Poland has many beautiful cities that light up during Christmas, including the northern city of Gdansk. Thanks to its Baltic Sea location, the Gdansk Christmas Market is a stunning and unique market.
The following guide details all the essential information for planning a visit to the market in 2023, including confirmed dates, locations and opening times.
Gdansk is an attractive winter holiday destination for a number of reasons. It’s relatively cheap to get to and affordable once you arrive.
Unlike traditional Christmas holiday destinations in Germany and Austria, Gdansk is not overcrowded with tourists or booked out months in advance.
Forming part of Poland’s Tricity region alongside Sopot and Gdynia, its Hanseatic history adds to the city’s cultural appeal.
Gdansk Christmas Market 2023
The locals embrace visitors and put on a number of great winter events, with Christmas markets being a mix of the traditional and modern.
The historic old town and market streets are lined with beautifully restored architecture filled with cosy cafes, boutique shops and interesting sights.
Dates and Location
Gdansk Christmas market dates: 17th November to 23rd December 2023.
Christmas Fair location: The Coal Market (Targ Węglowy).
Tkacka Street in front of The Great Armoury (Wielka Zbrojownia).
Forum Gdańsk Shopping Centre Courtyard.
Opening times: 12pm to early evening.
Christmas Tree: Next to Neptune’s Fountain at Long Market (Długi Targ).
Ferris wheel: Granary Island (Wyspa Spichrzów).
Christmas Day: Closed.
Admission: Free, no tickets required.
Santa: Yes, on some days.
Ice skating: Yes, at Targ Węglowy.
Vegetarian: Yes, plenty of vegetarian pierogies, soup, cheese and desserts.
Vegan: Yes, but limited.
Gluten free: Ask individual vendors but beware of cross-contamination.
Reason to visit: For its stunning Baltic Sea location and historic Hanseatic architecture. Gdansk is relatively affordable. It’s an interesting alternative to the classic German and Austrian markets.
Recommended tour: This Old Town tour of Gdansk will show you the highlights of Gdansk, giving you some insights into Polish customs and traditions.
Specialities: Hot chocolate, Polish cakes, giant baubles, illuminated city gates a Venetian carousel.
Gdansk weather in winter: Temperatures average 3°C / -1°C (high / low) in December.
Where to stay in Gdansk: You can’t go wrong with Puro Hotel Gdansk for location and facilities.
Hotels near Gdansk Christmas Market
The hotel I recommend over all others is the Puro Hotel Gdansk. This is an eco-friendly boutique hotel that is ideally located on Granary Island. This is the area where I stayed on my visit to Gdansk, and it’s great because it’s close to everything but very quiet in the evenings.
In my guide to hotels near Gdansk Christmas Market, I recommend staying near the historic Long Market or on Granary Island. These convenient locations are within walking distance of the Christmas market, other festive events and many of the sights and attractions in Gdansk.
Location of Gdansk Christmas Market
Recommended City Tours
During the holiday season, Gdansk transforms into a winter wonderland with stunning decorations, twinkling lights, and bustling Christmas markets.
A city tour of Gdansk is a fantastic way to experience the city’s rich history and culture. With its charming old town, colourful facades, and stunning architecture, Gdansk is a city that truly has something for everyone.
I recommend this city tour of Gdansk as you get to see all the city’s highlights in 2 hours, including the entrance to Gdansk’s famous Amber Altar.
On a city tour, you’ll visit the city’s most iconic landmarks and attractions, including the historic Royal Way, the beautiful Neptune Fountain, and the towering St. Mary’s Basilica.
We’re here to help you experience the best of winter in Poland in 2023. Plan your trip with our Poland Christmas market guide. Discover where to go, things to do and the best ways to experience Polish food, history and culture.
Gdansk at Christmas
Gdansk Christmas Market Specialties
Lights and decorations are in abundance around Long Market, including a Christmas tree and giant baubles.
The Angels’ Mill is featured in the centre of the Christmas Fair, a windmill topped with figures of saints and angels.
At Gdansk’s old town Christmas market, you can expect to see a Venetian carousel, an ice skating rink, Christmas trees from around the world, handmade Christmas ornaments, toys, scarves, candles and festive gourmet food.
