The winter holiday season is just about to start and Christmas markets are already a fixture in the life of many cities in the country. Either as an additional tourist draw or as an opportunity to liven up cities over the festive season, these events seem to be getting better by the year. We have listed some of the best-known in the country below.
This is the 13th edition of the Sibiu Christmas Market, which attracts tourists from all over the country and from abroad to the beautiful central Romania city. Over 100 exhibitors are present at the market, where visitors can find Santa Claus’s workshop, an ice skating rink that can host 300 people, and Santa’s Park.
A novelty at this year’s edition of the fair is the 22-meter tall panoramic wheel, covered in thousands of lights, giving visitors the opportunity to get a unique perspective on the city’s Piața Mare (Grand Square). The wheel was built especially to be showcased at the market, the first event where it is set up after being manufactured. Meanwhile, the youngest participants can take a ride on the train leaving from the market to travel alongside Cetăţii street, Nicolae Bălcescu street and back to the Grand Square.
Visitors will find at the market Christmas decorations, porcelain items, hand-made items, but also food specialties, from local meat delicacies to Hungarian goodies or products for vegetarians. Light projections on the buildings lining up the Grand Square will only add to the festive atmosphere.
Streaming from a live webcam from the market can be watched here.
Open: November 15, 2019 – January 3, 2020, 10:00 – 22:00.
This year’s edition of the Christmas Market in Cluj-Napoca is dedicated to families and to playing, “an essential element that brings us and keeps us together,” the organizers have said.
The market returns to the city’s Unirii Square with nicely-decorated stalls, warm chocolate and mulled wine aromas, an ice skating rink, Santa Claus’s House and many events, including concerts, caroling evenings and street animation. A festively-decorated Santa’s Tram will also be available, running on the 101 line, on the Bucium–Gară route, throughout the duration of the market.
As a novelty at this year’s edition, participants can discover the market through treasure-hunt type actives, meant to guide them through the main attractions of the fair and test their detective skills. Santa’s House will host, besides the traditional workshops and playing sessions for the entire family, and escape room activity, where children will have 30 minutes to find Santa’s registry and add their name on the list.
This year, the market is raising funds for two projects of Beard Brothers, namely for beard mobile – a social project that aims to provide people with disabilities with transport means appropriate for their needs – and for the social ambulance, a vehicle equipped to offer medical services, social assistance and legal consultancy to people living in isolated rural communities or in communities at risk of marginalization.
Open: November 22 – December 31, 11:00 – 22:00
The Timișoara Christmas Market kicks off on December 1, Romania’s National Day, with a concert of local band Holograf.
The market will take place in Victoriei Square but also in Libertății Square, where craftsmen will present their goods, in addition to the many activities available for children. For them, a Children’s Town will be set up, while the market usually has a merry-go-round, and a train running during the weekends. Visitors can enjoy a gastronomy area, with traditional, seasonal products, but also pick one or more gifts from the offer of hand-made and artisanal products.
Open: December 1 – January 3, 2020, 10:00 – 22:00
The Christmas Market in Oradea brings a fairy-tale like décor, food delicacies, carol concerts and thousands of lights for an unforgettable experience. The Unirii Square will see a Ferris wheel, Santa’s House, an ice skating rink, a train for children, and many stalls from where visitors can buy culinary goodies and Christmas presents and souvenirs, or simply enjoy a cup of mulled wine or some gingerbread.
The market will also host several live concerts, with Jazzapella group set to perform on the first evening. Besides the many local artists and opportunities to see folk groups, the US-based Gospel Touch Choir will also deliver a gospel concert at the event.
Open: November 29 – December 26, Monday to Thursday: 14:00 – 21:00, Friday to Sunday: 12:00 – 22:00
The Alba Carolina fortress in Alba Iulia will host a Winter Holidays Park, where locals and visitors alike can enjoy the concerts, the holiday lighting or pick gifts from one of the many stalls with season items. The park, which will also host concerts, will also have an ice skating rink, and Santa’s House, with many activities for the young visitors.
Open: December 6 – February 1, 2020.
As usual, the beautiful Sfatului Square in the old town of Brașov will host the city’s Christmas Market. Here, the public can enjoy a hot drink – tea, coffee, mulled wine or brandy (ţuică) – and many traditional food products. Also here, they can do some of the season shopping, from the many stalls selling artisanal and hand-made products. The market will also feature many concerts and caroling evenings.
Open: December 1 – January 1, 2020, 10:00 – 22:00
The city’s Constitutiei Square will once again host the Bucharest Christmas Market. Visitors will find at the market a Christmas tree of over 30 meters, a merry-go-round, an ice skating rink, and over 130 stalls with traditional food products, mulled wine, hand-crafted items, season decorations, traditional clothing items, toys and other items. Children will be able to attend creative workshops at Santa Claus’s House, where they can also drop the letters for Santa, who will arrive at the market on December 13. Concerts and special programs will be available for Romania’s National Day, on December 1, and for Christmas. The market will also host a donation point, where visitors can drop books and toys for underprivileged children.
Open: November 28 – December 26; open daily between 11:00 and 22:00, and until 22:30 on November 28 – 30, December 1, December 6 – 8, December 13 – 15, and December 20 – 26.
(Opening photo: Sibiu Christmas Market/ Pixabay)