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Final Information for The Finest Christmas Markets in Europe


Do you scent that? It is sizzling spiced wine wafting via the air blended with roasting sausages and nuts. It is Christmas in Europe which suggests one of the festive methods to get into the spirit of the season: Christmas Markets! Ornately embellished stalls nestled collectively in metropolis squares promoting hand painted glass ornaments, seasonal meals, and all-around yuletide cheer. Rising up in America (Texas to be precise) I by no means skilled the magic that’s Christmas in Europe.

Now that I’ve had the pleasure of going to a number of the finest markets throughout Europe I am creating my final information to the European Christmas Markets! I made it my mission to go to a number of the finest in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, and past. I’ve obtained you coated on your final information for one of the best Christmas markets in Europe.

*Utterly up to date for 2021!


With regards to Christmas I all the time really feel like a child once more. However Europe appears so as to add an additional contact of magic. Strolling into the markets is simply an awesome sense of enjoyable, buddies, and happiness. For this itinerary I am breaking down one of the best Christmas markets in Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria and past. I’ve additionally obtained a breakdown of what to purchase, eat, and I am displaying you a typical route with the intention to get essentially the most out of your time!

See my picks for the finest Christmas markets in Europe and my present Christmas market highway journey itinerary!

What to anticipate

Europe’s Christmas markets are steeped in historical past. The primary market was stated to be held in Vienna, Austria courting again to 1296, however the first “winter market” was in Munich, Germany in 1310. The primary “official” market was Dresden’s Strietzelmarkt in 1434. Christmas markets are also called Christkindlmarkt, Christkindlesmarkt, Christkindlmarket, Christkindlimarkt, and Weihnachtsmarkt and happen in the course of the begin of Introduction. Every market has it is personal traditions, decorations, and meals. Germany’s markets are typically extra conventional whereas Austria’s are typically a bit extra elaborate. Most markets finish simply earlier than Christmas, however in cities resembling Speyer, Germany they lengthen the celebration. You may see pretty stalls (or chalets) promoting handcrafted ornaments and crafts, native meals, and sizzling, mulled wine known as glühwein.

Keep away from the crowds: Europeans take Christmas markets very critically. Keep away from crowds and contours by going in the course of the day, or go for going in the course of the week, Mondays or Tuesdays are finest.


Good to know

Most of the stalls promoting glühwein (and a few meals) could have one thing known as a “pfand” that is extra cash that you’re going to pay for the cup, normally just a few euros. As soon as executed together with your drink you may preserve the cup (normally they’re a terrific memento as they are saying the placement and date) or return it to get your a reimbursement.

Convey money, most sellers will solely take money at a Christmas market. The winter markets may be chilly, so ensure to deliver one thing heat and cozy footwear. You may almost definitely be in your ft to peruse the stalls.

Most main European cities have Christmas markets, and they’re all pretty. However, I’ve been to dozens so I am pulling out one of the best Christmas markets to get the “actual” expertise together with an itinerary that will help you in your means.

Finest Christmas Markets in Germany

The German Christmas markets are the unique and one of the best. Since they date again to the 1300s, lots of the German Christmas markets nonetheless have fun traditions from the outdated days. You may discover richly embellished Christmas stalls and conventional Christmas meals like bratwurst and kartoffelpuffer. I recommend beginning your journey in Germany. My options for Christmas markets in Germany are: Heidelberg, Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber, Munich, Nuremberg and Dresden. Most cities in Germany, together with the smaller ones, will all provide a Weihnachtsmarkt, so you actually cannot go flawed!

See my full information to one of the best Christmas Markets in Germany right here.

Nuremburg is steeped in custom and you will find an enormous market with heaps to see, do, and eat. However my favourite is the extra laid-back Heidelberg. The markets are all through the Haupstrasse (the lengthy pedestrian avenue) and make it simpler for crowds to ebb and circulate via the road. You may discover ornately embellished stalls, roasting meats, and a car-free avenue to skip alongside from market to market. It exudes a small city and alluring feeling.



Munich began one of many first Christmas markets, so it is a disgrace to not go right here. They exit of their approach to enhance and even have themed markets, resembling their “pink” Christmas market. Bavaria tends to do issues just a bit bit in another way and Munich actually takes Christmas up a notch.


Munich from above, picture through Joyful to Wander!

