11 Best Christmas Markets In Europe
Winter is a magical time in Europe, European towns and cities are transformed into a winter wonderland. Travel across the continent and discover some of the most festive Christmas markets in Europe. Indulge in the celebration with the sounds of Christmas carols, as the aromas of gingerbread and mulled wine fill the air. What better way to kick off the festive celebrations than diving into the magical atmosphere at the Christmas Markets. Here are 11 Christmas markets in Europe which are worth a visit.
1Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen
Address: Tivoli Gardens Vesterbrogade 3, 1630 København V, Denmark
The Tivoli Gardens in Denmark is transformed into a festive wonderland during the winter holidays. The garden is draped in twinkling lights, with more than 1000 beautifully decorated Christmas trees and over 70,000 baubles hang around the garden. There are over 60 Christmas stalls which are bursting with decorations, souvenirs, sweets, mulled wine and many other Christmas delicacies. Take a stroll through the stalls, experience the Tivoli Youth Guard’s illuminated parades and get yourself in the festive spirit at this Christmas market.
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Address: Around Ban Josipa Jelačića Square, King Tomislav Square
The capital of Croatia has been listed amongst the leading Christmas markets in Europe for several years in a row. Zagreb’s main square and the adjacent Zrinjevac Park are completely transformed for Christmas festivities. During the holiday season, the centre of the city is occupied by numerous beautifully decorated stands where you can sample the traditional delicacies and take home a piece of the tradition with you from one of the many gifts and souvenirs stands. There’s plenty more at the Zagreb Christmas market including an ice skating, various performances along with concerts and Christmas tales.
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3Dresden Christmas Market (Dresden Striezelmarkt), Germany
Address: Altmarkt, 01067 Dresden
Dating back to the 15th century and representing Germany’s most popular and oldest Christmas market is the Dresden Striezelmarkt. The historic Altmarkt Square in Dresden is transformed into a winter wonderland. Dresden Striezelmarkt stands as one of the best Christmas markets in Europe.
Every year, the main attractions include a towering 48-foot Christmas Erzgebirge step pyramid (which made its way into the Guinness Book of World Records in 1999 for the largest walk-in candle arch), a vintage Ferris wheel featuring candy-striped gondolas, and over 200 Christmas booths that are bursting with traditional foods, mulled wine, handmade crafts souvenirs. There is also a daily lineup of cultural Christmas events along with elaborate nativity scenes.
One of the must-try at this Christmas market is Germany is a traditional sweet braided cake called ‘Christstollen’ or ‘Stollen’. In fact, this Christmas markets name ‘Striezel’ actually refers to the ‘Stollen’ cake and one of the highlights at the Dresden Striezelmarkt is the Stollen Festival, where a grand Stollen cake is paraded through the streets of the city before being shared with the public.
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Address: Dotted Around The Old Town
This northern town in France has been attracting visitors from all over the world due to its architecture, culture and unique atmosphere for many years. The Christmas season is no exception, which is why it is one of the top Christmas markets in Europe. Colmar’s six Christmas markets, located right in the heart of the historic town centre. Colmar’s Christmas Markets are amongst the most well-known in the Alsace region, and one of the most photographed in Europe.
Set against a backdrop of fantastical half-timbered buildings and beautifully adorned canals. The lights and decorations will transport you into a Christmas fantasy as you walk among the stalls and wooden chalets. The tiny squares abound in holiday fairs offering local specialities. The Christmas lights and decorations simply add up to the dreamlike ambience. Stroll down the beautifully lit streets around the Capital of Alsatian Wine, soaking in the ambiance in a town whose magnificent heritage offers the ideal setting for the celebrations!
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Address: Szent István tér, 5th district, Pest – Budapest
Budapest has various Christmas markets, all the Christmas-themed events revolve around the St. Stephen’s Basilica and the city’s main squares in Budapest. Alike other Christmas markets in Europe, Budapest presents a range of holiday fairs and activities with a particular ethnic touch while accentuating the architecture of the Hungarian city.
As one of the best Christmas markets in Europe, here you can experience different local delicacies including the world-famous Hungarian chimney cake. This cylindrical pastry being named Kürtoskalács in Magyar and served mainly at weddings along with various snacks will lead to a total gastronomical ecstasy. Some cute handicrafts will perfectly crown your Hungarian trip.
