December 2021 in Warsaw: ideas and tips for making the most of your winter in Warsaw

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Christmas fairs in Warsaw

  • November 26, 2021 – January 6, 2022

Outdoor Christmas Market in the Old Town
Location: Warsaw Old Town, the Warsaw Barbican area, opposite the Royal Castle. Open every day, Sunday-Thursday: 11 am – 8 pm, Friday-Saturday: 11 am – 9.30, December 24: 11 am – 8 pm, December 25, 26, 31: 11 am – 9.30 pm, January 1: 11 am – 9.30 pm, free entrance. Souvenirs, gifts, local crafts and food like pierogi, hot chocolate or… ice-cream. Facebook page in Polish.

  • December 2-3, 2021

Outdoor Christmas Market
Location: plac Politechniki (city center), free entrance. Facebook event in Polish.

  • December 2-4, 2021

Art and Handicraft Fair
Location: King Cross Praga shopping center, Jubilerska 1/3 Street (Praga), free entrance. Artistic jewelry, ceramics, art glass, antiques, sculpture, hand-made toys, artistic wooden products, clothes, children’s clothes. Facebook event in Polish.

Art and Handicraft Fair
Location: Galeria Rondo Wiatraczna shopping center, Grochowska 207 Street (Praga), free entrance. Facebook event in Polish.

  • December 4-5, 2021

Christmas fair in Fort 8/Fort Służew
Location: Fort 8, Fort Służew 1b Street (Ursynów), free entrance. Ready meals, fresh produce, gifts and holiday sets. Facebook event in Polish. The event runs every weekend from December 4, 2021 until December 19.

Design Fair – Christmas edition 
Location: Elektrownia Powiśle shopping mall, Dobra 42 Street (Powiśle), free entrance. Furniture, graphics, ceramics, lamps, textiles, jewelry, toys. Facebook event in Polish.

Christmas Fair – decorations, gifts
Location: Centrum Praskie Koneser, Plac Konesera (Praga), 11 am – 7 pm, free entrance. Facebook event in Polish.

“Fashion Market Square” – Designer Fashion Fair
Location: Centrum Praskie Koneser, Plac Konesera (Praga), free entrance. Facebook event in Polish.

Art Fair (Targowisko Sztuki) – exhibition and sale of works by young artists from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw 
Location: Defabryka, Duchnicka 3 Street (Żoliborz), free entrance. A chance to admire or buy artworks of students and graduates of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. Click here to read more in Polish. Facebook page in Polish.

  • December 5, 2021

Christmas Fair & Dumplings of the World Festival
Location: the Palace of Culture and Science, plac Defilad 1, 12 pm – 7 pm, tickets on sale from November. Teas, preserves, sauces, sweets, cosmetics, jewelery, books, fashion and accessories from young designers, Christmas decorations and gift wraps. Facebook event in Polish. Facebook event in Polish – Dumplings Festival.

Poster Fair
Location: Dom Towarowy Bracia Jabłkowscy, Bracka 25 Street (city center), 11 am – 7 pm, tickets 7 PLN. Facebook event in English and Polish.

Christmas fair in Mokotów
Location: Łowicka Cultural Center (Centrum Łowicka), Łowicka 21 Street (Mokotów), free entrance, 2.30 pm – 4 pm. Christmas decorations, gifts, jewelry, ceramics, healthy food. Christmas workshops. Facebook event in Polish.

  • December 11-12, 2021

Outdoor Christmas Market & Street Food Festival in Ursynów
 Location: a parking lot next to Ursynów District Office, Imielin metro station, al. KEN 61 Street (Ursynów),  12 pm – 8 pm, free entrance. Facebook event in Polish.

Christmas fair in Fort 8/Fort Służew
Location: Fort 8, Fort Służew 1b Street (Ursynów), free entrance. Ready meals, fresh produce, gifts and holiday sets. Facebook event in Polish. The event runs every weekend from December 4, 2021 until December 19.

Outdoor Christmas Market
Location: Park nad Balatonem, Gocław (Praga Południe), free entrance. Facebook event in Polish.

Christmas Toy Fair
Location: Centrum Praskie Koneser (Praga Koneser Center), Plac Konesera (Praga), 11 am – 6 pm, free entrance. Facebook event in Polish.

Fair and festival of upcycling, handicrafts, design (“Przerób-My”) – Christmas edition
Location: Centrum Praskie Koneser (Praga Koneser Center), Plac Konesera (Praga), free entrance. Facebook event in Polish.

Fair of slow fashion, accessories, products for children, design – Christmas edition
Location: Elektrownia Powiśle shopping center, Dobra 42 Street (Powiśle), free entrance, Saturday 10 am – 9 pm, Sunday 11 am – 7 pm. Facebook event in Polish.

Warsaw Fantasy Fair – winter edition – books, clothes, accessories
Location: Dom Towarowy Bracia Jabłkowscy, Bracka 25 Street (city center), Saturday 10 am – 8 pm, Sunday 10 am – 6 pm, regular tickets 10 PLN, children up to 13 5 PLN, children under 7 free entrance. Facebook event in Polish.

