Photo KnowInsiders
The Most Festive Christmas Markets In Europe. Photo:
Table of Contents

In the festive atmosphere, where visitors and locals come together to enjoy the experience together, choirs sing, bands march, bakers bring their ovens to turn out still-warm treats, artisans demonstrate their crafts, and minstrels stroll the streets. While many start earlier and run through New Year's Eve or later, most markets run at least from December 1 through December 24.

Top 10 Most Festive Christmas Markets In Europe

1.Basel Market, Switzerland

Photo Xmas Markets in Europe
Photo Xmas Markets in Europe

Best for: Foodie delights and fairy lights

It's official: Basel has your favorite Christmas market in Europe in addition to being the greatest in Switzerland!

An increasing number of you have voted for this genuine Christmas market with a distinct atmosphere in recent years.

Basel is widely regarded as the most beautiful and largest Christmas city in Switzerland, and it is definitely worth a trip there each year. In addition to shining in the warm Christmas light, the well-preserved Old Town also has a golden glow emanating from the shops and building facades.

The streets are lined with about a hundred tall pine trees that guide visitors like well-lit sentinels. The Christmas market, which is held on Münsterplatz, one of Basel's most picturesque squares, in addition to Barfüsserplatz, is especially recommended.

2. Poznan Christmas Market, Poland

Poznan, one of Poland's oldest cities, has been mesmerizing visitors during the holiday season for centuries. The Old Market Square, a renaissance square in the town, is transformed into a chilly haven complete with handmade trinkets, snowflakes, and winter treats.

Vendors offer a selection of expertly made ornaments and toys, but the ones offering delicious pierogies, smoked cheeses, and warm goulash are the real highlights. Every year, the International Ice Sculpture Festival coincides with the market, turning Poznan's downtown into a veritable winter wonderland.

3. Prague Market, Czech Republic

Photo Prague Experience
Photo Prague Experience

Best for: Open-air concerts and traditional nativity scenes

Though it's especially lovely at Christmas, Prague is a magical city all year long. The city comes alive with holiday spirit and classic charm at the start of Advent.

The Old Town Square market stalls are the ideal location to view the distinctive wooden curved toys and blown glass balls that are characteristic of the Czech Republic and give the nation its distinctive Christmas feel.

Admire the numerous golden angels and cherubs on display while live music from a main stage reverberates across the medieval stone. This year's Christmas market in Prague has an angelic theme that complements the city's year-round décor.

4. Manchester Market, UK

Photo BBC
Photo BBC

The Manchester Christmas Markets will return, taking place from November 12 to December 22.

The celebrations for 2024 are returning with a bang, as the previous year's had to be scaled back to a small local marketplace for merchants based in Manchester.

The center of the Christmas Markets will now be located in Piccadilly Gardens, as confirmed by the city council.

Which traders are at the Manchester Christmas Markets?

The complete list of vendors who will be setting up shop at the markets has not yet been confirmed by Manchester City Council, but some returning favorites are certain.

Exchange Square will see the return of Porky Pig and its wraps made with Yorkshire pudding.

Hot cookie dough, Yard & Coop fried chicken, Dutch fries, and Greek gyros will all be available.

Expect all the standard winter warmers at the bar, along with 100 different varieties of gin and local ales.

5. Christkindesmäkir Market, Strasbourg, France

Best for: Storybook scenery and sweets

Strasbourg, home to France's oldest Christmas market, is a magical place to visit in December.

The so-called "capital of Christmas," which is home to opulent wooden chalets and an ice rink, is a must-visit for anyone who enjoys markets or is looking for a fun seasonal diversion.

The more refined (and wealthy) among you will want to try the foie gras, but there's also a ton of other delectable French fare available, such as brioche and churros, which are essential carbohydrates.

6. Budapest Market, Hungary

Photo Getting Stamped
Photo Getting Stamped

Best for: Ice rinks and Christmas illuminations

Budapest introduces Vorosmarty Square and Basilica as two potential locations for its Christmas market, kicking off the holiday spirit in the middle of November. The oldest Christmas market in Budapest is located in Vorosmarty Square, which is tucked away in the center of the city. There are lots of food vendors, handicraft stores, and free concerts in this area.

With the addition of two unique features—a ring-shaped ice skating rink and Christmas laser projections on the Basilica itself—Basilica provides everything mentioned above with a little extra.

