Christmas Markets in Europe, from Christmas tree to gingerbread and mulled wine
Christmas is approaching, and European cities celebrate it with the traditional Christmas markets. There are markets for everything: from Christmas tree to gingerbread and mulled wine. But what are the best markets in Europe? Here I will show you the answer to this question and tell you which are the best Christmas markets in Europe.
How to find the best Christmas market in Europe
You may be asking yourself how you can find the best Christmas market in Europe. Well, to help you, I have decided to make a list of the most famous Christmas markets in Europe and their location on Google Maps. To help you save time and travel around the continent, I have also included the opening hours of each market.
If you are planning to travel across Europe this Christmas, it is important that you take into account the opening hours of each market, as sometimes they remain open for longer periods than others.
Read also: Simple ideas for Christmas gifts
Tips for visiting a Christmas market
Visiting a Christmas market is one of the best things to do during Christmas. I will show you some tips, so your visit is as relaxed and pleasant as possible.
- First, you should prepare for your trip and find out which Christmas markets are nearby. This way, you can plan your travels around Europe.
- Another critical point is that you book your tickets in advance: this way, you will avoid queuing up for a long time to pay for your mulled wine or gingerbread.
Christmas markets in Europe
Now that you have decided to visit a Christmas market, it is time for me to give you a list with the biggest Christmas markets in Europe.
Christmas markets in Berlin
To illustrate, the tradition of Christmas markets began in Germany in the last years of the Middle Ages. One of the oldest in Dresden, they were established in 1434. Today, you can find them all over Europe. So if you feel like consuming mulled wine or Christmas gingerbread, I invite you to read this post.
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For instance, November 22th is the official opening date for many of Berlin’s Christmas markets. Most of them will last until Christmas, some until January. Every year I look forward to this date with great excitement. Larger Christmas markets are open daily throughout the holiday season. In addition, they usually held smaller ones and advent markets on advent weekends. We traditionally have about 80 Christmas markets in Berlin during Christmas. Because of the number, it is impossible to visit all the markets.
The most interesting Christmas Markets
I have selected the most interesting Christmas markets in Berlin. Below I will write to you more about them. If you are looking for the biggest Christmas market, visit Weihnachtszauber in the Spandau district.
That’s the oldest Christmas market in the eastern part of Berlin. I have visited it every year, and it has impressed me. It is one of the most beautiful Berlin Christmas markets. Every time I see this market, I discover something remarkable. These include handicrafts and new culinary discoveries. In addition, I would never have thought of as well as artistic performances. As every year, acrobats, stilt walkers, and choir performances entice visitors to this place.
Plenty of tourists and dishes
The setting is an inspiration for Berliners and tourists alike. You can find a detailed program of performances here. The Weihnachtsauber also offers unusual culinary delights prepared by top chefs. At the Christmas market, you will encounter traditional culinary specialties. From Bavaria and Austria, such as Neuburger Rahmbrot, Kaiserschmarren.
There will also be plenty of Berlins and Czech dishes. It is Berlin’s most famous Christmas market. Every year, up to 600,000 people visit them. That location is one of my favorite squares in Berlin, Gendarmenmarkt. With countless Christmas baubles and lights, they created a one-of-a-kind atmosphere in this location.
Famous places nearby
Nearby, you will find famous Berlin landmarks such as Deutscher Dom, Konzerthaus Berlin, and Franzozischer Dom. In addition, tailors, goldsmiths, and candlemakers sell their products in the heated art tent. You can also stop there and enjoy mulled wine and delicious champagne.
The Christmas celebration concludes with a large New Year’s Eve party and a fireworks display. The admission fee is only 1 Euro. The hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. This fair will be open from November 18th to January 2th, 2023.
Address: Gendermenmarkt, 10117 Berlin
Lucia at Kulturbrauerei
The Nordic goddess of light inspired the name of the Berlin Christmas market. Someone primarily greets visitors with Scandinavian food and handicrafts. Launched the fair on November 22 and will run until December 22. If you decide to visit this place, spectacular buildings and backdrops will appear in your eyes.
They gracefully decorated the Christmas market and stalls. This fair characterises the various installations that allow visitors to warm up and fight the cold.You can taste Scandinavian food and enjoy Nordic music. The Christmas market in Lucia is also an excellent opportunity for children. They can enjoy many activities. In the evenings, Santa Claus appears at the fair. He receives Christmas wishes from the little ones and hands out small gifts and sweets.
Old-Rixdorf at Richardplatz
Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church at Breitschiedplatz
You can visit this Berlin Christmas market while walking or shopping in Kurfürstendamm. This fair is around the Kaiser Wilhelm Church. They welcomed me with a highly festive atmosphere and over a hundred stalls there. However, there is much to see in this special place.
