Gjirokastra is one of Albania’s most beautiful and historic cities, leading to its recognition by UNESCO. It’s known for its traditional Ottoman-era architecture, its cobblestone streets, the Old Bazaar and the incredible castle. Gjirokastra Christmas Market is a month-long event starting in December.
Gjirokastra Castle is a highlight of a trip to this city, particularly due to its spectacular hilltop location. It’s an impressive fortress that has been standing since the 4th century AD.
The castle has many interesting features, such as its defence walls, two large towers, secret tunnels and watchtowers. In addition, the castle also houses a number of museums, art galleries and other cultural attractions.
Gjirokastra Christmas Market 2022
The Christmas markets in Gjirokastra are part of the Lights Festival that begins on the 6th December and continues into the new year. It’s a great place to buy some Albanian-made handicrafts, gifts and souvenirs.
You can also try all kinds of Albanian foods like burek, grilled meat and vegetables, and oshaf dessert, a specialty of Gjirokastra.
Along with the lighting of the tree and street decorations, there is live music and activities for children, including meeting Santa Claus.
Dates and Location
Gjirokastra Christmas Lights Festival dates: 6th December 2022 to 6th January 2023.
Opening times: 10am to 7pm.
Location: Çerçiz Topulli Square and the Old Bazaar.
Reason to visit: The incredibly scenic location and historic UNESCO listed old town.
Recommended tour: Take a walking tour of the Ottoman-era Old Town. Includes a visit to the Old Bazaar and Cfaka neighbourhood.
Specialties: Oshaf dessert made with figs, sheeps milk and cinnamon. Locally brewed beer, mulled wine, turshi pickled vegetables.
Where to stay: Hotel Kastro is a highly-rated hotel, 3-minutes from the Christmas market.
Hotels near Gjirokastra Christmas Market
Gjirokaster is one of the most beautiful old towns in the country. Cobblestone streets wind through the old Ottoman-era buildings, many of which have now been restored. I recommend staying in one of these historic old buildings for a unique experience in this part of the world.
I suggest staying at Hotel Kastro as it’s located in one of these old buildings. You’ll see the intricate, artisanal woodwork on the ceilings when you enter. This hotel is situated in the Old Bazaar district and is only a few minutes to the Christmas markets.
Location of Gjirokastra Christmas Market
Add another destination to your Christmas holiday with the help of this list of the best Christmas markets in Albania.
Visit Gjirokastra has information on things to do in this beautiful UNESCO-listed city and the surrounding region. You can also find details on the latest events and festivals and the best ways to experience Gjirokastra at Christmas.
Sustainable Travel Tips
The choices we make have an environmental and social impact on the places we visit. Try to implement these responsible travel measures when visiting the Christmas markets.
- Shop mindfully. Only purchase what you really need.
- Walk, cycle, and use public transport to get around.
- Stay in a sustainable hotel powered by renewable energy.
- Avoid using plastic or buying items made or packaged with plastic.
- Try to eat locally sourced organic food where possible.
- Limit your consumption of meat and dairy.
- Explore more than just the main tourist areas.
- Support the arts and attend local events.
Gjirokastra Christmas Market starts on 6th December 2022 and ends on 6th January 2023.
The Christmas markets in Gjirokastra are held at Çerçiz Topulli Square in the Old Bazaar.
The Christmas markets open at 10am.
The Christmas markets close at 7pm.
If you would like to leave a review of Gjirokaster Xmas Market, feel free to comment below.
Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Gjirokastra, Albania. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.