10 Best Christmas Markets in Europe

The winter holidays are the only time to visit the best Christmas markets in Europe, and there are many!

Christmas markets have become a tradition in many European cities, providing a cheerful activity for locals and tourists alike during the winter months.

The dilemma is that there are so many beautiful Christmas destinations with the world’s best Christmas markets throughout Europe that deciding which European Christmas markets to visit first can be difficult.

To help you plan your next holiday or romantic getaway, we’ve put together a list of the 10 best Christmas markets in Europe.

10. Brussels Christmas Market, Belgium

Christmas market square in Brussels, Belgium

Though it might not be the first location that comes to mind for celebrating Christmas, Brussels is home to some of the best Christmas markets in the world.

Unrivaled sound-and-light spectacles in the Grand Place, a majestic tree, a life-size manger, a skating rink.

The romantic Grand-Place square in the center of town hosts a Holiday Fair, with plenty of traditional seasonal fare and crafts on display; the nearby Sablon Square also provides an ideal for shopping.

Several exhibitions centered around Christmas markets brimming with treasures are among the great classics. Transforming into a winter wonderland!

9. Craiova Christmas Market, Romania

Craiova in Romania

Craiova, Romania’s fourth-largest city, attracts around 1.4 million visitors each year to its Christmas market, which has taken place on the old town square adjacent to City Hall since 2000.

Since the Christmas market’s inception, it has been the highest-ranked Romanian Christmas Market.

Craiova’s market is one of the liveliest in eastern Europe, combining traditional Romanian folk tunes played by local musicians with local specialties such as mulled wine, grilled sausages, confectioneries, and the ever-popular “Craiuvean Steag” (Craiova’s Flag) cake.

Craiova Municipality has dispersed various Christmas events, Christmas markets, concerts, creative workshops, and food stands in various locations throughout the city to ensure a successful Christmas and to adhere to social distancing measures.

This winter, visit one of the most stunning Christmas locations and be swept away by Craiova’s magical ambiance.

8. Cologne Christmas Market, Germany

Festive activities in Cologne, Germany

Cologne’s Christmas markets are among the most attractive in Germany, and the magnificent Christmas tree is regarded as one of the most beautiful in Europe.

Located in the heart of Cologne’s medieval town and adjacent to the renowned Gothic cathedral, this is one of Germany’s most beautiful and architecturally significant towns.

From the glühwein, the crafts, the glittering lights, this market has everything you’d expect from a traditional German feast.

However, the festival’s entertainment stands out: over 100 stage performances, including Christmas swing music and gospel, are scheduled during the event.

This Christmas market has plenty to offer, so make sure to add this one to your list!

7. Trier Christmas Market, Germany

Trier Christmas Market in December

One of the best Christmas markets in Europe is the Trier Christmas market. It is not just Germany’s best, but also the world’s most romantic Christmas market setting!

The Trier Christmas market is the oldest in Germany. It’s located on a huge square bordered by Romanesque and Gothic churches with two towers each.

This backdrop provides an elaborate historical setting for the stalls that sell all kinds of craft goods or offer regional agricultural products straight from the farm.

The culinary highlight is the roasted goose, which is only available at the Trier Christmas market.

6. Montbeliard Christmas Market, France

European Christmas Market in Metz, France

Montbéliard pays homage to the historical and cultural heritage in a festive spirit.

The Montbeliard Christmas Market is not only famous for the warmth of its open fires but the Christmas market is also known for the large variety of local products on display at over 100 stands.

Unique regional specialties include cheese from the nearby Gruyère region, Bénédictine liqueur, and chocolates are some of their delicacies.

The Christmas Market also features 50 hot-food stands offering regional dishes such as the world-famous Montbéliard sausage or “Saucisse de Montbéliard” as it is known by locals.

5. Prague Christmas Market, Czech Republic

Prague Christmas Market in Czech Republic

Prague’s Old Town and Wenceslas markets are just five minutes away on foot, and they’re the greatest in a city that’s already at the top of our list of Christmas markets to visit during the holidays.

The rhythm of the city’s winter festival is set by two events: the lighting of its unforgettable Christmas tree and the arrival of Santa Claus.

This magical atmosphere could only be enhanced by a wide-ranging program comprising artistic performances, concerts, theater plays, film screenings, workshops, and folklore stalls.

Don’t miss the grilled pig or Trdelník, a hot, rolled pastry coated in cinnamon and sugar and baked over a grill. Also, bring a hat and gloves with you because it can get chilly in December.

Prague will amaze you with its beautiful festive landscape, so don’t forget to take plenty of photos!

4. Basel Christmas Market, Switzerland

Basel Christmas Market in Switzerland

Switzerland is known for its winter wonderland, but it also has some of Europe’s best Christmas markets, including the Basler Weihnachtsmarkt in Basel, on the Rhine.

The Basel Christmas Market has been voted “Switzerland’s Best Christmas Market” for eleven consecutive years.

During the Christmas holidays, Basel offers a wide range of activities. Visits to light displays in historic buildings, theatrical plays or concerts in one of the city’s churches, and carols singing in the streets are all part of the festivities.

More than 200 exhibitors sell handmade toys and regional delicacies from their wooden stands, as well as enough twinkle Christmas lights and trees to fill a million IG posts.

3. Vienna Christmas Market, Austria

one of the most beautiful christmas markets in Europe - Vienna Christmas Market

Some places, such as Vienna, which already ranks high on our list of the best Christmas market in the world, simply look better in the snow.

The city’s Viennese Christmas Market offers everything from reindeer rides to an ice rink for skating and curling, as well as a Ferris wheel and an old-fashioned merry-go-round. Folks, this is about as classic as it gets.

The Vienna Christmas Market is so beautiful that it simply has to be seen in person.

There’s no photo or video of the stalls and streets covered in snow and adorned with lights that can do the scene justice.

2. Metz Christmas Market, France

Metz xmas market in France

It has been ranked among one of the best European Christmas markets for the past ten years, and many believe it to be France’s most beautiful Christmas market.

Metz is distinctive, with diversions like the “lantern trail,” a Ferris wheel, and various chalets selling Made in Moselle products that are only available during the Christmas season.

Not just tourists looking for Europe’s most stunning Christmas markets, but also inventors, designers, creative concept hotels, start-ups, artists, and trendy enterprises, flock to the region.

Enjoy traditional delicacies like the merry-go-round, a walk through the mystical “Sentiers des Lanternes” presented by the Department of Moselle.

Alternatively, you may load up on delicious Christmas favorites at the city market hall while watching the lights chase away the winter blues.

1. Budapest Christmas Market, Advent Feast at the Basilica, Hungary

best Christmas market in Europe - Budapest Advent Feast at the Basilica

For the second year in a row, the Advent Feast at the Basilica has been named the best Christmas market in Europe.

Hungary’s largest Christmas market offers a wide range of events, from concerts to workshops, festive cheer, and other festive activities.

The hugely successful light show projected on the Basilica’s facade each day of the fair in recent years adds to the fair’s magnificently adorned ambiance.

Visitors can also enjoy the “Budapest’s Best Cookies” competition at this magical winter event, as well as a traditional Hungarian nativity scene.

The city square will be transformed into a picturesque winter wonderland so don’t forget your camera!

Have you determined which Christmas markets you want to visit after reading the list of the top Christmas markets in Europe?

The nicest part about Europe is that each country celebrates Christmas in its unique way, guaranteeing that there is always something new and intriguing to learn about.

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Article by Kyle

Digital nomad since 2010. I spend my time traveling around the world learning about new cultures and languages. I've lived in 4 continents and still have a lot left to explore!