Best Christmas lights in Europe in 2023
What’s more enjoyable than a city break to discover traditional and magical Christmas markets, hand in hand with your beloved or with your family? There are scents of cinnamon, mulled wine and gingerbread in the air and light snowflakes falling down from the sky.
Some European destinations have decided to offer you memories for a lifetime; come admire the most beautiful Christmas lights in the evening: they sparkle a thousand lights. Discover your selection of the most beautiful Christmas lights in Europe and book your flights and your hotel at the best price for a magical stay in Europe.
1. Riga Christmas Lights Trail
From December 1st 2023 to February 5th 2024 hundreds of lights brighten the canalside of Riga city center, which is the biggest Christmas light trail in Latvia.
Be fascinated by the Christmas light trail this year in Riga! See for yourself how these places transform with illuminations when you step into this winter wonderland. Take a walk through Opera Square, Bastejkalns, and Kronvalda park where you will experience and learn about different Latvian fairytales. The music that accompanies these tales and trails will create new memories to never forget.
What’s the most important criteria that makes the difference for Christmas markets? Mulled wine, aromas of cinnamon, ginger, and roasted almonds filling the air are in every city, but special Riga’s atmosphere and vibe is unique and unrepeatable, as well as cities architecture, cultural life, cuisine, and parks.
Where to stay: "Hilton Garden Inn". Stay in the heart of Riga.
Opening dates: From 1st December 2023 to 5th February 2024.
2. Christmas lights in Ljubljana
The capital of Slovenia will dazzle you by its amazing Christmas decorations and illuminations. Considered one of the most beautiful capitals in Europe as well as one of the Greenest, Ljubljana is a destination made for romantics, travellers looking for authenticity, for an original city break mixing shopping, gastronomy, architecture, culture, strolling and romance.
The Christmas market in Ljubljana in Slovenia is, together with that of Zagreb in Croatia, one of the most beautiful in this part of Europe not to mention their fabulous majestic Christmas trees. Ljubljana is a destination to discover in all seasons, yet a visit at Christmas time will give you unforgettable memories. One last argument to convince you? A room in a 4- or 5-star hotel in Ljubljana at Christmas will cost you 2-3 times less than the same room in Paris, London or Berlin.
Opening dates: From 24th November 2023 to 2nd January 2024.
How to get there: Book your flights to Ljubljana.
Where to stay: "Hotel Cubo" for its excellent location.
3. Christmas Lights in Vienna
Vienna with its many Christmas markets, spread all over one of the most romantic cities in Europe, is the perfect destination for Christmas lovers. What we like in Vienna is the elegance of its Christmas decorations. If you’d rather see lots of Christmas fathers dancing in the streets and hearing singing colourful garlands, Vienna may not be the best destination for you. If you like chic, sobriety and elegance,
Opening dates: From 11th November to 26th December 2023.
How to get there: Book your flights to Vienna.
Where to stay: "Living Hotel Franz Joseph Kaiser" one of our top picks in Vienna.
4. Christmas lights in Tallinn
Voted the most beautiful Christmas market in Europe, Tallinn’s Christmas Market appeals to travellers from all over the world in search of authenticity, charm, tradition and wonder. This Christmas market seems to come straight out of a snow globe.
With its little train, chalets and of course real snow, Tallinn’s Christmas Market is one of the most charming Christmas markets in Europe. The Tallinn Christmas Market delights everyone with its coziness, historical buildings and long traditions. In recent years, the Tallinn Christmas Market has become increasingly visible in the foreign media; it has been elected a number of times as one of the best among the tens of thousands of Christmas markets.
Usually the Tallinn Christmas market is open from mid-November to the end of December (beginning of January).
Opening dates: From 1st December 2023 to 7th January 2024.
How to get there: Book your flights to Tallinn.
Where to stay: "Hestia Hotel Barons Old Town" in the heart of Tallinn.
5. Christmas lights in Opatija
Luxuriously decorated streets and squares, an ice skating rink, and various musical and theatrical performances at numerous magnificent locations are just a small part of the enchanting Advent in Opatija programme. The sound of Christmas carols can be heard all around, and the delightful scents of mulled wine and hot chocolate guarantee a truly memorable experience for all visitors. A festive atmosphere, mild winter climate and the closeness of the sea together make the perfect recipe for the Advent of your dreams.
