2018’s Top 100 European Christmas Markets

The history of the Christmas market is a story of necessity, rather than festive celebrations. The first market of its type dates back to 13th century in Vienna, when the city’s Dezembermarkt came into fruition, as a two-day market where townspeople could stock up on supplies for the winter. From there, the concept spread through Europe and winter markets became a regular fixture on the December calendar.

 

Map of the Top 100 European Christmas Markets 2018

The winter markets would eventually become known as Christmas markets, a tradition that is claimed by the Germans – the first of which is believed to have been held in Munich in the year 1310. From there it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to the present day, where every European city claims to have the continent’s “best” Christmas market, and gluhwein and hot mulled wine are served on every street corner. How, then, can we tell with any degree of accuracy which Christmas markets are worth making the trip for?

It’s called science – or, at least, scientific data! We started by gathering a list of Europe’s top 500 cities and towns. We then cross-referenced these cities and towns with those that hold Christmas fairs and markets, and built queries for each of these first in the English language, such as “Vienna Christmas market”, “Vienna Xmas market”, “Vienna Christmas Market 2017/8” and so on. These queries were then localised into French, Italian, German and Spanish (Basically, the 5 most spoken European Languages) and run through Google vast Search query tools to get their estimated annual volumes. The totals of all five languages were combined (tens of thousands of queries) and the list ordered by highest to lowest search volume – and ta da! You have your data-backed guide to Europe’s Best Christmas markets.

Of course, you may have an incredible, must-see Christmas market in your city or town, that may have fallen outside of the top 500 in terms of population; or, there may be a Christmas market in the say Netherlands, or Denmark, which receives a huge number of searches but, sadly, not in the five languages we relied on for our data set. Please, do let us know if you have been to a Christmas market we absolutely have to visit – or if your town is host to a Christmas event that deserves top billing!

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The Best Christmas Markets in Europe 2018

 

#1 Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg’s Christmas markets are among the oldest in Europe, dating back to 1570. Today’s Christmas markets – Christkindelsmärik – incorporate more than 300 stalls and take place in a whopping 11 locations across the city (an astonishing number when you consider that Strasbourg has a population of just 270,000). You can see a map of all Christkindelsmärik locations here. The Strasbourg Christmas markets start this year on November 24th and continue until December 30th, closing only on Christmas Day, and they’re open daily 11am-8pm. Each one of Strasbourg’s Christmas markets has its own specialty, but as a rule you’ll find ornaments, gifts, mulled wine and – of course – food! If you want to ensure you get every single Christmas market in Strasbourg ticked off your list, take a guided rickshaw tour.

When: Nov 24-Dec 30
Where: Various locations: see map.
What time: 11am-8pm
Popularity: ★★★★★
Search Queries: +165,000 per month

 

#2 Berlin, Germany

During the festive season, Berlin’s Christmas markets help turn the German capital into a Christmas fairytale, with up to 80 Christmas markets spread across the city, from Mitte to the heart of City West. From Winterwelt (Winter World) on Potsdamer Platz, which is the city’s earliest Christmas market, opening up at the beginning of November, the festive vibes spread out all over the city. Most markets will be open from November 23rd to December 31st, from 11am to 10pm. We’re talking gifts, crafts, food and mulled wine, as well as fairground attractions and “apres-ski” nightlife.

When: Nov 23-Dec 31
Where: Various locations
What time: 11am-10pm (some markets open at 10am, while one or two begin at 2pm)
Popularity: ★★★★★
Search Queries: +125,000 per month

 

#3 Manchester, United Kingdom

Manchester’s Christmas markets were among the UK’s first – and now attract nine million visitors annually (so get booking your trip ahead of time!). More than 300 unique individual stalls are spread across 10 sites in the northwestern city, offering food, drinks, crafts and gifts in a winding trail that takes in a lot of the city’s main streets. A melting pot of nationalities, the Christmas markets in Manchester are famous for traditional bratwurst but you can also treat yourself to Hungarian goulash, Spanish paella or a good old-fashioned hog roast. Manchester is the third largest city in the UK with plenty of things to do all year round, but Christmas is perhaps when it shines brightest.

When: Nov 9-Dec 22 (the Christmas market at Albert Square will also open on Sunday, December 23rd)
Where: Albert Square, Brazennose Street, St Ann’s Square, Exchange Street, New Cathedral Street, The Corn Exchange, King Street, Market Street, Exchange Square and Cathedral Gardens
What time: TBC
Popularity: ★★★★★
Search Queries: +113,000 per month

 

Christmas markets in Manchester

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#4 Cologne, Germany

Traditionally, Cologne’s Christmas markets open up on the last Monday before Advent – this year, they’ll be around from November 26th to December 23rd. Across the city, quaint huts – “buden” – house vendors selling everything from music, arts and crafts to toys, Christmas decorations and, of course, festive food. Check out the Harbour Christmas Market by Cologne’s chocolate museum, or take in the splendour of Cologne’s Cathedral while perusing the 160 stalls in the square in front; you can even take the Christmas Market Express, a traditional train that travels through the city, taking in the array of Christmas Markets on offer. Check out the official map for a full list of Christmas market locations.

When: Nov 26-Dec 23
Where: Cathedral Christmas Market, Angels’ Christmas Market, Harbour Christmas Market, Old Market Christmas, Village of St Nicholas, Christmas Market in the Stadtgarten and the Gay and Lesbian Christmas Market
What time: 11am-9pm (Sun-Wed); 11am-10pm (Thurs-Fri); 10am-10pm (Sat)
Popularity: ★★★★★
Search Queries: +102,000 per month

 

#5 Hamburg, Germany

As the second-largest city in Germany, it’s no wonder that Hamburg’s Christmas markets are well worth a visit. The city truly transforms during the Advent period, into a winter wonderland of lights, decorations and authentic and beautiful wooden stalls, scattered across the city. They open during the last week of November and run until Christmas Day or even New Year’s Eve. As well as that, each Saturday during Advent there’s a Christmas parade that runs through the city, with Santa and his reindeer making an appearance at 4pm, 6pm and 8pm. There’s a historical Christmas market at Hamburg’s Town Hall; the Santa Pauli market in the city’s red-light district; the Christmas market at the Gansemarkt; and the White Magic Christmas market at the Jungfernstieg, and that’s just for starters.

When: Nov 26-Dec 30
Where: Various locations
What time: 11am-8pm
Popularity: ★★★★★
Search Queries: +95,000 per month

 

#6 Colmar, France

For six weeks throughout the festival season, the French city of Colmar becomes one big Christmas market, with five individual Christmas markets spread across the city’s geography. More than 180 stalls are set in place within rustic chalets, all specially designed and installed each Christmas to truly transform the city into a festive fairytale. From the indoor craft market to a children’s Christmas market to the 60 chalets set up by the Eglise des Dominicains, you’ll find a Christmas market in Colmar to suit all ages and tastes.

When: Nov 23-Dec 30
Where: Place des Dominicains, Place de l’Ancienne Douane, Place Jeanne d’Arc, the Children’s Christmas Market at la Petite Venise, indoor Christmas market at the Koifhus.
What time: 10am-8pm (Fri-Sun), 10am-7pm (Mon-Thurs)
Popularity: ★★★★★
Search Queries: +93,000 per month

 

#7 Edinburgh, United Kingdom

For the final six weeks of the year, Edinburgh city centre becomes one great big festive festival, with seasonal shopping and entertainment popping up all across the city. It’s a time, too, for Edinburgh’s Christmas markets to make an appearance – enjoy food, drink and crafts at the Scottish Market on George Street; pick up unique gifts at the European Market in the Mound Precinct, or pick out presents for the kids in the Children’s Market, part of Santa Land in Princes Street Gardens.

When: 16 Nov-5 Jan
Where: The Scottish Market – George Street, The European Christmas Market – Princes Street Gardens & Mound Precinct, Hopetoun Christmas Shopping Fair – South Queensferry, Summerhall Christmas Market – Summerhall, Edinburgh Farmers’ Market – Castle Terrace, Christmas Market at Custom House – Commercial Street.
What time:
Popularity: ★★★★★
Search Queries: +91,000 per month

Christmas markets in Edinburgh

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#8 Munich, Germany

The centre of Munich’s Christmas market hub is at Marienplatz, with an enormous Christmas tree whose lights illuminate the market stalls beneath. There’s also Advent music played nightly at 5.30pm from the balcony of the Town Hall to truly bring all of your festive dreams to life. One of Germany’s largest manger markets is a few steps away at Neuhauser Strasse, while Wintertollwood at Theresienwiese, until December 31st, is a hub of music, theatre and great traditional festive food. Those aren’t the only Christmas markets in Germany’s third-largest city during the Advent season – take a stroll through the Bavarian city streets and you’ll come across stalls selling crafts, gifts, food and more.

