A European X'mas: 10 Festive Christmas Markets Across Europe In 2017 - Updated 2021

A European X'mas: 10 Festive Christmas Markets Across Europe In 2017 - Updated 2021
Clara
Clara
Updated

Christmas is an extremely festive time of the year where everyone can’t help but grin from ear to ear. Whether it is the glimmering Christmas lights, the lovely smell of the enchanting Christmas tree, or the constant thrill of receiving presents and giving them, the plain news “Christmas is coming!” is already enough to make us smile.

Winter in Europe is a delicate and alluring scene, which is no surprise why people around the world flock over during the festive season. Europe has the quintessential Christmas feel; from the cold air and snow, to the brightly lit decorations and, of course, the main highlight of many major cities - the festive Christmas Markets. Get ready to feast your eyes on the fine handmade crafts, the elaborate pastries straight out of mediaeval cookbooks, and of course, the festive hustle and bustle that you are for once glad to be part of.

1. Prague, Czech Republic

A fairytale city in the day, Prague twinkles to life every Christmas with its vibrant and enchanting Christmas markets.

Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí)


The prettiest, busiest and most popular of the ones in Prague, the Christmas Market at the Old Town Square is dominated by a splendid Christmas tree selected each year from a different region of the Czech Republic. Admire the stage-set nativity scene, and enjoy the daily performances from the live folk bands and choirs.

Read more here

Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí)

Address: Staroměstské nám., 110 00 Praha 1-Staré Město, Czech Republic

Price: free admission

When: 2 December 2017 - 6 January 2018

Opening Hours: 10 am - 10 pm, food stands 10 am - midnight

Website: Prague Christmas Markets

Wenceslas Square (Václavské náměstí)

2. Brussels, Belgium

Christmas in Brussels gets bigger each year, and you are invited this year to find out why!

Winter Wonders (Plaisirs d'hiver)

Brussels Christmas Market 2009 (3)
Source: Photo by user Gary Bembridge used under CC BY 2.0

Brussels’ iconic Christmas Market is back with a bang! With an extension now stretching up to Ste-Catherine which covers almost 2 kilometres (1.2 miles), enjoy five weeks of joy and lights at this lively and happening place. Explore the 240 market stalls that look like a little wooden-roofed hut, and feast your eyes on the various traditional arts and craft. Let the rich scent of Belgium chocolates tempt you from store to store, and for once we make an exception. This is the time of the year to let loose!


Winter Wonders’ attractiveness is now considered legendary, for there is so much more to see and do apart from eating and shopping. Admire the brightly lit fairy lights as they twinkle every time the ferris wheel makes a turn, couples and friends as they glide on the shiny skating-rink, the huge Christmas tree which was a beloved gift from the city of Riga, and the Sound and Light show at the Grand Place UNESCO World Heritage site!

Read more here

Winter Wonders (Plaisirs d'hiver)

Address: along the streets from Grand’Place to Ste-Catherine, Brussels, Belgium

Price: free admission

When: 24 November 2017 - 31 December 2017

Opening Hours: Monday - Sunday12 pm - 10 pm, 24th December 2017: 12 pm - 6 pm, 25th December 2017: 12 pm to 10 pm, 31st December 2017: 12 pm to 6 pm

Website: Winter Wonders

3. Lille, France

A passionate Christmas Market for a gourmet’s delight!

Christmas Market at Place Rihour

Lille, France. Place Rihour - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Maarten Sepp used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Lille, located in Northern France, has approximately 80 chalets set up all fully adorned with vibrant lights and colour. A ferris wheel stands proudly with glittering Christmas lights - and this town square is magically transformed to a winter wonderland - the 18-metre (59 feet) Christmas tree giving it the complete festive look. The French have always been very passionate with their food, and Lille’s Christmas Market will show you just why. Sip on the vin chaud (mulled wine); nibble on an nougat, and breeze through the stalls decked with potential gift ideas. There are various craft work from regional countries such as Russia, Canada and Poland. If your foodie heart is still screaming out, head down to the many bars or eateries just around the corner to enjoy some authentic French food.

