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Easy Guide to Bratislava Christmas Market 2023 | Dates & Venue

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The Bratislava Christmas Market is a popular event in Slovakia. It attracts a large number of locals and tourists every year.
Bratislava at Christmas turns in fact into one huge and festive fairytale village!
Let’s see what to expect and the updated 2023 dates for this incredible holiday event!

View of one of the historical buildings in Bratislava lit up at night
Bratislava at Christmas is absolutely amazing!

When my colleagues approached me about a possible trip to see the Bratislava Christmas market, I was ecstatic. Not only I’d always been very curious about experiencing Christmas in Slovakia, but being… slightly obsessed with everything holiday-themed, it was basically like asking me if I wanted dessert.
How can you expect me to say no? Besides, I still had to buy Christmas gifts for everyone at home and that was the perfect excuse!

Narrow street in Bratislava in winter
Winter in Bratislava is cold but who’s scared of some snow?

Bratislava is a quaint little town in Slovakia, in Central Europe.

We left the sunny Naples to land in a snowy place.
You’d guess one might be disappointed, but the sight of the Bratislava Castle looking down at us, the streets all lit up, the merry decorations and the scent of mulled wine filled our heart with happiness.
Bratislava’s Christmas was going to be epic.

By then, we had learned how to pack light for our winter trips, so we also saved on the flight tickets (you usually get cheaper tickets if you fly with cabin luggage only).
A huge bonus if you consider that we planned to spend the money we saved at the Christmas markets!

Those of you who don’t have much time or don’t feel like walking too much can buy a ticket for a Sightseeing tour by bus.
Click here to check out the best one in Bratislava, with free cancellation, Old Town tour and Castle tour included.

Some of you asked me if Bratislava is a safe place for solo female travellers.
The quick and easy answer is yes.
Bratislava felt very safe to me!

I visited without Al, and while I was with a group of colleagues, I still liked to explore on my own, also at night.

Solo travellers can find so many entertaining things to do in Bratislava. While shopping is obviously one of the top activities, it’s not the only thing you can do at Bratislava’s Christmas market!

Holly bush in winter in Slovakia
Bratislava is one of the cheapest destinations in Europe – also at Christmas!

Traditional Christmas markets in Slovakia are a long-standing tradition. Each one reflects the culture of the Country – music, drink, food and scents.
That’s probably why Europe is a pretty popular destination in December: every region has a different take on Christmas.

You can eat elaborate pastries straight out of a Medieval cookbook, attend midnight masses in Gothic churches, listen to Christmas carols under a large Christmas tree and so much more.
European Christmas markets are the real thing, y’all!

If you have never been to Bratislava before, you should consider visiting during the last weeks of the year.
It’s when the Christmas atmosphere is stronger. Makes everything better, you know?

The capital of Slovakia in fact lits up with a big Christmas market, which takes place in several areas of the city. That turns Bratislava into one big Christmas village.

There’s absolutely no reason to rent a car, either.
Bratislava Christmas market and the city centre can be explored on a self guided walking tour.
Taxis aren’t expensive, but I strongly suggest you only use the “official” ones.

At the Bratislava Airport you will find several people offering you a cheaper rate to bring you to your hotel.
No need to say that it isn’t safe at all to accept: wheter you are a solo traveler or not.
Being street smart is a must, no matter where you’re travelling to!  

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Bratislava is also the perfect starting point for a trip that covers Slovakia, Czech Republic and Austria.
You can in fact reach Vienna and Prague quite easily, they’re just a train ticket away.

Bratislava is more or less in the middle.
With just a few Euros you can reach Vienna in a little more than 1 hour and Prague in about 2 hours from the Bratislava train station.

We used Bratislava as our “home base” to visit these European capitals, so you can visit more Christmas markets in one trip.
Booking a hotel in Bratislava is in fact much cheaper!

By staying for a few days in Bratislava, you will be able to plan a multi-city trip.
That means having a fabulous European Christmas vacation, but spending half of what you’d pay for a holiday in Vienna.
How does that sound?
You can check out the best hotel rates for Bratislava by clicking here.

