20 best Christmas markets in Europe

Traditional Estonian Christmas Market in Tallinn

If you love to combine shopping with a short break in an attractive destination, then the idea of visiting one of the best Christmas markets in Europe may well appeal. Wherever you go, you can expect to find unique gift items, a festive atmosphere and delicious local delicacies to sample. 

So where are the best Christmas markets in Europe? The finest places to shop for the festive season can be found in countries including Austria, Hungary, Germany and many more. There are fabulous European Christmas markets going on all over the continent, from the UK and Scandinavia in the north to the sunnier climes of Spain or the snowy landscapes of Switzerland.

If you fancy visiting the best Christmas market in Europe this year, read on to discover 20 of the best options for ticking off everyone on your festive shopping list. Once that’s done, it’s time to kick back and relax with a sweet, creamy hot chocolate or glass of gluhwein flavoured with orange and seasonal spices. Accompanied by a yummy edible treat, of course. 

Why not combine your Christmas shopping list with a well-deserved short break this year? Here are 20 of the best European Christmas markets to choose from. 

1. Salzburg Christkindlmarkt, Salzburg, Austria

Location: Residenzplatz. 1, 5020 Salzburg, Austria

Dates: 17 November 2022 to 1 January 2023

Salzburg Christmas Market

If you want to visit a Christmas market with an authentic wintry feel, then add Salzburg’s Christkindlmarkt to your shortlist. This market’s history dates back to the 1400s, and it’s held in the shadow of Salzburg Cathedral and the Hohensalzburg fortress. 

You can witness the chiming of church bells, choral performances and rooftops covered in snow when visiting during late November and December. Top buys include tree ornaments, knitted garments, toys, gingerbread, roasted chestnuts and punch. 

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2. Budapest Christmas Fair, Budapest, Hungary

Location: Budapest, Vörösmarty tér, 1051 Hungary

Dates: 18 November 2022 to 1 January 2023

Budapest Christmas Fair

Budapest Christmas Fair is seen as one of the best Christmas markets in Europe. Held in Vörösmarty Square between mid-November and the start of the New Year, this market centres on a city square decorated with a huge fir tree, scenes from the nativity and handmade crafts. 

Must-trys include mulled wine, Hungarian honey biscuits and the ubiquitous sweet chimney cake that originated in Romania. There are savoury treats to be had too, such as sausages and goulash. 100 plus stalls means you can tick everyone off your shopping list at the same time. 

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3. Advent Feast of the Basilica, Budapest, Hungary

Location: Budapest, Szent István tér 1, 1051 Hungary

Dates: 24 November 2022 to 1 January 2023

Budapest Christmas Market in Europe

Breathtaking St. Stephen’s Basilica provides the backdrop for this second Christmas market also held in Budapest, Hungary. This Roman Catholic house of worship was named for the country’s very first King. 

The Christmas market here runs for five to six weeks and there are around 80 stalls to shop at. Visitors can also wander over to nearby Zrínyi Street to sample all sorts of foodstuffs while enjoying a carnival atmosphere. 

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4. Old Town Square Christmas Market, Prague, Czechia

Location: 110 00 Staré Město, Czechia

Dates: 26 November 2022 to 6 January 2023

Prague Christmas Market

Centred on Old Town Square in Prague is the Christmas market of the same name. More stalls can also be found in Wenceslas Square nearby. An ideal location for listening to traditional carols sung by well-wrapped up locals.

If you dream of visiting a wintry destination to complete your Christmas shopping then surely Prague has to be up there. You can browse the range of stalls here between 10am and 10pm daily. The wooden huts here sell all manner of goods, from lace, ceramics and glassware to toys, festive decorations, jewellery and accessories. 

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5. Viennese Dream Christmas Market, Vienna, Austria

Location: Friedrich-Schmidt-Platz 1, 1010 Wien, Austria

Dates: 19 November 2022 to 26 December 2022

Christmas Market Vienna

If you dream of Christmas in Vienna, then the Christmas market held here in front of the City Hall is a must. Here you can enjoy the scent of roasting chestnuts and festive punch in the air while shopping for one-off handicrafts. 

Vienna’s Christmas market dates back as far as the Middle Ages, when permission for the very first Krippenmarkt was granted by Albrecht I. 

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6. Berliner Weihnachtszeit, Berlin, Germany

Location: Spandauer Straße, 10178, Berlin, Germany

Dates: 21 November 2022 to 1 January 2023

Berlin Christmas Market

There’s no way you can fail to find Berliner Weihnachtszeit when visiting the city with the enormous 50-metre ferris wheel here dominating the skyline. Other reasons to visit this particular German Christmas market include an ice skating rink and the fact that Father Christmas flies over the Neptune Fountain thrice daily.

