European Christmas Markets are all set to pop up around the continent, which means it’s time to pull those thick jumpers out from the back of your wardrobe. Start the festive season off on a high and book a trip to the bustling Christmas markets across Europe. From November until the start of January some of Europe’s greatest cities will be graced by the warm glow of Christmas lights, hot chocolate stalls, festive food and the delightful sound of Christmas carols.
Be merry with mulled wine in one hand, and a hot dog in the other. It’s time to soak up the festive vibes of Europe’s best Christmas markets for 2019...
Every year, Berlin hosts over 50 Christmas markets across the city. These markets are some of the best in the world. Think plenty of Gluhwein, fresh German sausages, heart shaped gingerbread and a good old festive atmosphere. We’ve picked out our favourite three:
We recommend heading to Alexanderplatz. Under Berlin’s iconic TV tower, the whole of Alexanderplatz is transformed into an iconic Christmas market and this year will be from 25th November until 31st December 2019. Located in Berlin’s Mitte district, the warming market attracts hundreds of people each year to bask in its Christmas atmosphere - and it’s free entry. With a colourful merry-go-round and stalls that house hand-made gifts, tasty German food and, of course, Glühwein, the Alexanderplatz market has plenty on offer to fill you with Christmas cheer.
Fancy some ice skating? Then make the short journey by foot to another market in Alexanderplatz, Berlin’s most charming Christmas market of 2019, Berliner Weihnachtszeit . The centrepiece of this nostalgic market is a huge ice rink. There is also a ferris wheel here where you’ll get great views of the Brandenburg Gate if you take the ride. You can get bread made fresh from a medieval style bakery too.
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When you think Bruges can’t get anymore fairy-tale like, Christmas arrives. Bruges is famed for hosting one of the most atmospheric Christmas markets in Europe.
Head to Markt Square, the city’s main square, to get a feel for the magic of Bruges’ in winter: the market boasts pretty, wooden chalets surrounding a glittering ice rink, with the city's gingerbread-esque buildings decorated with ivy and tinsel. For 2019 Bruges Markt Square Christmas will be set up from 22nd November until 5th January 2020.
The sweet swell of warm fresh waffles fills the market, twinkling fairy lights surround the city and horse-drawn carriages can take you around the cobbled streets. A Christmassy heaven. There’s a reason people flock to the medieval city during December to enjoy the markets. There’s plenty of beer, chocolate, waffle fries (pictured below) and frites to keep your stomach happy too.
From London you can travel on the Eurostar straight to Bruges in 3 hours 30 minutes, so why not do something spontaneous this December and head to Bruges?
London lights its streets better than any other city during the Christmas season. And as always, cosy Christmas markets open up all over the city to provide you with that warm, fluttery excitement as Christmas nears. The two markets to definitely pay a trip to:
Southbank’s Wintertime Market is right on the beautiful riverside overlooking the Thames, open this year from 8th November until 5th January 2020. The whole area transforms into a Winter Wonderland that's sure to enchant you with it's stunning scenic backdrop of some quintessentially London gems.
Tuck into some festive street food favourites such mince pies, sausages, burgers and hot chocolate. Or buy some handmade Christmas gifts and stocking fillers. Stroll alongside the line of Nordic-inspired wooden chalets, get a photo under the huge Christmas tree and a soak up the lively atmosphere. Plus, you can expect circus performances, cabaret shows and stand-up comedy all through the Christmas season.
Then there’s Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. Up until January 6th, Hyde Park is filled with German-style markets serving mulled wine and hot dogs, amazing stalls and over 100 rides plus the UK's largest outdoor ice-rink. Consider yourself a bit of an adrenaline junkie? See if you can brave the ‘The Munich Looping’, a HUGE loopy roller coaster back again for a second year. It made its first-ever debut at Munich’s Oktoberfest. Then new to this year is the tallest transportable wheel in the world! Hop on board and see London lit up in its festive decor from the very top.
If you’re staying in our then be sure to pay a trip to the magical Greenwich Christmas markets. And if you will be based in London Bridge, then head down to the London Bridge Christmas by the river market.
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Last year the famous Champs Elysees Christmas Market was closed to everyone’s surprise, because nothing screams Christmas in Paris like the festive cheer on the world’s most famous avenue. But not to worry, this year it's back! Just in an alternative location. Based in the Jardins des Tuileries, ‘La Magie de Noël’ (The Magic of Christmas) will be just as amazing, only a 5 minute walk from the Champs Elysees and right next to the Louvre.
Hot mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, twinkling lights and juicy sausages. What more could you ask for? There are other markets taking place in Paris too including the Montmartre Christmas Market behind Sacre Coeur and the Notre Dam Christmas market.
