There is no shortage of festive Christmas markets in Europe to help put you in a jolly spirit, with handmade toys, spiced ciders, carollers filling the air with music, enormous lit-up Christmas trees, and more. Check out this list of 25 must-see Christmas markets taking place around Europe.
Traditional Christmas Market, London, England
Taking place between the London Eye and South Bank is a traditional Christmas market that is perfect for enjoying the holiday with family and friends. Unusual gifts such as amber and silver jewellery, hand crafted and tin toys, fragile glass ornaments, custom ceramics, unique metal designs, and more can be found here. The market is open daily, going from mid-November until the end of December.
The London Eye at Christmas by geograph.org.uk
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Zagreb’s Christmas Market, Croatia
Despite the cold temperatures and icy pavements, Zagreb’s Christmas Market manages to add a feeling of warmth to the area. The countdown to Christmas begins on Advent Sunday, with the streets lining with Christmas lights and decorations. Store fronts become festive, a giant wreath is wrapped around the town fountain, and a Christmas tree is erected and lit. As the holiday approaches, market stalls set-up around the main square and a number of cultural events begin taking place, such as choirs and workshops.
Zagreb Christmas Market by neha
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The Christmas Market in Nice, France
While most people know Nice, for the beautiful Mediterranean beaches and perfect summer weather, it is also home to one of the best Christmas markets in Europe. Set up on Place Massena, some features include an ice skating rink, fake snow, market stalls selling gifts and food, a giant ferris wheel, trampolines, and fun houses. Enjoy some freshly made mulled wine as you take in the beautiful scenery and enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas.
Nice Christmas Market by Kimberly Sullivan
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Christmas Markets in Munich, Germany
Visiting the Christmas Markets in Munich, Germany, is a great way to celebrate Christmas while experiencing German culture. Make your way over to Marienplatz to check out the famous Glockenspiel as well as immerse yourself in the most famous markets the city has to offer. Because it is so famous, you should expect a large crowd as well as lot of commercialization. For a less touristy Christmas market experience, head over to the Resindenz, the palace in Munich. Contained within the stone palace walls you will find a bandstand with an array of musical talent such as harpists, choirs, and Alpine horns. Browse the stalls selling jewellery and gifts and sample some authentic German fare, such as sausages, potato rosti, and crepes. If you’re looking for a market that is a bit alternative, visit the Tollwood Market held on the Theresienweise Festival grounds. Enjoy Christmas street food, large marquees, and circus performing tent.
Munich Christmas Market by Heatheronhertravels
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The Christmas Market in Old Town Stockholm, Sweden
The streets are lined with Christmas lights and candles flicker in windows throughout the Old Town of Stockholm in Sweden, making this the perfect place for a holiday celebration. The Christmas Market in Old Town Stockholm is open from the end of November until the end of December and is located in Stortorget, a small square near the Royal Castle. Home-made crafts, glÃ¶gg (spiced wine), and pepparkakor (gingerbread cookies) are all treats you can purchase, with the best view of the market being from the Nobel Museum, where you can step back from the crowd and take in the view.
Stockholm Christmas Market by Marcus Cederstrom
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Christmas Markets in Vienna, Austria
In Vienna, Austria, you can find charming and elegant Christmas markets to enjoy from mid-November to December 24. Some of the market locations include Spittelberg, Schloss Belvedere, SchÃ¶nbrunn, and Rathausplatz. The Christmas markets in Vienna are a long-standing tradition, with records dating back to 1626. Spittelberg features a cozy type of market with the setup being lined along the streets instead of in a market square. If you make your way to SchÃ¶nbrunn, you will not only be visiting a Christmas market, but also a UNESCO World Heritage site. The scent of roasted nuts permeates the air as baked goods, beeswax candles, ornaments, and wooden toys are sold by vendors. Inside City Hall, you can find a children’s workshop where kids can build holiday toys.
Christmas Markets in Vienna by Anne-Sophie Redisch
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Bad Wimpfen Christmas Market, Germany
German Christmas markets are almost always worthwhile, but the Bad Wimpfen markets are extra impressive. The area is a cobblestoned maze of alleys and narrow streets with a few small squares. Heritage-listed buildings abound and great views can be seen of the Neckar Valley as these markets are located up on a hill. Because this is a local favorite, many of the items for purchase are of the traditional sort.
