Christmas is Coming
There is no better way to get into the festive spirit than to visit Europe’s best Christmas markets.
The best Christmas markets bring tourists and locals together to celebrate the festive season. If the cold gets too much, a sip of Bailey’s hot chocolate or hot mulled wine will fight off the cold whilst you browse through the stalls on offer.
Europe is home to the world’s best Christmas markets. They are a great place to immerse yourself in the country’s culture whilst enjoying local food, drinks and festive activities on offer.
Our guide to the best Christmas markets in Europe will show you the best things to do in each market. There is also handy information on opening times and what to do when you’re there.
#1 London – Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Location: Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, London, W2
Dates: 4pm 21 Nov 2019 then 10am – 10pm every day until 5 Jan 2020
During the festive season, the famous Hyde Park is transformed into a winter paradise. On the 21st November, the doors open to show the ever so popular Winter Wonderland.
There are over 100 rides and attractions, thrilling shows, London’s biggest Christmas market and also Santa Land. It also has the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink perfect for everyone to enjoy.
With restaurants, cafes and themed bars you’ll be spoilt for choice but never far from a full stomach. At nights, Hyde Park is transformed by thousands of sparkling lights, so enjoy a mulled wine or Bavarian beer and join in the festive atmosphere.
Skate on the UK’s largest outdoor Ice Rink
Take a journey into the Magical Ice Kingdom
Experience even taller spectacular views from the Giant Observation Wheel
Drink festive cocktails at Bar Ice
Bring out your inner artist at the Ice Sculpting Workshops
& much more!
Check out the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland video!
The easiest way to get to Winter Wonderland is to use public transport. Many tubes stations are closely located to Hyde Park including Victoria, Bond Street, Knightsbridge, Green Park, Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner.
Free to enter
Looking for somewhere to stay?
We’ve got 2 great hostels in the centre of London. One in Elephant & Castle and one in Kensington Holland Park. Prices from £9 per night in November and includes our -35% OFF which you can get for free here!
#2 Old Town Square Christmas Market, Prague, Czech Republic
Location: Old Town Square, Prague
Dates: December 1, 2019 – January 6, 2020
Where else would you go than the largest Christmas market in Prague! This Christmas market is located right in the centre of Old Town Square in front of the Astronomical Clock. As you’d expect, this also tends to be the most crowded market.
This market is where you’ll be able to see the Prague Christmas Tree. The huge tree is the centrepiece of the market and stands in front of the Church of Tyn so you can get some great photos. The tree is beautifully decorated with lights and ornaments. Be sure to visit at night as this is when it looks beautiful! The first tree lighting takes place on the 1st of December at 16:30 and is animated to music.
There are many stalls with delicious local food to sample. Be sure to try Pražská Šunka which is a large ham roasted on a spit, langoš which is a Hungarian flatbread topped with garlic, cheese and ketchup; and a variety of sweets and cakes, such as trdelník which is a famous hot sugar-coated pastry.
Check out this Old Town Square Christmas Market video to see what it’s like!
#3 Plaza Mayor Christmas Market
Location: Plaza Mayor, Madrid
Dates: From November to December (Dates to be confirmed)
With the advent of Christmas, Madrid’s Plaza Mayor becomes a huge market where citizens and tourists can find all types of festive traditions such as stalls selling Christmas musical instruments & toys.
The Plaza Mayor Market is back to celebrate the festive season with all those who come and visit its 104 stands. The Traditional Christmas Fair of Plaza Mayor Association brings together all the vendors from this venue to offer their traditional products like Christmas decorations and joke items.
Check out Plaza Mayor Christmas Market video!
#4 Edinburgh’s Christmas
Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Dates: 16th November – 4th January 2020
Edinburgh’s Christmas Market will return to East Princes St Gardens for another year of festive fun and will offer a range of activities perfect for everyone! It will also feature the classic Santa Land & the famous Johnnie Walker Bothy Bar
Santa Land is a great pop area that features many great festive attractions. Get lost in a Christmas Tree Maze, reach the stars with Candy Cane Bungees, or slide down the big Helter Skelter. There is also a rollercoaster that will get your adrenaline running.
Johnnie Walker Bothy Bar
The Johnnie Walker Bothy Bar will open its doors to the world of whisky this winter. Situated across a two-floor bar on the Mound, it will serve a variety of whisky cocktails and hot toddies to surprise and delight, showcasing the unique flavours of the traditional Scottish whisky
Check out Edinburgh’s Christmas Market 2018
#5 York Christmas Festival
Location: York, United Kingdom
Dates: 14 November – 22 December 2019
York adds a special medieval charm to its Christmas Festival. It was voted the UK’s Most Festive City in 2017 and it’s easy to see why. You get scents of spiced mulled wine and delicious food fill the air making it a fun place to be.
