In addition to the beautiful lights and Christmas trees that light up the cities for the winter holidays, the Christmas fairs are the ones that get people into the Christmas spirit, bring smiles on children’s faces, and help adults in their quest to find the perfect Christmas gifts. And the traditional Christmas Market in Bucharest makes no exception.
This year, Bucharest Christmas Market is organized in a new and bigger place, namely the Constitution Square located in front of the Parliament’s Palace. Thus, the fair includes more gift shops and food booths than in previous years, but also more entertainment options.
Here are 10 things you can do at the 2016 Bucharest Christmas Market:
Buy Christmas gifts
One of the main reasons why people usually visit Christmas fairs is to find beautiful gifts for their loved ones, and those attending the fair in Bucharest will not be disappointed. The offer includes from handmade objects, such as wooden sculptures, traditional clothing items, paintings, and jewelry, to natural soaps, candles, dolls and toys, and hats for all sizes and tastes.
Buy Christmas decorations
For those who haven’t made the Christmas tree yet, the special market in Bucharest can be the perfect place to buy the decorations from. There are the usual painted globes, garlands, and bells, but also greeting cards, candles and other wax figurines that can make the Christmas tree look like it was really made by Santa’s elves.
Have some fun on the ice skating rink
The new location of the Christmas Market is big enough also to host an ice skating rink. So, those who also want to have some fun while searching for Christmas Gifts can make a stop at the rink, which is open daily from 10:00 and 22:00. The entry is free.
Let your children try the carousel
This year’s carousel is what makes the Bucharest Christmas Market so much special, turning it into a fairy tale-like place. The carousel also stays open daily between 10:00 and 22:00, and the rides are free.
Take you kids to the train
A small train is available, alongside the carousel, to keep the children entertained. The train runs daily between 10:00 and 22:00.
Take a selfie with Santa Claus
Santa Claus also has his own house at the fair. He sits there on his big chair waiting for children to come and tell him their Christmas wishes, but the parents can also take advantage of the moment and take a selfie with Santa. Santa Claus is in his house until December 24, from 11:00 to 13:00, and from 17:00 to 22:00.
Eat traditional Romanian food
Visitors can choose to eat some traditional Romanian food at the fair, or take some products for later (or even buy some as gifts). For example, those who get hungry after the long hours spent looking for the perfect gifts or after having some fun at the ice skating rink can eat some sarmale (pickled cabbage leaves stuffed with a mix of rice and seasoned minced meat), the popular minced meat dish called mici, sausages, pastrami, steaks, and pickles. The merchants’ offers also include desserts such as the traditional Romanian sweet bread called cozonac, homemade cookies and chocolate, cakes, honey, jam, syrups, and gingerbread.
Try the drinks
The Romanians like to drink mulled wine in the cold season, usually with cinnamon and slices of apple. Thus, the Christmas Market in Bucharest has special places from where the visitors can buy this popular drink. Visitors can also find other drinks at the fair, such as plum brandy (which is also popular among Romanians), natural juices, tea, and coffee.
Have some fun at the concerts
The Christmas Market’s program also includes concerts, traditional dance and music shows, and Christmas carol concerts. For example, the program includes concerts of 10 Prajini Fanfare (on December 16), Bosquito (December 17), Luminita Anghel and Gabriel Cotabita (December 18), and Jazzapella (December 24). Find the entire program here.
Do a good deed
This year’s edition of the Christmas Market in Bucharest also comes with a charity campaign. Under the motto Give, be better! You can be Santa Claus too!, the campaign invites visitors to donate books, toys and other things, which will go to the children who need them.
The Bucharest Christmas Market will stay open until December 30, and can be visited daily between 10:00 and 22:00.
Find a list of other beautiful Christmas fairs in Romania here.
Irina Popescu, [email protected]
(Photo source: Bucharest Christmas Market on Facebook; photos by Dragos Toader, Alex Barbulescu, Petru Ivu, Aurel Virlan)