  • December 17-23, 2021

Christmas Gift Fair 
Location: Hala Gwardii, Plac Żelaznej Bramy 1 (city center), Friday-Saturday 9 am – 8 pm, Sunday-Thursday 10 am – 7 pm, free entrance. Facebook event in Polish.

  • December 18, 2021

Japanese Holiday Fair
Location: Nowy Świat Muzyki café and cultural center, Nowy Świat 63 Street (city center), 10 am – 8 pm. Ceramics, books, albums, home decorations, jewelry, bags, kimono, teas, food. Facebook event in Polish.

  • December 18-19, 2021

Fair of Christmas gifts & Santa’s Workshop
Location: the Palace of Culture and Science, plac Defilad 1, Saturday 12 pm – 8 pm, Sunday 12 pm – 6 pm, tickets on sale from November. Facebook event in Polish.

“Wege Festiwal” Christmas edition – fair of vegan food, products, cosmetics, accessories 
Location: the Palace of Culture and Science, plac Defilad 1, Saturday 12 pm – 8 pm, Sunday 12 pm – 6 pm, tickets on sale from November. Facebook event in Polish.

Christmas fair in Fort 8/Fort Służew
Location: Fort 8, Fort Służew 1b Street (Ursynów), free entrance. Ready meals, fresh produce, gifts and holiday sets. Facebook event in Polish. The event runs every weekend from December 4, 2021 until December 19.

Design fair “Wzory” – Christmas edition 
Location: Dom Towarowy Bracia Jabłkowscy shopping center, Bracka 25 Street (city center). Facebook event in Polish.

Christmas Fair of clothes, jewelery, design, accessories
Location: Elektrownia Powiśle shopping mall, Dobra 42 Street (Powiśle), Saturday 10 am – 9 pm, Sunday 10 am – 8 pm, free entrance. Facebook event in Polish.

Christmas Gift Fair
Location: Centrum Praskie Koneser, Plac Konesera (Praga), 11 am – 7 pm, free entrance. Facebook event in Polish.

Christmas Vege Festival & Fair
Location: Centrum Praskie Koneser, Plac Konesera (Praga), free entrance. Facebook event in Polish.

Festival & Fair of chocolate and gifts
Location: Centrum Praskie Koneser, Plac Konesera (Praga), free entrance. Facebook event in Polish.

“Fashion Market Square” – Designer Fashion Fair
Location: Centrum Praskie Koneser, Plac Konesera (Praga), free entrance. Facebook event in Polish.

Festive illuminations, a Christmas tree, lights on Warsaw’s streets in 2021/2022

This year, there are two new illuminations outdoor displays in Warsaw. Both in the botanical gardens – in the botanical garden in the city center next to the Łazienki Garden and in the botanical garden in Powsin (a few kilometers south of Warsaw).

Traditionally, Christmas illuminations on the streets of Warsaw and a huge Christmas tree on Plac Zamkowy are lit in the first week of December (and are on until mid-February).

The Christmas illuminations in 2021 in Warsaw will be launched on the first weekend of December and will stay on until February 15, 2022.

The largest Christmas tree in Warsaw is lit on Castle Square (Plac Zamkowy) in Warsaw’s Old Town.

The main attractions on Warsaw streets focus on the “The Royal Route”, from the Castle Square/Plac Zamkowy (including the Christmas tree), Krakowskie Przedmieście Street, Nowy Świat Street to the de Gaulle roundabout (Rondo de Gaulle’a). 

You will find detailed information about Warsaw illuminations festivals in the 2021/2022 season in our post: Light displays in Warsaw: festive illuminations, lights festivals, and decorations in Warsaw during the 2021/2022 season.

The photos below show Christmas illuminations in Warsaw in previous years:

Ideas for things to do in Warsaw in December

For things to do INDOOR in Warsaw, please read our post that includes the list of ideas for fun (indoor!) activities for a bad weather day in Warsaw: Indoor things to do in Warsaw.

Flavours of Polish Christmas – dumplings cooking class in English and dinner
Location: Pierogi & More cooking school, Stawki 3 Street (city center). During this 3 course dinner you will taste the most popular Christmas food. Moreover you will learn how to make the famous Polish dumplings. Taste herrings or beetroot soup with uszka – little dumplings, make pierogi with sauerkraut and indulge yourself in the festive poppy seed dessert. Facebook page in English. Website in English.

Van Gogh Multi-Sensory Exhibition
Open every day until January 14. Location: EXPO XXI, Prądzyńskiego 12/14 Street (Wola), open every day: 10 am – 8 pm, online tickets. Monday-Friday: regular ticket 55 PLN, reduced for students 45 PLN, children 6-19 35 PLN, family ticket 2 adults + 2 children 135 PLN, children up to 6 free entrance. Weekends & holidays: regular ticket 65 PLN, reduced for students 55 PLN, children 6-19 45 PLN, family ticket 2 adults + 2 children 165 PLN, children up to 6 free entrance. The visual spectacle – digital projection presenting Van Gogh’s images at a big scale, filling screens, walls, columns, ceilings. The visual part of the exhibition is enriched with music. Facebook page in Polish. Website in Polish.

