Top Christmas Markets In Europe: Europe is the home of the Christmas market and there are dozens worth a visit.
With the smell of roasting chestnuts, carols ringing in the crisp winter air, and mulled wine to warm you from the inside, there’s no better way to get into the festive spirit than visiting a traditional Christmas market.
You can reach many by jumping on the Eurostar, and there are also plenty of cheap flights to be had as well.
- Top Christmas Markets In Europe
- Prague, Czech Republic
- Vienna, Austria
- Berlin, Germany
- Bruges, Belgium
- Krakow, Poland
- Brussels, Belgium
- Tallinn, Estonia
- Cologne, Germany
- Hamburg, Germany
- Riga, Latvia
- Lille, France
- Avignon, France
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Stockholm, Sweden
- Budapest, Hungary
- Ljubljana, Slovenia
- Malmo, Sweden
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Dublin, Ireland
- Salzburg, Austria
Top Christmas Markets In Europe
With some of the most impressive Christmas markets are in Europe, every year tourists throng Europe during Christmas to enjoy the traditional Christmas festive atmosphere.
Here is our guide to the top Christmas markets in Europe.
Prague, Czech Republic
Market Dates: 27th November 2021 – 6th January 2022
Prague attracts thousands of visitors year after year.
Prague’s Christmas markets are like a winter wonderland in the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square.
The main ones are held at Wenceslas Square and the Old Town Square, with smaller ones at Havelske Trziste and Namesti Republiky and these are the most impressive Christmas markets in Europe
You’ll need to wrap up warm for the chilly weather but this simply adds to the atmosphere of the surroundings.
The markets consist of rows of brightly decorated wooden huts selling Czech handicrafts, hot food like corn on the cob, sausages, and warm drinks including svarene vino (hot wine).
Market Dates: Friday, 12th November 2021 – Sunday, 26th December 2021
Vienna has a winter market tradition dating back to 1294, with the custom still going strong today.
Some of the best include the Christmas market in front of City Hall (Rathaus), the traditional Viennese Christmas market on Freyung, the Spittelberg markets, Am Hof markets, and the market in front of the church of St. Charles Borromeo (Karlskirche).
Suggested Reading: Things to do in Vienna
Market Dates: 22nd November 2021 – 2nd January 2022
Germany is arguably the home of Christmas markets, with more than sixty in the nation’s capital alone.
The most popular in Berlin include Weihnachts Zauber on the Gendarmenmarkt, one situated next to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, and the market held at Charlottenburg Castle.
Suggested Reading: Things to do in Berlin
Market Dates:26th November 2021 – 9th January 2022
Medieval Bruges, with its cobbled streets, beautiful buildings, and rattling horses and carts is the ideal setting for a festive celebration.
The markets on Stevin Plein and Markt Square form a ring around an open-air ice rink.
And of course, don’t forget to sample the legendary beer.
Market Dates: Friday, 26th November 2021 – 2nd January 2022
Compared to some of the other central and eastern European countries, Poland is somewhat light on Christmas markets.
The Gothic churches, Baroque palaces, and frequent snowfall provide the perfect backdrop for a festive fairyland market in Rynek Glowny square, Krakow.
Look out for the beautiful arrangements on the flower stalls, the street musicians, and the mistletoe.
There is, however, an excellent one in the Rynek (Market Square) of Krakow.
Here you’ll find stalls selling delicious sausages, fried oscypek cheese, woolen slippers from the mountains, and all manner of other festive produce.
Market Dates: Friday, 26th November 2021 – 2nd January 2022
Attracting more than 3-4 million visitors a year, the Brussels Winter Wonders Christmas market on Place Sainte Catherine is the jam-packed destination.
Here there are a lot of things to do, an ice rink, Ferris wheel, sleighing run, parade and more than 240 chalets selling traditional Christmas fare mean you won’t get bored.
And what’s more, you can get there directly by Eurostar.
Market Dates:19th November 2021 – 2nd January 2022
Tallinn is a beautiful medieval city; with its gorgeous buildings and cute cobbled streets, it’s like entering a fairytale.
Located in the picturesque medieval Town Hall Square, the Tallinn Christmas market takes place at the site of the world’s first Christmas Tree.
The Town Hall Square is transformed into a festive marketplace with the centerpiece being the huge Christmas tree, with Father Christmas’s house nestled under its massive branches.
Way back in 1441 the town’s unmarried merchants sang and danced with unmarried girls around a tree, which they then burned.
The annual Christmas Market turns the historic Old Town into a Christmas shopper’s paradise.
Amidst the many stalls selling everything from traditional foods and drinks to locally-made handicrafts, choirs and musicians keep crowds entertained with regular performances of seasonal music and singing.
Wander around the old town and experience fantastic restaurants, museums, and more.
During the festive season, the city comes alive with classical concerts, film screenings, jazz events, and an outdoor ice rink.
