Christmas is my favorite holiday. Traveling to Europe during the holiday season has always been on my bucket list. I cannot imagine any better place to immerse myself fully in the holiday festivity than Christmas markets in Europe! 

Glistening snow in a winter wonderland, fairy lights dazzling the streets, Christmas carols on the radio, heart-warming comfort foods and mulled wine, outdoor ice-skating rinks, illuminated Christmas trees, crazy holiday shopping rush…

Amuse yourself in the holiday festivity in these 23 Best Christmas Markets in Europe. Happy holidays!

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23 Most Magical Christmas Markets in Europe for your bucket list | #ChristmasMarketsEurope #EuropeanWinterHolidays

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Europe Travel Resources 

📲 SIM card: Orange is France’s No.1 telecom company with the best coverage. I used this Orange Holiday Europe Prepaid SIM (or eSim), which worked well throughout Europe without hiccups. If you have any trouble using it or need to recharge, you can walk into any Orange store for help.

🛏 Hotels: I use this booking site for competitive rates, a generous free cancellation policy and member perks. Always read reviews before booking.

✈️ Flights: I often use Google Flights to search for the best deals. Then, I directly book flights with the airline. 

🚅 Trains: I love using Trainline to search for train schedules and book tickets. The platform is super helpful when there are any delays, disruptions, or rail strikes, which are all too common in Europe. 

🚘 Rental Cars: Outside the major cities, you may not be able to rely solely on public transportation. For a road trip, book rental cars from Auto Europe.

🎫 Tours: My first choice for booking tours and activities in Europe is Get Your Guide. The platform is easy to book or cancel. It often runs promotions.  

🚑 Travel Insurance: You should always travel with insurance. (Credit card insurance often covers travel disruptions but not medical bills.) Check with your health insurance policy; if it doesn’t cover international travel, compare travel insurance here before purchasing.

🧳 Storage: I love carrying my luggage, says no one! Find storage in the city to safely lock it and enjoy exploring the city without weighing your shoulders. Best €5 you will spend!

23 Most Magical Christmas Markets in Europe | Berlin, Germany | #ChristmasMarketsEurope #EuropeanWinterHolidays

Berlin, Germany

Festival Dates: Rotes Rathaus (November 27 – January 7) Charlottenburg Palace (November 27 – December 31)

Location: Rotes Rathaus Market- Neptunbrunnen am Alexanderplatz, Spandauer Straße; Charlottenburg Palace Market- Spandauer Damm 20

Weather: -7℃ to 4℃ (19-39°F), rainy or snowy

Hotels to Stay: 

Best tours in Berlin:

Berlin is a vast metropolis with more than 60 different Christmas markets, so it’s a great place to visit if you want variety.

You can easily visit several of them on one trip, but you shouldn’t miss Rotes Rathaus and Charlottenburg Palace. They’re both excellent for children but also enjoyable for those without children.

The Rotes Rathaus Christmas Market is one of the most popular Christmas markets in Berlin. It is located near the Red City Hall building, hence the name. Children will have fun riding the giant Ferris wheel or one of the carousels, or ice skating around the Neptune Fountain. Santa flying overhead in his sleigh three times a day will be a special treat.

Adults will enjoy a variety of mulled wine and other hot alcoholic beverages, and there is lots of food, from traditional German food to international cuisine like Thai food.

The Charlottenburg Palace Christmas Market is set in front of the palace, a gorgeous setting for Christmas cheer. Carolers regularly walk through the market singing Christmas songs, and at certain times of the day, Santa also makes the rounds. You can eat German food or other cuisines like Hungarian or Ukrainian, mulled wine, and drinks like hot mojitos or hot chocolate.

The palace is lovely to explore before or after visiting the Christmas market. And while you’re near the Rotes Rathaus, you can easily see the TV Tower or Museum Island.

Contributed by Ali from Berlin Travel Tips

23 Most Magical Christmas Markets in Europe | Munich, Germany | #ChristmasMarketsEurope #EuropeanWinterHolidays

Munich, Germany

Festival Dates: November 27 – December 23

Location: Wittelsbacherplatz, Brienerstrasse 6

Weather: The average day temperature in December is 4℃ (39°F) degrees during the day and -2℃ (28°F) at night.

Hotels to Stay:

Best Tours in Munich:

Munich in winter is particularly beautiful thanks to its fairytale atmosphere and stunning Christmas markets. The Medieval Christmas Market at Wittelsbacherplatz in Munich takes you back in history when the first Christmas markets appeared in central Europe in the medieval era.

Due to its historical character, the Medieval Christmas Market in Munich is considered particularly atmospheric.

All the stands are decorated in historical design down to the most minor details. Sellers wear traditional medieval clothing. You can also buy different kinds of handmade crafts and medieval clothing.

Food and drinks are served in plates and cups, replicating the old times.

Some must-try local specialties are roasted nuts, roasted wild boar sandwiches, and wine punch with rum (Feuerzangenbowle).

The place where the Medieval Christmas Market is held is small. And it often gets overcrowded. To avoid the crowds, the best time to visit this Christmas Market is on weekdays during the day.

