Christmas markets are one of the best parts of the magical holiday season, especially as an adult when so much of this season has become less and less filled with Christmas cheer over the years. Europe is home to some of the most charming and festive markets in the world; here are 25 of the best Christmas Markets in Europe so you can plan the perfect winter trip!
1. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and it comes to life during Christmas time.
The city’s main square, Vörösmarty tér, is transformed into a magical winter wonderland, with a large Christmas tree and a beautiful nativity scene. If you love trying traditional Christmas foods from different countries, then you’ll be spoilt for choice here.
Hungarian specialties include chimney cakes and stewed beef. There are also lots of stalls selling handmade Christmas gifts and decorations.
Seeing the light show projected on St. Stephan’s Basilica is undoubtedly one of the most festive things to do in Budapest in December. Every hour, a different light show is projected on the facade of the church, telling a different story each time. It’s really spectacular and definitely worth checking out.
If you’re looking for the most beautiful Christmas lights, take a stroll around Deak Ferenc Street, otherwise known as Fashion Street. This is where you’ll find all the best designer stores, and during Christmas time the street is decorated with festive lights and huge light installations.
After dark, take a cruise down the Danube to see Budapest illuminated. It’s a really magical experience and you’ll get to see all the main sights lit up. You can even enjoy a glass of champagne as you cruise along.
Written by Krisztina Harsanyi from She Wanders Abroad
2. Vienna, Austria
Vienna turns magical during the Christmas season. Pretty much the entire capital of Austria transforms into a giant Christmas market, with stalls at most street corners selling mulled wine, punch, and grilled sausages.
The biggest Christmas market in Vienna is located in front of the Rathaus – City Hall. Here every year you can stroll around to warm up with mulled wine, enjoy traditional Austrian Christmas treats, but also skate on an unconventional ice rink.
Whilst most of the ice rinks are oval-shaped and people skate in a circle, the one in front of the Rathaus has winding pathways between giant snow globes.
This is a perfect Christmas market to buy handmade tree ornaments, as well as gifts for your loved ones.
Another beautiful Christmas market is organized at the Schönbrunn Palace. Much smaller than the Rathaus Christmas Market, here you will find Baileys-infused mulled wine, handcrafted ornaments, as well as encounter classical carols concerts.
Written by Joanna from The World in My Pocket
3. Nuremberg, Germany
Instead of having to walk from one market to another, the markets in Nuremberg seem to never stop. You just walk through one and another starts right away!
Not to mention that this town has the most insanely beautiful architecture that goes perfectly with the Christmas markets.
Use this website for the dates and times of the Christmas Market in Nuremberg. Since the market stretches out over so many different places in the city, I decided to mark places to visit instead of specific markets.
Here are the places you shouldn’t miss:
- Handwerkerhof Nuremberg
- Children’s Christmas Market at Hans-Sachs-Platz
- Church of Our Lady
- Schöner Brunnen
4. Strasbourg, France
On to the French Christmas Markets! Strasbourg has one of the most famous Christmas Markets in Europe and is known as the “Capital of Christmas.” Strasbourg Christmas Markets are known for their extravagant building decorations, with large stuffed bears and huge stockings hanging out of the windows around the city.
This website will help you plan the dates of your trip. There are markets all throughout the center of the city, so just like Nuremberg, here are the places you shouldn’t miss as you hop from Market to Market:
- Place du Temple Neuf
- Place de la Cathedrale
- Palais Rohan
- Place Kleber
- Place Benjamin Zix
- Barrage Vauban
5. Oslo, Norway
Visiting the Christmas markets in Oslo should be on everyone’s must-do list in Norway. There are multiple markets throughout the city, but perhaps the biggest and most famous is Christmas in Winterland, or Jul i Vinterland.
It’s the main Christmas market and is found in Spikersuppa on Karl Johan street right in front of the Royal Palace. So, you can also drop by or walk around the palace park whilst enjoying a bite from the market!
Lined with rustic wooden stalls, you can find everything from cured meats and hot drinks to handmade Norwegian sweaters. Don’t miss the juicy grilled sausages and warm porridges, as well as mulled wine and an array of scrumptious desserts: traditional cakes, glazed apples, biscuits, and waffles.
