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The 16 Best Christmas Markets in Europe

Europe’s best holiday markets are back! Here is our compendium of Christmas markets in many of Europe’s cities. These festive institutions can be found in almost every capital, and exploring the wonderlands of treats, souvenirs and stocking-stuffers is a wintertime tradition. Read on for our favorite Christmas markets, from Paris to Salzburg.

Contact Indagare or your Trip Designer for assistance planning your next European trip. Our team can match you with the hotels that are right for you, as well as advise on all our favorite activities and must-see sites.Related: Best Winter Vacation Ideas: Trip Ideas from Antigua to Zambia


Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market, held in the Mitte neighborhood, beautifully melds old and new craftsmanship in its month-long celebration of the holidays. Some of the most authentic Christmas shopping in the city can be found here, with dresses, woodcarvings and photographs on offer. We suggest watching the craftsmen at work and catching a performance on the main stage, which occur throughout the day.

Winter World at Potsdamer Platz is ideally located as a stop in between touring Berlin’s highlights. In addition to shopping, activities include tobogganing and ice skating.


Photo by Jean Paul Remy, courtesy Visit.Brussels

Photo by Jean Paul Remy, courtesy Visit.Brussels

Winter Wonders is the largest and most pedestrian-friendly of all the Christmas markets. Cordoned off to vehicles, the area feels tucked away from the city bustle and transports visitors to a brightly lit wonderland of sparkling neon Christmas lights, ferris wheels, merry-go-rounds and even a slalom. Winter Wonders spans multiple locations, so it is recommended to go with a guide who can direct you to the best vendors.

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Vorosmarty Square Christmas Fair and Festival is a top-notch local street food market. It’s known for its trdelniks, a type of grilled cake, and langos, a deep-fried, savory dough that can be served with butter, garlic, cheese or bacon. There are plenty of activities on offer, though the inaugural welcoming of Santa on December 6 is a festive highlight. Visitors can go ice skating, shop for hand-blown glass ornaments and hand-carved jewelry boxes, and watch performances by local folk musicians.

Basilica of Budapest Christmas Market, with its plentiful stalls and skating rink, is best visited in the evenings, when a light show is projected onto the Basilica.


Tivoli Gardens Market is Copenhagen’s most enchanting and family-friendly market. Complete with festive music, decorations and 60 food stalls serving everything from donuts to mulled wine, the garden also hosts amusement park rides and a series of fantastical light and fireworks shows during the season.

Discover more Danish treasures online through 1stDibs.

London and Winchester

Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland is London’s answer to all things Christmas, with live performances, a giant skating rink, roller coaster rides and festive street food. The massive festival attracts travelers from across the world, and offers something for everyone, from a comedy club to a cinema to a circus and ice shows.

And outside of London—an easy, hour’s train ride from Waterloo—Winchester is a a classic English market town which stages one of Europe's most delightful holiday markets behind its impressive Gothic cathedral, completed in 1532. The market is ideal for wandering, buying hot chocolate and chestnuts and browsing stalls selling oven mitts and earrings.

(Plus, says Indagare editorial director Annie Fitzsimmons, “Winchester warrants a full day of exploration. Shop at the same bookstore Jane Austen did (P&G Wells), find the house where she died a few doors down, and visit her grave in the cathedral. Book a pub lunch at the Wykeham Arms (no children under 8 allowed) or the Old Vine. Take a walking tour of Winchester College, with medieval foundations and stained glass windows, considered to be one of the best prep schools in the country–alums include Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and actor Hugh Dancy. Next year, women will be able to study there for the first time in its 600+ year history.”


While Sweden is known for its glogg, Germany takes Glühwein (mulled wine) to the next level, and it and many other delicious hot beverages can be sampled across Munich's holiday markets (there are 28 in total). The classic showstopper is the Christkindlmarkt at Marienplatz, in front the imposing City Hall, but each neighborhood has its own, and they are worth seeking out, especially the Christmas Village in an atmospheric courtyard at the Residenz; the intimate, food-focused market at the Viktualienmarkt; the more tucked-away neighborhood version at Haidhausen’s Weissenburger Platz (great for artisan crafts) and, for a party scene, Tollwood, a sprawl of a market on the Theresienwiese (where the annual Oktoberfest is also held).

(Glüh)Wine Insider: 2023 is the first time this most traditional holiday brew is also allowed to be made with rosé. Another fun drink to order is Feuerzangenbowle, a punch topped with a piece of rum-soaked sugar that is lit on fire before it is served. 


From Indagare’s Cinzia Coppola, based in Naples: “For Napoli, Christmas doesn’t come just once a year. This fabled Southern city is home to the presepi, or ‘nativities,’ which are seen throughout the city. The tradition dates back to the 13th century and is attributed to St. Francis of Assisi. In Napoli, aside from pizza and the blue & white local soccer team, presepi are taken very seriously. You can find nativities that are very elaborate, including iconic depictions of the classical manger scene, while others have more fantasy with additions of modern celebrities and soccer players like ‘the God of Napoli’ Maradonna.

To embrace the true holiday season take a stroll down Via San Gregorio Armeno in Napoli’s Centro Storico and conclude with a pizza at Sorbillo’s. The street gives you a glimpse into the creativity of possibilities when it comes to what you can add to your own nativity at home. And a figurine makes a perfect souvenir of this colorful city.”

