The Best European Christmas markets to Visit
Wrap up warm and grab your best pair of woollen mittens because Christmas markets are back!
Prague Christmas Markets, Prague
When: 27th November–6th January
In Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, the Prague Christmas Markets light up the city, bringing locals and tourists together in a true winter wonderland setting. Make your way through the brightly decorated huts shopping everything from traditional Christmas treats to jewellery, embroidered lace, wooden toys and scented candles, as well as Christmas tree decorations, ceramics and cosy hats and gloves. If you get peckish whilst you’re there, fear not as the market has all manner of local food and drink to sample.
Cologne Christmas Market, Germany
When: 22nd November–23rd December
With the Gothic cathedral for a backdrop, Cologne Christmas Market has everything you’d expect from a traditional German market – from an extensive stage programme with more than 100 free events, to more than 130 festively decorated stalls filled with handicrafts and gifts, and a fabulously decorated giant sparkling Christmas tree. Grab a mug of mulled wine and explore all the wonderful stands, local food and delicious drink available.
Christmas Market in Basel, Switzerland
When: 25th November–23rd December
Considered to be one of the prettiest markets in Switzerland, the Basel Christmas market at Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz is home to traders and artisans offering their goods from more than 100 rustic wooden chalet shops. Overlook the magical market in Old Town from St. Martin’s Tower, which is open during the advent period so visitors can climb the stairs and soak up the festive ambience before enjoying a mug of glühwein with friends at the Christmas Pyramid.
Poznan Christmas Market, Poland
When: 29th November–23rd December
A land full of ice, snowflakes and Christmas attractions draws visitors and tourists to this truly magical winter wonderland each year. Explore the stalls and try the festive delicacies whilst looking for Christmas gift inspiration – don’t forget to jump on the ferris wheel at Freedom Square to get a bird’s eye view of the market, where you’ll also be able to spy the International Ice Sculpture Festival which has entries from contestants all over the world.
Brussels Christmas Market, Belgium
When: 26th November–2nd January
For five festive weeks the Brussels Christmas Market stretches along cobbled streets and through pretty squares which are brought to life with snow-dusted market chalets and buzzing pop-up bars and restaurants. Browse the market for last-minute stocking fillers and enjoy the view from the top of the ferris wheel before indulging on some sweet waffles and a glass of mulled wine.
Metz Christmas Market, France
When: 19th November–31st December
The soft aroma of cinnamon, spices and pine in the streets is enough to get anyone excited for Christmas – add in twinkling Christmas lights which enhance the exceptional gilded architectural heritage of the town, plus an open-air ice rink, and you’ve got a magical experience for all to enjoy. Warm up with a hot chocolate before taking a look at the hand-crafted gifts and tasty food and drink on offer.
Manchester Christmas Market, England
When: 12th November–22nd December
If you’re looking to stay closer to home, Manchester Christmas Market is the place to go. Explore the festive gifts and delicious food and drink stalls selling bratwurst, hog roast, paella and much more, as well as stalls on New Cathedral Street showcasing high-end gifts, local jewellery and beauty products. Take a lap or two around the ice rink, or follow the light sculpture trail across the city centre.