There are also arts and crafts stalls selling unique glassware, ceramics, and Viking-inspired jewelry—all of which make great souvenirs to take home with you! While the price may be a tad expensive, it’s relative to the pricing in all of Norway.
This market also teems with family fun! You can find free concerts, fun plays, gingerbread workshops, a large Ferris wheel, and an ice skating rink. Not to mention Santa’s home (with Santa himself inside) and a stunning tunnel adorned with Christmas lights that make for a cool photo spot.
Written by Bradley at Dream Big Travel Far Blog
6. Tallinn, Estonia
If you need any excuse to visit Tallinn in winter then look no further than the Christmas Markets. Voted the Best Christmas Markets in Europe in 2019 and 2021 it is hard to find a better Christmas market than those in the Estonian capital.
Unlike the Christmas markets in Germany and France, Tallinn only has one Christmas market.
The beautiful backdrop of the market is the Town Hall Square, which happens to be one of the best-preserved medieval squares in Europe and has been showcasing Estonia’s largest Christmas tree since 1441.
The market hosts around 50 stalls selling everything from ornate ceramics to hand-knitted socks and hand-crafted wooden decorations.
This year the Tallinn Christmas Market will be open from the 25th of November until the 8th of January, every day the markets will open from 12 pm until 7 pm.
For something a little more local make sure you head to the market on the weekend as there are folk dancers and choirs performing. On Sunday they light the advent candle.
Don’t eat before you go to the Christmas markets, as you will find some hot local food to keep you warm. Try the sour cabbage and blood sausage or pork sausages with potatoes.
Join in with the locals and other travelers and enjoy a mug of steaming Glogg by the open fire.
After warming up with some hot food and drink, grab yourself some gingerbread or marzipan and wander around the market picking up some souvenirs (the little houses with incense are a must) and enjoy the atmosphere as the snow falls around you.
Written by Fiona from Travelling Thirties
7. Ghent, Belgium
Tucked away between Bruges and Brussels is another medieval Belgian city that should be on your radar. Its stepped-gable houses, idyllic canals, and cobbled streets make Ghent just as picture-perfect.
And the best thing is that Ghent is much less touristy than its overrun neighbors. No better time of year to experience the intimate decor of this authentic gem than during the Ghent Christmas market.
Highlights of this magical winter wonderland include the Grand Soleil Ferris wheel at Korenmarkt, the ice skating rink and lively moose bar under the City Pavilion, and the legendary Castle of the Counts in its wintry jacket.
Twinkling lights and coziness can be found beyond the main festivity zone too. Snuggle up under a blanket at one of the terraces overlooking the canals or follow the twinkling lights to discover even more enchanting sites as you indulge in one of the mouth-watering delicacies.
Why choose between chocolate-topped Belgian waffles, finger-licking speculoos biscuits, or a sumptuous slice of heart-warming bûche de Noël if you can have them all?
Finally, check out the unique handmade accessories, one-of-a-kind gifts, and local treats on display at the Christmas stalls that dot Sint-Baafsplein.
Written by Sarah Vanheel from CosmopoliClan
8. Antwerp, Belgium
The Christmas market in Antwerp, Belgium is the largest one in Flanders and a must-do for anyone who’s visiting Belgium in winter.
The market is located in the heart of the city and is spread out between Groenplaats, Grote Markt, Steenplein, Handschoenmarkt, and Suikerrui. It features over 100 stalls selling everything from traditional Belgian chocolate to handmade Christmas decorations.
Make sure to try the typical Belgian Genever, a spirit that comes in many flavors and is the typical Christmas market drink for the locals.
In front of the magnificent Cathedral of Our Lady, on the Groenplaats, you can find a large ice rink. Other highlights are the Ferris wheel, the giant Christmas tree on the Grote Markt, and the Magical Forest.
When you’re done exploring, make sure to grab a hot drink in one of the winter bars.
Winter in Antwerp is more than just an average Xmas Market – it’s an enthralling experience and a wonderful place to enjoy a festive day out with family and friends.
Written by Babs from Next Stop Belgium
9. Castle Thurn und Taxis, Regensburg, Germany
The market set within the Castle Thurn und Taxis – Regensburg is one of the best Christmas markets in Europe. That can be easily included in any travel plan for Germany.
Parking is available only a 3-minute walk away, or arrive by train, with an easy walk 13 minutes from the station.