You can also try local baked goods like gingerbread and Christmas pastries there. When you visit this place on the weekend, you will likely meet Santa Claus. He is handing out Christmas gifts to children by the Christmas tree. As you stroll through the stalls, you’ll find plenty of Christmas ornaments and decorations. It adds to the atmosphere and magic of Christmas.
Let the flavors surprise you
They offer German and Austrian delicacies. Mulled wine and hot chocolate will warm up even the coldest. In addition, the place is very well lit and introduces us to the atmosphere of Christmas. The Christmas market on Breitschiedplatz opened on November 21. You can visit it till January 8th, 2022. Admission is free.
November 21, 2022 - January 08, 2023
The Rotes Rathaus Christmas Market
Christmas Market is around the Neptunbrunnen fountain on the west side of Alexanderplatz. It offers all kinds of attractions against the backdrop of old Berlin. This pre-Christmas event is easily recognizable thanks to its landmark—the Panorama Ferris wheel, which we can see from a distance.
Each year’s centerpiece of the Christmas market is the 50-meter-high Ferris wheel with heated panorama gondolas. You can see the colorful Christmas hustle and bustle down from the top. The view extends beyond the Brandenburg Gate, Potsdamer Platz, and Radio Tower.
Old Berlin Market Street
They filled the narrow streets with festively decorated stalls. Visitors can enjoy baked apples, lángos, mushroom patties, or special holiday treats. Also, artisans and traders offer their products, and Berlin originals such as the Nante cuckold or the barrel organ player catch the eye.
Around the grand Christmas tree, historic Berlin comes alive again. Facades with original photos of houses that stood in the area around 1900 tell the story of how Berlin once looked.
A feast for children as well. Children’s dreams will come good daily (4.30 pm, 6.30 pm, and 8.30 pm). Santa Claus appears over the Neptune Fountain on a reindeer sleigh. Also unforgettable will be a ride on an antique, beautifully painted carousel or a train going through a snowy, fairy-tale forest. Adults can relive their childhood dreams with a thrilling ride on the nostalgic chain carousel at the ice rink.
Christmas Garden Berlin
As dusk falls, a magical journey begins.
It is the most beautiful time of the year when the twinkling evening circular walk finally illuminates the famous Berlin Botanical Garden once again. In its fifth year, the winter walk takes you on a magical alternative route, with entirely different worlds of light that will surprise even our guests from previous years. Christmas Garden Berlin invites you to experience the expectancy of Christmas peacefully.
Indeed, discover a winter oasis in an atmospheric and romantic setting with family, friends, and colleagues. Enjoy the festive season. End your visit with me with hot mulled wine and seasonal treats. Since opening in 2016, the Christmas Garden has become one of Berlin’s most popular destinations for Advent and Christmas.
Christmas markets are becoming increasingly popular
In fact, in 2019, over 10 million points of light put over 950,000 visitors in Germany and Spain in a festive mood. They will transport you into the appealing world of Christmas with many sparkling illuminations. A visit to the Christmas Garden in Berlin is an experience that offers adults and children everything that makes a Christmas trip special.
This fair is open from 4:30 pm to 10 pm. We can visit it until January 9, 2022.
The entry fee is 18 Euros. Cash continues to be the primary means of payment at Christmas markets in Berlin. Therefore, paying by card can be a challenge for vendors. Your best bet is to bring cash with you.
Address: Königin-Luise-Straße 68, 14195 Berlin
Best Christmas Markets in Salzburg, Austria
Salzburg’s historic Christkindlmarkt on Domplatz and Residenzplatz is one of the world’s most beautiful and oldest Advent markets. Its unique location is in the middle of Old Town Salzburg’s World Heritage Site.
Analogous to the traditional stalls and its long history make, the Salzburg Christmas Market is something extraordinary. This Christmas market with a unique ambiance. The Salzburg Christmas Market, as we know it around the world today, has been around since 1974.
Every year, the market opens on the Thursday before the first Sunday of Advent. It closes its doors again on January 1. From local customs to traditional decorations for the Christmas tree, gifts for young and old, incense for the reflective season, and all kinds of treats such as Austrian specialties.
Places that catch your heart
Above all, the Christmas market in Salzburg’s Domplatz has everything your heart desires. The famous Advent market attracts countless visitors every year. Locals also highly appreciate the festive atmosphere. This market is due to the traditional huts and the unique atmosphere. However, a specially designed “starry sky” spanned Salzburg’s Christmas market as atmospheric lighting.
Events at the Salzburg Christmas Market
Christkindlmarkt is not only the backdrop for around 100 stalls. There is also an emphasis on daily programs: Christmas readings for children, Krampus runs, Christmas tours, choir concerts, visit of the Christ Child, tower blowing, and much more.
