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Ultimate Guide To The BEST Christmas Markets In Europe

Written By:
Cazzy Magennis
/
Last Updated:
July 31, 2020
Travel stories
Looking for inspiration on the best Christmas markets in Europe? Look no further. I take you through some of my favourite Christmas markets Europe has...
best christmas markets in europe
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I’ve wanted to write a post like this for a while, but I had to wait until I expanded my visiting Christmas markets in Europe, and now, I can finally give you all the best ones to discover.

I’ve been to Christmas markets all over Europe and below I take you through why I love them, and why you should visit.

I’ve broken these down into different countries that I’ve visited, and as I visit more in the future, I will constantly update this list! 

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Best Christmas markets in Germany 

We all know Germany does a pretty market pretty well, but there may be some surprises in this list! But these are some of the best Christmas markets in Germany.

1. Lubek, Germany 

Lubek in Germany was one of my favorite Christmas markets in Europe, mainly because it was so unexpected. It was actually one of my diabuddies (diabetic buddies for those not diabetic! :P) on Instagram who suggested I go there and not only did I fall in love with the town itself, but there were 4 awesome Christmas markets that I visited. 

There’s so much choice.

An indoor market that showcases local crafts, produce, etc, a medieval-style market, a traditional Christmas market, and the streets were lined with Christmas market stalls even as you walked through the main street. Gosh, it was amazing.

Delicious Bratwurst, Glogg with rum, shots of rum for 1 euro, home-made pizzas, and so much more. 

We LOVED it. And it was super cheap. Also, a great place to pick up unique and wonderful Christmas gifts. We got some great ones. 

You could combine a visit here to the Christmas markets as a city break too as Lubeck is a beautiful town with a lot to offer. 

Price: $-$$

lubeck christmas markets

2. Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg is one of the great cities in Germany and it’s home to some pretty awesome Christmas markets.

I actually need to return to Hamburg for a proper city break, because I only visited for half a day and my main motive was to go to the Christmas markets. 

As far as Christmas Markets in Europe go, this is one of the best.

The one held in the main square was amazing and they even offered vegetarian and vegan bratwurst and currywurst, how great is that!!

The Christmas market was bursting with amazing food options, I was sad I couldn’t eat everything I laid my eyes on! But I suggest you try the mushrooms in garlic style sauce, wow, just wow. 

There are quite a few little Christmas markets in Hamburg that you’ll discover as you wander through and you’ll find everything you need. 

Price: $$

hamburg christmas market

3. Berlin, Germany 

Ah, Berlin, not only a great city, but it’s the capital of Christmas markets in Germany, and maybe Europe.

Berlin has over 80 Christmas markets and they all offer something cool and unique. I’ve been to Berlin twice for the Christmas markets and I would happily keep returning.

There are funfair rides, ice skating rinks, amazing bauble shops, lots of eateries, an eco-friendly Christmas market, a Christmas market in a forest and so much more…

You’ll never run out of Christmas markets to visit, or get bored! Some of my favorites in Berlin include the Christmas markets held at Alexanderplatz, Potsdamer Platz, and Gendarmenmarkt. 

You could spend weeks visiting all the Christmas markets on offer here, so if you’re looking for the ultimate city break for Christmas market shopping, then Berlin should be top of your list. 

This is a great tour option for Berlin Christmas Markets. It takes you on a 4 hour Christmas market walking tour, so perfect if you've only got one day in Berlin.

Price: $$

READ MORE: One day in Berlin: The Best Things To Do
berlin christmas market

4. Kempten, Bavaria 

We visited the Kempten Christmas market a couple of years ago as part of our trip to beautiful Fussen. It was actually Brad and I’s first-ever trip together (awwwwh, right? :P ) Anyway, it was awesome.

It’s one of the smaller ones, but it was filled with mulled wine, delicious Germany delights, and everything you want from a Christmas market in Europe. 

Price: $$

Christmas markets in Lithuania 

5. Vilnius, Lithuania

Vilnius is one of my favourite cities in Europe, and it’s often undiscovered by people.

You should take a trip to Vilnius in general, but a visit at Christmas for their markets is a must-do.

They have a massive, amazing Christmas tree that’s usually got a theme (like the ornaments being made out of recycled plastic), and by the castle, there is another great market. 

But what I really loved about the Christmas markets in Vilnius was that there was a section of town that had stalls literally in glass style igloos and it was so unique and cool! One of them was a bar!

Plus, Vilnius is one of the cheaper Christmas markets in Europe. 

Price: $/$$

READ MORE: Best Things To Do In Vilnius
christmas markets in vilnius

6. Trakai Castle, Lithuania 

We didn’t visit this Christmas market (yet) but since it’s so close to the Christmas market I mentioned above, I totally think it’s worth visiting if you’re there.

Not only is it a magical castle that you can walk around and if you’re lucky there will be snow, but there is a beautiful and large Christmas tree located here which is a picture-perfect moment. 

Christmas Markets in Sweden 

7. Stockholm, Sweden

Okay, full disclosure, out of all the Christmas markets in Europe I’ve visited, this was the most disappointing, BUT, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t good, it just means I’ve been to a LOT of Christmas markets and have a weird high expectation! 

