Known for its impressive mix of modern and historical architecture, Katowice in Poland transforms into a vibrant city during the festive season. The Katowice Christmas Market adds to the city’s charm.
In this article, I’ll present all the essential details for your visit, such as the confirmed 2023 dates, opening times, market locations and the Polish specialities that await you.
Christmas in Katowice blends tradition with contemporary events. The city has undergone an incredible transformation in recent years. It’s very different from when I first visited in the early 2000s.
Katowice Christmas Market 2023
The Christmas market in Katowice spans across the city’s heart at Market Square. This market is celebrated for an impressive array of stalls selling traditional Polish crafts, local delicacies and unique gifts, setting a benchmark for variety and quality.
The aromatic food stands draw in the crowds, serving hearty Polish dishes that bring warmth to the chilly winter evenings. A unique feature of this market is the meticulously crafted ice sculptures, their twinkling forms adding a touch of icy elegance.
Dates and Location
Katowice Christmas Market dates: 17th November 2023 to 7th January 2024.
Location: Rynek – Market Square.
Opening times: 10am to 8pm.
Christmas Day: Closed.
Admission: Free, no tickets required.
Christmas lights: No switch on date.
Santa: Yes, photos are available.
Ice skating: Yes, at Market Square.
Attractions: Ferris wheel, carousel and the Christmas train ride.
Vegetarian: Yes, plenty of options.
Vegan: Yes, plenty of options.
Gluten-free: Yes, but limited.
Pet-friendly: Yes, dogs are allowed on a lead.
Parking: Please take public transport to help limit congestion.
Reason to visit: Distinct Polish Christmas charm. Authentic, local crafts. Ferris wheel in the centre square.
Recommended tour: Old Town highlights walking tour.
Specialities: Pierogi (dumplings). Kielbasa (sausage). Oscypek (smoked cheese). Zapiekanka (grilled sandwich). Grzane piwo (warm beer).
Where to stay: Q Hotel Plus is a popular hotel 5 minutes from Market Square.
Hotels near Katowice Christmas Market
Staying in the city centre of Katowice is your best bet to be close to the vibrancy of the Christmas market at Market Square. The central district is well served with transport links, and with its lively atmosphere and variety of shops and restaurants, it’s a convenient and enjoyable place to be.
For your accommodation, I highly recommend Q Hotel Plus, popular for its welcoming service and central location, making your visit to the market a breeze.
Location of Katowice Christmas Market
Katowice and Christmas Tours
A tour of Katowice provides a brilliant opportunity to discover the city’s rich history and culture.
This Old Town highlights walking tour of Katowice is a great choice as it allows you to see many of the city’s highlights, guided by a local, all for a reasonable fee.
On this tour, you’ll visit some of Katowice’s most iconic landmarks and attractions, such as the historic Nikiszowiec district, the striking Spodek concert hall and the impressive Cathedral of Christ the King.
For an alternative perspective, think about taking this Polish food tour to explore the local culture through its cuisine.
Food tours have become increasingly popular, and, speaking from my own experience as a travel blogger, this kind of tour is a fantastic way to engage with local food culture.
Christmas in Katowice
This video provides a vibrant look at the Katowice Christmas Market. As you watch, you’ll get a sense of the festive atmosphere, the range of stalls, and the charm that makes the market so special.
To continue your festive adventure in Poland, read my Poland Christmas Market 2023 guide, assisting you in planning an itinerary.
Christmas Specialties in Katowice
Pierogi: These are traditional Polish dumplings filled with a variety of ingredients. Common fillings include mashed potato with cottage cheese, sauerkraut, and even berries for a sweet version.
Barszcz czerwony: This beetroot soup is a common starter at Polish Christmas Eve dinners. It’s a light, tangy soup, sometimes served with tiny dumplings known as uszka, filled with wild mushrooms and cabbage.
Kutia: A sweet dish traditionally served at the end of the Christmas Eve meal in Eastern Poland. It’s a mix of wheat berries, poppy seeds, honey, dried fruits and nuts, creating a hearty and sweet dish.
Kompot z suszu: A traditional Christmas drink, this is a sweet beverage made by boiling dried fruits and spices in water. The result is a sweet, fragrant drink that’s often consumed in large quantities during Wigilia, the Polish Christmas Eve supper.
Golabki: Translated to ‘little pigeons’, cabbage rolls filled with rice and meat, covered with tomato or mushroom sauce. A vegetarian version swaps the meat for mushrooms or lentils, making it a hearty option for vegetarian visitors.
Makowiec: This poppy seed roll is a staple of Polish holiday cuisine. A sweet yeast bread is rolled around a dense filling of ground poppy seeds, sugar, butter, and often dried fruit and nuts, then baked until golden.
Food at the Christmas Market
Grzane piwo: This is warm beer, a traditional Polish winter beverage. It is typically prepared with dark beer, heated and mixed with spices such as cloves, cinnamon and honey. It’s perfect for keeping your hands warm while strolling through the market.
Oscypek: Oscypek is a smoked cheese made of salted sheep milk. Originating from the highland region of Podhale in Poland, these are traditionally shaped into decorative spindle-like figures and are served grilled with cranberry sauce at the market.
Kielbasa: This is a Polish sausage, typically made from pork. Grilled over an open fire at the market, it’s served in a roll with sauerkraut and mustard, making for a hearty snack.
