25 BEST Christmas Markets In Europe (2023)

The weather is cool, the snow is falling, and the gluhwein is bottomless – oh how it’s tough to beat Christmas in Europe. If you’re visiting Europe during the month of December and celebrate Christmas, chances are you want to check out some of the best Christmas markets in Europe.

These enchanting markets, adorned with twinkling lights and bustling with festive energy, offer a captivating blend of traditional crafts, aromatic treats, and joyful carols that transport you to a holiday wonderland. From savoring freshly baked gingerbread to finding unique handcrafted ornaments, these Christmas markets truly encapsulate the magic of the holiday season.

From Spain to Austria, let’s dig into a few of the top Christmas markets in Europe.

The Best Christmas Markets In Europe

1. Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland (London, England)

Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland (London, England)

Iconic Hyde Park in London also hosts the city’s annual Christmas market, aptly named ‘Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland.’ 

Each year millions of visitors are treated to a large portion of the park being decorated with thousands of sparkling lights and vendors setting up their goods in hundreds of quaint wooden chalets. 

Vendors offer gifts, hot chocolate, mulled wine, sausages, and many other delicious Christmas treats. Visitors can also enjoy an ice skating rink and different fairground rides, including a blizzard-themed rollercoaster. There are also regular live performances to keep everyone in the festive spirit, with Christmas shows and concerts.

2. Jul i Vinterland (Oslo, Norway)

Oslo has long been a favored winter destination, so it shouldn’t be surprising that the city would also have its own Christmas Market. The Jul I Vinterland (translated: Christmas in Wonderland) Christmas Market is typically set up around the city hall square, Rådhusplassen, right in the heart of Oslo. 

In addition to enjoying seasonal delicacies such as roasted chestnuts, gingerbread cookies, gløgg (a Norwegian mulled wine), elk dishes, caramel apples, and currywurst, visitors can also find unique Norwegian crafts, clothing, accessories, and gifts.

Visitors can also enjoy live performances with Christmas concerts, folk dancing, and other cultural activities that just make the experience all the better.

3. Liseberg Christmas Market (Gothenburg, Sweden)

Liseberg Christmas Market
Image courtesy of Göteborg/Gothenburg: The Official Guide

Gothenburg’s Liseberg Amusement Park, the most well-known amusement park in Scandinavia, also comes aglow with over a million lights during the yuletide season, with the Liseberg Christmas Market. 

The entire Market is heavily decorated with hundreds of Christmas trees, even on boats floating across the water of the neighboring harbor. Visitors can go to Santa’s workshop or go skating in the ice rink and also enjoy delicious treats like hot chocolate, mulled wine, and saffron buns (known locally as ‘lussekatter’).

4. Funchal Christmas Market (Funchal, Portugal)

Funchal Christmas Market
Image courtesy of Jane White, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons / Best Christmas Markets In Europe
  • Location: 9000-054 Funchal, Portugal (GPS)
  • Dates: December 1, 2023- January 7, 2024

While not strictly a winter wonderland, given the subtropical climate, Funchal still has the Christmas spirit and the Funchal Christmas Market is an excellent example of this. The Market is decorated with lights and rare flowers, and every night Christmas carolers and folklore groups perform on stage for the visitors. 

For food and drink, visitors will be treated to delicious Portuguese cuisine including wine-marinated grilled meats and the local Madeira punch. Visitors can also enjoy different cultural activities, reenactments, and exhibitions that reflect the region’s rich history and traditions.

5. Budapest Christmas Markets (Budapest, Hungary)

Budapest Christmas Markets

Budapest has the distinction of hosting four Christmas Markets and is one of the best destinations to head to in Europe in the winter. One at Vörösmarty Square, which is the oldest Christmas Market in the country, the second is outside of St. Stephen’s Basilica, the third at Városháza Park, and the last in the historic district of Óbuda. 

All of these Christmas markets have hundreds of stalls but it’s the St. Stephen’s Basilica Market and Városháza Park Market that have skating rinks, and there are even Hungarian folk dance shows over the weekend at the St. Stephen’s Basilica market.

There are many seasonal delicacies on offer and even a fabulous light and sound show that is projected onto the facade of the Basilica.

6. Helsinki Christmas Market (Helsinki, Finland)

Christmas market in Helsinki

The Helsinki Christmas Market, known locally as Helsingin Joulumarkkinat, is the annual Christmas market held in the heart of Finland’s capital, Helsinki’s Senate Square.

The Market welcomes more than 300,000 visitors each year, where they are treated to more than 120 chalets featuring delicious food, crafts, arts, ornaments, and many forms of entertainment for all ages. 

A highlight of the Helsinki Christmas Market is that it doesn’t only focus on the traditional. One example is with the food; while there are traditional sausages and mulled wine, there are also many vegan options for those who do not want to partake in animal products.