“Encanto” – children’s movie in ENGLISH, without Polish subtitles 
December 3. Location: Cinema City, Sadyba Best Mall, Powsińska 31 Street (Sadyba/Mokotów), 5 pm. The screening in English, without subtitles. To purchase your tickets please contact Brian Mason at brianmason79@gmail.com or 668 519 462 (adult 35 PLN, child 25 PLN).

Outdoor Christmas Market in the Old Town
Until January 6. Location: Warsaw Old Town, the Warsaw Barbican area, opposite the Royal Castle. Open every day, Sunday-Thursday: 11 am – 8 pm, Friday-Saturday: 11 am – 9.30, December 25, 26, 31: 11 am – 9.30 pm, January 1: 11 am – 9.30 pm, free entrance. Souvenirs, gifts, local crafts and food like pierogi, hot chocolate or… ice-cream. Facebook page in Polish.

Exhibition and fair of exotic animals and plants  
December 5. Location: Sports Center at Siennicka 40 Street (Praga), 10 am – 4 pm, regular tickets 17 PLN, family (2+2) tickets 50 PLN, children up to 6 free (online tickets). Snakes, lizards, turtles, frogs, snails, insects, spiders, ants, fish, and plants from all over the world. Facebook event in Polish.

Christmas folk concert and dance show by Mazowsze – the oldest and biggest Polish folk dancing and singing group
December 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19. Location: Matecznik “Mazowsze, Świerkowa 2 Street, 05-805 Otrębusy (a village about 25 km from the center of Warsaw), online ticketsFacebook page in PolishMore in English about the Mazowsze group.

Chopin music piano recitals
Every day at 7 pm. Location: Fryderyk Concert Hall, Podwale 15 Street (the old town), 7 pm, online tickets. The recitals feature Fryderyk Chopin’s most famous compositions. Facebook page in English and Polish. Website in English.

The Great Elf Factory (Wielka Fabryka Elfów) – indoor Christmas playing areas for children aged 3-10
Until December 21. Location: PGE National Stadium, Al. Ks. J. Poniatowskiego 1 Street (Praga), gate/brama number 5 (for those arriving on foot or by taxi) and gate/brama 6 (for those arriving by car, entrance to the underground car park -3 ). Ten playing areas with attractions for kids (eg. inflatable playground) – children help elves and in the end, they meet Santa. The games and attractions take about 2 hours. Recommended age of children: 3-10 years old. Ticket prices depend on days and hours and range from 54.90 PLN to 79.90 PLN. 1 ticket is admission for one child and one guardian. The ticket for the additional guardian is bought on the spot and costs half the ticket price for the child. Visiting the Elf Factory for groups of children is possible in English – you need to report such a request in advance (+48 583 501 651, warszawa@wielkafabrykaelfow.pl). Online ticketsWebsite in Polish. Facebook page in Polish.

Cosmos Discovery – Space Exhibition 
Until February 27, 2022. Location: Muzeum Nowa Praga, Jagiellońska 82A Street (Praga), Location on Google map. Open every day 9 am – 8 pm. Tickets to be purchased onsite or online. Children up to 6 free entrance. The exhibition shows the development of space flights from the first historical attempts up to today’s missions. It features 200+ original objects from the United States, Russia, and Poland. The Exhibition’s Museum website in PolishFacebook event in Polish. The Exhibition runs from September 15 until October 31, 2021. There are 2 versions of the audio guide: one intended mainly for adult visitors and high school students. The second version is simplified and fun in the form of a boy-astronaut conversation, this version is suitable for children under the age of 14. Both versions of the audio guide are also available in English.

The NBA Exhibition – an interactive exhibition presenting the culture, history and lifestyle associated with the NBA
Until January 31, 2022. Location: Centrum Praskie Koneser, Plac Konesera (Praga). Online tickets. The bespoke touring exhibition will provide fans of all ages with multiple touch points to interact with the NBA. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in customized activations including VR experiences, an opportunity to have a photo taken with the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, play the latest NBA2K22 game and much more. The exhibition also includes a 50+ pieces display of rare and autographed items of NBA merchandise from players past and present. More in English. Facebook page in English.

A visit to the museum – a good idea to escape the rain and cold
Too cold to stay outside? Another rainy day? It’s time to visit the museum! Explore the city with our list of museums and galleries in Warsaw. Click here to read our post about museums and galleries in Warsaw – there’s one to suit every interest and many of them are free to visit. The list includes for example – The Museum for Children, Warsaw Railway Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Warsaw, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Chopin Museum in Warsaw, Museum of Life under Communism.

Eating out in one of Warsaw indoor food halls
Are you going out for lunch with a group of friends or family, but everyone wants something different? Sounds familiar? Food halls will settle restaurant selection fights. They offer a wide variety of ethnic cuisines and local restaurant concepts. A great solution for breakfast, lunch or dinner in a group – everyone orders from a different restaurant and eats at a common table. Click here to read our post featuring food halls in Warsaw (Elektrownia Powiśle, Hala Gwardii, Hala Koszyki, Browary Warszawskie – Warsaw Breweries, Fabryka Norblina).

