We have just returned back to Sweden after a nice weekend in the Slovak capital Bratislava where we took the possibility to once more visit a Slovak Christmas Market. Actually we were quite lucky as it was the first weekend of the annual Christmas market in Bratislava. You should definitely go there if you get the chance – imagine two squares in the quaint old town that are crowded with people enjoying the food and drinks that are on offer. It is indeed a cozy place to spend a few hours when you want something a bit more traditional than what is offered at the bars and restaurants. And let’s not forget the atmosphere when so many people gather in one place.
Here are ten things we think that you should not miss if you visit a Slovak Christmas Market. In Bratislava you will find the markets at the Hviezdoslavovo Square as well as at the Frantiskanske Square.
There are usually several kinds of drinks available at the Slovak Christmas Markets and even though most of them contain alcohol, there is a possibility to also find non-alcoholic drinks.
Medovina is a sweet honey wine that is served hot. Similar drinks to medovina are found in a lot of countries in Europe and they go by many different names, such as mead, mjöd and medovukha. There are both bottles of medovina to bring with you as well as small mugs served on the spot at the markets.
This is hot wine, usually spiced in some way. There are similarities to other mulled wines such as glühwein in Germany and glögg in Sweden. Most stands will serve two varieties, one red and one white. However, some places offer a wide variety of different wines.
There are usually several different kinds of punč (or punch) on offer. It is usually a combination of strong spirits, different juices, berries and fruits. These are usually served hot and there might be a possibility to find an alternative without alcohol. Dětský punč is meant for kids, so we assume it has no alcohol.
One thing is for sure, you will see food everywhere. The smell of grilled meat is everywhere and there are plenty of varieties of food to choose from.
Klobáse or sausages will be found in plenty. There are different kinds, but most of them have one think in common – the paprika. The grilled sausage usually comes with a few pieces of bread and a click of mustard or ketchup.
This might not be the post politically correct name to use for this traditional dish. Translated into English its name would mean something like Roma-style. It is either fried chicken or pork and is usually served in a bread with a lot of fried onions and mustard.
Guláš or Goulash is either a soup or a stew. It is usually the soup that is found at the markets. Guláš usually contains meat and potatoes as well as the traditional paprika.
We have earlier tried to make our own Slovak Goulash, read about it here >>
Lokše are something similar to crepes or pancakes, with the difference that they are made from potatoes. They can be found with several fillings, such as cabbage, sauerkraut, melted lard, liver pates or cheese. There are also sweet versions filled with chocolate, poppy seeds or grounded walnut.
Langoš could almost be considered a big plate of fried potato dough. It is served topped with almost anything. The topping usually differs from cheese, ham, garlic or sour cream.
Also known as hermelin in the Czech Republic, this is a cheese related to the more well known Camembert. It is served in a lot of different ways, either as pickled, grilled or fried. At the Christmas markets it is usually the grilled version that is available.
There are of course a lot of sweets at the markets, but there is one that we cannot miss when at a Slovak Christmas market.
Trdelník is a cylinder shaped sweet pastry that is found in Slovakia and neighboring countries. The dough is rolled around a wooden stick and then grilled before being rolled in sugar and seasoning. It comes with many toppings, such as cinnamon, walnuts or any other of a lot of possibilities.