8 of the best Christmas markets in Europe
Europe is known for having some of the most magical Christmas markets in the world, all offering locals and visitors alike everything from small trinkets to local delicacies. Rather than purely being about the shopping experience, visiting a European Christmas market is just as much about soaking up the festive vibe.
Christmas markets to check out in Europe
Christmas markets can be found all around the continent, but here are some of our favourites!
1. Advent Feast at the Basilica, Hungary
The Advent Feast at the Basilica in Budapest, Hungary is known as one of the best Christmas markets in Europe and rightfully so. The market features over 100 food vendors offering local delicacies and fried food. Together with the stunning decorations and the St. Stephen’s Basilica in the background, this is an event for all ages. The market displays an enthralling light show each day, along with other various fun activities throughout the season. For information on the next Advent Feast at the Basilica, check the official Advent Feast at the Basilica website.
2. Basel Christmas Market, Switzerland
The Basel Christmas Market in Switzerland is one of the most authentic, packed full of quirky Swiss traditions. The market takes place in the Old Town of Basel, which is spectacularly festooned with soft lights and festive decorations. The vendors and shops glitter with ornaments, creating a cosy ambience. There are many pine trees that border the streets with a massive Christmas tree in the middle of the Old Town. The next Basel Christmas Market will be held from November 23 until December 23, 2023.
3. Govone and Asti, Italy
The most important Christmas market in Italy, the Govone and Asti is the magical kingdom of Santa Claus, packed with culture and local cuisine. The main highlight of each day is the incredible Santa Claus musical show that is hosted at the picturesque Savoy Royal Castle. The fairytale setting is complete with the hundred or so wooden stalls selling plenty of products, from Christmas tree decorations to nougat to mulled wine. Head over to the official Govone and Asti website for more information on the next market.
4. Christmas Market Cologne, Germany
One of the most renowned Christmas markets in all of Europe, the Cologne Christmas Market is one visitors can’t miss. Located right in front of the gothic cathedral in the centre of Cologne, this market fits the Christmas season mood perfectly. The main highlight of the market is the fantastic Christmas tree at the centre, which is often ranked among the most beautiful Christmas trees in Europe. This delightful market is perfect for families with children, who will enjoy sipping on mulled wine and hot chocolate under the sweeping canopy of fairy lights.
5. Christmas Market Prague, Czechia
The Christmas Market in the Old Town of Prague in Czechia is one of the largest and most elaborate events in the country. It's a very traditional Czech marketplace with wooden stalls offering Czech-blown glass, glass pearls, straw products, hand-embroidered goods, wooden toys and many other things. For food, there are local Czech delicacies as well as traditional Christmas biscuits, and - of course - hot chocolate and mulled wine. The next Christmas Market in Prague will be open from December 2, 2023, to January 6, 2024.
6. Funchal Christmas Market, Madeira, Portugal
Nothing beats Christmas on the islands! The island of Madeira becomes a magical wonderland during the holiday season as the Avenida Arriaga in the centre of Funchal is covered with an abundance of stunning lights. Products such as exotic flowers, traditional Christmas ornaments, and local cuisine are offered at the many stalls that visitors can explore while listening to Christmas carols and performances by folk groups. The finale of the market includes an unbelievable fireworks show. For more information on the dates for the next Christmas market in Madeira, check the official Madeira tourist information website.
7. Christmas Market Manchester, United Kingdom
The UK has many lovely Christmas markets that look like they are straight from a movie, but one of the best and largest is the Christmas Market in Manchester. With over 225 gorgeous stalls, an array of international food, and fantastic drinks, this market is the ideal place for a date or finding a gift for a loved one. The market is so large, that it has 10 unique, distinct sites that are all worth visiting. The next Manchester Christmas Market will be from November 10 until December 21, 2023.
8. Funky Xmas Market, the Netherlands
The Funky Xmas Market in Amsterdam in the Netherlands is a very unique market that is a delight to explore. The stalls are packed with witty decorations, festive adornments, savoury dishes, impeccable sweets, and original gifts. There is also live music and fresh hot chocolate to enjoy while wandering through the stalls. Make sure to visit this rare market that is easily accessible via public transportation when visiting the Dutch city. Keep an eye out on the official Sunday Market website for the dates of the next Funky Xmas Market.
Attend one of these charming markets during the Christmas season
Enjoy strolling through these incredible markets and find hidden goods with loved ones in the cosy Christmas spirit. If you think we have missed any, please leave a comment below!