Best Christmas Markets in Europe (for 2024!)

What to do in Paris in 24 Hours

It’s never too early to start dreaming of next year’s Christmas cheer! And what better way to embrace the magic than by exploring the enchanting Christmas markets that dot Europe’s charming towns and cities? From twinkling lights and carols filling the air to delectable treats and unique crafts, these markets offer an unforgettable experience for all ages.

But with so many options across the continent, where do you begin? Fear not, this guide will whisk you through some of the best Christmas markets in Europe, each offering a unique flavor of festive fun:

AD | I have been or could be if you click on a link in this post compensated via a cash payment, gift or something else of value for writing this post. See our full disclosure policy and privacy policy for more details.

For the Traditionalist:

  • Nuremberg, Germany: This iconic market, steeped in history and tradition, boasts over 180 stalls adorned with intricate ornaments and showcasing handcrafted nutcrackers and local delicacies like Lebkuchen (gingerbread).
  • Strasbourg, France: As the oldest Christmas market in France, Strasbourg dazzles with its majestic Gothic cathedral as a backdrop, offering an authentic Alsatian experience with vin chaud (mulled wine) and gingerbread houses.
  • Salzburg, Austria: Nestled amidst the Baroque beauty of Salzburg, this market exudes a fairytale charm with its festive lights, live music, and traditional Christmas carols filling the air.
What to do in Paris in 24 Hours

For the Foodie:

  • Budapest, Hungary: Ranked the Best Christmas Market in Europe for 2023, Budapest’s Advent Feast at the Basilica features Hungarian specialties like chimney cakes and goulash alongside international delights.
  • Prague, Czech Republic: Indulge in hearty Czech classics like Trdelník (sweet pastry) and klobása (sausage) while browsing handcrafted wooden toys and ornaments at the renowned Prague Christmas markets.
  • Madeira, Portugal: Escape the winter chill and soak up the sunshine at Madeira’s Christmas market. Savor fresh seafood, local wines, and exotic fruits alongside traditional bolo do caco (sweet potato bread).
  • Edinburgh UK: Edinburgh’s Christmas markets weave a captivating spell, transforming the city into a glittering winter wonderland. Imagine strolling through East Princes Street Gardens, the aroma of roasted chestnuts and mulled wine warming the air as you browse handcrafted gifts amidst twinkling lights. Edinburgh at Christmas is one for the bucket list.

Why not try a Family Holiday in Prague at Christmas time?

Best Christmas Markets in Europe (for 2024!)

For the Off-the-beaten-path Explorer:

  • Tallinn, Estonia: Discover a winter wonderland in Tallinn’s charming Old Town, where the aroma of smoked fish and mulled wine fills the air. Browse handcrafted knitwear and admire the towering Christmas tree in the central square.
  • Riga, Latvia: Immerse yourself in the medieval magic of Riga’s Christmas market, housed within the historic Old Town. Sample local honey cake and amber jewelry while enjoying live folk music and carolers.
  • Zagreb, Croatia: Zagreb’s Advent Zagreb boasts over 30 markets spread across the city, each with its own unique theme and charm. Don’t miss the magical light show and the funicular ride up to the stunning Zagreb Cathedral.

Want all three types of Christmas Market together?

Berlin’s Christmas markets aren’t just one festive wonderland, they’re a constellation of many scattered across the city. Each market boasts its own unique charm, from the traditional wooden stalls at Gedächtniskirche, overflowing with handcrafted ornaments and steaming mugs of Gluhwein, to the alternative WeihnachtsZauber at Gendarmenmarkt, showcasing artisan crafts and live music in a historic square. Foodies can indulge in melt-in-your-mouth lebkuchen and potato pancakes at Spandau’s market, while those seeking a touch of magic can wander through the enchanting Späth’sche Baumschulen, a market nestled within a historic nursery, complete with twinkling lights and towering Christmas trees. Whether you crave heartwarming tradition, artistic flair, or festive cheer with a twist, Berlin’s Christmas markets offer an unforgettable adventure for all ages.

Why not spend 48 hours in Berlin with Kids.

Bonus Tip: While many Christmas markets close around December 20th, some extend into early January, offering a chance to experience the festive spirit without the peak crowds.

Remember, this is just a glimpse into the vast array of Christmas markets Europe has to offer. So, grab your warmest coat, a mug for mulled wine, and get ready to embark on a festive adventure that will warm your heart and create memories that last a lifetime!

P.S. Keep an eye out for opening dates and specific details closer to the holiday season.

+ posts

Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!

Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.