It’s almost Christmas season! And what’s more festive than a Christmas market? A market is the number one place to visit if you love Christmas and all the festivities. Hundreds of stalls selling everything from home-made gifts, local delicacies, decorations and mulled wine (yum!).
There’s nowhere more magical than Europe at Christmas.
The markets here are some of the most festive, jolly and intriguing markets in the world. Think strolling through beautiful lit up cities full of spectacular architecture, culture and history all while munching on delicious local treats – could it get any more perfect?!
To help you decide which of the many festive markets to explore – here are some of the best Christmas markets in Europe.
Vienna is often associated as being one of the best Christmas Markets in Europe. It is also one of the oldest – with some form of festive market being held since 1298. You will be spoilt for choice here – there are around 20 different markets to explore!
The most beautiful and romantic Viennese markets is held in front of the spectacular Schonbrunn Palace. This historical neo-classical palace provides a beautiful backdrop for the vast collection of festive stalls selling traditional gifts and local delicacies. Spittelberg Market is another popular one – located near the Museums quartier it has a friendly atmosphere with a focus on local arts and crafts.
As one of the culture capitals of the world, the Christmas markets are not the only reason you NEED to visit Vienna. This city is bursting with rich history, music and wonderful architecture. So for those seeking a break full of culture, plus spectacular festive Christmas markets – head to Vienna!!
When – 17th November – 26th December
Strasbourg is the self-proclaimed capital of Christmas – the perfect destination for lovers of all things festive! The city is home to one of Europe’s biggest markets and France’s oldest. Strasbourg has been hosting it’s ‘Christkindelsmärik‘ since 1570!
The city is absolutely brimming with festive events at Christmas. If you love shopping, there are around 300 chalets selling things such as locally-made gifts and decorations. Plus many food and drink stalls. A great place to try some local delicacies and sip mulled wine while revelling in the beautiful surroundings. There are also Advent concerts, live music events and a Living Nativity! It’s easy to see why these Markets were voted the second best in Europe in 2017!
When to visit – 23rd November – 30th December
Copenhagen is a spectacular city to explore all year round. However, throughout the Christmas period it transforms into a magical and festive winter wonderland. The number one place to be in Copenhagen at Christmas is Tivoli Gardens. This famous theme park hosts a magical Christmas market with festive concerts and spectacular firework displays. So if you fancy a Christmas market with a bit of adrenaline thrown in – head to Tivoli!
If you’re after a Christmas trip with a view – the market at the harbour in Nyhavn is another must visit! Nyhavn’s beautiful coloured houses which line the waterside, are the perfect backdrop to enjoy some Danish festive treats.
When to visit – 7th November – 31st December
Voted as the best Christmas market in Europe for 3 years running – Zagreb is bursting with festive spirit. This city has so much to offer throughout the Christmas period. There’s the traditional Christmas Market that lines the city, full of beautiful festive decorations, high quality crafts and delicious food. There’s also a large ice rink, choir concerts, a Christmas tram and lots of open-air entertainment.
Zagreb’s Christmas markets just keep getting bigger and better, so now is a perfect time to go before it gets to popular! Ban Josip Jelacic Square and European Square are the main areas to explore. Zrinjevac Park is also a must visit – with many artist stalls, local food delicacies and live music. There’s no doubt the magical winter wonderland of Zagreb will get you in a festive mood! And as one of the cheaper market destinations – it may save you a few extra pennies!!
When to visit – 2nd December – 6th January
If you want a city break that offers much more than just festive markets – head to Budapest! This city is absolutely full of exciting things to do and see. With its beautiful cobbled streets, Art Nouveau architecture and cold climate – Budapest is a magical place to explore throughout the Christmas period.
Head down to Vorosmarty Square on the Pest side to browse through over 100 wooden chalets selling all the traditional gifts and delicacies. Here you can try some of the famous Hungarian chimney cake (kürtoskalács) – dough wrapped around a pole, baked and coated with sugar and cinnamon, yummy! Or why not keep warm with the most well-known dish, goulash!
When to visit – November 9th – January 1st
Finally, no list would be complete without the home of Christmas markets – Germany! Nearly every major city in Germany hosts some sort of Christmas market – they are a huge part of the culture here. There are markets here for all tastes, Berlin provides a big city vibe, while Rothenburg is more quaint. However, the best all rounder goes to Nuremburg.
Nuremburg offers one of the oldest and most famous markets in the country. Head to Hauptmarkt, the central square of this medieval city for one of the largest markets in the world. It is a truly traditional and authentic market as there is a ban on all modern mass-produced goods. A great place to find unique locally made gifts for your loved ones! Also, why not tickle your taste buds with some of the famous Nuremburg sausages or some delicious ‘Lebkuchen’ (gingerbread).
November 30th – 24th DecemberThe Best Christmas Markets In Europe... Click To Tweet