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Krakow represents for us the opportunity to visit a gorgeous European city and a Christmas Market that almost no one knows about. Sure you can find tons of pictures out there of the famed Christmas Markets in Austria and Germany (and they are beautiful don’t get us wrong) but Krakow has its own special appeal.
One of the best features of the Christmas Market is that it is open much longer than many others. The central square Rynek Glowny is all decked out well into January after others in Europe have closed. What’s even better about this time of the year is that the holiday crowds have mostly gone and so it is enjoyable to walk around. It can be bitterly cold but some hot wine will get you through!
The full pomp of the Christmas market was a little drawn back since it was after the holiday, but there were still many stalls open with their blinking lights, smells of roasted meats and potatoes, many many mulled wine stands and well as places selling seasonal trinkets and home made goods.
The market square is a lovely sight any time of year but the stands, camaraderie among shoppers and the glow of the ancient buildings all around just give a thrilling vibe. The six weeks the market runs from December into January give a great portion of time for tourists and travelers to buy unique gifts and to see the city at one of its most festive moments.
When arrived at 3:30 in the afternoon and the sun was already setting! typical for this latitude and time of year, we supposed it was a miracle we saw the sun at all. Temperatures were dipping fast and so we warmed up in the tourist information center just under Wawel castle. We went up into the compound and looked around at the stunning architecture and then made our way over the small streets into the center of town where this delightful experience was in full splendor not 10 minutes away.