Ice skating 
The first ice rink in Warsaw (Torwar in the city center) opened for the new season in September! The ice rinks in Warsaw are usually open until March, weather permitting. This season – after a one-year break – the free ice rink in Warsaw’s Old Town returns in December. Did you know that in Ursynów there is an indoor ice rink (Figlowisko)  open 24/7? You can read more about indoor and outdoor ice rinks in Warsaw (location, opening hours) in our post: Ice skating rinks in Warsaw.

The exhibition of live spiders and scorpions
Location: the Palace of Culture and Science, pl. Defilad 1, entrance from Marszałkowska Street, open every day, 10 am – 7 pm, online tickets: regular 22 PLN, reduced 18 PLN, family 2+2 60 PLN, children up to 4 free entrance. Each weekend (every hour on the hour), the visitors can hold a spider (the most gentle tarantula) in their hand and take close photographs with the assist of an exhibition employee. More in Polish about the Exhibition.

A winter walk among the magic lights 
During the winter season, many parks in Warsaw transform after dark into a magical world of lights, giving you the opportunity to spend time outdoors, walking in winter festive scenery. Add to that a Christmas tree on Plac Zamkowy and illuminated streets in the center of Warsaw! You will find detailed information about Warsaw illuminations festivals and lights displays in the 2021/2022 season in our post: Light displays in Warsaw: festive illuminations, lights festivals, and decorations in Warsaw during the 2021/2022 season.

And if it snows – it’s time for a sledge!
When it starts to snow in Warsaw we often are asked where is a good place to go sledging and build a snowman in Warsaw. Here is a rundown of some popular places in Warsaw by district: Sledging in Warsaw: best spots for sledding in Warsaw.

The Viewing Platform of the Palace of Culture and Science
Location: Plac Defilad 1 (city center). The platform is located on the 30th floor (114 m high) of the Palace of Culture and Science. Opening hours in December: 10 am – 8 pm. Online ticketsOur tips about visiting the platform. The Platform is closed on December 24 and 25, 2021. Opening hours on December 26: 12 pm – 8 pm, December 31: 10 am – 3 pm, January 1, 2022: 12 pm – 8 pm.

Warsaw Zoo
Location: Ratuszowa 1/3 Street (Praga), opening hours in December: 9 am – 4 pm (weekends and holidays), 9 am – 3.30 pm (Monday-Friday). Last admission one hour before the Zoo closes. Online ticketsThe Zoo is open every day, including all public holidays! Website in English.

Mini zoo/petting zoo  
Location: Mini Zoo, Kolorowa 19 lok. 156 Street, poziom/level -1 (Ursus), Monday – Friday 11 am – 7 pm, Saturday – Sunday 10 am – 6 pm. At the Mini Zoo, you can feed and stroke the animals. The visits take place in the company of a Mini ZOO employee who will show and teach how to deal with animals. The Mini Zoo is located in the indoor heated room; tickets available for purchase on-site, no reservation required. Facebook page. Website in Polish.

Artificial skiing slope in Ochota – Górka Szczęśliwicka
Location: Górka Szczęśliwicka, Park Szczęśliwicki, Drawska 22 Street (Ochota). The Górka Szczęśliwicka ski slope is located the center of the Park Szczęśliwicki – the biggest (30 ha) park in the Ochota district of Warsaw. Location on Google map. It’s the highest hill in Warsaw, a 152 m slope called in Polish Górka Szczęśliwicka. The biggest attraction of Górka Szczęśliwicka is the ski slope. It’s a year-round artificial ski slope (the only year-round ski slope in Warsaw and the Mazowieckie Voivodeship). The height of the ski slope is 74.9 m, the length of the run is 227 m, a plate lift and a chairlift are available. Website and Facebook page in Polish.

An indoor ice skating rink ‘Figlowisko’ in Ursynów 
Location: Aleja Komisji Edukacji Narodowej 60 Street (Ursynów). Opening hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including bank holidays. Ice skates can be rented on site. Website, info about tickets, and Facebook page.

An indoor ice skating rink in Targówek
Location: Łabiszyńska 20 Street (Targówek). Opening hours: Monday-Friday 2 pm – 9 pm, Saturday-Sunday 9 am – 9 pm. Technical breaks: Monday – Friday 6.30 pm – 7 pm, Saturday-Sunday 12 pm – 12.30 pm, 3 pm – 3.30 pm, 6 pm – 6.30 pm. Website, info about tickets, and Facebook page.

Railway Modeling Fair (Giełda Modeli Kolejowych)
December 12. Location: Warsaw Railway Museum(Stacja Muzeum), Towarowa 3 Street (Wola), 10 am – 2 pm (the Museum is open 10 am – 6 pm). A chance to buy model railways and trains and meet railway modeling enthusiasts. During the event reduced tickets for everyone (7 PLN, children up to 7 free entrance). The Museum website in EnglishFacebook event in Polish.

Sunday Yoga in Łazienki Royal Garden
December 19. Location: Łazienki Royal Garden, 10 am, click here to check the meeting point (the area next to the Palace on the Isle). Families with children are welcome. There is no need to sign up. Facebook event in Polish and English.

