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Top 10 Most Festive Christmas Markets In Europe. Photo KnowInsiders

Choirs sing, bands march, bakers bring their ovens to turn out still-warm treats, artisans demonstrate their crafts, minstrels stroll the streets, and an air of festive cheer prevails, where tourists and locals meet, mingle, and enjoy the experience together. Most markets last at least from December 1 through December 24, but many begin earlier and last through New Year's Eve or longer.

Let’s explore top 10 most festive Christmas markets in Europe

1.Basel Market, Switzerland

2. Poznan Christmas Market, Poland

3.Prague Market, Czech Republic

4.Manchester Market, UK

5.Christkindesmäkir Market, Strasbourg, France

6. Budapest Market, Hungary

7. BerlinMarket, Germany

8. GothenburgMarket , Sweden

9. Vienna Market, Austria

10.Copenhagen Market, Denmark


What are the Most Festive Christmas Markets In Europe?

1.Basel Market, Switzerland

Photo Xmas Markets in Europe
Photo Xmas Markets in Europe

Dates: 25 November to December 23, 2021

Best for: Foodie delights and fairy lights

It's official, Basel is not only the best Christmas market in Switzerland, it's also your favourite Christmas market in Europe!

In recent years, more and more of you have voted for this authentic Christmas Market with a unique atmosphere.

Basel has a deep-rooted tradition as Switzerland’s most beautiful and largest Christmas city and is well worth a visit every year. Not only is the well-preserved Old Town radiant in the warm Christmas light, but the shops and facades of many buildings glitter with a golden glow.

Around a hundred tall pine trees line up the streets and stand like brightly lit sentinels guiding the visitor. Particularly recommended is the Christmas market, which is being held not only on Barfüsserplatz, but also on Münsterplatz - one of the most beautiful squares in Basel.

2. Poznan Christmas Market, Poland

From 29th November to 23rd December 2021

One of the oldest cities in Poland, Poznan has been dazzling guests every holiday season for centuries. The town's renaissance Old Market Square transforms into a wintry escape with snowflakes, winter delicacies, and handmade trinkets. Merchants sell a variety of carefully crafted toys and decorations, but it's the vendors selling delectable pierogies, smoked cheeses, and warm goulash that really stand out. The International Ice Sculpture Festival happens each year around the same time as the market making the heart of Poznan truly a Christmas wonderland.

3.Prague Market, Czech Republic

Photo Prague Experience
Photo Prague Experience

Dates: From November 27, 2021 to January 2, 2022

Best for: Open-air concerts and traditional nativity scenes

Prague is a magical city all year round but especially at Christmas. From the beginning of advent, the city comes alive with festive cheer and traditional charm.

The market stalls of Old Town Square are the perfect place to admire the signature Czech blown glass balls, and wooden curved toys that give the country its Christmas character.

As live music from a main stage reverberates across the medieval stone, you can admire the many golden angels and cherubs that will be on display. The angelic theme of this year’s Prague Christmas market is in keeping with the city’s year-round decor.

4.Manchester Market, UK

Photo BBC
Photo BBC

The Manchester Christmas Markets are back for 2021 running from the 12th November to the 22nd December.

2021's celebrations are heading back with a bang after last year's had to be reduced right down to a local marketplace for Manchester-based traders.

The city council has confirmed a brand new hub for the festivities, moving the heart of the Christmas Markets to Piccadilly Gardens.

Which traders are at the Manchester Christmas Markets?

Manchester city council haven't yet confirmed the full list of traders who will be pitching up at the markets, but there are some confirmed favourites heading back.

Porky Pig will return with its Yorkshire pudding wraps on Exchange Square.

There'll be Greek gyros, Dutch Frites, Yard & Coop fried chicken, and hot cookie dough being served up too.

On the bar front, you can expect all the usual winter warmers, as well as local ales and a gin bar serving 100 different varieties.

5.Christkindesmäkir Market, Strasbourg, France

Dates: From November 19 to December 30, 2021

Best for: Storybook scenery and sweets

The oldest Christmas market in France, Strasbourg is a fairytale destination for December.

Home to sophisticated wooden chalets and an ice rink, the so-called ‘capital of Christmas’ is a must-visit for any market enthusiasts, or travellers wanting a seasonal infusion of fun.

The more discerning (and monied) amongst you will want to sample the foie gras on offer but there’s plenty of other delicious french food on offer, including the must-have carbohydrates; churros and brioche.

