Europe’s Most Christmassy Cities

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Europe’s Most Christmassy Cities

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Category : Christmas , Europe

Christmas in Europe is synonym with snow, time-honored traditions, Gothic churches with fabulous choirs, and charming medieval squares brought to life by colorful Christmas stalls.

Some cities celebrate Christmas in grand style, others with peculiar customs and yuletide nostalgia aplenty, and some of them are simply at their finest during this time of the year. Check them out and get in the holiday spirit!

Vienna, Austria

Vienna Christmas Market

It’s hard to find a city that celebrates Christmas with such grace and elegance like Vienna. The sparkling, elegant Christmas markets, the café culture, and the old-world charm on the streets give the city a magical appeal, while its imperial architecture – basked in twinkling lights – makes for a wonderful backdrop for a fun-filled winter break.

Indulge in glühwein, sausages, and freshly baked pastries at Vienna’s ubiquitous Christkindlmarkts; go ice skating on Rathausplatz; pay a visit to the Snow Globe Museum in the 17th District; or attend one of the legendary Christmas concerts held in the city’s sumptuous churches during this time of year.

Where to stay in Vienna?

Cheap Flights to Vienna

Origin Departure date Return date Find Ticket

Nis

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12.01.2019

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Barcelona

27.11.2018

30.11.2018

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Bologna

18.01.2019

20.01.2019

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Eilat

24.11.2018

27.11.2018

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Dortmund

05.12.2018

07.12.2018

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Milan

26.02.2019

12.03.2019

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Berlin

30.10.2018

02.11.2018

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Warsaw

12.12.2018

17.12.2018

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Larnaca

05.12.2018

09.12.2018

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Paris

07.12.2018

09.12.2018

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13.12.2018

16.12.2018

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08.04.2019

11.04.2019

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16.12.2018

20.12.2018

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Rome

03.05.2019

07.05.2019

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12.12.2018

14.12.2018

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Moscow

21.01.2019

25.01.2019

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17.11.2018

22.11.2018

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17.11.2018

20.11.2018

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17.11.2018

19.11.2018

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07.11.2018

11.11.2018

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06.02.2019

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11.01.2019

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11.12.2018

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16.12.2018

21.12.2018

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Oslo

15.11.2018

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20.11.2018

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17.05.2019

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Riga

04.12.2018

08.12.2018

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11.01.2019

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27.11.2018

01.12.2018

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04.11.2018

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22.05.2019

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14.05.2019

28.05.2019

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29.11.2018

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31.10.2018

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07.12.2018

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21.12.2018

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11.01.2019

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Copenhagen, Denmark

Christmas in Copenhagen

Christmas finds Copenhagen brimming with shining lights, festive spirit, and hyggelige cafés, where inventive design and legendary Danish coziness blend harmoniously to make your experience unique.

Adorned with Christmas markets and tasteful decorations, the entire city radiates a special kind of atmosphere. But, no other place in town is wrapped up in Christmas magic like the world-famous Tivoli Gardens. Each year, the second oldest amusement park on the planet is transformed into a winter wonderland with spectacular Christmas light displays, exciting rides, and sweet little stalls selling all kinds of gifts and traditional goods.

Complement your Christmas in Copenhagen with a stroll along the beautifully decorated waterfront district of Nyhavn; visit the quirky Christiania Christmas Market; or take part in the Royal Copenhagen’s Christmas table tradition – a 50-year-old event featuring six designer Christmas tables, each with its own story and significance.

Where to stay in Copenhagen?

Cheap Flights to Copenhagen

Origin Departure date Return date Find Ticket

Kaunas

19.01.2019

21.01.2019

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18.01.2019

20.01.2019

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14.02.2019

17.02.2019

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31.01.2019

17.02.2019

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Rome

18.01.2019

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13.11.2018

18.11.2018

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Madrid

15.02.2019

18.02.2019

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16.01.2019

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Berlin

08.12.2018

09.12.2018

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10.12.2018

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26.11.2018

28.11.2018

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11.11.2018

17.11.2018

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03.01.2019

06.01.2019

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13.01.2019

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22.02.2019

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07.12.2018

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16.11.2018

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07.11.2018

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06.10.2019

13.10.2019

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05.01.2019

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14.12.2018

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26.05.2019

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02.11.2018

20.11.2018

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22.03.2019

31.03.2019

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10.12.2018

13.12.2018

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17.12.2018

21.12.2018

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31.12.2018

07.01.2019

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28.11.2018

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09.12.2018

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12.06.2019

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23.11.2018

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24.11.2018

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28.12.2018

01.01.2019

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15.11.2018

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Agadir

20.01.2019

26.01.2019

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Naples

27.10.2018

30.10.2018

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Bergen

11.12.2018

13.12.2018

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Thessaloniki

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07.05.2019

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Geneva

27.10.2018

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Shannon

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25.12.2018

29.12.2018

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02.11.2018

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Bilbao

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Rovaniemi, Lapland

Santa Claus Village

With its otherworldly frosty landscapes, brightly lit Christmas trees, and elaborate ice sculptures, there’s no doubt Rovaniemi is the most christmassy place on Earth. And the fact that Santa Claus himself lives only 8 km away only adds to the city’s magical allure.

