Best Christmas Markets in Europe
Dreaming of spending the holiday season in Europe? We want to show you the Best Christmas markets in Europe to help you plan you pre-Christmas visit!
Visiting the Christmas Markets in Europe is one of the most exciting things to do leading up to the big holiday. The old continent is littered with Christmas Markets, all of which have unique things setting them apart from each other. Whether you’re travelling long term, or just taking a weekend city break, there’s always time to check out a festive market. Wondering where the best ones are? Read on for our recommendations on the Best Christmas Markets in Europe!
1. Stockholm, Sweden
Our first suggestions for the best Christmas markets in Europe is Stockholm. And any visit is incomplete without checking out the traditional Christmas market at Europe’s largest open air museum, Skansen.
The Old Town Christmas Market is open daily from 11am-6pm, from the First Advent until New Years Eve. The market has stalls filled with Swedish specialities, like hand made clothing, local seasonal foods, and hand made crafts. Don’t leave without trying the irresistible Swedish Glögg (mulled wine), Pepparkakor (gingerbread), and Lussekatter (saffron buns).
Where to Stay in Stockholm
Visiting Sweden during the holiday season? Book your room at the centrally located City Backpackers. Known for their friendly staff and incredible amenities, including a sauna, we’re sure you’ll love it here!
2. Warsaw, Poland
Where to Stay in Warsaw
Does Warsaw sound like the perfect Christmas destination? Our friends at Oki Doki City Hostel are eager to host you. With their central location, incredible bar, and designer hostel atmosphere, it has everything you need for your travels over the holidays!
3. Salzburg, Austria
The main market at Residenzplatz and is open from late November until 26 December. Like most other markets, you can find a variety of locally produced items, food, and drink. We recommend trying some glühwein and Feuerzangenbowle, and if you’re feeling crazy, ask for an extra shot of rum!
As for food, you can get a variety of sausages and baked potatoes, but for the sweet lovers, we recommend Bauernkrapfen. It’s a yeast dumpling topped with jam and sugar and truly delicious.
After your Christmas market feast, go ice skating at Mozartplatz! If you’re not much of an ice dancer, hop on a train to Oberndorf. This tiny village is where the famous Christmas carol, ‘Silent Night, Holy Night’ was written!
Where to Stay in Salzburg
Dreaming of Christmas in the Alps? YoHo Youth Hostel is ready to host you, with their beautiful guest kitchen, and cosy reception lounge!
4. Madrid, Spain
Prefer to spend your holidays in a warmer climate? Lucky for you, Madrid is home to one of the best Christmas markets in Europe. From the end of November until early January, the Spanish city illuminates with festive lights and several Christmas markets!
The market in Plaza Mayor is the place to be! You can find lots of nativity scenes, Christmas decorations, and more. To locals, the commencement of this market is a sure sign the holidays are near. If you’re looking for something sweet and festive, we recommend turrón, made with almonds and similar to nougat.
Aside from Christmas markets, the locals also mark another special tradition for the holidays: the Street Lighting Ceremony in Puerta de Sol!
Where to Stay in Madrid
Dreaming of a sunny Christmas? Cats Hostel Madrid are the perfect hosts! With an incredible interior, amazing bar, and delicious tapas, you’d be silly not to book your room here!
5. Frankfurt, Germany
Frankfurt is home to one of Germany’s oldest and biggest Christmas Markets. While the heart of the market is located in the old town, it stretches all the way from Hauptwache to Mainkai. Visitors are spoiled with a seemingly endless supply of delicious treats, handmade crafts, and more.
Like any Christmas market in Europe, we recommend warming up with some glühwein. But if you want to try something different, get a cup of hot apfelwein! And because Frankfurt is such an international city, you find food stalls from more than just German vendors!
The heart of the market features a carousel, with a backdrop of half-timbered houses! It’s like something out of a fairytale!
Where to Stay in Frankfurt
Thinking of spending a few days of your holidays in Frankfurt? Five Elements Hostel is located a short walk from the main station, offer daily activities, and are famous for their happy hour specials!
6. Prague, Czech Republic
The only thing that can make Prague any more magical is Christmas. Celebrations are in full swing by the end of November, with festive lights and markets everywhere!
Our top market recommendation is Náměstí Míru! You can fill up on all your Christmas needs here as you enjoy the Christmas tree in the centre. Another locally loved market is at Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad. It’s actually a normal, year-round market which gets a boost of Christmas spirit come December!
For traditional sweets, try Vanocka – a brioche-like bread with almonds. Linecke cookies are also worth a try. Top it off with a crepe! And for when you get thirsty, make sure you try the special lavender svařák, the Czech version of mulled wine.
If you happen to be in Prague just before Christmas, keep an eye out for what looks like mini swimming pools. They’re actually filled with carp – a traditional Christmas eve dinner.
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Where to Stay in Prague
Has Prague captured your heart? Be sure to book your room at the Czech Inn, famous for its modern design, nutritious breakfast, and incredible staff!
7. Leipzig, Germany
Leipzig is one of the most popular cities in east Germany and their Christmas Market is easily one of the best in Europe. Since 1458, people have gathered in Leipzig’s Marktplatz to celebrate the upcoming Christmas holidays, and it hasn’t changed much since. Stalls line the famous square and offer traditional foods, crafts, and seasonal goodies for people to peruse and buy.
Like in Frankfurt, you should indulge in some glühwein, lebkuchen, and feuerzangenbowle while visiting this historic market. Dress warmly though, as Leipzig tends to be a bit colder than other parts of the country.
Where to Stay in Leipzig
Our top recommendation in Leipzig is Five Elements Hostel, located in the Alt Stadt and just steps away from the Christmas market. With a generous selection of rooms, you’ll get a taste of luxury here. They also have a great bar, which is popular with the locals, so you know the atmosphere is great. If you’re feeling ritzy, why not book a penthouse suite?
Best Christmas Markets in Europe
Visiting Christmas Markets is one of the best seasonal activities and we hope this guide has helped you discover the best Christmas markets in Europe! If you’re looking for more information to plan your adventure, or simply get inspired, click here to find tons of helpful tips and tricks. For all the latest news at Famous Hostels, follow us or subscribe on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Youtube.