Halloween is over, which means the Christmas season is just around the corner. It’s a time when cities are decorated with colorful lights and impressive Christmas trees, people are more warm-hearted, and mulled wine drunk together with friends tastes even better.This magical season is a great opportunity to see different places around the world from a completely new perspective. What are the best Christmas markets in Europe, and why should you see them?

Table of contents

What is the origin of Christmas markets?

The first Christmas markets were held in Germany in the 14th century, and since then, they have become a popular tradition in many European countries.

Christmas markets in Europe usually take place in the town square and are decorated with lights, garlands, and Christmas trees. They start a few weeks before Christmas and last until New Year’s Eve.

What are the best Christmas markets in Europe?

At a Christmas market, you can find all kinds of Christmas-related items, such as decorations, gifts, or foods such as gingerbread and roasted chestnuts.

What are the best Christmas markets in Europe?

  • Dresden, Germany – this is one of the oldest and most famous Christmas markets in Germany. It’s held in the Altmarkt square in Dresden and features approximately 250 stalls selling traditional handicrafts, Christmas decorations, and delicious food.
  • Cologne, Germany – it’s one of the largest and most popular markets in the country. It’s held annually in the city’s historic center, offering a wide variety of Christmas-related goods, including decorations, food, and drink, which makes it a major tourist attraction, drawing visitors from all over the world.
  • Prague, Czech Republic – the Prague Christmas Market is one of the most spectacular attractions in the city in winter. It’s held in the Old Town Square, where you can find a wide range of goods on offer, including traditional Czech food and drink, hand-painted Christmas decorations, and wooden toys.
  • Tallinn, Estonia – this Christmas market in Europe is a traditional event that takes place annually in the city’s Town Hall Square. The market sells a variety of festive items that are eagerly bought by both tourists and residents.
  • Kraków, Poland – it’s been held annually since the early 14th century, which makes it one of the oldest in Europe. It’s located in the city’s main square, Rynek Główny, and features a large Christmas tree, and a variety of stalls selling traditional Polish Christmas foods such as stewed cabbage (bigos) and dumplings (pierogi).

christmas markets in europe

  • Edinburgh, Scotland – the market is located in the city center, and is open from late November to early January. It’s in Princes Street Gardens and features a large range of traditional Scottish and international food and treats, as well as a variety of unique gifts and decorations.
  • Vienna, Austria – the city holds numerous Christmas markets which are said to have originated in the 12th century. They’re one of the oldest markets in the country. Every year, they attract thousands of visitors from all over the world. The markets are known for their traditional Christmas decorations, and they’re also a popular place to buy unique gifts.
  • Bratislava, Slovakia – it’s one of the best European Christmas Markets. It’s held in the main square and offers a wide range of traditional Slovak food and drink, hand-crafted gifts, and Christmas decorations.

The takeaway

Visiting some of the best Christmas markets in Europe is a great way to experience the festive atmosphere of decorated cities and the holiday season. 

Such markets offer a wide range of goods, from traditional Christmas decorations to unique gifts and delicious food. If you’re looking for a festive escape this winter, be sure to check out one of these destinations using YouMap.


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