Photo: Yevhenii Khaustov, ukraine.ua/imagebank

Ukrainian Christmas markets

Ukrainian Christmas markets and fairs are waiting for you this winter! They have already won the hearts of Ukrainians and our international guests. In Ukraine, we believe that implementing the Christmas market concept is an integral part of our European Integration. This is a joke, of course (or is it?).

Nowadays, almost every Ukrainian city or big town has its own Christmas market in its centre. So visiting these fairs is an integral part of every family’s winter bucket list. Check out the most popular markets this year:

Kyiv, December 19 – January 23 
Kontraktova Square, Sofiivska Square 

Also: Winter Country at the Expocenter of Ukraine (VDNG)
Magician’s Christmas Residence at Dobropark, Motyzhyn village

Lviv, December 17 – January 16
Svobody Avenue, Rynok Square 

Kharkiv, December 18 – January 16 
Svobody Square, Horkyi Park (aka ‘Ukrainian Disneyland’)

Odesa, December 19 – mid-January, special events on December 31 and January 1 
Dumska Square, Derybasivska Street 

Ternopil, December 10 – January 23 
Theatre Square 

Ivano-Frankivsk, December 12 – January 16
Vichevyi Maidan, Rynok Square

Family visiting a Christmas market on St. Sophia square in Kyiv
Photo: sinenkiy, Depositphotos

Highlights that make our markets special:

In Ukraine, we offer mulled wine and lots of grilled food. Yes, we have grilled meat or vegetables in the depth of winter. Isn’t it charming? Visiting Christmas markets is also an excellent opportunity to taste traditional Ukrainian food such as borshch, doughnuts, salty and sweet dumplings, pies and more.

Legendary Lviv coffee and incredibly delicious chocolate prepared according to old recipes of small Lviv pastry shops will help you warm up on a frosty holiday evening and recuperate. You can find them at every fair in any Ukrainian city!

St. Nicholas at Lviv Christmas fair
Photo: Ruslan Lytvyn, Shutterstock

The decorative arts have a rich tradition in Ukraine. You will definitely find many housewares and ceramics adorned with traditional Petrykivka artwork. Petrykivka paintings originate from the 17th century. The art form is now formally recognised in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as of 2013. These days it is a well-known Ukrainian brand that is recognised all over the world. Even Starbucks drew inspiration from this Ukrainian artform which can be seen in the design of their Christmas cups.

Christmas tree toys at Lviv Christmas Christmas
Photo: Ruslan Lytvyn, Shutterstock

In addition, you can buy traditional tasty and even eco-friendly Ukrainian gifts for your relatives: wooden spoons with lovely paintings, Christmas decorations, embroidered shirts and much more, which will always remind you of the merry Christmas holidays spent in Ukraine.

Ukrainian Christmas Markets are not just places to buy gifts, drink wine and eat well. They are also venues for concerts, places for workshops and Christmas performances. So be ready to immerse yourself deep into Ukrainian Christmas traditions while sipping on yet another cup of mulled wine. 

Christmas market on Kontraktova square in Kyiv
Photo: Depositphotos

An integral part of almost every Christmas Market is a skating rink where every adult and child can ride. Cheerful laughter, frost that stings the face, and the main rule of every skating rink – there should be a Christmas tree. This is what makes ice skating an unforgettable event during the Christmas holidays.

Skating rink at the Christmas market on Kontraktova Square, Podil fair
Photo: leonovo, Depositphotos

Also, Christmas markets are not only about entertainment but also about benefits. A huge number of master classes in applied arts, making Christmas toys with your own hands and much more make the Ukrainian fair an exciting and bright place!

Ukrainian Christmas markets are a national treasure, colour and centuries-old traditions intertwined with modernity. This is an excellent opportunity to plunge into a fairy tale and make sure that miracles happen!

Text by Podolinna Daria, Vira Hrabchuk

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