Things to do in Warsaw during Christmas (December 24-26, 2021)

This section of the post will be updated with new ideas at the beginning of December (when many places in Warsaw decide about their opening hours during Christmas). 

Christmas mass in English in Warsaw

December 24, Christmas Eve
Special Christmas mass (pasterka) in English

Location: St. Paul’s English Speaking Catholic Parish of Warsaw, Church of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Kościół pw. Narodzenia NMP), al. Solidarności 80 Street (city center), 10 pm. A Christmas Vigil Mass in ENGLISH. Facebook page in English. Website in English.

December 25, Christmas Day

Location: St. Paul’s English Speaking Catholic Parish of Warsaw, Church of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Kościół pw. Narodzenia NMP), al. Solidarności 80 Street (city center). Christmas Day Mass in ENGLISH at 12 pm. Facebook page in English. Website in English.

Location: Temple of Divine Providence (Świątynia Opatrzności Bożej), Prymasa Augusta Hlonda 1 Street (Wilanów). Christmas Mass in ENGLISH at 6 pm. For inquiries, you can email englishmassatwilanow@gmail.com. Facebook page in English.

Attractions in Warsaw open every day in the period of December 24-26, 2021

Warsaw Zoo
Location: Ratuszowa 1/3 Street (Praga), opening hours: 9 am – 4 pm (weekends and holidays), 9 am – 3.30 pm (Monday-Friday). Last admission one hour before the Zoo closes. Online tickets. Website in English.

Outdoor Christmas Market in the Old Town
Location: Warsaw Old Town, the Warsaw Barbican area, opposite the Royal Castle. Open every day, Sunday-Thursday: 11 am – 8 pm, Friday-Saturday: 11 am – 9.30, December 24: 11 am – 8 pm, December 25, 26, 31: 11 am – 9.30 pm, January 1: 11 am – 9.30 pm, free entrance. Souvenirs, gifts, local crafts and food like pierogi, hot chocolate or… ice-cream. Facebook page in Polish.

The ice skating rink ‘Figlowisko’ in Ursynów
Location: Aleja Komisji Edukacji Narodowej 60 Street (Ursynów). Opening hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including bank holidays. Website, info about tickets, and Facebook page.

The Łazienki Royal Garden
Location: Agrykola 1 Street (city center). The museums are closed, the park is open every day: 6 am – 8 pm, free entrance. More about the Łazienki Park in our post.

A Christmas tree, festive illuminations, and decorations along Warsaw’s streets 
The lights are switched starting from dusk. The main attractions focus on the “The Royal Route”, from the Castle Square/Plac Zamkowy (including the Christmas tree), Krakowskie Przedmieście Street, Nowy Świat Street to the de Gaulle roundabout (Rondo de Gaulle’a). The Old Town is also decorated (including Piwna Street, Świętojańska Street, Old Town Square, Nowomiejska Street, Freta Street, New Town Square, Kościelna Street to Podzamcze). Find out more in our post on Warsaw’s illuminations in the 2021/2022 season.

Friday, December 24, 2021

Please note that Christmas Eve is not a public holiday in Poland. However, most shops and businesses are usually open no longer than 2 pm.

An outdoor ice skating rink in Praga
Location: Plac Konesera, Centrum Praskie Koneser (Praga).  December 24: open 10 am – 2.30 pm, December 25 – closed, December 26: open from 10.15 am, December 31 – open until 2.30 pm, January 1: open from 4 pm. If you show a receipt for a minimum amount of PLN 20 (for shopping and restaurants at the Koneser Center on that day), entry to the ice rink and rental are free. You can only buy a ticket for the nearest slot. It is not possible to purchase a ticket earlier and use it at another time. Free entry for children up to 14 years of age accompanied by an adult, from 10 am to 2 pm. More in Polish and Koneser’s Facebook page.

Indoor “flying” – freefall simulators/tunnel flight and Boeing 737 simulator
Location: Flyspot, Wspólna Droga 1 Street, 05-850 Mory near Warsaw. Flyspot offers freefall simulators – vertical tunnels with a closed air circuit where high power fans  produce air flow at speed up to 310 km/h (which enables floating freely in the air). You can board the replica of the Boeing 737-800 passenger cockpit. With the help of instructors, you will see what the pilots of passenger planes face during the key stages of their flight. You can choose from 2,400 available airports and many flight scenarios. Facebook pageWebsite in English.

Special Christmas midnight mass (pasterka)
In every church in Poland, there is a special, very ceremonial Christmas Eve mass that usually starts at midnight. You will have a chance to listen to and/or sing Christmas carols during the mass. Check out the locations of churches in Warsaw with services in Polish: Warsaw on the left bank of the Vistula (Mokotów, Ochota, Wola, Ursynów, etc.), and Warsaw on the right bank of the Vistula (Praga, Białołęka, etc.).
If you prefer a mass in English, St. Paul’s English Speaking Catholic Parish of Warsaw (al. Solidarności 80 Street) offers service in English, including a Christmas Vigil Mass in ENGLISH. (Facebook page in English).

Saturday, December 25, 2021

A bank/public holiday in Poland. Stores, malls, shopping centers, public institutions are CLOSED.