Across the street from the Medieval Christmas Market at Wittelsbacherplatz, you can visit another cozy Christmas Market. It is nested inside the backyard of Munich’s Residenz Palace. It is particularly popular with families with small children.

Contributed by Anna Andrias from BigWorld Short Stories

23 Most Magical Christmas Markets in Europe | Nuremberg, Germany | #ChristmasMarketsEurope #EuropeanWinterHolidays

Nuremberg, Germany

Festival Dates: December 1 – 24, 2023

Location: On and around Nuremberg’s Main Market Square

Weather: between -2 and 4℃ (29 to 39 ℉). It will generally be quite cold and maybe rainy, snowy, or sunny.

Hotels to Stay:

Best Tours:

The Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt is one of the oldest and most famous in Germany. Its origins date back to the 16th century, and every year, over two million visitors from all over the world come to this Franconian city to enjoy the festive atmosphere.

Nuremberg is known for its small sausages and gingerbread. Luckily, both of these are readily available at the Christmas market. They make for a perfect holiday snack with a cup of Glühwein (mulled wine). 

Also, many stalls sell traditional Christmas ornaments – a great souvenir or gift to take back home.

As the Christmas Market is centrally located, it is easy to make a slight detour to see some of the beautiful Gothic churches and the Medieval castle. The toy museum is a definite highlight, especially for families!

The Nuremberg Christmas Market has always been a beloved destination for young and old, but since 1999, the adjacent Children’s Christmas Market has made it even more fun for little ones. In addition to a couple of carousel rides, there are hands-on booths with arts and crafts, as well as baking activities for kids.

The Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt is very popular, so booking a hotel well ahead of time is essential. Although the market is prettiest after dark, avoiding Friday and Saturday evenings is best as they can be overcrowded!

Contributed by Kitty from Kitty Meets World 

23 Most Magical Christmas Markets in Europe | Cologne, Germany | #ChristmasMarketsEurope #EuropeanWinterHolidays

Cologne, Germany

Festival Dates: November 23 – December 23

Location: Roncalliplatz, Cologne

Weather: high 6° / low 1°C (34-43℉), expect rain and cold weather.

Hotels to stay:

Best Tours in Cologne:

If you plan on visiting Europe and want to experience the best Christmas Markets, Cologne should be at the top of your list. Not only will you find unique gifts and plenty to do and see, but the atmosphere is guaranteed to get you in the Christmas Spirit!

Munich Christmas Market is the ultimate place for families, couples, and even solo travelers because there is something for everyone. One of the most popular things to do is to spend an hour on the Icerink. However, the best part of these markets is easily the food and drink selection. The best things to sample are Gluhwein and a traditional currywurst. 

Cologne Markets are also a fantastic place to find unique gifts you will not find anywhere else. From Christmas smokers to hand-carved kitchen items, you can do all your gift buying in one place. 

And as the markets are near the stunning Cathedral, you should take some time to explore it. For around 7 Euros, you can climb to the top and see the best city views. Just be aware that climbing to the top isn’t for everyone as they are old, narrow spiral steps. 

Contributed by Lowri Thomas From Many Other Roads

23 Most Magical Christmas Markets in Europe | Strasbourg, France | #ChristmasMarketsEurope #EuropeanWinterHolidays

Strasbourg, France

Dates: November 24 – December 24

Admission: Free

Location: Grand Ile, Strasbourg

Weather: -1-4℃ (30-40℉), generally somewhat overcast, with about 30% chance of rain

Hotels to Stay:

Best Tours in Strasbourg

Strasbourg is a delightful city to visit during Christmastime, as the town becomes aglow with the lights and sparkle of the holiday season.

Known as the “Capital of Christmas,” Strasbourg leans into that title. Intricate lights, decorations, and garlands adorn the half-timbered buildings all over town. And 12 different Christmas markets are dotting the Old City.

All the Christmas markets in Strasbourg have their charm, but there are a few standouts you cannot miss.

Le Grand Sapin market features a massive 30-meter-tall Christmas tree that twinkles with lights. Don’t miss the hourly light show on the Christmas tree! The Christkindelsmarik market at Hotel de Ville is the largest and has stall after stalls adorned with colorful, vibrant displays of Christmas ornaments and gifts.

The markets around the Strasbourg Cathedral are also very atmospheric, and include a charming carousel in the shadow of the Cathedral.

The markets run from Nov. 24- Dec. 24. You can find all sorts of things to buy at the markets, but I’d recommend shopping for unique Christmas decorations, nativity pieces, or traditional Alsacian treats. Try a baguette flambée (toasted baguette with cheese), a tarte flambée (like a thin, crispy pizza, but usually topped with cream, onions, and bacon), or a mannele (a soft bun).

Contributed by Stephanie from The Unknown Enthusiast

23 Most Magical Christmas Markets in Europe | Colmar, France | #ChristmasMarketsEurope #EuropeanWinterHolidays

Colmar, France

Festival Dates: November 24 – December 29, 2023

Location: Colmar Old Town

Weather: from 6 to 0℃ (43-32℉). Snow is expected at this time of the year.

