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The Ultimate Guide to Christmas Markets in Europe [2023]

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Christmas markets offer a sense of merriment and celebration, with markets of all shapes and sizes dominating entire towns and cities throughout the winter season. From massive events with over 300 individual stalls and daily nativity performances to smaller events aimed at those seeking a quiet getaway, there’s something for everyone.

Discover a vast array of lights and decorations, trees and tents, rides and games, and all-out joy and celebration at one of Europe’s many world-renowned Christmas markets.

Map of the Best European Christmas Markets

Hot Tip: Learn about the best ways to fly to Europe with points and miles in our step-by-step guide!

Austria

Salzburg Christkindlmarket on Dom- and Residenzplatz Square

Salzburger Christkindlmarkt Residenzplatz
Image Credit: Franz Neumayer

2023 Dates: November 23rd to January 1st

Dating all the way back to 1491, the Salzburg Christkindlmarket on Dom- and Residenzplatz Square is one of the oldest markets in Europe. Surrounded by historical buildings, this market feels like a step back in time.

More than 90 stalls line the square and choir singers regularly perform in front of the cathedral. There’s a nativity exhibit in the Residenz courtyard and decorations as far as the eye can see. The market is a truly special event.

That’s not all … there are plenty of other Christmas markets located nearby, such as the Hellbrunn Advent Magic event and the St. Leonhard Advent Market. So there is plenty to do and a lot to see.

Where To Stay: MEININGER Hotel Salzburg City Center is a great choice. It’s right in the middle of all the Christmas action, so you won’t miss a thing.

Vienna — Christkindlmarkt

Christmas Market Vienna
Image Credit: Julius Silver via Pixabay

2023 Dates: November 11th to December 26th

Out of the 12 Christmas markets in Vienna, Christkindlmarkt on the Rathausplatz is by far the largest. Located in front of Rathaus city hall, there are countless stalls, lights, decorations, and a whole slew of Christmas treats around every corner. At the center of all the Christmas stalls is a giant Christmas tree that lights up the whole area with more than 2,000 LED lights.

Hop on the Ferris wheel to get a bird’s eye view of the whole market, take a walk down the nativity scene trail, or put on some skates and take to the ice rink. Christkindlmarkt is fun for the whole family.

Where To Stay: Le Méridien Vienna is in the heart of Vienna and only an 18-minute walk to the Christmas market.

Belgium

Bruges — Grote Markt

Bruges Christmas Market
Image Credit: Jan Darthet

2023 Dates: November 24th to January 7th

The Grote Markt is the biggest Christmas market in Bruges. More than 250 wooden stalls line the streets, each offering a selection of Christmas treats. The market is surrounded by historical buildings that tower over the whole area, creating the illusion of time travel.

A large dome occupies the center of the market. Inside the dome is a Christmas tree covered top to bottom in lights, tinsel, and countless ornaments. There’s a large ice rink covered in lights and surrounded by a river. It’s a picturesque location with something special for the whole family.

Where To Stay: There are plenty of places to choose from, but for those seeking the center of all the Christmas magic, NH Bruges is a great choice.

Brussels — Winter Wonders

Brussels Christmas Market
Image Credit: Plaisirs d’hiver / Winterpret / Winter Wonders

2023 Dates: November 24th to December 31st

Located in the historic heart of Brussels is a place of Christmas joy. Stalls as far as the eye can see, delicious homemade treats, and lights and decorations all around. Brussels’ Winter Wonders (Plaisirs d’hiver) is the largest Christmas market in all of Belgium and is a real feast for the senses.

The whole area is transformed into a real winter wonderland during the Christmas period. There are over 250 wooden stalls spread around the capital, an ice rink, and a music and light show that turns the Grand Place into one giant, glowing Christmas decoration. It’s a perfect snapshot of Christmas.

Where To Stay: If you want to be in the center of all the action, then the Brussels Marriott Hotel Grand Place is the place to go.

Croatia

Advent Zagreb

Advent Zagreb
Image Credit: Zagreb Tourist Board

2023 Dates: December 2nd to January 7th

During the Christmas season, Zagreb’s city center transforms into a Christmas dream. A sea of lights and decorated trees line the streets. This is such a popular market, it’s been voted the best Christmas market in Europe from 2016 to 2018.

