What to eat at the Christmas markets in Bratislava: A story about John.

John had always been fascinated by the Christmas markets in Europe, and this year he decided to visit Bratislava in Slovakia to indulge in the local cuisine. He had rented a cozy apartment in the historic center of the city, just a stone’s throw from the main square where the Christmas market was located.

As soon as John arrived at the market, the aromas of roasted meat, baked goods, and mulled wine filled his nostrils. He walked through the stalls, admiring the twinkling lights and colorful decorations, while his stomach rumbled with hunger.

He made his way to a food stall selling “bryndzové halušky,” a traditional Slovakian dish of potato dumplings with sheep cheese and bacon. The dish was hot and steamy, and the cheese melted in his mouth, with a salty and tangy flavor that left a lasting impression. The bacon added a crispy texture and a smoky flavor that complemented the cheese perfectly. John savored every bite and promised himself he would learn how to make it back in Norway.

Christmas market Bratislava
Christmas market in Bratislava at the main square – By Stefano_Valeri

Next, John tried a serving of “lokše,” a Slovakian version of a pancake made from potatoes and flour, filled with sweet or savory toppings. John opted for the sweet version, filled with Nutella and topped with whipped cream. The pancake was soft and fluffy, with a slight crispiness on the edges, and the Nutella added a rich and creamy sweetness that melted in his mouth. John licked his fingers and smiled with satisfaction.

For his main course, John chose “segedínsky guláš,” a hearty stew made with pork, sauerkraut, and paprika, served with bread dumplings. The meat was tender and juicy, with a smoky flavor that blended perfectly with the tangy sauerkraut. The bread dumplings were soft and pillowy, soaking up the flavorful stew. John closed his eyes, savoring the taste and the warmth of the dish.

After his meal, John wandered around the market, enjoying the festive atmosphere and the beautiful Christmas decorations. He bought a mug of hot mulled wine, infused with cinnamon, cloves, and orange zest. The wine was warm and soothing, with a subtle sweetness and a spicy kick that warmed him up from the inside out.

As John walked back to his apartment, he realized how much he was going to miss the flavors of Bratislava. He had tasted the local cuisine like a true foodie, and the memories of the flavors, textures, and smells were going to stay with him forever. He smiled, thinking about the recipes he was going to try and replicate back home, and promised himself he would come back to Bratislava someday.

Christmas markets 2023

Like in many other European capitals and cities, Bratislava also has its own beautiful Christmas markets. They are getting better and better with every year passing by, so if you are looking for a Christmas market not yet among the most famous but with a nice Christmas spirit and atmosphere, go to Bratislava.

Bratislava has two big Christmas markets in the heart of the city, only a few hundred meters away from one another. As a result, you can easily walk from one to the other and then back to the first one again easily. Along the way, you will see some cool statues in the city center of Bratislava, making it a delightful walk.

There is also a Christmas market by Bratislava Castle, giving you the chance to enjoy a fantastic view combined with Christmas shopping and tasting the local cuisine.

Christmas Market Main Square Bratislava
Christmas market at the main square in Bratislava

Christmas market at the main square

There is a Christmas market at the main square in Bratislava. After all, it is the main square, so this is where things happen! At this square, you will be able to enjoy beautiful lights in the evenings and quite a lot of stands from where you can buy apples with sugar on the outside, chimney cakes, strudels, strawberries covered with chocolate, pancakes of many sorts, and of course some more serious meat, sausages and other main courses. In addition, you will find lots of handicrafts made in Slovakia on the stands, meaning that you can buy some souvenirs and Christmas gifts with you home from Bratislava as you visit the market.

At this market, you will also find a big stage at which cultural programs, concerts, and live music occur quite frequently.