Place Rihour

Address: Place Rihour, 59800 Lille, France

Price: free admission

When: 17 November 2017 - 27 December 2017

Opening Hours: Monday - Thursday & Sunday 11.00 am - 8.00 pm, Friday & Saturday until 9.00 pm, closed on December 25

Website: Christmas Market at Place Rihour

4. Vienna, Austria

Throughout the Advent period, Vienna was a city of nostalgia and romance, concerts, nativity displays and, most importantly, traditional Christmas Markets.

Viennese Christmas Market

Vienna - Rathaus
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Tupungato used under CC BY 3.0

With more than 10 Christmas markets in Vienna every year, the most popular and happening one would have to be the Viennese Christmas Market located at the large town square between Rathaus (City Hall) and Burgtheater. Here, witness more than 150 stalls selling miniature wooden houses, puppets, gingerbread hearts, leather clothing and woollen hats.

Viennese Christmas Market

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

Price: free admission

When: 17 November 2017 - 26 December 2017

Opening Hours: 10 am - 10 pm daily, 24th December 2017: 10 am - 6 pm, Closed on 31st December 2017

Website: Viennese Christmas Market

Christmas Village Belvedere Palace

Enjoy Christmas with an impressive Baroque background, the latest edition to Vienna’s lively Christmas Markets. Indulge in the traditional hand-crafted goods, and the culinary delights that will leave you wanting more. This 40-stall Christmas Market is a workable option for those who prefer a more intimate and tranquil site; a place where there will be lesser crowds for you to push through.

Christmas Village Belvedere Palace

Address: Belvedere Palace, Prinz Eugen-Straße, Vienna, Austria

Price: free admission for all

When: 24 November 2017 - 26 December 2017

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 11 am - 9 pm daily, Saturday & Sunday: 10 am to 9 pm, 24th December 2017: 10 am to 4 pm, 25th & 26th December 2017: 10 am to 7 pm

Website: Christmas Village Belvedere Palace

Christmas Market at Spittelberg

Fun meets culture as Christmas now takes place in the idyllic streets from the Biedermeier era; the city’s second-largest pedestrian zone. Get ready to experience an artisan Christmas, with more than 100 stalls that offer you a unique set of gifts - objects d'art, ceramics, warm jumpers, rugs and jewellery made of silver, enamel and brass - all decked and ready to wish you a splendid Christmas.

Christmas Market at Spittelberg

Address: 1070, quarter between Stiftgasse and Breite Gasse near U2/U3 Volkstheater, Vienna, Austria

Price: free admission for all

When: 16 November 2017 - 23 December 2017

Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday 2 pm - 9 pm, Friday 2 pm - 9.30 pm, Saturday 10 am - 9.30 pm, Sunday & holidays 10 am - 9 pm

Website: Christmas Market at Spittelberg

5. Cologne, Germany

Feel the magic of Christmas as you embark on a journey to discover this festively decorated historic city!

Cathedral Christmas Market

Christmas market - Cologne, Germany - DSC00428
Source: Photo by user Daderot used under CC0

One of the most beautiful and most popular Christmas Markets in Cologne, this 160 wooden chalet-Christmas Market is held at the elegant Cathedral Square. Look out for the high-quality gourmet food, wide selection of regional toys, and the varied stage programme with 100 Christmas performances of music and entertainment; a unique approach compared with the other Christmas Markets.

Cathedral Christmas Market

Address: Domkloster 4, 50667 Köln, Germany

Price: free admission

When: 27 November 2017 – 23 December 2017

Opening Hours: Monday - Wednesday & Sunday 11 am - 9 pm, Thursday & Friday 11 am - 10 pm, Saturday 10 am - 10 pm

Website: Cathedral Christmas Market

Gay & lesbian Christmas Market


Small, sophisticated and totally different from anything you have ever seen before, flock to Christmas Avenue for a one-of-a-kind experience. Everyone from all sexualities are welcome to join in the fun! The pink and purple chalets sell everything from purple potteryware to a pink nutcracker! A performance stage with an extensive programme of events can be found at the far end of the market.