Hotels to Stay: 

Best Tours in Colmar:

The Colmar Christmas Market is one of Europe’s most beautiful Christmas Markets. It is an excellent place for any traveler, from solo travelers to couples or families.

Colmar is located in the historical region of Alsace in Eastern France, not far from the border with Germany. It is an easy 2-hour ride by fast train from Paris and a mere half-hour ride from Strasbourg, Alsace’s capital.

There are many Christmas Markets within the Old Town, each with a distinct charm. The Old Town is very compact and pedestrian-friendly, so walking from one location to another is easy.

The Christmas Market locations are Place des Dominicains, Place Jeanne d’Arc, Place de l’Ancienne Douane, the Koïfus (former customs, indoor market), Petite Venise (for kids) and the Marché Gourmand (food market) at Rue de la Montagne Verte.

In each Christmas Market, you will find lovely gifts by skilled local craftsmen, comfort food typical of Alsace and mulled wine. The Petite Venise also has attractions for children, while the Marché Gourmand is focused on foods and drinks.

In addition to the markets, you can also visit the Unterlinden Museum (Arts from the Middle Ages and Renaissance). At the same time, children might prefer the Choco-Story Museum or the Toys Museum.

If possible, visit during the weekdays. The city gets overcrowded on Fridays and weekends, and it isn’t easy to stroll around. Book your hotel one year in advance for the best choice and prices.

Contributed by Elisa from France Bucket List

23 Most Magical Christmas Markets in Europe | Reims, France | #ChristmasMarketsEurope #EuropeanWinterHolidays

Reims, France

Festival Dates: November 24 – December 24, 2023

Location: Promenades Jean-Louis Schneiter

Weather: 2℃ – 6℃ (35 -43℉). It is cold with some snow and rain

Hotels to Stay:

Best Tours in Reims:

Just 45 minutes from Paris, the Reims Christmas Market is France’s 3rd largest Christmas market, with 150 chalets, attracting over 1.5 million visitors.

The Reims Christmas Market is steeped in history. Its roots trace back to 496 AD when King Clovis and his 3,000 warriors were baptized on Christmas Day by Bishop Rémi of Reims.

You will find everything you can expect during the holiday, including regional specialties, crafts and gifts. Of course, plenty of bubbly is on offer in Reims, the unofficial capital of Champagne.

From a Ferris wheel offering panoramic views of the city to the Children’s Kingdom and Santa’s House, the market caters to all ages, making it perfect for families and couples.

Make sure you try some of the gingerbread, local cheeses, truffled sausages, champagne jam and the unique pink biscuits, Biscuits Roses de Reims, along with festive favorites such as mulled wine, chestnuts and pastries.

One of the things you won’t want to miss is the Reims Regalia light show, a spectacular multimedia event that takes place on the façades of the Cathedral of Reims and the Basilica of Saint-Remi.

It is a free, open-air show that doesn’t require booking, making it easily accessible to all visitors. The show’s schedule for the 2023 season includes performances on Thursdays at 20:00 (lasting about 10 minutes) at the Basilica Saint-Remi and on Fridays and Saturdays at 20:00 (lasting about 15 minutes) at the Cathedral Notre-Dame. There is also a special showing on December 31 at 20:00 at the Cathedral Notre-Dame.

Contributed by Kylie from Life in Rural France

23 Most Magical Christmas Markets in Europe | Paris, France | #ChristmasMarketsEurope #EuropeanWinterHolidays

Paris, France

Festival Dates: Tuileries Garden Christmas Market, November 18, 2023 – January 7, 2024

Admission: free (fees for ice skating)

Location: Jardin des Tuileries (1st district)

Weather: 3°C to 8°C (32-46℉)

Hotel to stay: 

Best tours in Paris: 

Paris is known as the “City of Lights.” When you visit Paris during the festive season, you can truly understand why. The entire city lights up, and many Christmas markets pop up around the French capital.

The most iconic Christmas market in Paris for decades is Tuileries Garden. It is a collection of dozens of wooden chalets and roller coasters.

And you can find all kinds of French delicacies and seasonal specialties, including mulled wine, French onion soup, tartiflette, raclette, crepes, pomme d’amour, etc.

However, the highlight of Tuileries Christmas Market is its outdoor ice rink. It is one of the best places to go ice skating in Paris. Admission to the Tuileries ice rink costs €10 for adults and €8 for children, including skate rental.

Skating under Christmas lights is a very popular activity among families, groups of friends and couples. So, after 5 pm at dusk is the busiest time of the day. If you want to avoid the crowd, a morning session is recommended. 

If you wish to do a full Christmas tour of Paris, head to Galeries Lafayette to see its giant Christmas tree, the well-decorated Champs-Elysées Avenue and Galerie Vivienne.