Just like a beautiful festive picture book, Opatija connects all these experiences and offers a fantastic festive atmosphere by day and great visual attractions by night. The splendid Christmas decorations transform St. James’ Park and the famous Angiolina Park into a magic and unforgettable backdrop for holiday photographs.
Opening dates: 1st December 2023 to 7th January 2024.
How to get there: Book your flights to Zagreb or Ljubljana Airports (2h by car - 3h by public transport).
Where to stay: For an unforgettable stay, book at the "Hotel Palace Bellevue" or at the boutique-hotel "Hotel Sveti Jakov" situated in the city centre. "Hotel Milenij" and the Hotel Ambasador are also among the best hotels in Opatija.
6. Christmas Lights in Montbeliard
Located in Franche-Comté (Eastern France), the town of Montbéliard – famous for its hospitality- turns into a pure enchantment a few weeks before Christmas.
At Advent time, Montbéliard revives the tradition of Württemberg and organizes a Christmas market like no other with 160 lovely stalls full of authentic and high quality items. While strolling down the illuminated streets, visitors can taste the delicious gastronomic products from Montbéliard and France, admire the variety of art and crafts, dance to the music and the sound of choral songs…
Opening dates: From 25th November to 24th December 2023.
How to get there: Book your flights to Montbéliard or Basel/Mulhouse (1h by car, 2h by public transport).
Where to stay: "Ibis Styles Montbéliard". Perfect for a 2-night stay!
7. Christmas lights in Colmar
You have ranked Colmar among the best Christmas lights in Europe. Indeed the city seems to have been created in the workshops of Santa Claus. The beautiful traditional half-timbered houses are colourful and look like gingerbread houses! Colmar is probably one of the most beautiful destinations in France and one of the most romantic ones for families, lovers and lonely travellers, for culture, wine tourism and nature lovers too.
From the end of November to the end of December come enjoy Colmar’s Christmas lights. The show is unforgettable, that is why Colmar is THE must Christmas destination.
Opening dates: From 23rd November to 29th December 2023.
How to get there: Book your flights to Basel/Mulhouse airport or Strasbourg.
8. Christmas Lights in Prague
Prague is one of the most romantic destinations in Europe. If you liked Paris you will love Prague; the city is made for lovers from all over the world. The Prague Christmas Market is one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe. The unique atmosphere of the medieval central Prague makes the Christmas Markets at the Old Town Square very popular.
In contrast to some bigger markets in Europe, the Prague Christmas Market is familiar, which makes the experience more intensive.
Opening dates: From 2nd December 2023 to 6th January 2024.
How to get there: Book your flights to Prague.
Where to stay: "BoHo Prague Hotel". Located 600m from Old Town Square.
9. Christmas Lights in Funchal
Madeira Islands - Portugal
Fancy a tropical Christmas? Then it has to be Christmas in Funchal. The city’s Christmas market ranks amongst the Best sunny Christmas Markets in Europe and Madeira Islands are top ranked as one of the best destinations for winter sun in Europe.
The end of year celebrations in Madeira are magical and the illuminations in Funchal, the capital, simply sublime. Don't miss the fireworks on New Year's Day: it's the biggest fireworks display in Europe! Truly, there are only good reasons to celebrate Christmas in Madeira this year.
Opening dates: From 1st December 2023 to 7th January 2024.
How to get there: Book your flights to Funchal.
Where to stay: “Quinta da Casa Branca” for its lush gardens.
10. Christmas Lights in Nice
Enjoy the magic of Christmas under the palm trees in Nice, one of the most beautiful cities of the French Riviera. The temperatures are mild and not having the tip of your nose and fingers frozen at Christmas time can be nice sometimes.
The colourful city does not do things half when it comes to celebrating an important moment. Every year the city of Nice decorates its streets with sublime luminous installations, refined or gigantic ones. Discover the Nice Christmas market and its beautiful illuminations by booking your flights to Nice, your accommodation at the and your tours and activities in Nice.
