It is that time of year again – the time when we all start thinking about Christmas. Most of us will be planning on visiting at least one Christmas market during the festive season. But if you want to travel to attend one on the continent, it can be difficult choosing a destination – there are just so many great ones, each of them offering something slightly different. So if you need some help deciding where to go, here’s a guide to the best European Christmas markets.
Considered to be the daddy of all European Christmas markets, Berlin really does push the boat out during the run-up to Christmas. Berlin hosts over 70 markets dotted around the city, each of them with their own character and style. Some of the most popular include Alexanderplatz, a winter wonderland under the famous TV tower; Charlottenburg Palace, a quaint Bavarian-style market with the stunning Baroque palace as its backdrop; and Gendarmenmarkt, known for its vast array of handmade products and the daily concerts which attract big names year on year.
As one of the most beautiful destinations in Europe, it should come as no surprise that Vienna has one of the most glorious Christmas markets. Pretty much every square in the city gets turned into a winter wonderland with an irresistible atmosphere. One of the more traditional markets takes place in front of the Belvedere Palace, where you can buy lots of local handicrafts while enjoying a glass of mulled wine. You should also visit the ‘Vienna Magic of Advent’, which annually turns the City Hall Square into a Christmas fantasy land, and the market at Schonbrunn Palace, a Viennese icon which provides a gorgeous backdrop to the festivities.
with its cobbled streets and beautiful architecture, such as the incredible Minster, the medieval city of York delights visitors at any time of year, but it is Christmastime when it is really enchanting. Throughout the city, you’ll encounter hundreds of wooden chalets selling all kinds of gifts, local produce, and Christmas treats such as mulled wine and roasted chestnuts. Be sure to check out Thor’s Tipi, a Scandinavian-style bar with open fires. it’s the perfect place to warm up after strolling around the stalls in the December chill.
Strasbourg Christmas market has long been a favorite of many a traveler, and it is also one of the oldest in Europe, dating back to the late Middle Ages. Located right in the historic heart of the city, here you can wander around and browse around 300 stalls while enjoying the stunning architecture all around you. You should also check out the Nativity Scene in the Notre-Dame of Strasbourg, one of the largest in the country, and the 30-meter-high Christmas tree in Place Kleber, decorated with over seven kilometers of fairy lights.