Contributed by Soline from On the Road Diary

Where to Stay in Paris First Time | 10 Best Arrondissements to Stay in Paris for First-Time Visitors & On a Budget: Tips & Hotel recommendations, Things to Do in each area | #wheretostayParis #parishotels

Where to Stay in Paris?
Paris has 20 arrondissements with distinctive pockets of neighborhoods. While Paris is gorgeous, some areas are better than others for tourists to stay. Here’s your guide to 10 Best Areas in Paris for all travel styles and budgets.

23 Most Magical Christmas Markets in Europe | Ghent, Belgium | #ChristmasMarketsEurope #EuropeanWinterHolidays

Ghent, Belgium

Festival Dates: December 7 – December 31, 2023

Location: Ghent’s historic old town

Weather: Average temperatures in December range between 3°C and 10°C (38-50℉) with little rain and rare snow.

Hotels to Stay:

Best Tours in Ghent:

Ghent is a beautiful fairytale-like city any time of the year, but it turns into a magical setting come the holidays. Over 150 stalls line the historic city center from Korenmarkt to Saint Bavo’s Cathedral for the annual Gentse Winterfeesten or Ghent Winter Festival.

The Ghent Christmas market is free to enjoy for all those visiting and perfect for couples, families and solo travelers. Although it is the second biggest Christmas market in Belgium, it has a cozy feel with an easy-to-navigate layout.

Besides roaming from one Christmas chalet to the next in search of that perfect gift, top activities include enjoying a gluhwein or beer at the Moose Bar, ice skating, and riding the Ferris wheel.

Surrounded by illuminated lights, wreaths, and garland, visitors can take a moment to indulge in a delicious wurst sandwich, frites, waffles, and the seasonal Sneeuwballen candy.

Guests to the winter festival can climb to the top of Ghent’s Belfry for panoramic views overlooking the Christmas market festivities. No visit to this medieval city is complete without visiting Gravensteen Castle, which is set in the middle of the town, with an entertaining audio guide.

Contributed by Vanessa from Traveling Ness

23 Most Magical Christmas Markets in Europe | Basel, Swiss | #ChristmasMarketsEurope #EuropeanWinterHolidays

Basel, Switzerland

Festival Dates: November 23 – December 23, 2023 Daily from 11 am to 8:30 pm.

Admission: Free

Location: Barfusserplatx and Munsterplatx in Basel, Switzerland

Weather: High 40° / Low 23° C, most cloudy

Hotels to Stay:

Best Tours in Basel:

Discover the magic of Christmas in Basel at Switzerland’s two best Christmas Markets. With over 155 charming wooden stalls, these markets are the ultimate holiday destinations.

Step into the Old Town and immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere at the Barfusserplatz Market. Located near the beautiful Barfusser Church, this market offers unique treasures like cookie molds, hand-painted ornaments, and delectable treats. And don’t miss the magnificent Christmas Pyramid, where you can sip on warm Glühwein while enjoying the festive sights.

Head over to the Munsterplatz Market, nestled by the Basel Minster, and be captivated by the stunning Christmas tree adorned with ornaments designed by the renowned artist Johann Wanner. You’ll find a treasure trove of handmade gifts and food stalls here.

Just next to the Munsterplatz, there’s a children’s market called Marchenwald, where little ones can take part in immersive experiences tailored just for them.

Explore the mile-long Avantsgass im Glaibasel, a food market along the Rheingasse, where foodies enjoy sausages, Swiss raclette, Basel Läckerlim, and Glühwein.

Beyond the Christmas Markets, Basel has many activities to enjoy. The city is blessed with the stunning Rhine River as its backdrop. At the Basel Theatre, immerse yourself in the holiday spirit with daily stage presentations and a new Advent Calendar window opening. And remember to visit the Basel City Hall, where you can share your Advent wishes in the Wish Book. With over 40 museums, Basel truly offers something for everyone.

Contributed by Becky Bodnum from Cultivate Traveling 

23 Most Magical Christmas Markets in Europe | Zurich, Swiss | #ChristmasMarketsEurope #EuropeanWinterHolidays

Zurich, Switzerland

Festival Dates: 23rd November to 24th December.

Admission: No admission fees, with the markets spread out across the city.

Location: The main locations include Niederdorf quarter in the old city, Wienachtsdorf village near the opera house, and Zurich train station.

Weather: Wear warm clothing as the December temperatures are usually under 6℃ (42.8℉) with high chances of snow!

Hotels to stay at:

Best Tours:

Visiting Zurich for the Christmas markets is a magical moment for all to experience. From the singing Christmas tree with festive carols to the winter markets and the delicious local warm delicacies, it makes a holiday extra special and festive.

Throughout the event, live music performances occur in main locations such as the Niederdorf quarter in the old city, Wienachtsdorf village near the opera house, and Zurich train station.

All these locations also have Christmas market stands, with the train station having more than 130 to enjoy!

As for the delicacies, you will find international options, typical Swiss fondue, bread filled with melted cheese, and the sweetest desserts like crepes. You definitely won’t be hungry with so much to choose from!

Zurich Christmas Markets are great for all ages, with a few activities for those with young children. Those looking to party with friends head to the courtyard of the Swiss National Museum. Here, you will find live DJs, food stands and a great place surrounded by festive lights.