When: Nov 27-Dec 24
Where: Marienplatz, Neuhauser Strasse, Theresienwiese, Sendlinger Tor, Wittelsbacherplatz, Castle Blutenburg
What time: 11am-8pm (approx; times vary per location)
Popularity: ★★★★★
Search Queries: +90,000 per month

 

#9 Vienna, Austria

From the middle of November right through until Christmas, Vienna’s most beautiful squares are transformed into winter wonderlands as Vienna’s Christmas markets get into full swing. A tall arched gateway welcomes visitors to City Hall Square (Rathausplatz), where there’s also a 3,000 square metre ice rink in situ for the Christmas period. Today’s Christmas markets in Vienna come from a lengthy line of tradition in the city – dating back to 1294 when Viennese citizens held their first Dezembermarkt Markt. The December Market predates what’s now known as Christmas Markets. Today, more than 20 Christmas markets dotted throughout the Austrian city attract a host of visitors each year.

When: Nov 18-Dec 23 (slight variation for different markets)
Where: Rathausplatz, Maria Theresien Platz, Karlskirche, Museumsquartier, the Freyung, Stephansplatz, Spittelberg, Schonbrunn Palace, Riesenradplatz, Belvedere Palace
What time: 11am-7pm
Popularity: ★★★★★
Search Queries: +88,000 per month

 

#10 Stuttgart, Germany

Soak up 25 days of Christmas markets in Stuttgart, Germany, where the long-established array of stalls and vendors stretches from the Neuen Schloss and Konigsbau to Karlsplatz and Schillerplatz squares. One of Europe’s oldest Christmas markets, the selection at Stuttgart includes decorations, clothing, artisanal food products, toys, candles as well as savoury and sweet delights, all housed in adorable rustic wooden chalets with individually decorated roofs.

When: Nov 28-Dec 23
Where: Various locations; see map
What time: 10am-9pm (Mon-Thurs); 10am-10pm (Fri-Sat); 11am-9pm Sundays
Popularity: ★★★★★
Search Queries: +79,000 per month

 

#11 Münster, Germany

The historic old town of Munster, Germany, becomes a hub of Christmas celebrations when its Christmas markets come to life – starting with its largest and oldest market in the courtyard of the town hall, complete with festive carousel. From there you have another four markets to choose from, each offering a variety of gifts, crafts, food and drinks – with twinkling lights and festive decorations truly bringing the scene to life.

When: Nov 26-Dec 23
Where: Courtyard of the town hall (Rathaus-Innenhof), the Lichtermarkt St. Lamberti at the foot of the impressive Lamberti Church, the Kiepenkerlsmarkt around the Kiepenkerl Memorial, the Aegidii Market in front of the Aegidii Church and the Gibelhüüskesmarkt in front of the historic Überwasser Church.
What time: 11am-8pm (Sun-Thurs); 11am-9pm (Fri-Sat)
Popularity: ★★★★★
Search Queries: +75,000 per month

 

#12 Dortmund, Germany

Dortmund boasts one of the biggest Christmas markets in Germany, with more than 300 stalls packed around the largest Christmas tree in the world – at a height of 45 metres. It also has 48,000 lights, which serves as a suitably festive illumination over the city’s church steeples. You’ll find gifts, crafts, baked goods and, of course, gluhwein (mulled wine), the adult beverage of choice. There’s also a children’s Christmas Village and, every day, Dortmund’s Alter Markt Theatre Company puts on a colourful show programme including puppetry and magic shows, perfect for when the children have had their fill of Christmas market shopping.

When: Nov 22-Dec 30
Where: Dortmunder Weihnachtsmarkt
What time: 10am-9pm (Mon-Thurs); 10am-10pm (Fri-Sat); 12pm-9pm Sundays
Popularity: ★★★★
Search Queries: +73,000 per month

 

#13 Bath, England

Bath’s Christmas market in 2017 brought over half a million visitors to the Georgian town in Somerset, England – so the 2018 market is set to be even bigger. With more than 200 twinkling chalets spread across the town, there’s plenty to explore, from handmade and local Christmas gifts and crafts to ornaments, food and piping hot mulled wine. There’s also a packed calendar of festive events – and, combined with Bath’s own beautiful architecture, great restaurants and the UK’s original thermal day spa, Thermae Bath Spa, you’ll be spoiled for choice.

When: Nov 22-Dec 9
Where: Bath St, Southgate St, Union St
What time: 10am-7pm (Mon-Wed); 10am-8.30pm (Thurs-Sat); 10am-6pm Sundays
Popularity: ★★★★★
Search Queries: +73,000 per month

 

#14 Paris, France

During the festive period, between 15 and 20 Christmas markets will pop up all over the city of lights. The French capital becomes a Christmas wonderland of chalets and fairy lights and Christmas markets can be found all over Paris, from the Marché de Noel Notre Dame to one of the largest, at Les Halles in Paris, complete with Christmas tree maze. In Montmartre, the Place des Abesses Christmas market is small but perfectly formed. Be sure to pick up a glass of mulled wine or some roasted chestnuts from one of the myriad street sellers at any of Paris’ gorgeous Christmas markets.

When: mid-November to December 31st
Where: Les Halles, Notre-Dame to Champs de Mars, as well as the impressive Christmas Village at La Défense
What time: Varies per location
Popularity: ★★★★★
Search Queries: +70,000 per month

Christmas markets in Paris

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#15 London, England

If the lure of Hamleys, the world’s oldest and largest toy store, isn’t enough to bring you to London at Christmas, then the city’s many Christmas markets might provide enough temptation. London’s Christmas spectacular, the Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park, is just one of the attractions the UK’s capital city has to offer at Christmas time – Covent Garden, which is open as a market all year round, also turns into an incredible festive Christmas market for the season, while you’ll find attractions such as ice skating, festive concerts and more all over the city, from Leicester Square’s traditional Christmas market, complete with Santa’s grotto, to Winterville in Clapham Common.

When: mid-November to Jan 5
Where: Hyde Park, Clapham Common, Southbank Centre, Leicester Square, West Kensington, Covent Garden
What time: various times
Popularity: ★★★★★
Search Queries: +66,000 per month

Illustrated map of London Christmas Markets

Christmas markets in London

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#16 Dusseldorf, Germany

One of the best things about going to the Christmas markets in Dusseldorf is the fact that all seven of the German city’s themed Christmas markets are within walking distance of one another – so you can stroll at your leisure through an array of festive stalls. Start with the Christmas market at Marktplatz, where the Town Hall serves as the backdrop to a beautiful Christmas market square and then wander through the city, taking in gifts, ornaments, food, drink and crafts from an array of sellers and stalls throughout.

When: Nov 22-Dec 30
Where: Marktplatz, Heinrich-Heine-Platz, Flinger Straße, Stadtbrückchen, Schadowplatz, Jan-Wellem-Platz, Schadowstraße
What time: 11am-8pm (Sun-Thurs); 11am-9pm (Fri-Sat)
Popularity: ★★★★★
Search Queries: +59,000 per month

 

#17 Dresden, Germany

The Dresden Striezelmarkt is thought to be Germany’s oldest Christmas market, 1434. It’s now in its 584th iteration. Its claim to fame is its candle pyramid, which is the world’s tallest at 14 metres tall. The highlight of Dresden’s Christmas markets is the Dresdner Stollenfest, on December 9th. A giant stollen – a cake, once called a striezel, from which the Striezelmarkt in Dresden takes its name – is cut into thousands of pieces and shared by the thousands of guests. Communal cake-eating aside, try the local Christmas food and drink; scour the stalls and stands for gifts and ornaments; and keep an eye out for incredible local crafts.

When: Nov 28-Dec 24
Where: Altmarkt Square
What time: 10am-9pm
Popularity: ★★★★★
Search Queries: +57,000 per month

 

#18 Leipzig, Germany

Leipzig’s Christmas markets go back all the way to 1458, today being one of the highlights of the German city’s festive calendar. Up to 250 stalls pop up in the city’s historical market square, in front of the Old Town Hall, with a fairytale forest, model railway display and Medieval Christmas Market attracting thousands of visitors each year. Soak up the city centre’s carnival atmosphere while perusing stalls selling toys, gifts, ornaments and festive food and drink.

When: Nov 27-Dec 23
Where: Old Town Hall
What time: 10am-9pm (Sun-Thurs); 10am-10pm (Fri-Sat)
Popularity: ★★★★★
Search Queries: +79,000 per month

 

#19 Prague, Czech Republic

Prague’s Christmas markets are a highlight in the Czech Republic’s festive calendar, open every day from December 1st to January 6th, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. There are main markets at Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, with smaller Christmas markets at Republic Square, on Kampa Island and on the square in front of St George’s Basilica at Prague Castle. You’ll find everything, from local crafts and handiwork to gifts, ornaments and children’s toys, as well as traditional food and drinks. The most awe-inspiring part of Prague’s Christmas market festivities is the enormous Christmas tree in Old Town Square, covered in twinkling lights, which are turned on each day at 4.30pm to the sound of ceremonial classical music.

When: Dec 1-Jan 6
Where: Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square, St George’s Basilica, Republic Square, Kampa Island
What time: 10am-10pm
Popularity: ★★★★★
Search Queries: +55,000 per month

 

#20 Birmingham, England

Birmingham’s Christmas market is the largest outdoor Christmas market in the UK – and it’s also the biggest German Christmas market outside Germany and Austria. Taking its cues from Germanic Christmas traditions, it comes complete with delicious bratwurst and hot Gluhwein, as well as traditional gifts and goods – and an extensive live music schedule in Victoria Square to coincide with the market. Birmingham’s Christmas market attracts an incredible 5.5 million visitors annually – with over 120 stalls of festive treats to enjoy.

