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What’s not to love in December when you know the best Christmas markets in Europe are all set?
I have always loved Christmas – first because of the main essence that a Child is born, and second because Christmas markets are opening their lovely stalls yet again. It is truly a heartwarming sight to see people, both residents and visitors, coming together and enjoying their time all in one open space.
Food has been my primary motivator in going to festive feasts like these. This Christmas season of 2019, I am excited to see what these European Christmas markets have in store for me!
- Here are the best Christmas Markets in Europe
- Frankfurt Christmas Market (Birmingham, United Kingdom)
- Prague Christmas Market (Prague, Czech Republic)
- The Christkindlimarkt (Zurich, Switzerland)
- Advent Feast Christmas Market (Budapest, Hungary)
- Vienna Christmas World (Rathausplatz, Austria)
- Marienplatz Christmas Market (Munich, Germany)
- Tallinn Christmas Market (Tallinn, Estonia)
- Tivoli Gardens (Copenhagen, Denmark)
- Winter Wonders – Brussels, Belgium
- Zagreb Advent – Zagreb, Croatia
Here are the best Christmas Markets in Europe
Frankfurt Christmas Market (Birmingham, United Kingdom)
Market locations: Victoria Square and New Street
Dates open: 7 November to 23 December 2019
Market timings: 10 AM to 9 PM; 1 PM to 9 PM (November 10)
The Frankfurt Christmas Market in Birmingham is an authentic German market and is one of the largest Christmas markets in Europe. The Christmas Market stands adjacent to the Craft Market, giving you a total of 80 stalls to explore and shop in. The smell of pretzels, chocolate and roasted almonds fills the air at the market. The Glühwein stall is a must-visit – surely you can’t resist having a warm winter wine on such occasion!
The original Frankfurt Christmas Market dates back to 1393. Until the 19th century, it was still a tradition to get all of your Christmas presents from the market. Rag dolls and wooden toys coming from the German market are a big hit to the young ones those days.
Prague Christmas Market (Prague, Czech Republic)
Market locations: Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square and other smaller locations
Dates open: 30 November 2019 to 6 January 2020
Market timings: 10 AM to 10 PM
The 2019 Prague Christmas Markets can be found in various locations, with the largest ones being in the Old Town and Wenceslas Square.
Wooden huts are brightly decorated with all things Christmas. These shops sell a variety of goods including small ornaments, handmade items and traditional dolls. Aside from keepsakes, the Prague Christmas Market is also a popular for its food offerings. Holiday hams and sausages dominate the scenes, but if you are looking for something traditional to try, the trdelník cake is the one to buy.
Over the years, the Prague Christmas Market has donned various themes. For 2019, the decors and details speak of Angels at Christmas. You shall see lots of these heavenly figurines adorning the streets and huts all season long.
The Christkindlimarkt (Zurich, Switzerland)
Market location: Zurich Central Station
Dates open: 21 November to 23 December, 2019
Market timings: 10:30 AM to 9 PM (Sunday to Wednesday); 10:30 AM to 10 PM (Thursday to Saturday); until 4 PM (December 24)
You might just be delightfully surprised to find that one of the largest Christmas markets in Europe happens to be indoors – and at a train station! 140 market houses called Alpine chalets are aiming to get your attention once those train doors open at the Zurich Central Station. They sell all kinds of gift ideas which range from specialty cheeses to indulgent bath salts.
The main event has always been the giant Christmas tree lovingly set in the midst of cinnamon-flavored air and a colorful show of lights. The tree stands 32 feet tall and is adorned with sparkling Swarovski crystals that are sure to dazzle the crowd. sources says these gems total to about 7,000 pieces.
The history of the Christkindlimarkt may not be as long-running as the other best Christmas markets in Europe, but it sure has become a staple holiday event which both locals and tourists look forward to.
Advent Feast Christmas Market (Budapest, Hungary)
Market location: St. Stephen’s Basilica
Dates open: 23 November 2019 to 1 January 2020
Market timings: 11 AM to 10 PM (Monday to Friday); 10 AM to 10 PM (Saturday and Sunday); 10 AM to 2 PM (December 24); 10 AM to 10 PM (December 31)
Every year, Szt. István Square becomes lined up with festive huts that sell all sorts of holiday goodies and only the best food trucks in the country.
80 vendors comprise this year’s Budapest Advent Feast Christmas Market in the capital city of Hungary. Expect good international cuisines, world-class attractions and wholesome entertainment that the whole family is sure to enjoy.
One of the main highlights of the market is definitely the 3D light show projected right at the facade of the iconic St. Stephen’s Basilica. Bring your own 3D glasses or purchase onsite and enjoy a stunning Christmas-themed animation.
The Advent Feast Christmas Market at the Basilica has been in the scene for nine years now. Year by year, they strive to be the best out of all the European Christmas markets that happen simultaneously.