Upon entering the castle grounds, you will step back in time, and take a stroll around the façade lit by lanterns, torches, or candles. Artisans surround the perimeter and within the main courtyard selling their wares.
You can find many hand-crafted objects to take home for young and old, like beautiful leather-bound notebooks, handcrafted swords, and shields.
Within the walls of the main courtyard, you will find a beautifully decorated tree. Which is only to be surpassed by the wonderful aromas of food cooking, it is not an easy choice.
A Knackersemmel, the traditional sausage of Regensburg, soup served in a bread loaf bowl or ‘Wildschwein am Spieß’, a Bavarian-style spit-roast.
Wash it down with one of five different styles of mulled wine. A Christmas market isn’t complete without a ‘Kinderzauberwald’, with paths lit to this magical area. A Ferris wheel or swing boats, or ride on the old steam train, whilst eating all the things children love.
The Romantic Christmas market operates from mid-November till 23rd December, with open 7 days at varying times, additionally, there is an entry fee to enter the market. It is also possible to have a tour of Staterooms, Cloister, Treasury, and Carriage Museums during the markets for an extra cost (bookings are required).
The castle is still occupied by one of the family and they are known to stroll amongst the guests of the markets.
Written by Jeanine De Diana from Lets Go Awandering
10. Munich, Germany
A quick hop over from Austria is one of my favorite European cities: Munich. I think it has the most beautiful city center I’ve ever seen (although it was also WAY colder!).
Check out this website for the dates & times of the Christmas Markets in Munich.
The Best Christmas Markets in Munich are:
- Main Christmas Market in Marienplatz
- The Middle Ages Market (Munich Medieval Christmas Market)
Plus, Munich is a great place to take a day trip to the Neuschwanstein Castle in winter! Here are some great tours that will get you there.
Written by Dayna from Happily Ever Travels (This blog you’re currently on! (:)
11. London, England
One of the best things to do for Christmas in London is visit to Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. From exploring Christmas markets to ice skating in the biggest outdoor ice rink in London, this place offers incredible attractions for everyone.
Whether you want to admire the views from the 70-meter-high wheel or just relax in a Bavarian-style village, there are plenty of options to choose from. Live music and authentic German food in the heart of London make this place so special.
If you like adrenaline activities, you can try a roller coaster or a super fast white knuckle ride. Christmas markets in Winter Wonderland are full of beautiful handmade decorations, and if you’re looking for unique Christmas tree ornaments, there is no better place than London.
However, a visit to Hyde Park is much more than just shopping and it should not be missed when exploring London in winter.
By Paulina from UK Everyday
12. Stuttgart, Germany
Stuttgart has one of the largest and oldest Christmas Markets in Germany. Historians are actually able to trace its roots all the way back to 1692!
With over 300 stalls in total, visiting Stuttgart’s Christmas market is something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime! Not only will you find a scenic market, incredible scents filling the air, and the sounds of wonderful Christmas music playing throughout, but Stuttgart’s Christmas Market also has many unique features!
Every November, Stuttgart’s downtown area is transformed into the typical German Christmas Market. Complete with beautiful wooden stalls, Christmas lights, and a giant tree, the market actually encompasses several areas that are within walking distance apart.
The Stuttgart Christmas Market is also easily accessible by public transit. With both buses and trains that stop right by the market, it couldn’t be easier to get to!
But what sets Stuttgart apart from other markets? Not only do they have a fantastic skating rink right next to the market, but they also have several holiday-themed rides, a miniature village, a real nativity scene (with live animals!), and a building-sized Advent Calendar! They definitely go all out when it comes to the Christmas spirit!
Aside from the usual candied nuts and sausages, be sure to indulge in their Lebkuchen, Glühwein (of course!), flammkuchen, maultaschen, and truffle currywurst!
And if the markets were not remarkable enough already, Stuttgart kicks it up another notch! Every year, the Stuttgart Christmas market holds a competition to see who has the most decorated rooftop.
So while you are strolling through the Market, don’t forget to admire all the intricately designed rooftop displays!
Written by Marianne from Pasta Pretzels & Passports
13. Salisbury Christmas Market
The medieval city of Salisbury takes Christmas very seriously, with people traveling from far and wide
to visit. The whole city is decorated and illuminated, filled with Christmas trees which are part of a
Tree Trail for children, and a giant bauble of twinkling lights which people can walk through.