Opening dates: From 1st December 2023 to 1st January 2024.
How to get there: Book your flights to Nice.
Where to stay: "Hotel La Villa Nice Victor Hugo", elegant and perfectly located in the historic centre of Nice.
11. Christmas Lights in Monte-Carlo
Perhaps it is because the richest people in this world live here that Monaco cannot be satisfied with a few garlands and decorations for Christmas.
Succeeding in amazing those who have everything is no small feat for the teams in charge of decorating this destination which combines luxury, leisure, shopping, relaxation, sun and business. Succumb to the city’s green touch: in recent years, under the leadership of Prince Albert II of Monaco and his wife Charlene, Monaco has been committed to protecting the environment, seas and oceans.
Many hotels have started to cultivate their vegetables and even offer desserts made with honey harvested in the gardens of Prince Albert II or on the roofs of hotels and Palaces in Monaco.
Do not miss the Place du Casino, which welcomes a new grandiose setting each year. The Hôtel de Paris, also located on this square, is adorned with a thousand lights and the entire square decorated with igloos, crystal hot air balloons and many sets created to dazzle young and old.
Did you know that Monaco was also ranked among the Most Exclusive Destinations in Europe?
Opening dates: From 3rd December 2023 to 8th January 2024.
How to get there: Book your flights to Nice and your transfer.
Where to stay: "Hotel de Paris" on the Place du Casino.
12. Christmas Lights in Reims
If you are looking for the most beautiful Christmas lights, look no further, travel to Reims. Enjoy a breathtaking show around the Cathedral. The Cathedral of Reims is brought to light every year. It is a real bright gift that makes the historic heart of Reims beat.
Reims at Christmas are not only illuminations but also a magnificent Christmas market with more than 140 traditional chalets. Reims is the capital of Champagne, so forget about mulled wine and let yourself be tempted by a glass of champagne for a sparkling Christmas.
Opening dates: From 24th November to 24th December 2023.
How to get there: Book your flights to Paris Vitry Airport (50min) or Paris Charles de Gaulle (1h30).
Where to stay: "Holiday Inn Reims Center" ideally located in the historic centre of Reims.
13. Christmas Lights in Salerno
The artistic illuminations in the streets of Salerno last from mid-November to the end of January. The city of Salerno is one of the most illuminated cities in Europe. Every year, new artistic creations are added to this magical show.
You can also walk to the Salerno Christmas Market and take a Ferris wheel tour to get a breathtaking view of all the illuminations of the city of Salerno.
Opening dates: From Mid-November to 30th December 2023.
How to get there: Book your flights to Naples.
Where to stay: "Hotel Montestella", 400 m from the train station and only 9 minutes walk from the beach.
14. Christmas Lights in Edinburgh
The Street of Light is stunning. It is inaugurated on the first day of the opening of Edinburgh's Light Night (from mid-November to the end of December). Tens of thousands of small lamps light up in rhythm with the music. There are outstanding light installations throughout the city during Edinburgh Christmas Light Night.
Opening dates: From 17th November 2023 to 6th January 2024.
How to get there: Book your flights to Edinburgh.
Where to stay: "The Castle Nest", located 60 m from the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.
15. Christmas Lights in Zagreb
Zagreb has been voted for several years in a row as the best destination for Christmas in Europe. In a friendly family atmosphere, travellers from all over the world discover Croatian traditions, crafts, local products.
Zagreb is a traditional city with its architecture, its monuments but is also very modern, young, dynamic, alive. It is one of the most trendy destinations in Europe.
Come discover the Zagreb illuminations by booking your flights and your accommodation at the best price as well as your tours and activities in Zagreb such as a 2.5 hour walking tour with funicular ride.
Opening dates: From 2nd December 2023 to 7th January 2024.
How to get there: Book your flights to Zagreb.
Where to stay: "Hotel Dubrovnik" located in the heart of the city. .
16. Christmas Lights in Gdansk
Discover the magic of Christmas in one of the most beautiful Christmas destinations in Europe: Gdansk.