Bad Wimpfen Christmas market from the BadWimpfen website
Christmas Markets in Northern Italy
The Trentino Alto Adige region is the northermost region in Italy, and also home to some great Christmas markets in many of the mountain towns. In Trento, the Christmas market starts at the end of November and feature more than 60 wooden huts selling a variety of handicrafts. The highlight of the market is the giant Nativity Scene erected in the Piazza Duomo. In Bolzano, visitors can also experience a daily Christmas market through December 23, and in Verona you can experience over 300 stalls of holiday cheer on the second weekend in December. Click here for a full listing of cities.
Christmas market in Trento by pollobarca2
Licques Christmas Market, France
In Licques, France, visitors can enjoy holiday fare as well as organic poultry. The market is famous for its annual turkey parade, which has been happening since the 17th century. While visitors can purchase various food items, turkey meat, crafts, chocolates, and decorations, there is also a giant festival which includes a procession of turkeys running through the streets. Taking place mid-December, cultural events, regional items for sale, and a Christmas dinner dance are also part of the fun.
Licques, France, by |JL62|
Madrid Christmas Market
The Madrid Christmas Market in Spain takes place each year from November to December and features over 100 holiday stalls each day. What’s unique about this market is that you won’t find any touristy items, as the market is mainly for locals who want to purchase items for a traditional Spanish Christmas. Expect fancy dress costumes, tinsel wigs, and joke shop items for a bit of humor added to the event.
Madrid Christmas Market by Jorge Dalmau y Pablo Dalmau Photo
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Prague Christmas Markets, Czech Republic
The Prague Christmas Markets light up the city center beginning from the end of November until the beginning of January. Stroll through a winter wonderland sipping hot wine, browsing stalls, and listening to Christmas carols. The markets are even open on Christmas and New Years Day, taking place in the major areas of town such as Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square, Republic Square, and Havel’s Market. The highlight of the festivities is a giant Christmas tree shipped from the Krkonose mountains in the north of the Czech Republic. With a dark Gothic background, it really is a sight to see.
Prague Christmas Market by Oldangelmidnight
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St Petersburg Christmas Market
The St. Petersburg Christmas Market in Russia takes place each year in Ostrovskogo Square from mid-December through January 7th. Featuring about 70 stalls of traditional handicrafts and local food fare such as blinis and hot drinks. Other festive activities include an ice skating rink and children’s theater.
St. Petersburg Christmas Market by Canadacow
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Natalis-Lisbon Christmas Fair, Portugal
Taking place at the Feira Internacional de Lisbon, this Christmas fair combines festive gifts and novelty items with high-quality entertainment. Some of the items for sale at this market include, artificial trees, decorations, fireworks, wrapping paper and accessories, balloons, housewares, ceramics, and more. If you have children, an array of kid-friendly fun is also featured.
Christmas tree in Lisbon by cmanuel
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Christmas Markets in Florence, Italy
Tuscany comes alive with holiday spirit during the month of December with two Christmas markets. Florence Noel occurs at the Leopoldo Train Station and includes the selling of gifts, chocolate, and other foods. Children can visit Santa’s House to meet the man himself. At the Mercato Tedesco di Natale, a traditional Christmas market takes place which features wooden stalls selling hand-crafted products and local wines.
Christmas in Florence by tamara_dwyer
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Christmas Markets in Sicily
From the beginning of November until the end of December, the Christmas spirit resounds in Sicily, Italy. In Caltagirone, the Christmas market takes place on the weekends, with wooden stalls selling Sicilian crafts and sweets. In Catania, you will find a daily Christmas Market in the Piazzale Sanzio.
Christmas in Catania by fazen
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Christmas Market in Gothenburg, Sweden
During December in Gothenburg one of the most traditional Christmas markets in Scandinavia takes place in the grounds of Liseberg Park. There are more than 60 wooden booths adorned with holiday decorations, children’s rides, delicious food and drink. If you’re lucky you can pat a real reindeer. At night, take in the city in it’s illuminated neon form.
Gothenburg at night during Christmas by Amadeus Serey/Minerva Pictures
Tallinn Christmas Market, Estonia
Tallinn Christmas Market takes place from the first day of Advent to the beginning of January. Head over to Tallinn’s Town Hall to browse more than 50 vendor stalls selling local handicrafts. A giant Christmas tree adorned with lights and decorations sits in the center of it all, while traditional Estonian folklore groups sing and dance to entertain the crowds.