Advent Zagreb is made up of over 25 individual markets that cover the city’s squares and parks. Each market has its own unique feel, yet they all tie in together to form one giant celebration of all things Christmas.

Where To Stay: There are plenty of places to stay in Zagreb, including the stunning DoubleTree by Hilton Zagreb, which is a stone’s throw away from all the action.

Bottom Line: From local cuisine and handmade trinkets to cultural performances and church choirs, there’s something for everyone at Advent Zagreb.

Czech Republic

Prague — Old Town Square Market

Christmas Market Prague
Image Credit: maatcheck via Pixabay

2023 Dates: December 2nd to January 6th

There are several Christmas markets in Prague, the biggest one being the Old Town Square Market. Thousands of Christmas lights and decorations light up the whole square, regular theatrical performances take place throughout the festive period, and there is an observation bridge for those who want to get the best views of the whole event.

Vendors selling traditional wooden handcrafted toys are found throughout the square, as well as food and drink stands serving up festive goodies for those looking for a tasty treat. Old Town Square’s market is the longest-running Christmas market in the whole city, so there’s plenty of time to take a trip and see the iconic festive celebrations.

Where To Stay: For those who are looking for a nice place to stay then, the Hilton Prague is located right in the heart of all of the Christmas celebrations and events.

Denmark

Copenhagen — Kongens Nytorv

Copenhagen Kongens Nytorv
Image Credit: Kongens Nytorv

2023 Dates: November 3rd to December 21st

Located in King’s Square, Kongens Nytorv is the largest market in Copenhagen. The market is made up of a maze of wooden stalls selling a whole range of Danish treats and toys, beautiful decorations hanging all around, and a sea of Christmas lights illuminating the entire area to create one enormous festive celebration.

Children can have their photos taken with Father Christmas, adults can enjoy a glass of Christmas punch, and couples can take a romantic walk down the historic cobbled streets. Several other markets are located nearby, including High Bridge Square and Nyhavn, so there’s plenty to do and a lot to see.

Where To Stay: The NH Collection Copenhagen is a great choice for those looking for a place to stay close to the action without being in the middle of everything. We also have a guide to the area’s best boutique hotels.

Estonia

Tallinn — Tallinna Jõuluturg

Christmas Market Tallinn
Image Credit: Dmitry Sumin via Unsplash

2023 Dates: December 1st to January 7th

Tallinn has a long history of festive celebrations. Town Hall Square was the first location to ever erect a tree as a symbol of Christmas back in 1441. These days, the tree is used as the Tallinna Jõuluturg‘s central point, as it’s visible from every market area.

Talin’s largest Christmas market is considerably smaller than a lot of other European Christmas markets. This makes it the perfect location for those who love Christmas celebrations but want to avoid crowds. Tents and wooden stalls circle the giant Christmas tree, and lights and decorations are sprinkled around the whole area. It’s a small slice of Christmas located in the heart of Estonia.

Where To Stay: There are numerous stunning hotels in and around Tallinn — one of them is the Hilton Tallinn Park situated just outside the city center.

Finland

Helsinki — Tuomaan Markkinat

Helsinki Christmas Market
Image Credit: Tuomaan Markkinat

2023 Dates: December 1st to December 22nd

The Helsinki Christmas Market (Tuomaan Markkinat) has around 140 vendors surrounded by historical buildings, a carousel, and a giant Christmas tree in the center. It is Helsinki’s biggest and oldest Christmas market. Handmade sweets, locally-sourced foods, and handcrafted jewelry are just some of what’s available here.

Take a ride on the carousel, listen to carol singers, and take in the sights. It’s a celebration for everyone to enjoy. It is also a green event, as the entire event is powered using energy from renewable sources.

Where To Stay: The Hilton Helsinki Strand is located close to the center of Helsinki. It’s a great hotel for those looking for a warm and welcoming place to relax after a long day of festive fun.

France

Metz Christmas Market 

Metz Christmas Market
Image Credit: Agency Inspire Metz Tourist Office

2023 Dates: November 24th to December 30th

Metz hosts one of several large Christmas markets in France. It has a gourmet food market, a carousel, and a gigantic Ferris wheel where tourists can enjoy a birds-eye view of the entire market. This market is a series of different events and locations that are all pushed together to create an overwhelmingly welcoming Christmas escape.

