Whether you are the festive kind or not, if you travel across the continent in December, you will want to pay a visit to one (or more) of the best Christmas markets in Europe.
Even though I am a self-professed Grinch and generally try to escape the Christmas season, I admit that I find something charming, romantic and touching about the lights, the stalls, the smells, the tastes (oh, the gingerbread cookies and the Glühwein!) and the atmosphere around Christmas.
The good news is that there are many beautiful Christmas markets in Europe. Some are very well known, to the point that people travel to certain destinations precisely with the idea of visiting them. Others are real hidden gems that will surely add to your trip itinerary, and I thought I’d shed the light on those too.
I have thus asked a bunch of other fellow bloggers to share their knowledge of the best Christmas markets in Europe. Continue reading to discover which ones you should visit!
The 34 Best Christmas Markets In Europe
*Contributed by Jurga of Full Suitcase
Brussels Christmas market is not only the biggest and most impressive Christmas market in Belgium, but it’s also one of the best Christmas Markets in Europe. Hundreds of market stalls are spread out all over the city center and there’s always so much to see and do!
Festive decorations, music and light shows, ice skating rink, Ferris wheel rides, and lots of other attractions make it a great destination for the whole family. This is also a good place to try all kinds of local Belgian specialties. Don’t miss Brussels and Liege waffles, nougat cake, and make sure to try at least a few of the many different flavors of traditional Belgian liquor ‘jenever’.
But what makes Brussels Christmas market really stand apart is the stunning Grand Place town square that is incredibly beautiful during the holiday season. The impressive Town Hall and the surrounding buildings are always nicely lit in the evening. Furthermore, during the entire holiday season, they run music and light shows that turn the main town square into a real fairytale-land. It will take your breath away!
One more reason to pick Brussels Christmas Market for your holidays is that it stays open until the first weekend of January. While many Western European Christmas markets stop before 24/12, Brussels is a great place to enjoy a wonderful holiday atmosphere during Christmas and New Year’s holiday.
If you are visiting Brussels for the first time, you may want to consider one or more of these tours:
- Free walking tour of Brussels – a great way to get some background information about the city.
- Brussels Atomium admission ticket – this is the most popular attraction in town.
- Mini-Europe admission ticket – another popular place to visit, especially for families with children.
- Chocolate tasting tour – you won’t want to skip this!
*Contributed By Paulina of Paulina On The Road
Prague, Czech Republic
- Small group tour of Prague Castle – a well reviewed tour of one of the most popular places to visit in Prague.
- Prague: Ghosts and Legends 1.5-Hour Walking Tour – by and large the most popular activity in the city.
- Prague City Card – a great option if you are spending a few days in the city.
Brno, Czech Republic
One of the best things to do in the Czech Republic in the winter is visiting the many Christmas markets – these are among the best Christmas markets in Europe. The most popular ones are in Prague. However, Brno, the second largest city in the country, has some truly pretty ones – and the benefit of visiting them is that most of the people you’ll see are actually locals.
The best market in Brno is the one by the City Council (for a great view, walk up the tower of the City Hall). You will find a great selection of local Christmas food such as mulled wine; mead; trdelnik, a sweet pastry topped with sugar, cinnamon and sweet almonds (for a truly indulgent treat have it filled with cream and other sweet goodness).
Val di Sole, Italy
Think of Christmas and the first thing that comes to mind is snow. But have you considered spending Christmas in the sun? If so, Cagliari – the capital of Sardinia – is a fabulous destination and the good news is that there you’ll find some of the best Christmas markets in Europe too.
- Top sights of Cagliari tour
- Cagliari segway tour
- Private walking tour with a local guide
- Cagliari tour by vintage Fiat 500
- Tuk tuk tour in the center of Cagliari 4 district and flamingo spotting
- 2-hour sightseeing bike tour
- Half day private sightseeing tour
*Contributed by Coni of Experiencing the Globe
Even though Croatia is mostly sought for sun and beaches, winter in Croatia has nothing to envy any Central European country. For Christmas the capital city, Zagreb, dresses in white and red to host a yearly winter wonderland – Advent u Zagrebu. Actually, the celebrations have been recognized as one of the best Christmas markets in Europe for several years in a row.
The market takes over the city center, transforming it into a magically decorated fairytale. You’ll find food delights and beverages for all tastes, plus an ice skate ring in the most picturesque of settings, continuous concerts in pergolas around parks and squares, stalls with handcrafted souvenirs, and plenty of spots created so you can get the perfect Instagram shot.