There is a Christmas Tree Festival and a best-dressed window competition amongst the shops, leaving the whole
city looking thoroughly festive. The highlight though is the Christmas Market which takes place in the
famous Market Square, which has been home to markets for over 750 years.
Wooden chalets fill the square selling high-quality artisan goods which include everything from
clothes, gifts, accessories, jewelry, original artwork, drinks, condiments and so much more.
There are also countless food and drink stalls selling traditional German bratwurst, mulled wine, cheeses,
snacks, hot chocolate, burgers, and of course, a large bar.
The air is filled with the aroma of oranges, cinnamon, and festive spices and there is usually a band or
a choir singing carols and festive tunes. An ice skating rink is set up in a large marquee, so you can
skate whatever the weather.
While you are in Salisbury, visit the cathedral which is always beautifully decorated, and filled with
candles, foliage, and an enormous real tree.
The cathedral runs special tower tours in December when you can climb the tower, arriving at the top just as dusk falls and enjoying all of the town’s lights twinkling far below you.
Make sure you book them in advance as they are very popular. The Salisbury official site will have all of the details as Christmas approaches.
Written by Sarah Nash from Slow Travel
14. Hamburg, Germany
Hamburg is Germany’s second-largest city and is located in the North of Germany. It’s one of the best cities to visit in Germany, especially around Christmas, since it hosts 15 Christmas markets.
This green port city goes all out for Christmas, like most German towns. The markets are open from November 22nd or the 30th till December 23rd, with a few continuing after Christmas. They’re open from 11 am to 9 pm.
The 15 Christmas markets are spread throughout the city and each has its own theme. Am Rathaus is the historical market, the most famous one of them all.
Sankt Pauli, dubbed Santa Pauli during this period, has a ‘red light’ themed one. Bergedorf has the oldest Christmas market in Hamburg. There’s a traditional market at St. Petri, and a pink Winterpride one at St. George.
During this time of the year, the shops and streets are decorated and illuminated. Next to that on all 4 Saturdays during the Advent period a Fairy tales parade is held. A festive parade with Santa, angels, reindeer, and historical coaches. It all adds to the Christmas spirit.
Like on other German Christmas markets German treats such as currywurst, roasted chestnuts, lebkuchen, pretzels, glühwein, and hot chocolate with rum are being sold at the stalls.
A great souvenir is the Hamburg Christmas mug, in which you get your drink. You can also return the mug and get your deposit back.
Written by Cosette from KarsTravels
15. Zurich, Switzerland
Christmas in Zurich is the epitome of the traditional holiday, complete with dazzling Christmas trees, mulled wine, fairy lights, holiday meals, chocolate delicacies, and the sound of Christmas songs filling the crisp, chilly air.
Zurich has an outstanding four large Christmas markets in addition to a few smaller ones, not content with having just one.
Niederdorf, the city of Zurich’s original Christmas market, is situated in the Old Town. There are plenty of things to see and do at the market. You can enjoy traditional Swiss food, watch live music performances, visit Santa Claus’ grotto, take part in craft workshops, buy handmade gifts, and much more.
Visitors are welcome to browse the traditional Christmas treats and take in the holiday atmosphere. You can browse the 150 stalls with amazing items lovingly made by talented artists.
One of the biggest indoor Christmas markets in Switzerland is the Christkindlimarkt, which is held at Zurich’s main train station. The main draw of the Christkindlimarkt is the 50-foot-tall Swarovski Christmas Tree, which is covered in 7,000 brilliant Swarovski crystals each year.
There are many Christmas markets in Zurich that you can visit, and as most of them are close to one another, you can simply tour them all on foot.
Written by Trijit Mallick from Budget Travel Buff
16. Berlin, Germany
Berlin is an especially interesting city to visit at Christmastime because instead of one main Christmas market, there are dozens spread throughout the city.
One of the best Christmas markets in Berlin is at the gorgeous Gendarmenmarkt square, and even though there’s a 1 euro entry fee, it’s worth checking out.
The Gendarmenmarkt Christmas market has an upscale feel to it while still maintaining traditions. Try some German or Austrian food here.
Another popular one is the Charlottenburg Palace Christmas market. As the name suggests, this one sits in front of the palace, which is a wonderful backdrop.
