Everything You Need To Know About Christmas Markets In Europe
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Everything You Need To Know About Christmas Markets In Europe

Similarly, without them, the magic of Christmas is less magical and the Christmas landscape less festive. Scented with gingerbread, Christmas tree and mulled wine. Namely, Christmas markets have already become part of the landscape of many cities. Every year, millions of tourists visit Christmas markets. They are eager for winter attractions and fairy-tale atmosphere. I suggest which of the Christmas markets in Europe are especially worth visiting this season!

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 was 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. 

Weihnachtszauber

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. They usually held smaller ones and advent markets on advent weekends. We have usually about 80 Christmas markets in Berlin in the run-up to Christmas. Because of the number, it is impossible to visit all the markets.

The Best Christmas Markets In Europe

The most interesting Christmas Markets

I have selected the most interesting Christmas markets in Berlin. Below I will write to you more about them, where to look for them and what to pay attention to. If you are looking for the biggest Christmas market, be sure to visit Weihnachtszauber, in the Spandau district.

In fact, this is the oldest Christmas market in the eastern part of Berlin. I have visited it every year in the past and it has impressed me every time. It is one of the most beautiful Berlin Christmas markets. Every time I visit this market, discover something special. These include handicrafts, new culinary discoveries. 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 the most popular Christmas market in Berlin. Visited by up to 600,000 visitors each year. It is on one of my favorite squares in the German capital – Gendamenmarkt. They provided the unique atmosphere in this place with countless Christmas baubles and lights.

Famous places nearby

Nearby, you will find famous Berlin landmarks such as Deutscher Dom, Konzerthaus Berlin and Franzozischer Dom. In the heated art tent, tailors, goldsmiths and candle makers sell their products. You can also stop there and enjoy mulled wine and delicious champagne.

The Christmas fiesta ends with a big New Year’s Eve party and a fireworks show. The entrance fee is only 1 Euro. Opening hours are 11am – 11pm. This fair runs from November 22 to December 31. Admission is subject to presentation of a negative COVID test or proof of illness. Children ages 6 to 18 only need a negative test. They accept only digital EU vaccination certificates. 

Address: Gendermenmarkt, 10117 Berlin

Lucia at Kulturbrauerei

Berlin Christmas market was named after the Nordic goddess of light. 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. Gracefully decorated the Christmas market and stalls. What characterizes this fair is 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 a great 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. 

Address: Schönhauser Allee 36

10435 Berlin

Old-Rixdorf at Richardplatz

This well-known Christmas market was cancelled in 2021.
The Best Christmas Markets In Europe

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church at Breitschiedplatz

You can visit this Berlin Christmas market while walking or shopping in Kurfürstendamm. This fair is located around the Kaiser Wilhelm Church. There they welcomed me with an extremely festive atmosphere and over a hundred stalls. However, there is a lot to see in this special place between the stalls, the tall Christmas tree and the church. You can also try local baked goods like gingerbread and Christmas pastries there. When you visit this place on the weekend, you are likely to 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 most cold. In addition, the place is very well lit and introduces us to the atmosphere of Christmas. The Christmas market on Breitschiedplatz opened on November 22. You can visit it till January 2th, 2022. Admission is free.

November 22, 2021 to January 02, 2022

The Rotes Rathaus Christmas Market

Christmas Market is located around the Neptunbrunnen fountain, on the west side of Alexanderplatz. In fact, it offers all kinds of attractions against the backdrop of old Berlin. This pre-Christmas event is easily recognizable from afar thanks to its landmark. The Panorama Ferris wheel, which we can see from a distance.

The centerpiece of the Christmas market each year is the 50-meter-high Ferris wheel with heated panorama gondolas. Looking down from the top, you can see the colorful Christmas hustle and bustle. The view extends as far as the Brandenburg Gate, Potsdamer Platz, and even the 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 catches 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 true when three times a day (4.30 pm, 6.30 pm and 8.30 pm). The 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 wonderful time of the year when the twinkling evening circular walk finally illuminates the famous Berlin Botanical Garden once again. Now, in its fifth year, the winter walk takes you on a magical alternative route. With completely 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.

Certainly, 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 the festive mood. They will transport you into the appealing world of Christmas with the 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.

However, a perfect evening for romantics, couples, friends, colleagues and the whole family. This fair is open from 4:30pm to 10pm. We can visit it until January 9, 2022. 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

In fact, Salzburg’s historic Christkindlmarkt on Domplatz and Residenzplatz is one of the most beautiful and oldest Advent markets in the world. Its unique location in the middle of the World Heritage Site Old Town Salzburg.

Analogous to the traditional stalls and its long history make the Salzburg Christmas Market something very special. This is a Christmas market with a unique ambience. The Salzburg Christmas Market, as we know it around the world today, has been around since 1974.

Every year, the market opens with 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, Christmas market in Salzburg’s Domplatz has everything your heart desires. The famous Advent market attracts countless visitors every year. Locals also highly appreciate festive atmosphere. This is due not least 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 emphasis on daily programs: Christmas readings for children, Krampus runs, Christmas tours, choir concerts, visit of the Christ Child, tower blowing and much more. 

