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Visiting the Christmas markets of Poznań, Poland

In December 2022, we hit the European Christmas markets, Poland would be our destination. Spending 5-nights in Poznań, we also took a Flixbus over to Wrocław for the day. This is our guide to visiting the Christmas markets of Poznań, with loads more exciting things to add to your itinerary, for a festive, or non-festive trip.

VISIT POZNAŃ WITH US

Poznań is a magical city any time of the year. In the Winter months, it transforms into an incredible winter wonderland. The highlight, of course, are the Christmas markets, which take place in the Old Market Square and surrounding streets.

We found a cute place to stay a short walk from the Market Square. The Old Town Apartment, modern, stylish and is has a courtyard with a stunning mural. A home away from home, and recommended by us.

POZNAŃ CHRISTMAS MARKETS

The Christmas markets in Poznań run from the end of November until the end of December. They are a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. The main market is in the Old Market Square, which is surrounded by beautiful Baroque buildings.

You will find market stalls and attractions throughout the city. You can find some of them at the Poznań International Fair and Wolności Square.

FESTIVE FOOD & DRINK

One highlight of the Christmas markets is the food. The smell of grilled sausages and roasted chestnuts fills the air. Pierogi are available everywhere in many flavors. Other popular festive foods include Oscypek (smoked cheese made with sheep’s milk) and Bigos (a cabbage and chopped meat stew). For those with a sweet tooth, there are plenty of options, including cookies, Makowiec (a strudel-like poppy seed cake), and Piernik (gingerbread cake).

There are also plenty of drinks to warm you up on a chilly Polish Winter day. The most popular drink at the Christmas markets is Grzane Wino, mulled wine, which is made by heating red wine with spices such as cinnamon and cloves. Other popular drinks include Piwo Grzane (mulled beer) and Grzany Miód (mulled honey). Try them all. Why not? It would be rude not to.

GO CHRISTMAS SHOPPING

The Christmas markets are also a great place to find unique gifts and souvenirs. The stalls offer a wide range of handmade crafts and decorations, including hand-painted Christmas ornaments, wooden toys, and traditional pottery. You can also find clothing items such as woolen hats and scarves and comfy Winter socks, which we bought, nice and cosy for when we got back to our apartment.

If you are looking for more things to do in Poznań during your trip, read on. The city has some amazing restaurants, museums, churches and shops to keep you busy for hours.

OLD MARKET SQUARE

Poznań Stary Rynek, the town square, surrounded by brightly coloured baroque merchants’ houses, shops, bars and restaurants. The town hall is also here with its famous clock, that opens up at midday, like a cuckoo clock and sends out two head butting goats. They bump heads twelve times to mark midday. The goats are a symbol of the city, and you will find them everywhere.


LEGEND OF THE GOATS OF POZNAŃ

As we have already said above, twin goats are a symbol of the City of Poznań. You will find them everywhere. A young cook by the name of Pietrek was in charge of a banquette after the town hall burnt down. The Mayor ordered it to be rebuilt.

Pietrek’s main dish was a leg of Venison. After stepping out for a break, he came back to see his meat had fallen into the fire and was completely burnt. There was no more Venison in the kitchen. To rectify his mistake, he stole two billy goats from a field nearby.

After taking the goats back to the kitchen, they escaped. In a desperate bid to catch them, he lost sight of them. The two goats made it to the top of the town hall, where the Mayor and other onlookers in the market square below watched as the goats fought and butted heads. Amused, the Mayor pardoned Pietrek for his mistake. The Mayor asked for the goats to be added to the new clock as a way to remember this day.

GOATS ACROSS THE CITY

You can find the bronze goats Pomnik Koziołków, in the corner of Plac Kolegiacki, a short walk from the Old Town square. At Christmas, they even dress them up, find them and give them a rub for luck.

POZNAŃ CATHEDRAL

Poznań Cathedral is actually one of the oldest churches in Poland and dates from the 10th century. You will find the cathedral on the island of Ostrów Tumski. This is a short walk from the centre, on the outskirts of the city.