7. Bratislava Christmas Market (Bratislava, Slovakia)

Bratislava Christmas Market

Bratislava is another city that is dedicated to yuletide celebrations, with numerous squares around the city being transformed into a Christmas wonderland illuminated by fairy lights. Bratislava also holds a tree lighting ceremony which marks the official start of the Christmas season and the market. 

While having to explore multiple market areas across the city could sound like a lot of work, it’s made easier by Bratislava’s official Christmas tram, which travels between all the different squares.

Local Christmas treats that visitors can enjoy include “lokše” (potato pancakes), roasted sausages, and honey cookies.

8. Prague Christmas Markets (Prague, Czech Republic)

Prague Christmas Markets

Prague is another city that hosts two Christmas markets, one in Old Town and the other in Wenceslas Square. Again, both markets are within walking distance of each other and both are worth visiting. 

Lights adorn both Old Town and Wenceslas Square, and visitors will find cute stalls nestled in between buildings with Gothic and Renaissance architecture, making for a very visually aesthetic experience. Local treats like trdelník, (a cylindrical spit cake rolled in cinnamon sugar), and citrusy mulled wine can be enjoyed while watching themed performances.

9. Edinburgh’s Christmas (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Edinburgh's Christmas
Image courtesy of Edinburgh’s Christmas / Best Christmas Markets In Europe

Edinburgh is a magical European city and during the winter season even more so especially thanks to ‘Edinburgh’s Christmas’, the annual Christmas market. Visitors are treated to a wonderful experience as East Princes Street Gardens, St. Andrew’s Square, and other parts of the city center are transformed into a winter wonderland. 

While each market has stalls for gifts and food, there’s also plenty of entertainment. The market in East Princes Street Gardens is quite popular due to the Ferris wheel that gives majestic views of Edinburgh Castle and the magical city itself. If you want to ice skate, head to the St. Andrew’s Square market.

10. Poznań Christmas Market (Poznan, Poland)

Poznań Christmas Market
Image courtesy of jarmark.poznan.pl

Poznań is one of the oldest cities in Europe and has had historically strong yuletide traditions and celebrations, welcoming and entertaining guests from all over for centuries. The Poznań Christmas Market keeps that tradition and spirit alive, as the Old Market Square transforms into a winter wonderland.

The Poznań Christmas Market also happens around the same time as the annual International Ice Sculpture Festival, making for a very unique winter experience. 

Vendors occupying hundreds of stalls sell all manner of goods including winter delicacies, handmade trinkets, and handcrafted toys and decorations. The highlight is the food though with delicious smoked cheeses, goulash, and pierogies.

11. Bath Christmas Market (Bath, United Kingdom)

Bath Christmas Market
Image courtesy of visitbath.co.uk / Best Christmas Markets In Europe

The historic city of Bath also has an annual Christmas market and it is a sight to behold. The already gorgeous cobblestone streets are made even more beautiful with wooden chalets and golden lights lining the streets surrounding Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths. 

What stands out about the market is not the delicious food or the handcrafted housewares and gifts, but the support that is given to local charities. The organization behind the market gives charities chalets in the market free of charge, allowing them to spread awareness about their causes. 

While learning about the great work these charities do, be sure to stop at The Lodge on Stall Street if you want to enjoy some amazing mulled cider.

12. Tivoli Gardens Christmas Market (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Tivoli Gardens Christmas Market
Image courtesy of Maria Eklind via flickr

One of the oldest and most renowned amusement parks in the world, Tivoli Gardens transforms into a magical winter wonderland during the holiday season for the ‘Jul I Tivoli’, the annual Tivoli Christmas Market. Decorations, lights, Christmas trees, and traditional bands playing festive songs fill Tivoli Gardens to spread yuletide cheer and spirit. 

With a wide plethora of charming stalls selling a wide array of Christmas gifts, crafts, decorations, and festive goods, visitors can also enjoy some traditional Danish and Scandinavian cuisine, like “æbleskiver” (Danish Christmas donuts), roasted almonds, hot chocolate, mulled wine, and other tasty treats.

13. Cologne Christmas Market (Cologne, Germany)

Cologne Christmas Market

It’s a well known German fact that the country does Christmas well, and this classic German city is not to be outdone when it comes to the yuletide spirit. While wooden stalls start popping up in different areas of the city at the end of November, it is the Christmas Market at the Cathedral that stands out each time. 

The Gothic architecture backdrop, thousands of fairy lights, and red-topped gables all provide a truly magical atmosphere, with stalls selling all types of foods and goods. The City has made efforts to be very inclusive in its celebrations. One example is “Christmas Avenue,” an LGBTQ+ market that features live performances.