Christmas Market Dates in Germany: Heidelberg – November 27 December 22, Munich – November 27 – December 24

Discover my full information to Heidelberg right here and Christmas Markets right here. Additionally information to Nuremberg’s right here.

Finest Christmas Markets in France

Going to France is like stepping right into a Currier and Ives print. The peerlessly positioned real-life gingerbread homes surrounded with Christmas stalls, music, and candy smelling pastries are a feast for the senses. Probably the most lovely Christmas markets are in Strasbourg and Colmar within the Alsace area.

Strasbourg’s Christmas markets are sprinkled all through the town and every one is prettier than the subsequent. The decor is over-the-top however a lot enjoyable. The background of the overwhelming Notre Dame cathedral makes a grand assertion over the sq.. However the actual spotlight is the 30 meter tall Christmas tree! They name Strasbourg the Capital of Christmas and it all the time proves its level as one of the best place to spend the vacations.


In case you assume the decorations in Strasbourg have been elaborate, wait till you get to Colmar. Each constructing appears to be adorned with lights, ornaments, and even teddy bears! In all places you flip is a half-timbered panorama of uneven, multicolored homes. It really appears extra like a doll’s playhouse.


Christmas Market Dates in France: November 24 via December 30

Discover the information to Strasbourg’s Christmas markets right here.

Finest Christmas Markets in Switzerland

The right place for a winter wonderland is unquestionably in Switzerland. You may discover ski chalets nestled subsequent to Christmas markets and, in fact, the stunning alps. You may enjoyment of artisan items and a few of my favourite treats. The very best markets are in Basel, Bern, Lucerne, and Zurich. After touring via France it is very simple to get to Switzerland. The space from Colmar to Basel is about an hour and a half by automobile.

Basel is a fairly metropolis overlooking the water and a number of Christmas markets all through the massive squares. The decor right here is vibrant and wonderful and the markets are all inside strolling distance from each other.


My favourite market in Switzerland isn’t too removed from Basel in Lucerne, Switzerland. Located on the lake, you may discover extravagant shows and a number of the finest cheeses on the planet. All of the outlets and shops are decked out for the vacations with blankets and sheepskin stools.


Christmas Market Dates in Switzerland: Lucerne – December 1-20, Basel – November 23 – December 23

Finest Christmas Markets in Austria

Austria has many pretty Christmas markets and small cities. You may discover them in Salzburg, Ellmau, Graz, and Kitzbuhel, however one of the best is in Vienna. The Vienna Christmas markets are one of the well-known and well-liked in all of Europe. It is no shock why: the elegant chandeliers gentle up the streets and paint an image of wealthy opulence. I discover the markets in Austria to be pretty, romantic, and a terrific mixture of conventional and fashionable refinement.

Finest Christmas Markets in Vienna

There are a number of markets all through the town however my favorites are Rathaus, St. Stephen’s Sq., Maria-Therea Sq., Schönbrunn Palace, Belvedere, and Altes AKH. Take a journey on the Ringstrasse on Tram 1 to map out each the place you’d wish to cease. You may discover that the buildings function unbelievable backdrops for the Christmas decor. At Rathaus (Metropolis Corridor) there’s an enormous, lit tree, an ice skating rink, and even a stage for stay music and performances. Remember to go contained in the Rathaus for an attractive view.



Do not miss St. Stephen’s and the magnificent church. You actually cannot miss it, the steeple is that top. Take a stroll alongside Kärtnerstrasse to see the unbelievable chandeliers. Try the Altes AKH to see the College campus remodeled into Christmas wonderland. The museum quarter already boasts pretty structure nevertheless it packs an added punch with the market in Maria-Theresa-Platz. That is additionally a superb place to cease and have a standard strudel.


For an over-the-top market have one exterior a palace! Two alternatives for this at Schloss Belvedere and Schönbrunn. Each are lovely and the palaces solely add to the ambiance.

Christmas Market Dates in Austria: Vienna – Late November – December 23

Your European Christmas Market Route

Fly into Germany – I recommend Frankfurt. It is a main airport hub and makes it simple to go to your subsequent vacation spot. From right here, you may take a practice or a automobile (I discover vehicles are best and make it so you may cease off at any time). From right here, take a practice or automobile to Heidelberg, Germany. It is a typical Christmas market and can put you proper within the spirit. Subsequent, we’re heading to France! Strasbourg is barely about an hour and a half away from Heidelberg. After you get your fill of Glühwein our subsequent cease remains to be in Alsace: Colmar, France. An precise gingerbread city, it is one of many cutest locations I’ve ever stepped foot in!