You’ll find delicious food here, including German cuisine as well as others, like Hungarian. Don’t forget to go to the viewing platform on top of the Hungarian hut where you can get a great view.
The Lucia market at Kulturbrauerei is a little less touristy but very cozy and very popular with locals. This market has a Nordic theme, and you can find specialties from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland here, in addition to German food.
Just about any Christmas market will have vendors selling decorations, wooden toys for kids, jewelry, chocolate, winter hats and scarves, and lots of other great gifts. Even your Glühwein mug makes for a nice keepsake.
Christmas markets generally start in late November and run until December 23 or 24, though some do stay open past Christmas day. Weekdays and afternoons are less crowded than weekends and evenings.
Written by Ali Garland from Berlin Travel Tips
17. Zagreb, Croatia
When you visit Zagreb Christmas Market, you will find it hard to believe that less than 10 years ago, Christmas Market did not even exist there! At least not in the format that we see today.
What started as a single tent on the main square, a couple of years and a couple of awards for the Best Christmas Market in Europe later, turned the whole city into a Christmas Fairytale.
You will want to download the map because the Christmas spirit takes over the whole city, and there are many things to do in Zagreb. The most lively area of the Christmas Market is around Zrinjevac Park. There you can try out ice skating in the Ice park – a stunning ice skating rink in King Tomislav Square.
A hidden gem of the Market is the Grič tunnel, a unique way to experience underground Zagreb. If you are looking for a more intimate atmosphere with live music, you will want to explore the Christmas Market in the Upper Town.
Mulled wine is an unofficial signature drink of Zagreb’s Christmas market. You can get your cup of this sweet hot wine everywhere. Fritule – a Croatian variety of small doughnuts, is an unofficial signature food.
However, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to food. Gastronomy is a crucial part of the Zagreb Christmas Market, and restaurants try to outshine each other.
Zagreb Christmas Market usually starts on the first Advent Sunday and lasts until after New Year! To be ready when it opens this year, keep an eye on Advent Zagreb’s official website.
Written by Natali from She’s Abroad Again
18. Warsaw, Poland
When it comes to Christmas and cozy winter vibes, Warsaw might not spring to mind directly. Truth be told, the city can get very cold (on average -4°C) and the days are short.
But what remains a closely guarded secret is how locals make up for all of this with their love for Christmas. As December inches closer, large displays of lights are set up all across the city.
The old town is festooned with fairy lights and a Christmas market is set up consisting of plenty of delicious polish foods, handicrafts, and stands with Polish Vodka.
Spend a cozy 48- hours in Warsaw taking in everything the city has to offer.
Try the local delicacy of Pierogis (oval-shaped pastries filled with a variety of different stuffing from meat-heavy to plain veggies), indulge in a vodka tasting on the Christmas market (be weary of the hangover the next day) and walk around the city trying to find all the singing benches that will spring to life with tunes of Chopin at a mere touch.
Whatever you do, make sure to bring warm clothes and a pair of sturdy walking shoes to waltz around outdoor Christmas markets.
Written by Caroline from Veggie Wayfarer
19. Mannheim, Germany
The main Christmas Market in Mannheim is located by the Water Tower. It’s one of the oldest markets in Germany and the 200+ stalls are set against the backdrop of the Water Tower, making it pretty impressive.
Definitely make sure to visit at night when the lights make it look magical!
Mannheim is a great Christmas market to visit in Germany. In fact, there are two main markets, which are only a short walk from each other, plus a children’s fairy tale market.
Be sure to try the gluhwein, a classic drink at any Christmas Market, or the bratwurst, German sausages, and lebkuchen, which are traditional German ginger cookies.
A short walk from the Water Tower, you’ll find the market on Kapuzinerplanken. This is a smaller market with local vendors and artisans selling their own products. It’s a great place to buy some unique, locally-made souvenirs.
And the third Christmas Market in Mannheim is the Marchenwald – the Children’s Christmas Market. Just a few blocks from the market on Kapuzinerplanken, this fun market has characters and scenes from fairy tales displayed throughout the square.
Audio recordings of the story play as you walk past the scenes from different children’s stories. With three main markets to visit, Mannheim’s Christmas Markets have something for everyone in the family to enjoy!
Written by Erin Martin from Wanderlust with Kids
20. Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh is an incredibly charming city to visit any time of the year. But when it comes to Christmas, the Scottish capital is transformed by the arrival of the festive winter seasons.
