Monday, November 24, 2014

This weekend, we rang in the Christmas season with Polish mulled wine, grilled Zakopane (oscypek) cheese, Croatian cevapcici and Lithuanian black bread.

The first Christmas Market in Warsaw officially opened on Saturday, and hubby and I made an afternoon of it there. Everyone seemed so cheerful, and many of the stall holders spoke English or at least tolerated my Polish. It seemed like a real Christmas market!
Such a stark contrast from last year when the Christmas markets here sucked so badly that we escaped to Krakow and Copenhagen. (The city had a pitiful market set up in the worst location in front of Warsaw Centralny and a just handful of stalls near St. Anne’s Church in Old Town.) This weekend, we’re visiting our friends in Germany to experience the German Christmas markets for the first time.

But this year, if you’re looking for Christmas spirit in Warsaw, you’ve got plenty of options!
The first place to start is in the Żoliborz neighborhood at the Plac Wilsona metro stop. Here you’ll find more than 20 wooden booths with special exhibitors from Lithuania, Belarus, Croatia and Israel. We had a good time joking with the Croatian guys (in English) since we had visited Croatia just back in September. One of the cooks from Zagreb looks very similar to the chef/owner Duff Goldman of Ace of Cakes, so of course, I had to take a photo with him.
Croatian cevapcici is very similar to Turkish kofte,
even served with a spicy red pepper paste.
I grabbed a second glass of grzane wino, but the awful grzane piwo also was for sale. Hubby settled on a normal Polish beer, and there’s a nearby sklep that sells Lithuanian beers on tap as well.
At the market, besides delicious edible goodies, you’ll find a variety of Christmas gifts, including Polish ceramics, handmade Christmas ornaments and mini trees, sets of Russian nesting dolls from Belarus, olive-wood-carved nativity sets, woolen socks and much more!
Since this market is only one metro stop away from our apartment, I’m sure I’ll be returning again soon! Perhaps, just so I hang out with the jolly Croatian guys again!

Let the holiday season begin!
Since good information (in English) is difficult to find, I’ve compiled a list of the Christmas Markets happening in Warsaw this year.

Christmas Market in Żoliborz
Daily until December 22
Time: 10.00-19.00
Location: Plac Wilsona in Żoliborz

Christmas Market 2014 on the Barbakan 
November 28th to January 6th
Local Polish vendors selling food and Christmas decorations and gifts will be set up along the Old Town walls from Plac Zamkowy to the Barbikan as well as in the Old Town Square. The ice skating rink in the Old Town opens on December 5th.

Christmas Fair by National Stadium
December 6th-January 6th
Other activities include: 3 skating rinks, ice slide, ice bistro and bar and a great Christmas tree.

Christmas Bazaar in Ursynów
December 12-21
Weekdays 11-19:00; on weekends: 10-19:00
Location: KEN Street 101, next to the Catholic Parish of the Ascension

Christmas Market at Blue City
December 15-23
Time: 10-19:00
Location: Centrum Handlowe Blue City Mall, al. Jerozolimskie 179
This Christmas Market will feature more than 30 wooden booths with products from Hungary, Italy, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, and of course, Poland, mainly from the Podlasie, Mazury and Subcarpathian regions. Some of products will include cheese, fish, baked goods, venison  and dumplings.

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Heather | Ferreting Out the Fun said...

This looks like a cute market! Riga has a small one set up in Livo Square and the main is under construction in Dome Square. The only treats available now are assorted gingerbread products and hot beverages - the cherry wine is a favorite! We'll be heading up to Tallinn and Helsinki next week to check out their markets. Have fun in Germany - that should be amazing!

BacktoBodrum said...

Don't Christmas "peak" too soon.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

oh how i would love to go there! we have a small one here that is not too bad.

Joy said...

Have fun in Tallinn and Helsinki! The one in Tallinn was being set up when we were there in the Old Town and also looked super cute! Looking forward to your photos!

Joy said... least the season doesn’t start too early here compared to the US! :-)

Joy said...

Yes, Joyce, you would love it! Enjoy what you have, right?

Dora said...

There will also be a Christmas Market at Wilanów. It will start on the 8th of December but before there will be a International Sweets Fair in Wilanów for all those with sweet tooth:) Merry Christmas:)

Julia said...

Surprised Warsaw Christmas markets have been nothing special in the past but lovely that you've got choices now. Love the look of the Croatian cevapcici and the bread it's on looks like the köy ekmek you get in Fethiye, too. :) It's always interesting to see the crossover in cuisines. :)