Gourmet specialties include Polish festive cakes, pretzels, chocolate-covered fruit, chocolate ‘tools’, roasted nuts, smoked cheese, grilled sausages, hot chocolate and spiced mulled wine.
Christmas Gifts and Stocking Fillers
Amber Jewellery: Gdansk is famously associated with amber, known as the “Gold of the North.” At the Christmas market, vendors sell beautifully crafted amber jewellery such as necklaces, earrings, and rings. These pieces are not only aesthetically pleasing but are also believed by many to possess healing properties.
Traditional Polish Pottery: Known for its vibrant patterns and robust quality, traditional Polish pottery is a common find at Gdansk’s Christmas market. The pottery includes mugs, bowls, and plates, all featuring the distinctive blue and white designs that reflect the region’s rich artistic heritage.
Wooden Handicrafts: Many vendors at the Gdansk Christmas market offer intricate wooden handicrafts. These range from decorative Christmas ornaments to functional kitchen utensils, all showcasing the craftsmanship and creativity of local woodworkers.
Baltic Textiles: The Baltic region has a strong tradition of textile production, and you can find a wide array of Baltic textiles in the Gdansk market. From warm scarves and shawls to delicate linens, these textiles represent both quality and cultural heritage.
Polish Sweets: Offering a taste of Polish tradition, vendors sell a variety of sweets, such as gingerbread cookies and marzipan. Packaged in festive containers, they make delightful gifts or personal treats. The sweets taste delicious and are often beautifully decorated to represent Polish Christmas symbols.
Maritime Souvenirs: Reflecting Gdansk’s maritime history, you’ll discover vendors selling maritime-themed souvenirs, such as model ships, nautical instruments, and sea-inspired decorations. These items serve as reminders of Gdansk’s long-standing connection to the sea and its maritime traditions.
Traditional Polish Christmas Decorations: In abundance, classic Polish Christmas decorations such as hand-painted glass baubles and straw ornaments can be found. These decorations often depict traditional Polish Christmas motifs and folklore and are integral to the local festive celebrations.
Baltic Herbal Products: In line with the Baltic tradition of using herbs for wellness, vendors in Gdansk’s Christmas market sell herbal teas, essential oils, and balms made from locally sourced herbs. These products often come in beautifully crafted containers and reflect a holistic approach to health that’s rooted in the regional culture.
Things to Do in Gdansk in Winter
Tourism in Gdansk revolves around the waterfront and port area and all the narrow streets and squares of the old town.
The historic precinct is compact and bustling with jewellery shops selling local amber, designer homeware stores, delicious bakeries, seafood restaurants, and museums.
The restoration of Gdansk’s old town resulted in a massive increase in holidays and city breaks in the Tricity region, even during winter.
Most people will spend a few days in Gdansk plus a day trip to Sopot and Gdynia or maybe to the most famous castle in this region of Poland, Malbork Castle.
Gdansk’s Christmas market is small but growing every year with longer opening dates and more locations. It’s a fantastic city all year round, but it’s worth visiting any time of the year.
Here’s a quick roundup of things to see in Gdansk and surrounding areas.
Discover the Different Towns: Gdansk is divided into several distinctive areas, each with its own unique charm. Explore the historical Main Town with its Gothic and Renaissance architecture. Wander through the Old Town, where you’ll find cobbled streets and medieval buildings. Visit Osiek, an area steeped in history with preserved remnants of Gdansk’s past. Don’t miss Young Town, which presents a modern and vibrant contrast to the other parts of the city.
Walk Through the Various City Gates: Gdansk’s gates are symbols of the city’s history. The Upland Gate serves as a grand entrance to the Royal Route. The Golden Gate, adorned with allegorical statues, represents virtues such as peace and freedom. The Green Gate, inspired by Flemish architecture, often hosts exhibitions and cultural events.
Join the Crowds on Dlugi Targ (Long Market): This bustling street is the heart of Gdansk’s social life. Marvel at the Fountain of Neptune, a city symbol and popular meeting point. Explore the Arts Court, which houses the Gdansk History Museum. Visit one or more of the Town Halls, each reflecting different eras and styles of architecture.
