There are Christmas fairs in many cities across Europe in the month of December to get you in the real holiday mood. I visited the one in Gdansk, Pomerania region of Poland on the Baltic coast - a beautiful place I had wanted to see for a long time.
The fair takes place on The Coal Market (Targ Weglowy) near the main railway station and stays open until December 23th. Looking quite empty as pictured here on the opening day, the square filled up with many more fair booths over the next few days.
All sorts of Christmas themed decorations and souvenirs, sweets and lollipops, warm socks and fur slippers, and leather goods are to be found. From the catering side, hot sausages and Glühwein is a must to stay warm in the slightly subzero temperatures.
Part of the fair is placed indoors, in the hall next to the market square, and decorated with many colourful light installations.
The booth displays are also very colorful and abundant.
The warm and festive atmosphere generated by all of those nicely wrapped and displayed items will certainly last longer than the visit itself.
Santa was sitting among his helpers and snowmen, gazing delightedly at the merry visitors around him.
After just a short walk in the old town, the inevitable is bound to happen: knitter spotting a yarn shop (Lawendowa St. 2).
There is also a shop of ready made woollen clothes and accessories on the famous Mariacka Street (the mannequin should be wearing some knitted stockings in this weather!).
On the upper floor of the Main Town Hall museum, the vintage room displays of various professions include this seamstress' room.
And while in the area, it is worth visiting the art museum in Abbot's Palace and the etnographic museum next to it in the Oliwa park, which are just a tram ride away.