For those yearning to embrace the true spirit of Christmas, savour traditional Polish delicacies, buy handcrafted Christmas gifts, and perhaps witness a dusting of snow, the Gdansk Christmas Market stands out as the quintessential destination, perfect if you’re seeking a magical Christmas market experience without the tourist crowds and excessive expenses.
This festive guide will delve into the magical ambience of the Christmas Market in Gdansk during the holiday season. Discover what to see, what to eat and drink, and what Polish souvenirs to buy at the Gdańsk Christmas Market.
Prepare yourself for a memorable winter Christmas break in this hidden jewel of the Baltic!
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Is Gdansk worth visiting at Christmas?
Absolutely! Gdansk’s historic old town and market streets come alive during the festive season. Wander through cobblestone pathways lined with beautifully restored architecture, cosy cafes, and boutique shops.
Unlike the bustling Christmas hotspots in Germany and Austria, Gdansk remains a hidden gem, welcoming visitors with open arms. The locals go the extra mile to create a warm atmosphere, showcasing the city’s festive spirit.
Gdansk Christmas Market Dates
Christmas in Gdansk arrives with the opening of the festive market from 24th November 2023 until 23rd December 2023.
The heart of the Christmas market is located at The Coal Market (Targ Węglowy), where the festive fun comes to life. Additional market locations include Tkacka Street in front of The Great Armoury (Wielka Zbrojownia), Bogusławskiego Street, and the Forum Gdańsk Shopping Centre Courtyard.
How to get to Gdansk at Christmas
Reaching the captivating city of Gdansk is pretty easy, as plenty of options are tailored to your location and preferences.
Gdansk Lech Walesa Airport is the primary gateway for international travellers, boasting excellent connectivity with major European cities.
Should your travels originate within Poland or neighbouring countries, Gdansk remains easily accessible by train or bus. The city’s robust transportation network ensures convenient connections with major Polish cities like Krakow and Wroclaw, where you will find other Polish Christmas markets, providing a reliable and efficient means of reaching your destination, whether by rail or road.
Gdansk also extends its accessibility beyond land routes. Adventurous travellers can embark on a scenic ferry journey from neighbouring countries such as Sweden and Denmark. This alternative travel mode adds a touch of charm to your experience with picturesque vistas as you approach Gdansk’s harbour.
Getting from Gdansk airport to the city centre
Upon arrival, choose between a convenient 20-minute private taxi ride or public transportation, including buses or trains, to navigate your way to the city centre effortlessly.
Bus number 210 departs every 30 minutes from the airport and takes around 40 minutes before terminating at Gdansk Glowny, the central train station. The train from the airport to the city is not direct and will require a change of route, but it offers an affordable mode of transport.
Hotels near Gdansk Christmas Market
One of the most popular places to stay in Gdansk is the Puro Hotel. It is on the river, close to great restaurants and a 10-minute walk to the Gdansk Christmas Fair.
We chose to stay in a suite with an open-plan bedroom/lounge area separated by an internal wooden wall with a TV on both sides. The bathroom was decent-sized, with dual sinks and the most beautiful-smelling toiletries!
The decor was excellent, with a modern Scandi/Baltic vibe and plenty of space to chill out after exploring Gdansk. Poland in winter is cold, so being able to return to a warm, comfortable suite like this was the icing on the cake.
There was also a desk to type up those all-important travel blog notes for WhereAngieWanders!
Book your stay at Puro Hotel Gdansk on Booking.com for great rates and free cancellation if needed.
Looking for other places to stay in Gdansk to suit your budget? Check Booking.com for deals on Gdansk hotels.
What to wear in December in Gdansk
One of the best things to do in Gdansk in winter is visit the Christmas markets but remember, Gdansk is cold in winter, so wrap up well with multiple layers and a good hat, scarf, and gloves. Also, wear flat, comfortable footwear like boots or trainers as much of Gdansk is cobbled pavements. Wear thick socks to keep your feet toastie warm in the possible, minus temperatures at Christmas.
Is Gdansk expensive?
One of the key reasons to choose Gdansk for your winter getaway is its affordability. The city offers a cost-effective travel experience, from getting here to exploring its delights. Eating out in Gdansk city restaurants is cheaper than in the UK and the USA. A 3-course meal with wine will cost approximately £50, while goodies from the Gdansk markets, like pierogi dumplings, will cost £3, soup £6 or mulled wine £4.
Gdansk Market Christmas Food and Drink
If you have already visited Poland, you will know that pierogi (small-filled parcels) are a staple food dish, and it’s no different at Christmas. Wander the Christmas stalls, and you will find many stallholders selling these traditional Polish dumplings. They come with fillings like meat, cheese and vegetables; if you are lucky, you might even find them stuffed with blueberries or cherries. Delicious!
Other traditional Christmas dishes include soups (look out for hunters soup; it’s tasty), grilled cheese, spiced sausages, open sandwiches with meat, onions, mushrooms and spices, churros and crepes, and of course, Grzaniec; Polish mulled wine.
Polish Souvenirs to buy at the Gdansk Christmas Markets
If you want to buy something traditional to take home, look for knitted items like gloves and scarves, carved wooden spoons and rolling pins, sweets and chocolates and amber jewellery.
Gdansk is the centre of the world’s amber trade, although Amber is found all over Poland. The Baltic pine trees produce the amber nectar for this beautiful orange-coloured jewellery. However, if you are looking for an expensive piece of amber jewellery, it is worth buying from a reputable Gdansk jewellery store to be assured of its authenticity.
How long should I spend in Gdansk at Christmas?
Christmas in Gdansk is magical, and if there’s snow on the ground, you will feel like you have stepped into a Christmas card scene featuring ornate pastel-coloured buildings, Christmas trees, and fairy lights.
You can easily see the festive market in an hour or so as it is not as large or spread out as other European Christmas markets, such as the ones in Germany. Nevertheless, there are plenty of things to do in Gdansk aside from the market, and for this reason, I would recommend spending three nights in Gdansk to see everything the city has to offer.
What else can I see close to the Christmas Market?
The Christmas markets in Gdansk are a 10-minute stroll from the Motlawa River, where you can visit Gdansk attractions like Zuraw, the biggest and oldest port crane in Europe, and the Ferris wheel. Close to the market are the Green Gate, Gdansk City Hall, Neptune Fountain, and the most beautiful street in Gdansk, Mariacka Street, lined with antique and amber shops and a few cute coffee shops and restaurants.
Final Thoughts on Visiting the Gdansk Christmas Market
I loved everything about Gdansk; however, if your sole reason for heading here is the Christmas market, I might suggest exploring Germany or Scandinavia, where multiple larger markets dot the cityscape. Yet, don’t let that initial thought sway you entirely, as Gdansk earns my nod of approval for its beauty and affordability in terms of getting here and dining out – something worth pondering.
The amicable Polish locals also add a warm touch to the festive experience, and the city boasts diverse cultural attractions to explore, which will particularly appeal to those interested in WW2 history. The WW2 museum in Gdansk is one of the best museums I have ever visited (and I have seen many).
I’ve already been to Krakow at Christmas and am contemplating another return trip to Poland. I have my sights set on the Wroclaw Christmas market or maybe visiting Zakopane in the Tatra mountains. The charm and history of Gdansk have won me over, and experiencing this charming example of a Polish Christmas market has been a magical way to start the festive season.
Do you fancy finishing your Gdansk Christmas market trip with a winter sunset cruise with mulled wine? Follow this link to book your Get Your Guide Christmas sunset cruise.
PIN for future travel to Poland.