Stroll around the landmarks of the city –St. Mark’s church, Ban Jelačić Square, Zagreb Cathedral and King Tomislav Square– to discover all the beauty and fun that Christmas in Croatia holds.
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
*Contributed by Angela of Exploring Dorset
The seaside town of Bournemouth in South West UK puts on a fantastic Christmas market and other festive activities from November through to January.
Parking is available at multiple locations throughout the town and you can’t miss the twinkling lights of Christmas Tree Wonderland through the Lower Gardens as you make your way through to the market stalls.
There is something on offer for the whole family including a visit to Santa in his Alpine Grotto, and a large outdoor ice skating rink situated right in the heart of the Christmas lights.
Christmas Tree Wonderland lights up the gardens and is an attraction in itself. You may even want to see them from the sky if you take a ride on the Bournemouth Eye.
If you’re looking for food and drink, you won’t be short of local and festive choices from food and drink stalls to the famous Alpine bar which is a popular location for adults. This really is one of the best Christmas markets in Europe.
Winter Wonderland, London, United Kingdom
Winter Wonderland is a gigantic Christmas market, with a huge variety of stalls that range from the classic Christmas food and drinks to quirky gifts and souvenirs. They also have lots of fair-style games, such as basket hoops and shooting games, where you can win all sorts of prizes. At Winter Wonderland you will also find roller coaster rides and an ice skating rink.
If you’re looking for a place where you can drink mulled wine, nibble on tasty cinnamon rolls and soak in the ultimate Christmas market vibes, Winter Wonderland in London is the perfect place to do so!
- London In a Day: Tower of London tour, Westminster Abbey & Changing of the Guard – a 8-hours tour that will take you to all the most famous attractions. It’s pricey, but you get to see a lot and it ends up being great value for money.
- London walking tour with Westminster Abbey and Changing of the Guard – a slightly cheaper tour but it does not include the Tower of London.
- London top sights: fun tour with a local guide – a more budget friendly walking tour of London.
- London magic Christmas tour in Camden town – perfect to get your Christmas fix.
- London small Christmas markets walking tour – a great option to see the best of London during Christmas.
Chatsworth House, Peak District, United Kingdom
Set in the heart of the Peak District National Park and home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, Chatsworth House is one of the grandest estates in England. And when it comes to Christmas in the Peak District, they pull out all the stops.
The Chatsworth Christmas Markets are among the best Christmas markets in Europe. They generally run from mid November to the beginning of December (yes, it finishes rather early). Entry is free, but you do have to pay for parking. Visitors can browse over one hundred stalls offering a range of Christmas gifts and decorations, sample delicious treats, and enjoy a mulled wine at one of the outdoor bars.
Combine your market shopping and browsing with a visit inside the house to marvel the dramatic festive transformation. Each year a different theme is picked and it takes over a year of planning.
York, United Kingdom
*Contributed by Sinead of Map Made Memories
York Christmas Market is a six week long, free to enter festive shopping experience in the heart of the historic city of York. Over 100 wooden chalets line York’s pedestrian streets selling unique and locally made arts and crafts. There is also local produce for sale including Yorkshire Gin, fudge and artisan chocolate with lots of free samples to tempt shoppers.
The market is beautifully illuminated at night and throughout the day festive buskers and bands help to create a lively, convivial atmosphere. The centerpiece of the market is Thor’s Tipi, a huge canvas pop up bar where shoppers can revive with a mulled wine or hot chocolate on sheepskin covered benches in front of an open log fire. It’s easy to see why this is one of the best Christmas markets in Europe.
For sightseers, the market is just a five-minute walk from York Minster and the famous The Shambles. There is plentiful fee-paying parking near the market or it is a short, fifteen-minute walk to York’s Victorian era railway station.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Nottingham is one of the most fun cities to visit in England year round, and even more so during Christmas, when the Winter Wonderland, an incredibly scenic market, is held in Market Square and Long Row. An ice rink, a toboggan slide and the Helter Skelter bar are among the highlights. Make sure to try the spiced cider and hot toddies, too!
Edinburgh holds some of the best Christmas markets in Europe, between November and January. The main market in town is the German Christmas Market, which has been running for more than 20 years. It’s the kind of place where you will find hot toddies and Knödel and all sorts of Christmas-themed gifts. There is a 60-meter-high “Star Flier” that will help you get stunning views of the city, as well as a ferris wheel.