How about you explore Bratislava with a local?
With a 1 hour walking tour you can discover all of Bratislava best kept secrets!
Click to get a super discounted (and absolutely cheap) ticket!

Bratislava Christmas Market dates for 2023

The Bratislava Christmas Market 2023 will take place on the Main Square, Hviezdoslavovo Square and Franciscan Square.

There will be hundreds of market stalls selling seasonal food, Christmas presents, mulled wine.
And of course the fairytale Christmas lights that will be an amazing backdrop for your pictures!

The official dates for the 2023 Bratislava Christmas Market are November 23 to December 23, 2023.

Handmade souvenirs at Bratislava Christmas market
At Bratislava Christmas market you can find lots of cheap souvenirs!

Hlavne Namestie (Bratislava Main Square Market)

The main Bratislava Christmas market in Bratislava is located at Hlavne Namestie. 
There are over 100 market stalls selling handmade products made with wood, glass, leather, beeswax and much more.

The Main Square Market can get crowded pretty early in the evening, and yet it never feels overwhelming.
If you climb up the tower of the Old Town Hall you’ll be able to see all the red and white stalls.
With all the lights on and all the people, it’s a truly impressive view!  

We have lodget at Hotel Devin, close to the Danube and a few steps away from the Main Square Market.

What led us to the market was actually the delicious scent of food. No need to ask for directions, we just had to follow our nose!
Click to check the best offers for Hotel Devin in Bratislava!

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December is a pretty cold month and the locals get warmed up by drinking mead or mulled wine at the food stands.
One of the locals favorite snacks is a slice of warm bread topped with caramelized onions and melted lard, served piping hot.

You can also buy sausages and roasted meat, cabbage soup, baked potato pancakes and many kinds of sweets (you’ll find more info about the seasonal specialty dishes as you keep reading).

The foodies who are reading this post will be happy to know that there’s a Bratislava Wine Tasting Experience you can book for less.
The experience includes a tasting that goes from 3 to… 72 Slovakian wines, according to how much time you have! The wine tasting can last 30 to 100 minutes, with a professional sommelier.
Click here to discover rates and availability!

Slovakian food isn’t the only reason why this part of the Bratislava Christmas market is so crowded.
Every year the city has a very rich program with concerts and shows.

From jazz to pop music, from a cappella concerts to Christmas carols.
Every night there’s a different show you can go to for free.

Glass decorations at Bratislava Christmas Market
Make sure you always check the IATA regulations if you want to buy souvenirs!

Old Town Hall’s Court – The Heart of Bratislava

If you are visiting the Bratislava Christmas Market at Hlavne Namestie, you should also walk to the Old Town’s Hall court, in the city centre.

Here you can buy a ticket for 5€ to visit the Museum of the city history.
While it has nothing to do with food stands or Christmas concerts, it’s still a very interesting activity that you can add to your Bratislava itinerary if you want to learn more about this lovely town.

The Museum in fact shows the events that shaped the city as we know it, and the way people have been living in this area since the Neolitic era.

Before you leave the Old Town Hall you will be invited to watch a very interesting documentary named “People and the city” (included in your ticket).

Decorated gingerbread at Bratislava Christmas Market
Gingerbread is everywhere in Bratislava at Christmas

hviezdoslavovo Square Christmas Market and the Ice Skating Rink

This square is only a short walk away from Hlavne Namestie.
While the portion of the Bratislava Christmas Market here is smaller, the square is much bigger and you will find many vendors selling delicious local street food.
Also, the Christmas decorations are top notch!

Here I managed to buy a bunch of handmade wool scarves for just a few Euros.
It’s by far the area where I’ve found the best deals for Christmas shopping.

November and December, when the beautiful Christmas markets are held, are the perfect time to buy handmade wool clothing and accessories!

If you are looking for Christmas presents, then have a look at Hviezdolav’s Square.
Chances are that you will buy everything you need for half the budget you intended to spend.

