Top 5 European Christmas Markets

After 2 years of isolation, the idea of escaping to Europe for the summer holidays is very tempting. However, with floods of people having the same thought, consider avoiding the crowds and start planning a European winter holiday. We’ve made a list of the top 5 Christmas markets for you to explore.

United Kingdom

The 1 pm cannon fire from the frost-covered Edinburgh Castle is the perfect way to kick off your Christmas market tour. Heading down the Royal Mile, we encourage you to create you’re own custom kilt or tartan scarf to wear while you stroll the streets with mulled wine and listen to the local musicians perform.

If you’d like to avoid the icy Scottish winds, then head south and wander the snow-soaked stone streets of Bath Christmas market. Known for its social city center and luxurious spa town feel, Bath is the perfect weekend away from the hectic capital of London. Hosting the most well-known market is,, London’s Hype Park Winter Wonderland the attendance at this event reaches over 2 million every year and in 2021 the organizers opted for ticket entry to reduce crowding.

Germany

If you’ve started in the UK then why not set off on a german christmas markets cruise by Ambassador Cruiseline. Leaving from London Tilbury you’ll spend 5 nights combing the markets of Hamburg, River Elbe, Antwerp & River Scheldt. Known as the country with the most Christmas Markets there’s enough to explore in Germany alone. However, we feel Striezelmarkt Christmas Market in Dresden, is one of the most important stop to make being the oldest recorded Christmas Market in history, celebrating its 588th year running this November.

Czech Republic

With grand gothic architecture lining the streets, the capital city of Prague is the ideal winter walking spot. Wenceslas square is filled with wooden huts selling handmade ceramics and traditional fish dishes such as rybí polévka. Enjoy the turning on of the 22m Christmas tree lights every day at 4:30 pm (and every hour after until 9:30 pm). 5 minutes from this winter wonderland is the Old Town Square Christmas market, both are free-entry and open 10 am – 10 pm, 26th November 2022 to 6th January 2023.

Hungary

Hundreds of stalls stores line the street of Budapest selling Forralt Bor (mulled wine) and goulash, a traditional Hungarian meat (or vegetable) stew dish flavored with paprika.

Hungary has 6 well-known Christmas markets with St Stephen’s Basilica (Szent István-basilica) voted the best Christmas market in Europe 2019. 

Switzerland

For a festive season, with all the glitz and glamour of warm fur hats and a 50ft Swarovski Christmas tree, check out the golden lights reflecting off the red-roofed hut of the Zurich Christmas market. Dip pain d’épices (a french cake/quick bread) in bubbling hot raclette cheese as you browse the stalls.

Is there one to conquer them all?

While each Christmas market has its own variety of festive foods and fun, unique handmade items to take back and wow friends and family with, which one is truly the best? Or the biggest? Rathausplatz Christkindlmarkt – Vienna’s Christmas World on Rathausplatz. With a 3,000-square-metre (32,000 sq ft) ice rink and over 150 stalls you’ll never struggle to find a gift for your picky parents.