Christmas market at Hviezdoslavovo námestie
Christmas market at Hviezdoslavovo námestie

Christmas market at Hviezdoslavovo námestie

This is just two blocks from the main square, one of the nicest and most famous squares in all of Slovakia. You can find the Slovak National Theatre, the lovely Radisson Blu Carlton hotel, the American Embassy, and some nice restaurants at this square. There is also a small playground and many benches where you can sit and relax. At this square, George Bush held a big speech back in 2005. The Christmas Market located at this square is also magnificent, and especially in the evening. Here you will find an ice skating rink, lots of stands from where you can buy something to eat and drink, and a few stands where you can buy handmade objects and souvenirs. But, this market is first of all about eating and drinking.

Christmas market by Bratislava Castle

There has been a Christmas market by the castle of Bratislava since 2016. It is very similar to the other Christmas markets, only that it has a fantastic view that you can combine with shopping, eating, and drinking. Since tourists always visit the castle anyway, this is a perfect way to combine sightseeing with traditional Christmas market shopping in Bratislava.

Christmas market dates in Bratislava 2023

November 23th – December 23rd

The best hotels for guests coming to the Christmas markets in Bratislava.

Would you like to live very close to the Christmas markets in Bratislava? Are you dreaming of a central hotel where you can go shopping, eat in nice restaurants, and visit the Christmas markets without using public transportation or walking too much? Here are some awesome suggestions that will give you a good foundation for some great days in Bratislava.

  • Radisson Blu Carlton – A fantastic hotel located in the center of Bratislava. It is normally cheaper than you would expect it to be.
  • Skau Venturska – This is a good option if you’d rather live in an apartment in the middle of Bratislava.
  • Skaritz Hotel – Cheaper than Radisson Blu, but still a very good hotel with a good location in the Old Town of Bratislava.

More pictures from the Christmas markets in Bratislava

Bratislava Christmas
Christmas fair in Bratislava
Main Square in Bratislava
Main Square in Bratislava
Slovak National Theatre
Slovak National Theatre
Ice Skating at Christmas market
Ice Skating at Christmas market

For more information on what is going on in Bratislava, click the link.

Come to the Christmas markets in Bratislava in 2018

Are you still thinking about which city to visit for some Christmas market shopping in 2018? Why not do something un-traditional and visit Bratislava?

Bratislava is a quite small city with a population of approximately 500,000 people. You can easily feel this when you visit the city, as the inner city is quite small and easy to discover. This is what Thomas tells about in the story of his day-trip to Bratislava as well. But, the fact that the inner city is small, doesn’t make it boring. There are plenty of things to see and discover while in town, and it is perfect if you want to visit the different Christmas markets only by walking a few hundred meters.

Christmas market Bratislava

There are several smaller markets here and there in Bratislava, but the two main markets can be found at the cities main square, and at the Hviezdoslav square. These can be found very close to one another, making it very easy to walk between them.

The market on the main square has beautiful lights and the famous Maximillian fountain in the middle. The market at the Hviezdoslav square is much bigger (due to the size of the square). Here you can also find an ice skating rink for kids, and if you want to live in the heart of the city, the Radisson Carlton hotel at this square can be warmly recommended.

What are the Christmas market dates in Bratislava in 2018?

Are you unpatiently waiting for us to reveal the Christmas market dates in Bratislava in 2018? The markets will open two weeks after the opening in Budapest, and one week later than the first markets in Vienna. That is, they will open on November 24th, and they will remain open until December 22nd.

Christmas market dates 2018: November 24 – December 22nd

If you want to read more about the different Christmas markets in Bratislava, check this article.

If you have any comment or questions, use the comment field!

Going to the Christmas markets in Bratislava? Read this first!

Are you going to the Christmas markets in Bratislava? Are you looking forward to it? You should! But, before you go, read this article to enjoy the Christmas markets to the max!

The annual Christmas markets in Bratislava brings tens of thousands of tourists to the town and lots of locals to the city center of Bratislava. These markets will give you the chance to experience the local culture and buy lots of products you will not find in regular stores. So if you want to enjoy your stay in Bratislava, use five minutes to read this article. It will help you in your preparation, and it will also share some insight that will help you return home with cool experiences you will remember for a long time.

