25 Best European Christmas Markets—You Must Explore

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European Christmas markets
Image by Dar1930 from Pixabay /Copyright 2022

Many people have a trip to the European Christmas markets on their bucket list and for good reason!

It’s difficult to think of a more positive way to celebrate the festive season than by sipping hot mugs of gluhwein in the chilly winter air.

Purchasing handcrafted ornaments and gifts from exquisitely decorated stalls, or indulging in traditional Christmas market fare while seated beneath a magnificent Gothic cathedral at some of the best Christmas markets in Europe.

We have found that the markets in Germany, Austria, and France are the best so far, but we fully want to keep traveling and add more places to our list of favorites in the years to come.

1. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic
Image by Julius Silver from Pixabay /Copyright 2022

If you’re looking for one of the best European Christmas markets, here is a great place to initiate. Visit one of the most opulent cities in Europe—what could be better?

Imagine the city glistening with holiday cheer. And there is no doubt that Prague, a city that is often extremely splendid, steps things up a level during the holiday season.

The capital of the Czech Republic is recognized for being a pleasant city, and this reputation is only strengthened in the run-up to Christmas.

Prague is a rather large city with attractive neighborhoods on both sides of the Vltava River, so it seems natural that there are several Christmas markets there as well.

As a result, Prague’s two largest Christmas markets can be found in the Old Town, which includes the Old Town Square in the center and the enormous Wenceslas Square.

The Christmas market up at Prague Castle starts a week earlier, just in case you’re going to narrowly miss the beginning of these markets in December.

A tiny petting zoo with sheep, goats, and a donkey is part of the Prague Christmas markets in Old Town Square. The joyous ambiance is finished off by the folk ensembles and student choruses that play on the main stage.

2. Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria
Image by Julius Silver from Pixabay /Copyright 2022

Here is a wonderful place to start if you’re searching for one of the top European Christmas markets. Typically, the most beautiful squares in Vienna are transformed into magical Christmas markets from mid-November to Christmas.

An atmosphere of anticipation for Christmas is created by the smells of holiday baked goods and hot punch. The start of the festive season transforms Vienna.

The Austrian capital makes a big effort for Christmas, and the effects are difficult to ignore. It is wrapped up in long-standing customs.

Grand Christmas lights illuminate Vienna’s central business district, complementing the city’s royal grandeur and the allure of mulled wine and enormous jam-filled doughnuts.

Numerous Christmas markets may be found all across Vienna, ranging in size from large ones like those on the grounds of Schönbrunn Palace and the Belvedere Palace to little neighborhood fairs on the outskirts.

One Rathaus Christkindlmarkt, which is located in front of Vienna’s magnificent City Hall, is unquestionably the biggest Christmas market in the city. Ice skating rinks and light shows

are spread out throughout the park in front of the Rathaus, around very long rows of market booths.

The cultural and holiday market in front of Schönbrunn Palace is another popular destination before Christmas. After Christmas, it transforms into a New Year’s bazaar and provides pure romance in an imperial setting.

The charming market provides customary handicrafts, handmade Christmas decorations, Christmas concerts, and a wide range of kid-friendly activities, including a Christmas workshop.

3. Edinburgh, Scotland

If you’re looking for one of the best European Christmas markets, start your quest right here.

Edinburgh is unquestionably one of the world’s most beautiful cities, but it comes alive in winter when Hogmanay festivities and Christmas markets combine to create a winter paradise with one of the most fabulous holiday calendars anywhere.

The Christmas market at East Princess Street Gardens has something for everyone, including vegan pigs in a blanket, mulled Irn Bru, items with Harry Potter themes, and locally manufactured goods.

All ages may take rides from Santa Land to Castle Street home of Santa’s Grotto. On New Year’s Eve, don’t miss the renowned ceilidh and music in Princes Street Gardens.

4. Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg, Austria
Image by Gerhard Bernegger from Pixabay /Copyright 2022

Start your search right here if you’re looking for one of the top European Christmas markets. Best for Christmas carols and vintage customs

The charming city of Mozart and The Sound of Music comes into its own around Christmas with snow-dusted performances of Silent Night (the carol was composed and first sung nearby) and market stalls that still resemble those from when they were initially constructed in the 15th century.

