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Christmas markets provide a spirited chance to shop

The Christmas markets are opening to help with shopping and ring in the yuletide spirit. Outdoor markets can be found on Bratislava's Hlavné námestie and in Košice and Trenčín, while indoor markets in Žilina, Banská Bystrica, and Bratislava's Incheba allow browsers to search for gifts regardless of how the weather turns. The Christmas market open longest is in the heart of Bratislava's Old Town, where 62 red and white stands offer up sweets, ceramics, Christmas decorations and traditional Slovak crafts. During the market's final week, Christmas trees and carp will also be on sale.

The Christmas markets are opening to help with shopping and ring in the yuletide spirit. Outdoor markets can be found on Bratislava's Hlavné námestie and in Košice and Trenčín, while indoor markets in Žilina, Banská Bystrica, and Bratislava's Incheba allow browsers to search for gifts regardless of how the weather turns.

The Christmas market open longest is in the heart of Bratislava's Old Town, where 62 red and white stands offer up sweets, ceramics, Christmas decorations and traditional Slovak crafts. During the market's final week, Christmas trees and carp will also be on sale.

Children's folk groups and choruses perform every day - at 15:00 on weekdays and at 10:00 and 14:00 on weekends. Hungry bellies can find hot dogs, cigánska (grilled pork), and tea or hot wine. While at the market, wander into the Old Town Hall and see the exhibit of 68 nativity scenes from 31 countries.

Bratislava will have another market at Incheba, where 300 firms will present clothing, shoes, furniture, electronics, and other products. Entrance costs 20 Sk for adults and 10 Sk for children.

Trenčín's one-day market is like a trip back in time, with 25 stands peddling traditional leather, lace, cloth, wooden and straw products. Food stands will tempt with fried fish, sausage and heated wine. A folk group will play starting at 9:30, and a children's folk group will sing Christmas carols in the afternoon.

Adults must pay 10 Sk and children 5 Sk to get into the Christmas market at Žilina's Dom odborárov. There, 30 firms will offer clothing, books, Christmas decorations, glass products, and other goods. Fried fish, sausage and hot tea will be available.

Banská Bystrica's market will offer goods from 80 firms, such as clothing, ceramics, Christmas decorations, shoes, Christmas trees and carp. Watch craftsmen make traditional products that make great gifts. Afternoons will feature fashion shows and children's folk groups.

Košice will have eight stands selling souvenirs, fruit, gingerbread cookies, Christmas decorations, and traditional crafts made out of leather, wood, and lace on the square. During the market's 18 days, Santa Claus, Snow White and the Devil will hand out 300 kilograms of candy to children.

The live nativity scene is open for children to mingle with the animals from 17:00 to 19:00 every evening.

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