The Best Christmas Markets in St. Petersburg in 2019-2020
What are the must-visit Christmas markets in St. Petersburg?
- Christmas Charity Market at Annenkirche: An annual holiday market is held within this fascinating burnt-out church. Browse clothes, trinkets and local food, and enjoy concerts by local groups and choirs.
- New Year’s Bazaar at New Holland: Visit the bazaar in one of St Petersburg’s most stylish destinations. You’ll find traditional Russian winter clothes, artisan homeware, and craft activities for children, and can warm up by the bonfires or go ice skating.
- Christmas Market in Gatchina: This imperial residence hosts a market and full cultural programme. Enjoy artisan demonstrations, sleigh rides, Christmas-themed excursions around the palace, or explore the beautifully decorated local town.
- Christmas Market on Malaya Sadovaya and Manezhnaia Square: One of St. Petersburg’s biggest markets, this year spanning a whole month. Stock up on local food specialties, handcrafted ceramics and wooden ornaments, and sample local and international cuisines.
- Art-Elka at the Stieglitz Academy: Set up by students and lectures at the Academy of Art and Design, this market is a dream for lovers of applied arts. Find handmade jewellery, ceramics, glassware and more, join pottery making, glass staining and blacksmithing workshops, or visit the students’ exhibition.
What better place to spend the Christmas season than in snowy St. Petersburg? Icy but beautiful, St. Petersburg’s streets are adorned with ornate lights and frosted with snow, the winding canals and rivers are beginning to freeze over, and you really get a feel of the city’s imperial glory. St. Petersburg’s biggest Christmas tree holds pride of place on Palace Square, which looks even more wondrous than usual. What’s more, visitors to the northern capital have their pick of numerous Christmas markets where you can purchase last-minute presents, browse unique local products, fill up on Russian gingerbread and mulled wine, and enjoy the magical atmosphere.
Christmas Charity Market at Annenkirche
Inside one of St Petersburg’s most unusual tourist attractions, you’ll find a five-day Christmas charity market. Browse amongst rows of tables stocked full of local goods - handmade toys, trinkets, clothes, jewellery, artisan sweets and chocolate, local honey and jam. As well as a multitude of stalls, Annenkirche’s market hosts a cultural programme which includes tours around this fascinating burnt-out church, Christmas songs sung by local choirs, and concerts by famous local bands. Those visiting the market with children will also be able to visit Father Christmas!
Where: Kirochnaia Ulitsa, 8c
When: 18th - 22nd December 2019
New Year’s Bazaar at New Holland
This annual bazaar is held at one of St. Petersburg’s classiest cultural venues, New Holland Island. In the centre of the rotunda building, you will find an 8 metre Christmas tree surrounded by stalls selling high quality goods. There are gifts for everyone - why not pick up some handmade Christmas decorations, traditional Russian shawls or valenki snow boots, wooden children’s toys or Scandinavian-style homeware. Those looking for edible presents won’t be disappointed with homemade jams ('varenye') and chocolate spreads, Russian gingerbread and local honey. If you get chilly, never fear - enjoy some fresh churros and mulled wine by the bonfires dotted around the courtyard. A Santa’s Little Helper’s Workshop is hosted nearby, where children can make calendars, trinkets and more, free of charge. And while you’re on the Island, make sure to check out New Holland’s ice-skating rink!
Where: Admiralteysky Canal Embankment, 2
When: 23rd December 2019 - 7th January 2020
Christmas Market in Gatchina
In Gatchina Palace, one of Russia’s imperial residences, you will find a wonderful Christmas market and holiday programme. The market will be held on the parade ground in front of the palace, with numerous stalls set up in tiny wooden houses. Browse handmade ornaments, toys and homeware, food and drink, and even watch artisan demonstrations such as blacksmithing! Children can meet Santa, enjoy sleigh rides, or ride on a reindeer. The festival programme includes concerts, dances, craft workshops, and themed excursions around the palace suitable for all ages. If you can, make time for a stroll around the town of Gatchina itself, which is beautifully decorated with wreaths and lights. Check out the website for information about the fair and other cultural activities going on in the town, such as light shows and performances.
Where: Krasnoarmeyskiy Prospekt, 1, Gatchina
When: 30th December 2019 - 8th January 2020
Christmas Market on Malaya Sadovaya and Manezhnaia Square
This huge and popular Christmas market goes on for one whole month! Situated in the very centre of St Petersburg, it is the perfect destination for those enjoying a frosty stroll along Nevsky Prospekt. Stalls are set up by people from all over Russia and abroad. Stock up on Russian specialties such as artfully decorated gingerbread, or unique gifts like carved wooden sculptures, beautifully painted china, or knitted slippers. As well as buying gifts and souvenirs visitors are able to sample local and international cuisines, such as Georgian, Indian and German food - what better way to warm up from the cold! The market will offer a concert programme featuring performances by more than 500 artists. Lovers of Russian culture are in for a treat - the market will be designed in Russian folk-art style to reflect the coming of 2020, designated the Year of Russian Folk Art.
Where: Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa and Manezhnaia Ploshchad
When: 12th December 2019 - 13th January 2020
Art-Elka Market at the Stieglitz Academy of Art and Design
This market of applied arts and design is a must-visit for those searching for the most unique gifts. For the sixth year running, students and lecturers of the Stieglitz Academy and artists and designers from throughout Russia come together to offer a huge variety of products: handmade jewellery, ceramics, one-off homeware pieces, glassware and toys. You can also get involved yourself, with different workshops such as pottery making, glass blowing and staining, and even blacksmithing! There are tours given around the Museum of Applied Arts located within the Academy, as well as exhibitions of students’ work and live music performances. The market itself is held within the beautiful glass-domed hall of the Academy, under fairy lights strung from the ornate balconies - the perfect Christmassy atmosphere.
When: 21st - 22nd December 2019
Where: Solyanoy Pereulok, 13
So, if you’re lucky enough to be in St. Petersburg during Christmas time, head to one of these markets and experience the warmth of Russian celebrations. Just make sure to wrap up warm! Read on to learn about winter activities in St. Petersburg and New Year celebrations in St. Petersburg.