Zapiekanka: A popular street food in Poland, Zapiekanka is an open-faced sandwich made from a baguette, topped with sauteed mushrooms, cheese, and often other ingredients like ham or vegetables, toasted until the cheese is well melted. It’s usually finished off with a squirt of ketchup. Highly recommended!
Paczki: These are deep-fried doughnuts filled with rose hip jam and often topped with icing sugar or glaze. They’re sweet, indulgent, and particularly beloved in Poland, where they have a long-standing history.
Gingerbread cookies: Not exclusively Polish but a popular feature at Christmas markets across Europe, these intricately decorated cookies are a festive favourite.
Mulled wine: Known as ‘Grzane wino’ in Poland, this warming beverage is a must-try at the Christmas market. Made from red wine, heated and spiced with cloves, nutmeg and orange peel, it’s a comforting drink to warm up with while exploring the market.
Chimney cake or Trdelník: Originating from Central Europe but now a common sight at Christmas markets across the continent, this sweet pastry is made by wrapping dough around a wooden or metal stick, roasting it over an open flame and then coating it in sugar or cinnamon.
What to Buy in Katowice
Handmade Christmas Ornaments: Handmade Christmas ornaments are a classic among the various products available. Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, these decorations often feature traditional Polish designs and symbols and can add a unique touch to your Christmas tree.
Amber jewellery: The Baltic Sea coast is rich in amber, often called the “Baltic Gold”. At the Christmas markets in Katowice, you’ll find a wide selection of amber jewellery, from necklaces to earrings, each piece unique and carrying a piece of the region’s natural beauty.
Traditional Polish pottery: Recognised for its distinctive blue and white patterns, this high-quality stoneware from Bolesławiec makes for a practical and beautiful gift. Mugs, plates, bowls, and more are available, each hand-painted and fired at high temperatures for durability.
Polish Folk Art: Items such as colourful, hand-painted wooden boxes and intricate paper cut-outs (Wycinanki) reflect Poland’s rich folk art traditions. These items are aesthetically pleasing and carry centuries of Polish cultural history.
Hand-carved wooden toys: Skilfully made wooden toys are a delightful find at the market. Often carved and painted by hand, these toys are both charming and durable, making them a great gift for the younger ones.
Polish linen products: Polish linen is well-regarded for its quality. Beautifully woven tablecloths, napkins, or even clothing made from this material can be found, providing a touch of rustic elegance to any home.
Locally made honey and preserves: Local producers often sell their honey, jams, and preserves at the Christmas market. Whether derived from the wildflowers of the Polish countryside or fruits from local orchards, these sweet treats are a delightful reminder of your visit.
You’ll also find a wealth of useful information for planning your trip on Welcome to Katowice, a comprehensive resource to keep abreast of Katowice’s latest events and attractions.
Sustainable Christmas Tips
Here are a few tips on how we can travel more responsibly in Katowice at Christmas.
Choose Accommodations Powered by Renewable Energy: Some hotels and guesthouses in Katowice run on renewable energy and implement energy-saving solutions. Try staying at one of the eco-friendly hotels if you can.
Minimise Food Waste: Katowice’s Christmas market is brimming with delicious treats, but I recommend buying smaller portions to avoid unnecessary waste. Also, consider sharing dishes with your travel companions so you can sample a wider variety of foods without leaving leftovers.
Opt for Ethical Consumption: Look for stalls that sell locally made crafts and products, which support the local economy and reduce the carbon footprint associated with long-distance shipping. For example, local artisans often handcrafted amber jewellery and traditional Polish pottery at the market.
Adopt a Sustainable Diet: Polish cuisine has many plant-based options that are tasty and more sustainable. At the market, choose dishes like pierogi stuffed with cabbage and mushrooms or borscht, a beetroot soup, which are delicious examples of traditional vegetarian Polish food.
Use Sustainable Transport: Katowice has an efficient public transport system, including trams and buses, which is an eco-friendly way to explore the city. For shorter distances, consider walking or hiring a bicycle from the numerous bike rental stations dotted around the city, which will also give you a unique perspective of Katowice’s charming streets.
The Katowice Christmas Market dates are from 17th November 2023 to 7th January 2024.
The Katowice Christmas Market is located in the heart of the city, specifically in the vibrant Market Square, a stone’s throw from the iconic Spodek concert hall.
The Christmas market in Katowice opens around 10am to 8pm.
With the mercury dropping well below freezing in December, it’s essential to dress warmly when visiting Katowice. Thermal layers, warm coats, hats, gloves, and sturdy boots are recommended.
Absolutely. While the roads and pavements can be icy, the city is well-prepared for the winter weather. Ensure you’re appropriately dressed, stick to lit areas during darker hours, and take care on slippery surfaces.
Yes, many tour companies in Katowice provide English-speaking guides, and you’ll find that English is commonly spoken in hotels, restaurants, and many of the stalls in the Christmas market.
As you plan your visit to Katowice, remember to explore beyond the market itself, with museums, parks, and historic sites adding to the city’s vibrant tapestry. Despite the cold, a trip to Katowice this winter promises a warm welcome and a truly rewarding experience.
If you would like to leave a review of Katowice 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 Katowice, Poland. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.