The outdoor light display “Garden of Lights – Peter Pan” 
Location: Botanical Garden in Powsin, Prawdziwka 2 Street, 02-973 Powsin. Attractions include trees decorated with half a million colored LED lights, 30 light installations, multimedia attractions (e.g. a Christmas tree made of 30,000 LED lights), laser shows with sound, video-mappings, photo-points. Click here to read our tips in English on visiting the Powsin Garden. Facebook page. Website in Polish.

“The Royal Garden of Light” – the illuminations festival in the Wilanów Palace Garden
Location: Wilanów Garden, Stanisława Kostki Potockiego 10/16 Street, 4 pm – 9 pm. Click here to read Kids in the City tips in English about the illuminations festival (opening hours, tickets, parking lots etc.). The outdoor Exhibition runs until February 27, 2022.

Visit churches in the Old Town – nativity scenes
Each church builds its own unique nativity scene (szopka) for the Christmas season. Sometimes they are modern and metaphorical, sometimes with lots of details that children will love, eg. animals, angels, different figures, ornaments. Churches in Poland are usually open during the day until the evening, with free entrance. There is an obligation to wear a mask in churches in Poland.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

A bank/public holiday in Poland. Stores, malls, shopping centers are CLOSED.

Van Gogh Multi-Sensory Exhibition
Open every day until January 14. Location: EXPO XXI, Prądzyńskiego 12/14 Street (Wola), 10 am – 8 pm, online tickets. Monday-Friday: regular ticket 55 PLN, reduced for students 45 PLN, children 6-19 35 PLN, family ticket 2 adults + 2 children 135 PLN, children up to 6 free entrance. Weekends & holidays: regular ticket 65 PLN, reduced for students 55 PLN, children 6-19 45 PLN, family ticket 2 adults + 2 children 165 PLN, children up to 6 free entrance. The visual spectacle – digital projection presenting Van Gogh’s images at a big scale, filling screens, walls, columns, ceilings. The visual part of the exhibition is enriched with music. Facebook page in Polish. Website in Polish.

An outdoor ice skating rink in Praga
Location: Plac Konesera, Centrum Praskie Koneser (Praga). December 26: open from 10.15 am until 10 pm, December 31 – open until 2.30 pm, January 1: open from 4 pm. If you show a receipt for a minimum amount of PLN 20 (for shopping and restaurants at the Koneser Center on that day), entry to the ice rink and rental are free. You can only buy a ticket for the nearest slot. It is not possible to purchase a ticket earlier and use it at another time. Free entry for children up to 14 years of age accompanied by an adult, from 10 am to 2 pm. More in Polish and Koneser’s Facebook page.

The outdoor light display at the Botanical Garden of the Warsaw University
Location: Ogród Botaniczny Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego), Aleje Ujazdowskie 4 Street (city center), the garden on Google map. The Garden is located next to the Łazienki Royal Park (in 1818, the Botanical Garden was separated from the Łazienki). Opening hours: 5 pm – 9 pm. Online tickets. Regular ticket: 37 PLN, reduced ticket for children up to 16: 27 PLN, family ticket 2+1: 90 PLM, family ticket 2+2, up to 6 visitors: 110 PLN. Children up to 5 free entrance. Our tips in English on visiting the Garden.

Chopin music piano recitals
Location: Fryderyk Concert Hall, Podwale 15 Street (the old town), 7 pm, online tickets. The recitals feature Fryderyk Chopin’s most famous compositions. Facebook page in English and Polish. Website in English.

The outdoor light display “Garden of Lights – Peter Pan” 
Location: Botanical Garden in Powsin, Prawdziwka 2 Street, 02-973 Powsin. Attractions include trees decorated with half a million colored LED lights, 30 light installations, multimedia attractions (e.g. a Christmas tree made of 30,000 LED lights), laser shows with sound, video-mappings, photo-points. Click here to read our tips in English on visiting the Powsin Garden. Facebook page. Website in Polish.

The Warsaw Royal Castle
Location: Zamek Królewski, Plac Zamkowy 4 / Castle Square 4. Our tips in English on visiting the Castle.

The National Museum 
Location: The National Museum in Warsaw (Muzeum Narodowe), Aleje Jerozolimskie 3 Street (city center), 12 pm – 6 pm. Our tips in English about visiting the National Museum.

“The Royal Garden of Light” – the illuminations festival in the Wilanów Palace Garden
Location: Wilanów Garden, Stanisława Kostki Potockiego 10/16 Street, 4 pm – 9 pm. Click here to read Kids in the City tips in English about the illuminations festival (opening hours, tickets, parking lots etc.). The outdoor Exhibition runs until February 27, 2022.

The Viewing Platform of the Palace of Culture and Science
Location: Plac Defilad 1 (city center). The platform is located on the 30th floor (114 m high) of the Palace of Culture and Science. Opening hours in December: 10 am – 8 pm. Online ticketsOur tips about visiting the platform. The Platform is closed on December 24 and 25, 2021. Opening hours on December 26: 12 pm – 8 pm, December 31: 10 am – 3 pm, January 1, 2022: 12 pm – 8 pm.