Lots of edible delights also make a trip to this market a real treat. Sample local stuffed bread, smoked salmon or bratwurst. All before moving onto baked apples and gluhwein. 

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7. Metz Christmas Market, Metz, France

Location: Place de la République, Avenue Robert Schuman, 57000 Metz, France

Dates: 18 November 2022 to 30 December 2022

Metz Christmas Market

Metz Christmas market in the Alsace-Lorraine region is one of the most popular in France. It centres on the Place de la République, where there’s a striking Christmas pyramid and an ice rink. 

More stalls can also be found in Place Saint Louis, Place Saint-Jacques,  Place d’Armes and Place de la Comédie. Attractions spread across town include a Christmas village and a carousel, a gourmet market and a 60-metre ferris wheel.  

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8. Krakow Christmas Market, Krakow, Poland

Location: Rynek Główny, Kraków, Poland

Dates: 25 November 2022 to 26 December 2022

Krakow Christmas Market

The Christmas market in Krakow, Poland is the biggest in the country. It’s held in the 13th century Rynek Główny in the heart of the city. To either side of the stalls you can see St Mary’s Basilica and the Cloth Hall.

It’s magical by night, when you can dive into the little cellar bars clustered around the square for refreshment and a break from shopping. Jewellery, festive gingerbread treats and wooden decorations are among the most popular goods sold here. 

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9. Zurich Christmas Market, Zurich, Switzerland

Location: Zürcher Weihnachtsdorf, Sechseläutenplatz, Zürich, Switzerland

Dates: 24 November 2022 to 24 December 2022

Zurich Christmas Market

Between late November and Christmas Eve you can visit the Christmas market in the Swiss city of Zurich. It’s held in a stunning setting by Lake Zurich and the opera house. As you can imagine, the twinkling lights reflected in the water is a magical sight. 

A gigantic Christmas tree provides a focal point for about 120 stalls to cluster around. Local and handmade goods are a speciality of this market, so you’re bound to find lots of unique gifts. As well as a few treats for yourself, of course. 

Discover more fairytale towns in Switzerland, or search hotels in Zurich.


10. Fiera di Santa Lucia, Bologna, Italy

Location: Strasse Maggiore, 40125 Bologna BO, Italy

Dates: 17 November 2022 to 26 December 2022

Bologna Christmas Market

The Festival of Santa Lucia inspires the name of this Italian Christmas market in Bologna. Come mid-November each year, the street becomes filled with stalls peddling items that range from Italian delicacies to decorations, gifts and pieces echoing the traditions and religious aspect of the festive season. 

If you’d love to create a nativity scene within your home, this is the place to pick up figures crafted from wood, plaster, terracotta and even papier-mache. 

With so much on offer, what better excuse is there to visit one of the best cities in Italy

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11. Stortorget Christmas Market, Stockholm, Sweden

Location: Stortorget, Old Town, Stockholm, Sweden 

Dates: 19 November 2022 to 23 December 2022

Stockholm Christmas Market

Stockholm’s Christmas market is held in the historic Old Town district. All kinds of goods can be bought here, including items made from iron, ceramics, handicrafts, festive decorations and foodie treats.

The market operates between mid November and 23rd December. Don’t miss out on trying some pepparkaka and glögg (aka gingerbread and mulled wine) while stopping by. This is the oldest Christmas market in Sweden, dating back to 1837. 

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12. Winter Glow, Bruges, Belgium

Location: Markt, Bruges, Belgium

Dates: 25 November 2022 to 8 January 2023

Bruges Christmas Market

Winter Glow in pretty Bruges offers more than just a retail experience. It’s an entire winter festival held in the Markt and Simon Stevinplein. Visiting this Christmas market is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Bruges.

You can ice skate here on the Lake of Love, follow the Light experience trail through the historic heart of the city or enjoy a drink at the snug winter bar. Traditional wooden huts sell all manner of wares here to help get your festive shopping sewn up. 

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13. Edinburgh Winter Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland

Location: East Princes Street Gardens, Princes Street, Edinburgh, Scotland

Dates: 19 November 2022 to 3 January 2023

Edinburgh Christmas Market

The Scottish capital’s winter festival and market runs right up until the first few days of January. So you can also experience it when celebrating New Year in the city. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Festival was first held here in 1993. 

The beautiful old buildings of central Edinburgh provide a stunning backdrop as you shop. Look out for handmade goods, winter accessories made from Scottish cashmere and one-off decorations. 