For those looking to see the city from above, head up to the Observation deck viewpoint near the public university. It’s easy to get to with the city funicular for just a few CHFs. Alternatively, walk up for free!

Contributed by Zoe from Together In Switzerland

23 Most Magical Christmas Markets in Europe | Gothenburg, Sweden | #ChristmasMarketsEurope #EuropeanWinterHolidays

Gothenburg, Sweden

Festival Dates: Weekends from mid-November to early January. Every day from December 6-30th.

Admission: From 125 SEK. Some dates are more expensive. 255 SEK for unlimited access to the amusement rides.

Location: Liseberg Amusement Park, Gothenburg, Sweden

Weather: Chilly with temperatures ranging from -1°C to 3°C (30°F to 37°F). Expect a mix of cloudy and clear days, with occasional rain or snow.

Hotels to Stay:

Best Tours in Gothenburg:

The Liseberg Christmas Market in Gothenburg, Sweden, is one of many great Christmas Markets in the city. The Liseberg Amusement Park transforms into a winter wonderland full of Christmas decorations and a magical atmosphere.

At Liseberg Christmas Market, you can enjoy trying traditional Swedish foods such as pepparkakor (gingerbread cookies) and glögg, which is like mulled wine but includes dried fruit and nuts. You’ll find stalls selling Christmas decorations, home goods, and scented products that make great gifts.

There’s also an ice-skating rink, merry-go-rounds, live concerts, a chance to visit Santa’s workshop, and the giant Ferris wheel you can ride to see out over Gothenburg.

The market takes about half a day to explore, depending on whether you want to go on the rides.

Besides the Christmas market, there’s plenty to do in Gothenburg. Ride the ferries between the archipelago off the coast, where you’ll find cute little villages and beautiful views.

Or, visit the Haga district of Gothenburg, the oldest in the city. You can find many cute shops with beautiful Scandinavian-designed goods and cafes perfect for enjoying a Fika (cake and coffee). Be sure to try a cinnamon bun (kanelbulle).

Gothenburg is great for both couples and families. As a Swedish city, everywhere is inviting for children, and the rides and games at Liseberg Christmas Market will keep kids entertained. However, it’s equally fun for couples without children.

Contributed by Hannah from That Adventurer Blog

23 Most Magical Christmas Markets in Europe | Riga, Latvia | #ChristmasMarketsEurope #EuropeanWinterHolidays

Riga, Latvia

Festival Dates: December 3, 2023 – January 8, 2024

Admission: Free

Location: Dome Square (Doma laukums, Centra rajons, Rīga, LV-1050)

Weather: The average temperature in December is 1°C (33°F) high and -3 °C (27°F) low. With an average of 12 rainy days, expect the weather to be humid or snowy.

Hotels to Stay:

Best Tours in Riga:

When exploring the best Christmas markets in Europe, the Riga Christmas Market in the historic Dome Square is a must-visit destination. This market, nestled in the heart of Riga’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, offers a glimpse into the traditional Latvian culture, making it an ideal stop for Christmas enthusiasts. The market’s size is manageable, allowing for a more intimate and less crowded experience compared to some of Europe’s larger markets.

Shopping enthusiasts will find an array of unique gifts and souvenirs. Handmade woolen mittens, amber jewelry, and intricate wooden carvings are popular.

Be sure to try the ‘piparkūkas’ (gingerbread cookies) and ‘karstvīns’ (mulled wine), a staple at the market. Hearty Latvian dishes, such as ‘piragi’ (bacon buns), provide warmth and sustenance on chilly evenings.

For those looking to explore beyond the market, Riga’s Old Town offers a labyrinth of cobblestone streets filled with historic architecture, cozy cafes, and museums. The Art Nouveau district, with its stunningly ornate buildings, is a short walk away and is a must-see.

The Riga Christmas Market is perfect for couples seeking a romantic holiday experience and families looking for a festive outing. Visiting during the evening offers a magical experience as the lights add to the festive atmosphere.

To fully enjoy the market, dress warmly – Latvian winters are cold! Wear a proper winter coat and boots, preferably waterproof. While credit cards are widely accepted, carrying cash at the stalls is advisable for smaller purchases.

Contributed by Una from Wandernity

23 Most Magical Christmas Markets in Europe | Bratislava, Slovakia | #ChristmasMarketsEurope #EuropeanWinterHolidays

Bratislava, Slovakia

Festival Dates: November 23 – December 23.

Admission: Free

Location: Main square & Hviezdoslavovo square

Weather: Temperature ranges from 39°F (4°C) to a low of 28°F (-2°C). Expect a very cold visit, with snow often falling in December.

Hotels to Stay:

Best Tours: 

Bratislava is a hidden gem in Eastern Europe, best known for its iconic Castle perched high above the city. In December, the city offers a festive delight for visitors through its famous Christmas Market.

Several markets are spread across the small city, which is walkable at any time of year. The most famous market is located in the Main Square.

