The Best Christmas Markets in Europe

It’s that time of the year! The most charming Christmas Markets have just been setting up their most beautiful wooden chalets and Christmas decorations within Europe, and it is time to visit one (or a few) of them for a cozy winter.

Thousands of Christmas market booths within Europe please their visitors with crafts, hand made items, decorations, ice skate rinks, light shows, Christmas carols and delights like gingerbreads and mulled wine. Many of them are located in historical locations and wonderfully preserved medieval old buildings, which make them more special and magical than others.

I case you are planning a cozy winter in Europe but don’t know where to go, here is a list of the best Christmas markets in Europe;

1- Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg is the birth place of Christmas markets and every year, approximately 2 million people from all over the world come to this city to witness the festive season. With over 300 wooden chalets, the market is set up in UNESCO World Heritage Site, Grandelle.

22 November 2019: Open from 14:00 to 21:00
From 23 November 2019 to 30* December 2019: Open from 11:00 to 20:00 every day
24 December 2019: Open from 11:00 to 18:00
25 December 2019: closed.

*From December 26 to December 30, only the stalls on Place de la Cathédrale, Place du Château, Place de la Grande Boucherie, Place du Marché-aux-poissons, rue du Palais Rohan and outside of the Palais Rohan will be open.

2- Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is one of the most romantic cities within Europe and one can imagine how dreamy Christmas markets would be there.

Prague’s Winter Wonderland offers more than an outdoor shopping and mulled wine. For a real local experience try some Czech popular food like large hams roasted on spits (Pražská Šunka), tasty barbequed sausages (klobása), Hungarian flatbread topped with garlic, cheese and ketchup (langoš), pancakes (palačinky); and a hot sugar coated pastry (trdelník).

For drinks, try one of the famous Czech beers like Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen or Budvar; or opt for a hot drink like honey wine (Medovina); mulled wine (svařák); hot chocolate (horká čokoláda); or grog, a mixture of rum, water, lemon and sugar.

Open at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square
from 30 November to 23 December 2019
from 25 December to 30 December 2019
from 1 January 2020 to 6 January 2020

Prague (Image courtesy: Prague Experience)

3- Nuremberg, Germany

‘The Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt’ is one of the oldest and certainly the most famous Christmas markets in the world. The German Christmas market takes place during Advent in the Hauptmarkt, the central square in Nuremberg’s old town, and in adjoining squares and streets.

In the wooden booths, visitors can find traditional handmade Christmas decorations and sweet treats such as gingerbreads and roasted almonds. It is great especially for children, as many little stalls invite them to join in hand craft activities such as baking, candle pulling, glass workshop, wood burning, children’s post office and the active playhouse.

From 29 November to 24 December 2019: Every day between 10:00 – 21:00
24 December 2019: open between 10:00 – 14:00

Ceremonial opening with prologue: 29 November 2019 at 17:30
Children’s Christmas Market 29 November to 24 December 2019

4- Copenhagen, Denmark

The Copenhagen weather in December is very cold and with snow showers, so wrap up warm for your Christmas break in Denmark.

There a numerous Christmas markets in Copenhagen but getting an early start, Nyhavn’s Christmas market is a permanent fixture from the start of November to late December.

Nyhavn Christmas Market open from 8 November to 23 December 2019;
Sundays and Thursdays: 10:00 – 19:00
Fridays and Saturdays: 10:00 – 20:00

In addition, the Christmas market in Tivoli Gardens is a great place to enjoy this historic amusement park with its 27 fun rides available.

Tivoli Gardens Christmas Market is open between 16 November 2019 and 5 January 2020.

Some other markets in Copenhagen worth your attention are located by the Freetown Christiania, Nytorv, Kongens Nytorv, Højbro Plads and also at the Renaissance Castle Kronborg.

Copenhagen (Image courtesy: Visit Copenhagen)

5- Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn Christmas Market with a touch of a fairy tale is held at the Town Hall Square of Tallinn. The highlight of the market is the big tree which has been set up in Town Hall Square since 1441, making it the first Christmas tree ever to be put on display in Europe.

Booths offer Estonian Christmas cuisine, from black pudding and sour cabbage to gingerbread and hot Christmas drinks, as well as various handicrafts.

Opening Times:
15 November 2019 – 07 January 2020
Between 10:00 and 19:00

Tallinn (Image Courtesy: Visit Estonia)

6- Brussels, Belgium

The Winter Wonders event takes place before and during the Christmas holidays, at the Grand-Place in Brussels and around the Bourse, the Place de la Monnaie, the Place Sainte-Catherine, the Place de Brouckère and the Marché aux Poissons.

The market offer more than 200 chalets, Christmas carols, The Dome installation, an ice skating ring, a popup village, parades and events.

Open between 29 November 2019 – 5 January 2020.

Brussels (Image Courtesy: Visit Brussels)

7- Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The Dutch capital really pushes the canal barge out when it comes to Christmas, with events, markets and ice rinks open throughout the festive season.

The top Christmas markets in Amsterdam are Ice Village, Amsterdam Christmas Market in Westergas, The Light Festival throughout the canals and Funky Xmas Market.

  • Ice Village:
    16 – 26 December 2019
  • Amsterdam Christmas Market:
    20 December to 23 December 2019
  • Funky Xmas Market:
    15 December 2019
Amsterdam (Image Courtesy: I amsterdam)

8- Florance, Italy

The biggest Christmas market in Florence is located in Piazza Santa Croce, and generally lasts from the end of November to the last days before Christmas. Visitors can enjoy the holiday shopping, Tuscan food and wine, and festive atmosphere in Florence’s Christmas Market.

There is also a range of smaller markets which are located in Piazza Santissima Annunziata, Piazza Santo Spirito and Piazza Vittorio Veneto.

Piazza Santa Croce opening times:
23 November 2019 – 22 December 2019.

In addition to above, you may also want to check out the Christmas markets in Vienna, Budapest, Frankfurt, Gothenburg and Cologne.