Christmas in Tallinn by aginorz
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Helsinki Christmas Markets
In Finland, Helsinki lights up with festivity. The largest of the Christmas markets takes place at Senate Square, where over 120 stalls selling crafts and baked goods. Head over to Wanha Satama to the Ladie’s Christmas Market for jewelry, ceramics, and knittings, all made by women. Into art and design? Ornamo’s Design Christmas Bazaar sells wooden and metal items, kitchen items, glass, and ceramics made by quality handicraft makers.
Christmas Market in Helsinki by stephenrwalli
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Galway Continental Christmas Market, Ireland
From mid-November up until right before Christmas, Galway, Ireland holds their daily Continental Christmas Market. During this time, Eyre Square acts as the gateway to the festivities that include seasonal shopping, Christmas treats, and family fun with entertainment that can be enjoyed by the entire clan.
Galway Christmas Market by ConnorLudy
Christmas Markets in Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh hosts an array of Christmas Markets during the holidays. First of all, there is the traditional German Christmas Market in the Mound Precinct that features German food and drink, as well as a mix of traditional and contemporary gifts. Expect German beer, sausages, potato cakes, and crepes. On Castle Street, visit the Real Scottish Christmas Fair that includes contemporary music, food and drink sampling, and tons of Christmas shopping. Also on Castle Street, visitors can experience the Ethical Christmas Fair, which showcases fair trade, ethical, and environmentally-friendly businesses.
Edinburgh Christmas Market by chatirygirl
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Berlin Christmas Market, Germany
Berlin, Germany, is a Christmas Market hotspot, with more than 60 stalls for visitors to choose from. Whether you are searching for a magical fairy-tale type of holiday or a more urban festival you will be able to find exactly what you are looking for in Berlin during the holidays. Visit Charlottenburg Castle Christmas Market is the most famous of them all as the Castle and the surrounding park are enveloped in a romantic ambiance. One-hundred and fifty market stalls sell handicrafts, art exhibits adorn the inside of the castle, and gastronomy is located within festive cabins and glass pagodas. At the Potsdamer Platz Christmas Market, lights, food, and music takeover the 4,000 square foot area. For active fun, skate on the ice rink or enjoy the largest mobile toboggan run in Europe.
Berlin Christmas Market by georgenell
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Lille Christmas Market
Lille becomes a mecca of holiday cheer from mid-November until the very end of December. This daily market features 83 wooden chalets offering Christmas decorations, festive food, and handicrafts. The main square of the town is transformed into a winter wonderful with a ferris wheel and an 18-meter high Christmas tree.
Lille Christmas Market by FrenchDuck
Christmas Market of Mulhouse, France
Place de la RÃ©union in Mulhouse, France, is not only the historic heart of the city, but also the home of an amazing Christmas market. Every year, a new Christmas fabric is showcased at the event, decorating all of the featured market stalls. The scent of mulled wine and spices fill the air as high-quality Christmas items are sold in the streets. Advent concerts and sing-a-longs are also part of the fun, while nearby cultural centers and museums offer special exhibits.
Mulled wine by schreiblockade
Budapest Christmas Market, Hungary
From mid-November until the end of December, VÃ¶rÃ¶smarty Square takes on a festive tone with more than 100 wooden pavilions selling candles, wool hats, wrought iron and wooden products, and more. Sweet Hungarian pastries, roasted chestnuts, and buffets of local favorites are eaten, and folklore groups, dancers, and brass bands take the stage. What makes this market truly special is the fact the products and food items for purchase are all locally made.
Budapest Christmas Market by Willow&Monk
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Valkenburg aan de Geul, the Netherlands
This Dutch Christmas market is truly unique, at it is located in a cave. From mid-November until the end of December, gentle Christmas music fills the dark cave as twinkling lights allow for illumination. Market stalls selling contemporary and old Dutch handicrafts aline the passageways, and an enchanted catering garden allows visitors to fill up on Dutch fare and sparkling hot wine. On Wednesday and Saturday evenings, visitors can also enjoy the holiday parade that marches down the streets of Valkenburg.
Valkenburg Christmas Market by chris friese
I hope that you’ve enjoyed our tour of some of the best Christmas markets in Europe.