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Best Christmas Markets In Europe

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December 8, 2016 / European / By
ETG - Food For Thought

If you are spending your Christmas holidays somewhere in Europe, you have to visit at least one Christmas market. From gifts for your loved ones to beautiful Christmas carols, traditional food and a magical atmosphere, you can find almost everything you want at the lovely Christmas markets in Europe. Germany loves Christmas markets so there are many cities and towns where you can find some amazing ones but the Christmas markets in France, UK, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary and Finland also made our list of best Christmas markets in Europe.

Best Christmas Markets In Germany

Dresden Christmas Markets

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With 11 different Christmas markets, we think it is safe to call Dresden a Christmas Wonderland. The most famous, magical and also the largest and oldest Christmas market in Dresden is Striezelmarkt.

Established in 1434, Striezelmarkt features a huge candle arch, numerous places to shop, mulled wine, yummy food and Christmas carols.

And if you plan to visit Dresden this Christmas, you can also pay a visit to the other wonderful Christmas markets in the city. They are smaller than Striezelmarkt, but unique and charming nonetheless.

When to visit: 24th November – 24th December

Aachen Christmas Market

Image source: Aachen Emotion

The familiar atmosphere of the Aachen Christmas Market is one of the many reasons tourists and locals visit the market every year. Do you know what we love the most about this Christmas market? The food, of course! Potato fritters are a huge hit but the Christmas cakes, biscuits, marzipan bread and gingerbread are also as delicious as they can be. Adults can enjoy some mulled wine while their kids enjoy a carousel ride.

When to visit: 18th November – 23rd December

Rothenburg Christmas Market

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Rothenburg is a town that has an amazing medieval vibe year round however, during Christmas time, the town looks like a scene from a winter story. Established about 500 years ago, the Christmas market is renowned for its mulled wine and Christmas pastries. Also, the smell of roasted almonds is incredible!

When to visit: 25th November  – 23rd December

Cologne Christmas Markets

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The entire city of Cologne is decorated beautifully during Christmas time and there are several Christmas markets people can visit during their stay in the city. Millions of tourists from all over the world visit Cologne during this time of year for the unique atmosphere of the Christmas markets and the numerous shopping opportunities.

When to visit: 21st November – 23rd December

Nuremberg Christmas Market

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Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt is renowned for the delicious grilled sausages, the enticing aroma of mulled wine and the Christmassy gingerbread. There are other culinary treats, such as crackling pork shoulder that are sold in beautifully decorated wooden stalls along handmade Christmas decorations. 

When to visit: 25 November – 24th December

Leipzig Christmas Market

Image source: Leipzig Travel

Established in 1458, Leipzig Christmas Market is one of the largest and oldest Christmas markets in Germany and it takes place in the historic center of the city, in a magical atmosphere. From discovering the city’s medieval traditions to indulging in delicious culinary treats and watching the performances, the Christmas market is the perfect place for having fun in Leipzig during winter.

When to visit: 22th November – 23rd December

Best Christmas Markets In France

Colmar Christmas Markets

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

The five Christmas markets that take place in Colmar transform the city into a magical destination. All the Christmas markets are mini-villages that feature the wonderful handmade creations of the Alsace craftsmen. There are numerous activities tourists can enjoy in Colmar including wine tastings, children animations, concerts, toy exhibitions and guided tours.

When to visit: 25th November – 30th December

Strasbourg Christmas Market

Image source: Office de Tourisme de Strasbourg

The traditions of Advent are celebrated yearly in Strasbourg with live music and different cultural events. The Christmas market is very large however, it has a very warm and authentic atmosphere that is part of the Alsatian way of celebrating Christmas.

When to visit: 25th November – 31st December

Lille Christmas Market

Image source: French Moments

The festive atmosphere of Lille’s Christmas market will make you believe you stepped into a winter fairytale with chalets and magical characters. The traditional Christmas food is perfect to enjoy during a shopping break. And yes, visiting the Christmas market in Lille means shopping since no one can resist the Christmas decorations, regional arts and crafts and international handmade products from Russia, Quebec and Poland.

