Every year in the run up to Christmas, many European cities really come alive with vibrant and colourful markets selling a variety of gifts, festive fare, trinkets, and more. The Christmas markets offer not only a chance to stock up on some Christmas goodies, but also the opportunity to experience a magical wonderland in some of Europe’s finest cities.
Imagine the bright fairy lights, the crisp cold weather, Christmas-y atmosphere, and the enticing scents of food and drink wafting through the air, all encircled by wonderful medieval buildings, natural scenery, or other captivating surroundings.
Here are four of the best European Christmas Markets:
Kaiser Wilhelm, Berlin
Germany is known for being home to some of the greatest Christmas markets in Europe. The Christmas market at Kaiser Wilhelm in the capital city of Berlin certainly delivers. With over 50 different markets scattered across the city, this one stands out for being the largest. Indulge in some mulled wine and festive chestnuts whilst perusing the many goods on offer.
From clothing, shoes, jewellery, and accessories to artwork, and books, and from useful home items to novelty trinkets, this market is fantastic. You could buy some charming decorations for your home and Christmas tree to take some of the wonderful seasonal spirit back home with you.
You could visit some of Berlin’s great churches, museums, galleries, and places of historical interest, such as the Berlin Wall and Brandenburg Gate, when the excitement of shopping becomes a little too much. It is open from the end of November until the start of January.
Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen
In the capital city of Denmark, you can enjoy an authentic and traditional Christmas market with less of a commercial feeling. Illuminations shine in the streets, Danish pixies stroll through the crowds, and the market sells a terrific selection of gifts, souvenirs, food, and drink.
Old and young alike will delight in seeing Father Christmas talking with the little ones, and you can really experience true Nordic festive fun. Near to the tempting stalls you can also find an ice rink for slippery fun, and carnival style fun rides and stalls. The market is open from mid November to the end of December.
Old Town Square, Prague
The delightful medieval heart of the city in the Czech Republic’s charming capital city of Prague really is like a wintery dream come true around Christmastime. Both the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square are a hive of seasonal activity.
The lights in the historical areas provide a different and other-worldly feel. The sounds of lilting Christmas carols fill the cold night time air. As well as the usual gifts and festive ornaments, these markets are particularly well known for the vast array of different foods and beverages available. Grog and honey liquor are supped by the bucket load. The markets set up at the start of December, and finish at the beginning of January.
Winter Wonders, Brussels
At any time of year Belgium’s Brussels is an exciting city with gorgeous architecture. During the winter though, it becomes even more enchanting. With over 200 stalls carpeting the streets for nearly two kilometres, it offers plenty for all. Vendors ply their wares from quintessential wooden roofed huts.
Things to buy include handicrafts, food, drink, and decorative art work. For some wintery fun, visitors can have a go on the ice rink or the toboggan run. For picture perfect scenes, head high in the big wheel. Take a stroll around the beautiful Guild buildings, all lit up at night. The market is open between the end of November and the first week in January.
These are only four of the best European Christmas markets – with so many to choose from, and each offering a different flavour and experience, it may be difficult to decide where to go next!
Don’t forget to check out Four More Top Christmas Markets in Europe!