6. Budapest Market, Hungary

Photo Getting Stamped
Photo Getting Stamped

Dates: From November 29, 2021 to January 2, 2022

Best for: Ice rinks and Christmas illuminations

Igniting the Christmas atmosphere in mid-November, Budapest brings two Christmas market contenders to the table: Vorosmarty Square and Basilica. Vorosmarty Square is tucked right into the heart of the city and is Budapest’s oldest Christmas market. Here, you’ll find plenty of food stalls, handicraft shops and free concerts.

Basilica offers all of the above, but with the slight edge: Christmas laser projections on the Basilica itself and an ice-skating rink that circles around a grand Christmas tree.

Expert tip: You’ll also come across plenty of Hungarian delicacies to tuck into here, including Chimney cake. It’s one of Europe’s more sustainable markets with eco-friendly cups, plates and cutlery.

7. Berlin Market, Germany

Photo Xmas Market in Europe
Photo Xmas Market in Europe

Dates: November 23 to December 27, 2021

Best for: Trendy Christmas gifts and tobogganing

For a more modern take on tradition, arty Berlin has it covered. The city centre is festooned with around 80 Christmas markets (there’s even one specifically for dogs), so don’t try to cover them all. If you’re after scale, Spandau is the biggest. For looks, Weihnachtszauber, in magnificent Gendarmenmarkt Square, is the prettiest with plenty of arts and crafts on offer.

Get your pulse racing at Winter World, on Potsdamer Platz —it’s less about shopping and more about winter sports, with tobogganing, curling and an ice-skating rink with free lessons for kids. Go at 10am, when it’s quietest

Expert tip: Some of Berlin’s smaller markets are only open for a few days, so check before you book.

READ MORE: Top 10 Most Romantic Cities in Germany

8. Gothenburg Market, Sweden

Dates: From November 12 to December 22, 2021

Best for: Chic vibes and mugs full of glögg

Liseberg, Sweden’s most popular amusement park, morphs into one of the world’s classiest Christmas open-air markets — no creaky Ferris wheels, plastic Christmas trees or drunk elves here. You pay to enter, but you can stay until late (it’s open from 4pm to 10pm), snacking on smoked reindeer and drinking glögg — Scandinavian mulled wine.

Make the most of the free children’s entertainment that’s more impressive than corny. Visit Santa in his wooden workshop, ride bumper cars, and don’t miss the glittering, half-hour ice show.

Expert tip: Many of the amusement-park rides close for the winter so expect merriment over rollercoaster thrills.

9. Vienna Market, Austria

Photo Austria Info
Photo Austria Info

Dates: November 12, 2021 to January 9, 2021

Best for: Skating rinks and traditional toys

The Christmas markets in Vienna truly are an age-old tradition. The forerunners of the present-day events date back to the Middle Ages, when in 1296 Albrecht I granted Vienna's citizens the privilege of holding a December Market or "Krippenmarkt". Since then, the character and prevalence of these markets has changed considerably. Nowadays, over 20 official Advent markets sell a vast array of seasonal gifts and mouth-watering treats.

Christmas Village on Maria Theresien Square

Experience impressive Viennese buildings and traditional customs at the Christmas Village on Maria Theresien Square this winter, located between the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Art. There is no escaping the Christmas atmosphere with festively decorated market stalls and a vast array of culinary delights.

Where: Maria Theresien Platz

When: 17 November - 26 December 2021

Opening times: Sunday – Thursday 11 am – 9 pm; Friday & Saturday 11 am – 10 pm; 24 December 11 am – 4 pm

Expert tip: Further fun can be had in the square in front of the City Hall, home to the popular ‘Vienna Christmas Dream’, where the swish of skates rises from the skating rink and a Ferris wheel draws in both young and old.

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

10. Copenhagen Market, Denmark

Dates: November 15, 2021 to January 3, 2022 (Nyhavn); November 12 to December 22 (Nytorv); November 13, 2021 to January 3. 2022 (Tivoli)

Best for: Ferris wheel rides and Christmas hygge

The markets of Copenhagen pulsate with festive joy as Christmas trees, Christmas decorations and Christmas lights add their patchwork of seasonal colour, alongside market stalls selling wooden toys, ceramics, decorations and chunky knitwear. The city centre is home to several markets, but it’s the Christmas market at Tivoli Gardens that is Copenhagen’s beating heart (others claim Nyhavn as the Christmas star).

A Ferris wheel spins in the evening darkness, fairy lights are draped on leafless trees, while a skating rink attracts the adventurous. Add to this the roasty aromas of caramelised almonds and the fragrant scent of cinnamon-infused mulled wine (locally known as gløgg) and you’ll find yourself in the midst of Christmas market joy.

Expert tip: Needing a break from the festivities? Check out the lively bars, restaurants and clubs in the ‘Meatpacking District’.

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