November 17, 2022 – January 1, 2023
- Monday-Thusday 10 am-8:30 pm
- Friday 10 am-9pm
- Saturday 9 am-9 pm
- Sunday+holidays 9 am-8:30 pm
Special opening hours
- 24 December 9 am–3 pm
- 25+26 December 11 am–6 pm
- 27-30 December 10 am-8:30 pm
- 31 December 10 am-1 am
- 1 January 10 am- 6 pm
Salzburg Christmas Market, Old Town, 5020 Salzburg
Christmas market in Koln, Germany
Cologne shines in Christmas splendor. Therefore, the tallest natural Christmas tree in North Rhine-Westphalia rises in the middle of Roncalliplatz. Both the spruce and the tent sparkle with over 70,000 LED lights. The radiant tent of over 1,000 square meters is a unique attraction of the “Hearts Fair” at the cathedral. According to the organizers, the Cologne Christmas Society is the most popular Christmas market in Germany.
Over 130 festively decorated stalls sell mainly handicrafts and gifts, but there is no shortage of food and drink. This year, Roncalliplatz will again shine in the light of the lamp tent. Finally, the Christmas market at the cathedral is scheduled to start on November 22.
Something for everyone
For this purpose, The “Fair of Hearts” will open with a performance by the children’s and youth choir “Lucky Kids.” In 2021, the stage program will again offer over 100 free events. Highlights include performances by the Cathedral City Big Band, the orchestra of the Cologne public transport company, jazz bands, gospel choirs, and much more.
Afterward, On December 17, the entire Christmas market will sing old and new carols on stage under the direction of choir director Michael Kokott and accompanied by “Loss mer singe” by Stefan Knitter. Children’s Program: The “Observatory” offers a colorful children’s program almost every day of the week from 4 to 6 p.m. Santa Claus will pay a visit on December 6.
- Opening hours: Monday, November 21, 2022, and close Friday, December 23, 2022.
Address: Domkloster, 50667 Cologne
Similarly, Christmas markets and Christkindlmarkt are becoming increasingly popular in the run-up to Christmas in Budapest. And this is a good thing. As the demand grows, the offer naturally increases, and many corners in Budapest are suitable for a Christmas market. For example, you can find St. Stephen’s Square in the center of Pest, Fö tér, the old main square of Óbuda, Deák Ferenc tér, or Vörösmarty tér near Váci útca, Budapest’s most famous shopping street.
Of course, you can find knots, langos, mulled wine and punch, handicrafts and Christmas decorations, hauberks, gloves, scarves, and leather goods or regional food specialties everywhere. The sweet smell of Kürtős Kalács and mulled wine. Freshly baked sausages. Handicraft stalls. The sound of voices, laughter, and music. A lushly decorated Christmas tree. You’re at a Christmas market.
Explore Festive Budapest
From one stall to another, Budapest’s largest Christmas market brings the holiday season to Vörösmarty Square, in the city’s heart, from November 19 to December 31, 2021. Designer artisans with recognition from the National Association of Artists await unique Christmas gifts, from hand-knitted clothes to wooden toys.
So, enjoy the sweet winter temptations of Kürtős Kalács and mulled wine. Taste sausages, fresh bread, and pickles. Enjoy folk dances and musical performances. Or stroll around the square with friends like in the good old days. Merry Christmas! From November 19 to December 31, 2021, St. Stephen’s Square will host its annual Christmas Market.
The Fair is open from 18th November 2022 to 1st January 2023
Prague, Czech Republic
Christmas markets are trendy in Prague. Both among Prague residents and visitors to the Czech capital. Indeed, the largest and most traditional one is in Old Town Square. However, a newcomer is the Hradčany market, which opened its stalls for the first time in Advent 2015. The market is behind St. Vitus Cathedral on the square in front of St. George’s Basilica.
Besides the festive atmosphere, the market organizers on the most significant castle grounds in the world promise “a high-quality assortment of carefully selected products.”
No other Christmas market in Prague has a great view of the city. For the organizers, the magic of the stalls in an old-world atmosphere is worth the effort. After all, Prague Castle is by far the most visited monument in the Moldovan metropolis: according to the state tourism agency CzechTourism, 2.1 million tourists visited Hradčany in 2016.
Christmas markets open from 26th November 2022 to 6th January 2023, including on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Opening hours are 10:00-22:00.
Of course, it’s that time again this year: the annual and world-famous Strasbourg Christmas Market begins on November 21 and runs through December 23. I briefly introduced all the fairs to you in this article. But, at Christmas time, Strasbourg turns into a different city.