Pop into St. Andrew’s Square if you fancy ice-skating; whereas if you are in search of food and other treats you should head to Santa Land in Princes Street Gardens and, at just a few minutes walk from it, to the Scottish Market on George Street. There you will find local delicacies such as Edinburgh-distilled gin and local craft beer, and all throughout you’ll be able to listen to classic Christmas tunes.
If it is your first time in Edinburgh, you may want to consider these tours and attractions:
- Underground Vaults tour – a great way of exploring the underground city that dates back to the 18th century.
- Harry Potter magical walking tour – a favorite of kids.
- City Sightseeing – a hop-on hop-off bus tour that will help you see the main city highlights.
- Palace of Holyroodhouse Ticket – admission fee to one of the most popular attractions in the city.
- Real Mary King’s Close Guided Tour – one of the top reviewed tours.
Belfast, Northern Ireland
*Contributed by Allan of It’s Sometimes Sunny in Bangor
Belfast is one of those cities that’s small enough to explore on a weekend and is so close-knit that it can be covered on foot, which makes it ideal for a quick Christmas getaway. And central to the festive season all is Belfast City Hall (Donegall Square) which makes the perfect setting for the Belfast Continental Market each year between mid-November and Christmas Eve – this truly is one of the best Christmas markets in Europe!
The market itself shares all you expect from these seasonal shenanigans with gluhwein (mulled wine), heated beer tents, and all sorts of meatfests and food stalls. Then there’s Santa’s grotto and traditional slides and rides for the kids along with sweets and candy stalls scattered throughout.
Another perk in its location is the free tours and exhibitions of the city hall itself which is dressed up with festive baubles and Christmas trees. Belfast Christmas market is also easy to reach being no more than 5-minutes on foot from the two central stations/transit hubs.
Make sure to take one of these guided tours to make the most of your time in Belfast:
- Belfast: The Titanic Experience with SS Nomadic Visit – the overall most popular tour in town.
- City Sightseeing Belfast 1 or 2-Day Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour – a convenient way of exploring the city.
- Political conflict 3-hour walking tour – a great tour to learn more about the recent history of Belfast and Northern Ireland.
- Belfast taxi mural tour – if you love street art and want to learn more about the difficult past of the city, this tour is a must-do.
*Contributed by Elisa of World In Paris and Rai of A Rai of Light
If you are visiting Paris at Christmas time, don’t miss the Tuileries Garden Christmas Market. This is one of the best Christmas markets in Paris and also one of the biggest – not to mention one of the best Christmas markets in Europe.
The Tuileries Garden Christmas Market is located inside the beautiful and historical Tuileries Garden, next to the Louvre in Paris 1, and it replaces the Christmas Market located along the Champs Elysées. The Tuileries Garden Christmas Market, however, is in a fenced space, car-free, and it outstands for the variety of wooden chalets and its small fun-fair with rides for kids and adults. There’s also a small skate rink and some places to eat and on-site so it is the perfect family plan for a winter day in Paris before Christmas.
The Tuileries Garden Christmas Market usually opens around mid-November and closes its doors after the New Year’s celebrations. The best way to reach this market is by metro line 1, station Tuileries.
Another great market is the Village Noël de Champ de Mars. This has over 100 wooden chalets set up right in-front of the Eiffel Tower and is a good choice if you’re looking for wooden toys, hats, scarfs, and handcrafted jewelry. You will also find festive gifts, souvenirs, and decorations by artisans from across the country. In addition to the French cheese and roasted chestnuts, keep an eye out for other delicious treats such as Nutella-filled crepes and spice bread. The Christmas market takes place from December 15 and continues into the first week in January.
Remember that if you are visiting Paris for a week or even just for a day, you still need to book tickets to all the main attractions. Here are some recommended tickets you can get online:
- Eiffel Tower second floor priority access
- Ultimate Louvre skip the line guided tour
- Musée d’Orsay reserved access 1-day admission ticket
- Ultimate Versailles skip the line guided tour
- Montmartre 2-hour walking tour
One of the best Christmas markets in Europe is the one in Strasbourg. It’s the oldest and most famous Christmas market in France, dating back to 1570, giving the city the charming nickname of “the capital of Christmas.”