Expect hand-knit socks instead of novelty candles for stocking stuffers since here, quality is prioritized above quantity.

For maximum holiday happiness, attend the free daily concerts in front of the cathedral at 5 p.m., or sing along to carols on Tuesdays (6 pm-8 pm).

5. Budapest, Hungary

If you want to visit one of the top European Christmas markets, here is a fantastic way to consider it. Ideal for ice rinks and holiday lighting

Budapest’s two Christmas market rivals, Vorosmarty Square and Basilica, start the holiday season off in mid-November. The oldest Christmas market in Budapest is located at Vorosmarty Square, which is snuggled right into the center of the city.

There are several food vendors, artisan stores, and free performances located here.

All of the aforementioned are provided by Basilica, although it has a minor advantage thanks to laser projections of Christmas decorations on the church and an ice skating rink that encircles a large Christmas tree.

6. Gothenburg, Sweden

Gothenburg, Sweden
Image by Pia Nyström from Pixabay /Copyright 2022

If you’re seeking one of the best European Christmas markets, start your search right here. Best for stylish ambiance and mugs of glogg

There are no creaking Ferris wheels, cheap Christmas trees, or inebriated elves at Liseberg, the most visited amusement park in Sweden. Instead, it transforms into one of the world’s most elegant open-air Christmas markets.

You must pay to enter, but once inside you are free to remain as long as you like (it’s open from 4 pm to 10 pm), munching on smoked reindeer and sipping glogg, a Scandinavian version of mulled wine.

Take advantage of the free kid’s entertainment while you can since it’s more spectacular than silly. Ride bumper cars, visit Santa in his wooden workshop, and don’t miss the glistening, half-hour ice display.

7. Govone & Asti, Italy

If you’re looking for one of the best European Christmas markets, this is a great place to initiate. One of Italy’s most exquisite Christmas markets is located in Govone.

The “Magico Paese di Natale” festival is hosted in Govone, a tiny town in Piedmont’s Langhe-Roero wine region, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The entire city of Govone transforms into Santa Claus’s enchanted realm throughout the winter, along with a variety of cultural and culinary attractions.

The Christmas market has local wines, street cuisine, and craftsmen from all over Italy that specialize in arts and crafts.

The major attraction is a daily musical Santa Claus performance held at Govone’s beautiful Savoy royal palace.

8. Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia
Image by Rainer Süvirand from Pixabay /Copyright 2022

Three years ago, Tallinn has named the “most beautiful European Christmas market,” and since then, it has grown to be a popular holiday travel destination.

Every year, more than 500,000 people are delighted by the warmth, historical setting, centuries-old structures, and long-standing traditions of the Tallinn Christmas Market.

Adults enjoy fine handicrafts, practical winter accessories, gingerbread, and hearty Christmas roasts while children like the carousels and Santa Claus handing out sweets at his modest cottage.

9. Brussels, Belgium

If you want to visit one of the top European Christmas markets, here is a fantastic way to consider it.

The most well-known Christmas market in Belgium is called “Winter Wonders,” and the other major markets are in Ghent, Antwerpen, Bruges, and Liege.

Winter Wonders, when the city of Brussels “dresses up” in its finest holiday finery, attracts 2.5 million visitors.

A gigantic tree, a life-size nativity, a skating rink, and several displays around Christmas markets packed with treasures are among the great traditions. The Grand Place also has unmatched music and light acts.

Along with Vienna, Budapest, and Strasbourg, Brussels, the continent of Europe’s capital, has served as one of its Christmas capitals for many years.

10. Craiova, Romania

Craiova is the top-ranked Romanian Christmas Market, making its debut in the Best European Christmas Markets competition.

Craiova officials have dispersed the many Christmas events—markets, concerts, creative workshops, and food stands.

The Craiova fair is not only one of the top Christmas markets in Europe but also the best Christmas Lights Destination in Romania, all connected by enchanted illuminations (more than one million led bulbs).