OPENING HOURS

November 18, 2021 – January 1, 2022

  • Monday-Thursday 10am-8:30pm,
  • Friday 10am-2pm
  • Saturday 9am-2pm
  • Sunday+holiday 9am-8.30pm
Special opening hours
  • December 24 9am-15pm
  • December 25+26 11am-6pm
  • 31 December 10am-1pm (11am-6pm for merchandise stalls)
  • 1 January 10am-6pm (11am-6pm for merchandise stalls)
Salzburg Christmas Market, Old Town,  5020 Salzburg

Christmas market in Koln, Germany

November 22 – December 23, 2021.

Cologne shines in Christmas splendor. Therefore, the tallest natural Christmas tree in all of 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, it is the most popular Christmas market in Germany.

Over 130 festively decorated stalls sell mostly handicrafts and gifts, but there is no shortage of food and drink. This year, Roncalliplatz will once 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. With highlights such as 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 Knittler. 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: Sun-Wed 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Thu-Fri 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Sat 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Address: Domkloster, 50667 Cologne
The Best Christmas Markets In Europe

Budapest, Hungary

Similarly, Christmas markets and Christkindlmarkt are becoming increasingly popular in the run-up to Christmas in Budapest as well. And this is a good thing. As the demand grows, the offer naturally increases, and there are very many corners in Budapest that are suitable for a Christmas market. 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, there you can find knots, langos, mulled wine and punch, handicrafts and Christmas decorations, hauberkers, 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 that, 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 daily, except December 25 and 26, from 11 am to 8 pm
The Best Christmas Markets In Europe

Prague, Czech Republic

Christmas markets are very popular in Prague. Both among Prague residents and visitors to the Czech capital. Certainly, the largest and most traditional one is in the 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 organizers of the market on the largest castle grounds in the world promise “a high-quality assortment of carefully selected products.” No other Christmas market in Prague has as great a view of the city. For the organizers, the magic of the stalls in an old-world atmosphere is certainly 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.

Opening hours

In addition, the Christmas market is open from Monday to Thursday from 9 am to 6 pm, and from Friday to Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm.

On Christmas Eve, the market closes as early as 3 p.m., and on New Year's Day, the stalls are then open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m

Strasbourg, France

Of course, it’s that time again this year: the annual and world-famous Strasbourg Christmas Market begins on November 26 and runs through December 26. In fact, I briefly introduced all the fairs to you in this article. At Christmas time, Strasbourg turns into a different city. From a cozy town on the Ill River, it becomes a winter wonderland and shows a glamorous side: streets and buildings are richly decorated and delight Strasbourg. However, Strasbourg Christmas Market is one of the oldest in Europe, first held in 1570 under the name “Christkindelsmärik”. So 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.

Opening hours

The Christmas Market will open on 26.11 from 14.00 to 21.00 and will always be open from 11.00 to 20.00 from Sunday to Thursday and until 22.00 on Saturdays. On 03.12 and 17.12 from 11.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m. and on Christmas Eve from 11.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. On 25.12 the market will be open from 2.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. and on 26.12 from 12.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.

The markets in brief:
  • Christkindelsmärik
  • 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

Colmar, France

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 own unique program. They are creating an extraordinary festive atmosphere. In fact, the historic center of Colmar turns into a magical Christmas market every year. The fairytale buildings, designed so as not to disturb the architecture of the city, add to the charm.

Colmar’s Christmas magic seems out of this world. It’s hard not to be captivated while wandering between the streets. The stalls offer only Christmas trinkets and treats. They make the atmosphere here very authentic. Children will enjoy the mulled orange juice and mulled apple juice. Besides, try Alsatian sausages, honey straight from the apiary, pretzels with coarse salt.

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. Packets of candy canes, gingerbread squares and manalas pile up nearby. Not to mention Christmas cookies, a very strong Alsatian tradition around Christmas.

The Best Christmas Markets In Europe

Basel, Switzerland 

In fact, 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.

This is a tradition, because just in time for the overture of the Christmas market, the famous illumination of Freie Strasse, Basel’s central shopping street, also shines for the first time. The original backdrop of lights from the 1960s still bathes the city center in golden splendor every year.

Shopping spree & culinary delights

With a good 160 stalls, the Christmas market on Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz is the heart of Basel Christmas. In the rustic wooden chalets, merchants from all over Switzerland price their wares. 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 already from 11 o’clock and lets many people fall into 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. On Münsterplatz, the imaginatively decorated “Fairytale Forest” awaits them.

Tallinn, Estonia

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 begins 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 the 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. The heart of the entire market is just this shining fir tree, around which the Christmas cottages stand like sunbeams. They offer handicrafts, Christmas decorations and other things with which 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, which are formed in front of the visitors, create the wintry atmosphere. During the weekends, there is a cultural program organized by dance and singing groups from various counties. The Christmas market in Town Hall Square opens on November 22 and lasts until January 9. 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 10.00 to 19.00 in the Rotermann Quarter.
The Best Christmas Markets In Europe


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The Best Christmas Markets In Europe

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