The Strasbourg Christmas Market starts in the last week of November and continues all the way until late December. It’s quite a magical atmosphere – the streets are decorated with Xmas lights and festive flower wreaths, and the neighboring shops go all with some pretty colorful and dramatic Christmas displays!
The market is focused around the central Cathedral Square of Strasbourg. It includes loads of different stalls selling everything from toys, ornaments, food and obligatory “vin chaud” (mulled wine), which is so ubiquitous across France during the season.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Strasbourg is around 2 hours by train from Paris l’Est station, with hourly train services running between the two cities.
Check out these guided tours of Strasbourg:
- Strasbourg 3-Day City Pass: Boat Tour, Museums & More – a great option if you intend to spend a few days in the city.
- Strasbourg historical center private walking tour – the most popular choice to visit the old city.
- Guided tour by segway – a fun way of exploring the historical center.
- Guided bike tour – another great option to get to know the city.
*Contributed by Karen of Travel Mad Mum
There are a few Christmas markets to choose from throughout France. However, you will discover that Amiens is not as touristy or expensive as others.
The town is full of the most incredible architecture. You will be blown away by The Cathedral Basilica. All year round and throughout the Christmas markets the building is brought to life at night with a light show projected onto it.
The Christmas Markets in Amiens open towards the end of November, and they run until New Year’s Eve. When you walk in you will be greeted by hundreds of rustic huts filling the Main Street. Each hut has its own delight and you can find everything from chestnuts roasting on an open fire, to craft gifts and mulled wine.
When you think of France, you immediately think of the quality of food. However, you will be too busy grazing on the different foods available at the market to step into any restaurants. With so much choice, traditional warming casseroles, warm baguettes, sweet treats such as chocolate, churros and so on, you are sure to find something to your taste.
The warm festive drinks will put you in the Christmas spirit. There are lots to choose from such as hot cider or mulled wine.
Best of all, the markets are quite eco-friendly – which will make you appreciate them as some of the best Christmas markets in Europe. You are able to rent a cup instead of using single-use plastic when you want to drink something! When you return the cup, you are given your euro back.
Amiens has activities for the whole family. No matter your kids’ age, there are plenty of things to do. There are Christmas themed rides that the little ones will love or ice skating and ice zorbing for the older kids.
*Contributed by Nisha and Vasu of Le Monde, The Poetic Travels
The Christmas markets are a great place to really immerse yourself in the festive spirit. And if you decide to celebrate Christmas in Switzerland then there is no place like Geneva. With its picture perfect scenery, old traditions and several markets in the vicinity, Geneva becomes the best choice.
The most traditional-style Christmas market is set on Rue du Mont-Blanc and starts in late November, but you should also visit Christmas Village at the Parc des Bastions. Both are at walking distance of each other on either side of the lake. People assemble to sip vin chaud (hot mulled wine) with gingerbread cookies, hot chestnuts or grilled sausages and watch over kids participating in hordes of activities which include storytelling sessions in French as well as in English, a mini ice skating rink, some workshops and few rides.
Make sure not to miss Geneva Lux festival, a festival of light, with holograms being played on buildings, streets illuminated with fantastic lights, and some traditional plays like Escalade enacted to lure the children.
*Contributed by Nadine of Le Long Weekend
The Austrian capital city is renowned for being having some of the best Christmas markets in Europe, and for good reason! There are over 20 Christmas markets in Vienna, spanning from cute & quirky markets to flamboyant advent experiences. And luckily for visitors, most are within walking distance of the city centre.
Visit the Viennese Christmas Dream at Rathausplatz for the quintessential market experience complete with an ice skating rink and kids activities. Pop over to the grand event at Maria-Theresien-Platz for an all-encompassing adventure through the rows of wooden huts which sell everything from warming mugs of punch, to woolen mittens and Christmas tree trinkets.
Meanwhile, the Karlsplatz Advent Market is a more laid back event with a beautifully rustic feel, and the Spittelberg markets are a local favorite. The grand spectacle at Schönbrunn Palace certainly shouldn’t be missed, meanwhile, the vibe at Belvedere Palace is decidedly more romantic. It’s fair to say that whatever kind of market experience you’re looking for, Vienna will deliver it, and more!
*Contributed by Linda of Travel Tyrol
The setting of the Innsbruck Christmas Market in a historic Austrian old town with the Alps towering over it is what makes it one of the best Christmas markets in Europe. What’s more is that the market is split up into smaller markets spread out across the city. That not only means less crowds in one place, but each market has its own character.