In front of the Craiova Town Hall, Mihai Viteazul Square has been transformed into an ice rink with a stunning Christmas tree.

Romanian cuisine specialties coexist alongside Christmas street food trucks at Shakespeare Square, which is also home to rides and kid-friendly games.

11. Metz, France

Metz, France
Image by David Mark from Pixabay /Copyright 2022

Start your search right here if you’re looking for one of the top European Christmas markets.

The Christmas market in Metz has been recognized as one recognized test in Europe for the past ten years and is regarded as one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in France.

This location appeals to visitors seeking the most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe as well as to creators, designers, innovative concept hotels, start-ups, artists, and trendy businesses thanks to special attractions like the “lantern trail,” a Ferris wheel, and numerous chalets selling local goods that are only visible in Metz at Christmas.

12. Seville, Spain

If you’re looking for one of the best European Christmas markets, this is a great place to start. Ideal for A memorable holiday treat

Seville’s Nervion Christmas Market offers guests a festive spirit artistic, cultural, and entertainment experience.

Be prepared for dramatic street exhibits, elaborately adorned wooden stalls, and performances inside cabins.

Nativities, musical choruses, and an abundance of sweets are also present. Stock up on artistic Andalusian presents and stocking stuffers, and keep a stash of churros on hand to keep your hands toasty.

13. Praga, Czech Republic

If you want to visit one of the top European Christmas markets, here is a fantastic way to consider it.

Sadly, even though this well-known Christmas market has been postponed till 2021, preparations for Christmas 2019 are already underway.

The largest Christmas markets in the Czech Republic are located in Prague’s Old Town Square.

Set right in the middle of the city, this market features dozens of wooden stalls selling traditional Christmas items like wooden toys, biscuit cutters, hand-embroidered tablecloths, and traditional Czech blown-glass balls.

Adults enjoy the traditional mulled wine, while food lovers of all ages may indulge in traditional Czech grilled sausages, hot roasted chestnuts, gingerbread cookies, and other skewered treats.

14. Madeira, Portugal

Madeira, Portugal
Image by David Mark from Pixabay /Copyright 2022

If you’re seeking one of the best European Christmas markets, start your search right here.

When they are illuminated with a thousand lights to celebrate Christmas and New Year, Portugal’s famed islands of Madeira and Porto Santo, which draw tourists from all over the globe throughout the year, take on a mystical quality.

There is a wide range of merchandise on exhibit, including exotic flowers, traditional trinkets, and local treats and beverages that add to the fun in a warm environment, along with Christmas songs and performances by folk groups.

Now, among other American airports, Madeira and Porto Santo have direct flights to JFK in New York.

The islands are autonomous areas that have been ranked as some of the safest places to visit during the Covid-19 epidemic; nonetheless, there has been no further testing required.

15. Basel, Switzerland

If you want to visit one of the top European Christmas markets, here is a fantastic way to consider it. Ideally suited for gourmet treats and fairy lights.

With its distinctive ambiance and long history, Basel’s authentic Christmas Market has earned a reputation as Switzerland’s most attractive and significant holiday attraction.

Along with being beautifully preserved, Old Town is aglow with warm Christmas lights, and many of the buildings’ storefronts and façades sparkle with unique ornaments.

The market is being hosted in the center of the festively decorated Old Town, and the streets leading there are lined with about 100 towering pine trees.

One of Basel’s most picturesque squares, Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz, is where you’ll find the Christmas Market.

On Münsterplatz, a spectacular Christmas tree with decorations created by renowned decorator Johann Wanner is one of the most beautiful in all of Europe.

16. Leipzig, Germany

Leipzig, Germany
Image by Christian Reselski from Pixabay /Copyright 2022

Start your search for one of the top European Christmas markets right here. The Leipzig Christmas market, which first opened in 1458, is rife with history.

The Leipzig Christmas market, which is divided into six distinct sectors with more than 250 sparkling booths perfectly incorporated into the historic city center, is not only one of the oldest but also one of the biggest Christmas markets in Germany.

