Best destinations in Europe

Best Christmas Markets in Europe


Winter in Europe is a wonderful time to visit the most beautiful Christmas markets. If you are looking for Christmas presents and dream of the lovely smell of a Christmas tree or the lovely sound of Christmas carols, please  dive into our selection of the best Christmas markets in Europe, the best destinations for perfect Christmas holidays.

Discover the most beautiful Christmas markets such as the German Christmas markets in Aachen, Cologne, Dresden, Leipzig and Nuremberg, but also the magic of Christmas in the United Kingdom with the Christmas market in London and Manchester. You also have the choice with a selection of the most beautiful Christmas markets in France, with Strasbourg and Lille as well as Belgium, Spain and Switzerland. 

You have been tens of thousands to vote for your best Christmas market in Europe. Through social networks you were thousands to share this vote and make your opinion count. Congratulations to the 15 destinations selected by travellers for the quality and reputation of their Christmas market!

Copyright Daniel Schoenen, OTSR

1. Strasbourg

It was in Strasbourg in 1570 that the very first edition of the oldest Christmas market in Europe took place, then called the "Christkindelsmärik" (market of the Infant Jesus).


Since this time, Strasbourg has continued the tradition of a traditional, authentic, warm and generous Alsatian Christmas and these are all the reasons why "Strasbourg, the Capital of Christmas" continues to enjoy repeated success.


When ? From 27th November to 31st December 2015



Weihnachtsmarkt Katschhof (c) B. Schröder ats

2. Aachen


Every year before Christmas the squares and streets round the Cathedral and the Aachen Town Hall are transformed into a paradise of lights and colours, festive sounds and seductive smells. The glorious fair in the Christmas City, which has been erected with great care and sentiment, fascinates both the young and the old. The enormous choice between original, stylish and precious goods makes small and big dreams come true.


When? 20 November to 23rd December 2015


Vienna Christmas Market - Copyright  Wien Tourismus

3. Vienna


The Christmas Markets in Vienna truly are an age-old tradition. The forerunners of the present-day events date back to the Middle Ages when in 1298 Albrecht I granted Vienna's citizens the privilege of holding a December Market or "Krippenmarkt". Since then, the character and prevalence of these markets has changed considerably. Nowadays, over 20 official Advent Markets sell a vast array of seasonal gifts and mouth-watering treats.


When ? From 13th November to 26th December 2015


Nuremberg Christmas Market - © Uwe_Niklas

4. Nuremberg


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! The enticing smells of mulled wine and rum punch, roasted almonds, Nuremberg bratwurst and gingerbread fill the air. And it’s not only tiny tots who will have their eyes all a-glow as the Nuremberg Christkind appears on the balcony of the Church of Our Lady to open the holiday season. Friday before the first Sunday in Advent is the day it all begins as she opens the world-famous Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt.


When ? From 27th November to 24th December 2015


Copyright laurent ghesquiere

5. Lille


In the heart of winter, Lille sparkles and glows with joie de vivre! With the wave of a magic wand, the city takes on a festive atmosphere and welcomes you to a winter wonderland! On Place Rihour, more than 80 chalets teem with gift ideas, nativity figurines, Christmas decorations and festive food. You can find regional specialities here, and you can also find arts and crafts from Russia, Poland, and Québec, as well as products from Native America. You can book your stay on Lille Tourism.


When ? From 18th November to 30th December 2015



6. Dresden


If you like Christmas, you’ll love Dresden! Eleven completely different Christmas markets lie right at your feet: From the very traditional to the merry medieval to the après-ski charm of the Hüttenzauber – you’ll find it all. Mmmh, can’t you already smell the enticing aroma of baked apples...?


When? From 26th November to 24th December 2015


Best Christmas Markets in Europe - European Best Destinations © Visitbrussels

7. Brussels


Five weeks filled with enchanting encounters, perfumes, colorful stalls, fantastic gift ideas and original tasting sessions. Joy and lights sparkled, bathing visitors in the festive atmosphere embodying the event. Winter Wonders’ attractiveness is now legendary, making it a key event in Brussels during the festive season. This unmissable happening greatly contributes to make our capital city into a privileged city-trip destination. The ice-skating rink, a gorgeous Chistmas tree, a magical and original light and sound show, videomappings, a festive Christmas Parade, the traditional Ferris wheel, the merry-go-rounds… All these amazing activities enchant big and small alike and make the course unique.


Through its 2-kilometers course deploying through our historic town centre, Winter Wonders in Brussels will once again be the topic of many a dream for children and adults alike. The festive atmosphere, unique ambiance, quality activities, delicious dishes, fairy-tale lighting and the discovery of other universes and cultures on offer during the event will nourish many a reverie…


When? 27th November 2015 to 3rd January 2016


Copyright Dieter Jacobi / KölnTourismus GmbH

8. Cologne

Every year, the city centre of Cologne is touched by the magic of the festivities in the run-up to Christmas. When the Christmas markets in Cologne open their gates on the last Monday before Advent, millions of visitors from around the world delight at the goods on sale at the quaintly designed huts (or "Buden").


When? From 23rd November to 24th December 2015


Manchester Christmas Market  - Copyright Manchester City Council

9. Manchester


Manchester's world famous Christmas Markets, brought to you by Manchester City Council, return for the 16th year in the UK's capital of Christmas and this year they come boasting new sites!

Well known as being the original, biggest and best Christmas Market in the UK, the festive season is one of the most anticipated with the markets being one of the city's most enduringly popular attractions.


When ? From 14th November to 21st December 2015

Christmas Market in Prague Copyright  Vlasta Juricek

10. Prague


15th annual international festival of advent and Christmas music of amateur ensembles. Prague looks especially romantic and particularly friendly during the time of Advent and Christmas. Maintaining its rich advent tradition, very popular in Prague. Open Air concert performances by registered ensembles will be held in the Old Town Square, enhancing the seasonal magic of Prague Christmas.


When ? From 28th November  2015 to 1st January 2016


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