After France we’ll cross one other border and head into Switzerland. Right here we’ll go to Basel then Bern and if time permits we’ll go to Lucerne and again north to Zurich. This itinerary is ideal you probably have 5-7 days. Have extra time, or simply wish to see extra? Carry on going! From right here you may return into Germany for Munich’s markets or go straight over to Austria. In case you’re driving, cease off in Salzburg. However since it is a lengthy journey, I recommend flying to Vienna. Subsequent you may both head to Prague (my private favourite) or east to Budapest.

Pictured: Prague’s Christmas Market in Outdated City Sq.


Different nice spots for Christmas are London, Nuremberg, Dresden, Paris, Copenhagen, Brussels, Budapest, and Zagreb.

What to eat at Christmas Markets

Schokokuss – the easiest way to explain this dessert is to take marshmallow fluff, then cowl it chocolate, and eat a dozen. Actually, these are cheap and are so gentle and fluffy. I get one virtually each time I’m going to a Christmas market.

Bratwurst – Genuine German meals is bratwurst and Rostbratwurst roasting regularly. Every Christmas market does it a bit in another way so strive one wherever you go. You will get it with bread and I all the time load up on mustard and onions.

Kartoffellpuffer – Take potatoes, fry them. It sounds easy however they’re completely divine. Often served with applesauce (bizarre however good) or garlic sauce. Give these a strive!

Gingerbread – Also called Lebkucken, you may discover each smooth and arduous gingerbread offered. Additionally they wish to promote it in coronary heart shapes, wrapped in plastic, with phrases written on the cookie. I can not say these are very tasty, however they’re fairly!


Crepes – In case you’re within the temper for one thing candy that is the right Christmas market meals. Rolled up with nutella, cinnamon, sugar, or honey, anybody can get their fill from this straightforward basic.

Frikadella – One in every of my favourite meals on the Christmas markets are these hamburgers made with pork. Often served with onions and mustard they make for the right hearty meal. Remember to seize some fries or pommes frites!


Candied nuts – the right heat Christmas market deal with to pop in your mouth as you amble from stall to stall. These aromatic nuts will make you whip your head round as you stroll previous! You may as well strive roasted chestnuts aka “maroni” if you would like as nicely.

Germknödel – This well-liked spherical dumpling is a German basic and normally full of jam and topped with vanilla cream sauce. It isn’t overly candy however a pleasant addition to your mulled wine.

Glühwein – You can’t go to the Christmas market with out glühwein! I am completely hooked on this sizzling, mulled wine made with spices. It’ll preserve you heat inside as you drink this candy liquid. Some markets additionally serve Feuerzangenbowle which is a combination of punch and glühwein and topped with a rum-soaked sugar dice then set on hearth. Go forward, order two. In case you’re alcohol free you may as well order kinderpunsch!

See the 25 issues it is best to strive at a Christmas Market right here!


What to purchase on the Christmas Markets


All the pieces sheepskin is on the market – gloves, hats, rugs and extra.

Maintain your glühwein cup as a enjoyable memento. If you wish to preserve with the alcohol development, many stalls provide liqueurs in fairly bottles which might be a superb present.

Most markets have their very own traditions and issues on the market. For instance, in Nuremberg they promote dolls manufactured from dates! Most gadgets on the market at Christmas markets are handmade and prime quality. You will not essentially discover the most affordable gadgets however you’ll discover one thing particular that may final.

Everybody deserves a winter wonderland break and Europe’s Christmas markets make for the right magical escape. Christmas markets in Europe are a number of the finest recollections of my life, and I am already counting down the dates till subsequent yr!


Want extra Christmas markets? Try much more posts!

15 Finest Christmas Markets in Germany

25 Issues to Eat at A German Christmas Market

25 Pictures That Will Encourage You To Spend Christmas in Europe

Information to Heidelberg’s Christmas Markets

Finest Aspect Journeys for Christmas in Germany

Issues to Do in Strasbourg, France at Christmas

Christmas Time in London

My First Christmas Overseas

This is a useful infographic and transient take a look at one of the best of Christmas markets in Europe:






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