The six best Christmas markets in Europe and why you need to visit them!
Bored of your local Christmas markets? Try something different by experiencing some of the best Christmas markets in Europe! Whether you’re already en-route to a European destination or you want some Christmas inspiration to plan your next trip, here are some of Europe’s BIGGEST Christmas markets and what to do there. It’s going to be a magical Christmas!
Vienna hosts a whole bunch of Christmas markets, with over 20 festive pop-up villages for you to browse over. Although we’d love to name them all, we’re going to suggest the Viennese Dream Christmas Market! This huge market is one of the best Christmas markets in Europe and is the biggest one in Vienna. It’s set in front of the City Hall, perfect for tourists to find and a great location for unforgettable pictures. The market is completely free to enter on the weekends, and there’s even a section devoted to keeping your excited children entertained! Here you can listen to Christmas carols sung by international choirs, bake cookies with your kids, or hunt for the perfect stocking fillers for Christmas Day. Opposite the markets in the park, you can pop on some skates and try out the illuminated ice rink. The Markets are open from the 15th November until the 26th December, so you have plenty of time to check it out!
Prague, Czech Republic
If you want to see some authentic Czech Christmas souvenirs, Old Town Square in Prague should be your first stop. One of the best Christmas markets in Europe, Prague go all out for the festive period. In the centre of the markets is a huge twinkling Christmas tree and food stalls send out delicious aromas to get your stomach rumbling! You can pet the donkeys and goats in the Nativity stable, too. Walk through the rows of wooden stalls and browse the handcrafted gifts, Christmas ornaments, and souvenirs. While in Czech you have to try out the famous trdelník, a sweet and sugary spiral-shaped dough that comes with lots of different toppings. If you’re looking for any Christmas-themed souvenirs, we suggest buying a traditional Czech glass bauble to hang on your tree! The Prague Christmas markets are open from the 30th November until the 6th January, giving you more than enough time to enjoy the stalls.
Voted the best Christmas market in Europe of 2019, Tallinn has secured itself a place on our list. The small but cosy set of Christmas stalls are surrounded by beautiful medieval buildings. Here you can meet Santa, purchase some hand-knitted winter accessories, or fill up on some sumptuous gingerbread. There’s a festive carousel for all the children to enjoy, and a huge stage where Santa appears to great everyone. This set of Christmas markets is very visually appealing and is great if you want a picture under all the fairy lights. Tallinn’s markets are open from the 15th November till the 7th of January, so you can even experience the markets after the new year!
One of the best Christmas markets in Europe is across the British Channel, in the UK. The lively town of Manchester is home to one of the biggest Christmas markets in England. Many French, German, and Austrian craftsmen come over the pond to cook and trade their country’s food and souvenirs. Buy from a selection of French and Dutch cheeses, enjoy a warm and creamy cup of hot chocolate, or play with some classic hand-carved wooden toys. The markets are split up throughout the city centre, with sections in St Peter’s Square, Piccadilly Gardens, and Market Street. The markets also contain a snow globe bar, where you can listen to live music while you sip on cocktails! Manchester’s Christmas markets will open on the 8th November until the 21st December, so if you want to experience one of the UK’s top Christmas markets, you’ll have to be quick!
This world-renowned Christmas market is one you need to visit during the opening ceremony. The traditional Nuremberg Christkind appears from the balcony of the Church of Our Lady to open the holiday season; something that you don’t see very often at Christmas market! Browse the selection of worldwide souvenirs, grab a bratwurst and some gingerbread, or snap a few pictures with Christkind herself! You’ll find many weird and wonderful items at this Christmas market, like the Nuremberg Prune Men! These little figures are made from dried prunes and figs and are quirky, to say the least. If you’re fond of quirky ornaments and European tradition, Nuremberg is definitely one of the best Christmas markets in Europe to visit! Open from the 29th November until the 24th December, you’ve got less than a month to make your way to Nuremberg!
One of the oldest and best Christmas markets in Europe, and located in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Strasbourg’s markets are pretty showstopping. In the heart of the Grande Île, the self-proclaimed Capital of Christmas offers locals and tourists an authentic Alsatian Christmas. Try out the many wines up for tasting, or marvel at the majestic Great Christmas Tree set in Place Kléber. Spread over a massive 11 sites, this ancient Christmas market is one of the biggest in Europe, too! This market is only open from the 22nd November until the 30th December, so be quick to avoid disappointment!
If you’ve finished planning all your adventures this year, why not start your planning for next year? Get ahead of the summer rush and find the perfect holiday spot for 2020! Check out our blog on the top summer tourist destinations.