There were quite a few different styles of Christmas markets throughout the city, but the problem is some were only held on certain days and most of the markets closed at around 7 pm, and that’s when I want to go to a market! 

The Christmas market in the Old Town is cute, but it’s small and lacking in food options.

But there is a cool ice rink by the palace, so definitely go visit that too. 

Price: $$

READ MORE: One Day In Stockholm: Best Things To Do
stockholm christmas market

8. Gothenburg, Sweden

Gothenburg, Sweden is home to the biggest Christmas market in Sweden, but when we visited, it was closed as it was too early, so I can’t technically include it on this list...but oh wait, I just did!.... I am 100% returning to Gothenburg at Christmas to visit this Christmas market because it looks EPIC!

9. Malmo, Sweden 

This is another great city in Sweden, which is just on the border of Copenhagen in Denmark (so you could go across and do the markets there if you wish!). Malmo is a really cute place with a nice castle, cafes, and a cool Christmas market.

We bought our first puzzle together there! 

It’s a little limited on stalls, but worth a visit if you’re road-tripping Sweden or near the area. 

Price: $/$$

malmo christmas market

Christmas markets in Poland 

10. Warsaw, Poland 

Warsaw is one of my favourite cities in Europe, for a whole range of reasons, but the Christmas market is great. Why? Well, it’s the cheapest Christmas market in Europe, and the cheapest I’ve been to in my life. 

Mulled wine for 1 euro? Don’t mind if I do! 

There were also some really unique stalls for gifts and presents, and the Christmas tree in the middle is beautiful.

In the old area of town, there is another small market that has an ice rink in the middle and you can get a shot of vodka (cheap vodka in Poland is like luxury vodka back home- trust me) for 1 euro.

It’s one of the great Christmas markets in Europe to visit, in my humble opinion. 

Price: $

READ MORE: One Day In Warsaw: Things To Do
christmas market warsaw

Christmas Markets in Ireland 

11. Belfast, Ireland 

Belfast is my hometown, so I have to include it’s Christmas markets. Actually, I think it’s great. It’s got lots of amazing stalls, and a whole food court style section has opened up too.

There is a really popular bar in the middle that has live music and great drinks, which is the perfect way to end your wanderings in the Christmas market. 

They have food from all around the world: French, Spanish, German, Australian, and many other options. It’s bloody great and I think it’s well priced.

Lots of great vegetarian and vegan options on offer too.

Price: $$

Christmas markets in England 

12. Hyde Park, Winter Wonderland

So this is pretty much a Christmas dream and many many Christmas stalls and vibes rolled into one.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is held every year and it has everything you need to get into the Christmas vibe.

Lots of stalls to buy presents, funfair rides, an awesome ice skating rink, and a really cool ice bar!

It’s a little on the pricey side of things, but worth it in my opinion.

Price: $$/$$$

Christmas market in Norway

13. Oslo, Norway 

Olso is the capital of Norway and it’s home to some pretty cool Christmas markets! There are actually quite a few to explore, but our favourite was located on Karl Johan street, in front of the Royal Palace and is known as “Christmas in Wanderland”.

It’s got lots of great stalls, an ice skating rink, and a Christmassy vibe.

The only downside of this Christmas market is that it’s super expensive compared to others in Europe, but that tends to be the way of things in Norway! 

Price: $$$

READ ALSO: Norway on a budget
oslo christmas market

Should I go on a Christmas Market Tour? 

Around the Christmas period, lots of tour agents arrange Christmas style getaways which are often to Germany and take you to some cool Christmas markets.

Germany is bursting with amazing Christmas markets, but I think if you can fly to any of the top cities in Europe and rent a car to drive to smaller markets in local towns.

You’ll often find new cuisines and unique experiences that will brighten your European Christmas market adventure. 

christmas market gifts

Best way to see the Christmas Markets in Europe 

Honestly, the best way to get around the different Christmas markets in Europe is to rent a car.

For example, if you rent a car in Berlin, you could visit the Christmas markets in Hamburg and Lubeck by making a mini road trip.

Or, if you rented in Warsaw, you could head over to Lithuania for the Christmas markets there too. 

I recommend you use Rental Cars for finding the best-priced car rental in Europe. 

Or of course, you could use the super convenient rail and bus networks that exist throughout Europe, but I still think there is something awesome about a Christmas road trip.

Plus you’ll end up discovering smaller Christmas markets as you pass through local villages and towns. 

european christmas markets

There are some other countries that Bradley and I visited just before, or after the Christmas market period was around, but I hope to visit them for their markets one day. I’ll mention some cities below that when I researched showcased some amazing markets! 

Hopefully, I’ll be able to dd detail to those locations when I visit in the Christmas period. However, all those cities are worth visiting regardless of Christmas too! If you’ve been to the Christmas markets in any of those locations, then drop me a comment and let me know what your highlights are. 

So there we have it, my guide to the best Christmas markets in Europe that we have visited so far.

As I visit more European Christmas markets I will continue to update this list. I try to visit new ones every year. 

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