Vilnius Christmas Market Lithuania
December 1, 2023 - January 7, 2024
If you are thinking of a slightly alternative Christmas market in Europe away from Vienna, Salzburg and Dresden you would do far worse that considering the Vilnius Christmas market.
Vilnius Christmas Tree and Markets
At the centre of the celebration is the Vilnius Christmas tree in Cathedral Square. The Christmas market is based around the tree. A fun place for people to meet this is where you can really feel a Lithuanian Christmas.
The Christmas trees of Vilnius are renowned for their unique designs – last year the tree was designed as a cake. This year the natural tree embodies the spirit of gift-giving and community. It will stand until 7 January, surrounded by 40 huts offering artisanal goods. There will be a charity market in the town hall as well as smaller markets across the city and at Liepkalnis Water Storage.
Christmas Lock Up
Perhaps unique to the Lithuanian capital is the Christmas Market in the former Lukiskes Prison. From 1904 to 2019, political prisoners and criminals were locked up here. However now it has become a major cultural and events centre.
Gastronomic Christmas markets will be held here on 7 to 10, and 14 to 17 December.
Regal Ice Skating and Runs
Skate on history at Valdovu Rumai during the festive period. As the inner courtyard of the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania is turned into a rink. This will be open from 2 December until 16 February. The palace will also feature a music and light show entitled, “Legend. Vilnius’ Dream” twice daily until 30 December.
Also, on 9 December there will be the 48th Christmas Run with festive runners taking on various distances around town.
Most nations seem to have a special Christmas sweet, and Lithuania is no different. Kūčiukai are small poppy-seeded dough balls, you can buy all around Vilnius during the festive period. Enjoy with a glass of cranberry juice the Lithuanian way.
According to folklore, the number of kūčiukai you select will determine your romantic future. An even number means you will find true love within the year. Odd means you should buy another one.
Vilnius Christmas Market Opening Times
Currently the market and Christmas tree will be open from 1 December to 7 January, 2024. For the most up to date information click here.
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Main image: © Go Vilnius. Gabriel Khiterer. Vilnius winter.