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Related: 10 Top things to do in Budapest
Address: Located between the Grand-Place, Rue de la Bourse, Place Sainte-Catherine, and Marché aux Poissons – Vismet.
Brussels offers a great variety of Christmas events from the end of November. You will be able to witness here the famous live show and video mapping. Spreading out over the capital, with over 250 wooden chalet stalls, serving toasty waffles, warming mulled wine and, of course, Belgian beers and chocolates, The Brussels Christmas market is well worth a visit.
Together with a gigantic Christmas tree, it aims at creating a perfect festive atmosphere at the Grand Place. Plus the Ferris wheel and merry-go-rounds in the aligning areas make the city an ideal destination for Christmas time. Illuminated Christmas market will be at your full service for savouring Belgian chocolates, waffles, cheese and mulled wine.
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7Prague, Czech Republic
Address: Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square
Another great place for passing your winter holidays and exploring one of the best Christmas markets in Europe in Prague. The major sites of amusement are represented by the Old Town and Wenceslas Squares. A large Christmas market is also hosted on the square in front of St. George’s Basilica at Prague Castle. The Christmas huts are scattered here and there allowing the city visitors to enrich their collections with beautiful handicrafts while tasting local food and beverages.
The most striking sight during the Prague Christmas Markets is the huge 25m Christmas tree planted in Old Town Square, which is imported from the Czech Republic’s st nad Labem area of North Bohemia.The tree is decked up in red and gold decorations and a blaze of lights. It’s a stunning sight against the dark Gothic skyline. The renowned Nativity scene and a number of concerts held in Churches and historical buildings make part of traditional Christmas festivities. Yet the subject matter of the forthcoming events in Prague will be disclosed only by the end of the month.
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Address: Outside Rathaus city hall
The arrival of Christmas might well be the most impressive event in Vienna, Austria. Each square and building is mantled with festoons speaking to the mood of visitors. Roughly 150 chalets make up the festive markets at Schönbrunn and Freyung being part of the most remarkable Christmas markets in Europe. Culinary specialities, hot drinks, holiday gifts and decorations are going to add up to your Viennese memories. The jovial atmosphere is strengthened by the Christmas choirs and music around as well as by a huge ice platform in the city centre. If you opt for a quiet and peaceful holiday ambience, Vienna is the right choice for you.
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9Cologne Cathedral Christmas Market (Weihnachtsmarkt am Kölner Dom), Germany
Address: Cologne Cathedral, Domkloster 4, 50667 Köln, Germany
No less exciting variation of Christmas markets in Europe is exhibited every year in Cologne. Spread throughout the city, the embellished booths offer a wide selection of gastronomical delights and handmade objects. The upcoming festive events promise some indelible memories. With hundreds of glittering lights strung overhead like stars and angels flying between lavishly painted gables, Markt der Engel provides some of the most spectacular moments.
Nikolausdorf (Saint Nicholas’ village) is geared toward children and portrays the narrative of the genuine St. Nicholas, with the 13th-century Hahnen gate rising magnificently in the background. Angels may be seen everywhere, not just as sculptures or figurines, but as live beings. The reading hour with an angel is popular. If you want something more exciting, slip on your skates and head to Heumarkt’s outdoor ice rink.
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Address: Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz, right in the centre of the city
Switzerland’s one of the most notable Christmas markets takes place in Basel (Basler Weihnacht). The city’s main squares welcome their guests with golden glitters and a number of down-to-earth delights like local gingerbreads, waffles, and wine. The charming Christmas market can be located on Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz, right in the heart of the festively adorned Old Town. Meanwhile, the spectacular Christmas tree with the decorations by Johann Wanner will affect every passer-by. While strolling among the stalls on Münsterplatz in the evening, don’t forget to take a little trip to the Pfalz.
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Address: Place Broglie and around the cathedral (Place de la Cathédrale)
Representing the centre of the Alsace region, Strasbourg with its famous Christmas markets in Europe offers a rather German-influenced atmosphere during the festive season. Although the city can’t boast of great sizes, the annual Christmas markets here take pride in their profusion. 300 traditional market stalls fill the city’s primary squares, specialising in hand-painted wooden Christmas decorations. Indeed, there are 11 Christmas ‘sales points’ all over the city. Each one displays its own peculiarities introducing the best of local delicacies, wines and handicrafts. You will also have the chance to enjoy one of a kind Christmas tree thoroughly embellished with garlands and decorations.
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