An enormous cathedral towers over the whole event at Place d’Armes, wooden Christmas huts line the streets selling Christmas goodies, and there’s even an ice rink at Place de la République for those looking to go skating. The Christmas markets in Metz offer a wholesome Christmas experience for the whole family with a little something for everyone.

Where To Stay: If you’re looking for a unique experience, then stay at Hotel De La Cathedrale. It’s a 17th-century building with views over the entire market.

Montbéliard — Les Lumières de Noël

Les Lumieres de Noel
Image Credit: Les Lumières de Noël

2023 Dates: November 25th to December 24th

Located in Eastern France, this town transforms into a magical market experience during the festive period. It has over 140 stalls, each selling its own selection of high-quality Christmas treats. View an endless array of Christmas lights brightening up the streets, and enjoy the sounds of Christmas music.

Les Lumières de Noël has been going strong since 1986, with almost half a million visitors each year. Located at the foot of the Castle of the Dukes of Wüttemberg, this magical marketplace combines the modern decorations and trinkets of today with a plethora of historic buildings, creating a winter wonderland that feels warm and welcoming.

Where To Stay: Ibis budget Montbéliard is located close to the center of Montbéliard, right in the heart of all the Christmas action.

Paris La Défense Christmas Market

Paris La Defense Christmas Market
Image Credit: Paris La Défense

2023 Dates: November 16th to December 27th

Of all the Christmas markets in Paris, Le Village de Nöel sur le Paris de la Défense is by far the largest. With more than 350 chalets dotted around the entire area, tents covered in lights and glittery decorations, and a never-ending stream of festive foods and drinks, it’s a treat for the senses.

When compared to other European Christmas markets, La Défense is much more modern, with laser lights and crisp blue colors surrounded by ultra-modern buildings. It’s a classic Christmas market with a modern twist.

For those looking for a more traditional Christmas market, there are several other large markets located all throughout Paris, so there are plenty of options to please everyone.

Where To Stay: The Hilton Paris La Defense is just a stone’s throw away from some of the Christmas markets, making it a great choice for a quality place to stay.

Hot Tip: Plan the rest of your trip with our ultimate travel guide to Paris, featuring the best things to do, see, and much more! We also have guides on boutique hotels and hotels to book with points

Strasbourg Christmas Market

Strasbourg Christmas Market
Image Credit: Tourist Information Strasbourg and Region

2023 Dates: November 24th to December 24th

Strasbourg’s main Christmas market is unlike any other. It is home to one of the tallest decorated public Christmas trees in all of Europe. More than 300 wooden chalets line the streets with lights illuminating every pathway, Christmas carols are sung on the church’s front steps, and the Christmas tree dominates the skyline.

Strasbourg is home to the oldest Christmas market in France, with its origins dating back to 1570, hence its nickname, the Capital of Christmas. Strasbourg has several Christmas markets, each one joining up with the next to create a citywide celebration of Christmas that offers a little something for people of all ages.

Where To Stay: The Hilton Strasbourg is a great choice for those looking for a nice place to stay in Strasbourg within easy reach of attractions.

Germany

Berlin — WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt

WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt
Image Credit: WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt

2023 Dates: November 27th to December 31st

Of all the Christmas markets in Berlin, WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt is the most popular. Located in Bebelplatz at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, it’s surrounded by the State Opera, St. Hedwig’s Cathedral, Hotel De Rôme, and the Altes Palais/Library and feels like a sealed-off time capsule of the past.

Countless white tents line the square, each one covered in lights and beautiful decorations. Right in the center is a giant Christmas tree that lights up the whole area.

Each market stall sells unique Christmas treats, from locally made cakes and biscuits to handcrafted toys of all shapes and sizes. Daily events and performances run like clockwork, and to top things off, the event finishes with an enormous fireworks display that can be seen from several miles away.

Where To Stay: Berlin has no shortage of beautiful places to stay, including the Leonardo Hotel Berlin. It’s close to all the Christmas action without being too central, giving everyone the best of both worlds.

