to the first gas lantern lit in Wrocław in 1846 (long before electric lighting) and still happens every night to this day.
Where to stay near the Wroclaw Christmas Market
I stayed at Basecamp, which was around a half-hour walk from the Christmas markets.
I loved the feel of this place. It’s a youthful space that students and digital nomads reside in long-term. However, they do rent out rooms on a nightly basis on Booking.com.
I had a cosy single room with a comfy bed, modern amenities and a bathroom with great high pressure warm showers.
There were kitchen facilities (I bought some pierogi at the self-serve shop downstairs and cooked them up for dinner) and there’s also a huge, free-to-use gym and coworking facilities.
Plus, it only cost me 39 euros for a night!
Closer to the city centre, there’s Qubus Hotel Wrocław, which has spa facilities, lovely comfortable rooms and is right by the market square.
How to get to Wroclaw
Wroclaw has an international airport with budget carrier flights to various European destinations. I flew from Bristol, with rates at about £35.
From the airport, Bolt taxis are only about 10 euros (bus transfers are also available).
After I was finished at the markets, I took a train to Warsaw, which was comfortable, clean and took about three hours.
Are you planning on visiting the Wroclaw Christmas Market?
Wroclaw’s Christmas Market was one of the best I’ve visited in all of Europe. It sprawls out over the city centre, yet never feels too large and commercial.
Plus, any market selling pierogi and Georgian cuisine is good in my books! Don’t miss this one if you’re on a Europe festive markets tour.