As the nights draw in and the countdown to the festive season begins, you can start planning your trip to the best European Christmas markets! There’s something magical about this time of year, and there’s no better way to get into the Christmas spirit than visiting an authentic seasonal market! Mulled wine, gingerbread houses, fairy lights and festive music; the best European Christmas markets have it all! If you’re looking for the ultimate winter city break, read on to discover the most unmissable festive markets in Europe.
Tallinn Christmas Market, Estonia
Estonia’s capital on the Baltic Sea hosts one of Europe’s best Christmas Markets. Set within the medieval heart of the city, this unmissable Christmas Market brings all the festive cheer you’d expect. Additionally, visitors can warm up with hearty bowls of authentic Estonian dishes, such as black pudding and sour cabbage. In fact, Tallinn Christmas Market was voted the best in Europe in 2019. With an on-site Santa Claus and surrounded by fairytale architecture, Tallinn hosts one of the best European Christmas markets.
Dresden Striezelmarkt, Germany
The oldest Christmas market in Germany, Dresden Striezelmarkt is one of the most magical seasonal markets in Europe. Here, you can indulge in all of the delicious festive treats that Germany is famed for such as buttery stollen cake, authentic mulled wine, gingerbread and roasted chestnuts. The highlight of this market is its 45-foot tall Christmas tree, adorned with fairy lights and glittering baubles. Furthermore, if you visit Dresden’s Christmas Market, you’ll be part of a centuries-old tradition as the market has been held every year for almost 600 years!
Edinburgh’s Christmas, Edinburgh, Scotland
Every winter, East Princes St. Gardens transforms into a Christmas miracle. Complete with Ferris-wheel, a Christmas tree maze and mini train rides, Edinburgh hosts one of the best Christmas markets in Europe. Kicking off around the 14th of November, just as the winter chill sets in, this is the perfect place to warm your heart and get into the Christmas mood. Some of the unique culinary delights on offer here include mulled Irn-bru and vegetarian-friendly pigs in blankets!
Christkindesmäkir, Strasbourg, France
Strasbourg is charming at any time of year, but at Christmas time, this fairytale city transforms into a winter wonderland! Wooden chalets line up along the medieval streets and illuminations and fairy lights are switched on to create a heart-warming scene. Festive cheer is in good supply here, with live music performances, an ice skating rink and plenty of edible seasonal treats. Furthermore, Strasbourg’s Christkindesmäkir is one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe!
Old Town & Wenceslas Christmas Markets, Prague, Czech Republic
If one festive market just isn’t enough, Prague might be the winter destination for you! Here you can enjoy two of the best Christmas markets in Europe within a 5-minute walk of each other. Situated in the heart of the medieval old town, both Christmas markets come complete with twinkling illuminations, wooden huts and huge helpings of Christmas cheer. Expect chilly temperatures, so wrap up in your cosiest winter clothes to experience the magic of Prague in the festive season.
Advent Feast, Budapest, Hungary
This European Christmas market takes place in front of the impressive Budapest Basilica. Named the ‘most beautiful Christmas market in Europe’, the Advent Feast market runs from the end of November to early January. With more than 150 stalls, an ice-skating rink and a beautiful Christmas tree, this is the perfect place to get into the festive spirit! Furthermore, a visit to Budapest’s famous Christmas market is also the chance to sample the rich flavours of Hungarian cuisine!
Christkindlmarkt at Rathausplatz, Vienna, Austria
A tasteful winter wonderland in the heart of the Austrian capital. Vienna hosts a selection of Christmas markets, but the Christkindlmarkt at Rathausplatz is the most famous. Here, you can live a Christmas dream. Expect sparkling illuminations, shops selling handmade crafts and plenty of festive food and drink. The market takes place in front of the imposing City Hall, at the heart of the capital. Little ones can even take part in craft workshops whilst you warm up with a steaming glass of gluhwein.
Wroclaw Christmas Market, Wroclaw, Poland
Running from mid-November to New Year’s Eve, Wroclaw hosts one of the best European Christmas markets. Taking place across four different venues in the medieval old town, Wroclaw transforms into a winter wonderland. Culinary highlights include chocolate gingerbread, smoked Oscypek cheese, waffles and potato pancakes. Furthermore, this Christmas market is famous for its elaborate illuminations.
Excited for the festive season? Plan your winter getaway with Exoticca, your online travel agent!