world's best Christmas markets

The best Christmas markets in Europe

Although it’s true that Germany has some of the best and biggest Christmas markets in the world, there are plenty more fun and festive Christmas fairs all over Europe to explore. Here’s our list of the best Christmas markets you can visit in Europe.

Barcelona, Spain

29 November to 23 December 2019

Taking place in front of Barcelona’s cathedrals, the Fira de Santa Llúcia is the number one Christmas market in Barcelona. Its origins lie in 1728, where it was designed to celebrate the feast day of Santa Lucia (December 23rd). Today the market has expanded into a celebration of all things Christmas.

Brussels, Belguim

29 November 2019 to 5 January 2020

The Brussels Christmas Market is way more than just shopping. At the end of the 2-kilometre illuminated city walk, just past the wooden stalls is where the party really starts. Inside the market is a variety of shopping alternatives such as an ice rink, Ferris wheel, children’s roundabout, concerts and marching bands.

There’s even a light show which is projected onto the city’s Grand Palace (a UNESCO World Heritage site).

Vienna, Austria

15 November to 26 December 2019

Soaked in tradition, the Viennese Christmas Market is a truly magical experience. Starting off as a craft market in the early 1200s, the Vienna market only starting selling Christmas items in 1814. It’s a hit with both locals and tourists, with over 500,000 people travelling to see what the 145+ stores have to offer.

best Christmas markets Europe

Zurich, Switzerland

21 November to 23 December 2019

At Zurich Main Train station, you will find one of the largest Christmas markets in Europe (Christkindlimarkt). As soon as you step off the train you’re absorbed into the magic that is the holiday season; thrown right into the thick of the wooden stalls.

Many come to see the 50-ft-tall Swarovski crystal laden tree and stay around for the mulled wine.

Copenhagen, Denmark

16 November 2019 to 5 January 2020

Just one of the Christmas events in the Danish capital is Tivoli Christmas Market. Nestled inside the Tivoli Gardens amusement park is a miniature Christmas village, with huts over-spilling with delicious treats and trinkets.

Entertainment includes Christmas Cabaret and fireworks or you can skate on the park’s frozen lake!

Paris, France

24 November 2019 to 6 January 2020

The city of love opens its heart to Christmas with La Magie de Noel Christmas market, which takes places in the Tuileries Gardens by the world-famous Louvre museum. There are over 100 stalls as well as fairground attractions and an ice rink. Make sure to take the short stroll to see the street of glittering Christmas lights stretching from the Champs-Elysees roundabout up to the Place de la Concorde.

Prague, Czech Republic

30 November 2019 to 6 January 2020

Vanocni trh (Christmas markets) are a large part of the festive season in the Czech Republic. Head to the Old Town markets for a traditional holiday experience. Carol music fills the air, accompanied by the smell of traditional barbecued meats, mulled wine and mead. The crafts again look back to tradition such as wooden toys, glass-wares or blacksmith-wares.

best Christmas markets Europe

Budapest, Hungary

9 November 2019 to 1 January 2020

The Budapest Christmas Fair and Winter Festival takes place in the heart of the city at Vörösmarty Square. As well as over 120 stalls to browse, there’s a music and entertainment programme that’s fun for all the family. Try some traditional Hungarian treats like honey cookies and wash them down with some warm mulled wine or fruity punch (Krampampuli).

Berlin, Germany

25 November to 26 December 2019

Whilst there are several Christmas markets to discover in Berlin, the elaborate backdrop of the Charlottenburg Palace gives the Christmas market in Charlottenburg a magical feel. Set up in front of the palace’s illuminated entranceway, hundreds of wooden huts decorated in fauna carry on the winter wonderland theme.

For a bite to eat, you can get a light snack from one of the many stalls, or sit down for something with a little more substance in one of the fine dining heated tents.

Stockholm, Sweden

23 November tol 23 December 2019

The entire of Stockholm gets into the Christmas spirit at the end of November. Since 1914, Stortorget square has hosted a market — Stortorgets Julmarknad — filled with handmade toys, textile crafts and other decorative seasonal pieces.

While you’re there, take a walk down the Drottninggatan, which is a pedestrian street, decorated to the nines for the holiday season.

Which of these Christmas markets do you think is the best in Europe? Let us know in the comments.

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