In addition to the postcard-perfect pink-hued mornings and the vibrant Santa Claus Village, which is clearly the city’s main draw, Rovaniemi offers visitors an eclectic array of museums and an even greater choice of winter activities, including exciting reindeer and husky rides, snowmobile safaris, and spectacular Northern Lights tours.

Where to stay in Rovaniemi?

Cheap Flights to Rovaniemi

Origin Departure date Return date Find Ticket

Helsinki

28.01.2019

30.01.2019

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31.01.2019

06.02.2019

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Riga

31.10.2018

02.01.2019

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London

14.12.2018

16.12.2018

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Saint Petersburg

23.11.2018

25.11.2018

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Munich

15.11.2018

21.11.2018

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Kiev

28.01.2019

31.01.2019

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Vienna

27.11.2018

30.11.2018

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Birmingham

12.12.2018

17.12.2018

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Ekaterinburg

08.01.2019

13.01.2019

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Arkhangelsk

21.11.2018

30.11.2018

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Krakow

28.12.2018

04.01.2019

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Prague

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24.12.2018

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28.12.2018

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Paris

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18.11.2018

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Istanbul

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Nuremberg, Germany

Christmas in Nuremberg

There’s no better time to visit Nuremberg than during the Christmas season, when the city turns into a genuine winter fairytale. Home to one of the oldest and most spectacular Christmas markets in Germany, hence the world, this picturesque medieval town in Bavaria welcomes its visitors with an extravaganza of Christmas goods, traditions, and activities.

The lavishly decorated stalls peppered around the city’s medieval squares offer everything from toys, lebkuchen (the famous local gingerbread), old-fashioned wooden Ferris wheels, and glühwein booths to high-quality handmade arts and crafts such as candle chimes and foil-winged angels.

In addition to its fabled Christkindlesmarkt, Nuremberg has a long toy making tradition, and this can be best observed in the city’s Toy Museum.

Where to stay in Nuremberg?

Cheap Flights to Nuremberg

Origin Departure date Return date Find Ticket

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Vienna

01.01.2019

08.01.2019

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03.03.2019

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Madrid

21.12.2018

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23.12.2018

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Warsaw

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Bucharest

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Barcelona

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Moscow

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Brussels

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Strasbourg, France

Marché de Noël, Strasbourg

Home to the oldest Christmas market in France, a magnificent Gothic cathedral, and a charming UNESCO-listed Old Town, the quaint Alsatian city near the border with Germany is a fantastic destination for your winter trip. You’ll definitely love the delightful Marchés de Noël set up across Strasbourg’s historical plazas and the elaborate displays that adorn the city’s half-timbered houses each year.

In the shadow of its mighty cathedral, you’ll find nearly 300 traditional wooden stalls packed with lovely Christmas tree ornaments, eye-catching Nativity figurines, and heartwarming seasonal specialties such as roasted chestnuts, bredele cookies, or vin chaud (mulled wine). The atmosphere comes alive with carol singing, Nativity plays, and glistening ice skating rinks that you would hardly resist the temptation to jump on.

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Prague, Czech Republic

Christmas market in Prague Old Town Square

Prague, the Gothic fairytale of Europe, celebrates Christmas with glam and grandeur, its breathtaking architecture providing a truly dramatic backdrop for sipping scented mulled wine, taking leisurely walks, or getting lost in the Christmas shopping frenzy.

The biggest, oldest, and most impressive Christmas market in Prague is the one set in the Old Town Square, at the foot of the Church of Our Lady before Týn. Nevertheless, those held in Wenceslas Square and Náměstí Míru are equally appealing.

The cheerful, beautifully decorated wooden huts of Prague Christmas Market are jam-packed with all sorts of festive goodies, from craft gift items and beautiful Christmas tree ornaments to typical Czech delicacies such as spit roasted hams or Trdelník, a traditional hot sugar coated pastry. The entire scene is animated by music, lights, animal stables, and nativity scenes.

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London, England

Street decorations in London

Dazzling street illuminations, fabulous window displays, and tons of festive fun make London one of the best Christmas cities in Europe. It really couldn’t be otherwise!

As the setting of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, the capital is brimming with stunning skating rinks, Victorian themed events, and magical carol concerts that will melt any Grinch’s heart.

