Dreaming of spending the holiday season in Europe? The old continent has Christmas Markets everywhere! Whether you’re backpacking through Europe, or just taking a weekend city break, here’s our recommendations for 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.
Le 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).
Visiting Sweden during the holiday season? Book your room at the centrally located City Backpackers! Known for their incredible amenities, including a sauna, we’re sure you’ll love it here!
2. Warsaw, Poland
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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
Christmas Markets are a big thing in Salzburg, and are well deserving of a spot on our best Christmas markets in Europe list!
Le main market at Residenzplatz and is open from 21 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!
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!
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? Well, 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!
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!
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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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. Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Rotterdam is our final suggestion for the best Christmas markets in Europe! This lesser known Dutch town is full of several Scandinavian style Christmas markets, where you can get anything from Christmas crafts, food, and drinks.
Warm up with a cup of glühwein, and stroll around the iconic Market Hall! While it’s open all year round, it’s something special to see at Christmas!
For the largest Christmas market in the Netherlands, hop on the water bus to Dordrecht. It’s the oldest city in the Netherlands and a trip to Rotterdam at Christmas isn’t complete without a stop here!
If Rotterdam is on your list during the holidays, then be sure to check out ROOM Hostel! This trendy hostel is known for their nutritious free breakfast, cosy chill out area, and incredible staff. They can’t wait to host you!
We hope this guide will help you enjoy the best Christmas markets in Europe on your travels! For more information on European Christmas markets, check out the Munich Christmas Market Guide, Salzburg Christmas Market Guide, and Christmas in Austria!
And if you want to celebrate Christmas with a bit of European influence, check out our posts on Sinterklaas (Dutch Santa Claus), and our delicious Kourambiethes recipe (Greek Christmas cookies). Happy Holidays!