Thanks to the breathtaking Christmas markets, Christmas in Europe is always a fairytale. The smell of mulled wine, sparkling trees, carol singing and the festive spirit never fails to amaze every one of all ages. Christmas market tradition dates back to the late middle ages and today can be found all over Europe. Welcoming Christmas in a Christmas market is on many people’s bucket lists. While each of them is a bliss to see, some are indeed more famous than others for a couple of reasons. We assembled a detailed list of some of the best Christmas markets in Europe below.
Budapest Christmas Fair
Located at the heart of Budapest, Vörösmarty Square, this Christmas Fair is the most well-known in the city. It entices thousands of people with lots of delicious food, daily choir concerts, folklore performances and other workshops. Some of the time-honoured foods you can find at the market are kürtőskalács, a marvellous chimney cake; gulyásleves, a soup served in a bread bowl and last but not least, rétes, the Hungarian version of strudel. You can feast on these mouthwatering treats while enjoying the eclectic activities taking place in the market. If you are a tourist, do not forget to take home some of the Christmas-themed souvenirs that you can find everywhere around the market.
Staroměstské náměstí Christmas Market
Prague, Czech Republic
Nicknamed “the City of a Hundred Spires,” Prague is enchanting, from the Antique Astronomical Clock in the Old Town to the impressive Charles Bridge. This magical and gothic city is also known as one of the best destinations for the Christmas spirit. The Christmas market taking place in Old Town is indeed one of the best and most extensive in Prague. There is always a fantastic atmosphere in this square, with sparkling decorations all over and various vendors.
You can discover customary mulled wine and gingerbread here. Would you like to go on a little shopping spree for yourself and your loved ones? Prague is an excellent alternative, for sure. This year’s main visual theme is Angelic Christmas, which means there will be shining golden angels and cherubs hanging above the visitors’ heads. The 22-metre tall, extravagantly ornamented Christmas tree will also be there to steal the show.
WeihnachtsZauber at Gendarmenmarkt
WeihnachtsZauber is the most visited Christmas market in Berlin, and it is located in Gendarmenmarkt square. It is a sumptuous Christmas market placed against the remarkable backdrop of the Staatsoper. Unlike most occasional markets, there is an entry cost of only €1 per person. A pretty symbolic fee to take. Right? Probably the gathered money goes to a charity dedicated to people in need.
In this magnificent Christmas market, you can stroll for gift shopping, try the famous Glühwein and attend performances of jugglers, fire-eaters, choirs or gospel ensembles. As a quick reminder, from 2022 to 2024, due to a construction site, WeihnachtsZauber does not take place on the Gendarmenmarkt as usual though it is relocated to Bebelplatz.
Colmar Christmas Market
Colmar is an outstanding terminus for Christmas markets. This city celebrates Christmas for six entire weeks, and the Colmar Christmas markets are incredibly charming. Each market is a mini-village, and like the city itself, they are all unique and authentic. Some of the activities you can do at these markets are, as usual, souvenir shopping, wine cellar visits and wine tastings, hearing to children’s choirs on lighted boats sailing on the canal every Wednesday and Saturday at 5 pm and eating the scrumptious traditional food that you find everywhere.
Tivoli Gardens Market
Danish people are pretty time-honoured, and their Christmas markets are also organised according to Danish standards every year. Tivoli Gardens are otherworldly every day of the year, though, around Christmas time, they are exceptionally breathtaking. The traditional Nordic Christmas scene consists of beautiful wooden carved houses decorated with pine branches and snow-covered trees with the incredible smell of conventional edibles. The iconic Christmas tree is set up in front of the Tivoli Concert Hall, and the charming atmosphere never fails to astonish. To enter Tivoli Gardens Market, you’re required to pay an entrance fee of 60 DKK for children and 135 DKK for adults.
Rynek Główny Christmas Market
The Christmas market in Rynek Główny square in Krakow is Poland’s most cherished one. This market is well-known for its delightful food alternatives, such as smoked cheese, pierogi, grilled meat, various soups and mulled wine. Traditional Polish cuisine is always a pleasure, and eating them on the go with the perfect Christmas ambience feels too satisfactory to be true. There are also lots of souvenir stalls vending handcrafted toys, handmade knits, and Christmas decorations. Poland is an affordable country compared to the rest of Europe due to the value of its official fiat currency, Poland Złoty, and you can relish the lovely Christmas spirit without breaking the bank in its picture-perfect city Krakow.
Old Town Christmas Market
“It’s our children playing with their new toys
Little moments of happiness and of bliss
Does it ever get better than this?
Oh, what joy Santa brings
Thanks, old friend, for packing
Christmas stockings full of nice little things.”
These lyrics are taken from a beautiful “Little Things” song by ABBA, the legendary Swedish supergroup, drawing a fabulous Christmas for all of us. Stortorget’s Christmas market, located in Gamla Stan, dates back to the Middle Ages. It is the ancientest in Sweden, and there are over 40 stalls selling souvenirs, street food, and mulled wine in the market. The atmosphere of this Christmas market is definitely mesmerising and should be seen at least once in a lifetime. Christmas in Sweden is always festive, and Stortorget’s Christmas market is tagged as the most promising market in the country. It is a must to visit if you get the chance.
Viennese Dream Christmas Market
The Christmas spirit in the home of Classical music and beautiful palaces, Vienna, is here to fascinate visitors. The elegant Viennese Dream Christmas Market is extraordinarily captivating thanks to its unique backdrop, the City Hall. As usual, there are a plethora of stalls with various souvenirs and delicious street food. You can also enjoy your warm wine while attending international choirs singing joyful carols on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Fira de Santa Llúcia
Fira de Santa Llúcia is a Christmas market that is set up around Barcelona Cathedral. There are over 300 colourful stalls in the market, lasting around three weeks. You can encounter all sorts of high-quality gifts for your loved ones and fantastic street food. This Christmas market is also illustrative for families with children, thanks to the many children’s activities occurring every year.
Valkenburg Christmas Market
The country of Van Gogh, Stroopwafels, and tulips has many to offer you this Christmas. Valkenburg Christmas Market is impressive since it also takes place underground. You can see Gemeentegrot, Municipal Cave, and Fluweelengrot, Velvet Cave. There are lots to glimpse, from exquisite marlstone sculptures, works of art and films to interactive tablets. Make sure to get back aboveground to see kaleidoscopic Christmas parades. Valkenburg Christmas Market is undoubtedly outstanding and distinguishes itself from other Christmas markets. Celebrating Christmas in caves is an extraordinary experience for sure.
Merry Christmas, Everyone! As Jeton Wallet family, we wish you hope, peace and lots of Christmas cookies this holiday season!