14. Vilnius Christmas Market (Vilnius, Lithuania)

Vilnius Christmas Market

The Lithuanian capital’s annual Christmas market is a masterclass in design and one of the best things to do in Vilnius around the holidays. Receiving acclaim every year for its beauty, the Vilnius Christmas Market’s dazzling Christmas tree and fairy light displays are an experience one should not take lightly. 

Adorable chalets and igloos are spread across the entire Market, selling many delicious treats like honey cakes, gingerbread, and an assortment of comforting teas.

15. Basel Weihnachtsmarkt (Basel, Switzerland)

Basel Weihnachtsmarkt

Basel celebrates Christmas in style, with its annual Christmas Market kicking off with a lighting ceremony of a towering Christmas tree at the center of Münsterplatz, one of the town squares. The annual Christmas market, known as the Basel Weihnachtsmarkt, takes place in Münsterplatz and Barfüsserplatz with thousands of twinkling lights and rustic wooden chalets. 

One of the main attractions is a fairytale forest where kids can explore and even decorate their own gingerbread houses. Visitors will also be treated to many delicious Swiss treats like raclette, fondue, sausages, and Swiss chocolate, as well as Glühwein, a Swiss hot mulled wine.

16. Weihnachtsmarkt Santa Croce (Florence, Italy)

Weihnachtsmarkt Santa Croce
Image courtesy of palazzosanniccolo.it / Best Christmas Markets In Europe
  • Location: Piazza di Santa Croce, 32R, 50122 Firenze, Florence (GPS)

Florence is another city that is already renowned for its architectural beauty, but during the winter it is made even more beautiful with the Weihnachtsmarkt Santa Croce. Even though we’re talking of Italy, this Christmas market takes on a festive German-style theme and is set up in the piazza outside the Basilica di Santa Croce. 

The most famous delicacy of this market is the chimney cake covered in cinnamon and chocolate. The market has a history of almost 500 years and there are over 50 stalls with artisans selling their goods.

17. Strasbourg Christmas Market (Strasbourg, France)

Strasbourg Christmas Market

The beauty and romance of Paris notwithstanding, when it comes to Christmas, Strasbourg is the yuletide capital of France. The city squares and its narrow alleyways are heavily decorated with fairy lights and more than 300 wooden chalets are set up for vendors to sell their food and goods. 

At Strasbourg’s center is a magnificently dressed tree that just adds to the city’s Christmas cheer. In the Christmas spirit, visitors can also visit the Sharing Village, a place that allows people to donate to local charities. Be sure to visit the stalls for the hand-blown glass ornaments and to try the local Alsatian wine.

18. Sibiu Christmas Market (Sibiu, Romania)

Sibiu Christmas Market
Image courtesy of targuldecraciun.ro / Best Christmas Markets In Europe

The Sibiu Christmas Market held in the ancient Transylvanian city of Sibiu is one of Europe’s more visually aesthetic markets. The Market is colorfully decorated and is set at Piata Mare, surrounded by beautiful cobblestone streets and medieval Baroque architecture. 

The ice rink offers a lot of enjoyment, and with the Baroque backdrop, the chance to get some Insta-worthy pictures. Vendors sell different goods, gifts, crafts, wooden toys, ornaments, leather goods, and delectable Romanian treats like “mămăligă” (polenta), “ciorbă” (soup), and “sarmale” (stuffed cabbage rolls).

19. Frankfurt Christmas Market (Birmingham, England)

Frankfurt Christmas Market Birmingham
Image courtesy of thebfcm.co.uk

Another example of a German-themed Christmas market in another country, the Frankfurt Christmas Market in Birmingham, England, makes for a fun experience. With over 120 stalls selling winter wines and beers, pretzels, schnitzels, sausages, delicate crystal lamps, jewelry, crafts, and many other types of goods. 

While the food and gifts are excellent, a quirky and somewhat unique attraction that the kids will enjoy is Chris the singing moose at the corner of Waterloo Street.

20. Kraków Christmas Market (Kraków, Poland)

Kraków Christmas Market
Image courtesy of Kraków Christmas Market / Best Christmas Markets In Europe

Krakow is one of the cheapest places to visit Europe, and during Christmas, Kraków’s historic Old Town, with its storied medieval streets, the magnificent St. Mary’s Basilica, and the iconic Cloth Hall, form the backdrop for one of Europe’s most magical Christmas markets. 

Visitors can enjoy local treats like pierogi (Polish dumplings), grilled sausages, “oscypek” (smoked cheese), gingerbread cookies, and other delightful sweets and desserts. There are plenty of other stalls as well, selling a wide array of goods like hand-crafted Bolesławiec pottery, sweet-boiled candies, fresh pine wreaths, handcrafted ornaments, textiles, and toys. 

Be sure to attend the Kraków Christmas Crib Contest, a contest where participants make decorated re-creations of nativity cribs, that are then paraded around the square for judging.

21. Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt (Nuremberg, Germany)

Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt

The Nuremberg Christmas Market is one of the oldest in Europe and the entire world. It has a unique feature in the red-and-white-striped cloth roofs of the 180 wooden stalls that are spread across the entire Market. 

It is particularly renowned for its gingerbread cookies, known as “Nürnberger Lebkuchen”, but there are other treats including Nuremberg sausages, roasted almonds, mulled wine (Glühwein), and other seasonal specialties. 

Another unique feature of the Market is the prune people, figurines made from dried prunes that have made an appearance every year at the Market for decades. These figurines are considered good luck charms.

22. Tallinn Christmas Market (Tallinn, Estonia)

Tallinn Christmas Market
Image courtesy of Jõuluturg / Best Christmas Markets In Europe

The Tallinn Christmas Market has a history dating back to the 1400s and looks nothing short of a Christmas movie set. A blanket of snow covers the cobblestone streets, lights bring everything aglow, and the smell of gingerbread floats through the air. 

The Tallinn Christmas Market holds the honor of displaying the first-ever Christmas tree in Europe, in 1441. Tallinn is also one of the few Christmas markets where an actual Santa shows up in a reindeer-pulled sleigh, which would make the experience unforgettable for children.

23. Vienna Christmas Dream Market (Vienna, Austria)

Vienna Christmas Dream Market

Vienna is one of the best places to travel in December as the city hosts an impressive 20 Christmas markets, but its crown jewel is the Vienna Christmas Dream Market in front of City Hall. The square has a towering and magnificent Christmas tree, with numerous Christmas lights and ornaments. 

This market features over 150 charming wooden stalls selling a wide variety of gifts, crafts, decorations, and festive goods. From handmade ornaments and accessories to traditional Austrian products and souvenirs, visitors can find everything. Visitors can enjoy many Austrian treats like Wiener Schnitzel, roasted chestnuts, gingerbread cookies, and Glühwein. 

There are also live performances, music concerts, carol singing, and other entertainment that visitors can enjoy.

24. Plaza Mayor Christmas Market (Madrid, Spain)

Plaza Mayor Christmas Market
Image courtesy of mercadonavidadplazamayor

Spain is no less a contender when it comes to Christmas markets, and the Plaza Mayor Christmas Market, known locally as Mercado Navideño de la Plaza Mayor, in the country’s capital has received acclaim numerous times in the past. 

The market’s unique decorations include hand-painted and decorated nativity figurines, bright Christmas lights, and ornaments. Vendors offer delicious Spanish cuisine and treats like churros with chocolate, roasted chestnuts, marzipan sweets, and other delightful Spanish holiday delicacies. 

The market also hosts a large notable nativity scene display, known as “Belen” in Spanish.

25. Winter Wonders (Brussels, Belgium)

Winter Wonders Brussels, Belgium
  • Location: Carr de l’Europe, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium (GPS)
  • Website: Winter Wonders
  • Dates: TBA

When it comes to size and effort, Winter Wonders in Brussels deserves a mention on this list of best Christmas markets in Europe. First, there are the 240 chalets where vendors offer handmade trinkets, gifts, ornaments, crafts, festive goods, clothing, and other artisanal products. 

Then there’s an ice skating rink, a Ferris wheel, carousels, and a Christmas parade complete with holiday-themed floats and characters. Finally, the central square is the site of a spectacular sound and light show, projected on the facades of the historic buildings.

Christmas Markets in Europe FAQ

what to do helsinki christmas - best christmas markets in europe
Helsinki around Christmas

What is Europe’s biggest Christmas market?

Dominating the festive scene, the renowned Vienna Christmas World on Rathausplatz stands as not only the most expansive Christmas market but also one of the most globally recognized. Situated in proximity to the historic city hall, the Rathaus, it captures the essence of the holiday spirit in Vienna.

What European countries do Christmas markets?

Numerous European countries host Christmas markets as a tradition during the holiday season. Some of the most well-known countries with notable Christmas markets include Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Belgium, Hungary, Sweden, and Denmark, among others

Which European country has the most Christmas markets?

Practically every German town and city holds its individual Christmas market, earning Germany the distinction of having the highest number of markets throughout the entirety of Europe.

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About Natasha Alden

Natasha is the co-founder of The World Pursuit. She is an expert in travel, budgeting, and finding unique experiences. She loves to be outside, hiking in the mountains, playing in the snow on her snowboard, and biking. She has been traveling for over 10 years, across 7 continents, experiencing unique cultures, new food, and meeting fantastic people. She strives to make travel planning and traveling easier for all. Her advice about international travel, outdoor sports, and African safari has been featured on Lonely Planet, Business Insider, and Reader’s Digest.

Learn more about Natasha Alden on The World Pursuit About Us Page.