The Best Christmas Markets in Moscow in 2021-2022

Christmas markets in Moscow

Photo by @betagamma

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.

A Moscow tour during the winter is a magical Russian Christmas experience.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

Christmas Market Journey to Christmas

Photo by @miklevasilyev

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: 10th December 2021 - 09th January 2022

Сhristmas Market on Red Square

Christmas Market on Red Square

Photo by @betagamma

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: 10th December 2021 - 09th January 2022

The “Journey to Christmas” Festival at Sokolniki 

Handicraft Formula Fair at Sokolniki

Photo by @eugene_tones

This unique fair is a dream for arts and crafts lovers coming to Moscow for this date. You will certainly find the perfect souvenir among all of the different crafts offered. There are also gifts to inspire creativity, such as embroidery, scrapbooking, soap-making kits, and kits suitable for children. The fair organises over some workshops for all ages. Small performances and parades are held, as well as craft competitions!

Where: Sokolniki Exhibition Centre, Fontannaya Square
When: 31st December 2021, 13:00-19:00

Orthodox Christmas Gift Fair in Sokolniki

Orthodox Christmas Gift Fair in Sokolniki

Photo by @evgeny

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

Markets at VDNKh, the All Russian Exhibition Centre

Christmas Market at VNDKh, the All Russian Exhibition Centre

Photo by @kkalerry

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

Read on to learn about winter activities in Moscow and New Year celebrations in Moscow

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