Cologne — Weihnachtsmarkt am Kölner Dom

Weihnachtsmarkt am Kolner Dom
Image Credit: Weihnachtsmarkt am Kölner Dom

2023 Dates: November 20th to January 7th

Cologne has a multitude of Christmas markets, each one within walking distance of the next. The largest of the markets is Cologne’s Cathedral Christmas market (Weihnachtsmarkt am Kölner Dom), where vendors come from all over Europe to display their wares ranging from food and drinks to toys and gifts.

Cologne’s Cathedral dominates the skyline and stands tall over the entire event, and a giant tree stands in the middle of the square, surrounded by a sea of red chalets and lights. From a nearby ice rink to Christmas DJ performances and a boat bar, it’s a unique and unforgettable experience for people of all ages.

Where To Stay: Located in the heart of Cologne is the Hilton Cologne. With stunning views and close proximity to the Christmas markets, it’s a great choice for those looking for a beautiful place to stay.

Dresden — Dresdner Striezelmarkt

Dresden Striezelmarkt
Image Credit: Striezelmarkt Dresden

2023 Dates: November 29th to December 24th

Dresden is home to the oldest Christmas market in Germany, Dresdner Striezelmarkt. This market is unique as it is home to the world’s tallest Ore Mountain step pyramid, clocking in at over 14 meters tall. There are a total of 7 large Christmas markets scattered throughout Dresden, making the entire city one large festive event.

Numerous wooden huts line the streets, lights hang high on almost every building, and there are several Christmas rides for children to enjoy. Vendors worldwide come to Dresden to bring their taste of Christmas to the masses, making it a multicultural Christmas event to enjoy the holiday and learn about other cultures at the same time.

Where To Stay: Located on the doorstep of Dresden’s Old Town is Hilton Dresden. It’s a great place to stay for those who want to be close to the Christmas festivities.

Frankfurt — Weihnachtsmarkt Frankfurt Römerberg

Christmas Market Frankfurt
Image Credit: Chris Spencer-Payne via Pixabay

2023 Dates: November 27th to December 21st

Of all the Christmas markets in Frankfurt, the Weihnachtsmarkt Frankfurt Römerberg is by far the largest one. With a 30-meter Christmas tree, over 200 Chritsmas stalls, and a handful of rides, including a carousel, it is a hub for every Christmas lover out there.

Every evening, the whole place illuminates the night sky with thousands of LED lights and glowing decorations. Vendors serve up a host of tasty German sweets and drinks, filling the area with the wonderful aromas of chestnuts and gingerbread. The historic buildings watch over the entire event, making it a truly magical experience.

Where To Stay: NH Collection Frankfurt City is a great choice for those who want to be close to the Christmas markets without being directly in the center of everything.

Munich — Münchner Christkindlmarkt

Christmas market at Marienplatz
Image Credit: Simply Munich

2023 Dates: November 27th to December 24th

Munich’s most popular Christmas market can be found in Marienplatz — Münchner Christkindlmarkt. It’s easy to spot, as there is a large Christmas tree right in the center with around 2,500 lights that illuminate the entire area.

Vendors surround the square, serving up a variety of traditional German food and drink. There are rides and attractions for the kids, including a carousel, and the whole place is decorated top to toe in lights and decorations.

Around the corner from Marienplatz is the Rindermarkt Christmas market, so there’s no shortage of fun activities for the family to enjoy together.

Where To Stay: Munich Marriott Hotel is located within close proximity to Munich’s main Christmas market, making it a great choice for those Christmas travelers.

Trier — Trierer Weihnachtsmarkt

Trierer Weihnachtsmarkt
Image Credit: Trierer Weihnachtsmarkt

2023 Dates: November 24th to December 22nd

Located in one of the most romantic places in Europe, Trier Christmas Market (Trierer Weihnachtsmarkt) is surrounded by historical buildings. The market feels like it’s enclosed in a stunning wintertime capsule. Each one of the 95 huts comes together to fill the square, all decorated with lights and ornaments.

Trier Cathedral dominates the background. Song performances, puppet shows, and a variety of talented acts are a regular sight as each vendor shows off their own unique trinkets and gifts.

Where To Stay: The Holiday Inn Express Trier is located a 20-minute walk away from all the festive activities without being too close to the hustle and bustle of the market.

Bottom Line: Trier Christmas Market is a snapshot of history and modern celebrations that come together to make Trier a romantic experience to be remembered.

