The Best Christmas Markets in Moscow in 2019-2020
What are the top Christmas markets in Moscow?
- Journey to Christmas Festival: Moscow’s biggest festive celebration spans nearly 80 historic sites. Visit traditional markets, watch theatre performances, ballet and light shows, try food from throughout the world, play winter games, and so much more.
- Christmas Market on Red Square: Russia’s most famous square is adorned with lights, decorations, and this festive market. Browse antiques, art and souvenirs with the backdrop of the Kremlin and St Basil’s, and warm up with traditional Russian snacks.
- Handicraft Formula Fair: The dream fair for lovers of arts and crafts, you’ll find gifts of every kind like hand-blown glass, mosaics, woodwork, as well as craft kits for adults and children. You can even get involved yourself - workshops include jewellery, Christmas decorations and more.
- The Franco-Belgian Christmas Fair: If you’ve had your fill of Russian markets, here you’ll find something a little different. Browse cosmetics, clothes and antiques, as well as food and drink which you can enjoy at the fair or take home!
- Orthodox Christmas Gift Fair: Experience the rich traditions of the Russian Orthodox Church at this fair, where monasteries, churches and farms take part. Discover literature, icons and folk art, as well as delicious food made on the farms.
- Artflection Handmade Fair: Russia’s biggest handmade fair is run by artists and experts, promising only the highest quality unique gifts. You can also take part in workshops to create handmade gifts.
- Markets at the All Russian Exhibition Centre: Two festive markets will take place. At the Eastern Fairytale fair, vendors from Central Asia to the Far East sell ceramics, jewellery, teas, spices and more.
Experience a magical Russian Christmas in Moscow. The festive atmosphere warms the snow-dusted city, thousands of lights are strung across the city’s wide boulevards, and Christmas attractions are set up on the historical squares. From traditional fairs with souvenirs and carousels, to unique festivals run by the Orthodox church, fairs of handmade goods, and markets selling products from France all the way to the Far East, anyone visiting Moscow during the festive season will be spoilt for choice.
The “Journey to Christmas” Festival
Moscow’s largest festive celebration spans nearly 80 sites throughout the city - squares, parks and wide boulevards will be adorned and covered with decorations, installations and lights, complete with markets, performances, interactive excursions, light shows and more. As well as traditional fairs, there is an endless amount of fun to be had for all ages:
- Watch ballet on ice at Revolution Square, with famous performances such as the Nutcracker and Swan Like
- Ride down Russia’s largest ice slide, or ice skate, sledge, and play winter games
- Learn about the traditions of 19th century Christmas in Russia
- Discover festive delicacies from Russia and abroad, including a gingerbread village
- Browse the Christmas book market and listen to Russian winter poems
- Children can take part in craft workshops and cooking classes
- Visit the website below to discover each step of the Journey to Christmas.
Where: Nearly 80 locations all over Moscow
When: 14th December 2019 - 13th January 2020
Сhristmas Market on Red Square
The main attraction of the Journey to Christmas Festival, this market is held in the magical setting of Russia’s largest square, Red Square. The backdrop of the Kremlin, GUM and St Basil’s Cathedral is made even more beautiful with strings of fairy lights and multicoloured flags decorating the market, with carousels dotted around. Nearly 50 stalls are set up in little Christmas houses decorated with wreaths, offering gifts galore - visit the antiques stall, pick up some real Gzhel ceramics and Khokhloma paintings, or get yourself a Russian hat and mittens to fend off the icy weather. Warm up with Russian pancakes ('blini') and doughnuts, barbecued meat or chestnuts. And once you’ve enjoyed the fair you can explore GUM, Russia’s most famous department store.
Where: Red Square
When: November 30th 2019 - February 28th 2020
Handicraft Formula Fair at Sokolniki
This unique fair is a dream for arts and crafts lovers, with nearly 600 retailers, design studios and artisans from all over Russia and the world coming to Moscow for the weekend. You will certainly find the perfect souvenir among all of the different crafts offered - jewellery, mosaics, metal or wood ornaments, stained glass and much more. There are also gifts to inspire creativity, such as embroidery, scrapbooking, soap-making kits, and kits suitable for children. The fair organises over 300 workshops for all ages, such as making brooches, tapestries and wreaths, painting and wood carving. Small performances and parades are held, as well as craft competitions!
Where: Sokolniki Exhibition Centre, Pavilion No.4, 4.1
When: 12th - 15th December 2019
Franco-Belgian Christmas Fair at the Museum of Moscow
For something a little different, visit the Franco-Belgian fair, a joint project between Russia and the embassies of France and Belgium. The fair exudes the warm atmosphere of European Christmas markets. Visitors are treated to Provence cosmetics, clothes from Brittany, Christmas decorations and homeware, and French antiques. The fair is a food lover’s heaven - browse delicacies such as charcuterie, cheeses, tapenades and jams, and fill up on Belgian waffles and French crepes! You can also create gifts to take home in masterclasses such as lavender soap-making and gingerbread making.
Where: The Museum of Moscow, Zubovsky Boulevard, 2
When: 29th November - 1st December 2019
Orthodox Christmas Gift Fair in Sokolniki
The Sokolniki gift fair is a traditional market which allows visitors to experience the rich traditions of Russian Orthodox culture. Monasteries, churches and church farms from all over the country will set up stalls offering religious literature and icons, jewellery, clothing and applied folk art souvenirs, as well as honey, jams and products from church farms.
Where: Sokolniki Exhibition Centre, Pavilion 4, 4.1
When: 21 - 27th December 2019
Artflection Handmade Fair
This is Russia’s biggest handmade fair. Each stall is staffed by an artist or industry expert who has passed a competitive selection process, and the fair prides itself on the high quality, one-off pieces which you can find. Amongst the products offered are jewellery, clothes, bags, homeware and toys. There are also hands-on workshops for adults and children, if you’d prefer to make something special to take home.
Where: Danilovsky Event Hall, Dubinskaia Ulitsa, 71
When: 28th - 29th December 2019
Markets at VNDKh, the All Russian Exhibition Centre
Those looking for original gifts should head to the Eastern Fairytale fair at VNDKh, Russia’s largest exhibition centre. Vendors from Russia, Central Asia, the Far East and South-East Asia offer a multitude of gifts. Browse ceramics, unique artwork, ethically-produced clothes, and jewellery with precious stones. You can also find eastern health products and medicines, natural cosmetics, and exotic teas and spices.
For those searching for specifically Russian handicrafts, in the same building you will find the New Year’s Gift Fair. Vendors from throughout Russia sell traditional scarves and hats, hand-embroidered garments and linen, as well as jewellery and ornaments.
Where: Both exhibitions are held in Pavilion 57, VNDKh
When: 27th - 30th December 2019