When: Nov 15-Dec 23
Where: Victoria Square
What time: 10am-9pm
Popularity: ★★★★★
Search Queries: +52,000 per month

Christmas markets in Birmingham

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#21 Brussels, Belgium

Each Christmas, the Belgian capital comes alive with Plaisirs d’Hiver at Brussels’ Grand Place, a sprawling winter wonderland of more than 200 rustic winter cabins selling everything from vintage clothing and gifts to ornaments, food and festive drinks. Brussel’s Christmas markets then span 2 kilometres through the historic town centre, with colourful stalls, twinkling lights and even an ice-skating rink in pride of place at Place de la Monnaie.

When: Nov 30-Jan 6
Where: Grand-Place, the Bourse, Place de la Monnaie, Place Sainte-Catherine and Marché aux Poissons
What time: TBC
Popularity: ★★★★★
Search Queries: +52,000 per month

 

#22 Nuremberg, Germany

The Nuremberg Christmas market is one of Germany’s oldest, with the first mention in 1628, tracing its roots right back to Luther, when the tradition of giving gifts to children at Christmas first originated. Today, its focal point is the Christkind – a folkloric figure who opens the market each year on the Friday before Advent begins. A new Christkind is chosen every two years in the German city of Nuremberg, who speaks from the balcony of the Church of Our Lady as she opens the Christmas market to the public. You’ll find gifts, toys and ornaments at Nuremberg’s Christmas market, but the most enduring memory will be of the enticing scents of gingerbread, mulled wine and traditional grilled sausage.

When: Nov 30-Dec 24
Where: Hauptmarkt
What time: 10am-9pm
Popularity: ★★★★★
Search Queries: +52,000 per month

 

#23 York, England

St Nicholas Fair is York’s annual Christmas market, starting on Parliament Street and spreading through the British city to St Sampson’s Square, The Judge’s Lodging and Coppergate, which will also play host to Santa’s grotto in 2018. You’ll find an array of local Yorkshire produce from local crafters and makers, as well as gifts, toys and ornaments – and treats like hot chestnuts and steaming glasses of mulled wine. York’s Christmas markets are one of the highlights of the Yorkshire Christmas calendar.

When: Nov 16-Dec 23
Where: Parliament Street, St Sampson’s Square, The Judge’s Lodging and Coppergate
What time: 10am-6pm (Sun-Wed); 10am-8pm (Thurs-Sat)
Popularity: ★★★★★
Search Queries: +49,000 per month

Christmas markets in York

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#24 Bremen, Germany

Bremen’s beautiful Christmas market takes place on the city’s market square, by the town hall and Roland statue, both a part of the UNESCO World Heritage site. The market extends to the Weser river to form the Schlachte Magic Christmas Market, where, each day on the maritime promenade, another door opens to reveal a festive surprise, like a life-sized walk-through Advent calendar. With more than 170 decorated stalls, you’ll find a wide variety of stands, Christmas music and entertainment, twinkling fairy lights and candle-lit cabins.

When: Nov 26-Dec 23
Where: Town Hall
What time: 10am-8.30pm (Mon-Thurs); 10am-9pm (Fri-Sat); 11am-8.30pm (Sundays)
Popularity: ★★★★★
Search Queries: +48,000 per month

 

#25 Winchester, England

Winchester’s Christmas market is inspired by traditional German markets and comprises more than 100 wooden chalets, arranged around the historic close of Winchester Castle, around an open-air ice rink. Attracting half a million visitors per year, the unique selling point of Winchester Christmas market is that exhibitors and sellers are chosen for their unique wares, showcasing crafts, food, drink and gifts that you won’t find on your average high street.

When: Nov 17-Dec 20
Where: Winchester Cathedral
What time: 10.30am-6.30pm (Sun-Wed); 10.30am-8pm (Thurs-Sat)
Popularity: ★★★★★
Search Queries: +47,000 per month

 

#26 Zürich, Switzerland

Zurich boasts a selection of Christmas markets, from a 100-stall market outside the Opera House to an indoor market at Zurich’s main train station, whose 150 stalls make it one of Europe’s largest indoor Christmas markets. There’s also an ice rink at Sechseläutenplatz, the city’s oldest Christmas market at Niederdorf in the Old Town and daily concerts at the Christmas market at Werdmühleplatz. Check out the singing Christmas tree, where various choirs from the region line up in the shape of a Christmas tree to serenade visitors and locals alike.

When: Nov 22-Dec 23
Where: Zurich Opera House, Zurich Old Town, Zurich Main Train Station
What time: 10.30am-9pm (Sun-Wed); 10.30am-10pm (Thurs-Sat)
Popularity: ★★★★
Search Queries: +46,000 per month

 

#27 Aachen, Germany

Aachen’s annual Christmas market, just four hours from London by train, is one of Germany’s most beautiful. Set around the cathedral and town hall, Aachen’s streets are transformed with lights and decorations into an enchanting Christmas village. Try the Aachen Printen, a type of local gingerbread, then wander through the stalls soaking up the atmosphere and picking up culinary delicacies as well as original arts and crafts from local and visiting artists and craftspeople. Plus, the Christmas carousel is sure to enchant the kids!

When: Nov 23-Dec 23
Where: Aachen Town Hall
What time: 11am-9pm
Popularity: ★★★★
Search Queries: +45,000 per month

 

#28 Amsterdam, Netherlands

There’s never any shortage of markets in Amsterdam, but at Christmas time the Dutch capital truly comes alive with street stalls, ice rinks and festive celebrations as far as the eye can see. Dam Square is the central hub of Christmas in the ‘dam, with a 20-foot-high Christmas tree erected directly in front of the Royal Palace. Head to Rembrandtplein for fairy lights, outdoor restaurants and Christmas market stalls, while at Westergasfabriek, the monthly market has gone daily, with the Funky Xmas Market offering an array of unusual and unique gifts. A wander around Amsterdam during the Advent season will see you stumble upon a variety of Christmas markets to suit all tastes and needs.

When: Mid-November to mid-January
Where: Dam Square, Museumplein, Rembrandtplein
What time: Various times
Popularity: ★★★★
Search Queries: +44,000 per month

 

#29 Hanover, Germany

There is a selection of Christmas markets in Hanover during the month of December, with the main traditional Christmas market taking place around the historical old quarter at Market Church. With no fewer than 150 traditionally decorated stalls, you’ll find a selection of gifts, ornaments, crafts and food and drink. Head to Ballhofplatz for a traditional Finnish Christmas market, and at the historical Christmas village you’ll find a variety of medieval glassblowers, skilled potters and traditional candle makers.

When: Nov 28-Dec 22
Where: Market Church, Ballhofplatz
What time: 11am-9pm
Popularity: ★★★★
Search Queries: +43,000 per month

 

#30 Essen, Germany

The International Essen Christmas Market does exactly what it says on the tin; each Advent season, you’ll find a Christmas market with goods from all over the world, from African sculpture to Russian crafts, Cuban figurines and all of the latest toys making waves in the US. You’ll also get to taste foods from all around the world, including Arabic falafel, Polish bigos and French crepes.

When: Nov 22-Dec 23
Where: Flachsmarkt market square
What time: 11am-9pm (Sun-Thurs); 11am-10pm (Fri-Sat)
Popularity: ★★★★
Search Queries: +44,000 per month

 

#31 Heidelberg, Germany

Heidelberg’s Christmas market offering is spread over five beautiful squares in the German city: Kornmarkt, Marktplatz, Universitatsplatz, Anatomiegarten and the Bismarckplatz. There are 140 individual market stalls across the five markets, offering a gorgeous festive leisurely browse throughout the city, all with stunning views of the old castle, directly below which, on Karlsplatz, is the annual “Christmas on Ice” attraction, a gorgeous open-air ice rink where visitors can skate on real ice to the sound of Christmas music.

When: Nov 26-Dec 22
Where: Kornmarkt, Marktplatz, Universitätsplatz, Anatomiegarten and the Bismarckplatz
What time: 11am-9pm (Sun-Fri); 10am-9pm (Sat)
Popularity: ★★★★
Search Queries: +43,000 per month

 

#32 Salzburg, Austria

Salburg’s Christmas Market has its roots way back in the late 15th century, when the “Tandlmarkt” would be held in central Cathedral Square. In the 17th century it was renamed the “Nikolaimarkt” (St Nicholas’ market) and took place for two weeks before and two weeks after St Nicholas Day, on December 6th. Today, the market is opened with a grand ceremony on the Thursday before the first Sunday of Advent and provides the setting for an extensive calendar of Christmas events, as well as selling traditional Christmas decorations, gifts, ornaments, food and drink, with around 100 market stands.