Discover more Italian treasures online through 1stDibs.


Marché de Noël Paris Notre-Dame is held on René Viviani Square for only about two weeks each year. Hosting 40 local craftsmen, the market offers charming French objets d’art and Boules de Meisenthal (Christmas ornaments) along the Seine. Be warned, per usual, this area is extremely crowded.

At the Left Bank's charming St. Germain des Prés Christmas Marketvendors are focused on evergreen, locally sourced products (such as accessories) and high-quality provisions rather than sweets and holiday tchotchkes. The market is small, and perhaps a bit less festive than the others, but worthwhile. Another favorite local holiday activity is visiting Avenue Montaigne’s haute couture Christmas trees, which are decorated and auctioned off annually by designers.

While only a couple years old, the Village de Noël du Champs de Mars offers a smorgasbord of international foods and crafts, but the highlight is the skating rink at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.

Related: The 19 Best Romantic Winter Getaways for a Couple’s Trip


Courtesy Prague City Tourism

Courtesy Prague City Tourism

Wenceslas Square Market, named after the fabled Good King, is made up of small, wooden huts serving Pilsners, mulled wine, spit-roasted hams and trdelniks, or delicious fried pastries. Baked over a flaming hot grill, these rolls of dough are covered in cinnamon sugar and filled with Nutella—and are reason alone to visit the market.

Just a five-minute walk from Wenceslas Square, Old Town Square Market has an extremely impressive Christmas tree that is illuminated daily at 4:30 p.m. Children will also appreciate the host of animal stables depicting the Nativity Scene, which also functions as a petting zoo.


Courtesy Tourismus Salzburg / G.Breitegger

Courtesy Tourismus Salzburg / G.Breitegger

Located in the world's capital of The Sound of Music and Mozart, Cathedral Square Market offers a superb collection of artisanal goods and handicrafts, especially ornaments. Favorites include engraved horseshoes, hand-painted cowbells and needlepoint pillows sewn with traditional German phrases.

Schloss Hellbrunn Market adds to the beauty of the Schloss Hellbrunn palace with its decorated fountains, grottoes and the iconic gazebo from The Sound of Music. Petting zoos, pony rides and a Christmas-themed post office pop-up are pluses for families. There’s even a portion of the castle devoted entirely to the eerie myth of Krampus.


Skansen Christmas Market is centered around a charming outdoor museum that pays homage to traditional agricultural practices and ways of life. Go for the holiday cheer and the delightful scent of traditional sausages, cheeses and sweet spices that fill the air.

Stortorgets Market has been held in Stockholm’s oft-photographed Gamla Stan (Old Town), since 1837, and is one of the world’s most popular and recognizable venues for holiday shopping. Indulge in such Swedish Christmas dishes as halmbockar (goat) or råraka (hash browns), served with lingonberry jam and fried pork. Or, purchase a traditional advent candle holder; the handicrafts here are unique and wholly indigenous to the region.

Discover more Swedish treasures online through 1stDibs.


One of the oldest in Europe, Christkindelsmärik  comprises 11 smaller markets, and is a charming ode to the traditions of French Christmas. We recommend attending a classical concert and going for a horse-drawn carriage ride around town before admiring the 100-foot Christmas tree.


City Hall’s Rathausplatz Market is easily accessible, and offers an ice skating trail full of twists and turns. We suggest visiting in the evening, when the rink is at its most atmospheric.

Held outside the former imperial summer palace, Schonbrunn Palace Market is well-paired with a late afternoon tour of Gloriette and the Schonbrunn Apartments. As the sun sets, enjoy a tapas-style dinner of traditional delicacies from several of the food stalls.

Located in a historic district of the city, Spittelberg Market is intimate, with stalls lining narrow alleyways and side streets. Vendors sell some of the most handsome artisanal handicrafts in the city.

Discover more Austrian treasures online through 1stDibs.


Located in the heart of Old Town beside the Barbakan Fortress, Barbakan Christmas Market is popular with both locals and visitors for its hot beer, fresh pierogis and the best holiday shopping in the city. Highlights include handmade amber jewelry, hand-knit sweaters, leather slippers and traditional Polish ornaments. For those craving sweets, opt for a loaf of piernik gingerbread.


Wienachtsdorf is one of Zurich’s largest Christmas markets and is located directly in front of the Opera House. Selling Swiss fondue and other traditional dishes, locally sourced jewelry and ornaments, Wienachtsdorf’s main attraction is its gorgeous ice rink. Here, visitors are invited to enjoy a casual skate or try their hand at curling.

Weihnachtsmarkt and the Singing Christmas Tree is both bizarre and enchanting. Standing on multi-tiered, elevated platforms, carolers from varying Swiss regions sing nightly beside a large Christmas tree structure.

At Christkindlimarkt, in Zurich’s main train station, a 50-foot-tall Christmas tree rivals Rockefeller Center's. With one of the largest indoor markets in Zurich, Christkindlimarkt is a good shopping stop prior to a train ride to the Alps.

Contact Indagare or your Trip Designer for assistance planning your next European trip. Our team can match you with the hotels that are right for you, as well as advise on all our favorite activities and must-see sites.

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If you purchase something through select links above, Indagare may earn an affiliate commission.

Published onNovember 26, 2023

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