Visiting Bratislava around Christmas time is definitely one of the best experiences you can get. The city is decorated with Christmas lights, you smell a mulled wine and gingerbread everywhere you go, and people get into the festive mood. Christmas spirit guaranteed. But we all love it, don't we?
In December, you can visit beautiful Christmas markets that spread at different locations all over the city. One of them is also in the Bratislava castle complex. It tends to be less crowded than markets in the city center, so you can peacefully enjoy your Christmas punch. But punch is not the best thing about the markets (although it is delicious)! You can actually see a live nativity scene and be part of several workshops for both kids and adults. All the money collected at the market will support a local charity. And that's what the real Christmas spirit is about.
This is my personal favorite set of Christmas markets. It is not too big, but not too small either. You can find here all the goodies like lokše (potato pancake with sweet or salty filling), oštiepok (grilled cheese with a cranberry sauce), and different kinds of sausages, but also vegetarian and vegan options, as well as delicious mulled wine and medovina (a traditional alcoholic drink made from honey). Besides yummy food and hot drinks, you can buy some pretty cool Christmas gifts. The best view on the markets is up from the Old town hall tower at the square.
The square, right in front of the National Theater, turns into a winter wonderland. Christmas markets at Hviezdoslavovo námestie makes the biggest Christmas markets in Bratislava. There are numerous stands where you can buy hand-made souvenirs, hot chocolate, and other beverages, or our traditional dishes. But the biggest attraction is definitely an ice skating rink, enjoyed not only by children. In the evening, when all the Christmas lights are on, and you can hear Christmas carols in the background, it gets really magical.
And right after you enjoy Christmas markets at Hviezdoslavovo námestie, you can head to the national theater to see The Nutcracker. Nothing really says Christmas more than this ballet fairy tale by who else than a legendary mister Čajkovskij. The inspiration for The Nutcracker comes from his own childhood memories and fantasies. The play is enjoyed by children and adults all over the world. And one more reason why to visit the theater, the interiors (as well as exteriors) of the theater are truly beautiful.
Just walking around the city center of Bratislava, enjoying the festive atmosphere, can get you easily into a Christmas spirit. Stop by at the best Christmas markets, try out traditional drinks and dishes, buy some Christmas presents, have fun at the ice rink and see The Nutcracker, in order to have the best Christmas experience. Bratislava is a delightful city, especially during the wintertime.
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