Christmas market Bratislava

Christmas market advice

Come with an open mind

Do not travel to the Christmas markets in Bratislava and think that you are only going to eat food that you like and know. Come with an open mind, and prepare yourself for new tastes! Half the fun in visiting Bratislava and the Christmas markets is experiencing things you haven’t experienced before, and tasting stuff you haven’t tasted before. Do not be afraid of tasting something that you will not like, rather be afraid of missing out on something that you might like.

Come with warm clothes

Do not only arrive with an open mind but bring some warm clothes in your suitcase. You might drink a whole lot of hot wine, and it will for sure help you stay warm, but some warm clothes will prove themselves even more useful. During the daytime, you will often experience beautiful sunshine and quite nice temperatures, but as soon as the sun goes to bed or hides behind some buildings, the temperature will decrease, and you will get cold. The best way of avoiding that is, of course, bringing warm clothes, warm shoes and whatever you need to keep warm.

Live in the city center

Would you like to live in the very heart of Bratislava? Would you like to leave the hotel and be by the biggest Christmas market in Bratislava at once? If your answer is yes, then you should stay at Radisson SAS Carlton in Bratislava. This is the most central hotel in Bratislava. It might be more expensive than other hotels, but you will save a lot of time living in a hotel as central as this one. If you want to live at a cheaper hotel, but still in the center of Bratislava, we can warmly recommend Hotel Michalska or Hotel Arcadia.

Why is it important to live in the city center? You will save a lot of time. It is also very convenient because you do not have to bring all sorts of clothes with you out all the time. If you start freezing, return to your hotel room and put on extra clothes. If you get too hot, leave the clothes in your hotel room and come back for them whenever you need them. If you live outside the city center you will use money on cabs and public transportation, and of course spend lots of time traveling/walking, so all in all, we believe you will do better simply booking a central hotel in Bratislava instead.

Christmas in Bratislava

Plan your programs already

Have you read about a Bratislava restaurant that you for sure want to visit? Do not forget to book a table in advance. You might think that it is easy just to drop by, but in December both locals and tourists visit their favorite restaurants in Bratislava, and it can often happen that a restaurant is fully booked. It is important to remember that lots of companies also have their “Christmas celebrations” in December, and thus they go out to eat with all their employees. This, combined with lots of tourists, will cause restaurants to be fully booked/reserved. So, go ahead and book your table in advance, at least if it is important for you to visit a certain restaurant.

Are there other programs you want to take part in? Book them as early as possible!

Visit Vienna or Budapest

If you come to Bratislava and have some time left, why not make a day trip to Bratislava or Budapest, or maybe even Prague? Vienna is the most accessible city to visit as it can be reached in less than one hour from Bratislava. Budapest and Prague are a bit further away, but if you have a private driver, these are both destinations easy to visit on a day-trip from Bratislava. If you have 3-4 days in Bratislava, you might feel as if you have discovered the essential places and Christmas markets after the first two days. In such cases, a day-trip to one of the mentioned cities might be a great program. It should also be mentioned that these cities all have fantastic Christmas markets!

Get some cash from an ATM

If you come from a nation with Euro this should be no problem. But, if you visit Bratislava for the Christmas markets and do not have any Euro’s in your wallet, you should get some. You can pay with your card in most stores in Bratislava, but at the Christmas markets, you will normally have to pay with cash. For that reason, get hold of some cash, and the best way to get some Euro is by using an ATM.

Bring a large suitcase

It is much funnier to visit the Christmas markets in Bratislava if you have a large suitcase in which you can bring extra stuff with you home. If you come with hand-luggage only, you will visit the markets and know that “I cannot bring anything with me home anyway.” That is a boring mentality, and it is much cooler if you discover Bratislava and the Christmas markets knowing that anything is possible, and you look for great products to bring with you home.