The focal point of the Innsbruck Christmas Market is undoubtedly the giant Christmas tree in front of the famous Golden Roof. From here, you can walk the cobbled lanes to discover a Giants’ Alley and fairytale characters watching over you from the facades of buildings.
Not far from the Golden Roof, next to the Inn River, a different experience awaits on the Market Square. This family-oriented market is centered around a sparkling Swarovski crystal Christmas tree that dominates the skyline. There is also an old-fashioned carousel, puppet theatre, and duck fishing game.
For those looking to escape the city, a cable car will take you to the Hungerburg for an authentic Austrian Christmas market mountain experience. From here you can gaze over the city lights while sipping on a Glühwein and eating traditional Tyrolean delicacies.
Visiting Innsbruck for the first time? Check out this guided city tour.
*Contributed by Paula of Paula Pins the Planet
Salzburg offers amazing places to visit such as medieval castles, museums, cathedrals, and a fortress, but it is especially fabulous during the winter, when the city holds the magical Christmas Markets.
The most popular Christmas market in Salzburg has been held at the Cathedral Square since 1974.
The market is characterized by traditional huts and unique the atmosphere, along with specially designed lighting that stretches above the market like romantic stars across the night sky. The organizers have also ensured that visitors are treated to a colorful daily events program that includes readings of Christmas stories for children, Krampus parades, guided Christmas tours, choral concerts, visits by the “Christ Child,” festive melodies performed from the surrounding towers, and so much more.
The most renowned Salzburg Christmas Market extends from the foot of Hohensalzburg fortress (you can get Hohensalzburg Fortress admission tickets here) to the Cathedral of Salzburg. It is an amazing opportunity to experience the incredible Austrian tradition during which many exhibitors selling Christmas decorations, natural products, crafts, toys, and amazing food and drinks.
If you are visiting Salzburg, make sure to consider joining one (or all) of these guided tours:
- Walking tour of Salzburg – a great introduction to the city.
- Hop-on hop-off city tour – an easy way to explore the city.
- Mozart concert with dinner– one of the most popular attractions in town.
- Salzburg: Boat Ride to Hellbrunn and Palace Visit – a favorite of tourists.
When visiting Christmas markets in Germany, Dresden’s Striezelmarkt is one of the highlights, as it features a centuries-old history – dating back to 1434 – and plenty of local traditions. It is held each year from the end of November until Christmas Eve and is located in the historic old town of Dresden.
What makes Dresden’s Striezelmarkt unique is its focus on the local Christmas traditions of Saxony, the German state of which Dresden is the capital. You can see (and buy) a lot of Saxon Christmas decorations (such as Schwibbogen, smoking men or nutcrackers) as well as various typical Christmas foods and drinks from Saxony, for example, gingerbread from nearby Pulsnitz, Pflaumentoffel (a highly decorated sweet made out of plums with a long tradition) or the famous Stollen, which is home to Dresden and has (one of) its origin(s) in Saxony.
While “Glühwein” is very famous in entire Germany during winter, you can also try hot wine made out of white wine at the Striezelmarkt. The white wine comes from the famous local winery of Schloss Wackerbarth, just a few miles away from Dresden.
Once you visit Dresden in December, make sure you don’t miss the medieval Christmas Market at Stallhof, a part of the former Royal Palace. It has a unique atmosphere you can’t find anywhere else and is just 5 minutes walking away from the Striezelmarkt.
When in Dresden, consider joining one of these guided tours:
- Dresden: Semperoper Tickets and 45-Minute Guided Tour – a great option for the most famous site in town. This other tour also goes to the Old Town.
- River cruise of Dresden – for impressive views of the city.
*Contributed by Margherita of The Crowded Planet
*Contributed by Jorge of Travel Drafts
When you think about traveling, Frankfurt isn’t the first place that comes to mind… it’s probably not even on your list. However, Frankfurt in winter comes to life, particularly during Christmas time! Its market is one of the largest in Germany and among the best Christmas markets in Europe, both in size and number of visitors. Yet, it’s also one of the most beautiful with a huge tree, creative decorations, and lights in the scenic Römerberg and Paulsplatz.
