Christmas Markets in Old Town Square, Prague

If you love Christmas markets, take a look at our pick of the 10 best in Europe.

These Christmas markets are perfect for those who love getting into the Christmas spirit but want to enjoy a short trip away during the winter months.


1. Strasbourg

Strasbourg Christmas market is the largest and one of the oldest French Christmas markets. Photo by Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images

Runs from November 28 – December 31

Voted number 1 Christmas Market 2015 by European Best Destinations for the second year in a row, Strasbourg’s Christmas market is one of the oldest in Europe as it has been around since 1570 and was called “Christkindelsmärik” (market of the Infant Jesus).

Set in front of the Strasbourg Cathedral with its famous astronomical clock, this Christmas market attracts over 2 million visitors during the festive season.

Best way to get there?

  • Eurostar from London St Pancras. This will take between 5 and 6 hours due to changing at Paris.
  • You can also fly from London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester but there are no direct flights, with many of the airlines changing at Amsterdam or Paris.

2. Aachen

Runs from November 20 – December 23

Visit the German town Aachen and see its streets and squares light up in the run up to Christmas.

The Cathedral and the Aachen Town Hall are transformed into a Christmas-lover’s paradise. There is an enormous choice between original, stylish and precious goods.

Best way to get there?

  • You can get the Eurostar from London St Pancras but you will be required to change. The journey can take between 3-4 hours and you will have to change at Brussels.
  • You can fly to Aachen as there are four airports within reasonable distance including the nearest airport Maastrict Aachen and three others; Liege, Cologne and Dusseldorf. The furthest airport is Dusseldorf which is approximately 40 miles away. Most flights to Maastrict Aachen will require you to change.

3. Vienna

Vienna Christmas markets

Runs from November 13 – December 26

Most cities in Austria have Christmas markets, but Vienna alone hosts around 25. Their markets have been around since 1294 when Albrecht I of Germany allowed Vienna’s citizens to hold a December Market or “Krippenmarkt”.

A stunning sight, Vienna’s Christmas markets include the one in front of City Hall, the traditional Viennese Christmas market on Freyung, the markets on Spittelberg, Am Hof and another in front of the church of St. Charles Borromeo (Karlskirche).

You’ll find traditional treats including candied fruit, candy floss, Christmas punch and roasted chestnuts.

Best way to get there?

  • You can get the train to Vienna from London St Pancras but you will have to change twice. You are likely to change at Paris or Brussels and then again at Frankfurt. If you get the really early train, you can be in Vienna the same evening.
  • Alternatively, you can fly to Vienna from various cities.

4. Nuremberg

Nuremberg’s Christmas markets offer mulled wine, sweets and sausages (Photo by Timm Schamberger AFP/Getty Images)

Runs from November 27 – December 24

Germany’s Nuremberg Christmas market is a truly traditional one and is complete with an old fashioned steam train, ferris wheel, carousel and Nativity scene.

You’ll find classic delights here including Nuremberg’s spicy gingerbread, fruit loaves, bakery goods, sweets and typical Christmas items such as Christmas tree angels, cribs, Christmas tree ornaments, candles, toys as well as many arts and craft products.

Best way to get there?

  • You can get the train from London St Pancras but there will be around two changes.
  • You can fly direct from London, but travelling from other cities you will be required to stop and change.

5. Lille

Runs from November 18 – December 30

Back to France and Lille’s Christmas market is perfect for those who want a winter wonderland.

Place Rihour, Lille’s square is filled with more than 80 chalets that have brilliant gift ideas, Christmas decorations, tasty treats and arts and crafts that are from around the world including places such as Russia, Poland and Québec.

Best way to get there?

  • You can take the Eurostar from London St Pancras directly to Lille meaning it’ll take you around an hour and a half to get there.
  • You can also fly to Lille but you’ll have to change at either Paris or Nantes.

6. Dresden

The Striezelmarkt claims to be Germany’s oldest Christmas market and dates back to 1434. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Runs from November 26 to December 24

Dresden is the home of Germany’s oldest Christmas market, and the city has an impressive 11 different markets for you to work your way through.

Located in Altmarkt Square, in the city’s historical city centre, the Dresden markets have both a romantic and festive charm making it ideal for anyone who loves Christmas. From candleholders to indigo-dyed printed textile products, blown glass tree decorations to gingerbread from Pulsnitz, you’ll find plenty of gifts for the family.

Best way to get there?

  • You can get the train from London St Pancras but there will is likely to be at least two changes, if not more.
  • You can also fly to Dresden but you’ll also have to change with the likely stop as Munich or Dusseldorf.

7. Brussels

Runs from November 27 – January 3

Brussels’ Christmas market is open for five weeks in total.

Enjoy the enchanting delights of Brussels in once place including tasting sessions, an ice-skating rink, an original light and sound show and a fun-filled festive Christmas Parade.

This Christmas market is spread across 2 kilometres through Brussels’ town centre and is a must-see for anyone visiting the city around this time of year.

Best way to get there?

  • Get the Eurostar direct from London St Pancras and you’ll be in Brussels in just over two hours.
  • Alternatively, you can fly direct from many cities.

8. Cologne

Cologne Christmas Markets

Runs from November 23 to December 23

Set by the Cathedral, you’ll find the largest Christmas tree in the Rhineland area, with over 160 wooden pavilions joining up to create the Cologne Christmas market.

You can indulge in some festive mulled wine, hot chestnuts or an unlimited choice of sweets before heading to the puppet theatre or Santa’s grotto. There is also pewter pourers, wreath binders and glassblowers there demonstrating their art.

Best way to get there?

  • You can get the Eurostar from London St Pancras, but you’ll need to change at Brussels.
  • You can fly direct from various cities.

9. Prague

Runs from November 28 to January 1

A key ingredient to Czech Republic’s festive period, the Prague Christmas markets bring locals and tourists together to share its magical setting.

The main markets are held at the Old Town Square and the Wenceslas Square and are both brightly decorated with huts that offer an array of festive treats including embroidered lace, wooden toys, Christmas tree decorations and traditionally-dressed dolls.

If it’s something tasty you’re after, there is an array of traditional treats on offer including barbecued sausages, cakes, pastries, including their staple hot mulled wine.

Best way to get there?

  • You can fly from various cities including London, Manchester and Bristol direct to Prague.

10. Stockholm

Runs from November 21 to December 23

Sweden’s Stockholm Christmas market is an old favourite.

It’s the most famous Swedish Christmas market, with the little red stalls filled with Christmas sweets, smoked sausages, mulled wine and a range of Swedish arts and crafts.

With over four different markets to choose from and an open air ice-rink nearby, there is plenty to see and do in Stockholm this Christmas.

Best way to get there?

  • You can fly direct from Manchester and London but you’ll need to change if you want to fly from another city.

[Source:- manchesterevening]

By Adam