Check out the Christmas market dates

The dates for the Christmas markets in Bratislava differ from year to year. Make sure to check them out, so that you will not arrive too early, or too late. You can read more about the Christmas markets in Bratislava (including dates) in the linked article.

What is your Bratislava Christmas market advice?

Have you got any advice that you would like to share with our readers? Have you got a question about the Christmas markets in Bratislava? Use the comment field beneath and let us hear!

Christmas Markets in Bratislava in 2017

Would you like to enjoy the beautiful Christmas markets in Bratislava in November and December this year? Come to the city between November 24th and December 22nd!

The Christmas markets in Bratislava are really fantastic, and they are very authentic. Here you can taste a whole lot of local food, local drinks, local snacks, and of course buy hand-made products from Slovakian artists. The primary markets are located only a few hundred meters away from one another, meaning that you can walk between the two Christmas markets throughout the day and combine it with some Bratislava sightseeing.

Christmas market Bratislava 2017
Christmas market in Bratislava at the main square – By Stefano_Valeri

Bratislava is a cute little city by the Danube, and you should consider whether you want to spend several days in Bratislava, or simply do a day-trip to Bratislava instead. Lots of people travel to Bratislava and stay at a nice hotel there, but during their stay, they do day-trips to Budapest, Prague, and Vienna. The three mentioned cities have even larger Christmas markets, and especially Vienna has beautiful markets. The Austrian capital is less than an hour from Bratislava, making it ideal for a day trip. You can, of course, decide to reside in one of the other mentioned cities and do a day-trip to Bratislava instead. Accommodation is much cheaper in both Prague and Budapest, while Bratislava is a more expensive city, and Vienna is the most expensive of them all.

Christmas markets in Bratislava

November 24th-December 22nd
(some sources claim that the market will only open on November 26th, but the official invitation later says November 24th)

Do you have any questions or comments related to Bratislava or the Christmas markets in the city center? Use the comment field beneath!


Christmas markets in Bratislava in 2016

Christmas is drawing near, and maybe you are planning a trip to Bratislava. Want to know the dates for the Bratislava Christmas markets in 2016? Here you go!

The Christmas markets in Bratislava look really nice and as you visit them you can taste lots of local cuisine and snacks. Unfortunately the markets in Bratislava open later than in neighboring cities such as Vienna and Budapest, and they close a bit earlier as well. That is why you need to make sure to visit Bratislava in the following time span if you want to visit the most famous Christmas markets in Bratislava located at two main squares in the center of Bratislava.

Christmas market at Hviezdoslavovo námestie
Christmas market at Hviezdoslavovo námestie

Bratislava Christmas market dates in 2016

Opening: November 18th
Last day: December 22nd

These are the dates, so just book your plane tickets right away. If you need to book a nice hotel, then you should read this article in which we recommend hotels in Bratislava. And as you visit the Christmas markets in Bratislava, make sure to taste the delicious stuff available there. First of all you should taste some strawberries coated with chocolate, and lots of other stuff of course.

For more information about the Christmas markets in Bratislava click the link.

Bratislava Christmas market 2015

Christmas Market BratislavaThe Bratislava Christmas market in 2015 has already opened (on November 20th) and it will remain at its current spot all the way until December 22nd. In other words now is the time to come to Bratislava to check out the Christmas market in town, and if you arrive to Bratislava after December 22nd, then you could consider visiting the Christmas markets in Budapest or in Vienna instead.

Together with the Christmas markets in Bratislava comes loads of programs, and every day there will be different concerts, dance performances and cultural programs taking place at the stages on the markets. You can read more about the locations of the Christmas markets in our article on the Christmas markets in Bratislava.

If you visit Bratislava, maybe only for a day trip, then you should make sure not to miss out on how beautiful the markets are in the evening. It gets dark in Bratislava around 16.00, and that is when the beautiful Christmas lights are turned on and both squares with the big markets turn into fairy tale land with mulled wine, sausages, lots of stalls from where you can buy gifts and presents and of course nice Christmas music in the background.