Get into the holiday spirit at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland; attend a memorable performance in glorious surroundings at St Paul’s Cathedral or the Royal Albert Hall; and pay a visit to the Kew Gardens in West London for lovely seasonal shopping, delicious treats, and some of the most spectacular Christmas lights you’ll ever see.

If Christmas shopping in London is your priority, you will be spoiled for choice in the city’s wonderfully creative fairs. The charming Christmas Market at Tate Modern is overflowing with handmade wooden toys, festooned gingerbread, and beautiful traditional decorations, while Hyper Japan at Tobacco Dock makes an excellent spot to buy unique, exotic gifts, feast on sushi and sake, and take part in all sorts of interesting workshops.

If you’re more into one-off design goods, head to Mile End’s Ecology Pavilion, where over 50 artists display their unique homemade creations, from homeware and ceramics to art, clothing, and jewelry.

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What’s your favorite city to spend Christmas?


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Unforgettable Fairytale Christmas in Europe

Tags :

Category : Christmas , Europe

Crazy about Christmas markets, medieval architecture, and the sweet winter scents that bring back childhood memories? If so, the following European destinations combine all these into an unforgettable Christmas experience.

Bruges, Belgium

Market Square in Bruges

You’ll be hard pressed to find a more enchanting city in Europe than Bruges, with its fairy-like canals, buildings that look like they’ve been made of gingerbread, and elegant horse-drawn carriages that come straight out of a story book to clip-clop down the medieval cobblestone streets.

Around Christmas, Grote Markt, the city’s main square, converts into a magical realm trimmed with twinkling lights, a fabulous ice rink, and charming wooden chalets filled with souvenirs, festive ornaments, and Belgian chocolate.

Bruges Ice Sculpture Festival, already in its 15th edition, adds to the town’s magical atmosphere during this time of year.

Wroclaw, Poland

Wroclaw Christmas Market

During the winter holidays, Wroclaw, Poland’s 4th largest city, seduces visitors with a delightful Christmas market that dates back to the 16th century. The streets are adorned with bright decorations; the Old Town oozes energy and good vibes; and Christmas carols resound in the Rynek, a square that evokes the city’s diversity, with its Hungarian, German, and Italian influences.

Wroclaw was named the European Capital of Culture in 2016, so expect to discover a city full of history and events, with a unique architecture and an impressive cultural life.

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague in Winter

Winter in Prague is chilly and crisp, but that doesn’t prevent the elegant Czech capital to be one of Europe’s most festive and christmassy cities.

Its gorgeous Gothic buildings covered in fresh snow and the cobbled alleys of the Old Town whispering about ghosts of a tumultuous past simply take your breath away, while Prague Christmas Market, one of the most famous in Europe, is a wonderful place to discover the traditions, cultural values, and delicious cuisine of this landlocked Central European country steeped in history.

Warm up with a hot mug of mulled wine or a spin on the ice skating rink; fill your shopping bag with all sorts of glistening decorations; or attend one of the fabulous concerts that take place in the city’s remarkable churches and halls during Christmas.

Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn Christmas Market

Tallinn is the city of the first public Christmas tree (erected in the Town Hall Square in 1441) and marzipan, a product to which it has dedicated a museum – Kalev Marzipan Museum Room, where visitors can make their own sweet, colorful figurines.

Nevertheless, Christmas in the Estonian capital is much more than just a decorated tree in the Town Hall Square (Raekoja Plats) and some marzipan candy to sweeten your holiday. In the UNESCO-protected Tallinn Old Town, skilled artisans from all over the country gather to delight passersby with traditional dishes and beautiful crafts, handmade using ancient methods.

The festive, delightfully nostalgic atmosphere of Tallinn Christmas Market blends beautifully with the city’s traditions, architecture, and medieval charm, making it one of the most enchanting Christmas destinations in Europe.

Cologne, Germany

Koln Christmas Market

Also known as Köln, Cologne is famous for its spectacular cathedral, a Gothic masterpiece that dominates the city in more than one way.

From the end of November until New Year’s Eve, the largest city on the Rhine, which is also the birthplace of mulled wine, plays host to no less than 7 Christmas fairs, some of them uniquely themed, others authentic and steeped in tradition.

Regarded as some of the best Christmas markets in Germany, these winter attractions scattered all over Cologne are a wonderful opportunity to enter the magical atmosphere of Christmas and get familiar with the customs of this fascinating nation that gave birth to Christmas markets.


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Magical Christmas in Europe

10 of the most magical Christmas markets in Europe.

Winter in Europe is a wonderful time to visit the beautiful Christmas markets.

Mulled wine, gingerbread, twinkling lights and snowflakes… it’s the most wonderful time of year to visit Europe.

Christmas market season is almost upon the northern hemisphere, where town centres will soon be transformed into hubs of yuletide cheer.

