The best Christmas markets in Europe 2024
Christmas is a magical time of year, with twinkling lights, decorated trees, festive food and traditions. There is no place more festive during Christmas than Christmas markets. It's the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit. Find out more about the 10 best Christmas markets in Europe to visit in 2023/2024
Christmas and New Year are getting closer, so festive lights and numerous decorations have already taken over the streets of European cities. An irreplaceable component of winter holidays are Christmas fairs, which originated in Germany in the 14th century. Carols, the smell of spices, honey cookies, mulled wine, souvenirs and numerous entertainments are all integral parts of the event.
German Christmas markets are probably the most famous, but a vacation in Prague or a trip to Austria will also immerse tourists in the atmosphere of fairy-tale architecture, unique gifts and warming winter food.
Where to spend a winter weekend and get in the festive spirit? A list of the best Christmas markets in Europe in 2023 follows.
- Date: November 24 - December 29
- Venue: central square
- Average cost of a hotel room for 1 night: 90 euros.
Colmar is a small, but truly fabulous city located 2 hours away from Paris. At least six Christmas markets are held in the central streets of historic Colmar: a market of local delicacies operates in the Joan of Arc square; the craft and antique market at the Hoifhus Palace, the children's market in Little Venice, etc.
The main highlights of the event are the fifty wooden chalets in the Old Customs Square, selling artisan products, gourmet food and, of course, the famous local Alsatian wine. Every Wednesday and Saturday, you can hear a children's choir singing traditional carols on the streets.
Prague, Czech Republic
- Date: December 2, 2023 - January 6, 2024
- Venue: Old Town and Wenceslas Squares
- Average cost of a hotel room for 1 night: 95 euros.
Beautiful as a postcard, Prague is ideal for a Christmas or New Year holiday. The fabulous background of cobbled streets and the fantastic architecture of Prague impress tourists at first sight. The atmosphere of the fair is perfect – on one side the spire of the Church of Our Lady before Tyn, which was built in the 14th century; on the other is the city's famous 15th-century astronomical clock, while in the center a glittering Christmas market rages. The highlights of the exhibition are trinkets made of frosted, hand-blown glass. Delicious cuisine complements the warm atmosphere - hot sausages, fresh from the grill; fresh pancakes; garlic and cheese cakes; all topped off with a shot of svarak, a local, citrusy variant of mulled wine.
There is a children's fair on Old Town Square, where you can see sheep, goats and donkeys patiently waiting for the attention of the smallest tourists.
- Date: November 27 - December 30, 2023
- Venue: Alexanderplatz
- Average cost of a hotel room for 1 night: 90 euros.
Berlin has a more modern take on Christmas traditions. During the holidays, about 80 Christmas markets are held in the central part of the city (there is even one especially for dogs):
- the largest is the Spandau fair;
- decorated with a large number of decorative and applied arts, the Weihnachtszauber fair is the most beautiful;
- Winter World on Potsdamer Platz impresses with winter entertainment: sledding, curling and ice skating with free lessons for children.
- Date: November 24 - December 31, 2023
- Venue: Vorosmarty Square, Basilica
- Average cost of a hotel room for 1 night: 80 euros.
Every year on Christmas Eve, the central square of the Hungarian capital, Vorosmarty, turns into a festive market with the smell of traditional honey cookies, mulled wine, cinnamon and Christmas trees, and live shows and music take place on two outdoor stages.
The fair near the Basilica has all of the above, but with a slight advantage: Christmas laser projections on the Basilica itself and an ice rink that revolves around a large Christmas tree.
- Date: November 11 - December 26, 2023
- Venue: on the square in front of the Town Hall
- Average cost of a hotel room for 1 night: 113 euros.
During Christmas, Vienna sparkles with festive lights. Numerous Christmas markets are spread along the narrow streets of the old town. Local stalls are filled with traditional wooden toys and artisanal goods such as handmade soap. A mug of mulled wine and the aroma of roasted chestnuts and freshly baked pretzels will cheer up vacationers.
- Date: November 23, 2023 - January 1, 2024
- Venue: the main town square, Targ Węglowy, as well as Tkacka and Bogusławskiego streets
- Average cost of a hotel room for 1 night: 75 euros.
While the Christmas markets of Krakow and Wroclaw are recognized as the largest, the market of the romantic city of Gdańsk is considered the most beautiful Christmas market in Poland. There are more than 120 stalls selling original jewellery, ceramics, fashion clothes such as hats and knitwear and treats, including regional dishes such as "pierogi". Gourmets will be tempted by Alsatian pancakes, Greek bugatsa and Spanish churros. Warm yourself up with a mug of hot chocolate or aromatic mulled wine.
- Date: November 17 - December 31, 2023
- Venue: Tivoli Gardens
- Average cost of a hotel room for 1 night: 125 euros.
Winter is one of the best times to visit Copenhagen, especially one of its main attractions, Tivoli Gardens. At Christmas, the historic amusement park in the center of the Danish capital turns into a fairy-tale wonderland. From ice skating to Santa's sleigh, markets with cinnamon mulled wine, called gløgg and æbleskiver in Danish, and sweet treats, it's got everything you need for the perfect festive day. Tourists staying here for a few days can easily cross the bridge to Malmö to experience a Swedish Christmas as well.
- Date: November 23 - December 23, 2023
- Venue: Roncalliplatz near the Cologne Cathedral
- Average cost of a hotel room for 1 night: 130 euros.
Cologne is recognized as one of the best places to celebrate Christmas, as four large markets open here every year. The largest is the Christmas market in front of the entrance to Cologne Cathedral, which dates back to the 13th century. During the festival, more than 100 stage performances and Christmas music are played here.
If you like active recreation, put on your skates and go to the outdoor skating rink at the Heumarkt.
- Date: November 27 - December 21, 2023
- Venue: Remerberg, St. Paul's Square, Main Embankment, Hauptwahe, Friedrich Stolze Square.
- Average cost of a hotel room for 1 night: 145 euros.
The Christmas market in Frankfurt is one of the oldest Christmas markets in Germany. Almost 3 million guests visit it every year. Tourists are attracted by the fairy-tale background of Remerberg, the beautiful cobblestone streets of the town square and St. Paul's Church, the historic carousel and the 30-meter Christmas tree.
- Date: November 22 - December 31, 2023
- Venue: Riur square
- Average cost of a hotel room for 1 night: 140 euros.
Wooden chalets built in a rustic style sell toys and gifts, as well as tempting bowls of cheese tartiflette and sweet chocolate waffles. Among the entertainment, here you can ride on the giant Ferris wheel, which is located on the majestic Grand Place.
Christmas markets are held in many European cities, filling the streets with a festive atmosphere, good mood and fabulous aromas. Choose the most interesting place and go on a fabulous adventure.
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