Christmas is a joyous and atmospheric time of year, so celebrating winter in Europe doesn’t disappoint. One of the many things you can’t miss out on during this time of year is a trip to one of Europe’s popular Christmas markets. Perfect for getting into the holiday spirit as well as hunting for presents. Europe hosts some of the most exciting and stunning Christmas markets you have seen, and they continue to build their reputation every year.
So, what better way to experience the markets than to treat yourself to a Christmas city break in Europe where you can celebrate in true fashion. If you’re unsure of what the perfect destination would be for you, check out our top five Christmas markets!
For three consecutive years, Zagreb has actually been voted the best Christmas market in Europe. So, there’s no question that it should definitely be a destination on top of everyone’s Christmas wish list. What can you expect from Zagreb’s markets? Well, there is plenty to do, that’s for sure! Skate across the ice rinks, sing-a-long at the concerts and buy from a selection of bits and bobs. There is also plenty of food and drink stalls, so you can keep energised on the go. The great thing is, you can enjoy yourself at the Zagreb Christmas market, all at an affordable price.
Christmas markets opening dates: 2nd December 2018 – 6th January 2019
Photo credit: lonelyplanet.com
Get in the Christmas spirit in Hungary’s capital, Budapest. With the beautiful backdrop of St. Stephen’s Basilica, Budapest is one of the most wonderful European destinations you can visit to experience the Christmas markets. Called the Advent Feast at the Basilica, explore rich traditions unique to Central Europe as well as enjoy new modern input too. We’re talking light shows, flash mobs and pretty hand-made crafts.
Christmas markets opening dates: 27th November 2018 – 2nd January 2019
Photo credit: destinationsmagazine.com
The Christmas markets in Strasbourg are one of the oldest in Europe and yet they are still running strong. Sticking with tradition mixed with hints of Alsatian culture, Strasbourg had to make it to our top 5 list. Marvel at uplifting lights and decorations, soak up the jolly atmosphere and enjoy the shows that are on offer. Strasbourg Christmas markets have a well-recognised schedule including the Nativity, four Advent concerts and even more live music and Christmas events.
Christmas markets opening dates: 23rd November 2018 – 30th December 2018
Photo credit: internations.org
Belgium already boasts one of the most beautiful cities you’ll come across. Add in the Christmas markets and you’ve got one of the most wonderful markets you could explore this winter… in Brussels. The atmosphere at the Winter Wonders market is one of a kind as everyone is enjoying themselves and the square is filled with lights, a huge Christmas tree and ice-skating rink. Not forgetting the annual Christmas parade, Ferris wheel and other attractions.
Christmas markets opening dates: 30th November 2018 – 6th January 2019.
Photo credit: EDanhier
Berlin has a wide selection of Christmas markets to choose from, but Gendarmenmarkt is perhaps one of the best ones to visit. Located between Französischer Dom and Deutscher Dom, the market is best-known for their bubbly atmosphere, festive treats and food. Feast on a traditional German sausage and chat over cups of mulled wine, to make your visit truly worthwhile. Moreover, the wooden huts house a number of different stalls, offering a range of trinkets that you can pick up as Christmas presents for the whole family.
Christmas markets opening dates: 26th November 2018 – 31st December 2018
Photo credit: christmas-markets.at