COLOGNE, GERMANY

1. COLOGNE, GERMANY
The mother of all German Christmas markets, Cologne’s is considered one of the largest in the world. You’ll find several different markets dotted throughout the city, all connected by a little train that transports visitors between them.

The largest sits in the shadows of Cologne Cathedral and boasts more than 160 stalls selling everything festive – from different flavours of gluhwein (mulled wine) to personalised Christmas snow globes.

STRASBOURG, FRANCE

2. STRASBOURG, FRANCE
Strasbourg, dubbed the Christmas capital of the world, has the largest and oldest Christmas market in France. Here you can buy one-of-a-kind gifts made from wood and glass, and eat your way around Strasbourg’s medieval streets, gorging on cake and gingerbread.

Don’t forget to warm up with a mug of steamy vin chaud – Strasbourg’s answer to mulled wine. The city’s location near the German and Swiss border means you can visit other famous markets nearby, such as those in Stuttgart, Germany and Basel, Switzerland.

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA

3. SALZBURG, AUSTRIA
This is what winter wonderland dreams are made of. Salzburg looks as though it was specially created and designed for the sole purpose of Christmas.

Sitting below an imposing Baroque cathedral, looked over by a medieval hilltop castle and squeezed between a medieval fortress, Salzburg’s old-worldy charm makes it an atmospheric venue for a charming Christmas market.

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

4. PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
While there are lots of markets around town, the best is in the heart of Prague’s old town. Rows of decorated huts organised around a giant Christmas tree sell a mix of hand-crafted wooden toys, handmade jewellery, candles and crystals.

Be sure to try the medovina, a honey wine known as mead in English.

BREMEN, GERMANY

5. BREMEN, GERMANY
Bremen has two famous Christmas markets. The old Christmas market has more than 170 food and craft stalls and is considered to be one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany.

You’ll also find the Schlachte Magic on the Weser river embankment. Though not your typical Christmas market, it is still a very magical one – the whole waterfront turns back the clock to become a medieval fair full of food, music, and shows which hark back to the jugglers and street entertainers of the Middle Ages.

TALLINN, ESTONIA

6. TALLINN, ESTONIA
As one of the prettiest and most picturesque Christmas markets in Europe, Tallinn’s medieval old town transforms into a true Christmas wonderland.

Tallinn is also home to the Europe’s first public Christmas tree, and if you get tired of the shopping and drinking mulled wine, you can enjoy some outdoor ice skating in the heart of its old town.

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK

7. COPENHAGEN, DENMARK
Tivoli Gardens, Europe’s oldest amusement park, becomes adorned with thousands of lights and packed with hundreds of trees to host the city’s Christmas market. Frozen over, the park’s main lake also becomes an ice-skating rink.

The food and drink here is as much a draw as the atmosphere and arts and crafts on offer – particularly the glogg (spiced mulled wine) and hot apple dumplings.

VIENNA, AUSTRIA

8. VIENNA, AUSTRIA
The Christkindlmarkt on Rathausplatz starts earlier than most, in mid-November, and is one of the biggest Christmas markets in Europe.

Almost 200 stalls dominate the square, selling traditional decorations and hand-crafted gifts as well as scrumptious, melt-in-the-mouth Viennese pastries and Weihnachtspunsch (a spiced punch).

EDINBURGH, UK

9. EDINBURGH, UK
Christmas in Edinburgh sees Scotland’s capital wake from a post-summer Fringe Festival slumber with a series of events across the city centre. With a calendar of shows and performances, as well as an epic lights and music display, the arrival of its Christmas market on Princes Street marks the beginning of the city’s festive season, which culminates in the world-famous Hogmanay Street Party.

Wander around the market’s endless foodie stalls, pop-up bars and craft stands and be sure to take a ride on the Ferris wheel for epic views of Edinburgh Castle and the old town.

DRESDEN, GERMANY

10. DRESDEN, GERMANY
Christmas in Edinburgh sees Scotland’s capital wake from a post-summer Fringe Festival slumber with a series of events across the city centre. With a calendar of shows and performances, as well as an epic lights and music display, the arrival of its Christmas market on Princes Street marks the beginning of the city’s festive season, which culminates in the world-famous Hogmanay Street Party.

Wander around the market’s endless foodie stalls, pop-up bars and craft stands and be sure to take a ride on the Ferris wheel for epic views of Edinburgh Castle and the old town.

Dresden, Germany


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6 must visit Christmas in Europe

Christmas comes but once a year and with it, Christmas trees, decorations, lavish food and, increasingly, Christmas markets! Originating from the late middle ages in Germany, Austria and neighbouring countries, these seasonal markets are home to festive food, nativity scenes, bright lights, and colourful crafts; which make the Christmas season all the merrier. Here is our hand-picked selection of our favourite Christmas markets across Europe.

