Europe’s Hidden Christmas Market Gem

Each year, droves of tourists take a weekend break away to one of the famous Christmas markets in Germany such as the ones in Nuremberg or Cologne, or make a day trip to the famous French markets of Colmar and Strasbourg. While these are without doubt beautiful destinations which deserve a visit, I do prefer a visit to a lesser known Christmas market which is somewhat of a hidden gem. Far off the European Christmas market beaten track, the annual ‘Targul de Craciun’ in the Romanian city of Sibiu is for sure just as festive as its and French counterparts. This Christmas market trip report will show you why your next pre-Christmas trip should go to Sibiu!

sibiu christmas market
The Christmas market in Sibiu, Romania. ©Paliparan

Carpathian foothills

With its gorgeous lights and decorations, big Christmas tree, dozens of stalls to buy some Christmas souvenirs and several places to stop for a glass of mulled wine or a hearty snack, the Sibiu Christmas market is a place which will instantly put you in a festive spirit. Being situated close to the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, there is also a decent chance of snowfall for the ultimate Christmas atmosphere – something which cannot be easily said of the Christmas markets in Germany and France.

Sibiu is however a great historical destination in its own right as well, having a lovely old Medieval town core, lots of culture, and some good hotels and museums. It is also a perfectly affordable destination. While some German Christmas markets are known to sell food and trinkets at highly inflated prices, Romania is still a bargain when it comes to prices of restaurants and accommodation.

sibiu tower square
The Council Tower (Turnul Sfatului) connects the two main squares of Sibiu with each other. ©Paliparan

What to expect in this trip report

On this short trip, I will take a domestic flight from Bucharest to Sibiu on TAROM, see the main sights of Sibiu and visit the local Christmas market.

Trip report index

This trip report consists of the following chapters:

1. Flying from Bucharest to Sibiu on TAROM in economy class
2. Sightseeing in Sibiu’s old town & a visit to the local Christmas market

Koen

Koen

Koen works as a freelance journalist covering south-eastern Europe and is the founding father and editor-in-chief of Paliparan. As a contributor to some major Fleet Street newspapers and some lesser known publications in the Balkans, he travels thousands of miles each year for work as well as on his personal holidays. Whether it is horse riding in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan mountains, exploring the backstreets of Bogotá, or sipping a glass of moschofilero in a Greek beachside taverna, Koen loves to immerse himself into the local culture, explore new places and eat and drink himself around the world.

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