Top 10 European Cities During the Christmas Market Season

Tags: #ChristmasTime ,   #ChristmasSpirit ,   #Christmas ,   #Vienna ,   #Budapest

Scarlett Goldstein

Scarlett Goldstein

Last updated:  2023-10-26 07:16:54

You might hate winter and cold days, and your primary choice when traveling could be summer by the sea. However, you must admit that Christmas sets you in a festive mood because that's inevitable! Hence, put your favorite winter garments on and plan a winter trip in December to find Christmas markets all over Europe. These ten cities are our favorites!

10. Timișoara, Romania

The food looks insanely good in this video!

Let's kick off the list with a country criminally underrated in every way, especially in tourism. Romania offers more than you think, and the Christmas market is a perfect opportunity to discover that. You'll find many great options from Brasov to the capital city, Bucharest, and Timișoara too!

Moreover, Timisoara is one of the top choices if you prefer avoiding crowded places or spending hours in traffic. Timisoara is small enough to go on foot anywhere, and the market is cute, still offering a lot of exciting stuff. It's a gem that has yet to be discovered!

9. Cologne, Germany

A lot of magic there

When it comes to Germany, you can't make a mistake – any city you visit will be your top choice. Actually, you'll be impressed by how this country appreciates Christmas. Cologne  is a top gamer destination, but also is among the best cities in Germany for a Christmas market holiday. Still, you'll also adore Munich, Frankfurt, and, obviously, the capital city, Berlin.

You probably know which building is the most famous in Cologne and its area of Germany – the cathedral, of course! You'll find the most prominent market precisely in front of that gorgeous building, but the smaller ones are even more charming. There's a market called "a winter fairytale," so we don't have to say more about its magic!

8. Strasbourg, France

It's all shiny and stunning

The algorithm is pretty simple – if a city sounds like it's in Germany, the Christmas markets are fantastic. Strasbourg is in France, though, and it's probably a top spot in the country for Christmas magic on the streets. Glowing garlands and decorations overflow every corner, as Christmas matters a lot to them!

Moreover, there's a Christmas market for everyone there – from the smallest to the massive ones. There's an intimate market in a cozy street, but you'll also find some so big that the stalls are all over a long road. You'll be obsessed with the cookies at Alsace market, the coziest one you'll find!

7. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is an excellent option at any time of the year

How could we forget the city where they make the best chimney cake? You'll have a lot of great spots in Prague to try this sweet delight tasting Christmas. Mulled wine and sausages also feel like the best Christmas markets in the Czech Republic. Plus, Christmas trees and decorations are impressive there!

While Prague is a big city, its Christmas markets aren't. There are more than five in the area, but they're smaller and more intimate than in German cities or Austria, feeling warm and sweet. On top of that, if you choose Prague as your Christmas market destination, you have a gorgeous city to visit afterward!

6. Zagreb, Croatia

People are enjoying to the fullest

Maybe the Balkan Peninsula and former Yugoslavia weren't on your map when looking for Advent destinations, but we wouldn't skip Zagreb. This city in Croatia offers Christmas market magic throughout the whole of December and even until the 7th of January, the day when a few Balkan countries celebrate Christmas. 

Moreover, when you reach Zagreb, you'll see why they say the food is the best on this peninsula! Of course, you won't skip mulled wine and classic Christmas delights. That also includes ice skating and playgrounds for children. In fact, the ice skating rink is the highlight, and you'll never see such a great rink anywhere else!

5. Leipzig, Germany

Those stalls are gorgeous

When we say the German Christmas tradition is long, we mean Leipzig. We mean 1458! That was the year when Christmas markets started in the Saxony area, and they're still one of the most iconic markets you'll see in Germany. This is also the one to choose if you want to see a daily triumphal trombonists' performance!

This city's charm is also in its traditional and historical buildings, looking even more beautiful when visiting Leipzig in December. The medieval market has the best culinary delights you'll ever try in Germany and Europe. Hence, these stalls will stay on your mind for a long, long time!

4. Valkenburg, The Netherlands

You've never seen this before!

Yes, Christmas markets are the best in the German area, but we promise Valkenburg sounds German. This city is indeed a part of The Netherlands! After all, the countries share similar languages and are both from the Germanic group. They also share a magical atmosphere during Christmas – Valkenburg is criminally underrated!

Have you ever heard from underground markets? Valkenburg has them, and you'll be impressed by their gorgeous winter landscape. The main reason to visit this city is the uniqueness for sure! Moreover, Christmas markets in Valkenburg are open even after New Year's Eve, so you can also visit them at the beginning of January. 

3. Basel, Switzerland

Switzerland is an underrated destination, yet it belongs to the best ones

Living in German-speaking countries indeed makes Christmas your favorite time of the year. You'll reach the breathtaking Christmas paradise in Bern, romantic Lucerne, or the ski-oriented Lausanne. Still, one of the most fabulous Christmas markets in Europe is Basel. Thus, it will be the best Christmas experience of your life!

Furthermore, Basel has one of Europe's prettiest and largest Christmas trees. In fact, the city has more than 100 Christmas trees, which is impressive! The entire city has that golden glow and decorations, and the old town part of Basel gives the whole vibe a unique aroma. Even the houses are decorated like nowhere else!

2. Vienna, Austria

You can buy so many beautiful and creative things here

Since German cities are on top of every recommendation regarding Christmas activities, Austria does that amazingly, too. Vienna may have even more charm than the whole of Germany, and it's indeed the most beautiful in winter – especially in December when the whole city turns into a Christmas paradise

In fact, all the tourist attractions you can visit in Vienna turn into Christmas markets. From Schönbrunn to Belvedere Palace, you'll see the beautiful area around the residences covered with lights. There are also various markets in the city center, so you'll enjoy carols, candles, cookies, and Glühwein almost anywhere!

1. Budapest, Hungary

The scenery is so breathtaking every year!

It's time to find out which country slays its Advent preparations like no other. It's not Germany, by the latest statistics – Hungary nails it like it's their primary profession! From chimney cake to the strudel, there's much more than mulled wine here, but you can also get that. The options are endless, as there are more than ten markets, and they're gorgeous!

Unfortunately, Budapest is usually underrated, and many people don't think they'll have fun there. Nonetheless, this city offers the wildest nightlife, great Danube cruises and views, and the most beautiful bridges you've ever seen. Furthermore, the Christmas markets turn the city into a winter fairytale. You'll be obsessed once you discover the magic!

Luckily, you can avoid making mistakes when choosing the best Europe Christmas market. These recommendations will help you figure out what your main interests are and what you might prefer. However, most European cities will give you the warmest hug during Advent because that's what Advent is here for!

Do you plan a trip whenever the Christmas market season is approaching? Are winter holidays more attractive than summer? Let us know in the comments section!

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