There are several other beautiful churches and religious buildings in Poznań. You can visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Mary Magdalene and St. Stanislaus, and the Franciscan Monastery. Another short walk from the centre of town and you will find the Church of Saint Wojciech. If you are lucky, you can venture down into the crypt via a small staircase outside. Unfortunately, it was closed during our trip.

ROYAL CASTLE & MUSEUM

They built the Royal Castle during the 13th century and it is also home to the Museum of Applied Arts. The castle is closed on Monday’s but to access the museum and to climb the observation tower a ticket costs only 20zł (approx £4). Behind the castle, you will also find the National Museum.


CROISSANT MUSEUM

We really wanted to visit the croissant museum while in Poznań, but the only tours that were available during our time here were non-English-speaking ones, and on one occasion the museum was closed. Poznań is famous for its Saint Martin’s croissant which is traditionally filled with white poppy-seeds.

IMPERIAL CASTLE

The Imperial Castle, Zamek Cesarski, is a remarkable building with a remarkable history. Built between 1905 and 1910, a former home of Imperial Wilhelm II. It was taken over and rebuilt during World War II by the Nazis. During 1939, at the start of the war, its transformation into Hitler’s private residence began. However, Hitler would never visit Poznań.

Nowadays, the building is a cultural hub with bars and restaurants.

A ticket to the castle costs around 15zł. Outside the castle, you will also find the Monument to the Victims of the Poznań protests of June 1956 & Monument to cryptologists.

MONUMENTS AND MEMORIALS TO WORLD WAR II & MOVEMENTS

As you walk around the city, you will find dozens of monuments and memorials dedicated to the people and anniversaries of World War II and various Polish movements.


CATCHING THE FLIXBUS FROM POZNAŃ TO WROCŁAW

This is a trip you could do at anytime, not just during the festive season. We had so much fun visiting both markets at Christmas.

To catch a Flixbus from Poznań to Wrocław (or vice versa), you will need to follow a few simple steps. First, visit the Flixbus website or download their mobile app to search for bus routes and schedules. Find a suitable departure time, then purchase your ticket using a credit or debit card.

On the day of your departure, arrive at the designated bus stop at least 15 minutes before your departure time. The bus stop in Poznań is at the Poznań Główny bus station. This is easily accessible by public transport or taxi. Before you hop on the bus, you will need to show your ticket and a valid form of identification.

The journey from Poznań to Wrocław takes just under three hours. Click the link below to find your ticket.


MORE FOOD & DRINK RECOMMENDATIONS

Aside from the food at the Christmas markets, there are several incredible restaurants you can choose from in Poznań. Here are a handful of recommendations.

PYRA BAR

I first came across Pyra Bar in Gdansk. An amazing place for all kinds of potato-based dishes like fries, jacket potatoes, pancakes, potato cakes and more. Cheap, tasty and very filling, perfect for a cold day in Poznań. Find them at Strzelecka 13, 61-845. You can also find them in Gdynia.

PIEROGARNIA STARY MŁYN

This dumpling restaurant is amazing, so if you are searching for some good Pierogi, head to Pierogarnia Stary Młyn. Oven baked and boiled dumplings stuffed with tasty fillings. They also have potato pancakes, soups and traditional dishes. The menu is fantastic. Opposite the Royal Castle at Zamkowa 7, 61-768.

DOBRA PACZKARNIA

My favorite doughnut shop in Poland. Stuff your face with these tasty balls of dough. They have so many flavours. Grab yours from Półwiejska 28, 61-888.

CZUPITO SHOT BAR

Fancy a drink, love a shot? Then this place is for you. A massive selection of flavoured shots, with candy, cream and even flames! Buy them individually, or as part of a theme, shot boards, flaming Sambucas and Absinth await. Zamkowa 5, 61-740, just off the Old Market Square.

Czupito shot bar, Poznań.
Take a shot. Which flavour would you choose?

MORE TIPS AND IDEAS FOR VISITING POLAND

Check out the incredible city of Kraków, How to spend three days in Kraków, Poland.

Visit the country’s capital, 25 amazing things to do in Warsaw, Poland.

Explore the beautiful city of Gdańsk, Things to do on a city break to Gdańsk, Poland.



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