1. STRASBOURG, FRANCE
27th November – 31st December
Winner of Best Christmas market two years running, the Strasbourg Christmas market is widely regarded as the largest and oldest Christmas market in France. Coupled with the beautiful architectural features of Strasbourg, the Christmas market looks rather magical.

STRASBOURG, FRANCE

2. LONDON HYDE PARK WINTER WONDERLAND
20th November – 3rd January
London’s Hyde Park really does turn into a Winter Wonderland throughout November and December with a wealth of Christmas stalls, selling a whole host of tasty treats and hand-crafted goods, not to mention the fun fair, circus and Magical Ice Kingdom.

LONDON HYDE PARK WINTER WONDERLAND

3. VIENNA, AUSTRIA
13th November – 26st December
Vienna’s Christmas market is one of the oldest lasting markets sitting before the magical Vienna Cathedral. A perfect setting for nostalgia, nativity and romance is complemented by the beautifully scented candles which add a wonderful aroma to the skies.

VIENNA, AUSTRIA

4. BOLOGNA, ITALY
17th November – 7th January
The Bologna Christmas market offers some of the most delicious seasonal treats from across the continent, quite fitting for a country with a passion for delicious food.

BOLOGNA, ITALY

5. BRUGES, BELGIUM
20th November – 3rd January
One of the most eye catching elements of the Bruges Christmas market is the ice rink which takes centre stage in the heart of the city. This is surrounded by market stalls and a number of delicatessens and gift shops.

BRUGES, BELGIUM

6. FRANKFURT, GERMANY
25th November – 22nd December
You cannot go through a list of top Christmas markets without mentioning at least one of the many Christmas markets that occur in Germany every year, this one in Frankfurt is one of the largest.

FRANKFURT, GERMANY


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Magic Christmas in Europe

Best Christmas Markets in Europe 2016

Winter in Europe is a wonderful time to visit the most beautiful Christmas markets. If you are looking for Christmas presents and dream of the lovely smell of a Christmas tree or the lovely sound of Christmas carols, please dive into our selection of the best Christmas markets in Europe, the best destinations for perfect Christmas holidays.

Discover the most beautiful Christmas markets such as the German Christmas markets in Aachen, Cologne, Dresden, Leipzig and Nuremberg, but also the magic of Christmas in the United Kingdom with the Christmas market in London and Manchester. You also have the choice with a selection of the most beautiful Christmas markets in France, with Strasbourg and Lille as well as Belgium, Spain and Switzerland.

You have been tens of thousands to vote for your best Christmas market in Europe. Through social networks you were thousands to share this vote and make your opinion count. Congratulations to the 15 destinations selected by travellers for the quality and reputation of their Christmas market!

Zagreb

1. Zagreb
Come and see for yourself why is the Croatian capital visited by an increasing numbers of tourists during the time of Advent; get to know its idyllic side and partake in themed programmes which take place on the streets and squares around the city centre.

During the time of Advent, Zagreb offers a special atmosphere which simply must be experienced. An ever growing number of tourists choose the capital of Croatia as their destination at that time of year as good fun is had by all literally every step of the way. The city streets and squares invite you to let your hair down and partake in singing, dancing, and other kinds of entertainment with family and friends. You can also sample traditional delicacies alfresco or enjoy themed programmes which take you down memory lane.

When ? From 26th November 2016 to 8th January 2017

Strasbourg

2. Strasbourg
The oldest Christmas market in Europe, the Christkindelsmärik was first held in Strasbourg in 1570. With its 300 stalls, spread out over 12 locations in the city centre, the authenticity, warmth and generosity of Strasbourg Capital of Christmas form an Alsatian tradition which has been successfully maintained ever since.

The spiritual environment and traditions of Advent are well established in Strasbourg. You will find 4 outstanding Advent concerts, a Living Nativity and a wide range of authentic live music and cultural events. It’s the perfect opportunity to go on a cultural trip through time!

When ? From 25th November to 31st December 2016

Aachen

3. Aachen
Every year before Christmas the squares and streets round the Cathedral and the Aachen Town Hall are transformed into a paradise of lights and colours, festive sounds and seductive smells. The glorious fair in the Christmas City, which has been erected with great care and sentiment, fascinates both the young and the old. The enormous choice between original, stylish and precious goods makes small and big dreams come true. It is really no wonder why the Aachen Christmas Market has become an absolute “must” for all people of Aachen and Aachen fans as well.
The Aachen Market has become famous far beyond the boundaries of the Aachen region. This is due to its pleasant and familiar atmosphere. People come to the Christmas Market in order to meet their families, friends, acquaintances and colleagues.

When? From 18th November to 23rd December 2016

Colmar

4. Colmar
Let’s go to Colmar, a city where the magic of Christmas can be experienced in its purest form for six entire weeks, since 17 years. Your way will be drawn by illuminations linking to the city’s five Christmas markets, in a labyrinth of small streets lined with century old half-timbered houses.