Visitors may savor a variety of gastronomic treats or visit the city’s traditional medieval market.

A 20-meter-tall Saxon spruce Christmas tree dominates the celebrations and a variety of live entertainment in the Marktplatz, the location of the Christmas market.

A 38-meter-tall Ferris wheel at Augustusplatz Square provides seasonal vistas from its lofty height.

17. Manchester, UK

Start your search right here if you’re looking for one of the top European Christmas markets. When it comes to Christmas markets, the continent of Europe often receives the most of the focus.

But what about the UK? It turns out that British citizens don’t have to go very far to locate top-notch Christmas markets because Manchester has some fantastic offerings for northern tourists.

Manchester Christmas markets are a relatively new addition to the city; they debuted in 1999 and have since grown significantly in both appeal and size.

The Manchester Christmas markets, which are centered around Albert Square, are extensive, with market stalls encroaching on surrounding alleyways.

Zippy, the market mascot, and a two-story German beer hall are located in Albert Square, though. Why go to Germany when the beer and holiday cheer can be delivered right to your door?

Visitors may take a break from shopping and taking in the diverse cuisine by skating around the ice rink at the enjoyment market.

In 2018, an ice sculpture village was added to the Manchester Christmas markets, where magnificent sculptures were carved out of ice.

Other markets may be located around Manchester’s city center in addition to Albert Square. Even a pop-up Christmas karaoke hut exists in the Spinningfields neighborhood.

18. Basel, Switzerland

If you’re seeking one of the best European Christmas markets, start your search right here.

With its distinctive ambiance and long history, Basel’s traditional Christmas Market has earned a reputation as Switzerland’s most attractive and significant holiday attraction.

Along with being beautifully preserved, Old Town is aglow with warm Christmas lights, and many of the buildings’ storefronts and façades sparkle with unique ornaments.

The market is being hosted in the center of the festively decorated Old Town, and the streets leading there are lined with about 100 towering pine trees.

One of Basel’s most picturesque squares, Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz, is where you’ll find the Christmas Market.

On Münsterplatz, a magnificent Christmas tree with decorations created by renowned decorator Johann Wanner is one of the most beautiful in all of Europe.

19. Nuremberg, Germany

Nuremberg, Germany
Image by Gerhard from Pixabay /Copright 2022

Start your search for one of the top European Christmas markets right here. There is no doubt that Germany and Christmas markets go together.

Why not choose the finest if you want to attend a Christmas market in Germany? Most people agree that Nuremberg’s markets are among the best—if not the most renowned—Christmas markets in all of Europe.

Winter in this Bavarian historic city transforms it into a hugely popular Christmas market held in the central market square. They must be doing something right because their history dates back to the 1500s!

Nuremberg’s market features Christkind rather than Santa Claus or Baby Jesus, who may be the center of attention in most marketplaces.

A young local lady who represents the Christkindlemarkt’s spirit and is costumed as an angel with golden wings and a crown play this local icon.

In this instance, the Christkind, after whom the market is called, is the one who delivers gifts to children.

20. Bohemia, Czech Republic

If you’re looking for one of the best European Christmas markets, this is a great place to commence. Best for a festive environment and stunning architecture

Looking for Christmas decorations and lights outside of Prague? Two of the most evocative marketplaces in Europe may be found in the southern Bohemian cities of Ceske Budejovice and Cesky Krumlov.

The gothic and classical architecture of Ceske Budejovice’s city center square is home to a swarm of lively market stalls offering wooden toys, holiday décor, and mugs of hot mulled wine.

Cesky Krumlov is untouched, exquisitely baroque, and tucked behind a charming-looking castle. It is the epitome of Disney.

The market stalls are located in the town hall square, where fairy lights and ornaments glitter, and the aroma of baking cookies and grilling sausages fills the air.

21. Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen, Denmark
Image by Rolands Varsbergs from Pixabay /Copyright 2022

Start your search right here if you’re looking for one of the top European Christmas markets. The best for Ferris wheel rides and holiday coziness

The Christmas trees, decorations, and lights in Copenhagen’s markets, as well as the market stalls offering wooden toys, ceramics, holiday decorations, and chunky knit clothing, contribute to the city’s patchwork of joyful color.