You can find Edinburgh’s Christmas markets in the Princes Street Gardens at the heart of the city centre.
There is an array of beautifully decorated chalets surrounded by market stalls and fairy lights, selling from traditional Christmas foods like German Sausages, potato skewers, hot mulled wine, and chimney cake to classic Christmas items like wooden nutcrackers, ornaments, and candles.
Put on skates and enjoy the Alpine ice rink. Younger visitors would love the Christmas Tree Maze, Santa’s Grotto and Nativity Carol Concert. You can take part in many fun activities, like taking a ride on the gigantic Big Wheel and the Star Flyer to admire an amazing view over the city. Kids will enjoy riding the Victorian carousels.
Rides and events are individually priced, but the markets are free to roam around to take in the festive spirit.
Hogmanay is an integral part of the Edinburgh Christmas Celebration. It is a three-day annual celebration from 30th December to New Year’s Day. It includes a torchlight procession, spectacular fireworks displays from Edinburgh Castle, and a great street party.
Written by Moumita & Sankha from Chasing the Long Road
21. Salzburg, Austria
Salzburg is a magical place – it’s the place The Sound of Music was shot and where Mozart was born. Nestled in the mountains, with a castle sitting atop the hill, the whole city becomes even more enchanting in December as it’s taken over by various Christmas markets!
Squares, usually in front of major churches, have Christkindlmarkts pop up. In fact, almost every square in town is occupied by a Christmas market. Imagine hundreds of stalls opening up, instantly adding life and magical Christmas joy to the city.
These Christkindlmarkts are the best places to get some local handmade souvenirs if you’re looking to bring back some gifts. They’re also amazing because of all the food and drink they offer. Stall after stall sells local and traditional fare, from hearty meals to decadent desserts.
Plus, you can ‘rent’ a souvenir mug that you can fill and refill with mulled wine and apfelpunsch, a boozy apple drink. When you’ve had enough, you can return the mug and get your deposit back, or take the mug home as a souvenir.
Other amazing things to do around Salzburg are to visit Hohensalzburg Fortress, walk around St Peter’s Abbey, discover Mirabell Palace & Gardens, admire the Salzburg Cathedral or walk around the picturesque Old Town
No matter what Christkindlmarkts you choose to visit, you’re bound to have a great time and find some amazing pieces to take home with you.
Written by Carine & Derek from We Did It Our Way
22. Manchester, England
Christmas is arguably the best time to visit Manchester in the United Kingdom. Its famous Christmas market dates back to 1999, making it the first of its kind in the entire United Kingdom. Piccadilly Gardens gets all decked up in a Christmas theme for over a month from 12th November to 22nd December.
The vast popularity of this market has led to its expansion to six different squares, namely St Ann’s Square, Exchange Square, New Cathedral Street, King Street, Market Street, and Cathedral Gardens.
More than 300 stalls are set up in these places. You can find anything and everything here, from delicious food to handicrafts, clothes, accessories, and even daily-use products.
There will also be live music from local musicians and DJs in the Winter Garden of Piccadilly Gardens. The beautiful lights with hearty food and drinks will surely fill every visitor with joy and warmth.
These stalls offer cuisines from different parts of the world. Some of the popular Snacks of the markets include Dutch Frites, Greek Gyros, Yorkshire Puddings, and many cakes, pies, and muffins.
Local ales and beers are popular drinks. The Christmas-themed gifts and handicrafts are the perfect souvenirs to get from these markets. The Manchester Christmas markets are open daily from 10 AM to 9 PM.
Written by Ruma Dey Baidya from The Holiday Story
23. Wroclaw, Poland
Dating back to the 16th century, the Christmas market in Wroclaw boasts festive treats and fairground games that make it especially popular with children.
The Wroclaw market is famous across the country – and it’s one of the most festive Polish Christmas traditions with crafts, games, and holiday foods.
It’s a festive feast for the senses that stretches from Wroclaw’s market square through Plac Solny.
There are amusement rides, fairground games, fairytale characters, and a fairytale forest that make it a magical experience for kids.
You can see Pinocchio, ride some carousels or take a pic with dwarfs, mushrooms, and other Christmas wonders.