Nestling in town squares with their own special architectural features, these islands of togetherness are like the city itself: intimate and authentic. Each market is a mini-village, highlighting passionate and enthusiastic craftsmen. Most of them are from Alsace and have been chosen for the quality and the uniqueness of their products.

Next to that, you are invited to participate to a wide range of activities, making the Christmas in Colmar an uncommon experience: guided tours, wine-tastings, children animations, exhibition of traditional toys, as well as many shows and concerts.

When ? From 25th November to 30th December 2016

Brussels

5. Brussels
Five weeks filled with enchanting encounters, perfumes, colorful stalls, fantastic gift ideas and original tasting sessions. Joy and lights sparkled, bathing visitors in the festive atmosphere embodying the event. Winter Wonders’ attractiveness is now legendary, making it a key event in Brussels during the festive season. This unmissable happening greatly contributes to make our capital city into a privileged city-trip destination. The ice-skating rink, a gorgeous Chistmas tree, a magical and original light and sound show, videomappings, a festive Christmas Parade, the traditional Ferris wheel, the merry-go-rounds… All these amazing activities enchant big and small alike and make the course unique.

When? From 25th November 2016 to 1st January 2017

Leipzig

6. Leipzig
Leipzig Christmas market dates all the way back to 1458. Its six areas are set in chime with the fascinating historical scenery of the Leipzig city centre. With more than 250 twinkling stalls embedded harmoniously in the historic centre, Leipzig Christmas market is not only one of the oldest but also one of the largest Christmas markets in Germany. Visitors are offered a multitude of festive delights: indulge in numerous culinary delights or explore the city’s traditional medieval market.

When? From 22th November to 23rd December 2016

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

7. Rothenburg ob der Tauber
The smell of “white” mulled wine and roasted almonds, the illumination by thousands of fairy lights and the festive music provided by local brass bands…

Once a year, the medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber transforms itself into a fairytale winter wonderland. Ever since the 15th century, the festive time prior to Christmas has been accompanied by a delightful Christmas Market. Looking back on over 500 years of tradition little has changed over the years and the historical customs have been closely followed.

When? From 25th November to 23rd December 2016

Nuremberg

8. Nuremberg
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! The enticing smells of mulled wine and rum punch, roasted almonds, Nuremberg bratwurst and gingerbread fill the air. And it’s not only tiny tots who will have their eyes all a-glow as the Nuremberg Christkind appears on the balcony of the Church of Our Lady to open the holiday season. Friday before the first Sunday in Advent is the day it all begins as she opens the world-famous Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt.

When ? From 25th November to 24th December 2016

Lille

9. Lille
In the heart of winter, Lille sparkles and glows with joie de vivre! With the wave of a magic wand, the city takes on a festive atmosphere and welcomes you to a winter wonderland! On Place Rihour, more than 80 chalets teem with gift ideas, nativity figurines, Christmas decorations and festive food. You can find regional specialities here, and you can also find arts and crafts from Russia, Poland, and Québec, as well as products from Native America.

When ? From 18th November to 30th December 2016

Dresden

10. Dresden
If you like Christmas, you’ll love Dresden. A grand total of eleven completely different Christmas markets, from the by no means Dark Ages to the après ski charm of alpine huts, makes for wonderfully conflicting decisions.
Holiday sounds fill the air throughout the city. From the many oratorios, Advent, organ and gospel concerts, Dresden’s churches brim with festive insider tips.

Christmas tales also come to life in the city’s theatres whilst museums host special exhibitions and boats bejewelled with lights glide along the Elbe. If only Christmas could last more than just a few weeks…

When? From 24th November to 24th December 2016

Vienna

11. Vienna
From mid-November to Christmas, Vienna’s prettiest squares transform into magical Christmas markets. The aroma of Christmas bakery items and hot punch creates a pre-Christmas atmosphere.

One of the most well-known Christmas Markets is the traditional “Vienna Magic of Advent”, which turns the City Hall Square into a shining fairytale land. Christmas gifts, tree decorations, sweets and warming drinks are awaiting you as well as a carousel and craft fun Christmas Workshops for kids. The trees of the surrounding City Hall park are festively decorated and radiate in a sea of lights – a Viennese experience, you’ll definitely don’t want to miss!

When ? From 13th November to 23rd December 2016

Cologne

12. Cologne
Advent is the time for Christmas markets, and Cologne is no exception, the magic of Christmas will be felt throughout the festively decorated city. The aroma of baked apples, cinnamon biscuits and mulled wine will waft through the alleys, and many differently themed Christmas markets will invite people to stroll, shop and explore.

The larger Christmas markets are held in downtown Cologne, but Cologne’s smaller Christmas markets also have plenty to offer.