Read more about Cologne’s Christmas markets here

Gay & Lesbian Christmas Market

Address: Schaafenstraße, 50676 Köln, Germany

Price: free admission

When: 27 November 2017 - 23 December 2017

Opening Hours: 12 pm - 10 pm daily

Website: Gay & Lesbian Christmas Market

6. Budapest, Hungary

The sky lights up as the festive lights from the seven different Christmas Markets start to glow, as if it was saying: Christmas is coming!

The Budapest Christmas Fair

Budapest Christmas Fair and Winter Festival (31256417672)
Source: Photo by user Jorge Franganillo used under CC BY 2.0

Listed as one of the top 10 prettiest Christmas Markets in Europe, be sure to enjoy The Budapest Christmas Fair, an extremely popular market amongst locals and tourists alike. Purchase some of the classic Hungarian gifts like folk-music instruments, decorative baskets, and intricate ceramics. Also be sure to try some regional delicacies, such as the goulash with prunes and mutton sandwiches with roasted paprika cream.

Here’s a sneak peek of what to expect at this magical fair:


The Budapest Christmas Fair

Address: 1051 Budapest, Vörösmarty tér, Hungary

Price: free admission

When: 10 November 2017 - 31 December 2017

Opening Hours: Please refer to their site for the up-to-date hours

Website: The Budapest Christmas Fair

Advent Feast at the Basilica

Budapest Christmas Market (8227376271)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Top Budapest used under CC BY 2.0

Budapest’s biggest church, the St. Stephan’s Basilica, includes a miniature skating rink centred by a tall Christmas tree. Be sure to catch the spectacular light show every night in which the Basilica will be so beautifully illuminated. Stroll along the glimmering fairy lights as they flutter above you, and watch as visitors stop to browse through the various craft work being sold at the many stalls.

Read more about Budapest’s Christmas markets here

Advent Feast at the Basilica

Address: 1051 Budapest, Szent István tér 1, Hungary

Price: free admission

When: 24 November 2017 - 1 January 2018

Opening Hours: Monday - Friday: 11 am to 10 pm, Saturday & Sunday: 10 am to 10 pm, 24th December 2017: 10 am to 2 pm, 25th December 2017: 11 am to 10 pm, 26th December 2017: 11 am to 10 pm, 31st December 2017: 10 am to 10 pm

Website: Advent Feast at the Basilica

7. London, England

London’s magical Christmas Markets and festive fairs are worth wrapping up and stepping into the cold for; the ultimate spots for a very merry Christmas!

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, London
Source: Photo by user Christine Matthews used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland returns to London this Christmas for the 10th time in a row. This free-to-enter family event includes Winter Wonderland ice-skating, big dramatic shows, a circus, a ferris wheel, spectacular rides and many more. Get ready to see wooden chalets with unusual and unique items, including arts and crafts, trinkets, jewellery and decorations.

Here’s a sneak peek to brace yourself for the ultimate experience at Winter Wonderland:


Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Address: Hyde Park, Rangers Lodge, Hyde Park, London, W2 2UH

Price: free admission

When: 17 November 2016 - 1 January 2018

Opening Hours: 10 am to 10 pm daily. Closed on Christmas day

Website: Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Southbank Centre Christmas Market

Southbank Centre's Winter Festival - Royal Festival Hall
Source: Photo by Flickr user Elliott Brown used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Southbank Centre Christmas Market returns with wooden chalets filled with hand-crafted trinkets, wooden toys, jewellery, candles, ceramics, clothes and glass ornamental Christmas tree decorations. Potential gift ideas aside, feast on sausages, hog roasts, candy floss, chocolates and sweets. Christmas is a joyous occasion that should be celebrated with good food, and Southbank Market will do just the trick!

More on London’s Christmas Markets here

Southbank Centre Christmas Market

Address: Queen’s Walk, Royal Festival Hall Riverside

Price: free admission

When: 1 December 2017 - 30 December 2017

Opening Hours: Sunday - Thursday 11 am - 10 pm, Friday & Saturday 11 am - 11 pm

Website: Southbank Centre Christmas Market

8. Copenhagen, Denmark

Denmark’s historic and cosmopolitan city Copenhagen sparkles to life every Christmas; and we are not surprised why!