Hungary

Budapest Vörösmarty Square Christmas Market

Budapesti Karacsonyi Vasar
Image Credit: Budapesti Karácsonyi Vásár

2023 Dates: TBD (2022 dates were November 18th to January 1st)

There are lots of Christmas events located all around Budapest, the most popular one at Vörösmarty Square. Over 100 stalls line the square, selling everything from Hungarian sausages to handcrafted gifts and toys. It’s a real Christmas treat.

Each day ends with a spectacular light show displayed on the façade of the basilica. There are numerous performances by local singers and dancers and a plethora of activities such as blacksmith demonstrations and a free ice rink, which help to make this event a spectacular experience for all.

Kids can pay Santa Claus a visit, and adults can sit back with a glass of glühwein (mulled wine) and take in all the spectacular views that Budapest has to offer.

Where To Stay: The MEININGER Budapest Great Market Hall is a family hotel with friendly staff, lots of amenities, and close proximity to all of the festive fun. It’s an excellent all-around hotel. We have more suggestions in our guide to the best boutique hotels in Budapest.

Italy

Govone — Il Magico Paese di Natale

Il Magico Paese di Natale
Image Credit: Il Magico Paese di Natale

2023 Dates: November 12th to December 18th

Unlike Milan and Amsterdam, Govone is a small town, but it offers a special and more personal Christmas event compared to other European Christmas markets. Il Magico Paese di Natale brings the very best of local cuisine along with a variety of talented artists and performers together to create one spectacular Christmas celebration.

The small town is filled with historical buildings that date back centuries, and as for the vendors, they operate from within old-fashioned wooden stalls decorated with handcrafted ornaments and hundreds of lights. There are several other Christmas markets nearby, so there’s something for everyone in and around Govone.

Where To Stay: Stella Delle Langhe is a boutique and wellness hotel located within walking distance of the Govone Christmas market, making it an ideal place to stay.

Milan — O Bej, O Bej Christmas Market

Oh Bej Oh Bej
Image Credit: Yes Milano

2023 Dates: December 7th to 10th

Milan’s largest seasonal event is a mix of more than 60 individual market stalls, Christmas shows and activities, and delicious food and drink.

The O Bej, O Bej Christmas Market is filled with ornaments and handmade trinkets for Christmas shoppers. The streets are lined with big, bright Christmas trees that illuminate the entire area, and a variety of local singers and musicians perform throughout the festive period.

There are several other Christmas markets nearby, each containing Christmas celebrations. There’s an ice rink for avid skaters, fairground rides for the kids, and of course, an almost endless sea of brightly colored shops and stalls.

Where To Stay: The Hilton Garden Inn Milan North is a great choice for those looking for somewhere nearby to have all the festive fun without being too close to the action.

Netherlands

Amsterdam Christmas Market

Amsterdam Christmas Market skating rink
Image Credit: Winter Festival Amsterdam

2023 Dates: December 13th to December 26th

Amsterdam’s Christmas market is smaller than a lot of other European Christmas markets but no less special. More than 45 market stalls line the street along Museumplein, and each one is lit up with colorful decorations. The museums are also open for the Christmas period, and music echoes through the streets.

There’s an ice skating rink for those who enjoy skating. There are also several stalls cooking up fresh local treats for those looking to expand their taste buds, and there’s no shortage of music and singing. Overall, it is a great place for the whole family.

Where To Stay: Courtyard Amsterdam Arena Atlas is a sleek and modern hotel with lots of amenities and luxuries. It is situated within walking distance of Amsterdam’s main Christmas market. Our guide to the best boutique hotels in Amsterdam has more suggestions.

Poland

Wroclaw — Jarmark Bożonarodzeniowy we Wrocławiu

Jarmark Bozonarodzeniowy we Wroclawiu
Image Credit: Jarmark Bożonarodzeniowy we Wrocławiu

2023 Dates: November 24th to January 7th

Wroclaw is home to one of the biggest Christmas markets in all of Poland, with a plethora of Christmas stalls selling some of the finest locally made toys and treats around. The Wroclaw Christmas Market (Jarmark Bożonarodzeniowy we Wrocławiu) is made up of 2 smaller events: Ryned Marquet Square and Place Solny. When put together, it makes for a fantastic winter celebration.