As you wander around the Main Square, you will find stalls offering a combination of local Slovak food, cold and warm beverages, and quirky festive souvenirs. On weekends, there is also entertainment in the Main Square with local bands playing on a large stage, specially constructed for the festive season.

If you want a brief escape from the crispness of Christmas, you can head over to one of the quirky cafes in the Main Square. Enjoy warm festivities with local delicacies and themed decorations, turning them into a winter paradise.

During the frostiness of the Slovakian capital, its castle offers a different dimension, with a chilly eerie swirl around its grounds. It makes for a great cheap activity if you wish to take a break from Christmas festivities.

Bratislava Christmas Market stalls are set up for socializing with a warm drink, welcoming everyone from families to couples to friends.

If you want a spectacular view of the Christmas Markets, head up the Old Town Hall Tower for a unique bird’s-eye view. Old Town Hall Tower opens from 10 am to 6 pm, Tuesday-Sunday. Admission is €8 for Adults or €4 for children.

Contributed by Tom from Tom Henty’s Travel

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23 Best Christmas Markets in Europe for your bucket list | #ChristmasMarketsEurope #EuropeanWinterHolidays

23 Most Magical Christmas Markets in Europe | Budapest, Hungary | #ChristmasMarketsEurope #EuropeanWinterHolidays

Budapest, Hungary

Festival Dates: November 17, 2023 – January 1, 2024 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Location: Christmas Market at Vörösmarty Square, district V.

Weather: Average high: 3°C (38℉) | Average low: -2°C (28℉)

Winters in Budapest can be brutal despite the rather mild averages. Luckily, there may be some sunny days but expect damp weather with snow sometimes.

Hotels to Stay:

Best Tours in Budapest:

Sprawling on two sides of the Danube, Budapest tells the tale of two cities: Buda and Pest. But Budapest in winter is particularly a magical time with both sides putting up their fancy clothes for the Holidays.

In mid-late November each year, Christmas Markets & Fairs pop up throughout the city. There are 13 holiday markets and fairs during this time of the year, including in Vörösmarty Square and in front of St. Stephen’s Basilica. (If you want to be in the middle of it all, stay in Pest.)

The most popular one takes place in Vörösmarty Square. This market includes around 100 stalls selling traditional food, Christmas ornaments, and winter beverages. Make sure to try the mulled wine and the traditional palinka. Goulash, stuffed cabbage, langos, flat bread (lepény), chimney cake are all traditional foods that keep you full during the cold winters.

With plenty of activities for kids, including caroling and visits from Santa, the Christmas Market in Vörösmarty Square is an excellent choice for a family vacation.

Aside from spending time at the Christmas markets, Budapest also offers plenty of other things to do. Don’t miss out on shopping at the Grand Central Market Hall. Stroll along the Danube Embankment, walk on Andrássy Avenue, explore Heroes Square, and visit Buda Castle.

Contributed by Cris from LooknWalk

23 Most Magical Christmas Markets in Europe | Prague, Czech Republic | #ChristmasMarketsEurope #EuropeanWinterHolidays

Prague, Czech Republic

Festival Dates: December 2, 2023 – January 6, 2024

Location: Old Town Square

Weather: The average high for December is 40°F (4°C), and average lows are 32°F (0°C). Snow and rain are possible, but the city only sees about an inch of precipitation.

Hotels to stay:

Best Tours in Prague:

The Prague Christmas Market is one of the most beloved in Europe and Prague’s most beautiful of its kind. The city’s primary market is in the Old Town Square, in the heart of the city. Travelers of all ages will find something to love about this market.

A towering Christmas tree stands as the centerpiece, adorned with many dazzling ornaments and lights. The iconic buildings of the square also make a breathtaking backdrop to the festivities.

There are hundreds of booths selling food, handmade ornaments, trinkets, and more.

The Christmas market is the perfect opportunity to try traditional Czech street food, from Prague ham, grilled sausages, fried cheese, and potato dumplings. Be sure to grab an Instagrammable Trdelnik pasty and svařené víno, or mulled wine (one of the best things about visiting Prague in winter).

As the city’s most popular market, note that it will be pretty busy and crowded at all times of the day. It is worth it for the magical vibes, though! It is also one of the only markets open into January so that you can experience the festivities after Christmas.

There are several other Christmas Markets throughout the city, including at Prague Castle and Wenceslas Square, along with smaller ones at Republic and Peace Squares.

Contributed by Caroline from Pictures and Words Blog

23 Most Magical Christmas Markets in Europe | Zagreb, Croatia | #ChristmasMarketsEurope #EuropeanWinterHolidays

Zagreb, Croatia

Festival Dates: December 2, 2023 – January 7, 2024

Admission: Free

Location: Ban Jelacic Square, Zrinjevac Park, Upper town, King Tomislav Square, and more.

Weather: Temperature ranges between 0℃ and 5 ℃ (30-41℉), although it can often go below 0℃. Usually sunny and dry with the possibility of snow. Bring gloves and a hat because the cold can be brisk!

Hotels to Stay:

Best Tours in Zagreb

Zagreb has a magical Christmas market, awarded “Best Christmas Market in Europe” three years in a row.

