The Christmas spirit in Romania is abundant and hardly to be missed - from the constant gloomy weather, to the selected few cities where the snow is already in full bloom, soft fairy lights scattered around the main metropolitan squares and a faint smell of burning wood in the chilly air. And to make the surroundings even more magical, in each major city in Romania you can find Christmas Markets to get you fully in the mood for the winter holidays, that will also let you experience how the locals celebrate this upcoming wonderful period.
Christmas carols, Santa’s house, ice rinks, concerts and artistic events, delicious traditional Romanian food, mulled wine and hot chocolate, roasted chestnuts, gingerbread, handcrafts, enchanting fairy lights and huge decorated pine trees are just a taste of what you will find at these Christmas fairs. And this year, the merry-go-round is a trending experience in every big and worth-visiting Christmas market in Romania. So do not miss the chance to hop in one of these and take some beautiful panoramic views of the local towns.
To make your search easier, we compiled a list of 8 must-see Christmas Markets in Romania, all with free entrance, that will make your winter holidays unforgettable.
1.Bucharest Christmas Market
If you are living in Bucharest then it is a must to go and try everything that the Christmas Market has to offer. Located in Piața Constituției, right in front of the House of the Parliament, the market is the main attraction during these festive holidays. With over 70 booths ready to impress the visitors with Romanian delicacies, traditional handcrafts, decorations and souvenirs, the fair gathers also an ice rink, an enchanting carousel, a beautiful immense Christmas tree and a breath-taking merry-go-round that views upon the Parliament Palace and the neighborhooding Old city center. And while you are there, enjoy the special concerts and Christmas carols that fill the warm atmosphere in the air.
Dates: 20th November - 26th December
Open Hours: 12:00 - 23:00 (Monday - Friday)
Location: Piața Constituției
2. West Side Christmas Market 2022 - Bucharest
This year, West Side Christmas Market has been the talk of the town. Organized in Parcul Drumul Taberei by the same people that are behind the famous Romanian music festival UNTOLD, the fair promises to offer its visitors a different, unforgettable and magical experience.
Besides the ice rink and the carousel in the park, one of the surprises that people can find is a mailbox where they can leave their wishes for Santa Claus. On Christmas Eve, a raffle will take place and the winner will get their wish granted. Try your luck!
But by far, the most spectacular thing at this Christmas market is the curtain of lights that will decorate the bridge situated in the park.
Dates: 25th November - 27th December
Open Hours: 12:00 - 23:00 (Monday - Sunday)
Location: Parcul Drumul Taberei
3.Sibiu Christmas Market
The Christmas markets in the Transylvanian cities are by far the most awaited by all Romanians, not just the locals. Each year, the Sibiu Christmas Market attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors, both from all around Romania and other European countries. A variety of exhibitors and booths with different traditional local dishes and drinks, handmade souvenirs and gifts will be present in Piața Mare. Until the 2nd of January, the fair will delight its visitors with different music shows and carols, light projections on the nearby buildings and an ice rink.
Apart from these, the visitors can enjoy a fairy tale-like experience by hopping in the tourist little train, in the carousel or in the merry-go-round for a magical end of the night.
Dates: 11th November - 2nd January
Open Hours: 11:00 - 22:00 (Monday - Sunday)
Location: Piața Mare
4.Brașov Christmas Market
In a short distance from Bucharest (a day trip to the mountains), Brașov is the perfect weekend escape to relax for many people living in Bucharest.
The Christmas Market in Brașov is the biggest the town has seen so far. With 60 booths dedicated to local producers, craftsmen and merchants, Piata Sfatului, near the stunning Black Church, will be illuminated by numerous light decorations and an imposing Christmas tree.
The visitors will be delighted to hear that the main fair zone will be divided in 3 parts so that they will be able to find what they are looking for quicker: between Casa Sfatului and the Fountain - packaged food products, between Casa Sfatului and Orthodox Church - ready-to-eat food, and between Republicii street and Apollonia Hirscher a wide selection of handmade traditional items.
Dates: 30th November - 3rd January
Open Hours: 14:00 - 22:00 (Monday - Thursday) / 10:00 - 22:00 (Friday - Sunday)
Location: Piața Sfatului
5.Craiova Christmas Market
This year, Craiova Christmas Market could be the hidden gem a lot of people were not expecting to hear about. According to different tourism sites, the Christmas Market in Craiova is the third most beautiful Christmas Market in Europe, following famous fairs such as the ones in Budapest or Gdansk and surpassing the one in Vienna.
Open to visitors until 8th of January 2023, the fair has gathered the most beautiful light decorations and wooden booths for the local artisans. With a good selection of traditional dishes and sweets, the main attraction of the market is the 20m Christmas tree decorated with thousands of fairy lights.
Dates: 11th November - 8th January
Open Hours: 12:00 - 22:00 (Monday - Sunday)
Location: Piața Mihai Viteazu
6.Timișoara Christmas Market
If during these holidays you are planning a trip to visit the wonderful sights of western Romania, then Timișoara should definitely be on your list, especially with its own Christmas Market. Organized in collaboration with a tourism association from Sibiu, Timișoara is ready to bring some of the festive and magical mood in Piata Victoriei.
This year, the main attraction of the market is the huge merry-go-round, located in front of the Huniade Castle, from which you can see a beautiful panoramic view of the entire city landscape.
With over 70 booths offering you local specialities and handmade crafts, definitely you will have a great time here.
Dates: 1st December - 2nd January
Open Hours: 11:00 - 22:00 (Monday - Sunday)
Location: Piața Victoriei
7.Oradea Christmas Market
Oradea Christmas Market is the place you need to be if you want to have a magical experience for the holidays.
Apart from the immense Christmas tree in the city center, decorated with beautiful gleaming lights, and besides the usual delicious food and handmade souvenirs booths, at this fair, the visitors can experience the magic of the city through a royal carriage or an electric small train. And for the ones still young at heart, they can meet Santa Claus in his house.
Also, for the first time at this Christmas Market, food trucks of local producers have been added where people can taste handcraft beer, sea buckthorn syrup with honey, different pickled vegetables or specialties from pork.
Dates: 2nd December - 26th December
Open Hours: 14:00 - 22:00 (Monday - Thursday) / 14:00 - 23:00 (Friday - Sunday)
Location: Piața Unirii & Piața Ferdinand
8.Cluj-Napoca Christmas Market
The Christmas spirit has taken over Cluj-Napoca without doubt, especially in Piața Unirii where the Christmas Market takes place until the end of the month.
The visitors are welcomed by a huge Christmas tree, illuminated by garlands of fairy lights, a fun merry-go-round that overlooks the entire city, and tens of charming wooden booths from which people can buy handmade decorations for back home, Hungarian staple foods at these fairs such as langos and kurtoskalacs, gingerbread, mulled wine and hot chocolate and other delicious dishes that will 'leave your mouth to water'.
Dates: 18th November - 31st December
Open Hours: 11:00 - 22:00 (Monday - Friday) / 11:00 - 22:30 (Saturday - Sunday)
Location: Piața Unirii