Planning a trip to the Scottish capital? Discover the best things to do in Edinburgh, as well as the top brunch places, coffee shops and cocktail bars

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14. Manchester Christmas Market, Manchester, England

Location: Piccadilly Gardens , Manchester, M1 1AF, England

Dates: 12 November 2022 to 22 December 2022

Manchester Christmas Markets in Europe

The Christmas market in Manchester offers locals and visitors the chance to snap up all sorts of items in a carnival-like setting. Piccadilly Gardens provides the space, and is conveniently close to the city’s train, tram and bus stations.

New since 2021 is DJs and live music, serenading shoppers in style as they sample foods from across the world in one of Britain’s biggest and most vibrant cities. The Manchester Christmas Market also makes a great day trip from London by train.

Browse hotels in Manchester. Looking for somewhere to stay in the UK over Christmas? Read my guide to the best UK hotels for a Christmas stay.


15. Tallinn Christmas Market, Tallinn, Estonia

Location: Raekoja plats 8-9, 10123 Tallinn, Estonia

Dates: 25 November 2022 to 8 January 2023

Traditional Estonian Christmas Market in Tallinn

If you feel like trying somewhere new this year, how about a trip to Tallinn? Estonia’s capital has a charming Old Town and is situated by the shores of the Baltic Sea. The Christmas market here began in 1997 and runs from late November into Epiphany.

Local artisans sell the goods they’ve been preparing all year here, from hand-knitted socks or wooden Christmas decorations to freshly-baked gingerbread and mulled wine. 

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16. Fira de Santa Llúcia, Barcelona, Spain

Location: Avenue de la Catedral, 08002 Barcelona, Spain

Dates: 25 November 2022 to 23 December 2022

Barcelona Christmas Market

Fira de Santa Llúcia has been held in Barcelona since 1786. There are numerous stalls lining Avenida de la Catedral between late November and 23rd December. 

A huge range of goods can be found at Barcelona’s historic Christmas market. These include more unusual items like Christmas musical instruments, traditional nativity scenes and figures or locally made handicrafts for the home in addition to clothing, jewellery and accessories. 

Planning a trip to Barcelona? Discover the best things to do in Barcelona or 15 beautiful rooftop bars.


17. Tivoli Gardens Christmas Market, Copenhagen, Denmark

Location: Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark

Dates: 18 November 2022 to 31 December 2022

Copenhagen Christmas Market in Tivoli Gardens

Copenhagen’s Christmas market is held in the city’s iconic Tivoli Gardens. This is a feast for all the senses. There’s a twinkling tree on the lake, Santa Claus and his reindeer, lots of fairy lights and cute wooden huts to see.

Around 60 stalls forming part of this festive wonderland sell leather, knitwear, handicrafts and of course local foods. Do note that you’ll need to pay the gardens’ entry fee when visiting. 

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18. Bratislava Christmas Market, Bratislava, Slovakia

Location: Main Square and Hviezdoslavovo Square, Bratislava, Slovakia

Dates: 22 November 2022 to 22 December 2022

Bratislava Christmas Market

The Christmas market in Bratislava is one of the best in Europe. It also has an eco-conscious  focus while providing a fun, festive feel and selling top quality goods. These include toys, enamelware, jewellery, candles and hats. 

There are some true Slovakian treats to enjoy here. Look out for cigánska, a local burger made from chicken or pork and served in a roll with mustard and onions. You might also like to sample the potato pancake lokša. 

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19. Târgul de Crăciun, Bucharest, Romania

Location: Piața Universității, Bulevardul Regina Elisabeta 3, București 030167, Romania

Dates: 11 November 2022 to 8 January 2023

Bucharest, Christmas Market

University Square in Bucharest hosts the city’s Christmas market each year. This begins relatively early in November, and runs throughout advent until around a week after January. So it’s a good one to visit if you prefer to travel and shop sooner. 

It’s paradise for families, with all sorts of sweet treats to keep energy levels up such as gingerbread, cakes and hot chocolate. There’s also a carousel to ride, and children can meet Father Christmas during the last week before the big day. 

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20. The Angels’ Christmas Market, Cologne, Germany

Location: Neumarkt square, Cologne, Germany

Dates: 17 November 2022 to 23 December 2022

Cologne Cathedral Christmas Market

Row upon row of rustic cabins all dressed up for the festive season await at The Angels’ Christmas Market in Cologne. It’s open until 9pm, so visit after dark if you can to savour the illuminated splendour. 

This isn’t the largest market in the city, so during your visit you can also shop at several others. It’s one of the original Cologne Christmas markets, however, and is held west of the city centre in Neumarkt.

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Hopefully you are now feeling suitably festive with this guide to the best Christmas markets in Europe. Now, someone please pass me a mulled wine…

Looking for more winter travel inspiration? Read my guide to the best winter sun destinations or browse the best ski resorts in Europe.

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