Zagreb Christmas markets last from early December to early January. Most of the locations are fairly close to each other.

Anyone who enjoys a traditional Christmas market with lots of lights, excellent traditional food, and an abundance of mulled wine will be charmed by Zagreb’s many Christmassy locations.

One of the most popular Christmas markets is Fulirangje, a foodie heaven on Strossmayer Square. Another popular attraction is Ice Park, which features a huge ice rink on King Tomislav Square. For romantic walks and gorgeous Instagram photos, visit the upper town and Zrinjevac Park, the most decorated locations in Zagreb! The ice rink on King Tomislav Square is the perfect location for families to make fun Christmas memories.

The food at the Christmas market locations is quite pricey, but there are many great restaurants to visit for someone looking for more affordable options. Some of the favorites are Nokturno, La Štruk, and Batak.

Overall, Christmas in Zagreb is the most stunning time of the year. Don’t miss this European gem!

Contributed by Karla from Karla Types

23 Most Magical Christmas Markets in Europe | Vilnius, Lithuania | #ChristmasMarketsEurope #EuropeanWinterHolidays

Vilnius, Lithuania

Festival Dates: November 26, 2023 – January 1, 2024

Location: Cathedral Square, and outside the Town Hall

Weather: High of 0℃ (32°F), and low of -5℃ (23°F)

Hotels to Stay:

Best Tours in Vilnius:

Vilnius Old Town is one of the largest towns in Northern Europe, spanning 887 acres. It hosts one of the most beautiful Christmas Markets in Europe!

The stunning Vilnius Christmas Market is a hidden gem. It is yet more affordable and less crowded than other European countries during the holiday.

One section of the Vilnius Christmas Market is located in Cathedral Square, while the other is outside the Town Hall within walking distance.

The Cathedral Square market is the main one, with a 100-foot tall Christmas tree uniquely decorated every year, along with a vendor market in the rustic wooden-roof chalets.

Near the Town Hall Christmas Market, you can find another large Christmas tree surrounded by snow globe cafes, where you can enjoy a hot drink, such as mulled wine. There are also some vendors set up during the day.

In addition, there is a charming Christmas train that winds its way through Old Town. Families with children can ride the train and enjoy the festive sights of Old Town at Christmas.

Aside from the Vilnius Christmas Market, other things to check out in Vilnius in winter include the gorgeous Trakai Castle, which is covered in a thin layer of snow, and the Uzupis neighborhood, which exudes an artsy bohemian vibe.

Vilnius is a walkable city, making it easy to navigate for anyone, whether traveling as couples or families with children on holiday.

Contributed by Kristin from Tiny Footsteps Travel

23 Most Magical Christmas Markets in Europe | Seville, Spain | #ChristmasMarketsEurope #EuropeanWinterHolidays

Seville, Spain

Festival Dates: December 1st – January 6th

Admission: Free

Location: Plaza Nueva and surrounding areas

Weather: Mild Andalusian winter with temperatures ranging from 8°C to 15°C (46°F to 59°F). Expect sunny days, making it a perfect atmosphere to explore the festive market.

Hotels to Stay:

Best Tours in Seville:

Seville’s Christmas Market is a beautiful tapestry of Spanish Christmas traditions, blending tradition and festivity in the heart of Andalusia. The city’s vibrant energy during Christmas is perfect for couples seeking a romantic getaway and families creating lasting holiday memories.

Seville’s Christmas market occurs in a historic and iconic location, adding a unique ambiance to the festive atmosphere. Walking past the stalls, you will see the Giralda, the Cathedral’s iconic tower, the Biblioteca de las Indias and the Alcazar, the Moorish castle.

The market boasts an array of handcrafted decorations, artisanal gifts, and local treats, creating an enchanting atmosphere. Visitors can indulge in seasonal delights like turron (nougat) and churros while exploring the diverse stalls.

Given Seville’s deep connection to flamenco, you will likely find live flamenco performances in and around the Christmas market.

Compared to many other European Christmas markets, Seville benefits from a mild climate. Visitors can enjoy the market comfortably outdoors without facing frigid temperatures.

Beyond the market, Seville offers architectural wonders like the Cathedral and Alcázar. Consider joining a guided tour to uncover the city’s rich history.

Contributed by Paulina from Visit Southern Spain

23 Most Magical Christmas Markets in Europe | Manchester, U.K. | #ChristmasMarketsEurope #EuropeanWinterHolidays

Manchester, England

Festival Dates: From mid-November to the end of December

Location: Manchester

Weather: The average temperature in December is 46°F (8°C). Unlikely to snow, but expect rain during the day.

Hotels to Stay:

Best Tours in Manchester:

Manchester Christmas Markets are one of the largest Christmas markets in all of England. With over 300 stalls, there is something for everyone, whether searching for the perfect gift or simply wanting to soak up the festive atmosphere.

The Christmas market in Manchester promises a delightful experience filled with festive cheer and memorable moments for couples and families. Families can enjoy activities and attractions for children, such as Santa’s Grotto or ice skating. Couples can get festive while enjoying mulled Cider or hot whisky at Picadilly Gardens.

