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The Best Magical Christmas Markets Across Europe & UK

Christmas Market is a street market associated with the celebration of Christmas during the four weeks of Advent. These markets originated in Germany, but are now held in many other countries. There is something special about the European Christmas markets. Step into a world of festive delights and immerse yourself in the sights, smells and sounds of festive cheer at a Christmas market. Walk through a winter wonderland of handmade treasures and be inspired for your Christmas presents. 

List of some of the famous Christmas Markets:

Krakow Christmas Markets – Poland:

A Krakow Christmas break is perfect for an extended weekend stay in November or December as even without the Xmas market there is still plenty to explore and discover. The Krakow Christmas market is centered around Krakow’s Main Square. In Polish the Main Square is called “Rynek Główny”. Krakow’s Main Square is HUGE!!  Among all the Christmas market stalls is the beautiful twin towered basilica of St Mary’s, one of the largest medieval squares in Europe. In Krakow’s Christmas market, you can find food and souvenir stands with a Polish twist. It is worth seeing Krakow Christmas market, since you will find mulled wine, grilled meat, soups, souvenirs, toys, and ice skating. Open from 25th Nov to 26th Dec.

Krakow Christmas Market

Riga Christmas Markets – Latvia:

In the Cathedral Square of Riga, you can find a festive Christmas market with mulled wine, smoked meats, and Latvian honey, as well as traditional local products such as woollen hats, gloves, and socks, wooden candlesticks and handmade wax candles, and amber and silver jewelry. For children, Christmas in Latvia can be truly magical. Your kids will love feeding bunnies and petting sheep in a small petting zoo if they love animals. Riga Christmas Markets are open from 27th Nov – 2nd Jan.

riga market-latvia
Riga Christmas Market

Italian Dolomites Christmas Markets – Italy:

Located in the northern Italian Alps, the Dolomites offer some of the most beautiful mountain scenery in the world. As the Christmas markets approach, enchanting scents and gentle sounds fill the streets and alleyways of the Dolomites, and entire squares are draped in a romantic Christmas mood for weeks. Enjoy the festive stalls in Bressanone, Bolzano, and Merano to discover a number of fantastic Christmas markets. There is nothing quite like the Dolomites mountain range, with its vertical walls, sheer cliffs, and narrow, deep and long valleys. Christmas Markets are open From 25th Nov to 6 Jan.

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Dolomites Christmas Market
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Austria’s Festive Capital – Vienna:

The Christmas markets in Vienna truly are an age-old tradition. Experience the joy of Christmas with Vienna’s beautiful streets as your backdrop. With seasonal treats and handcrafted goods, punch and chestnut stands draw shoppers into the Christmas spirit. Right in front of the Schönbrunn Palace, approximately 60 exhibitors offer handicrafts and original gifts such as nativity sets and Christmas decorations. There is a wonderful atmosphere created by the smell of freshly baked Vanillekipferl and hot punch filling the air. The Christmas market at Schloss Schönbrunn Palace is open from 19th Nov to 4th Jan. 

Christmas market at Schloss Schönbrunn Palace
Schönbrunn Palace Christmas Market

Berlin Christmas Markets – Germany:

Visit Berlin, the vibrant German capital. Explore an impressive collection of Christmas markets, featuring traditional festive wares, seasonal fare and unusual Christmas gifts, and some even featuring rides and ice-rinks, as well as ski slopes. There are so many different Christmas markets in Berlin. There are several Christmas markets to choose from, including Scandinavian or Japanese markets, Christmas markets with beautiful backdrops, and markets with rides and carnivals. Or visit a Christmas market in any of Berlin’s districts. In City West, the baroque Charlottenburg Palace provides a sumptuous backdrop for this Christmas market. Lights illuminate the market, palace, trees and decorative fence of the palace, creating a romantic atmosphere. The market’s pivotal point is a pyramid in front of the palace’s main entrance. Berlin Christmas Markets are open from 18 Nov – 02 Jan .

Berlin Christmas Markets

Prague Christmas Markets – Czech Republic

Christmas markets are a key ingredient of the festive magic in the Czech Republic, and the Prague markets are the most impressive in the country. They light up the city, bringing locals and tourists together in a true ‘winter wonderland’ setting. The Prague Christmas Markets consist of brightly decorated wooden huts, stocked with local handicrafts and traditional Christmas treats. Among the wares on display are ceramics, jewellery, glassware, embroidered lace, wooden toys, candles, Christmas tree ornaments, winter hats and gloves, and puppets and dolls dressed in traditional costume. Their most important feature is the true Christmas atmosphere scented with cinnamon and clove. Excellent mulled wine, sweet-smelling trdelnik (pastry), hot mead and juicy ham can be picked up in several places throughout the whole of Prague in the pre-Christmas period. Christmas Market at Wenceslas Square lasts from 26th Nov to 6th Dec.

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Prague Christmas Market
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Swiss Christmas Markets – Château-d’Oex:

Christmas markets are also a deeply rooted tradition in Switzerland which are organized and frequented by the local populations of many different sizes of towns and villages. They become the annual community meeting place for celebrating the holidays with families and friends as well as the venue for convivial end-of-the-year company parties. In the French-speaking region of Switzerland, called the Suisse Romande, a part of which is located on the Lake of Geneva (Lac Léman), the lakeside town of Montreux has perhaps the most frequented Christmas Market in the area and locals come from all the surrounding regions. Classified as one of the most beautiful in Europe, the Montreux Christmas Market brings each year an extra touch of magic under the palm trees of the Riviera. For a month, the lake shores welcome more than 170 merchants, craftsmen and restaurant owners installed in illuminated chalets. An enchantment for young and old, especially when Santa Claus flies over the area in his sleigh. Visit the market from 18th Nov to 24th Dec.

Swiss Christmas Market

Bath Christmas Markets – UK:

Regularly voted amongst the most popular events in the UK, the 18-day Christmas shopping extravaganza is the biggest Christmas Shopping event in the South West and consists of more than 170 beautifully decorated wooden chalets in the heart of Bath’s World Heritage Site. In keeping with Bath Christmas Market’s tradition of being distinctively British, each chalet will be selling a variety of high-quality artisan products. The Bath Christmas Market has a romantic atmosphere and attracts thousands of visitors from across the UK. Set in the picturesque streets surrounding Bath Abbey, there couldn’t be a more perfect and magical setting for a Christmas Market. The city also boasts a unique mix of independents, designer boutiques and high street brands. The market will run for 18 days from 24th Nov to 11th Dec.

Bath Christmas Market

Edinburgh Christmas Markets – UK:

Christmas markets are a huge draw during festive trips, and Edinburgh is a city with a really lovely selection of them. Situated in the heart of the city, iconic sites such as Edinburgh Castle, the Scott Monument, the Balmoral Hotel and Calton Hill lend it a dramatic backdrop. While most of this market takes place in East Princes Street Gardens, in recent years it has spread on to George Street too where you’ll also find the festive ice-rink. From mulled Irn Bru to vegan pigs in blankets, from Harry Potter-themed gifts to local handmade produce, the stunning Christmas Market in East Princes Street Gardens offers treats for all. Edinburgh’s Christmas celebrations spread festive cheer across the Scottish capital between 19th November and 3rd January.

Edinburgh Christmas Market
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