Located in South-East Europe, Romania has some of the most cherished traditions and customs when it comes to Christmas.
After all, in Romania, Christmas is one of the most important events in the whole year, as it is for a big part of the world.
Christmas is the time when families get together, celebrate each other’s presence, unwrap gifts and enjoy the time spent together.
There is just something magical in the air, as the night is setting, the snow is starting to fall, you’re breathing cold air deep in your lungs and tiny, little lights begin to shine all around, reflecting on all the white surfaces.
This is of course the best time to grab a cup of mulled wine, flavored with cinnamon, apple and orange and just behold the charming spectacle that you’re witnessing.
The good news is that there is plenty of hot mulled wine and other delicacies specially made for this time of the year in the several Christmas Markets that are happening every year in Romania.
Everyone can join and everyone is welcomed to feel and taste the magic of Christmas time and to appreciate the most important part of this holiday: sharing your day and time with your family and friends.
Looking to visit Romania for Christmas markets? Here is a selection of the best Christmas Markets in Romania that you should definitely visit at least once in a lifetime… and be sure to check out our list of Romanian Christmas Market opening dates for more info.
Bucharest Constitution Square
Bucharest is the capital of Romania and it is decorated with plenty of ornaments in Christmas time.
The city is shimmering with lights of different colors that sparkle at each corner of the street, at every window, in every household.
One of the best Christmas Markets in Bucharest takes place in front of the Parliament Palace, with over one million participants every year, including locals, tourists and people living in all areas of the country.
At this Christmas market, visitors can enjoy wine, tea, and sweet bread (cozonac) a traditional kind of rolled baked bread that is made especially for Christmas (and in some areas for Easter too).
There are multiple versions of it, but the most common types are the ones with cocoa, raisins, Turkish delight, walnuts, hazelnuts, vanilla, rum, and the list can go on.
If you have kids, they can visit The Magic House of Santa Claus, where they can tell Santa and the elves their wishes for Christmas.
No doubt, this is one of the most magical Christmas markets Romania has to offer.
Bucharest University Square Christmas Market
For another great Christmas market in Bucharest, make sure you visit the Bucharest University Square Christmas Market.
University Square is the nucleus of Bucharest, and the intersection of all avenues. This special Christmas market is placed in front of the University of Bucharest, an imposing building that defines the Bucharest skyline.
Here people can delight themselves with wonderful delicacies, walk around the city center, take photos with the enormous Christmas Tree, and just enjoy the lights shinning from every direction.
The characteristic French neoclassical architecture of the city will make everything look like being in fairytale, with crowds laughing around you, carol songs resounding in the air, while holding close the ones dear to you and some snow falling if you’re lucky: the best Christmas scenario.
Sibiu Big Square Christmas Market
Sibiu in located in the hearth of the country, in Transylvania.
Surrounded by mountains and high hill tops, Sibiu is definitely the kind of place you would want to spend your Christmas Holidays.
With the medieval-style architecture, the houses that have “eyes” on their roofs and windows that look like ears, Sibiu is a very special place to be in the winter time.
Sibiu’s Christmas market takes place in the Big Square, the center of the city where all the emblematic buildings have their place and offer a charming spectacle to the visitors.
Here you can enjoy all the food and drinks custom made for Christmas, such as meat cabbage rolls (sarmale), a typical meal prepared for this time of the year, the mulled wine of course- there is no Christmas market without it, and also Kurtosh– a sweet round cake that has a big empty space inside, specific to the Transylvanian region of the country, due to the Hungarian influence on this region.
There is a concert every year and also a house of Santa Claus that your kids will certainly love.
Brasov Christmas Market
Another one of the best Christmas markets in Romania can be found nearby in Brasov.
Brasov is a gorgeous city with similar aesthetics as Sibiu, and with renowned ski destinations such as Poiana Brasov that Romanians enjoy, since the city is placed deep in the Carpathian Mountains. It is also the biggest skiable surface in Romania!
The Brasov Christmas Market can be found in the city square, where you’ll find artisanal products sold by locals, plenty of food and drink, and great gifts to buy for your family.
