It’s November, therefore surely it’s acceptable to start talking about Christmas! Whether you love it or you’re a downright Scrooge, there’s one thing that everyone can agree on. There’s nothing better than a good Christmas market!
Yet, which is Europe’s best Christmas market? With wooden chalets, snow-capped cathedrals, seasonal cookies and cakes and mulled wine, Europe definitely does it best. Make sure to read on below for, in no particular order, 10 of the best Christmas markets in Europe.
Christmas Markets in Europe
Cologne Christmas Market, Germany
Long-known as a festive destination, the Christmas markets in Germany are a must-visit. In fact, Germany is known for having some of the best Christmas markets in the world.
In Cologne city centre, you’ll find magical Christmas markets, with the stunning backdrop of the iconic Cologne cathedral.
Markt der Engel provides some truly magical moments, thanks to its twinkling Christmas lights, whereas Nikolausdorf tells the story of St. Nick to children.
You’ll even find markets dedicated to mystical gnomes and maritime history. However, if you’re a fan of everything a little more traditional, don’t miss the outdoor ice skating rink on Heumarkt.
Don’t forget to enjoy the gingerbread, mulled wine and traditional decorations that Germany has to offer.
Bath Christmas Market
During the Bath Christmas Market, you’ll find the cobblestone streets filled with charming wooden chalets, selling a range of charming handcrafted wares and personalised presents. In fact, this market is perfect if you’re looking to find out more and learn about some of Bath’s local charities and small businesses.
Don’t forget to stop at The Lodge on Stall street for a hot cup of mulled wine or hot chocolate to warm yourself up from the cold!
Winter Wonderland, London
If you’re looking for festive fun, Winter Wonderland in London is one of the best Christmas markets in Europe without fail. Set in Hyde Park, you’ll be able to enjoy ice skating on the UK’s largest outdoor ice skating rink, soar above the city in the giant observation Ferris wheel and ride a traditional merry go round. Starting in November 2021 and ending in January 2022, you’ll have a giant window to visit and enjoy the winter wonders.
Prague, Czech Republic
Postcard-pretty Prague, Czech Republic is one of the best destinations for the festive season. It is a magnificent setting, offering you views that you’ll never see elsewhere. This includes the 14th-century twin spires of the Our Lady Before Tyn and the world-famous 15th-century astronomical clock.
Pick up some Christmas decorations included frosted, hand-blown glass baubles and enjoy the traditional Czech Republic take on mulled wine.
Prague is also an excellent destination for little ones, as in the town’s old market square you’ll find sheep, goats and donkeys waiting for attention from tourists.
If you’re visiting for a few days, also make sure to enjoy Wenceslas square, which is full of gothic and renaissance architecture and over the holidays is home to themed performances and handmade gifts.
Tallinn Christmas Market, Estonia
Tallinn, Estonia is another excellent destination if you’re looking to experience a proper European Christmas. With stalls selling handmade wreaths, local crafts and sheepskin rugs, you’ll be sure to find some truly beautiful Christmas presents.
You’ll also spot, arriving at his winter grotto, Santa Claud on a reindeer sleigh, who’ll welcome all children to enjoy the festivities.
Finally, Estonia’s biggest towering Christmas tree is set up in front of the town hall since way back in 1441, making it one of the very first displayed in Europe.
Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen Denmark
Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark is another Christmas market full of festive joy. With Christmas decorations, lights and market stalls offering wooden toys and gorgeously chunky knitwear, the heart of the city is definitely the place to be.
A Ferris wheel will allow you to enjoy beautiful views of the city, fairy lights will hang off the trees and an ice rink will allow you to try your hand at ice skating.
Don’t miss out on the honninghjerter, either! Very similar to German gingerbread, this honey cake is often filled with jam and buttercream and makes for a tasty Christmas market treat.
St. Stephens Basilica, in Budapest, Hungary is the country’s largest church, dedicated to their first king. So, it is rather fitting that during the festive season, it is home to a magical Christmas festival with 160 wooden stalls, an ice skating rink and folk dancing shows.
Most of the festivities are in full swing over Christmas, yet in January 2022 you’ll be able to enjoy lencseleves lentil soup, a traditional staple in Hungary.
Budapest is also home to the advent feast at the basilica which was actually declared the best Christmas market in Europe in 2020.
Krakow Christmas Market, Poland
If architecture is your thing, then you should definitely have the Christmas markets in Poland on your list. The city turns into a winter wonderland and the iconic Cloth Hall acts as the perfect backdrop for the Christmas markets in Krakow’s Old Town.
Local stallholders also offer an array of gifts, handcrafted pottery and boiled candies for you to enjoy. However, the main attraction is the Krakow Christmas Crib Competition, where nativity crib creations are paraded around the market square.
Every year, East Prices Street Gardens, Edinburgh becomes home to a sprawling ‘Santa Land’ with an impressive maze of Christmas trees and a 108-foot-tall Ferris wheel, referred to as the Edinburgh Eye.
There is a reason why Strasbourg is known as the Christmas capital of France. This is because it is one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe and it embraces traditions and flavours that date back to 1570.
Take the time to enjoy handmade Christmas decorations, hand-carved wooden toys and gingerbread cookies and visit the sharing village, where you can donate to local nonprofits and charities.
If you’re looking for Europe’s best Christmas markets, we hope that the above has given you some inspiration as to where you should get your fix of Christmas trees, fairy lights and skating on an ice rink this year, which was greatly missed last year over the lockdown period.
Looking for the perfect airport transfer to make your Christmas market adventures as stress-free as possible and allow yourself to properly immerse yourself in the festive cheer? Make sure to get in touch today.
Kian works for Travelbillity as a marketing specialist. He takes great pride in creating quality content for people looking for airport transfers or minibus hire.