Christmas markets bring that festive feeling to life, whether you’re browsing for a glittering snowflake to hang on your tree or sipping a glass of mulled wine. Europe is home to some of the best Christmas market breaks to pack your bag for as the temperature plunges and you prepare for the holidays.
Originating in Germany in the Late Middle Ages, there’s hardly a European city that doesn’t host its own celebration to usher in the Advent in the run up to Christmas. Luckily for you, we’ve uncovered the top five Christmas markets in Europe to plan a trip to this year.
When you think of the best Christmas markets in Europe, Germany no doubt is the country you first think of first. And Berlin certainly lives up to expectations, transporting you to a festival wonderland. In fact, there are over 60 individual Christmas markets scattered throughout the city, catering to every style and taste.
Potsdamer Platz in the city centre is transformed into a vast winter playground every year, including a huge toboggan run for when you need a break from browsing stalls. The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church Christmas Market is one of the traditional markets to explore and you’re guaranteed to find festive culinary delights and mulled wine as you wander between stands. Berlin is easily accessible from a whole host of other destinations and we’ve got a selection of stunning hotels for you to choose from when you’re looking for a base.
Home to one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe, this destination should definitely be on your list of places to visit during the festive season. Dating all the way back to 1570, Strasbourg is the ideal Christmas market break when you’re looking for tradition. Set in front of the breathtaking Strasbourg Cathedral, the whole scene is as perfect as a Christmas card illustration.
Split into several different themed ‘villages’ this Christmas market destination embraces its year-round charm to create a truly magical experience. If Strasbourg has caught your eye for a winter trip, check out these perfectly located hotels to make the most of your stay.
You might think of Barcelona as a summer city break rather than a Christmas market trip. But you’ll be missing out on one of the best Christmas markets in Europe if you write it off. The city’s Fiera de Santa Llucia is over 300 years old and perfectly blends culture, history, shopping, and festive spirit.
Here you’ll find all the usual traditional Christmas market activities and goods but you’ll also find some Catalan items and traditions thrown into the mix too. If you love Christmas markets and are looking for something with a twist, this makes it the ideal place for you to head in 2017. Set in the city centre amid Gothic buildings, these hotels are ideal for exploring everything the city has to offer.
Why not combine your Christmas market break with a trip to the country that’s famous for delicious, indulgent food – Belgium. Open for five fun-filled weeks, Brussels’ Christmas market is about more than just stalls. Here you’ll find tasting sessions, an ice rink, shows, and a festive parade – it’ll truly make your winter break memorable for all the right reasons and certainly lives up to its name ‘winter wonders’.
Spilling out from the beautiful Grand Palace, you’re in the right spot to do some of the usual tourist sightseeing too. For centrally located accommodation when you’re staying in Brussels, we’ve got the list of hotels you need.
When you’re looking for diversity, there’s one Christmas market you should be heading to – Hamburg. Spread out across the historic city, this European market has multiple different areas for you to explore. Traditionalists will want to head to the market situated right in front of grandiose city hall, the Jungfernstieg market is ideal for customers looking for romance, and there’s even a strictly adults only area at the Santa Pauli market. The Hamburg Christmas Market truly has something for everyone.