The Christmas market in Frankfurt is also very old, with the first reference to it coming in the 14th century. Over the centuries the market changed a lot, to become the wonderland that is today. This also gave time to develop a few local specialties as Brenten (a rectangular marzipan cookie), Bettmännchen (also made with marzipan but with almonds and rosewater, and Quetschemännchen (figures made out of prunes and nuts).
Like most other Christmas Markets, it usually starts by the end of November until Christmas and occupies the whole historic center of Frankfurt making it very easy to find.
*Contributed by Paul of Anywhere We Roam
Held from the last week of November until the last week of December, Munich has one of the best Christmas Markets in Europe. A huge Christmas tree dominates the thoroughly atmospheric square of Marienplatz where a wide array of market stalls glow with Christmas magic. Find everything from traditional German decorations to artisanal crafts on display under rows of fairy lights. With the imposing gothic Old City Hall as the backdrop, the Munich Christmas market has a medieval village feel that buzzes with mulled wine-fuelled cheer.
Enjoy lively concerts and the party vibe at Winterollwood where you’ll also find quirkier crafts on sale. Join in spooky (but fun) tradition of the Krampus Run – the sullen assistant to St Nicholas who didn’t turn a blind eye when children were naughty. Wrap up an afternoon strolling the market and satisfy your sweet tooth with Fatschnkindl, a pastry shaped like the baby Jesus.
Hamburg holds some of the best Christmas markets in Europe. Located right next to the City Hall, the main market is the kind of place where you’ll find all sorts of local specialties, among them Erzgebirge made small jewelry – perfect for Christmas gifts to a dear one; traditional handmade toys, to glass art; candles; lanterns; gingerbread from various places in the country; and more. Make sure to also try Schmalzkuchen, Hamburg’s traditional Christmas sweets.
Every day at 4:00, 6:00 and 8:00 pm during market days Santa Claus zips right over the market – so if you have kids along, make sure to take them there!
Other markets you shouldn’t miss are the one near Jungfernstieg, which is perfect if you have kids with you as there will be face painting stalls, a puppet theater and even baking workshops. Gänsemarkt market, which is a traditional market where, during Advent Sundays, Christmas hands out gifts for children; Ottensen, again a great place for kids and where you will find all sorts of delicacies.
One of the quirkiest markets is the one White Magic Christmas market at the Jungfernstieg, where instead of wooden huts you will find a white pagoda, beautifully illuminated, and instead of mulled wine you can sip on cocktails such as Caipirinha.
For a different kind of experience, head to the Santa Pauli market – located in the city’s historic red-light district. You won’t have shortage of erotic toys! Finally, there even is the Winter Pride market, located near the central station that is organized by the local LGBTQ community. The profits of whatever is sold there go towards helping projects of the local gay community.
To fully appreciate the city, you may want to join one of the following guided tours:
- Evening illumination cruise through the harbor – a very scenic cruise perfect for photography geeks.
- Miniatur Wunderland – the perfect place to visit if you are traveling with children.
- Hamburg: Guided Tour Elbphilharmonie excluding Concert Halls – a guided tour of the most popular attraction in town.
- Sex and Crime in St. Pauli – tour for ages 18+ – by all means the quirkiest thing to do in Hamburg.
- 1-hour city boat tour – a fun way to admire the city.
- TV Tower ticket – by and large the most popular attraction in town.
- Neues Museum Berlin ticket – easy access to one of the most famous museums in Berlin.
- DDR Museum tickets – another must-see museum.
- Berlin: Small-Group Third Reich and Cold War Walking Tour – one of the most popular walking tours in town.
There are many fabulous Christmas markets in Cologne – usually taking place between the end of November and 23rd December. The largest market, located near Cologne Cathedral, definitely is one of the best Christmas markets in Europe. However, if you are looking for a more local experience, head to the Angel Market on Neumarkt, famous for the wooden carved angels; St. Nick’s Village (Nikolausdorf) on Rudolfplatz (a favorite of families); and Stadtgarten park.
Make sure to also check Harbour Christmas Market, located in front of the Chocolate Museum – how convenient!
Stuttgart holds some of the best Christmas markets in Europe – not to mention among the largest ones, with more than 290 stalls. Street performances, live show, food of the likes of roasted chestnuts, gingerbread, anise cookies and even toffee apples can all be found at the main market, which is located around the Old Palace in Schiller Square.
This hop-on hop-off city tour will give you more chances to admire the city.