When: Nov 22-Dec 26
Where: Cathedral Square
What time: 10am-8.30pm (Mon-Thu); 10am-9pm (Fri); 9am-9pm (Sat); 9am-8.30pm (Sun and holidays)
Popularity: ★★★★
Search Queries: +42,000 per month

 

#33 Bruges, Belgium

Christmas markets are just a part of what turns the Belgian city of Bruges into a winter wonderland throughout the Advent season. There’s a main Christmas market in Market Square, but you’ll also find a seasonal ice rink that pops up at Christmas time. Once you’ve finished perusing the Christmas market at Market Square, wander down any one of Bruges’ winding streets to discover shops selling Christmas gifts, ornaments and various crafts. Not to mention the food and drink you’ll find at stalls all over the city – from Belgian frites to waffles and hot dogs, all washed down with some mulled wine.

When: Nov 23-Jan 1
Where: Market Square
What time: various
Popularity: ★★★★
Search Queries: +42,000 per month

 

#34 Konstanz, Germany

In the shadow of the snow-covered alps, Konstanz’s Christmas markets are some of the most beautiful in the region. The German city plays host to more than 130 Christmas market stalls, all lined up the city streets, with local traders offering traditional arts and crafts, Chrsitmas gifts and local delicacies such as Kasespatzle, a type of German snack made of fresh pasta and cheese. One of the most unique aspects of Konstanz’s Christmas market is the Christmas ship, moored for the duration of the Advent season at the quay wall at the harbour.

When: Nov 29-Dec 22
Where: the heart of the old town, on to the boats and shores of Lake Constance
What time: 11am-8pm (Sun-Thur); 11am-9.30pm (Fri-Sat)
Popularity: ★★★★
Search Queries: +39,000 per month

 

#35 Budapest, Hungary

Touted as the most affordable Christmas market destination in Europe, Budapest has two main Christmas markets in the city that will surely put you in a festive mood ahead of Christmas Day. The two city centre Christmas markets, at Vorosmarty Square and at the Budapest Basilica, attract thousands of visitors annually and are spectacularly decorated with twinkling fairy lights throughout the Advent season. So renowned for its Christmas markets, you can also book in a Budapest Christmas market tour – taking in all of the sights and sounds of the city’s markets, browsing for gifts, ornaments, toys, hot drinks and food, including the local delicacy, chimney cake, served from any number of Christmas market stalls.

When: mid-November to Dec 31
Where: Vorosmarty Square and Budapest Basilica
What time: 10am-10pm approx
Popularity: ★★★★
Search Queries: +38,000 per month

 

#36 Erfurt, Germany

Erfurt Christmas market comes with a couple of highlights, such as the 25-metre-high Christmas tree decorated with hundreds of candles; a 12-metre high Christmas pyramid and nativity scene, with hand-carved life-sized figurines; and more than 200 wooden huts making up the market stalls. Soak up the festive ambiance and browse the stalls in the perfect festive setting of Erfurt’s Cathedral Square, where you’ll find an array of regional specialities and traditional Christmas gifts.

When: Nov 28-Dec 22
Where: Domplatz (Cathedral Square)
What time: 10am-8pm (Sun-Wed); 10am-9pm (Thur-Fri); 10am-10pm (Sat)
Popularity: ★★★★
Search Queries: +36,000 per month

 

#37 Lubeck, Germany

The Lubeck Christmas market got its first mention in 1648; today, it includes more than 400 merchants selling an array of handmade toys and Christmas decorations, gingerbread, hot spiced wine and, crucially, Lubeck marzipan. In total, the German city has seven Christmas markets, at St Mary’s Church; the family market on the banks of the Trave river; two arts and crafts markets in the Hospital of the Holy Ghost and St Peter’s Church; and Christmas markets on Rathausmarkt, Koberg Square and on Breite Strasse. Not to mention the fairytale forest at the Church of St Mary – not to be missed.

When: Nov 26-Dec 30
Where: St Mary’s Church
What time: 11am-9pm (Sun-Thurs); 11am-10pm (Fri-Sat)
Popularity: ★★★★
Search Queries: +34,000 per month

 

#38 Mainz, Germany

Take a trip to Mainz, in Germany, where the Christmas market transforms the historic town square into a fairy-lit Christmas wonderland. The thousand-year-old Cathedral of St Martin offers a picturesque backdrop to a market of traditional and local crafts selling Christmas specialities and original presents including Christmas decorations, wooden toys, carvings, ceramics and candles. There’s also a hand-carved crib in front of St Gotthard’s chapel, by the cathedral, where life-sized figures made of lime wood are unique in Europe.

When: Nov 29-Dec 23
Where: Market Square at St Martin’s Cathedral
What time: 11am-8.30pm (Sun-Thu); 11am-9pm (Fri-Sat)
Popularity: ★★★★
Search Queries: +33,000 per month

 

#39 Lille, France

In France’s fourth-largest city of Lille, Place Rihour becomes Christmas market HQ from the last week of November, where up to 90 wooden chalets populate the square. You’ll find gifts, Christmas decorations and festive foods, along with arts and crafts from international makers – including Russia, Canada and Poland. The main square is also transformed into a winter wonderland, with an 18-metre high Christmas tree taking centre stage, along with a brightly lit ferris wheel.

When: Nov 22-Dec 30
Where: Place Rihour
What time: 11am-8pm (Mon-Thu); 11am-9pm (Fri); 10am-9pm (Sat); 10am-8pm (Sun)
Popularity: ★★★★
Search Queries: +31,000 per month

 

#40 Leeds, England

Leeds’ Christmas market is one of the UK’s longest running German Christmas markets. Taking place on Millennium Square, the Christmas market consists of more than 40 wooden chalets from authentic German traders selling everyone from handmade toys and gifts to gluhwein and bratwurst sausages. For children, Santa’s breakfast experience is a must-do – every Saturday and Sunday in December from 10.30am to 11.45am, Santa Claus himself plays host to a German breakfast buffet in the themed Alp Chalet restaurant.

When: Nov 9-Dec 22
Where: Millennium Square
What time: 10.30am-9.30pm (Mon-Sat); 10.30am-7.30pm (Sun)
Popularity: ★★★★
Search Queries: +28,000 per month

 

#41 Karlsruhe, Germany

There’s something for everything in Karlsruhe, from the Christmas market at Friedrichsplatz, to the ice skating rink at Schlossplatz near the Grand Duke Karl Friedrich Memorial and the storybook winter wonderland in front of Karlsruhe Palace. The Christmas market at Friedrichsplatz contains an array of beautifully decorated stalls, selling arts, crafts and food and drink – and be sure to look up to the flying Santa Claus, soaring over the crowds.

When: Nov 27-Dec 23
Where: Friedrichsplatz
What time: 10am-9pm (Sun-Thu); 11am-10pm (Fri-Sat)
Popularity: ★★★★
Search Queries: +28,000 per month

 

#42 Lyon, France

Lyon plays host to not one but two Christmas markets each year, at Place Carnot and Croix-Rousse. The main Christmas market is at Place Carnot, with more than 140 chalets set up, selling everything from handmade jewellery and clothing to Christmas decorations, clay figurines and toys and, of course, an array of Christmas food and drink, from gingerbread cookies to roasted caramelised nuts and mulled wine. At Croix-Rousse, the second of Lyon’s Christmas markets is designed to replicate a Christmas village, complete with a Christmas farm with live animals – which is especially popular with children. One of Lyon’s most time-honoured Christmas traditions is the Fête des Lumières (festival of lights), which takes place from December 6th to December 9th. This Lyonnaise tradition sees homeowners in the city adorn their houses with lights and their windows with candles, while 50 light installations across the city create a magical Christmas atmosphere.

When: Dec 1-Dec 30; Dec 6-9 (Fête des Lumières)
Where: Place Carnot, Croix-Rousse
What time: 10.30am-8pm (Sun-Fri); 10.30am-10pm (Sat)
Popularity: ★★★★
Search Queries: +27,000 per month

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#43 Braunschweig, Germany

More than 140 stalls make up the Braunschweigh Christmas market, which is set against the backdrop of the cathedral of Henry the Lion, the Dankwarderode Castle and the Vieweg House, on Platz der Deutschen Einheit. It’s got sparkling Christmas lights, festive music and Christmas greenery – with stalls selling a wide range of items from Christmas decorations to pottery and glassware, wooden toys and all sorts of food and drink.

When: Nov 28-Dec 29
Where: Platz der Deutschen Einheit
What time: 10am-9pm (Mon-Sat); 11am-9pm (Sun)
Popularity: ★★★★
Search Queries: +26,000 per month

 

#44 Frankfurt, Germany

Frankfurt’s Christmas market is one of Germany’s oldest, with a history that spans a whopping 600 years. Taking place across Römerberg square, Paulsplatz and Mainkai quay, 200 stalls make up the Christmas market in Frankfurt, selling a vast selection of food, drink, arts and crafts. It’s a mere 15 minutes from Frankfurt Airport, making it one of the easiest German Christmas markets to get to and now has copycat German markets across Europe, trying – but failing – to replicate its beauty.