A 3-tier fairytale house is the centerpiece of this attraction, with all 3 levels leading up to an observation deck where a picture-perfect Christmas view awaits. Music plays throughout the event, carol singers take to the streets to perform Christmas classics, and Santa Claus makes an appearance for the kids. It’s a magical place for a magical time of year.

Where To Stay: Wroclaw has many great hotels, including the DoubleTree by Hilton Wroclaw. It’s close enough to the action without being directly in the center of all the action.

Portugal

Funchal — Mercado de Natal 

Madeira Christmas
Image Credit: Madeira Regional Tourism Board

2023 Dates: December 1st to January 8th

Madeira brings an exotic twist to Christmas markets with displays of exotic flowers, warm days, and natural green trees all around, making it a truly unique Christmas experience. Live music fills the air, with local singers and musicians performing daily.

The Funchal Christmas Market (Mercado de Natal Avenida Arriaga) steps away from modern celebrations to adopt a more traditional Christmas celebration. Handbuilt wooden shacks line the streets, vendors sell homemade treats cooked as you watch, and an endless array of handpicked flowers decorate every square inch of space.

Where To Stay: The Wine Lodges is an aparthotel just off all the Christmas action on Avenida Arriaga and 750 yards from the beach.

Bottom Line: This old-fashioned Christmas market has the feeling of stepping back through time to a simpler period.

Romania

Craiova — Târgul de Crăciun Craiova

Targul de Craciun Craiova
Image Credit: Târgul de Crăciun Craiova

2023 Dates: November 11th to January 8th

During the festive season, the whole city of Craiova is transformed into a winter wonderland. Lights hang down from almost every building, stalls line the streets selling a wide array of Christmas goodies, and carol singers walk the streets spreading Christmas joy to everyone.

Local artists create intricate and beautiful handmade gifts, Christmas trucks give rides to children, and performances by local singers and actors happen like clockwork. There are opera and ballet shows, as well as Santa’s workshop and an ice rink. This historic Christmas celebration has a little something for everyone.

Where To Stay: Ramada Plaza Craiova is only a short distance away from all the festivities. It’s also one of Craiova’s most luxurious yet affordable hotels.

Spain

Madrid — Mercado de Navidad Plaza Mayor

Mercado de Navidad Plaza Mayor
Image Credit: Visita Madrid

2023 Dates: November 25th to December 31st

Christmas in Madrid is a wonderfully magical experience. With around 104 stalls stocked with all kinds of gifts, an enormous nativity scene, and a huge white light Christmas tree that makes the whole area glow, there’s a lot to see at the Madrid Christmas market (Mercado de Navidad Plaza Mayor). Located on Plaza Mayor, this Christmas market dates back to the 19th century when it started out as a festive fruit market.

While the stalls have changed, traditions have remained the same, and it continues to play a large part in Spain’s Christmas celebrations. Sit in on one of the event’s numerous performances, including fairy tales, puppet shows, and choir performances. There’s something for people of all ages.

Where To Stay: Hilton has multiple locations in the heart of Madrid, including the DoubleTree by Hilton Madrid-Prado. Some are just a 10-minute picturesque walk away from the Christmas market. Check out our guide to the best boutique hotels in Madrid for more options.

Sweden

Stockholm — Stortorget Julmarknad

Stortorgets Julmarknad
Image Credit: Stortorgets Julmarknad

2023 Dates: November 18th to December 23rd

Stockholm’s main Christmas market is a fairly small event. It’s tailored toward those who enjoy Christmas markets, but don’t enjoy the hustle and bustle of overcrowded events. Stortorget Julmarknad has 41 stalls, each one offering various local specialties, from food such as moose and reindeer to handcrafted wooden horses.

Located in historical Gamla Stan, this Christmas market is a beautiful winter treat aimed at those looking for a relaxing Christmas experience. There are several other Christmas markets in and around Stockholm, turning the whole area into a city filled to the brim with Christmas fun. There is a lot of Christmas magic sprinkled all throughout the city during the festive period.

Where To Stay: The Hilton Stockholm Slussen is a great hotel located less than a mile from all the Christmas celebrations, making it the perfect choice for a romantic getaway.

