Europe is well known for its beautiful Christmas markets. Yet did you know that there are also many gorgeous Easter markets to visit?
Expect painted Easter crafts, pretty blossoms and traditional gifts on offer on little wooden stalls in the heart of ancient European capitals. Below I have listed three of Europe’s best Easter markets to visit this Easter.
Krakow’s Easter Market
Best for Tradition
Krakow, the historical capital of Poland has a beautiful and very traditional Easter market. Poland is a Catholic country and therefore Easter is a very important time of year. 86% of the Polish population is Catholic and they desire Easter treats to decorate their homes with in spring. I really liked the Krakow Easter market located in the atmospheric Rynek Główny.
Krakow’s Easter market is on the picturesque main square and boasts many stalls with traditional crafts. The main square itself dates back to the 13th century. It is also one of the largest medieval town squares in Europe meaning there is space for plenty of stalls. Many of the wooden stalls sell beautiful, decorative eggs. These wooden Easter eggs are known as Pisanki. I found out that there are many different types of traditional Easter eggs but Pisanki were my favourite. I loved the intricate patterns and colourful paint. A sense of tradition and timelessness was heightened through the use of wood to create these decorations.
Make sure you also visit the stalls inside the Krakow Cloth Hall, Sukiennice. Once a major site of international trade, you can now buy touristy as well as traditional goods at this market during your visit. Look out for the Krakow dragon cuddly toys next to the stunning national outfits in black, white and red adorned with stitches of flower patterns. Also look up to see flowers adorned to lanterns on the ceiling to enhance the Easter spirit of spring’s arrival and symbol of rebirth.
After or during your explorations, warm up with some yummy potato pierogi available at many of the wooden stands. There will also be delicious Grzaniec Galicyjski which is a regional mulled wine to taste.
Krakow’s Easter market runs from 23rd March – 2nd April 2018
Budapest’s Easter market
Best for Handmade Crafts
Whilst I loved the traditional Pisanki eggs in Krakow, Budapest’s Easter markets had the best variety of colourful crafts. There were gorgeous handmade crafts, striking modern art and incredibly tasty food.
Budapest’s Easter market is smaller but has a more intimate feel. Find this collection of Easter crafts on Vörösmarty Square near the center of the city. Brightly, coloured lanterns illuminate the market and envelope you under a canopy of rainbow lights in the evenings.
Every stall is different but all offer stunning, handmade crafts. I wanted to buy everything. There were delicate flowers made out of porcelain. Sweet little cushions filled with lavender hung from another stall. Incredibly detailed prints of Budapest caught my attention as I imagined how they would look in my future home. The list goes on.
I visited Budapest’s Easter market with 2 of my friends, Alison and Janota. We all wanted to buy a gift and spent a while choosing which handmade item we would like. In the end we decided on a small purse which we agreed would be a useful souvenir. We all chose a similar purse with a cloth picture of Budapest’s parliament building to remind us of our wonderful Easter visit to Budapest.
This market also hosts workshops and concerts. These interactive programs are held in order to allow visitors to see forgotten crafts and experience folk traditions. At the 2018 Easter market you can take part in: felt making, beading, glass blowing and even making musical instruments. Concerts and performances are held on Fridays and Saturdays.
There are many tasty local delicacies to try. Make sure you have at least one hot langos with garlic during your stay in Hungary.
Budapest’s Easter Market runs from 23rd March – 22th April 2018
Prague’s Easter market
Best for Flora
Prague is one of my favourite cities. I have visited this central European city 8 times therefore I had to include Prague’s Easter market in the top 3.
This market makes our list for being simply full of blossom and colourful trees. The sun was out and it felt as if spring truly had sprung. Bursts of pink and yellow were dotted around the historical Staroměstské náměstí.
Prague’s old Town square is one of the most impressive medieval squares in Europe. The wonderfully gothic cathedral towers over the cobbles and tourists below. The many wooden huts are dwarfed by the spikey towers. These little stalls sell traditional and touristy wares such as local handicrafts, delicate embroidered lace, fun wooden toys, blue ceramics and scented candles amongst many other Easter gifts.
No trip to Prague is complete without trying a local beer. Try a Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen or Budvar whilst you walk around the stalls. If that’s a bit fresh for you, enjoy a hot drink such as the Czech mulled wine svařené víno.
Of course there is also music and dance. Children from all over the Czech Republic travel to Prague to perform in traditional dress at Prague’s Easter market. I liked this Easter Market due to the colourfully decorated trees and pretty pink blossoms placed in the ancient heart of Prague.
Prague’s Easter Market runs from 17th March – 8th April 2018
Those were my top 3 Easter markets to visit in Europe. Which one would you like to visit? Let me know in the comments below.