As Poland’s vibrant capital, it’s not surprising there are several Christmas markets in Warsaw. There’s not just the traditional event in the Old Town Market Square but contemporary Christmas markets in Praga, Warsaw’s alternative neighbourhood.
Warsaw is a fantastic tourist destination all year round. The city is exciting and dynamic, with an eclectic mix of old and new, a complex history, classical music, the tech industry and hipster cafes.
Warsaw Christmas Market 2023
There’s a lot to do and see alongside the Warsaw Christmas Market, the most popular event in Warsaw in December.
Warsaw Christmas Market dates: Likely dates: 26th November 2023 to 6th January 2024 but many stalls don’t open until the first week of December. Visit in December for the best experience.
Location: Old Town Market Square and Praga
Opening times: Sunday to Thursday: 11am to 8pm. Friday and Saturday: 11am to 9:30pm.
Christmas Day: Open.
Ice skating: Yes but it’s in front of the Palace of Culture and Science, not at the Christmas market.
Vegetarian: Yes, plenty of options.
Vegan: Yes, plenty of options.
Gluten free: Very limited.
Pet-friendly: Yes, dogs are allowed on a lead.
Parking: Please take public transport to help limit congestion.
Reason to visit: Poland’s capital is fun with great nightlife, a fantastic foodie scene and fascinating WWII and Cold War history. Watch the video below to get some ideas.
Polish specialties: Sweet fruit based vodka, alternative market stalls in Praga, vegetarian pierogies, wooden decorations, decorated doors.
Tours: Warsaw has a couple of interesting city and food tours. I suggest this city tour if it’s your first time in Warsaw and a Polish food tour is a great way to sample a diverse range of dishes.
Travel tip: The Christmas markets start late in Warsaw, book your trip for mid-December to have the most festive experience.
Warsaw weather in winter: Temperatures average 2°C / -4°C (high / low) in December.
Where to stay: Spichlerz II is a 7-minute walk to Warsaw Old Town.
Hotels Near Warsaw Christmas Market
Warsaw’s Old Town is known as Stare Miasto, and this is the best area to stay for the Christmas markets. You could stay in Praga, on the other side of the river, if you want to stay in the cool neighbourhood with fun bars and nightlife.
Spichlerz II is a 7-minute walk to Warsaw Old Town and is a great spot for sightseeing and eating out. This is an apartment, so if you’d prefer a full-service hotel, then I recommend the H15 Boutique hotel that is located in the former Soviet embassy, although this is near the Palace of Culture, not the Christmas market.
If you’re still unsure, I’ve created a guide to the best hotels near Warsaw Christmas market. These hotels are within walking distance of the main market or close to the metro for easy access.
Warsaw has an excellent, modern metro transport system, so don’t hesitate to use it.
Location of Warsaw Christmas Market
Recommended City and Food Tours
I highly recommend taking a city tour of Warsaw to explore the city’s rich history and culture. The charming Old Town’s colourful facades and stunning architecture are just some of the city’s many highlights.
On the city tour, you’ll have the opportunity to visit some of Warsaw’s most iconic landmarks and attractions, including the historic Royal Castle, the beautiful Lazienki Park, and the imposing Palace of Culture and Science.
While Warsaw is a great winter destination, there are plenty of other Polish cities worth visiting. Plan your trip with my Poland Christmas Market 2023 guide. Discover where to go, things to do and the best ways to experience Polish food, history and culture.
Christmas in Warsaw
A few years ago, I visited Warsaw and captured this video to highlight both the Christmas market in Warsaw’s Praga district and the winter ambience of the city. Watch it to experience the essence of winter in Warsaw and its festive market.
Warsaw Christmas Market Specialities
Warsaw’s Christmas markets are smaller than their counterparts in Munich and Vienna, but they still have a bit of everything on show.
There is traditional Polish food like pierogies, fried fish, sweets, hearty soups and grilled meat, and international food like langos, goulash, dried fruit, and chocolate.
You can’t go wrong with a cup of spiced hot wine (mulled wine) or a shot of sweet fruit vodka (try the raspberry or peach).
Warsaw has a couple of markets worth visiting: Rynek Christmas market in the old town’s main square, close to the Royal Palace, and a more contemporary Christmas market in the Praga district on the other side of the Vistula River in front of the stadium.
Warsaw Christmas market in Market Square starts a little later than other celebrations and events around the city. It’s worth waiting for the opening of the main market as a light show marks the start of the Christmas season.
You’ll see Christmas lights and decorations from late November, traditional live music, handcrafted wooden decorations, Christmas trees and seasonal cuisine.
Things to Do in Warsaw in Winter
Warsaw is like a mini version of Berlin. It has a counter-culture lifestyle, vibrant nightlife, great vodka bars and craft beer breweries.
There is a delicious, dynamic foodie scene, World War II and Cold War history, cool architecture and an entrepreneurial spirit.
This list is a starting point of things you can do and see in Warsaw in December as well as a couple of recommended day trips.
- Old Town – Restored after the destruction of WWII, the Old Town and New Town (also old and rebuilt) are pretty areas to walk around and are also home to the Royal Castle.
- Visit the viewing platform at St Anne’s Church for the best views of Warsaw’s old town.
- The Royal Route – Start at the Royal Castle, walk down the medieval Nowy Swiat and continue past historic royal landmarks towards Wilanow Palace.
- The Soviet-era Palace of Culture and Science in Central Warsaw – An art deco-inspired skyscraper and the tallest building in Poland. In winter, there is an ice skating rink in front of the building.
- Warsaw Uprising Museum – One of Central Europe’s most fascinating yet sombre museums depicting life in the Warsaw Ghetto, the resistance and the aftermath of the uprising in 1944.
- Warsaw Ghetto – Approximately 400,000 Jews were forced to live in the sealed-off ghetto. In one small area, you can see the remains of the ghetto walls.
- Lazienki Park – The largest park in Warsaw and home to Lazienki Palace on the water and the Chopin monument. The park is part of the Royal Route linking the Royal Palace and Wilanow Summer Palace.
- Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – The last remaining part of the Saxon Palace that was destroyed during WWII and never rebuilt.
- Wilanow Palace – One of the few buildings in its original state, the renovated baroque palace is now an art gallery, museum and pretty garden. This is the last stop on the Royal Route.
- Lublin – If you have time, take a day trip to nearby Lublin, an adorable little town with pastel-coloured buildings and pretty facades.
Discover Warsaw has a comprehensive list of things to do in Warsaw as well as information on museums, castles, palaces and other noteworthy attractions.
Sustainable Travel Tips
The choices we make have an environmental and social impact on the places we visit. When visiting the Christmas markets, keeping sustainability in mind is important.
Implement some or all of these responsible travel measures during your visit.
- 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.
- Stay in hotels. Short-stay apartment accommodation can lead to a lack of affordable housing for locals.
- 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.
- Be open to diverse cultures and experiences.
- Explore more than just the main tourist areas.
- Support the arts and attend local events.
- Visit fewer places but stay longer at each destination.
Yes, there are two main Christmas markets in Warsaw, one in the historic Old Town and another in the Praga District.
The Christmas market in Warsaw is relatively small but is located in a beautiful, historic square in the Old Town. It’s a great place to try local food and buy unique Christmas gifts.
The Warsaw Christmas market starts on the 26th November 2023 to 6th January 2024 but stalls are limited until early December.
The Christmas market opens at 11am every day.
The Christmas market closes at 8pm during the week and 9:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
If you have visited Warsaw in winter or would like to review the Xmas market, leave your thoughts and tips below.
Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Warsaw, Poland. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.