Tourists and locals alike love the ice skating rink here.
Because the square is surrounded by beautiful historical buildings, ice skating feels like stepping into a fairytale.

The air is in fact filled with the scent of cinnamon and caramelized onions, the laughter of children and the chatter of happy people.
The festive atmosphere in this part of the city is eves stronger than anywhere else!

In Winter you can ice skate at Hviezdolav’s Square, in Primate’s Square, at River Park and in other areas, designated each year by the Mayor.

Street vendor at Bratislava Christmas Market
Street food in Eastern Europe is cheap and delicious – Bratislava makes no exception!

New Year’s Eve in Bratislava

If you are spending Christmas in Bratislava, consider staying also for New Year’s eve. Every year in fact in the old town of Bratislava the celebrations start in the late afternoon and last until the following day.

In the main squares there are live music performances, fireworks and lots of fun events. The best place to view the city from above is the UFO Bridge Observation deck.

Here there’s a Casino too, where you can enjoy a delicious 10 course dinner, with live music and gifts. Book as soon as you can to reserve a seat!  

2023 Update

We are still gathering info.

We’ll update this article as soon as we have official news about special events or the New Year’s fireworks!

The best food you can eat at Bratislava (Slovakia) at Christmas
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What to Eat while visiting Bratislava’s Christmas Market

As you might have guessed, it’s always better to visit the Bratislava Christmas Markets on an empty stomach.
While I always suggest people to taste everything when they are abroad, there are a few treats that you can’t miss.

Since most of the times the signs are written in Slovak, here’s a little guide to know what you’re ordering
One of the best travel tips I can offer is to print it down: it will be super useful!


Baked potato pancakes. 
They can be sweet or not, as they fill them with cabbage and sausage, or with Nutella and nuts.


It’s a roll filled with pork or chicken, mustard and grilled onions.  


It means sausage.
You will find a lot of different grilled sausages at the food stands.

They are generally served with mustard and bread, with onions on the side, if you want.  

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A slice of bread with lard and onions.

The onions in this one are raw and the scent can be pretty strong if you aren’t used to it.

Some locals also like to add some Slovak cheese on the top, letting it melt before to eat their sandwitch to go.  


There’s a number of them you can try.

With walnut filling, with nuts and cherries, cheese and cherries, poppy seeds and apple.
There’s something for everyone!

You can enjoy your strudel with home made fruit spirits, often sold in the same stands.  
Wine and rum included!


Sweet pastry, also sold in Prague and other European cities.

The serving is pretty big and you can choose between cinnamon, cocoa, vanilla or nuts.  

MEDOVNÍK – Medovina

Ginger bread cookies.

You will find it decorated with Christmas wishes or pictures, baked in all sorts of different shapes.

There are many stands that sell it, just like in Vienna and Prague.


Sweet drink (honey wine) served hot.

It’s considered one of the oldest alcoholic drinks of the old Slavs.


There’s a number of punch flavors sold at the Christmas Market in Bratislava.

The traditional recipe includes lots of fruit. But if you’re not a drinker, there’s one known as “baby punch” which is without alcohol.

Are you feeling adventurous?
Try the Turbo Punch: it’s packed with a good amount of absinthe!

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Travelling Dany – Danila Caputo

Danila Caputo is a bilingual travel writer living in between Naples and the Amalfi Coast (Italy), graduating from the University of Naples Suor Orsola Benincasa in Foreign Languages and Literature. She travels and works with her husband Aldo, photographer and videographer. Their blog chronicles their adventures around the world, their love for the USA (where they have family), Italian/European culture and tips on how to be responsible travelers. You can find out more about their latest trips and their life on Youtube, Instagram and Facebook.

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  1. Lara Dunning says:

    I would definitely go to the market on an empty stomach as I would want to try everything! Experiencing the holidays in Europe is on my bucket list and Bratislava looks like a great place to do it! Thanks for the tip on the museum too as learning about the history of a place is always an important part of my travels.

    1. Fingers crossed that you can visit! I can assure you that it’d be a wonderful experience!