It’s the most wonderful time of the year

As winter rolls around and Christmas is nearing, the stalls of Christmas markets across Europe are also set up to celebrate the infectious Christmas spirit. Besides, there really is no place like Europe that does Christmas markets better!

Set amongst some of the world’s most beautiful cities, these Christmas markets are definitely bucket list worthy. So, grab ‘em winter coats and snow boots, and join in the fairytale-like festiveness!

1. Manchester Christmas Markets, UK

Photo Credit: Manchester City Council for Flickr

When it comes to Christmas Markets in the UK, Manchester is definitely the place to go. Started with a number of wooden stalls, it has now become an award-winning festivity that attracts visitors from all over. Dispersed around 10 different locations, you can find everything from mouth-watering food to bespoke gifts, arts and crafts, and more.

Photo Credit: Manchester City Council for Flickr

Aside from the 300 beautifully-decorated stalls, you can also find fun rides, magicians, and other entertainment at the market. The Manchester Christmas Markets certainly promise the perfect festive outing to get you and your family in the Christmas spirit.

Date: 9 Nov – 22 Dec 2018 (Albert Square market is also open on 23 Dec)
Location: Albert Square, Manchester M2 5DB, UK

2. La Magie de Noël à Colmar, France

Photo Credit: Kitty Schweizer for Flickr

The smell of hot mulled wine fills the air while twinkling lights illuminate the small town of Colmar in France. With six Christmas Markets forming mini-villages throughout the town, market stalls are spread out with plenty of spacious room to comfortably browse through each stall.

Photo Credit: kookykrys for Flickr

Set amongst lush vineyards, historical buildings and quaint houses, walking through the cobblestone streets of the Christmas markets in Colmar is an absolute treat. Make sure to also sink into plenty of locally produced goods like wine, sausage and cheese.

Date: 23 Nov – 30 December 2018
Location: 8 Place Jeanne d’Arc, 68000 Colmar, France

3. Zagreb Advent, Croatia

Photo Credit: Miroslav Vajdic for Flickr

Deemed by many as the best Christmas market in Europe for several years, you can find the city of Zagreb light up as soon as December rolls around, filled with Christmas spirit. Walk through the streets and soak in the smells of fresh gingerbread, mulled wine and savoury delicacies everywhere.

Photo Credit: Miroslav Vajdic for Flickr

It certainly feels like the most wonderful time of the year at Zagreb Advent with delicious food, exciting events, and plenty of other activities at the Christmas market. This much-anticipated market every year is just where you need to be if you’re looking for a vibrant Christmas atmosphere.  

Date: 1 Dec 2018 – 6 Jan 2019
Location: Park Zrinjevac, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia

4. Nuremberg Christmas Market, Germany

A country that is known for Christmas markets, it’s not easy to pick just one to visit when in Germany, Although you can’t go wrong with one just about anywhere in Germany, the one in Nuremberg – the Christkindlesmarkt – has a reputation for being one of the best!

Surrounded by medieval charm and decorated with Christmas ornaments all around, this legendary Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg’s Old Quarter is home to 180 stalls where you can find some much needed glühwein (mulled wine) and delicious Bratwurst.

Date: 30 Nov – 24 Dec 2018
Location: Hauptmarkt, 90403 Nürnberg, Germany

5. Christmas in Tivoli Gardens, Denmark

Photo Credit: Maria Eklind for Flickr

Set in Tivoli Gardens, an enchanting amusement park and garden in Copenhagen, this Christmas market is undeniably one of the most beautiful. Come winter, you will see it transform and all decked out in fairy lights, ready for the Christmas festivities.

Photo Credit: Maria Eklind for Flickr

Said to be a real-life inspiration for Disneyland, this market holds many treasures in the forms of delectable Danish treats like aebleskiver (mini pancake balls with powdered sugar) and honninghjerter (chocolate-coated gingerbread hearts). Make sure to visit each wooden hut along the charming cobblestone streets of the square!

