Best Christmas Markets In Europe

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As Christmas is beginning to swiftly come around the corner, cities all over Europe fill their squares with enchanting wooden chalets filled with glimmering lights, traditional gifts and tasty delicacies – bringing all the locals and tourists together. From ice-skating and fair rides, to quaint traditional stalls and delicious hot drinks, celebrate the most joyful time of year and discover some of the best Christmas markets throughout Europe this year!

Prague - Czech Republic

What better place to spend the festive season than Prague?

An enchanting medieval city steeped in history and gothic architecture, discover your perfect Christmas market in the Old Town and feel like you’re walking through a storybook this festive season. Every winter, Prague decorates its magical Old Town and the famed Wenceslas Square with glittering lights, Christmas decorations and brightly decorated wooden huts, stocked with local handicrafts and tasty delicacies. From delicious barbecued pork to the traditional Trdelník (a cinnamon and sugar pastry roll cooked over a grill), be sure to indulge in some delicious Grog – a tasty, hot alcoholic beverage with rum, hot water, lemon and sugar.

Location: Old Town and Wenceslas Square


Dates open: November 30th until January 6th, 2020


Where to stay: Design Hotel Neruda

Cologne - Germany

Famed for its rich culture, neo-romanesque architecture and famous Gothic cathedral that pierces the sky, experience one of the best Christmas markets in Europe in Germany’s 2000-year-old city. There are over seven different markets plotted around the city, so if you’re looking for the perfect one to attend, you’re spoilt for choice. From the traditional yet most striking Christmas market at the Cologne Cathedral and the family-friendly Heinzels Winter Fairytale, complete with festive elves and the Christmas Post Office to send off your letters, to the LGBT market Heavenue and the Harbour Christmas market overlooking the Rhine, be sure to venture to the middle of Cologne’s shopping district and discover the oldest Christmas market – Angel’s Market. Filled with gingerbread-like chalets, mulled wine stands named after angels, actors dressed up as magical angels and so much more, indulge in some deliciously thick hot chocolate and soak up the atmosphere of the surrounding entertainment.

Location: All over the city!


Dates open: November 25th until December 23rd


Where to stay: Check out our hotels in Germany here!

BrugesBelgium

This winter, get into the Christmas spirit and celebrate this joyful time of year in the enchanting city of Bruges. Whilst the entire city fills with festive decorations and glittering lights, escape to Bruges and be spoilt for choice with the collection of Christmas activities at the 2019 Winter Glow. If you’re looking for something gastronomical, unique or something a little more traditional, the markets and festive activities throughout the city have something for everyone's fancy!

From illuminated magical walks to ice-skating on the Minnewater, the Bruges Christmas market is located in the heart of this cosy city and is the perfect place to spend this joyful time of year. Imagine indulging in the festive choral concerts that surround you, with a delicious home-made hot chocolate in hand whilst you wander around festive wooden chalets filled with gifts, tasty treats and of course... Belgian beer. If a cosy winter wonderland is what you're looking for, look no further than the Bruges Winter Glow!

Location: Grand Place


Dates open: November 29th until January 5th, 2020


Where to stay: The Van Cleef

Salzburg Christkindlmarkt - Austria

Nestled in the heart of Salzburg, the famed Christkindlmarkt is the place to be this winter. Every Christmas, Salzburg’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old City is decorated like a winter wonderland – however, this isn’t just your ordinary Christmas market filled with festive market stands and delicious mulled wine; dating back to the 15th century, the Salzburg Christkindlmarkt was a place for locals to buy delicious goods and all sorts of bric-a-brac. Now you can enjoy a variety of events such as choral concerts, book readings, traditional Krampus parades and so much more, as well as truly indulging in the Christmas spirit.

Location: Residenzplatz and Salzburg Cathedral


Dates open: November 21st until December 26th


Where to stay: Check out our hotels in Salzburg here!

Copenhagen - Denmark

Head to the Danish capital this winter for a taste of some Scandi Christmas. Located directly in front of one of our HIP Hotels, Nimb, discover the perfect Christmas market in Copenhagen’s enchanting Tivoli Gardens. From the lake transforming into an ice rink to the gardens and Tivoli amusement park transforming into a magnificent winter wonderland, indulge in the magical festive spirit that surrounds you — we can already smell the freshly baked goods and mulled wine in the air. There really is no other place to enjoy this joyful Christmas celebration than Copenhagen.

Location: Tivoli Gardens


Dates open: November 16th until January 5th, 2020


Where To Stay: Nimb Hotel

Strasbourg - France

Famously known as Europe’s oldest yet most wonderful market, escape to Strasbourg to celebrate the most joyful time of the year. Founded back in 1570, this charming French city becomes a magical feast for the eyes during the Christmas period. Imagine an enchanting village steeped in history filled with cobbled streets, awe-inspiring architecture, a magnificent gothic cathedral and so much more, with a touch of Christmas sparkle. From over 300 chalets stocked with a vast selection of gifts and tasty treats, to a plethora of festive events, there is something for everyone in the charming village of Strasbourg. Be transported back to the sixteenth-century and indulge in the mesmerising colours and lights that surround you.

Location: Cathedral Square


Dates open: November 25th until December 24th


Where to stay: Check out our hotels in France here!

Bolzano (South Tyrol) - Italy

Attracting thousands of travellers every year, the Christmas Market in Bolzano is the perfect place to be this winter. Located in the magical region of South Tyrol, it is Italy’s biggest and most enchanting Christmas market ever! Festive aromas fill the streets and beautiful alleyways of this historic centre, twinkling fairy lights adorn your surroundings and charming wooden huts cover the entire Piazza Walther. Although you may think it can’t get much better than this, imagine all of this but with a hint of snow, turning this awe-inspiring Christmas market into the ideal white winter fairy tale! A perfect romantic escape or a family getaway, this Christkindlmarkt has become the most awaited pre-Christmas event in Italy.

Location: Piazza Walther


Dates open: November 29th until January 6th, 2020


Where to stay: Check out our hotels in South Tyrol here!

Manchester - United Kingdom

Filling the streets with over 300 stalls that light up the magnificent city with its glittering colourful lights, escape to the northern hub of England to celebrate the spirit of Christmas. Although Manchester is a trendy yet joyous place to visit all year round, the city truly comes alive during the festive season. From mouth-watering food stalls, to traditional Yuletide gifts, visit Manchester’s Albert Square this winter and indulge in the true meaning of Christmas. Be sure to tantalise your tastebuds with some of their delicious bratwurst and some Hungarian goulash — it’s so delicious!

Location: Albert Square


Dates open: November 9th until December 22nd


Where to stay: Hotel Gotham

Vienna - Austria

Although Austria’s capital is magical all year round, Christmas in Vienna just adds that bit of extra sparkle to its magic. Home to one of the biggest and brightest Christmas markets in the world, strings of glistening fairy lights grace the streets of Vienna and illuminate the darkness and gloomy winter sky every December. The Wiener Christkindlmarkt am Rathausplatz is the perfect place to meet up with loved ones to slurp on tasty hot beverages and tantalise your tastebuds with some delicious spiced biscuits. From ice skating and Christmas fair rides, to charming wooden huts and heavenly food stalls, discover an idyllic Viennese Christmas dream here, with plenty of sparkle to go around!

Location: Rathausplatz


Dates open: November 15th until December 26th

recommended HIP Hotels

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