When: Nov 26-Dec 22
Where: Römerberg square, Paulsplatz and Mainkai quay
What time: 10am-9pm (Mon-Sat); 11am-9pm (Sun)
Popularity: ★★★★
Search Queries: +23,000 per month

 

#45 Bonn, Germany

The central squares of Bonn transform during the advent season, into a Christmas market that sprawls throughout the former German capital. One of the most impressive sights in Bonn is the beautiful old town hall, which is transformed into an Advent calendar for the season, with one window being lit up every day. There’s also an ice rink at Friedensplatz, as well as a daily programme of Christmas events to choose from.

When: Nov 23-Dec 23
Where: Münsterplatz, Bottlerplatz Windeckstrasse, Friedensplatz and Vivatsgasse
What time: 11am-9pm daily
Popularity: ★★★★
Search Queries: +22,000 per month

 

#46 Kassel, Germany

In Kassel, you’ll find a traditional German Christmas market with a twist – located in the heartland of Germany’s fairytale route, each year the Kassel Christmas market is based around a different fairytale theme, inspired by the work and stories of the Brothers Grimm. You’ll find traditional Christmas gifts and ornaments, as well as food and drink and the world’s tallest fairytale pyramid.

When: Nov 26-Dec 30
Where: Königsplatz and Friedrichsplatz squares
What time: 11am-8pm daily
Popularity: ★★★★
Search Queries: +22,000 per month

 

#47 Glasgow, Scotland

Glasgow’s Christmas markets return in 2018 for their two main markets at St Enoch Square and George Square, with festive treats, gifts and food on offer. With an array of local and international crafts, delicacies and hot festive drinks on offer, Glasgow’s Christmas markets offer the best of continental Christmas markets with the local warmth and cheer that Glaswegians are known for. There are also an array of independent markets throughout Glasgow during the Advent period that are well worth exploring.

When: Nov 9-Dec 23 (St Enoch Square); Nov 25-Dec 31 (George Square)
Where: St Enoch Square and George Square
What time: 10am-9pm (Mon-Wed); 10am-10pm (Thu-Sun)
Popularity: ★★★★
Search Queries: +22,000 per month

 

#48 Dublin, Ireland

Dublin doesn’t have one central Christmas market, as we know it – instead, the Irish capital plays host to a range of Christmas markets across the city. By Dublin Docklands you’ll find the Christmas Flea Market at Point Square, while the regular Saturday market at Temple Bar’s Meeting House Square takes on a distinctly festive feel. In CHQ, by the Irish Financial Services Centre (IFSC), a weekday evening market pops up in December, and in the centre of the city you’ll find a variety of markets popping up in Smithfield, by the Ha’Penny Bridge and in the RDS Simmonscourt, a concert and conference venue on the south side of the city. Keep up to date by checking out the Dublin at Christmas website before you plan your trip.

When: late November-late December
Where: various locations
What time: various times
Popularity: ★★★★
Search Queries: +22,000 per month

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#49 Amiens, France

Amiens’ Christmas market is the largest in Northern France, spanning two kilometres of the city’s streets, with its focal point on Rue des 3 Cailloux. It boasts 130 chalets, with local traders selling a variety of goods – along with stallholders from further afield, including Canada and India. There’s also a Christmas village, ice rink, merry-go-round and a daily light show at Amiens Notre-Dame Cathedral at 7pm.

When: Nov 23-Dec 31
Where: Rue des 3 Cailloux
What time: 2pm-7.30pm (Mon); 10.30am-7.30pm (Sun, Tue-Fri); 10.30am-9pm (Sat)
Popularity: ★★★★
Search Queries: +22,000 per month

 

#50 Baden-Baden, Germany

Against the backdrop of the city’s Kurhaus spa, casino and conference venue, Baden-Baden’s Christmas market has more than 100 stalls selling Christmas goods. Add to that a living crib, carousels for children, the arrival of Santa Claus on December 6th and a daily schedule of concerts and performances and you have a seasonal event that attracts thousands of visitors, as well as serving as a meeting point for locals throughout the festive season.

When: Nov 26-Dec 30
Where: Lichtentaller Allee
What time: 11am-9pm daily
Popularity: ★★★★
Search Queries: +22,000 per month

 

#51 Belfast, Northern Ireland

Belfast City Hall is the location for the city’s annual Christmas market, now in its 14th year. With stalls from a host of countries, you can enjoy festive treats from all over the world, all within walking distance of Belfast’s bus link and taxi stations. For the 14th year, the gardens at City Hall will be transformed into a bustling continental village – and Santa Claus will even be dropping by regularly.

When: Nov 17-Dec 22
Where: Belfast City Hall
What time: 10am-8pm (Mon-Wed); 10am-10pm (Thu-Sat); 12pm-6pm (Sun)
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +21,000 per month

 

#52 Osnabrück, Germany

Osnabrück’s Christmas market, in front of the Cathedral of St Peter in the German town, has twice been ranked the prettiest in the region – and a visit to soak up the air of the festively lit market, among the medieval half-timbered houses of the old historical quarter will quickly show you why. The Christmas market is not the city’s only festive attraction; it’s home to the world’s largest musical box, playing 25 different Christmas tunes, and the world’s largest functioning nutcracker, six metres tall. There’s also a children’s merry-go-round, which was built in 1907, and there are regular carols and concerts, with daily performances throughout the season.

When: Nov 26-Dec 22
Where: Cathedral St Peter
What time: 12pm-9pm (Sun-Thu); 12pm-10pm (Fri-Sat)
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +21,000 per month

 

#53 Oldenburg, Germany

Lambertimarkt – St Lambert’s market – is Oldenburg’s Christmas market, with more than 125 festive stalls making up the Christmas village in the German town. The Christmas market is overlooked by St Lambert’s Church, the old Town Hall and the ducal residence and there’s also a programme of music and choral recitals, while children can decorate their own gingerbread men and enjoy the nativity scene at St Lambert’s Church.

When: Nov 27-Dec 22
Where: Town hall, Schlossplatz
What time: 11am-8.30pm (Sun-Thu); 11am-9.30pm (Fri-Sat)
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +21,000 per month

 

#54 Verona, Italy

Every year in the romantic Italian city of Verona, the Christmas markets take over the Pizza dei Signori. This German style Christmas markets has decorated traditional huts, brightly lit and decorated and selling traditional festive food, crafts, decorations, ornaments, cribs and specialities including mulled wine, German stollen and lebkuchen cakes, bratwurst and more.

When: early November-early January
Where: Piazza dei Signori
What time: TBC
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +21,000 per month

 

#54 Wiesbaden, German

More than 130 stalls make up the Christmas market in Wiesbaden, where the Scholssplatz is transformed into a winter wonderland under the watchful eye of the gorgeous parliament building of the Hessischer Landtag, the town hall and the Marktkirche (church). Keep an eye out for the 10-metre-tall lilies – the symbol of the Wiesbaden coat of arms – guiding the way to the city’s Christmas markets, and the Christmas tree, directly in front of the town hall and illuminated with 3,000 environmentally friendly lightbulbs.

When: Nov 27-Dec 23
Where: Schlossplatz
What time: 10.30am-9pm (Mon-Thu); 10.30am-9.30pm (Sat); 12pm-9pm (Sun)
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +21,000 per month

 

#55 Rostock, Germany

More than one million visitors annually flock to Rostock’s Christmas markets, at Neuer Markt in the city’s old town, to enjoy all that the festive season has to offer. Twinkling fairy lights light up the River Warnow, transforming the city of Rostock into one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany. You’ll find everything you could want – from candied apples to glogg (Swedish mulled wine), smoked sausage that’s traditional in Rostock and smoked fish from Warnemunde, culinary specialities abound at the Rostock Christmas market.

When: Nov 26-Dec 22
Where: Neuer Markt
What time: 10am-8.30pm (Mon-Thu); 10am-9.30pm (Sat); 11am-8.30pm (Sun)
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +20,000 per month

 

#56 Magdeburg, Germany

The Christmas market at Magdeburg, a 1,200-year-old city in Germany, is set against the gorgeous backdrop of its historic town hall and next to the iconic statue of the Magdeburg horseman. Attracting children of all ages, there’s an extensive programme of events and activities – and, as well as the contemporary Christmas market, selling all sorts of local and international food and drink, there’s a historical Medieval market with more traditional fares and wares.

When: Nov 26-Dec 23
Where: Town Hall
What time: 11am-10pm (Mon-Thu); 11am-11pm (Fri-Sat); 11am-9pm (Sun)
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +20,000 per month

 

#57 Innsbruck, Austria

There are six Christmas markets to choose from in Innsbruck, from the traditional Christmas market in the old town to one 300 metres above the town (its highest) at Hungerburg. Each market takes place against a spectacular backdrop, with snow-covered mountains surrounding the city, and in total there are 200 stalls to choose from, selling traditional gifts and crafts as well as local food and drink. Not to mention the 14-metre-high Christmas tree, glittering with sparkling crystals.