Shop for Baltic Sea Amber on Mariacka Street: This picturesque street is renowned for its amber shops, where artisans craft beautiful jewellery. Beyond amber, you’ll find cosy cafes serving excellent coffee and delicious cakes that locals rave about.
Walk Along the Embankment of the Motlawa River: This scenic route leads you to the Medieval Crane, a unique 15th-century structure that symbolises Gdansk’s maritime history. It’s a great spot for photography and understanding the city’s connection to the sea.
Take the 400 Steps up St Mary’s Church: The climb might be challenging, but the panoramic views of Gdansk from St Mary’s Church’s tower are absolutely worth it. The church itself is an architectural marvel and one of the largest brick churches in the world.
See the Baltic Dunes from Rowokol: Depending on the weather, you might glimpse snow on the beach, adding a magical touch to the already stunning landscape of sand dunes and sea.
Visit the European Solidarity Centre: This modern museum pays homage to the Solidarity Movement, a pivotal force in Polish history. Its interactive exhibits provide an enlightening insight into the struggle against communist rule.
Go for Lunch in Elegant Sopot: Just a short drive from Gdansk, Sopot is known for its sophisticated ambience and beautiful beach. Enjoy lunch at one of the seafront restaurants and stroll along the pier.
Visit Malbork Castle: An hour south of Gdansk, this impressive red-bricked castle represents medieval Teutonic architecture. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site, and a guided tour will reveal its fascinating history.
Take a Day Trip to Sobieszewo Island: If you have extra time, this tranquil island offers natural beauty and relaxation. Explore its bird sanctuary, walk through dense forests, or enjoy the beach, even in winter when the landscape can take on a serene beauty.
Visit Gdansk has more detailed travel information, including Christmas events and schedules.
Sustainable Travel Tips
Here are a few tips on how you can travel more responsibly in Gdansk at Christmas:
Stay in Eco-Friendly Hotels: Many hotels in Gdansk are working towards sustainability by employing renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. When booking your accommodation, look for those that have committed to green practices, including energy efficiency, water conservation, and renewable electricity. The Puro Hotel is a sustainable option in Gdansk.
Reduce Food Waste at Markets: Christmas markets in Gdansk offer an array of delightful dishes, but it’s essential to be mindful of food waste. Try to order portions that you can finish, and if you’re with a group, consider sharing dishes to sample a variety without wasting food. Many vendors are also happy to provide smaller servings upon request.
Practice Ethical Consumption: Gdansk’s Christmas markets are filled with beautiful crafts, ornaments, and souvenirs. Be mindful of your purchases, selecting items that you genuinely need or will use. Buying locally made products supports local artisans and reduces the carbon footprint associated with transported goods.
Opt for a Sustainable Diet: Many eateries in Gdansk offer vegetarian and vegan options, using locally sourced ingredients. By choosing plant-based meals, even for just a few meals during your trip, you contribute to a more sustainable food system. Seek out restaurants that highlight their use of local, seasonal products to enjoy a culinary experience that’s kinder to the planet.
Use Sustainable Transport: Gdansk has a well-connected public transportation system, including buses, trams, and local trains. Using public transport instead of renting a car reduces your carbon footprint. Walking and cycling are also great ways to explore the city, especially the historical Old Town, which is best experienced on foot. Some companies in Gdansk offer electric or hybrid vehicles if you need to use a taxi.
These practices allow you to enjoy the festive spirit of Gdansk while contributing positively to the environment and local community. By being mindful of your choices, you can make your Christmas holiday in Gdansk both joyful and responsible.
Gdansk Christmas Market dates are confirmed as from 17th November to 23rd December 2023.
The Christmas market is located at Targ Węglowy, along Tkacka and Bogusławskiego Streets and in the tunnel from Targ Węglowy to Forum Gdańsk.
Yes, Gdansk has a Christmas Market and Fair and many Christmas events.
Gdansk is a beautiful coastal city with great cafes, bars, live music, museums, the Christmas Fair and winter events.
If you have visited Gdansk in winter or want to review the Xmas market, comment below.
Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Gdansk, Poland. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.