Date: 17 Nov – 31 Dec 2018
Location: Vesterbrogade 3, 1630 København V, Denmark

6. Rathausplatz Christkindlmarkt, Austria

Set up right next to Rathaus, also known as Vienna City Hall, this iconic Christmas market is a treasure trove of all sorts of festive goods from handicrafts, confectionery,  warming drinks and mountains of yummy food!

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Christmarket markets in Vienna have been around since the 13th century so you can count on this market to have just the right atmosphere. To fully experience the market, you can also skate around in the nearby ice rink or along the some of the paths through the park.

Date: 16 Nov – 26 Dec 2018
Location: Rathauspl., 1010 Wien, Austria

7. Budapest Christmas Festivals, Hungary

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

There are 2 major Christmas markets and festivals in Budapest, just right by each other. One of it is the Budapest Christmas Fair and Winter Festival on Vörösmarty Square. As the square turns into a festive market, you can lose yourself in the aroma of traditional honey cookies, cinnamon, fir trees and more!

Just a short distance away from the square, you can find the Advent Feast at the Basilica. Voted as one of the top 5 Christmas markets in Europe, it’s hard to miss it with its massive Christmas tree lighting up the place! With stalls set around the St. Stephen’s Basilica (Szent Istvan Bazilika), this market is a mix of traditional charm with a modern twist.

Budapest Christmas Fair and Winter Festival
Date
: 9 Nov – 1 Jan 2019
Location: Budapest, Vörösmarty tér, 1051 Hungary

Advent Feast at the Basilica
Date
: 23 Nov 2018 – 1 Jan 2019
Location: Budapest, Szent István tér 1, 1051 Hungary

8. Tallinn Christmas Market, Estonia

Photo Credit: Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar for Flickr

If you’ve been wanting a quintessential White Christmas, with snow-covered rooftops and blankets of snow covering the ground, a visit to the Tallinn Christmas Market is the perfect travel bucket list item.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Warm your soul with traditional Estonian Christmas dishes and mulled wine while you enjoy the quaint surrounding views. Also, we heard that Santa and his reindeer arrives on a sleigh at the market in Town Hall Square! Now, surely that makes for an unforgettable Christmas memory.

Date: 16 Nov 2018 – 7 Jan 2019
Location: Raekoja plats 8-9, 10123 Tallinn, Estonia

9. Prague Christmas Market, Czech Republic

Photo Credit: Roderick Eime for Flickr

With a distinct medieval backdrop surrounded by ninth-century castle, church domes and towers, Prague’s Christmas market is a must-visit when in the city. The markets are primarily set in the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, just a short walk from each other. Besides that, you can also find smaller markets perched in Prague Castle as well.

Photo Credit: Markus Spiering for Flickr

At the main markets, you can join the Christmas spirit with their daily caroling, face painting and choir performances. But of course, the heart of most Christmas markets are its food! Prague certainly isn’t short of that, with its baked goods, warm ciders and many other Christmas dishes.

Date: 1 December 2018 – 6 January 2019
Location: Staroměstské nám., 110 00 Staré Město, Czechia

10. Brussels Winter Wonders, Belgium

Photo Credit: Kmeron for Flickr

One of the more unique Christmas markets in Europe, the Brussels Winter Wonders (or Plaisirs d’Hiver) is a festive affair that stretches over a kilometre from the Grand Place to Place Sainte-Catherine. It has everything you ever want from an ice rink to wonderfully-decorated Christmas trees, a Christmas Parade, sounds-and-lights shows, a Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, and many more.

Photo Credit: Miguel Discart for Flickr

Get that Santa belly for yourself and treat yourself to the Christmas sweet treats, specialty baked goods, and many other dishes you can find there. Besides that, you can also shop for gifts from vendors selling handicrafts and other stocking stuffers.

Date: 30 Nov 2018 – 6 Jan 2019
Location: Dansaert, 1000, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium

Europe Essentials

For the best Euro-trip around the region, make sure to get yourself a Eurail Pass from Klook to transit between countries or major cities easily. Don’t forget to also get all the travel essentials like 4G SIM Card and WiFi Device from Klook, so you can always stay connected!