If you’re planning a visit to the Christmas market in Manchester, here are a few insights and tips.

First, the best time to visit is during weekdays. It can get quite crowded, especially on weekends. Second, dress warmly, as the weather can be chilly during December. Lastly, don’t forget to bring some cash, as not all stalls may accept card payments.

While the Christmas market is a highlight, other places in Manchester are worth exploring.

The city is known for its rich history and vibrant culture, so you can walk around the historic Northern Quarter, visit the impressive Manchester Cathedral, or explore the fascinating National Football Museum. Football fans can also book a visit to Etihad Stadium.

Contributed By Paulina from the UK Every Day

23 Most Magical Christmas Markets in Europe | Vienna, Austria | #ChristmasMarketsEurope #EuropeanWinterHolidays

Vienna, Austria

Festival Dates: Late November to Christmas Eve

Admission: Free

Locations: Rathausplatz (City Hall Square), Schönbrunn Palace Market, Belvedere Palace Market (and many more!)

Weather: 0°C to 5°C (32-41°F). Occasional snowfall for a picturesque setting.

Hotels to Stay:

Best Tours in Vienna:

Christmas in Vienna isn’t your average one-stop-shop affair — it’s a festive adventure spread across different spots with Rathausplatz, a dazzling ballroom of lights; Schönbrunn Palace Market, an imperial waltz of flavors; and Belvedere Palace Market, a whimsical dance of festive delights. And do not forget Stephenplatz, Karlsplatz, and Maria-Theresien-Platz Christmas markets!

Each market is a distinct adventure, a treasure trove of traditional crafts, and a playground for gourmet delights, making them perfect for couples looking for a relaxed winter break and families wanting a taste of Austrian holiday traditions.

If you plan a trip to Vienna this Christmas, get ready to warm up with mulled wine, nibble on roasted chestnuts or lebkuchen, and get lost in the sea of stalls!

Beyond the markets, discover the stunning halls of Schönbrunn or take a leisurely walk around the charming gardens of Belvedere. And don’t forget to catch the nightly musical performances and the festive tree lighting ceremonies.

Lastly, immerse yourself in the city’s musical heritage with a classical concert. It’s a genuine Viennese experience that adds a cultural note to your Christmas escape.

Contributed by Goya from Goya Galeotta

23 Most Magical Christmas Markets in Europe | Tallinn, Estonia | #ChristmasMarketsEurope #EuropeanWinterHolidays

Tallinn, Estonia

Festival Dates: December 1, 2023 – January 7, 2024

Admission: Free

Location: Town Hall Square, Tallinn

Weather: Temperature ranges between -15 ℃ and -3℃ (5-26℉). It is usually raining or snowing.

Hotels to Stay:

Best Tours in Tallinn:

If you want to visit Europe in winter, consider Tallinn in Estonia. The Tallinn Christmas market has been voted the best in Europe multiple times!

The best thing about this Christmas market is the location since it is located in the old town square. The entire place turns into a fairytale wonderland during Christmas. With the illuminated Christmas tree right in the middle of the square, it becomes more magical with snow.

Diverse vendors sell anything from food to Christmas goodies and ornaments. Check out traditional Estonian Christmas cuisines, such as black pudding, sour cabbages, gingerbread and mulled wine.

Also, live performances by artists take place on the main stage; watching the Estonian dances is such a pleasure. For children, there is a cute little merry-go-round.

Plan your trip once it starts snowing in Tallinn to experience its magical Christmas market, whether for couples or families. And while visiting the city, consider taking a walking tour with a local to learn about its rich history and culture.

Contributed by Soumya Nambiar from Travel, Books & Food

23 Most Magical Christmas Markets in Europe | Oslo, Norway | #ChristmasMarketsEurope #EuropeanWinterHolidays

Oslo, Norway

Festival Dates: October 30 – December 19, 2023

Admission: Free

Location: Spikersuppa

Weather: Below freezing point (0°C / 32°F)

Hotels to Stay:

Best tours in Oslo: 

When you think of Scandinavia, you think of cold weather, snow and winter. This is precisely what Oslo offers in December, along with a cozy Christmas market.

The market is a typical European Christmas market with many stalls, a Ferris wheel, a helter-skelter, and many opportunities to buy warm food and drinks. Make sure to try Gløgg, a Norwegian mulled wine!

But what makes Oslo’s market special is the opportunity to go ice skating in the center of the market. It’s an authentic Scandinavian experience to ice skate outdoors.

If you visit with kids, Sunday is the day most locals take their children, so it could be a good idea for you to do so, too. But if you don’t have kids, go on a different day. It also opens midday and is significantly quieter during the daytime than at night. 

Oslo makes for the perfect trip for anyone and everyone. The atmosphere in Oslo is so relaxed and peaceful that it makes for a laid-back city break in winter. And the Christmas market sums the city up perfectly: cozy! 

Contributed by Josh from A Backpacker’s World 

Bon Voyage!