What you will find at the Christmas markets are mostly handmade stuff, so it has a real value and is not a result of mass production. If you would want to buy a nice Christmas present in Bratislava then the typical souvenirs are handcrafted cups and mugs, maybe a t-shirt with one of the cool statues on, or if you want to, then you can also buy some great organic coffee and tea and have it delivered to your hotel in Slovakia instead.

But, when you come to Bratislava we would skip the organic coffee and tea that we mentioned above and we would rather drink tons of mulled wine and eat the traditional Christmas market products outdoors instead.

What kind of temperatures can you expect during the Christmas market?

During daytime the temperatures can be quite nice, somewhere between 0 Celsius and 7-8 Celsius, but once the sun has gone down it can get quite cold and you can experience temperatures around -5 Celsius. And notice that it can get windy, so do not forget your warm clothes as you pack up your suitcase preparing for your travel to Bratislava.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

Top events in Bratislava in 2015

In this short article we will go through the top events in Bratislava in 2015. Bratislava is the capital and also the largest city of Slovakia and in a short period of time it became a popular tourist destination in Europe.

Bratislava in 2015

Through the whole year there are plenty of programs and different activities such as festivals, concerts and exhibitions which are waiting for the visitors. So in this article we will present some of the highlights of the city in 2015.

Around spring the first outdoor festival the ‘May Festival’ will be held in Bratislava. The ‘May Festival’ is one of the most popular cultural event in the life of the city and during the festival countless concerts, theatre productions, firework and various sport events are the main attractions. This year will be the fifth year the ‘May Festival’ takes place in Bratislava. There are no exact dates confirmed of the festival yet but it is held some time in May.

Another popular festival in Bratislava is the ‘Slovak Food Festival’. It is the biggest foodie event in the life of the city and it is a perfect opportunity to try the best traditional Slovakian dishes. The festival takes place at the Bratislava Castle in May 2015.

If you travel with family and children the best program for you is the ‘Children’s Day’. Each year on 1st June the nation celebrates children and in this occasion the city and the country turn into a big playground with different programs and children activities.

Another awaited event in Bratislava is the ‘Viva Musica! Festival’ which takes place some time in June but the exact dates are not confirmed yet. The ‘Viva Musica! Festival’ is one of the most popular music festivals in the city and during the event multiple jazz and classical concerts are performed.

Apart from the festivals Bratislava also gives home to the Christmas markets during the winter. Each year when Christmas is just around the corner the markets appear in the city. At the market you can do your pre-Christmas shopping and try the best mulled wines and traditional dishes as well.

Along side all the festivals, various markets and events countless concerts are held in the city through the whole year. This year visitors can enjoy the most famous artists concerts such as Katy Perry, Robbie Williams and so on.

If you want to know more on the programs and activities in Bratislava look around in our Bratislava Guide and get ready for some wonderful hours and days in the city of Bratislava.

Christmas Market in Bratislava 2014

This year the end of 2014 the Christmas Market will open its gates again in the capital of Slovakia. Every year since the first Christmas Market which was held in 1993 more and more visitors are coming from the neighbor countries and from all around the world to Bratislava during the Christmas period to do their pre-Christmas shopping and to experience the real holiday mood.

Bratislava panorama

Apart from getting the best Christmas presents you will have the chance to try the best food and drinks at the market. From 107 different stands you can choose the best authentic Slovakian foods such as roasted chicken or beef in a bun which is topped with mustard and grilled onion or potato crepes which is stuffed with cabbage, goose fat or poppy. The Christmas Market would not be complete without the best mulled wines, punch and plum brandy. At the market you can also explore handicraft products from the locals like the homemade candles, Christmas decorations, scarves and ceramics. The Christmas Market takes place in the heart of Bratislava at the Main Square from 23rd November until 23rd of December 2014.

For information on other Bratislava events, check our calendar.