Make sure you are in the city centre for the first night of the York Christmas Festival so see the official lights come on for the first time. It will without a doubt get you in the festive spirit!
FOOD & DRINK
You won’t be disappointed with the selection of food and drink available at this Christmas festival.
THOR’s Tipi is a wonderful place to be to grab a great drink. Set up in a large Viking type tent you can grab a drink and cosy up around a log fire to get you in the Viking spirit. It is FREE to enter and NO bookings are required
For some delicious grub, you can check our the Shambles Food Court inside the historically famous Shambles Market. It offers delicious street food every day of the week and makes for the perfect spot for a lunchtime treat. It also hosts evening events.
Check out the York Christmas Festival
#6 Fira de Santa Llúcia, Barcelona
Location: Barcelona, Spain
If you’re looking for something different this winter then Barcelona is the city for you! You’ll be able to feel the festive spirit without having to face the cold. The whole city is decorated including the streets and the towering fir trees at in Plaça de Sant Jaume and Portal de l’Angel.
In terms of markets, the one you should visit is the main fair which began over 225 years ago – Fira de Santa Llúcia. It is camped right underneath the Gothic Cathedral and you can find many stalls there selling handmade goods and seasonal items.
If you do want to feel a little cold during the festive season in Barcelona you can visit the Ice Bar. It is open throughout December and has a sub-zero chamber full of amazing frozen sculptures. Even the glasses are made of ice! The bar is right by the beach.
By Metro you can take the Juame I (line 4) and the Liceu (line 3)
By Bus you can take lines 14, 45, 59, 120, V15,V17 and touristic buses.
#7 Rathausplatz Christkindlmarkt, Vienna
Location: Rathausplatz, Vienna
Dates: Nov 15 to Dec 26, 2019
The most famous Christmas market in Vienna is the Rathausplatz Christkindlmarkt. Right in the centre of the market, you’ll find the enormous Rathaus Christmas tree.
In terms of festive foods, you’ll find traditional roast chestnut stalls, a host of stands selling everything from cream-filled pastries and a dozen varieties of pretzels, giant doughnuts and Victorian-style lollipops. These will certainly get you in the festive spirit.
Whilst the Christkindlmarkt is open all day, the best time to visit is at night as this is when the lights and smells combine to give the true Christmas market experience.
Check out this cool video on Rathausplatz Christkindlmarkt
The market is easily reached by public transport. The trams 1, 71 and D stop right outside (the stop called Rathausplatz / Burgtheater).
#8 Winter Wonders Festival, Brussels
Location: Grand Place, Brussels, Belgium
Dates: From 29 November 2019 till 5 January 2020
Like many cities, Brussels hosts a variety of Christmas markets. For example, you have the one:
at the Grand-Place, the Marché aux Poissons, around la Bourse de Bruxelles, the Place Sainte-Catherine & the Place de la Monnaie
The main one that we suggest you should visit is the one at the Grand-Place! It’s the heart of the Winter Wonders Festival where the gigantic Christmas tree is set up. The best part of the market is their sound and light show that takes place every half hour. During the show, the buildings all lit up to give you a spectacular show. There is also a gigantic Ferris wheel where you can get the best views of the city.
You can find all types of local treats in the market stalls. Out of all them, we recommend trying the waffles! This is what the city is known for so you have to try one. There are two versions – Brussels waffle and Liège waffle. You can also add any toppings you want.
Check out last year’s Christmas Market in Brussels video!
The Central train station is less than a 5min walk from the main market at Grand Place. However, if you’re arriving at the Brussels Midi train station, it’s about 2km to the city centre.
#9 Wonderland Parque Eduardo VII, Lisbon
Location: Parque Eduardo VII, Lisbon
Dates: 1 December to 1 January
Several Christmas markets take place across Lisbon but the main and biggest market is the Wonderland Parque Eduardo VII. This is one of the biggest markets in the city. Here you will find stalls selling unique handcrafted goods, an ice-skating rink and a Ferris Wheel! The main tree is located at Praça do Comércio and it’s worth a visit during December as this is where there is a light show and a movie is projected onto the buildings.
Also if you head north of Lisbon (an hour’s drive) you’ll find a small town called Obidos. Every year the town transforms itself into a Christmas village! There is everything there, an ice skating rink, an ice slide, Santa’s house and a fairground.
#10 Advent Feast at the Basilica in Budapest
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Dates: From 23rd November 2019 to 6th January 2020.
The festive spirit is set right in front of Budapest’s grandest cathedral. The open-air market will have everything you can imagine. From delightful stalls selling amazing festive items to delicious Hungaris festive food. The most popular tret is ‘flódni,’ which is a Hungaricum chimney cake.
Be sure to go to the 3D light show which will give you a new dimension of the façade of St. Stephen’s Basilica.
Check out this video on Christmas in Budapest
Do you think another Christmas Market should make this list? Let us know!