When: Old Town and Market Square: Nov 15 to Dec 23; Maria-Theresien-Street: Nov 25 to Jan 6; Hungerburg: Nov 24 to Dec 23; Wiltener Platz: Nov 26 to Dec 23; St. Nikolaus: Nov 23 to Dec 23
Where: Old Town and Market Square; Maria-Theresien-Street; Hungerburg; Wiltener Platz; St. Nikolaus
What time: Old Town and Market Square: daily 11am-9pm; Maria-Theresien-Street: daily 11am-9pm; Hungerburg: daily 1pm-7pm; opening at noon on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays; Wiltener Platz: 4pm-8pm (Mon-Fri), 2pm-8pm (Sat); St. Nikolaus: daily 4pm-9pm
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +20,000 per month

 

#58 Krakow, Poland

Krakow’s Market Square, the location of its stunning Christmas markets, dates back to the 13th century – and has a history that’s perfectly fitting with the festive feel of the decorated market stalls. One of the greatest draws of Krakow’s Christmas market is that the Polish city is very often covered in snow throughout the months of November and December; it’s the perfect location for a white Christmas (with shopping!). Stalls are limited to about 80 so quality is guaranteed and you’ll find gifts, ornaments, arts, crafts and food and drink, along with regular performances and decorated nativity cribs.

When: Nov 30-Dec 26
Where: Market Square in the historic Old Town
What time: TBC
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +19,000 per month

 

#59 Mannheim, Germany

Right in the centre of Mannheim, five minutes’ walk from the train station, is Mannheim Christmas market, where 200 or so booths are arranged around the Wasserturn, one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Mannheim’s Christmas market offers an array of shopping choices, as well as a host of attractions for children including a vintage merry-go-round and children’s train. You’ll also be able to sample local food and drink, sipping on Gluhwein while you browse.

When: Nov 28-Dec 23
Where: Town centre, by the Wasserturn
What time: 11am-9pm daily
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +19,000 per month

 

#60 Reims, France

Just 45 minutes by TGV from the French capital, Reims is the perfect shopping destination for all of your Christmas market needs. Notre-Dame Cathedral in Reims provides a beautiful background for a Christmas market comprising 145 stalls, selling local arts and crafts, French delicacies and more – plus, you can grab a glass of Champagne and enjoy it on the big wheel; bring your kids to be delighted by the Children’s Kingdom; and check out the Craft market in the courtyard of the Palace of Tau.

When: Nov 23-Dec 27
Where: Notre-Dame Cathedral
What time: 10.30am-8pm (Sun, Tue-Thu); 10.30am-10pm (Fri-Sat), 2pm-8pm (Mon)
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +74,000

 

#61 Oberhausen, Germany

There are two Christmas markets to choose from in the Germany city of Oberhausen – the first, in the old Market Square, and the second, as the CentrO shopping centre is transformed into a winter wonderland. In the old town square, 30 stalls sell crafts, gifts and local delicacies including local Gluhwein; while, in CentrO, there are more than 150 wooden stalls in the mall, which is transformed using three million light bulbs, 65,000 Christmas decorations and more than 4,000 crystals.

When: Market Square: Nov 21-Dec 23; CentrO: Nov 16-Dec 23
Where: Market Square, CentrO
What time: Market Square: 12pm-8pm; CentrO: 11am-10pm (Mon-Fri), 10am-10pm (Sat), 11am-9pm (Sun)
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +74,000

 

#62 Toulouse, France

Toulouse’s annual Christmas market, now in its 19th year, takes place in the town’s historic Place du Capitole, in the heart of Toulouse. The Christmas market sells a selection of goods, from local arts and crafts to aromatic roasted chestnuts and mulled wine, Christmas ornaments and gifts. The locals in Toulouse also make an incredible effort to transform the city into a fantastic festive spectacle, with twinkling lights and Christmas decorations as far as the eye can see.

When: Nov 23-Dec 26
Where: Place du Capitole
What time: TBC
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +72,000

 

#63 Bordeaux, France

Bourdeaux’s Allée de Tourney becomes a magical winter wonderland each year, when the Christmas market takes its place in the French city. Wooden chalets – more than 100 of them – pop up to sell artisan perfumes, local wine and delicacies, as well as gifts, arts and crafts. By late afternoon and evening, Bourdeaux’s Christmas market will be packed full of locals and tourists alike, so, if you can, try to take a wander during a weekday afternoon when you can really explore everything it has to offer.

When: Nov 24-Dec 26
Where: Allées de Tourny
What time: 10am-8pm (Sun-Thurs), 10am-9pm (Fri-Sat)
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +71,000

 

#64 Liverpool, England

Liverpool’s Christmas market returns to St George’s Plateau this year, where more than 40 rustic winter cabins will be decorated and set up to sell all of the Christmas goods you would want to find. You’ll find sellers with festive wares including bratwurst, burgers, crepes and pick ‘n’ mix – along with Christmas ornaments, gifts, handmade crafts and edible presents. And down on Liverpool’s waterfront you’ll find more festive chalets at the annual Liverpool Christmas Ice Festival.

When: Late November-late December (exact dates TBC)
Where: St George’s Hall
What time: 11am-8pm (Mon-Wed), 11am-9pm (Thu-Sat), 11am-5pm (Sun)
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +71,000

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#65 Bristol, England

Located in the pedestrianised area of Broadmead, Bristol’s Christmas market is smack bang in the centre of the British city’s shopping district. Up to 55 decorated Christmas cabins are set up, producing an authentic festive feel, selling original gifts, handmade crafts, international foods and, of course, hot mulled wine and festive delicacies.

When: Nov 9-Dec 23
Where: Broadmead
What time: 10am-8pm
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +71,000

 

#66 Nottingham, England

Nottingham’s Winter Wonderland includes a Christmas market, an ice rink and two bars – making it a Christmas spectacular for all the family. Located in the Market Square, right by the Old Market Square tram stop, you’ll find an incredibly diverse Christmas market with stall upon stall of independent sellers retailers handpicked to provide a range of items, from artisan cheeses and chutneys to handmade gifts and treats, mulled wine and Christmas delicacies.

When: Nov 15-Dec 24
Where: Old Market Square
What time: 10am-6pm (Sun-Thu), 10am-9pm (Sat)
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +71,000

 

#67 Metz, France

Metz’s Christmas markets are spread over six different squares in the French city – Place de la République, Place Saint Louis, Place de la Gare, Place Saint-Jacques, Place de Chambre and Place d’Armes. You’ll find a Christmas ferris wheel, a beautiful festive trail of lanterns, an ice exhibition at Place de la République with more than 80 ice sculptures from a variety of artists, along with the sweet festive treats, Christmas ornaments and gifts we’ve come to expect from the best of Europe’s Christmas markets.

When: Nov 18-Dec 30
Where: Place de la République, Place Saint Louis, Place de la Gare, Place Saint-Jacques, Place de Chambre and Place d’Armes
What time: TBC
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +68,000

 

#68 Augsburg, Germany

Augsburg’s Christmas market is one of the largest and longest established in Germany, taking place against the backdrop of the city’s beautiful 16th-century town hall, which is turned into a festive Advent calendar during the season. There are more than 150 decorated stalls selling handmade gifts and ornaments, as well as an array of stalls selling Bavarian specialities including hot Gluhwein and German sausages.

When: Nov 26-Dec 24
Where: City hall
What time: 10am-8pm (Sun-Thu), 10am-9.30pm (Fri-Sat)
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +66,000

 

#69 Madrid, Spain

The Spanish capital, Madrid, boasts a selection of Christmas markets throughout the festive season, the biggest and most impressive of which takes place in the city’s main square, Plaza Mayor. The square fills with 104 log cabins selling Christmas items and also providing festive entertainment. At the Plaza de Espana, you’ll find another Christmas market – this time focusing on handmade and artisanal goods from more than 200 local workshops.

When: late Nov-late Dec (TBC)
Where: Plaza Mayor, Plaza de Espana
What time: 10am-9pm (Mon-Fri), 10am-10pm (Sat-Sun)
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +58,000

 

#70 Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen has more than eight Christmas markets to choose from, including the Oriental bazaar style market in the Grey Hall of Freetown Christiania to the more commercial Christmas market at Visit Carlsberg, with the old brewery acting as a rustic backdrop. The Christmas market at Nyhavn Harbour is an Instagrammer’s dream, while the winter wonderland at the Tivoli Gardens will delight visitors and locals, young and old.

When: Freetown Christiania: Dec 8-20; Nyhavn Harbour: Nov 9-Dec 23; Kronborg Castle: Nov 30-Dec 2, Dec 7-9; Kongens Nytorv: Nov 16-Dec 22; Nytorv Square: Nov 16-Dec 21; Højbro square: Nov 16-Dec 22; Visit Carlsberg: Dec 1-2, 8-9; and Tivoli Gardens: Nov 17-Dec 31
Where: Freetown Christiania, Nyhavn Harbour, Kronborg Castle, Kongens Nytorv, Nytorv Square, Højbro square, Visit Carlsberg and Tivoli Gardens
What time: Various times
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +57,000

 

#71 Rome, Italy

In Italy, the Christmas season begins on December 8th, a day that’s dedicated to decorating the Christmas tree. The streets in Rome will be decorated and Christmas trees will be erected across the city, which plays host to more than five Christmas markets throughout the Advent season. Stalls will be selling a variety of Italian crafts and goods, as well as delicacies from Italy and beyond, Christmas decorations, gifts and bric-a-brac.