There are other markets in the city center, but the Tivoli Gardens Christmas market is the lifeblood of Copenhagen (others claim Nyhavn as the Christmas star).

A Ferris wheel swings in the nighttime shadows, fairy lights are strung from tree to tree, and a skating rink draws the daring.

The roasted flavors of caramelized almonds and the sweet perfume of mulled wine (known locally as glogg) spiced with cinnamon will complete the festive atmosphere of the Christmas market.

22. Nottingham, England

If you’re looking for one of the best European Christmas markets, this is a great place to start. The biggest celebration of Christmas in the East Midlands has returned to Nottingham.

Gifts, handcrafted and artisan cheeses, chutneys, and chocolates are sold at around 70 typical Bavarian-style kiosks.

This year’s Christmas market has been enlarged to include items like plants, mead, jewelry, perfumes, clothing in vintage style, Eco-art created from Legos, Fairtrade food, continental cuisine, locally prepared stew, and home decor.

There are several rides in the “Nottingham Winter Wonderland” (and it’s free).

23. the Manchester United Kingdom

If you’re seeking one of the best European Christmas markets, start your search right here. Visit one of the biggest and most stunning Christmas markets in the UK for your upcoming winter vacation.

Manchester Christmas Markets are a great place to visit for a holiday trip since they are the most inventive, largest, and — possibly — greatest Christmas markets in the nation.

The first Christmas market in the UK made its debut in the city in 1999, and it has since expanded yearly, drawing more than nine million people annually.

In the center of the bustling city center, 300 exquisitely created kiosks spread out around the area provide delectable foreign cuisine, drinks, and finely crafted Yuletide gifts.

The Manchester Christmas Markets are spread over 10 separate locations, each with its unique personality. They have something to offer every holiday visitor.

Make reservations for your flights, lodging, tours, and other activities, such as a guided cuisine tour of Manchester. Choose the “free cancellation” option to make a free reservation for lodging.

24. Manchester, England

Start your search right here if you’re looking for one of the top European Christmas markets.

It’s perhaps the most inventive and greatest Christmas market on the continent, as well as one of the biggest and most attractive in the U.K.

Beginning in 1999, the Manchester Christmas markets have increased in popularity every year, drawing an astounding nine million visitors to date.

Around 300 exquisitely made kiosks, located across 10 different locations and dispersed across the city, provide a variety of international foods, drinks, and exquisite Yuletide presents.

25. Gdansk, Poland

Gdansk, Poland
Image by Gosia K. from Pixabay /Copyright 2022

If you’re looking for one of the best European Christmas markets, start your quest right here. Best for holiday romance and international cuisine

Gdansk’s Christmas market is a magical winter wonderland with romance flowing from every nook.

In the ancient city center, there is even a location set aside for couples to kiss beneath the mistletoe in the hopes of spending a long time together.

Expect to witness the Snow Queen and her singing carollers, elf parades, a talking moose, and the opportunity to ride the fantasy carousel.

Shop for unique items like jewelry, pottery, and recycled clothing like hats and knitwear, or fill up on the diverse selection of international cuisines, including traditional Polish fare (try pierogi).

Foodies will be seduced by Spanish churros, Greek bougatsa, and Alsatian pancakes. Sip on some hot chocolate mulled beer, or fragrant mulled wine to stay warm.

Conclusion 

The holiday season is here. You already know what that means for Europe: holiday markets!

The mood, lights, and music that Christmas provides more than make up for the cold winter weather, which may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Additionally, a warm beverage like hot chocolate or mulled wine helps ward off the winter chill.

The issue is that there are so many great Christmas markets around Europe that choosing which ones to visit may be really difficult. There are several ways to answer the question: Which Christmas lights are the best? the top foods and beverages? The ideal tree?

We’ve come up with a list of the top Christmas markets in Europe to spare you the time and hassle of tediously traveling across the continent.

With these markets, you may enjoy Christmas with all the wonderful local touches that each of these places brings.

 

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