It becomes a winter wonderland from a cozy town on the Ill River and shows a glamorous side: streets and buildings are beautifully decorated and delight Strasbourg.
However, Strasbourg Christmas Market is one of the oldest in Europe, first held in 1570 under the name “Christkindelsmärik.” To fully enjoy the Christmas capital of Strasbourg when you visit it. The “Grand Sapin,” the magnificent Christmas tree on Place Kléber, is also worth a look.
The markets in brief:
- place Broglie
- Alsatian Christmas Market
- rohan palace terrace
- Christmas Market at the Cathedral
- Place de la Cathédrale
- OFF market,
- Place Grimmeissen
- Village of sharing
- Place Kléber
- Adevent village
- Place Louise Weiss
With the end of November, up to Christmas, and sometimes even up to New Year’s in wonderful Alsace comes the Christmas Markets or Marchés de Noël. It has been delighting people for over 500 years. Every town in the region, no matter how big or small, has its unique program. They are creating an extraordinarily festive atmosphere. The historic center of Colmar turns into a magical Christmas market every year. The fairytale buildings, designed not to disturb the city’s architecture, add to the charm.
Colmar’s Christmas magic seems out of this world. Yet, it’s hard not to be captivated while wandering between the streets. The stalls offer Christmas trinkets and treats. They make the atmosphere here very authentic. Besides, try Alsatian sausages, honey, straight from the apiary, and pretzels with coarse salt.
Read also: Why got to Colmar Christmas Market in 2022?
Amazing handicrafts from Alsace
At the markets, you can buy various creations of Alsatian artistic imagination: clay, glass, wood, textiles, and above all, decorations for the Christmas tree and Christmas table, a cloud of baubles, and pendants. In addition, packets of candy canes, gingerbread squares, and manalas pile up nearby.
The Basel Christmas Market has grown in recent years to become arguably one of the most beautiful markets in Europe. Here you will find traditional gifts, culinary specialties, and adventures for the whole family. When the decorated stalls open their displays at the end of November and a Christmas fragrance wafts through the alleyways, the Christmas season begins for the people of Basel.
Shopping spree & culinary delights
With a good 160 stalls, the Christmas market on Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz is the heart of Basel Christmas. Merchants from all over Switzerland price their wares in rustic wooden chalets. From regional delicacies to handmade toys and trinkets, there is something for every generation.
The market also offers a wide variety of culinary delights, making it a meeting place for a lunchtime stroll or an evening out with friends. Of course, the smell of fresh waffles and Läckerli fills the alleys from 11 o’clock and makes many people succumb to temptation. You can enjoy Raclette, fondue, and other hearty specialties with a glass of mulled wine or punch.
The most beautiful fir tree in town
A magical atmosphere prevails in the inner courtyard of the town hall during this time. Right next to the magnificently decorated fir tree, visitors young and old from all over the world can write their personal Christmas wishes. They write it in the public wish book and pause for a moment. There is an advent atmosphere for young and old.
Anyone crossing the Rhine from Grossbasel – preferably on the romantically illuminated “Christmas Ferry” – will also encounter Christmas magic in Kleinbasel. For example, in the “Adväntsgass” right by the banks of the Rhine, where many colorful food stands await their guests. For the little ones, the historic “Wiehnachts-Drämmli,” on which they can ride through the city, is an unforgettable experience. Finally, on Münsterplatz, the imaginatively decorated “Fairytale Forest” awaits them.
Tallinn Christmas Market Best Christmas Market in Europe. With sauerkraut, blood sausage, and gingerbread, the Tallinn Christmas Market in Estonia opened its doors on November 22. The history of the Tallinn Christmas Market began in 1441 when single merchants and girls gathered for the holidays to dance and sing around the Christmas tree, which was burned at the end. Today, the Christmas tradition in Town Hall Square has changed.
Especially Christmas market has many attractions for visitors of all ages, and the most magnificent Christmas tree in the city shines in full splendor to the delight of guests. This shining fir tree is the heart of the entire market, where the Christmas cottages stand like sunbeams. They offer handicrafts, Christmas decorations, and other things you can bring joy to your neighbors at Christmas time.
What you need to know
The caterers prepare specialties from black pudding and sauerkraut to gingerbread, and you can enjoy Christmas drinks that warm your body. Snow figures formed in front of the visitors create a wintry atmosphere. During the weekends, a cultural program is organized by dance and singing groups from various counties.
The Christmas market in Town Hall Square opens on November 26 and lasts until January 2. We still have to do a little research on this one. Just around the corner, there is another market in Tallinn.
The Estonian Christmas Market in Rotermann Quarter. Opened daily from 12.00 to 19.00 in the Rotermann Quarter.
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