When: Late November-late December
Where: Piazza Navona, Piazza Re di Roma, Mercato Monti, Piazzale Ankara, Eur Market,
What time: TBC
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +56,000

 

#72 Nantes, France

The two main Christmas markets in the French city of Nantes take place in the historic Place Royale and at Place du Commerce, both within walking distance of each other. These are among the largest Christmas markets in Western France, with more than 120 wooden chalets set up. Nantes is a city that takes Christmas seriously, adorning its historical buildings with twinkling fairy lights and decorating its Christmas markets to look like festive North Pole villages. The smells – of mulled wine, roasted chestnuts and hot churros – are almost as mesmerising as the wares on offer, including Christmas decorations, arts, crafts and accessories.

When: Nov 23-Dec 24
Where: Place Royale and Place du Commerce
What time: 10am-8pm (Mon-Thu), 10am-9pm (Fri-Sat), 11am-8pm (Sun)
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +56,000

 

#73 Rothenburg, Germany

The medieval city of Rothenburg is about as Disney as it comes. The walled city attracts tourists all year round, but at Christmas time, with the addition of its central Christmas market, it becomes another world entirely. During the Advent season, the town and market are illuminated in festive splendour – it’s the perfect time to truly explore the historic city and see everything it has to offer (mulled wine in hand).

When: Nov 30-Dec 23
Where: Marktplatz
What time: 11am-7pm (Mon-Thu), 11am-8pm (Fri-Sun)
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +55,000

 

#74 Bochum, Germany

The medieval market square around the Pauluskirche (church) plays host to Bochum’s Christmas market, one of the best in Germany’s Ruhr region. You’ll find 200 stalls among sprigs of fir, twinkling Christmas lights and pyramids, with daily entertainment provided on stage. Many of the stalls you’ll find in Bochum’s Christmas market are run by artisans selling local and traditional wares, including tree decorations, ceramics, glassware, candles and wooden toys.

When: Nov 22-Dec 23
Where: Dr Ruer-Platz Square
What time: 11am-10pm daily
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +54,000

 

#75 Bern, Switzerland

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bern, Switzerland, offers a unique setting for its annual Christmas markets – against a backdrop of Bern’s medieval streets. The main market is on Cathedral Square (Munsterplatz), while a second takes place on Orphanage Square (Waisenhausplatz), selling regional crafts and baked goods, food, arts, crafts, jewellery and children’s toys. Top tip: the white mulled wine on sale at Munsterplatz is rumoured to be the best in the region.

When: Dec 1-Dec 24
Where: Munsterplatz, Weisenhausplatz
What time: 11am-6.30pm (Mon-Wed; Fri), 11am-9pm (Thu), 10am-6pm (Sat-Sun)
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +51,000

 

#76 Oxford, England

There’s more to Oxford than universities – come December, the British city’s historic Broad Street becomes a hub of celebrations, festivities and the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping. The street will be lined with beautiful Christmas chalets with a regular programme of choirs; market traders selling traditional and artisanal products; and the smell of mulled wine spices, gingerbread and – of course – German bratwurst filling the air.

When: Dec 7-22
Where: Broad Street
What time: 10am-6.30pm (Sun-Wed), 10am-8pm (Thu-Sat)
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +47,000

 

#77 Cardiff, Wales

One of the nicest things about shopping in the Welsh capital of Cardiff is its pedestrianised shopping streets – which will be the location of 2018’s Cardiff Christmas market, winding through St John St, Working St, Hills St, Trinity St and the Hayes. There will be lines of decorated wooden stalls, from returning and new traders selling local and international goods, arts, crafts, food and drink. Cardiff Christmas market prides itself on being a market for handmade goods – jewellery, craft, clothing and more – with an emphasis on providing trading stalls for local artisans, ensuring that you’ll find the most original Christmas gifts around.

When: Nov 15-Dec 23
Where: St John Street, Working Street, Hills Street, Trinity Street and the Hayes
What time: 10am-6pm (Mon-Sat), 10am-5pm (Sun)
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +46,000

 

#78 Newcastle, England

For the first year, 2018 will see Newcastle’s Christmas market combining the best of local and international fare; previously, an International Christmas Market has taken place alongside a local Christmas Market. This year, you’ll find food from all corners of the world alongside traditional English Cornish pasties – along with handmade arts and crafts, Christmas ornaments and decorations, gifts, food and drink, all at Grey’s Monument in Newcastle city centre.

When: Nov 16-Dec 16
Where: Grey’s Monument
What time: TBC
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +46,000

 

#79 Milan, Italy

It would be difficult to find a setting for a Christmas market that is more awe-inspiring than the steps of Milan’s Duomo, the largest church in Italy. There are more than 60 festive huts spread around the beautiful cathedral that are each dedicated to Italian Christmas traditions – think decorations and ornaments, cribs and Befana stockings (for the Epiphany). You’ll also find a host of workshops and activities for children taking place throughout the Christmas market season.

When: Dec 11-Jan 6
Where: Duomo di Milano
What time: TBC
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +46,000

 

#80 Chemnitz, Germany

The Chemnitz Christmas market is opened with a trumpet fanfare from the tower – but that’s not the only event of pomp and circumstance that will take place in the French town. On December 1st, we’ll see a miners’ parade ushering in the festive season, and the city centre will be transformed into a winter wonderland. The Christmas market itself consists of 230 stalls with a five-storey Christmas pyramid at its centre, and regular musical performances throughout the three weeks the market is in town.

When: Nov 30-Dec 23
Where: Markt, Neumarkt, Rosenhof, Jakobikirchplatz and Innere Klosterstraße
What time: 10am-8pm daily
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +46,000

 

#81 Rennes, France

Rennes’ Christmas market, or marché de Noel, takes place on the Place du Parlement de Bretagne, right in front of the stunning 17th-century Parlement de Bretagne building. With scents of cinnamon, vanilla and mulled wine on the air, you can peruse the stalls throughout the Breton capital, selling handmade arts and crafts, jewellery, Christmas ornaments and unique gifts. Don’t leave without sampling the hot deep-fried churros – a perfect Christmas treat!

When: Nov 25-Dec 24
Where: Place du Parlement de Bretagne
What time: TBC
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +45,000

 

#82 Galway, Ireland

At any time of year, Galway is a market town – each Saturday, the city centre plays host to a market selling food, gifts and crafts. Its Christmas market is equally enchanting, running from November 16th to December 22nd. Right on the central Eyre Square, there are 50 wooden chalets set up, along with Santa’s Grotto. It’s not just a shopping extravaganza; there will also be amusement rides, a traditional carousel, a schedule of live musical performers and carol singing, and puppet shows for children. There will be an array of international food and drink – bratwurst, French pastries, crepes and waffles, as well as traditional German beers, apple cider and mulled wine.

When: Nov 16-Dec 22
Where: Eyre Square
What time: 12pm-8pm (Mon-Wed), 10am-10pm (Thu-Sun)
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +45,000

 

#83 Stockholm, Sweden

The Christmas market in Stockholm’s Gamla Stan (Old Town) is the most famous and most traditional market in the Swedish capital. It’s in the heart of Old Town, at Stortorget Square by the Royal Palace, and features a host of colourful little red stalls, selling Swedish Christmas sweets, smoked sausages, reindeer and elk meat and other Christmas delicacies, as well as an array of Swedish handicrafts and decorative handmade art.

When: Nov 24-Dec 23
Where: Gamla Stan (Old Town)
What time: 11am-6pm daily
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +43,000

 

#84 Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb’s Christmas markets have been voted the best in Europe – that’s according to European Best Destinations – with Colmar, in France, coming in second. The Croatian capital truly comes alive in the festive season, with Christmas markets in a variety of locations selling food, drink, crafts and traditional Croatian fare – as well as an incredible ice rink set out between Tomislav Square and the Art Pavilion. One of the most traditional Christmas markets is at Zrinjevac Park, while Ban Josip Jelačić Square and European Square are also gathering points for people in town to soak up the festive vibes.

When: Dec 2-Jan 6
Where: Zrinjevac Park
What time: TBC
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +43,000

 

#85 Kiel, Germany

There are four Christmas markets in the German town of Kiel, all within walking distance of another, on Rathausplatz, in Holstenstraße, on Asmus-Bremer-Platz and on Alte Markt. In true German Christmas market style, they sell an array of items, from food and drink to a variety of handicrafts from local and traditional artisanal creators. You’ll also find ice skating and curling on a 700m² ice rink by the fjord and harbour.

When: Nov 27-Dec 23
Where: Rathausplatz, Holstenstraße, Asmus-Bremer-Platz and Alte Markt
What time: 10am-8pm (Mon-Sat), 11am-8pm (Sun)
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +43,000

 

#86 Bielefeld, Germany

Bielefeld is yet another Germany city whose Christmas market has to be seen to be believed. With more than 120 festively decorated timber stalls, Bielefeld’s Christmas market spreads from Jahnplatz, with little red houses and a twinkling Christmas pyramid; to the old market place; the Haus vom Nikolaus, with a warming open fire and snowmaker; and a varied programme of music, concerts, storytelling and more. Pick up some handmade presents, crafts and culinary delights – and be sure to try the feuerzangenbowle, a traditional Germany alcoholic drink involving a rum-soaked sugarloaf and mulled wine. Delicious!

