Many cities in Europe join in the Christmas spirit by hosting fantastic Christmas markets each year. Celebrate the festivities and explore the stunning displays, as each city lights up for this joyous occasion. You’ll find enticing stalls selling Christmas themed gifts and an endless supply of delicious treats and sweets. From eating a bratwurst sausage in Germany to ice skating in France, these atmospheric markets have something for everyone.
Here are our top five must see Christmas markets in Europe.
The Striezelmarkt in Dresden is one of the oldest Christmas markets in the world. A German tradition, these historical markets attract thousands of visitors each year. Be tempted by the aroma of traditional German food including hot chestnuts, lebkuchen and bratwursts while enjoying unique Christmas shopping with hand crafted gifts and toys. There are also plenty of special experiences for the little ones with a children’s adventure land, complete with a fairytale house, a mini railway and even a merry go round. Kids can meet Santa and his elves while enjoying crafts, games, puppet shows and even Christmas baking. At night, these famous markets are lit with thousands of fairy lights and are a magical experience for the whole family
Believed to be the oldest and most famous Christmas markets in France, the Strasbourg markets are a sight to behold. Set in front of the prestigious Strasbourg Cathedral, you will find everything ‘Christmas’ at these markets, from beautiful Christmas ornaments to unique wooden toys. Spend hours wandering from chalet to chalet, picking out a Christmas tree and tasting gourmet treats such as spice bread, pastries and mulled wine. The giant Christmas tree can be found at Place Kleber and there’s a popular skating rink on Place du Chateau.
Denmark’s famous amusement park, Tivoli Gardens, hosts Copenhagen’s Christmas markets each year. Wander down the streets of the Tivoli and explore the stalls filled with Christmas decorations, gifts and plenty of festive food and drinks. Of course, many will spend their time touring the park’s rides including the roller coaster, Elves’ train and the Chinese lantern. Between Christmas and New Year, you can stand in awe at the spectacular fireworks display each night.
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague’s Christmas markets brighten the city each year, as many gather in the Old Town Square to celebrate the Christmas season. The stalls sell a variety of gifts from handcrafted toys to scented candles and Christmas tree ornaments. Listen to the sweet sounds of Christmas carols as you admire the giant Christmas tree that shines brightly. Fragrant aromas waft in the air as thousands gather to sample delicious traditional food. From large hams roasting on spits to Czech pastries prepared fresh in front of you, you’ll have the opportunity to satisfy every craving.
Outside of the Rathaus, you’ll find the famed Vienna Christmas markets. The festive atmosphere attracts visitors all over town to join in the traditional celebrations. There is a mass of stalls selling unique Christmas decorations and hand crafted gifts as well as many tempting treats of the edible kind. From delicious Viennese pastries, cookies and chocolates to roasted chestnuts and spiced punch, these markets will delight the young and old alike.