Marché de Noël Alsacien is fantastic Christmas market in front of Gare de L’est station, the market showcasing the best of Alsace, a region in Northeastern France. This one is only on for the first 2 weeks of December, however if you happen to be in the city then it's an absolute must. There will be wine, sausages, Choucroute (a famous Alsatian recipe), gingerbread, pretzels and free tastings. And don’t miss out on buying your Christmas gifts from the charming market stalls!
Despite the tragedy that happened earlier this year, the Notre Dame Christmas Market will still be going ahead and is set to be as beautiful as ever! There’s also a popular Christmas market outside the Notre Dame cathedral bringing together 50 different tradesmen in Square René Viviani. Selling all sorts of items from accessories, clothing to little trinkets and worldly goods this market may be small but it’s picture perfect.
And while you’re in the city, make a stop at the Galeries Lafayette to admire the HUGE, extravagantly decorated Christmas tree.
You may not think sunny Barcelona is the place to come for bustling Christmas markets - but that’s where you’re wrong. If you fancy spending the festive season somewhere warm, you don’t have to miss out on Christmas festivities. Barcelona’s biggest and most-well known Christmas market is Fira de Santa Llúcia by Barcelona Cathedral.
At the Fira de Santa Llucia you’ll find 287 stands offering Christmas trinkets, nativity figures, Christmas trees, and mouth watering chocolate-filled churros at this Christmas fair. This Christmas market is unique because of its more traditional side, where you’ll get to embrace all of the Catalan traditions: you can get a look at the Nativity scenes and the crib exhibitions.
Copenhagen’s Christmas market takes place in Tivoli Gardens - one of the oldest theme parks in Europe. Christmas at Tivoli Gardens, which runs right through Christmas up until 5th January 2020, is probably the most Instagrammable market in this list.
Fairy lights, Christmas trees and an atmosphere guaranteed to make you feel festive. You won’t want to miss this market filled with over 60 stalls offering sweets, decorations, gifts, hot chocolate, crafts and knitted products. The best bit? The rides will be open as always!
Watch the fascinating light show over the lake, new for this year taking place in the Chinese area under the Demon roller coaster. The restaurants around the park will be serving up Christmas delicacies to satisfy your taste buds.
Prague’s Old Town Square lights up during December with the city’s biggest Christmas market. One of the best markets in the Czech Republic, the whole place is draped in lights and decoration.
Prepared right in front of you there will be large ham spit roasts, barbecuing of Czech sausages (klobása) and cakes and pastries freshly baked. Mulled wine and Pilsner beer will also be there to tempt you when you feel thirsty. The most striking part of the market is an enormous Christmas tree transported all the way from the forests of the Liberec region.
Christmas carols will fill the market, sung by a local school choir to really lift the Christmas spirit.
Do Christmas the Bavarian way at the Munich Christmas markets. Taking place on Marienplatz, the Munich Christmas market is nostalgic, magical and full of charm. Filled with visitors year on year, this market is local favourite.
With over 160 stalls and a gigantic Christmas tree stealing the show, Munich will really put you in the Christmas mood. Pick up some traditional German glass Christmas baubles, or a unique handmade gift for friends and family until 24th December.
The Bavarian Christmas market is a treat for your tastebuds too. Serving traditional festive foods such as roasted chestnuts, stollen, fruit cake, gingerbread, baked apples and berry mulled wine you will not leave hungry.
The Scottish capital really knows how to do Christmas. Edinburgh kicks off its festive celebrations on 16th November up until 4th January, with a mini carnival featuring a lit up ferris wheel, a huge outdoor ice rink and carousels - even a Santa land, all in the centre of the city.
Head to Princes Street Gardens and George Street for all the rides and markets. Since you’re in Edinburgh, you simply must try the single malt whiskies on offer at the many red-roofed huts. Scottish delicacies will be sold at the market, as well as gifts, Christmas decorations and more. There’s nothing more to fill you with Christmas spirit - Edinburgh has thought of it all.
There’s even an Ice Adventure Experience, a walk-through journey through ‘Frozen Scotland’ filled with ice sculptures and mythical creatures.
Budapest’s most famous Christmas market takes place on Vorosmarty Square in the city centre. This is the oldest and most beautiful Christmas market attracting tourists and locals alike from all over the world.
Let the sweet smell of fresh Hungarian cinnamon pastries fill the air and into your lungs as you walk around the beautifully decorated traditional stalls. Other dishes of the country that will be on offer include sausages, grilled vegetables, street snacks like Langos and dodolle (potato dumplings). And of course, lots of mulled wine.
There will be free concerts, handicraft shops, choirs singing and thousands of handmade gifts.
HOPE YOU ENJOY EUROPE'S BEST CHRISTMAS MARKETS!
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