Switzerland

Basel Christmas Market at Münsterplatz

Basel Munsterplatz Christmas Market
Image Credit: Rathaus Basel

2023 Dates: November 23rd to December 23rd

Basel is home to some of Switzerland’s most popular Christmas markets, including one in Münsterplatz. This market takes place in front of the historical Basler Münster cathedral, with stalls filling up the entire street and decorations hanging from every tree.

The Basel Christmas market was voted Best Christmas Market for 2021 thanks to its incredible range of stalls, decorations, and romantic atmosphere. With more than 180 stalls drawing in over 900,000 visitors each year, it is the perfect Christmas getaway.

Various events are peppered throughout the festive period. At Theater Basel, a public advent calendar is opened every day leading up to Christmas day. The Spielzeug Welton museum puts on special exhibits for people to see and much more.

Where To Stay: The Basel Marriott Hotel is located within walking distance of all the Christmas festivities, making it a great choice for a Christmas holiday.

United Kingdom

Edinburgh’s Christmas

Edinburgh Christmas
Image Credit: City of Edinburgh Council

2023 Dates: November 17th to January 6th

Edinburgh’s Christmas is one of the U.K.’s biggest and most popular Christmas markets. There are more than 130 huts selling local handmade gifts and tasty treats. Each hut is covered in lights and decorations, giving the whole area a magical and warm vibe.

Take a ride on the big wheel for spectacular views of the whole festival. There are rides for children as well as adults, and there’s even a Santa’s grotto for those who want to see Santa Claus in person. Overall, it’s a magical festival that celebrates all things Christmas and is a great choice for people of all ages.

Where To Stay: Hilton Edinburgh Carlton is located within walking distance of Edinburgh’s Christmas market, making it a great choice for those looking to stay nearby for all the Christmas fun. Several of our favorite boutique hotels are also nearby.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland
Image Credit: Winter Wonderland

2023 Dates: November 17th to January 1st

There are numerous Christmas markets throughout London, and the most popular is Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. More than 100 beautifully decorated wooden cabins line the streets, selling everything from food and drink to clothes and toys.

This market is also home to the U.K.’s largest outdoor ice rink, as well as a giant observation wheel that provides an incredible view over the entire event. There are several rides dotted around the market, including an authentic carousel, which makes for a great place to take a family photo.

Where To Stay: There are hundreds of hotels throughout London, but the Hilton London Hyde Park is a great choice for those looking to be close to Hyde Park.

Hot Tip: Learn more about the best things to do and see in our ultimate travel guide to London!

Manchester Christmas Markets

Manchester Christmas Market
Image Credit: Visit Manchester

2023 Dates: TBD (2022 dates were November 12th to December 22nd)

Manchester’s main Christmas market takes place in the stunning Piccadilly Gardens. There are over 300 stalls selling everything from food and drink to clothes and toys. Tens of thousands of Christmas lights line the pathways, and a giant light-up Santa can be found right in the center; it’s a real snapshot of Christmas.

There are several markets dotted throughout Manchester, from King Street to Catherdral Gardens. Each market leads on to the next, creating a vast network of Christmas fun. There’s an ice rink for those looking to take part in a family fun activity, along with numerous other fun events for the whole family to enjoy.

Where To Stay: Hilton Manchester Deansgate is a great option for those looking to stay somewhere nice while also being within walking distance of all the festive markets. You might also enjoy our guide to Manchester’s best boutique hotels.

Final Thoughts

There are countless Christmas markets dotted across Europe, from huge markets that take up entire cities to smaller, more low-key markets. There’s a holiday market to suit everyone. As more Christmas markets pop up every year, there’s never a shortage of festive fun across the whole of Europe.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to visit a Christmas market?

Christmas markets are usually busy throughout the entire festive period. However, for those looking for the quietest times, the first couple of weeks in December, excluding weekends, are usually the quietest. As a general rule, the closer the Christmas, the busier the market.

Which European Christmas market is the largest?

The largest European Christmas event in terms of space is Vienna’s Christkindlmarkt on Rathauplatz. The market is around 39,000 square meters.

Which European country has the most Christmas markets?

Almost every town and city in Germany hosts its own Christmas market, making it the country with the most markets in the whole of Europe.

How long do Christmas markets usually last?

While each city and town chooses its Christmas market dates. The average length is between 3 and 4 weeks. Some markets can last up to 8 weeks, others just 2.

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About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.

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