There’s nothing quite like it, is there? That feeling of goodwill you get when your head out with your friends to the local Christmas market. The music, the excellent food, the gifts – it’s what gets us into the holiday spirit.
Europeans celebrate the festive season by enjoying Christmas carols and shopping. It’s when everyone is just relaxing around town, enjoying the lively decorated streets, tasting delicious treats from vendors who sell at these events, and even playing Christmas-themed casino games, like Christmas Carol Megaways. It’s all about the Christmas spirit!
You’ll find that most markets feature carolers who serenade shoppers as they pass by. Some are set up in town squares with elaborate decorations such as glowing lights and tall Christmas trees (which may also be lit up at night).
Christmas markets have become increasingly popular as more destinations host them annually (or even twice yearly). Thousands of tourists head there daily during peak periods, such as December 1st-24th.
If you want to experience the traditional Christmas market in Prague, head to Old Town Square Market. Located around the Jan Hus Memorial near the Old Town Hall and Astronomical clock, it opens in late November and closes on Three Kings Day (which is held on January 6th).
Many local stalls sell unique merchandise alongside food trucks serving traditional Czech food, such as varenyky dumplings filled with either cheese or meat filling.
There will also be live entertainment throughout most days, including concerts from talented local musicians and carolers singing festive songs while strolling through crowds enjoying their hot drinks accompanied by mulled wine.
The Belvedere Palace Christmas Market is a must-visit, and if you enjoy the finer things in life, you will certainly enjoy this experience. This charming Christmas market is a crowd-pleaser against the glorious baroque backdrop of the Belvedere Palace. The extravagant lifestyle is fully expressed here, from traditional handicrafts to culinary delights that will delight anyone with a taste for luxury.
More than 40 festively decorated market stalls await visitors, selling everything from handmade decorations and toys to hand-knit sweaters and jewelry. The Belvedere Palace market will be open daily from 11am until 9pm and on weekends from 10am until 9pm.
This Christmas market is located in the heart of Budapest, at Vörösmarty tér, in District V. The Vörösmarty market is a beautifully illuminated area with countless wooden stalls and vendors. They’re selling authentic Hungarian souvenirs such as traditional clothes, embroidered blankets, or keychains decorated with embroidery.
If you’re looking for some entertainment during your trip here, there are plenty of activities happening at all times on stage, such as concerts or performances by local artists. You can visit it from November 19th until December 28th. Visitation hours are 10am to 8pm on weekdays; 10am to 9pm on weekends.
Located between the Roman-Germanic Museum and the sky-high Cologne Cathedral, the Cologne Cathedral Christmas market offers visitors a unique atmosphere with its beautiful stalls and lights. The stands offer crafted wooden items like toys, ceramics, and handmade beeswax candles.
Local food & drinks including mulled wine, bratwurst sausages, and delicious Stollen cake, a sort of fruitcake, are all delicious treats you’ll be able to consume. This Christmas market features music, entertainment, and musicians playing traditional instruments.
Opened on November 21st until December 23rd. It’s open daily, Sunday to Wednesday, from 11am to 9pm; Thursday to Friday, from 11am until 10pm; Saturday, from 10am until 10pm.
In the heart of Strasbourg is the beautiful Place Kléber Christmas market. From November 25th to December 26th, this market is transformed into a small village called “Village de Partage.” You can shop for gifts and enjoy traditional food, mulled wine, or hot chocolate. More than 60 charity stalls sell souvenirs, food and drink.
The significant Christmas Tree (Grand Sapin) has a minimum height of 30m and is decorated with 7 km twinkling lights, baubles, angels and stars. The Christmas Market in Strasbourg is a magical experience. We highly recommend this market if you plan to visit France this December.
You can find the Bruges Christmas market on the Market and Simon Stevinplein in the cosy city centre of Brussels. It features a fantastic range of stalls offering delicious local food and drinks. It varies from Belgian beers, cheeses and hearty dishes, hot chocolate or ice-cold jenever (a type of liquor made from fermented fruit juice).
This event also offers many beautiful and original handmade Christmas presents. The Christmas market in Brussels is open from 10 am to 8 pm every day from November 25th to January 8th. It’s a great place to enjoy a hearty meal or browse around for original presents.
To experience a traditional Croatian Christmas, visit the Fuliranje Christmas market at Strossmayer Square for a fantastic festive holiday. The market is on the main square in Zagreb, where you can shop for everything from handmade souvenirs to food products. It is centrally located between Zrinjevac Park and Tomislavac Square, making it easy to find.
It offers authentic Zagreb architecture with Christmas decorations with modern elements that showcase the local culture. Colourful lights and music played by DJs who spin some classics and mixes set up the holiday spirit. The dates for this year’s event are December 2nd until January 1st.
You can find the Basel Christmas market on Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz – one of the most beautiful squares in Basel. The magnificent Christmas tree stands on Münsterplatz, while handmade goods are sold in small chalets with rustic wooden exteriors.
Numerous pre-Christmas events occur here throughout the year: From ‘Suits To Chewing Gum’ (a silent auction) to ‘The Nose Knows!’ (a blind-tasting competition), ‘Christmas Market Appetiser Tour’ (delicious smells) etc.
In contrast to the traditional German Christmas markets, this market is like being in a Swiss fairy tale. The market runs from November 24th to December 23rd, Switzerland’s largest Christmas market.
You should definitely visit one of the many Christmas markets if you’re spending your holidays in Europe. There’s a market for every taste: some are more about food, others are famous for their unique handmade trinkets and gifts, while others for their souvenirs. Wherever you head, you’re sure to find fun activities that take place there.