Expert advice: There are many other delicious Hungarian foods to enjoy here, such as chimney cake. With environmentally friendly plates, cups, and silverware, it's one of Europe's more sustainable marketplaces.

7. Berlin Market, Germany

Photo Xmas Market in Europe
Photo Xmas Market in Europe

Best for: Trendy Christmas gifts and tobogganing

Arty Berlin has a modern take on tradition that is right on. It is not possible to visit every one of the approximately 80 Christmas markets adorning the city center (one is dedicated to dogs!). Spandau is the largest if scale is what you're after. With an abundance of arts and crafts available, Weihnachtszauber in the magnificent Gendarmenmarkt Square is the most visually appealing.

Get your heart rate up at Winter World, located on Potsdamer Platz. This place is more about winter sports than shopping, offering free lessons for kids on the ice skating rink, curling, and tobogganing. Go when it's quietest, around 10 a.m.

Expert advice: Check before you book because some of Berlin's smaller markets are only open for a few days.

READ MORE: Top 10 Most Romantic Cities in Germany

8. Gothenburg Market, Sweden

Best for: Chic vibes and mugs full of glögg

The most well-known amusement park in Sweden, Liseberg, transforms into one of the most elegant outdoor Christmas markets in the world; no squeaky Ferris wheels, plastic trees, or inebriated elves exist here. You pay to enter, but you can stay late (it's open from 4pm to 10pm) to enjoy glögg, a Scandinavian mulled wine, and munch on smoked reindeer.

Take advantage of the impressive, rather than corny, free kid's entertainment options. Take a ride in bumper cars, visit Santa in his wooden workshop, and don't miss the glittering 30-minute ice show.

Expert advice: Expect joy over rollercoaster thrills as many amusement park rides close for the winter.

9. Vienna Market, Austria

Photo Austria Info
Photo Austria Info

Best for: Skating rinks and traditional toys

Vienna's Christmas markets are genuinely a centuries-old custom. The origins of the current events can be traced back to the Middle Ages, when Vienna's citizens were allowed to hold a December Market, or "Krippenmarkt," by Albrecht I in 1296. The nature and ubiquity of these markets have evolved significantly since then. These days, there are more than 20 official Advent markets that offer a wide selection of delicious treats and seasonal gifts.

Christmas Village on Maria Theresien Square

This winter, visit the Christmas Village on Maria Theresien Square, which is situated between the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Art, to witness stunning Viennese architecture and traditional practices. With its brightly decorated market stalls and an extensive selection of delectable foods, it is impossible to avoid the festive atmosphere of Christmas.

Expert tip: The square in front of City Hall is the place to be for more fun. It is home to the well-known "Vienna Christmas Dream," where people of all ages are drawn in by the Ferris wheel and the sound of skates as they rise from the skating rink.

READ MORE: Easy Recipe to Make a Christmas-themed Panettone - The Classic Italian Cake?

10. Copenhagen Market, Denmark

Best for: Ferris wheel rides and Christmas hygge

Copenhagen's markets teeming with festive revelry, stalls selling wooden toys, ceramics, decorations, and bulky knitwear coexist with Christmas trees, lights, and decorations adding their patchwork of seasonal color. Many markets can be found in the city center, but the Tivoli Gardens Christmas market is the real heart of Copenhagen (although some would argue that Nyhavn is the real Christmas star).

In the dusk, a Ferris wheel spins, fairy lights hang from leafless trees, and an adventurous skating rink draws people in. You will be enveloped in the joy of the Christmas market when you inhale the aromatic scent of cinnamon-infused mulled wine, known locally as gløgg, and the roasty aromas of caramelized almonds.

Expert advice: Do you need a vacation from the celebrations? Explore the vibrant eateries, clubs, and bars located in the "Meatpacking District."

5 best Christmas movies to stream on Disney Plus 5 best Christmas movies to stream on Disney Plus

Disney Plus Christmas movies are the perfect way to celebrate the holidays as we get closer to the big day. Let's round up the best ...

How to shape quarantine Christmas Ideas for a Holly Jolly Holiday? How to shape quarantine Christmas Ideas for a Holly Jolly Holiday?

Christmas is always considered an occasion filled with warmth and happiness. This year, things are different from most of us due to the global pandemic ...

Top Yummiest Christmas Dinners around the World Top Yummiest Christmas Dinners around the World

Almost every country has at least one unique dish, beverage, or tabletop tradition that makes Christmas Eve just a little special. If you’d like ...