And for the adults, there are various flavors of mulled wine. Try some traditional Polish specialties like smoked cheese with cranberries, sauerkraut stew (bigos), and potato pancakes.
There are also international favorites including Spanish churros, crepes, and Hungarian fried flatbread. There’s something to satisfy every craving.
The Wroclaw Christmas market is also a great spot to shop for ornaments, souvenirs, and gifts. Craftsmen from across Poland and Europe sell their colorful creations inside wooden huts.
The market is one of the largest and most well-known in Poland. And there’s an array of special events surrounding the market, including a Christmas parade, carol singing, and choir concerts.
24. Valkenburg, Netherlands
For a beautiful Christmas market in Europe, make time to visit the unique caves and markets at Valkenburg in the Netherlands. This is the largest Christmas market hosted in the Netherlands, and the most unique.
Valkenburg is located in the south, within the Limburg province. Here you have lots of underground caves for tours, which become beautifully festive for December.
In the markets, you can buy the usual souvenirs and Christmas decorations from the region. For gifts and presents, there are lots to choose from for all ages. For something unique, you can buy decorations made from the underground caves directly too.
There are also lots of pretty decorations for the home and garden that you can treat yourselves with. If you want a personalized or special tree decoration, Valkenburg is the perfect place to buy one!
Another treat for the Christmas markets is the local food stands and drink choices. There are a few cozy bars and food stands inside the caves, perfect for if it’s raining outside.
Outside the caves, the whole village of Valkenburg is super festive with lots of restaurants having cozy blankets, fireplaces, and hot gluhwein. You can also take gluhwein and hot food to go from many places while walking around the beautiful village.
Written by Zoe from Together In Transit
25. Mainz, Germany
The Mainz Christmas market can look back on a very long tradition: it has been taking place in the heart of Mainz city center for more than 200 years.
“Yes, we all live in the shadow of the cathedral…” is the text of a popular Mainz song. And that’s exactly where the Christmas market is: in the shadow of the cathedral. Together with other historic houses around the market square, this gives a wonderfully cozy atmosphere.
This makes the Mainz market a very popular Christmas market, even far beyond the region.
The large net-like chain of lights, which is stretched across the square up to the Heunensäule, contributes to this. This is a huge sandstone column from Roman times.
With the Heunensäule, the market square with a Renaissance fountain, and the cathedral, you can already experience some of the best things to do in Mainz during a visit to the Christmas market.
On the market square and around the entire cathedral there are stalls with all kinds of typical products for a German Christmas market: many stalls with mulled wine, punch, or Feuerzangenbowle. Bratwurst or other grilled specialties, potato pancakes, and all kinds of pastries. Spices are sold, tea, soap, honey, and all sorts of handicrafts.
The Christmas market in Mainz is free and open until about 8:30 p.m. during the week. Those who don’t want to go home afterward will find many restaurants and wine bars so typical of Mainz in the area around the cathedral. Have fun and have a safe trip to Mainz.
Written by Phil from Journication Travel Blog
26. Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
The Luxembourg City Christmas Market is always one of the best Christmas markets in Europe and continues to draw visitors from all over the world year after year.
The market is held annually during the holidays and typically runs from about mid-November to New Year’s Day making it one of the earlier European Christmas markets to open each year.
The Luxembourg Christmas Market is held in three distinct locations across Luxembourg’s city center including Place d’ Armes, Place Guillaume II, and Place de la Constitution.
Across the three locations, you’ll find chalets selling gifts and ornaments, carnival rides, food stalls, beer tents, and even an ice skating rink.
In the evenings the Christmas market really comes alive with special performances and live music.
Consider picking up a cup of warm mulled wine to sip as you explore the market. Once you get hungry head over to the food stalls to get something to eat. The currywurst is a local favorite and pairs perfectly with a pint of local beer.
Written by Eden from Rock a Little Travel
The Best Time of Year to Visit the Christmas Markets: End of November to Early December
Christmas Markets generally start around the last week in November or the first week of December.
However, the dates may change and are different for each Market, so I’ve included a link in each section to the city’s Christmas Market page that includes the dates and times of each Market.
Important Christmas Markets Tip: Make sure to book your accommodation at least 3 months in advance if possible. We waited too long and the prices were higher (and there weren’t any Airbnbs left in Colmar!). The trip is still possible, but you’ll have more options if you book earlier.