Cologne’s Christmas markets attract millions of visitors from all over the world every year. You too can savour the unique atmosphere of this metropolis on the Rhine at this special time of year. You’re sure to be enchanted!

When? From 21st November to 23rd December 2016

Cologne

13. Birmingham
Birmingham has the largest authentic German market in Europe outside of Germany and Austria, with 5.5 million visitors in 2014. Consisting of the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market and the Craft Market, the market has grown from just 24 stalls in 2001 to 180 this year, covering New Street, Victoria Square and Centenary Square. The Frankfurt Market offers a wide range of products, including Christmas decorations, handcrafted jewellery, carved wooden toys, sausages, beer and pretzels, while Christmas Craft Market will offer handmade crafts, soaps and candles by local artisans, as well as a wide range of unique and quirky items imported from around the world. Additionally, visitors can enjoy the popular ice rink and big wheel.

When ? From 17th November to 22nd December 2016

London

14. London
London’s spectacular Christmas destination – Hyde Park Winter Wonderland returns on 20th November for six exciting weeks of winter festivities with FREE admission and even more entertainment than before. With more than 100 rides and attractions on site, there’s something for everyone.

For those Christmas shoppers, there’s the traditional German Christmas market with over 200 chalets. The Angels Christmas Market offers unusual and handmade gifts and crafts, including ceramics, candles, jewellery, wooden toys, nativity scenes and Christmas decorations.

When ? From 20th November 2016 to 3rd January 2017

Berlin

15. Berlin
The baroque Charlottenburg Palace is a sumptuous backdrop for this Christmas market in City West. An elaborate light installation bathes the market, the palace, the trees and decorative fence of the palace in a romantic glow. The pivotal point of the market is a pyramid in front of the palace’s main entrance.

Wood huts and marquees, decorated entirely with natural materials, provide a festive atmosphere and offer not only a wide range of crafts but also an impressive selection of culinary choices. In addition to the traditional Christmas market stalls selling hot chestnuts, crepes or Hungarian langos, many hotels and restaurants from Berlin and Brandenburg offer fine dining in heated tents.

When ? From 21st November 2016 to 1st January 2017

Christmas in Europe


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Riga Christmas market 2016

Riga Christmas Market 2016
29.11.2016 to 08.01.2017

According to local legend, in 1510, the Order of the Blackheads – a guild for unmarried merchants – decorated a pine tree on Christmas Eve, then set it ablaze. Today, a similar tree stands in front of the beautifully restored House of the Blackheads, giving visitors a glimpse into Riga’s medieval past. As far as we know, there are no plans to burn down the current tree.

In a nod to that storied past, local artists have created a Christmas Tree Trail, a collection of 77 works inspired by the Christmas tree and other Latvian traditions. The artistic trees are made of a variety of materials and many are illuminated. Maps are available at Riga tourism offices should you want to hunt them all down.

The Riga Christmas market is situated in the heart of Old Town, in the large square next to Dome Cathedral. The market consists of dozens of wooden stalls with white-and-red striped awnings selling an impressive array of reasonably-priced items, such as wool hats, beeswax candles, straw baskets, and glass Christmas ornaments. Food options are just as plentiful, ranging from the traditional Latvian feast of sausage, sauerkraut, and potatoes to ostrich meat pies. You can wash it down with karsts vīns (mulled wine), Black Balsam with hot black currant juice or hot sea-buckthorn juice. The Riga Christmas market is your oyster!

Markets on Doma Square, at the Esplanāde, and on Līvu Square entice visitors with their pleasant scent of mulled wine and roasted almonds, gingerbread, and pieces that have been worked by Latvian craftsmen such as aromatic wax candles, woollen socks, hats and scarves that are perfect for the cold winter weather, eco-friendly wooden toys for children and rag-bears made with love, as well as amber products and silver jewellery – all you would need for original Christmas gifts for your loved ones.

The third market is set up in Riga’s Esplanade Park, near the onion-domed Russian Orthodox Cathedral. While this market might not be as visually stunning as the other two, it’s still worth a wander. It’s also the only place in town where you can get roasted corn on the cob.

On top of all this, Riga has strung Christmas lights along nearly every street and installed fanciful decorations in many parks and public squares. If this city doesn’t put you in the holiday spirit, nothing will!

Old Riga Christmas markets are a sure sign that Christmas is around the corner!

Christmas in Riga, Latvia


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Vilnius Christmas market 2016

Vilnius Christmas Market 2016
11.12.2016 – 0301.2017

When it comes to the festive season, Lithuania’s capital goes all out. Most eye-catching is the Vilnius Television tower, transformed into a huge Christmas tree with a gazillion light bulbs. Stay toasty in the snow by sipping mulled wine (karstas vynas).