Be Happy Museum – Selfie Point 
Location: Atrium Reduta shopping center, al. Jerozolimskie 148 Street (Ochota), online tickets. Dozens of scenes to take photos and rooms with the illusion (e.g. a pool with Marshmallow foams, a banana swing, magical unicorns). More in English about the Museum.

The Museum “World of Illusion”
Location: Świat Iluzji, Rynek Starego Miasta 21 (the Old Town Market Square), online tickets. More in English about the Museum.

The POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews [city center/Muranów]
Location: Anielewicza 6 Street (Muranów). The Museum is closed every Tuesday. Our tips in English on visiting the Museum. Our featured story on visiting the Museum with children.

Cosmos Discovery – Space Exhibition 
Location: Muzeum Nowa Praga, Jagiellońska 82A Street (Praga), Location on Google map. 9 am – 8 pm. Tickets to be purchased onsite or online. Children up to 6 free entrance. The exhibition shows the development of space flights from the first historical attempts up to today’s missions. It features 200+ original objects from the United States, Russia, and Poland. The Exhibition’s Museum website in PolishFacebook event in Polish. The Exhibition runs from September 15 until October 31, 2021. There are 2 versions of the audio guide: one intended mainly for adult visitors and high school students. The second version is simplified and fun in the form of a boy-astronaut conversation, this version is suitable for children under the age of 14. Both versions of the audio guide are also available in English. The Exhibition runs until February 27, 2022.

Where to buy a Christmas tree in Warsaw (including options to order online & home delivery) & tips for picking the right Christmas tree

In December, you can buy a Christmas tree in Warsaw on a street corner – pop-up tree lots appear overnight on street corners or in front of shops. There’s no standard pricing so if you like you can bargain a bit about the price;)

Major supermarkets and home improvement stores in Warsaw typically set up their live Christmas trees either in the garden section or in the parking lot. You can also buy a tree from your local garden center.

They will cut the stem of the tree you pick, net it and help you secure it to the top of your car if needed. You can buy a cut tree, a potted tree (grown in a field, dug up, and placed in a pot) or if you know that the Christmas tree will later go to your garden, you can buy a “rooted” tree (choinka ukorzeniona) – a pot grown tree (which has been planted in a container as a seedling).

A glossary of terms useful when buying a Christmas tree: choinka – a Christmas tree, w doniczce – potted, obsadzanie – putting a real Christmas tree in the stand, stojak – stand, lampki – lights, bombki – Christmas baubles, utylizacja – the service of picking up the Christmas tree after holidays.

The most popular real Christmas trees you can buy in Poland include: the Norway Spruce (świerk pospolity), the Blue Spruce or Colorado Spruce (świerk srebrny or świerk kłujący), the Caucasian Fir or Nordmann Fir (jodła kaukaska).

  • The Norway Spruce (świerk pospolity) is the only species of spruce that grows naturally in Poland and is the traditional Christmas tree (although recently overtaken by no needle drop fir). Spruce is completely resistant to low temperatures, which makes it, apart from Scots pine, the most common coniferous tree in Poland. It’s a quick-growing species so usually, the spruce is a bit cheaper than the fir. It has a rich green color and a stronger festive aroma compared to fir. When placed in a room, Norway spruce gives off a wonderful fragrance that many people think of as a forest and Christmas. If you value the fragrance of the tree you should go for the Norway Spruce. Compared to the Caucasian Fir, the spruce drops its needles faster so it’s important to keep the tree well-watered every day and located away from the radiator and other sources of heat.

  • The Blue Spruce or Colorado Spruce (świerk srebrny or świerk kłujący) is a silver variety of spruce. Due to its easy cultivation in Poland and availability, as well as its dense needles, it is a species often chosen for the Christmas tree in Poland.

  • The Caucasian Fir or Nordmann Fir (jodła kaukaska) is an increasingly popular Christmas tree in Poland – it’s a low-maintenance tree (the best option for those who want to put up their Christmas tree as soon as possible and not wait the last minute to start decorating). The fir Christmas tree does not drop needles (unlike spruce trees) but dries them over time and keeps them long after Christmas is over. You don’t need to worry about vacuuming during the holidays;) Its needles are soft and rounded so in general, the fir is more child and pet-friendly. It is usually more expensive than spruce and doesn’t have any fragrance. Last but not least, the Caucasian Fir has a wide base to accommodate lots of presents…;)

Stores offering home delivery of Christmas trees in the Warsaw area

In addition to delivering the Christmas tree to your home, stores offer additionally paid services: the service of putting a Christmas tree in a stand (obsadzanie) – this service covers adjusting the trunk of the tree to the stand as well as adjusting the tree properly (stable and straight) in the tree stand. Another service covers the utilization – after the end of the holidays, the store will take the Christmas tree from your home and take it to the appropriate point, where it will be converted into biomass.

Weather in Poland in December

In 2021, astronomical winter begins on December 21 with the winter solstice – it’s the day with the fewest hours of sunlight in Poland in the whole year. On a positive note – starting from December 22, the days in Poland get longer and the nights shorter. The length of the day goes from 7 hours 42 min. on December 22 to 10 hours 50 min. at the end of February.