When to visit: 18th November – 30th December

Metz Christmas Markets

Image source: French Moments

Metz has six main squares and in every square you can find a beautiful Christmas market. The Frozen Fairyland is famous for the wonderful ice sculptures that are visited and loved by tourists and locals. The boutiques and shops are full of incredible gifts, the ice-rink is a winter tradition that cannot miss from your holiday’s activities list, the mulled wine and delicious Christmas food are what you need to stay warm and a visit to the magic forest is an unforgettable experience so if you can, we highly recommend visiting Lille this winter.

When to visit: 19th November – 28th December

Best Christmas Markets In UK

London Christmas Market

Image source: Visit London

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland features over 100 attractions and rides, more than 200 chalets and numerous shops with crafts and handmade objects, such as jewelry, candles ceramics and countless Christmas decorations.

When to visit: 18th November – 2nd January

Manchester Christmas Market

Image source: Manchester Evening News

The biggest Christmas market in the UK that is spread across 10 different sites, Manchester Christmas Market attracts millions of visitors every year. From street theatre and magicians to LED light performers, 300 stalls with international food and handmade gifts, Manchester Christmas Market has something for everybody.

When to visit: 10th November – 21st December 

Best Christmas Markets In Austria

Vienna Christmas Markets

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Vienna is magical during winter holidays and the markets contribute for sure to the city’s atmosphere.

Vienna Magic of Advent is the most well-known Christmas market in the city and probably the most loved one among children who can engage in numerous Christmas activities including riding carousels and participating in craft workshops.

City Hall is surrounded by Christmas trees that are decorated with numerous lights creating the Viennese Christmas atmosphere everyone is talking about.

When to visit: 13th November – 23rd December

Graz Christmas Markets

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Graz is another city with numerous Christmas markets that feature local products, wonderful arts and crafts and hot spicy winter drinks. They are situated at a walking distance from each other and they combine shopping with charity projects, entertainment, Christmas carols and numerous Christmassy attractions including a mesmerizing ice sculpture made with 45 tons of ice.

Best Christmas Market In Belgium

Brussels Christmas Market

Image source: Flanders

The historic center of Brussels is transformed into the Winter Wonders in Brussels Christmas market for more than a month. The unique atmosphere, festive decorations, delicious food and cultural activities are a dream come true for tourists who love a magical Christmas heaven.

Those who are looking for gifts will find Winter Wonders in Brussels perfect for shopping, while those who are looking for fun activities can engage in ice skating or can try some traditional attractions like the merry-go round, the Ice Monster or the Ferris Wheel.

When to visit: 25th November – 1st January

Best Christmas Market In Czech Republic

Prague Christmas Market

Image source: TravelZoo

Prague looks wonderful with festive décor and the friendly atmosphere of the city is even friendlier before Christmas. The Prague Christmas Market is perfect for those who want a family-friendly place to visit during Christmas holidays, a place where they can find delicious food, beautiful gifts for children and Christmas carols every night.

When it comes to food the Christmas market in Prague is absolutely delicious. The Old Czech cuisine with its barbecued pork, traditional muffins, blood sausages accompanied by mulled wine and bear make a feast that cannot be ignored by foodies.

When to visit: 26th November – 1st January 

Best Christmas Market In Hungary

Budapest Christmas Market

Image source: Daily News Hungary

Budapest is another city that has a spectacular look before and during Christmas. The Advent Fair at the Basilica is everything you can possibly want from a Christmas market: unique objects, pottery, handmade jewelry, accessories and clothes; arts and crafts workshops and cultural events and numerous concerts and entertainment programs including a 3D video mapping festivity.

When it comes to food, we highly recommend the handmade chocolate and the honey cake. There are also numerous places where tourists and locals can enjoy street food and hot drinks.

When to visit: 25th November – 2nd January

Best Christmas Market In Finland

Helsinki Christmas Market

Image source: Visit Helsinki

Helsinki Christmas Market with its wonderful relaxing atmosphere and good food and drinks is perfect for more laid back travelers and families with children. The Christmas stalls offer a diverse shopping experience. You can expect traditional ingredients, handmade objects and perfect Christmas gifts.

The market also features a beautiful carousel that is perfect for children. Adults can enjoy a hot drink while their little ones are having fun in the carousel.

When to visit: 3rd December – 22nd December

In case we missed a Christmas market you love, feel free to join us and share some details with our foodie community.


Country: Germany

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Price Guide:$ (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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