Christmas in Vilnius – a long chain of events devoted to the whole family. Because Christmas is the most wonderful holiday of the year awaited by everyone – both by children and adults! Festive mood of hundreds of ideas of magical presents and a scent of roasted almonds – all this and more impressions in Christmas Town.

Vilnius is one of the most overlooked and also the most lavish of Europe’s Christmas Markets. The 550ft TV Tower is turned into a huge Christmas tree and the markets are found in the old Cathedral Square, in City Hall Square and in the Bernardinai Gardens. There are stalls selling traditional Lithuanian handcrafted goods, cakes and pastries such as poppy-seed cake and ragoulis.

In the Cathedral Square market there is a huge 3D display on the side of the cathedral that plays a fairy-tale story entitled the ‘Christmas Dream’. In the Bernardinai Gardens, you can find carousels and games, whilst the City Hall Square market is home to the International Christmas Charity Fair at which sweets and souvenirs made by the wives of foreign diplomats and ambassadors are sold.

Here you will find Christmas delicacies sweetening winter evenings – gingerbreads, honey cakes, teas, home-made cheeses, colourful sweets or pastries… So, hurry to the bustling streets, stop to take photos by the Christmas tree and admire the decorations wrapping the Old Town, stop by in the Christmas Town to taste Christmas delicacies, look around, maybe you will see Santa Claus, the Three Wise Men or elves whizzing past by train!

Christmas in Vilnius, Lithuania


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Tallinn Christmas market 2016

Tallinn Christmas Market 2016
18.11.2016 – 07.01.2017

For many years residents and guests of Tallinn are enchanted by the annual Tallinn Christmas Market. It is a true fairy-tale land – there is a tall Christmas tree on the historic town square surrounded by little houses shining with lights that sell Christmas delicacies and folk craft products. Children will be happy to see merry-go-rounds and Santa Claus, the main stage will feature hundreds of singers and dancers performing, and amazing aromas of gingerbread and mulled wine will spread all over the square. Tallinn Christmas Market is recognized as one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe by many foreign media, including CNN, Elle UK and Vogue Italia.

Dates: 18th Nov 2016 – 07. Jan 2017
Open every day 10:00 – 19:00
Hot Christmas drinks till 23:00
Christmas program On Fridays 17:00 – 19:00
On Saturdays and Sundays 12:00 – 14:00

This year the opening ceremony of the Christmas Market will take place on 18 November at 16:55.
The speech at the opening ceremony will be delivered by the Elder of the City Center Alar Nääme. (NB! After the opening ceremony journalists will be able to interview the speaker!)

Tallinn Christmas Market will be open from 18 November 2016 until 7 January 2017, daily from 10:00 to 19:00.)
Each year Tallinn Christmas Market changes a little. This year Christmas lights decorating the square are replaced with new ones. Their warm light makes the market even more cozy than before. The Christmas tree this year is especially rich and beautiful, with many new decorations: new LED lights as well as red and gold Christmas baubles of different sizes. The stage is decorated with over 600 Christmas stars. There will be over 40,000 lights lit for the Christmas Market on the Town Hall Square. This is a great way to celebrate 575 years since the first Christmas tree was displayed in Tallinn (and probably in the world, too) – in 1441 it was brought to the Town Hall Square by members of the Brotherhood of Blackheads.
Traditionally, the Tallinn Christmas Market offers a wide selection of gifts and delicacies, most of which are made in Estonia.

Here you can also have a meal and various refreshments. Selection is large: from well-known Christmas dishes, such as sauerkraut and blood sausages, to fish and duck. Hot and heating drinks are offered by many sellers on Sun.-Thu. until 22:00 and on Fri. and Sat. until 23:00.

Visitors will enjoy the cultural program on Fridays and Saturdays from 17:00 to 19:00 and on Sundays from 12:00 to 14:00. This year approximately 1,700 artists will perform on the Town Hall Square stage: folk dance groups Sõleke and Viisuveeretajad, folk dance groups of Märt Agu Tallinn Dance Academy, the nine-time winner of school dance competitions Carolina dance studio, the winner of Estonian Golden Cup and high awards on European and World Championships Free Flow dance club, and many other.

On the New Year’s Eve there will be a special program featuring performances by the Latin dance group Pantrid, cabaret group Dance Wonderland with their special Moulin Rouge program and La La Ladies band.

On Sundays advent candles will be lit. On the First Advent, on 27 November at 14:10 everyone will be greeted by Provost of Tallinn Jaan Tamsalu and Tallinn Vice-Mayor Taavi Aas. Church choirs will perform.
Santa Claus can be found in his house, where every day from 12:00 to 18:00 children will be able to read him poems and ask for Christmas gifts. The best poem readers will receive sweets!

Tallinn Christmas Market welcomes everyone to the Town Hall Square to participate in Christmas celebration!

Christmas market in Tallinn, estonia


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