Christmas in Tivoli Gardens

Christmas market at Tivoli, Copenhagen
Source: Photo by Flickr user Maria Eklind used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Located in the famous theme park Tivoli Gardens, join the Copenhageners as they celebrate Christmas in this enchanting place. Stroll through the 60 wooden chalets filled with handmade ornaments and craft work, the lake now a frozen skating rink. Look out for Santa as he welcomes you to try the 27 exhilarating rides, the alluring park adorned with beautiful fairy lights and the fireworks explosion is a must-see.

Christmas in Tivoli Gardens

Address: Vesterbrogade 3, 1630 København V

Price: from 19.22 USD for adults

When: 18 November 2017 - 31 December 2017

Opening Hours: Monday - Thursday, Sunday 11 am - 11 pm, Friday & Saturday 11 am - 12 am, 24th December 2017: 10 am to 5 pm, 31st December 2017: 11 am to 12.30 am

Website: Christmas in Tivoli Gardens

Christmas Market at Nyhavn harbour

Set in the charming old harbour of Copenhagen, the stalls in Nyhavn harbour are all neatly lined near the pier. Be entertained, indulge in delicious and mouth-watering delicacies, and shop for unique Christmas souvenirs, all in this cosy Christmas Market along the canal.

Christmas market at Nyhavn harbour

Address: Nyhavn, 1051 Copenhagen K

Price: free admission

When: 10 November 2017 - 23 December 2017

Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday & Sunday: 11 am - 6 pm, Friday & Saturday:11 am - 7 pm

Website: Christmas market at Nyhavn harbour

9. Zagreb, Croatia

Croatia hopes its flagging economy will be boosted by the Christmas tourism, and the Christmas markets in Zagreb are exactly what they rely on.

Advent in Zagreb

Zagreb Advent
Source: Photo by Flickr user Miroslav Vajdic used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Declared as one of the most beautiful Christmas Markets in Europe, Zagreb has been getting some attention because of its stunning Christmas Markets. The market has been spread out in numerous locations, which is good as you can see this magnificent city on foot. The main square of Ban Jelačić has a small winter village at one side, which makes you feel like you are in a snowy village in the middle of Lapland. The highlights of the market would have to be the white wooden cottages, selling mulled wine and traditional food.

Advent in Zagreb

Address: Ul. Ivana Tkalčića 7, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia

Price: free admission

When: 2 December 2017 - 7 January 2018

Opening Hours: Opening hours to be confirmed

Website: Advent in Zagreb

10. Stockholm, Sweden

Whether you enjoy a traditional or contemporary Christmas, Stockholm has always something exciting that awaits you!

Skansen Christmas Market

Christmas time in Stockholm (4200433833)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Michael Caven used under CC BY 2.0

The oldest market in the city since 1910, enjoy this traditional Christmas Market filled with Swedish handicraft, sweets and lovely food. Be sure to try the smoked reindeer meat (strongly recommended) and glögg (mulled wine). Go shopping under the dazzling Christmas lights as you feast your eyes on the handmade craft such as a range of Swedish handicrafts and decorative arts of high-quality workmanship.

Skansen Christmas Market

Address: Skansen Open-Air Museum, Djurgårdsslätten 49-51 11521 Stockholm

Price: Please refer to this sheet

When: First 3 weekends of December (2 - 3, 9-10, 16-17 December 2017)

Opening Hours: 10 am - 4 pm

Website: Skansen Christmas Market

Have yourself a very merry Christmas!

And so, we hoped these Christmas Markets gave you a sense of how Christmas is like in Europe. The dazzling fairy lights, shiny ice-skating rink and the feeling you get when you are on the ferris wheel…. It is not everyday we get to experience something like this, which is probably why Christmas is such a special occasion! Indulge in the elaborate activities and stunning decorations, and have yourself a very merry Christmas!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Clara likes to spend her time daydreaming about countries she has never visited before, and while she is at it, exploring new cafes and cool spots in Singapore. She is passionate about reading and...Read more

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