The sweet smells of Christmas are coming

Enjoying the festive atmosphere with bratwurst and hot mulled wine

Written by Scott Green, edited by Andrea Vushkova, photos by Deutscher Weihnachtsmarkt Sofia
Published 23 November 2021, updated 18 November 2022

The first winter snow has already fallen atop Cherni Vrah, and the cold has certainly come along with it. We all know what this means! The sweet smells of wood stoves firing up for the first time this winter, mulled wine, and those biscuits that no one knows the name of. Christmas mood is finally in the air.

Shortly the Christmas markets will be opening up, and if you so wish to, every day after work you could stop by any of the markets, even just to smell the sweet deliciousness. From the fresh Christmas Market “Kapana” in Plovdiv to the large and well-known German Christmas Market in Sofia. The cities of Bulgaria are one by one getting ready to be filled with light and fragrances of love and warmth.


German Christmas Market in Sofia
If you’re hungry for delicious Christmas treats, why not visit Sofia’s German-inspired market? It officially opens today (18 November) at 6 pm and will be held in the City Garden. The fragrances wafting from the 40 stalls at this market have an enticing allure that brings residents from their homes.

This market initially began as a way of bringing the German Christmas atmosphere to Bulgaria. Here you can find not only traditional German souvenirs but also sweet and savory delicacies. The sweet scent of chocolate and biscuits, sausages, and stuffed potatoes can be felt throughout the City Garden. The market is open every day from 11 am to 10 pm until it concludes for the year on 22 December.

Sofia Christmas Fest 
The space behind the National Palace of Culture (NDK), in front of Hall 6, will also be conquered by the Christmas spirit. The first Christmas festival will welcome visitors with fragrant drinks, culinary experiences, music, theater productions and performances. As this December will not only be about the winter holidays but also the FIFA World Cup, guests will also have the opportunity to watch the games on two big screens. Keep in mind that some of the concerts and plays will require a ticket that can be purchased from Eventim. 

The official opening of the Christmas Fest is on 18 November and visitors will enjoy a breathtaking fire show and aerial acrobatics by the “New Circus'' artists. There will be an entertaining program each day for both children and adults. Entrance is free and the festival will be open from 12:00 p.m. on weekdays and from 11:00 a.m. on weekends until 18 December.

Christmas Park Sofia
From 4 December until 30 December at Slaveykov Square there will be another magical Christmas fest to get you into a festive mood. There will be an open music stage, a Christmas forest, a food and drink area, as well as a shopping area with the typical wooden houses you see, each one selling their works of art, artistic crafts, and farm products from Bulgarian producers. There will also be many other pleasant surprises for the young and old alike. 

Christmas Bazaar - Sofia
Sofia will host another Christmas Market, opening on 9 December at 6:30 pm in Park Vazrazhdane. There will be a recreation of the Nativity scene, the possibility for photos with Santa Claus, a stage with a themed holiday program, lavish decorations, and Christmas stands with heated wine, delicious appetizers, sweet treats, and handmade creations suitable for Christmas gifts! The market is open every day from 10 am to 10 pm until it concludes for the year on 28 December.


Again this year, from 16-26 December, the beautiful and mesmerizing streets of Kapana will be transformed into a festive wonderland with more light, and sparkle, adding some magic to your personal Christmas tale. There will be over 100 stalls selling an array of Christmas wares from jewelry, clothes, books, handmade children's toys, Christmas decorations and toys, artisan food and drinks, paintings, ceramics, wood carvings, lamps, candles, cosmetics, and much more.

If you visit on 24 December, Santa Claus and Snow White will be waiting to take photos of you and your relatives. The jolly old man can also hear what gifts the youngest guests of the Kapana Christmas Market want. If you come again on 25 December, bring the gift you have prepared for your kid/s and sneakily give it to Santa. He will then give it to your child, showing that Santa really does grant wishes. 


Varna Fun Port - Christmas Market
The coastal city of Varna is opening its Christmas Market at the Marina Port on 18 November at 5 pm. Here you can find the normal array of food and drinks, as well as an ice rink and amusement park attractions that are available to everyone. Santa will also make an appearance to put a smile on their faces, and for the adults, there will be a huge screen showing the World Cup matches. This Christmas Market will be running all the way through to 6 January.

Chataldzha Christmas Market
From 24 November until 8 January Varna will have a little and warm Christmas market with 14 houses nestled between the trees in the garden of Chataldzha. They will be open every day from 11 am until 9 pm. Visitors will be surrounded by the sounds of carols, films, and other events, all while enjoying traditional dishes, desserts, and drinks based on old Bavarian and Bulgarian recipes.

Varna Christmas Market
From 8 December until 22 December by the fountains near the Municipality of Varna building you will be able to smell the scents of mulled wine, aromatic sweets, and a variety of other soul-warming culinary delights! This is the second edition of this market and the organizers hope to create an atmosphere of coziness, warmth, taste, and happiness. There will be a variety of foods on offer prepared by some of the best chefs in the region, as well as an array of gifts and Christmas decorations.

Oh the sweet smells of Christmas

Veliko Tarnovo

This traditional Christmas Market in Marno Pole Park opens on 1 December and concludes on 1 January. You will find all your typical Christmas wares from handcrafted toys, winter clothes, to those ever-so-sweet delicacies. There will also be some attractions for the children. 

More information about markets around Bulgaria will be added as the details are released.

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