Ever since I started calling the Tricity area home, visiting the Gdańsk Christmas market has been an integral part of the festive season. Every year without fail, I would go a couple of times with my mum, friend, boyfriend, or even alone if I didn’t have anyone to join me.
Over the years, it has become my cherished tradition to grab a Lángos (Hungarian fried bread) with sour cream and grated cheese and walk around Targ Węglowy (Coal Market) admiring Christmas decorations.
After visiting last year’s market, I grew disheartened with it because I found it was getting too repetitive. I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to go this year until I found out they decided to spruce things up a little!
What can you find at this year’s market?
This year’s Christmas market in Gdańsk features 52 food stalls and over 40 stalls with handcraft and various Christmas decorations. For the first time ever, there is a 5-metre gate in the shape of a candlestick that doubles as a viewpoint. It also hides another surprise. It has been decorated with the largest Advent calendar in Gdańsk with a new window being unveiled every day at 5 PM.
Other attractions include Angel’s Mill with figures of the Three Kings, the Holy Family, angels and saints, a sleigh ride simulator, a place where you can exchange kisses under the mistletoe, and a Venetian carousel.
You can ride the carousel on a “pay what you want” basis with all proceeds going to the Hospice Foundation. People’s favourite talking Lucky the Moose is also back this year – he wakes up at regular intervals to speak in human voice, hum carols and tell bad, cheesy jokes.
At the Great Armoury, there is an Arts and Crafts Market where you can purchase some handcrafted goods, including gingerbread houses, clothing, toys, and a local treasure – amber jewellery.
During the weekends, they hold workshops for children where they can learn how to make Christmas ornaments while their parents peruse the market.
At the Food Court located in the centre of Coal Market, you can try cuisines from all around the world. There are of course some classics, such as German Currywurst, but you can also try Hungarian kürtőskalács and lángos, Alsatian Flammkuchen, Crimean Chebureki, Chinese Baozi or Polish poppy seed cake and beetroot soup.
Throughout the market, there are some roofed gazebos where you can consume your food. If you want, you can also purchase collector’s mugs to support the restoration of the remarkable 12th-century St. Nicholas’ Church in Gdańsk that is in danger of collapsing.
Is the Gdańsk Christmas market worth visiting?
It is lovely to walk along the lanes created specifically for the market as the lights are twinkling and Christmas tunes fill the air. The lanes were all given adorable names like Angel’s Lane (Anielska), Chocolate Lane (Czekoladowa), and Cinnamon Lane (Cynamonowa), which adds to the festive atmosphere. While it’s still a far cry from the world-famous German or Austrian markets, it’s interesting to observe how the Christmas market in Gdańsk has been growing over the years and I am happy to continue my tradition in the future.
Read also: Hamburg Christmas Markets 2019
Gdynia Christmas Market
I thought I would also mention a new place that appeared on the Christmas map of Tricity this year. For the first time in history, you can also go to a Christmas market in Gdynia located on the Grunwaldzki Square!
With 20 stands offering handmade Christmas ornaments, candles, jewellery, as well as various delicacies and hot drinks, this market is significantly smaller and less crowded than the one in Gdańsk.
The main attraction is a children’s carousel, but there are also plenty of live performances taking place throughout December.
It took us less than half an hour to explore the market – while I wouldn’t go out of my way to go there, it’s a nice way to spend an afternoon if you’re in the area. I hope it will keep expanding with each passing year and I can’t wait to see what they have in store!
Have you ever been to the Christmas markets in Gdańsk and Gdynia? Would you like to go?