Market Dates: Thu, 25th November 2021 – Wed, 22 December 2021
Cologne has six Christmas markets to visit, including 4 huge, sprawling ones located at Cologne Cathedral, one on the Alter Markt (where you can explore the ‘Home of Gnomes’), one on the Neumarkt, and the Fairytale Christmas market on Rudolfplatz.
You’ll also get to see the tallest Christmas tree in the Rhineland standing outside the cathedral.
Market Dates: 22 November 2021- 23 December 2021
The largest market in Hamburg is located outside the Town Hall, while the most charming is arguably the Gänsemarkt Hanseatic market.
Also well worth a look are the markets at the Rathausplatz and Fleet Island, as well as the quirky events in Santa Pauli and the Hamburg Winter Dom fair.
Market Dates: 30th November 2021 – 8th January 2022
Located on Dome Square, Riga’s Old Town Christmas Fair is popular among tourists.
Latvia’s capital is littered with beautiful Art Nouveau buildings, which come alive in winter.
Riga’s Christmas market lays claim to the first-ever Christmas tree – at the market here in 1050.
Tented bars fill with the aroma of hot wine, piparkukas gingerbread biscuits, and hot, potent Latvian Black Balsams and Blackcurrant.
Mulled wine, roasted almonds, gingerbread, smoked meats and cheeses, and plenty of handicrafts are all available from the stalls.
Christmas songs, handicraft workshops, and a Christmas menagerie with rabbits and a pony will keep kids entertained.
Market Dates: 19th November 2021 – 30 December 2021
Just a short journey away by Eurostar, Lille’s month-long Christmas market is conveniently close for some festive shopping.
The market takes place in Place Righour, and consists of 83 attractive wooden chalets selling all manner of Christmas foodstuffs, as well as a Ferris wheel and 18-meter high Christmas tree.
Market Dates: 26th November 2021 – 30th December 2021
Avignon’s Christmas Market is situated on the Place de l’Horloge and can include a stroll through the picturesque Chemin des Crèches; a selection of illuminated and animated nativity scenes.
There are also parades, Christmas carols, and folk dances, as well as an appearance by Santa, of course.
Market Dates: 12th November 2021 – 22nd December 2021
Head to downtown Copenhagen for the Christmas Market at Tivoli Gardens.
Here you’ll find a theme park with rollercoasters, Christmas trees, elves, stalls, and an abundance of the hot and spicy mulled wine to drink, ‘gløgg’.
There is also a huge Christmas tree in the gardens and thousands of twinkling fairy lights.
Market Dates: 11th November 2021– 23rd December 2021
Stockholm’s Christmas Markets are found spread out across the city’s islands, with several also located in the Old Town (Gamla Stan).
The Skansen Christmas Market, situated on Djurgarden island, is one of the biggest in Sweden.
Be sure to take a boat out to Skansen Christmas market on the island of Djurgården.
It has its own traditional, old-fashioned Swedish stalls and handicrafts.
Visitors can enjoy music, admire craft products in the Town Quarter. The sample glogg – the traditional Swedish Christmas drink, and even join in the dancing around the Christmas tree.
For the full shopping experience, walk down Drottninggatan – one of Stockholm’s longest pedestrian streets which glitters with Christmas lights and decorations.
Market Dates: 19th November 2021 – 31st December 2021
Budapest’s Vörösmarty Square plays host to one of the most popular Christmas fairs in Europe.
It has over 100 wooden stalls, thousands of fairy lights, brass bands, folklore performances, and a huge Christmas tree in the square.
The highlight of each day is the opening of the Advent Calendar, which hides contemporary works of art in the windows of Gerbeaud House.
Market Dates: Canceled
Located on the banks of the Ljubljanica River in the city center, Ljubljana’s Festive Fair has around fifty stalls selling everything from roasted chestnuts and mulled wine to gloves, scarves, and hats.
The Old Town setting makes this one of the most attractive markets in Europe.
Market Dates: Dates to be confirmed
Malmo celebrates Christmas in style, with ice sculptures, ice-skating, and window decorating competitions.
Some of the best include the traditional Swedish Christmas market at Malmöhus Castle, Katrinetorp, the organic and fair trade market at Gustav Adolfs Torg, and the Christmas Farmers’ Market at Drottningtorget.
Market Dates: 15th November 2021 – 2nd January 2022
Amsterdam has 26 festive markets to explore, with the biggest and boldest located in the Albert Cuypstraat.
Also well worth checking out is the Funky Sinterklaas market, and Xmas Markets at the Westergasfabriek.
Market Dates: 4th December 2021 – 23rd December 2021
The Mistletown Christmas Market in Dublin plays host to a German-style Christmas market.
This market has more than 70 stalls, a thousand Christmas lights, an abundance of Continental delicacies, carol singing, and of course, a Santa’s grotto.
Market Dates: 18th November 2021 – 26th December 2021
Salzburg’s Christmas Market has been running annually in one form or another since the 17th century.
There are numerous traditional stalls located around the Hohensalzburg Fortress and Cathedral.
Traditional Salzburg delicacies and pastries, hot mulled wine, and Christmas carols in the background create the perfect festive ambiance.