Aerial view of Christmas market in Prague.

10 Christmas Markets in Europe to Visit This Holiday Season

by Aoife-Jayne Hennessy | 4 min read

November 13th, 2019

As the cold, dark evenings have crept upon us, why not make the most of it and plan a winter getaway. Europe in the winter is the perfect setting to get into that festive cheer. From cinnamon spices and warm mulled wine, to the twinkling lights draped across the stalls, we’ve created a guide of Christmas Markets you could visit across Europe this winter.

Christkindlesmarkt

Where: Nuremberg, Germany.

When: November 29th to December 24th

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Starting with the famous Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, this traditional Christmas market dates back as far as the 16th century1. The heart of this village turns into a Christmas City. With over 180 stalls filled with beautiful ornaments, delicious holiday treats, toys and of course the Nuremberg infamous Zwetschgenmännle figurines made from prunes, the festive cheer across this village makes it clear why it is so popular!

Marché Noel de la Défense

Where: Paris, France

When: November 21st to December 29th

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Taking place under the Grande Arche de la Defense, this is one of the largest markets in the Paris area2, which truly brings the heart of the city to life at Christmas. Spread out over 10,000m sq., this Christmas market has over 300 chalets showcasing an array of snacks, knick-knacks, and Christmas decorations.

Piazza del Duomo Mercata

Where: Milan, Italy

When: December 7th to January 10th

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Christmas in Milan kicks off from December 7th on the day of St. Ambrogio, Italy’s patron saint, when they erect a magnificent Christmas tree in the city centre. Set up in the square in front of the famous gothic-style cathedral, Piazza del Duomo, this Christmas market is brought to life celebrating a range of Italian Christmas traditions. Build your own nativity crib and indulge in some Panettone,  Pandoro, or Torrone (traditional Italian cakes eaten only at Christmas), while strolling through the beautiful city streets.

Tivoli Gardens Christmas Market

Where: Nyhavn, Copenhagen, Denmark

When: November 16th to December 22nd

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Copenhagen is a modern city, known by visitors for its urban feel, cobble stone paths, and modern architecture. As the city begins to fill with markets and stalls leading up to the festive period, there is something truly special about the Tivoli gardens at this time of year. The park located in the city centre turns into a winter wonderland with glistening lights, snow covered tree, and daily events every day, including a firework show to end each night. Younger members of the family can visit Santa’s Grotto and even feed his reindeer!

Winter Wonders, Grande-Place

Where: Brussels, Belgium

When: November 29th to January 5th

Paper stars lit from within hang on display

Brussels can be an amazing city to soak in as much festive spirit as possible with markets, chalets, and fairground attractions on every corner. You can also find an ice rink located underneath a beautifully decorated Christmas tree in the heart of the city. Keep warm with an almond or nutmeg coffee and some deliciously tempting Belgian chocolates!

Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park

Where: London, England

When: November 21st to January 5th

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Hyde Park is home to a relatively new Christmas Winter Wonderland, an attraction park for all ages. With rides and rollercoasters, an ice kingdom, comedy clubs, bars, and a little tots area, there is quite a bit to do. Immerse yourself in the stalls of amazing foods and Christmas treats.

Staroměstské Náměstí & Václavské Náměstí

Where: Prague, Czech Republic

When:  November 30th to January 6th

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Visitors from all over the world flood the streets of Prague’s Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square as the Christmas Markets kick off in Czech IA. These markets, located 5 minutes apart from one another, are typically quite traditional. You’ll find Czech Christmas tablecloths, cookies, and purpura (similar to potpourri) , along with stalls filled with handmade wooden figurines, candles, and jewelry. While you’re visiting, consider trying a glass of svařené víno (traditional hot wine), or medovina (warm honey liquor) to warm yourself up in the wintery weather.

Het Amsterdamse Winterparadijs

Where: Amsterdam, Netherlands

When: December (To Be Announced)

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This “Winter Paradise” is a festival built around a world of winter sports. Try your hand at a game of curling, dive into a snowball fight, or try finding your way around a giant maze made entirely of snow for the ultimate winter experience. You can also part take in tobogganing, ice skating and skiing! If the sports aren’t for you, you can wander amongst the stalls, or wind down with a nostalgic Christmas movie on a giant screen with toasty marshmallows.

Christmas Dream at Rathausplatz

Where: Vienna, Austria

When: November 15th to December 26th

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Located on the front of the Neo-Gothic town hall, this Rathausplatz Christmas Dream market is a modern fair with over 150 stalls3 filled with snacks, toys, and other items from all over the world. Looking for a romantic setting? Beneath the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree you’ll find an ice rink. However, the kids will love the inside as here they learn to bake Christmas cookies and attend festive events and shows.

Christmas at Krakow

Where: Krakow, Poland

When: November 29th to January 7th

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In Krakow’s Main Market Square is the annual Christmas fair. From folk art and traditional music, to knitted sweatshirts and handmade jewelry, there’s plenty of stalls to explore. Families often gather around a picnic table and share some hot food beneath the fairy lights above. Keep warm by sipping on a glass of grzaniec (hot mulled wine), while watching the carollers and other acts on the cultural stage to help feel the holiday spirit.

 

Whether you’re going for a romantic trip away, or bringing the kids to visit Santa’s Grotto, any of the above Winter Wonderlands can be a great setting. Looking to stay closer to home? Check out on of this year’s Christmas Markets in Ireland.

 
Protect your belongings with Allianz Travel Insurance as you discover the various Christmas Markets this holiday season. Learn more about Allianz Travel Insurance.

This blog is for general information purposes only.

Allianz travel insurance is underwritten by AWP P&C SA and administered by AWP Assistance Ireland Ltd.

Sources

  1. https://www.christkindlesmarkt.de/en/christmas-market/history-of-the-market
  2. https://www.parisdiscoveryguide.com/paris-christmas-markets.html
  3. http://www.visitingvienna.com/sights/christmasmarkets/rathausplatz/

About the author

bio image for Aoife-Jayne Hennessy
Aoife-Jayne Hennessy