European Christmas Markets

Always wanted to explore a picturesque Christmas market like you see in films? Now’s the time to start thinking about booking up that long European weekend away, festive style. 

Europe really does do it better when it comes to winter markets. Lined with festive foliage, baubles, trinkets, and snow-capped mountains in the background, live out your Christmas movie dream and head to one of these cities for a winter stay. 

Looking for the perfect hotel and flight package to go alongside? Holiday experts have a brilliant selection of Christmas market city break deals on offer, from Berlin to Budapest.

Berlin, Germany

Berlin Christmas Market

Why explore just one Christmas market when you can explore multiple? Winter in Berlin is magical, and its festive market offerings are hard to beat. Spend a long weekend here and you can explore everything from traditional German markets, to Scandinavian styles, and even a market that nods to Japan. 

For a charming experience, try the Advent market at the Domäne Dahlem. A favourite for over 30 years, the site is home to over 50 exhibitors selling handcrafts, from organic products to marzipan treats. Soak up the atmosphere and wander around the market, listening to festive brass band music in the background.

Basel, Switzerland

Come Christmas time, Basel becomes picturesque, home to flurries of twinkling lights, giant trees lining the squares, and Christmas markets. There are a couple of markets worth exploring while visiting:  Münsterplatz, which is located in front of the historic cathedral, is home to wooden shacks all filled with decorative trinkets and gifts. Arm yourself with a warming mug of mulled wine and wander up and down the stalls, taking in all the sights and smells. 

Barfüsserplatz is the bigger of the two markets, with each stall lined with festive foliage, baubles, and twinkling lights. Fall in love with the German-style decorations with little ice skaters whizzing mechanically around petite rinks and tiny wooden trees that would sit perfectly on the fireplace mantelpieces. 

If you are heading to Basel for the festive season – or any season at that – Johann Wanner Christmas House is a must-visit. This Christmas shop is open all year round and is home to hundreds upon hundreds of handmade decorations and tree hangings.

Prague, Czech Republic

Head to Prague’s Old Town for a magical display of festivities. Their elaborate decoration display is praised for being one of the world’s most magical. Pair that with the aromatic scent of mulled wine and gingerbread filling the air, this is the ultimate Christmas experience. 

The Old Town square is transformed every winter, bursting with vendors offering local hand-made products, gifts, festive decorations, candles, and refreshments. Expect to find plenty of roasted chestnuts, gingerbread, sausages, dumplings, and mulled wine to sate your appetite.

Prague Christmas Market

Gothenburg, Sweden

There are a few festive delights that can be found in the Swedish city of Gothenburg, the most popular being the market in Haga. The cobbled street of Haga Nygata transitions into a festive fair every winter. Market stalls line the space, with the shops along the street all dressed to impress in the finest festive attire – think endless wreaths, foliage and lights dotted on every corner. 

If you’re giving Disney a miss this winter, head to Liseberg instead. Home to Sweden’s most popular tourist attraction, the amusement park plays host to a Christmas market each year. Wander along and you’ll be dazzled by the mesmerising light displays and stalls on offer. 

Budapest, Hungary

Always dreamt of heading to Budapest? Make this the winter you do and experience all of the magic of the city as the crisp air floats through the city and welcomes the festivities. 

There are a few markets you’ll find here but the main two are centred in Vorosmarty Square and Basilica. The Christmas market on Vorosmarty Square is the city’s oldest and most internationally known for providing visitors with festive favourites, filled with foliage-lined shacks and homemade crafts. While the market at Basilica is renowned for its Hungarian delicacies.

Budapest, Hungary

Tallinn, Estonia

For a Christmas experience plucked out of a fairytale, head to Tallinn in Estonia. This Northern European city celebrates Christmas to the fullest, aligning with ancient pagan celebrations. 

The market in the Old Town Square is simply a delight, with little wooden stalls cocooned around the giant Christmas tree in the centre. Expect to find stalls bursting with knit socks, luscious furs, wooden decorations, and plenty of delicious treats.

Tallinn, Estonia

Cologne, Germany

Known as the festive ‘Cathedral City’, Cologne is home to multiple Christmas markets, each with its own theme. Expect to find endless gift options, from arts and crafts from all over Europe to culinary delights that you won’t want to miss. 

Cologne’s markets are known for their lively entertainment offering, including the charming Christmas Market Express mini-train that allows visitors to explore one Christmas market to the next. It’s festively decorated with even Santa Claus leading the train around the city.

Cologne, Germany

Edinburgh, Scotland

If you’re looking for a festive trip in the UK, try Edinburgh’s Christmas market. Taking over the city every year, there are a wide range of activities for all ages, from after-dark light trails to endless stalls to wander up and down. There’s even the ever popular ice rink on George Street that you can whizz – or, rather, fall – on, plus the Big Wheel where you’ll be able to see the city at new heights.

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