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Bratislava Christmas market

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Posted by Jakub  September 19, 2017  Leave a comment

Table of content:

  1. Locations
  2. Opening Hours
  3. Food and beverages
  4. Culture

Every year since 1993, between the end of November and December 23rd, large Christmas markets take place in the very city center of Bratislava. Inspired by the other big European cities, the tradition is regularly held also in Bratislava. You can find diversity of products and services here - from traditional food, alcoholic and non-alco beverages, and many street artists. Christmas market in Bratislava have a friendly atmosphere and are filled with locals enjoying the upcoming holiday season. 

Locations

There are 3 main locations within the city center where you can find food & drink stalls and little shops. 

  • Main square (to Primacial square and Courtyard of the Old Town Hall)- main spot with tens of booths where you can find traditional food and beverages (see below what exactly), but also traditional handmade Slovak gifts. There is a big Christmas tree in the corner of the square, right next to the stage where musical performances happen each weekend.
  • Hviezdoslavovo square - there are more food & beverages stall here than on Main square. Also, the area is a bit wider so the square is not that packed. There is a big Christmas tree in the center of the square, right next to the ice skating ring. Stage with artistic program is also present here.
  • Bratislava Castle - newly opened in 2016, this is a great spot to enjoy Christmas atmosphere from the most prominent part of Bratislava. Also, the view from here is incredible. However, this location doesn't have any long history and miss the charizma of Main square and Hviezdoslavovo square. Also, the prices might get a bit higher here, but definitely worth visiting.

Opening Hours

Bratislava Christmas Markets are happening in the city center in the period between the last week of November to 23rd of December. Opening hours of stalls are:

Monday 10 am - 10 pm
Tuesday 10 am - 10 pm
Wednesday 10 am - 10 pm
Thursday 10 am - 10 pm
Friday 10 am - 10 pm
Saturday 10 am - 10 pm
Sunday 10 am - 10 pm

Food and beverages

Ciganska pecienka

Ciganska pecienka - one of the most traditional foods at Christmas markets.

Source: Bonvivani.sk

All of the food-stalls offer traditional Slovak winter specialties, such as:

  • Ciganska pecenka - translated as "Gipsy liver", but no worries abouut the name! This is just a chicken, beef or pork steak in a breadroll, usually with mustard and onion.
  • Loksethin baked potato pancakes, usually served with grease and duck liver or in many sweet variations, e.g. with nutella, jam, honey etc.
  • Zemiakove placky - thick fried potato pancakes
  • Chlieb s mastou - classic bread with goose fat and onion. This has been one of the most traditional foods in Slovakia and many diplomats are served this when visiting Slovakia. The taste is nothing exceptional (I would prefer Lokse or Ciganska pecienka), but are worth tasting.
  • Trdelnik - Dessert! This is a sweet dough-roll which has a great tradition in Slovakia. It is usually served in a cinamon or vanilla flavor, but many other variations are available. 

Fancy for some drink? Of course there are many non-alcoholic beverages offered, such as tea, coffe, soda or water. Big tradition, however, comes from alcoholic drinks, so make sure to have a sip from:

  • Medovina - spirit made from honey. Sweet and warm, easy to drink, but one is enough...
  • Varene vinomulled wine made from quality Slovak wines.
  • Punc - punch drink, made from two main ingredients - wine and rum. This is the most traditional drink and actually quite tasty. If you have to choose one, go for Punc or Medovina.

Culture

A stage full of various cultural performances is a vital part of the Christmas market athmosphere. Musicians, folk dancers and other talented artists perform on the stage to entertain the visitors.

To see the program, please visit this official website.

More for you

Image gallery

  • Bratislava Christmas Market
  • Ciganska pecienka
  • Trdelnik
  • Chlieb s mastou
  • Zemiakove placky
  • Lokse
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Author & Credits

Author

Jakub

Copyright: © 2017, Jakub Zilincan, bratislava-slovakia.eu

Images credit: © HDRShooter, , Bonvivani.sk, , © Imgur, , fefka.sk, , Kuchyna Lidla, , Pinterest, , author

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Ernie Astin on Oct 07, 2013

What dates is the Xmas market open and what are the hours?

Thanks in advance,

Ernie

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Jakub on Oct 07, 2013

Hello Ernie,

Christmas Market 2013 in Bratislava will be opened since 22 November till 23 December. Hours should be 10am - 11pm, but this is not clarified yet (based on previous years).

Hope to see you :)

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Ernie Astin on Oct 09, 2013

Jakub,

Thanks for replying to our message.

My wife and I will be at your XMAS market on in last week of Nov. We look forward to visiting your town.

Ernie

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Martin on Nov 26, 2013

Hi folks. I'm visiting Bratislava for the first time on 6th December & I'm really looking forward to experiencing the Christmas Market :-) I'm just looking for advice about where themarket is situated (Old Town ?). Also, any tips for what to see or do to experience Skovakian traditional culture? Thanks :-)

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Jakub on Nov 26, 2013

Hi Martin,

it is situated in the very city center - on the main square and Hviezdoslavovo square. You should try hot wine, salty pancakes and so called "gipsy liver" :) Do not worry, it is a chicken meal with onion and mustard in a bread. These are the most traditional Christmas foods on the market. If you want to try very traditional meal (not Christmas, but general), try "Horalky" (biscuit) and "Kofola" (cola-drink).

To taste the traditional culture, visit these Markets for sure (ideally in the afternoon when snowing :) ). Visit "Shtoor" cafe for homemade cafe, go to Slavin monument and Castle for great views. Subclub or KC Dunaj are very stylish clubs in the city center. If you want to visit something else, write and ask.

Enjoy Bratislava :)

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Betty Meyers on Oct 18, 2014

Where in Bratislava is the Christmas Market held?

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Jakub on Oct 19, 2014

Hi Betty,

it takes place directly in a city center - on Main Square and Hviezdoslavovo square.

Regards

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