Eat, Drink and Be Merry: Christmas Markets in Europe

By Michelle Yastremsky

Cups of toasty mulled wine, holiday carols ringing through the streets, and the smell of fresh pine filling the air all blended to create that special holiday magic... what's not to love about a Christmas market?

From historic markets to bazaars that boast displays of grandeur, these Christmas markets in Europe are straight out of a storybook.

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Village de Noël at La Défense • Paris, France

Not your average holiday market.

Visit the biggest Christmas market in Paris, La Défense, to experience expansive shopping with beautiful bright views. With tons of diversity and variety of options, one could truly spend all day shopping for goods here.

East Princes Street Gardens • Edinburgh, Scotland

See Santa in Scotland!

Indulge in irresistible mulled Irn Bru, vegan pigs in blankets, and enchanting Harry Potter-themed gifts at the East Princes Street Gardens Christmas Market. Rejoice as Santa Land returns, promising an exhilarating adventure for all ages, while Santa's Grotto graces Castle Street.

Fira de Nadal de la Sagrada Família • Barcelona, Spain

Spanish charm and delicious goodies.

The Sagrada Familia Christmas Market in Barcelona is located right beside the basilica in the park. It’s slightly smaller than some of the others but has more of a charming, local atmosphere with traditional winter goodies like churros and hot chocolate.

Guinness Storehouse Winterfest • Dublin, Ireland

Celebrate Christmas in Ireland!

Experience a unique winter wonderland at Winterfest at the Guinness Storehouse, a magical Christmas market in Dublin. Delight in Guinness-themed treats and a special visual artists exhibit, showcasing a stellar digital Christmas Tree with mulled Guinness.

Old Town Square Christmas Market • Prague, Czech Republic

Prague's largest Christmas market!

There is no better place to enjoy your Prague holiday than the city's largest Christmas market, found right in the heart of Old Town Square. You can watch concerts on the main stage, be amazed by the Astronomical Clock, and take pictures of the beautifully decorated tree.

Christkindlmarkt am Rathausplatz • Vienna, Austria

Christmastime in Austria’s capital city.

Vienna during the holiday season is known for its extravagant balls, but the markets are certainly worth paying a visit to as well! Amongst the typical holiday market wares, you’ll find gifts and decorations made of handcrafted wood, blown glass and traditional Viennese treats at this market.

Gendarmenmarkt • Berlin, Germany

One of 60 holiday markets in Berlin!

Germany’s capital city is overflowing with Christmas markets on every street, corner and square during the holidays. Located in between two stunning cathedrals and the imposing Baroque Konzerthaus, the city provides an idyllic location for the famous Gendarmenmarkt. Stop by the nearby ice rink if you fancy it!

Vörösmarty Square • Budapest, Hungary

Gift shopping & goulash!

Budapest’s Vörösmarty Square becomes illuminated during the holiday season. Shop traditional folk instruments, homemade ceramics. Take a break in the 1,200 square-meter food terrace, where visitors can indulge in traditional Hungarian dishes from goulash to beigli (poppy seed pastry served during Christmastime).

Kerstmarkt Brugge • Bruges, Belgium

Holiday festivities in a fairytale city.

Picturesque Bruges transforms into an illuminated wonderland during the holidays, the perfect backdrop for its annual holiday market. Consider ascending the steps of the medieval Belfort bell tower for panoramic views of this spectacular site.

Royal Christkindelsmärik Strasbourg • France

France’s oldest Christmas market.

In operation since 1570, you’ll find artisan gifts and culinary masterpieces at this market. Be sure to try the bredele, a festive holiday biscuit that can be had in a variety of flavors from orange to cinnamon.

Christkindlesmarkt • Nuremberg, Germany

Birthplace of gingerbread!

Enjoy holiday magic in Germany’s medieval city with a stroll through Nuremberg’s Christmas market, which dates back to 1628. Sample the 600 year-old recipe for *lebkuchen *(gingerbread) while sipping on a cup of mulled wine!

Weihnachtsmärkte • Frankfurt, Germany

Listen to church bells and glockenspiels!

Unlike many of the German cities on this list, Frankfurt puts its efforts towards just one holiday market. Proof of a holiday market in Frankfurt actually dates back to 1393; explore this historic holiday pop-up for yourself!

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