The Black Church-an emblematic building of gothic style located in the city square will give a mystical vibe to your experience, all while you’re spending time with your loved ones.
And if you’re a ski enthusiast, don’t miss the opportunity to test out the nearby slopes!
Timisoara Christmas Market
Located at the eastern end of the country, Timisoara is home to another one of the best Christmas markets in Romania.
Of course, it is also one of the most beautiful cities in Romania that deserves to be visited in all times of the year, not only at Christmas. In fact, it has been designated as one of the top cultural cities on the continent!
Timisoara’s Christmas Market takes place in the heart of the city.
Here, you can feel the Christmas spirit in people’s eyes and smiles, as they gather together to celebrate this amazing time of the year. While visiting, you can also visit the Palace of Culture and the Metropolitan Cathedral while you sip on a hot drink of indulge yourself with some local sweets.
If you have more time, you can visit the Banat Village Museum, an authentic history museum and get a glimpse of how people’s lives used to look like a few centuries ago in Banat – the eastern part of Romania where Timisoara is located. Either way, you’ll have a good time.
Arad Christmas Market
Situated at a fair distance from Timisoara, the city of Arad is a symbiosis of delightful food and drinks, numerous decorated trees and a special area for concerts.
Arad’s Christmas market takes place in Mihai Eminescu Park, with tons of great activities for kids, who get to have their own little Christmas town with little Christmas houses and a painting workshop where they can paint and create Christmas related decorations.
Oradea Christmas Market
Another amazing Christmas market to visit in Romania can be found in Oradea.
Here, the city’s Union Square hosts the Christmas market each year.
Between the decorations, lights and concerts, the joy in the air, visitors of the market can purchase hand-made gifts and cherish amazing food preparations as the city is a crossing road between two cuisines – Romanian and Hungarian.
Due to the mix of the two cultures, you will find outstanding dishes and delicacies that are worth your while, and you will get to try some of the most special foods at Christmas time.
PS: If you’re a fan of thermal spas, the city of Oradea is well known for Baile Felix- a hot springs retreat that would definitely match the snow and cold weather!
Cluj-Napoca Christmas Market
If you get to visit Romania, you can’t miss Cluj–Napoca. It is one of the most beautiful cities in the country, with Hungarian medieval style influence and amazing sights.
Cluj-Napoca’s Christmas market is considered one of the best Christmas markets Romania has to offer, bringing everybody in the central square as they all take part in the Christmas magic.
The city is home to a lot of activities, such as ice-skating during winter time, carol singing, and of course sharing all the delicious food and drinks.
PRO TIP: You can’t miss the Turda Salt Mine, a defining and important location for the city of Cluj-Napoca.
Piatra-Neamt Christmas Market
Another great Christmas market to visit in Romania can be found in Piatra–Neamt, located in the northwestern part of the country.
Here, you can indulge in dishes with Moldavian and Russian influence, since this part of the country in situated in the region of Western Moldova.
You can try things such as fish dishes, pork tochitura– a kind of dish made with potatoes and small pieces of pork, served with mamaliga– a type of soft paste made out of corn flour, that is usually paired with cabbage rolls (sarmale) or any type of soft comfort food.
Alcoholic drinks made of cherries or cranberries (ciresata and afinata) can also be found – perfect for keeping you warm in the cold temperatures.
Iasi Christmas Market
The city of Iasi can also be found in the eastern Moldavian region of Romania, almost at the border with Republic of Moldova.
Every year, people gather in the city to give life to the Christmas market, where people vendors sell different types of hand-made goods, cheese, sweets, hot drinks and various dishes.
Here, there are groups performing traditional dances and customs, as well as Santa Claus’s team giving gifts away to the people participating, singing carols and everyone enjoying the Christmas time together.
Did we miss any of your favorite Christmas markets in Romania?
Regardless of where you choose to spend your Christmas Holidays, these Christmas markets are a must see if you want to spend time with your family and also taste different foods and drinks, or just see a part of Romanian culture. Let us know in the comments if we missed any of your favorite Romanian Christmas markets, so we can add more to our list!