The remarkable ambience of the Gdańsk Christmas Fair is mostly created by the unique and mood-setting scenery. Here you will find streets especially named at this special time of year: Chocolate, Cinnamon, Angel or Christmas Eve Street. You will meet Lucky the Moos who hums and talks, and high above, the Three Wise Men, angels and saints looking at you from Angel Mill.
The Christmas decorations and the Christmas Market are open from the end of November to the end of December.
Do not miss to visit the Best Christmas Markets in Poland!
Opening dates: From 23rd November 2023 to 1st January 2024.
How to get there: Book your flights to Gdansk.
Where to stay: "Celestin Residence" is located in a medieval house in the heart of the Old Gdansk.
17. Christmas Lights in London
Each year Carnaby Street offers incredible illuminations, certainly the most original ones in Europe. Carnaby Street is one of the nicest places to hang out or do shopping in London although all London is beautiful at Christmas. Carnaby Street offers a touch of originality & freshness.
Opening dates: From 17th November 2023 to 1st January 2024.
How to get there: Book your flights to London.
Where to stay: "The Z Hotel Tottenham Court Road", located 200m from Carnaby Street.
18. Christmas Lights in Budapest
Budapest is becoming more and more successfull at Christmas and one of the unmissable destinations for Christmas market enthusiasts. There is no doubt about it : Budapest is a magical destination at any time of the year, but Christmas is definetely a special moment for the city.
Christmas is everywhere! Enjoy the Christmas market with its stalls displaying mulled wine, gingerbread, hand knitted wool sweaters, traditional and original gifts. If you are a Christmas illuminations fan, do not miss the trams of Budapest decorated with Christmas garlands, and the Advent Feast Christmas tree at the Basilica; it is standing in the middle of an ice rink.
Budapest is just a dream place to spend Christmas with family or lovers. Book your flights to Budapest as well as your hotel at the best price and your tours and activities in Budapest such as a "Budapest: 2-hour Danube cruise with live music".
Opening dates: From 19th November 2023 to 2nd January 2024.
How to get there: Book your flights to Budapest.
Where to stay: For a 4 star stay, the "Parlament Hotel" is perfect.
19. Christmas Lights in Malaga
Malaga is one of the most trendy destinations for all travellers in Europe. Did you know that Malaga has the largest number of museums per square kilometre in Europe?
At Christmas, the palm trees of the city are covered with Christmas garlands. You can enjoy many street concerts and buy original Christmas gifts in the shopping streets or in the different Christmas markets of the city. It is one of the most innovative destinations for Christmas illuminations. Each year Malaga offers an exceptional show to visitors from around the world who come to discover one of the most beautiful destinations to visit at Christmas.
Opening dates: From 25th November 2023 to 6th January 2024.
How to get there: Book your flights to Malaga.
Where to stay: "Madeinterranea Suites", 6 minutes walk from the beach.
20. Christmas Lights in Vilnius
Vilnius has become one of the must-see destinations for travellers looking for the most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe. You can stroll on board the little Christmas train, buy original Christmas gifts, or taste gingerbreads, honey cakes, local cheeses or tasty pastries in the Christmas cottages that surround the magnificent Christmas tree from Vilnius, ranked among the most beautiful Christmas trees in Europe!
Opening dates: From 26th November 2023 to 1st January 2024..
How to get there: Book your flights to Vilnius.
Where to stay: "The Joseph" situated in the Vilnius Old Town district
21. Christmas Lights in Madrid
Each year Madrid offers not one but 4 big Christmas markets. You are spoiled for choice and can discover the Mercado de Diiseno, the Feria Dulces de Navidad, the Mercadillo del Gato or our favourite, the Plaza Mayor Christmas Market. This Christmas market starts on the last week of November and ends at the end of December. It is certainly the most beautiful Christmas market in Spain.
If you want to enjoy the Christmas market under the sun, 2pm is the right time. Treat yourself to a sunny getaway and discover one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Spain.
Opening dates: From 25th November to 31st December 2023.
How to get there: Book your flights to Madrid.
Where to stay: "Eurostars Madrid Gran Via" located 50 m from Madrid's lively Gran via.
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