Vienna Christmas World (Rathausplatz, Austria)
Market location: Opposite the Burgtheater
Dates open: 15 November to 26 December 2019
Market timings: 10 AM to 9:30 PM (Sunday to Thursday); 10 AM to 10 PM (Friday and Saturday); until 7 PM (December 24); 11 AM to 9:30 PM (December 25 and December 26)
The Vienna Christmas World is the biggest and busiest Christmas market all across Vienna. From mid November till Christmas, the square is filled with 150 Christmas shops perfect for your yuletide shopping.
Don’t miss the famous tree of hearts, the Rathaus Christmas tree, which stands in the middle of the market. Each year, a different province supplies and decorates the festive tree, and for 2019 the privilege was awarded to the Salzburg province. The tree serves as a gift of the province to Vienna, signifying peace and friendship between places.
The history of the yuletide market or Wiener Christkindlmarkt in Vienna dates back to the 18th century. It was not always a pleasant season, though; there was a time when the market seemed to be going downhill because many stalls have resorted to selling plastic toys instead of classic ones. Good thing it bounced back – and today, the visitors coming to this ultimate holiday destination amounts to an average of 3.5 million visitors.
Marienplatz Christmas Market (Munich, Germany)
Market location: St. Mary’s Square
Dates open: 27 November to 24 December 2019
Market timings: 10 AM to 9 PM (Monday to Saturday); 10 AM to 8 PM (Sunday); 10 AM to 2 PM (December 24)
Booths selling artisan crafts and traditional festive food dominate the Christmas market in Marienplatz, Munich. If it is your first time to enjoy the holidays in this side of the world, make sure to bring home some stollen and fruit cake from the market.
In the evening, be put in the most nostalgic Christmas mood with Advent music regularly playing at the location. Enjoy a traditional glass of mulled wine as you lose yourself in one of the best Christmas markets in Europe.
The Marienplatz Christmas Market has a long-running history, starting back from the 14th century. Since 1972, it enjoys its current location at the heart of Munich. Over the years, the market has grown to be a staple attraction during the Christmas season.
Tallinn Christmas Market (Tallinn, Estonia)
Market location: Town Hall Square of Tallinn
Dates open: 15 November 2019 to 7 January 2020
Market timings: 10 AM to 7 PM
The Tallinn Christmas Market in Estonia is awarded by Forbes as one of the ten most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe.
Estonian Christmas food and drinks are special. The superb skills on showcase are also evident in the luxurious and intricately produced items being sold like furs, scarves and other clothing pieces.
The Christmas tree that becomes the star of the show every holiday season has been part of the market since 1441. It is said to be the very first Christmas tree on display in all of Europe. Aside from this, the traditions surrounding the market arose from the early winter solstice celebrations observed by the pagans.
Tivoli Gardens (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Market location: Vesterbrogade 3
Dates open: 16 November 2019 to 5 January 2020
Market timings: 11 AM to 11 PM (Sunday to Thursday); 11 AM to 12 MN (Friday and Saturday)
It’s the 26th celebration of Christmas at Tivoli Gardens this year, and the Christmas market is livelier than ever. Wooden houses are yet again adorned with adorable trinkets and sumptuous feasts of this season, enticing every visitor to shop and have fun at the Garden.
There will be around 60 stores this year, all of which offer a taste of Christmas which you can either enjoy on the spot or bring to your home.
Aside from the market – which I am quite sure you’ll visit towards the end of your time here – Tivoli Gardens is widely celebrated for its amusement rides. Take your time, wander around and relive your childhood yuletide memories, as the market is open until late in the evening anyway.
Winter Wonders – Brussels, Belgium
Market location: Brussels City Centre
Dates open: 29 November 2019 to 5 January 2020
Market timings: 12 NN to 10 PM; 12 NN to 6 PM (December 24 and December 31)
Christmastime is big in Brussels, as evident in the massive Christmas market aptly called Winter Wonders. This event is a celebration of good food, original gifts and festive decors. Around 250 chalets make up the market, lovingly adorned with intricate figures straight out of a Christmas tale.
Towering above the Christmas market is a giant ferris wheel waiting for you and your companion. Dig in and see Winter Wonders from the top. The views from the ride are undeniably nothing short of magical.
Considered as one of the nicest Christmas markets in Europe, Winter Wonders continues to wow the crowd for the 19th time this 2019. It is one of the few holiday markets in which the offerings greatly evolved through technology over time.
Zagreb Advent – Zagreb, Croatia
Market location: Multiple locations
Dates open: 30 November 2019 to 7 January 2020
Market timings: vary per location
You’ll be smelling the delightful scent of gingerbread as soon as you walk your way towards the streets of Zagreb. Hailed as one of the best Christmas markets in Europe for a couple of years, Advent in Zagreb can only grow bigger and better every year.
Make sure to pay a visit to the Trg Ban Josip Jelačić or the main square. The massive open space is home to several stalls selling mulled wine, sausages and other decadent Christmas goods. Here, also, is where you find the large Advent wreath right at the Manduševac Fountain.
Ever since, Christmas in Croatia has been a well-anticipated holiday. That is why it is not surprising to know that many Christmas markets can be found in this one location.
Christmas time is indeed the most wonderful time of the year in Europe and around the world.
I hope that these best Christmas markets in Europe inspired you to visit us during the Yuletide season.