Europe is renowned for its enchanting Christmas markets, where visitors can shop for intricately-made handmade gifts and indulge in festive treats. Whether you're seeking a classic German market experience or prefer to stay local and explore your own capital city, Europe has an abundance of options to make your Christmas merry and bright. Here are some of our favorite Christmas markets across the continent:
Vienna, Austria: The Viennese Dream market, situated next to the Rathaus, is a centuries-old market that offers visitors the opportunity to learn how to make Christmas cookies and enjoy international carol singing within the magical setting of City Hall.
Prague, Czech Republic: Prague's Old Town Square Market, set against the iconic astronomical clock, exudes a charming atmosphere that is well worth experiencing. Indulge in local Czech delicacies such as hams roasted on spits and tasty barbecued sausages.
Bruges, Belgium: With its picturesque streets, Bruges provides the perfect backdrop for a Christmas market. The Grote Markt market, with its traditional wooden chalets and glittering ice rink, is a must-visit. The Bruges Christmas market celebrations, known as 'Winter Glow,' aim to bring people of all religions together.
Copenhagen, Denmark: Known as one of the coolest cities in Europe, Copenhagen becomes even more magical during the Christmas season. The iconic Tivoli Gardens, transformed into a festive wonderland, hosts a magical market and dazzling fireworks. Don't miss the opportunity to skate on the harbor-front Broen's ice rink.
Cologne, Germany: Germany's reputation as the home of Christmas markets holds true in Cologne, where several markets cater to different tastes. The Angel Market on Neumarkt and St. Nick’s Village on Rudolfplatz offer a cozier and less bustling market experience compared to the legendary market near the Cathedral.
Paris, France: Visit La Magie de Noël at Tuileries Garden, the largest Christmas market in Paris. Situated next to the Louvre, this unusual market has a carnival-like atmosphere, complete with a Champagne bar, a huge Ferris wheel, and over 100 Swiss-style chalets serving French delicacies.
Bath, England: For those looking to stay local, Bath boasts a beautiful Christmas market set against the backdrop of its magnificent abbey. Explore the chalets selling handmade gifts, savor local food and drink, and even indulge in carol services at the abbey.
Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh's Christmas celebrations, running for seven weeks, offer a variety of festive treats. The East Princes Street Gardens Christmas Market boasts 70 stalls serving local and international food, while a ride on the Helter Skelter provides a unique view of the city at Christmastime.
Gothenburg, Sweden: Liseberg Gardens in Gothenburg transforms into a winter wonderland, powered by a wind turbine for an eco-friendly celebration. With millions of twinkling lights, an ice rink, a traditional market, and Santa's village, this market is sure to enchant visitors.
London, England: Leicester Square Christmas market and the Southbank Centre winter market are London's highlights. Delicately handmade gifts, chocolate-covered crepes, and delicious mulled wine can be found at these wooden chalet-lined markets along the River Thames.
Experience the magic of Christmas at one of Europe's festive markets and embrace the holiday spirit in the most enchanting settings.