When: Nov 26-Dec 30
Where: Jahnplatz
What time: 11am-9pm (Sun-Thu), 11am-10pm (Fri-Sat)
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +42,000

 

#87 Duisburg, Germany

The main attraction of Duisburg’s Christmas markets is the light extravaganza that transforms the entire city into a winter wonderland. Glittering lights cascade from trees and buildings on to the 130 beautifully decorated stalls, not to mention an incredible 750 Christmas treets throughout the city. There’s everything on offer, from crafts and jewellery to mulled wine and festive treats – and there’s even a 400m² ice rink in town, at the Kuhtor gate.

When: Nov 22-Dec 30
Where: Königstrasse
What time: TBC
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +41,000

 

#88 Saarbrücken, Germany

Saarbrücken’s Christmas market is set on the historical St Johanner Markt Square, winding its way on to the city’s most popular shopping street, the Bahnhofstrasse. There you’ll find more than 80 decorated huts and attractions that include life-sized Christmas characters and an enormous Advent wreath, as well as a nine-metre-high Christmas pyramid. There are daily concerts on St Johanner Markt Square, and at weekends there’s a traditional puppet theatre at 2pm. Take your pick from the 200 or so vendors – selling food, drink, festive decorations and traditional handcrafted gifts.

When: Nov 26-Dec 23
Where: St Johanner Markt Square, Bahnhofstrasse
What time: 12pm-9pm daily
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +41,000

 

#89 Barcelona, Spain

There are a host of Christmas markets in the Spanish city of Barcelona, from the Saint Lucia Christmas market at Avenida de la Catedral, Barcelona’s biggest Christmas market; to the Fire de Nadal a la Sagrada Familia at the Sagrada Familia church, with 120 stalls at the incredible Gaudí-designed church. Then there’s the Three Kings Fair on Gran Via St, one of the city’s biggest Christmas markets for children’s toys – the Fira de Reis has around 300 market stalls along the street. That’s before we get to the Fira de Nadal de Sants on Placa de Sants, an artisanal Christmas market showcasing the best from local craftspeople.

When: Late Nov-late Dec
Where: Avenida de la Catedral, Sagrada Família, Gran Via, Carrer Joan Güell – Plaça de Sants
What time: 10am-10pm (some exceptions)
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +38,000

 

#90 Sheffield, England

The South Yorkshire city of Sheffield has become quite the Christmas hub, with 50 cabins making up its Christmas market, which runs from mid-November to early January. From humble beginnings, the Christmas market now comprises 50 log cabins, with Santa’s Grotto at the very heart of the event, attracting children from far and wide. Sheffield’s Christmas market is spread across Fargate, Tudor Square, Peace Gardens and the Town Hall Square, with loads on offer including gifts, arts, crafts and, of course, festive food and drink.

When: Nov 15-Jan 2
Where: Fargate, Peace Gardens, Tudor Square and Sheffield Town Hall
What time: 10am-6pm (Sun-Wed), 10am-8pm (Thu-Sat)
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +33,000

 

#91 Jena, Germany

There’s a time-honoured tradition in Jena that marks the opening of the German city’s Christmas market: when the first slice is cut from the four-metre-long stollen cake. After that, it’s Christmas carols and twinkling lights aplenty – the lovingly decorated stalls around the historic, restored market square offer arts, crafts and jewellery from Germany and around the world, as well as Christmas snacks and warming drinks.

When: Nov 26-Dec 23
Where: Market Square
What time: 10am-9pm daily
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +32,000

 

#92 Grenoble, France

At the foot of the French Alps, Grenoble is a beautiful setting for a sprawling Christmas market – there are four, held in different locations across the city centre. With mountain chalets and 91 exhibitors, you’ll find anything and everything from rock music and Afro-Indian crafts at Place Grenette to artisan crafts at Rue Félix Poulat and, at the main Christmas market on Place Victor Hugo, a selection of cheese, salami, wine, beer, hot wine and hot cider. You’ll also find handmade Christmas decorations, jewellery and original and unique gifts throughout the Grenoble Christmas markets.

When: TBC
Where: Place Victor Hugo, Rue Félix Poulat and Place Grenette
What time: 10am-10pm
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +30,000

 

#93 Mulhouse, France

Each year, there’s a special Christmas fabric created to mark Mulhouse’s place as the cradle of the textile industry in Alsace, and that fabric is then hung on the facades of the town’s Christmas market huts. The material is also used to decorate the streets of the town centre. The Christmas market itself is centred around Place de la Réunion, with stalls selling an array of local and international crafts, as well as culinary specialities including foie gras, gingerbread and Bredeles.

When: Nov 24-Dec 27
Where: Place de la Réunion
What time: 10am-8pm daily
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +27,000

 

#94 Halle, Germany

The German city of Halle is no stranger to markets, holding a daily market (not Sundays) throughout the year. But throughout the festive season, the Christmas market sets up shop on the central Marktplatz, selling Christmas crafts and products, as well as offering an array of stalls selling hot food, baked goods and warming festive drinks.

When: Nov 27-Dec 23
Where: Marktplatz
What time: TBC
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +27,000

 

#95 Hagen, Germany

The main part of Hagen’s Christmas Market is on Volkspark, where you’ll find an array of Christmas market stalls selling items from food and drink to crafts, gifts and ornaments. There’s loads for children, too, with a giant slide, children’s carousel, a big Ferris wheel and glass cases containing characters from well known fairytales.

When: TBC
Where: Friedrich-Ebert-Platz on the Hohenzollernstraße and the Passage Volkspark to Volkspark, ending at the Adolf-Nassau-Platz or Theaterplatz
What time: TBC
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +27,000

 

#96 Warsaw, Poland

The Polish capital of Warsaw has a selection of Christmas markets to choose from – with new markets popping up each year, in a different area. Your guaranteed Christmas markets in Warsaw are in the Old Town, on Market Square; and in the Barbakan area of the city. The central market, on Market Square, consists of 28 decorated chalets, while the Barbakan market is made up of about 60 wooden chalets. You’ll find an array of gifts, decorations and arts and crafts – in the tradition of German Christmas markets, with a traditional Polish spin.

When: Nov 24-Jan 6
Where: Market Square, Barbakan
What time: TBC
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +26,000

 

#97 Bournemouth, England

Bournemouth Square is brightly lit for Christmas, with twinkling fairylights lighting the way between the town’s two main shopping streets, and providing the perfect backdrop for the town’s Christmas markets. At its centre is the Alpine Lodge, over two storeys, serving winter warmers to visitors perusing the stalls – or simply queuing up for Santa’s Grotto, where children can grab a few minutes with the man himself! As well as shopping opportunities, there’s live music, fun family activities and a ceremony to switch on the city’s Christmas lights, with a host of festive surprises!

When: Late November-early January
Where: Bournemouth Square
What time: 11am-5pm (Mon-Wed), 11am-6pm (Thu-Fri), 10am-6pm (Sat-Sun)
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +25,000

 

#98 Montpellier, France

Montpellier’s Christmas markets offer up a fun, festive atmosphere in which to truly get into the Christmas spirit. There is an array of different stalls, some of which are occupied by local storekeepers, selling their handmade artisanal goods, from gifts and decorations to food, drink and local specialities. There’s also an extensive programme of entertainment including Christmas parades, workshops, a Nativity scene and an ice rink.

When: Nov 29-Dec 27
Where: Esplanade de Charles de Gaulle
What time: 10am-9pm (Sun-Thu), 10am-10.30pm (Fri-Sat)
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +41,000

 

#99 Oslo, Norway

Oslo’s Christmas market is right in the centre of the Norwegian city, alongside a beautiful ice rink that provides the perfect festive backdrop. You’ll find a selection of nicely decorated stalls selling Christmas gifts, a selection of handmade crafts from local makers, and Christmas delicacies. There are also Christmas activities that will attract young and old alike, from a daily programme of entertainment to fairground rides.

When: Nov 17-Dec 30
Where: Spikersuppa
What time: 10am-8pm (Mon-Thu), 10am-9pm (Fri-Sat), 10am-6pm (Sun)
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +24,000

 

#100 Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany

Freiburg Christmas market is held right in the heart of the German city’s old historical quarter, along Rathausplatz, Franziskanerstraße, Unterlindenplatz and Kartoffelmarkt. The Christmas market in Freiburg offers a wide range of traditional arts and crafts from the Black Forest region of Germany, as well as a candle workshop, where visitors can watch genuine beeswax candles being made to order.

When: Nov 22-Dec 23
Where: Rathausplatz, Franziskanerstraße, Unterlindenplatz and Kartoffelmarkt
What time: 10am-8.30pm (Mon-Sat), 11.30am-7.30pm (Sun)
Popularity: ★★★
Search Queries: +23,000