For people wanting a beautiful, wintery Christmas market experience there is one place that it will be fulfilled and that is in Krakow, Poland. Christmas in Krakow is a beautiful time and many people flock to the Old Town Square to get their Christmas fill. The city is home to one of the best Christmas markets in Europe.
There are stalls everywhere selling everything from souvenirs to some of the most tasty food you will ever have. From traditional sausage to pierogi you can’t ignore the amazing smells as you wander through the little timber stalls. If you see something you like you can buy a small plate (usually sold by weight) and find a table to sit or stand at. Everyone is in such a good mood you will always find someone to chat to. While you are there you can also try the Polish version of hot mulled wine and if you dare a try of Grzane Piwo, hot spiced beer!
There is a stage with local bands that sing carols and while you may not understand the words they are singing the tunes will have you singing along in your own language. The locals love it and try their best to join in.
As you leave the main tourist area there are Christmas lights everywhere and even in some of the smaller squares you will find smaller more intimate markets set up for more of the locals in that area to enjoy.
Poland is not a destination many people think of as a vacation destination but Krakow is a brilliant place to start your Poland adventures. The beautiful city has so much to see and do that it will draw you back time and again.
The following are some good guided tours and attractions tickets you may want to consider:
- Wawel Cathedral Entry Ticket and Audio Guide Tour – one of the most famous attractions in town. The other is St. Mary Basilica, for which you can get tickets here.
- Electric car tour of Krakow – a good way of exploring the city.
- From Krakow: Guided Tour Auschwitz-Birkenau – an excellent tour for a touching experience.
- Krakow: Oskar Schindler’s Factory Entry Ticket – a good addition to the Birkenau tour.
The Christmas markets in Tallin are usually open from mid November until January 6. This pretty city, which has regularly won the prize for one of the best Christmas markets in Europe, is home to the world’s first public Christmas tree, which was first displayed in front of the town hall sin 1411. The Raekoja plats Christmas market has been hosted for almost 600 years now. Local specialties you will find at the market include black pudding and sour cabbage. If you feel cold, mulled wine is easily available, as well as the richest hot chocolate. Kids will enjoy seeing Santa arriving in a reindeer-pulled sleigh.
Copenhagen, Denmark is one of the best and most underrated destinations for Christmas in Europe. Not only is it decorated brilliantly across the entire city, but the Christmas markets are among the most festive in the world and certainly among the best Christmas markets in Europe.
Kongens Nytorv Square is one of the prettiest places in the city, and it’s one of the best Christmas markets in Copenhagen. With historic buildings like the Old Royal Opera House and Hotel D’Angleterre, it’s perfect for a traditional Christmas market. Each year the hotel puts on incredible holiday decorations including turning the facade into an advent calendar during the month of December.
Another charming Christmas market is the H.C. Andersen Julemarked in the square at Old City Hall. It’s smaller and more cozy with some of the best Christmas market foods like hot waffles, mulled wine and hot chocolate.
One last market to visit is at the famous Tivoli Gardens Christmas market. The amusement park continues operating the rides but transforms the gardens into a winter wonderland. The rows of Christmas market vendors sell homemade gifts, ornaments and traditional crafts.
If you plan to visit Copenhagen, you may be interested in some of these guided tours:
- Tivoli Gardens fast track ticket with optional rides – a hassle free experience at one of the most popular attractions in town.
- 1-hour canal cruise – one of the most fun ways of experiencing the city.
- 3-hour bike tour – a fabulous tour to get to know the city better.
- Copenhagen City Card – if you are spending a few days in the city, this may be a good way to save some pennies.
*Contributed by Lindsey of Have Clothes, Will Travel
The market itself hosts a large ice skating rink, festive carnival rides and dozens of vendor stalls selling all kinds of traditional Russian gifts and treats. You can indulge in many kinds of grilled meats, blini (Russian pancakes), cookies and more. Be sure to also grab a glass of mulled wine to keep you warm!
- Moscow Kremlin: Skip-the-Line Ticket and Introduction Tour – a good tour of one of the most popular attractions in town.
- Moscow: Kremlin and Red Square 3-Hour Guided Tour – a good guided tour of the most important city landmarks.
- St.Basil’s Cathedral and Red Square: Private Tour and Ticket – the Cathedral is a must-see when in Moscow.
- Moscow: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour and Boat Options – you can easily get from one attraction to the other and sightsee the city.