Winter in Poland is cold and usually snowy. To stay cozy in cold weather in Poland, you will need a hat, coat, scarf, gloves, and winter boots. The lowest temperature is recorded in eastern and southern Poland. Remember that the temperature in the wintertime in Poland drops significantly at night!

The weather during the winter in Poland differs. Usually, the temperature is around freezing or a few degrees below, but it happens that the temperature drops below -20 °C (-4 °F). Recent years have seen an increase in average winter temperatures compared to previous years. Trends also indicate that we can start getting used to relatively warmer December in Poland and winter shifting for the period from January to March.

Because of Christmas and New Year’s Eve, December is a favorite month of many people in Poland. The name of the month – grudzień – comes from the Polish word gruda, meaning frozen ground. The average temperature in December in Poland drops below zero: -0,16°C / 32°F. The average rainfall level in December in Poland is 38 mm (similar level to March and April). Sunset on December 1: 3.27 pm, December 31: 3.32 pm.

Read more about the weather in Poland in winter (December, January & February).

Shopping Sundays in Poland in December 2021

In December 2021, there are two shopping Sundays in Poland: December 12 and December 19. You can learn more about the Sunday trade ban in Poland in our post: shopping Sundays in Poland in 2021 and 2022. Since our readers are asking about online stores offering home deliveries we have prepared a post with a list of online stores in Poland delivering groceries to home.

Public holidays and dates to remember in Poland in December 2021

  • December 6

St. Nicholas’ Day (Mikołajki)
The name Mikołajki comes from Mikołaj (Polish for Nicholas), meaning little Nicholas. On the night of December 5-6, small gifts are secretly given to children while they are sleeping (little treats – toys but most of all sweets). One of the traditions is to hide treats in shoes. Children should clean them the night before and the next morning (on Mikołajki day) they would find inside their shoe a small surprise. Chocolate Santas are most often such a gift – they can be bought in Polish stores already at the end of November. In Polish schools on December 6 there is a custom of exchanging small gifts between students. Children decide in advance the amount for which they will buy a gift and draw a person from the class to be given a gift.

  • December 21

The beginning of astronomical winter
The shortest day of the year.

  • December 24

Christmas Eve (Wigilia)
Christmas Eve is not a public holiday in Poland. However, most shops and businesses are open no longer than 2 pm. Christmas Eve Dinner – kolacja wigilijna – is the most important Christmas celebration in Poland. Click here to learn more about Christmas traditions and celebrations in Poland. The Christmas Eve traditions include waiting for a first star, the Christmas wafer (opłatek), 12 meat-free courses, an extra seat for an unexpected guest, hay under the tablecloth, a special midnight mass (pasterka).

  • December 25

Christmas Day (Boże Narodzenie)
A public holiday in Poland. Stores, malls, shopping centers, public institutions, schools are CLOSED. People in Poland usually visit family and friends to celebrate together, they go to church, sing carols (kolędy), spend long hours at the table. Find out more about Christmas traditions and celebrations in Poland.

  • December 26

Second Day of Christmas (Drugi Dzień Świąt Bożego Narodzenia)
A public holiday in Poland. Stores, malls, shopping centers, public institutions, schools are CLOSED.

  • December 31

New Year’s Eve / St. Silvestre’s Day (Sylwester
Start of the carnival season in Poland. People usually go out to parties and balls. At midnight or even before, fireworks shows start, arranged by the city authorities but also outside of apartments, in parks, playgrounds, etc. Stores are usually open no longer than 5-6 pm.

Read more about public holidays and dates to remember in Poland in the wintertime.

Grocery ONLINE shopping: stores offering home delivery in the Warsaw area

You will find the full list of online shops delivering in the Warsaw area (including fish, seafood, bread, organic products) in our post: Online grocery shopping in Poland.

The biggest supermarkets offering home delivery in Warsaw and the surrounding area

Frisco: www.frisco.pl (available in English).

Auchan Directwww.auchandirect.pl/auchan-warszawa/en (website’s interface available in English)

Carrefour: https://zakupycodzienne.carrefour.pl

E. Leclerchttps://leclerc.com.pl/

On-demand grocery delivery in Warsaw and the surrounding area

Everli/former Szopi: https://pl.everli.com/pl. On-demand grocery home delivery from Carrefour, Lidl, Biedronka, Auchan, Kaufland. You select a supermarket, order products and have your groceries delivered to your home (even on the same day) by a shopper/courier who does the shopping for you.

Glovo: www.glovoapp.com/pl. On-demand grocery delivery from Carrefour and some smaller stores. Glovo offers also home delivery from selected Warsaw restaurants and cafés.

  • You will find the full list of online shops delivering in the Warsaw area (including fish, seafood, bread, organic products) in our post: Online grocery shopping in Poland.

Subscribe to Kids in the City’s weekly newsletter in English. The newsletter called What’s on in Warsaw for Kids & Families / Family life in Warsaw is emailed every Thursday and covers things to do in Warsaw with children and all kinds of family matters – information, tips, resources in English:

Click on the photos below to read other posts:

Warsaw illumination: Christmas lights and winter lights festivals and displays

best spots for sledding in Warsaw