Escape to one of Europe’s most magical Christmas markets, where you can eat, drink and be merry! They’re so good, even the Grinch would crack a smile!
There’s nothing like getting in the festive spirit, then by going to a Christmas market. Wrap up warm and grab all your friends and family for a fun-filled evening of Christmas cheer! You’ll enjoy sipping on spiced mulled wine as you roam around all the enchanting stalls, selling a mix of artisan arts and crafts, homemade gingerbread, and dazzling decorations.
Christmas markets are also a chance for you to marvel at the incredible twinkly light displays and take some insta-worthy shots for the gram or hop on one of the over-the-top rides – from giant wheels to cotton candy carousels and thrilling roller coasters, Christmas markets have them all. Oh, and how can we forget the food?! Think sugar coated churros to traditional toasted chestnuts and jumbo pretzels – for some reason everything just tastes so much better at a Christmas market!
Check out these top 10 Christmas markets in Europe, which are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.
1. The Advent Feast at the Basilica, Budapest
The biggest Budapest Christmas market is back again this year, from 18th November 2022 – 1st January 2023. Doors open in front of the majestic St. Stephen’s Basilica, situated in one of the most beautiful squares in the capital. The market boasts over 120 bespoke craft stalls, as well as live music, a Christmassy candle lighting on a gorgeous advent wreath.
What stands out though, is the 12-meter-tall Christmas tree, that’ll make you say WOW! Balla-Art Kft are one of the most popular Christmas gifts – these decorative ceramics usually come in the form of flowers, animals, and fruits. So why not switch up your standard Christmas decs with one of these unique ornaments?!
2. The Rathausplatz Christkindlmarkt, Vienna
During 19th November – 26th December Vienna’s fairy-tale squares transform into a winter wonderland for the cities most iconic Christmas market. Upon entering you’ll be greeted by the words ‘Frohe Weihnachten’ (Merry Christmas) and the twinkling archway of golden lights.
You’ll be spoilt with 150 stalls selling an assortment of high-end arts and crafts, plus dozens of food trucks serving up lip-smakingly good krapfen (cream doughnuts). Can’t get enough of the Christmas action? Head on down to the park, either side of the market and have a go ice-skating or riding the charming old carousel. Don’t leave without making a Christmas wish at the romantic Tree of Hearts.
3. Heumarkt Christmas market in Cologne
Christmas in Cologne is a magical occasion. One of the oldest markets is: Heumarkt, taking place from 25th November 2022 – 5th January 2023- in the heart of Cologne’s Old Town, with over 100 stalls. A favourite spot is the Futter-und Naschgasse, the food and snacks alley is packed with freshly baked strudels, waffles and apple pancakes – how could you say no?!
But it’s the design of this Christmas market (in the shape of an ice rink), which attracts the crowds. So, whether you’re an ice-skating pro or just fancy visiting a Christmas market with a quirky twist, Heumarkt is for you. Experts can snag a pair of skates and show off your skills or relax with a comforting mug of mulled wine and soak up the Christmas atmosphere.
4. Christkindlmarkt, Salzburg
Christkindlmarkt is one of the most stunning Christmas markets in the world, dating back to 1974. It takes place from 17th November 2022 – 1st January 2023, in Salzburg’s UNESCO World Heritage listed Old Town. Traditional stalls are decorated with strings of glittery fairy lights, selling a mix of handicrafts and delicious regional delicacies.
As well as stalls, there are countless events running day and night which create a unique ambiance of quintessential folk culture. From joyous readings of Christmas stories for little ones, extravagant Krampus parades and Christmassy choral concerts – there’s so much to feast your eyes on! Christkindlmarkt is also the main stage for New Year’s Eve celebrations, with festive fireworks and a Big Band taking place to welcome in 2023.
5. Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market, Berlin
This spectacular spectacle in Berlin, attracts over 800,000 visitors every year for its artisan goods. Gendarmenmarkt’s snow-white marquees topped with a twinkly golden star are hard not to miss – sandwiched in a chic square between the French Church (Französischer Dom), the German Church (Deutscher Dom) and the concert hall of Konzerthaus Berlin.
Foodies will be in heaven with the amount of traditional German delights, like glühwein, bratwurst and stollen. Make sure you stock up on your favourites before stopping by to browse at the handcrafted Christmas gifts. You’ll find just about everything imaginable, from hand painted ceramics to leather work and Christmas wood carvings. Evenings come to life with a range of thrilling entertainment, like epic fire-eaters, amazing angels on stilts and crazy acrobatics!