If you’re traveling to Europe during the holiday season you can’t miss a Christmas Market. With so many European Christmas markets, how do you choose which you should visit?
So to make it a little easier I have made a list of the top European Christmas Markets that you should visit at least once.
20 Best European Christmas Markets
1. Salzburg, Austria
The Christmas Market on Cathedral Square in Salzburg, Austria is the oldest in Salzburg and one of the oldest European Christmas Markets. It’s origins date back to 1491, that’s a pretty long time to perfect this picturesque market. Salzburg in itself is a charming city and makes the perfect backdrop for a traditional Christmas Market.
There are over 90 events that take place during the market including traditional Caroling, displays of the Christmas manger, an array of processions and an Advent Brass band that performs. It is everything you would expect from a Christmas Market and add the atmosphere and the fine Christmas aromas wafting through the snowy days and nights, there’s not much more you can ask for from a European Christmas Market.
Dates: 22 November – 26 December
Opening Times: 10:00 am – 8:30 pm daily. On Saturday and Sunday, it is open till 9:00 pm.
Where To Stay in Salzburg
Altstadt Hotel Hofwirt Salzburg is located next to Linzer Gasse near the pedestrian zone in the center of Salzburg. The hotel offers free wifi as well as modern or traditional rooms with a shower and toilet. The hotel also offers a breakfast buffet. This 3-star hotel is perfect for visiting the Christmas Markets.
IMLAUER HOTEL PITTER Salzburg is a 4-star superior hotel with a central location. The hotel was first opened in 1864 and is family-run. It offers panoramic views of the city from the roof bar and restaurant. Guests can enjoy the sauna and fitness facilities with a view of the mountains.
Hotel Bristol Salzburg is located in the heart of Salzburg, a few steps away from the Mirabell Palace. This 5-star hotel has been family-run for 3 generations and offers great individually decorated rooms which are spacious. Guests can also enjoy an award-winning restaurant, concierge, library, and massages.
2. Berlin, Germany
Berlin, Germany has more than 60 Christmas Markets. If your wondering, yes, that is a whopping number of Christmas Markets. The biggest Christmas Market in Berlin is located in the Altstadt Spandau, which is a little way out of central Berlin but can be reached by bus and train. Spandau Altstadt is the perfect setting for this European Christmas Market. The Altstadt Spandau Market has a more village-like feel making this wonderful place for a family-friendly Christmas Market. The market offers free stage performances daily as well as some great arts and crafts stalls where you can find some great eco-friendly gifts. There is also a nativity scene with live animals which will keep the kids busy while you enjoy some great Gluehwein.
Dates: 25 November -22 December
Opening Times: It is open from Sunday to Thursday between 11:00 am & 8:00 pm and Friday to Saturday between 11:00 am & 10:00 pm.
Where To Stay In Berlin
The Regent Berlin has a great rating of 9.4/10 and is centrally located. The hotel has traditional decor. There is a first-class spa and the bathrooms are complete marble and just as beautiful as the rooms. Enjoy a meal at the onsite restaurant which overlooks the square below.
Ellington Hotel Berlin is a modern stylish hotel that dates back to the 1920s. The rooms and bathrooms are open plans and spacious. There is an onsite gym and the property is located in Charlottenburg conveniently near the popular shopping districts.
The Motel One Berlin-Upper West is a great hotel that offers spacious and comfortable rooms styled in contemporary decor. It has a great location right opposite the Wilhelm Memorial Church. There are great views from the upper-level rooms. The hotel offers a great buffet breakfast.
3. Budapest, Hungary
Vörösmarty Square Christmas Market is the biggest in Budapest and one of the best in Europe. The Christmas market runs the longest during the season and is lined with stalls that offer arts and crafts, some of which are made by locals. You will find an array of food stalls serving everything from local favourites to international cuisine and you will definitely find something delectable to warm you up. Make sure to enjoy a cup of mulled wine and some Hungarian chimney cake. There are also some great events that happen every evening.
Dates: 8 November to 1 January
Opening Times: The Market is open between 10:00 am to 8:00 pm from Sunday to Thursday. It is open from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
Where To Stay in Budapest
Corinthia Budapest is located in the popular Grand Boulevard and offers luxury and style. The hotel has 3 restaurants and live piano music in the lobby during the day. Guests can enjoy the historic Royal Spa which offers treatments, spas, saunas and steam baths as well as a fitness center.
Prestige Hotel Budapest is set in a historic building located 200m away from the Danube River and 190m away from Tram #2. The hotel is stylish with elegant Cavalli furniture and spacious rooms and bathrooms.
D8 Hotel offers modern decor and rooms with private bathrooms. There are a shared lounge and bar that guests are welcome to use. Guests can enjoy a full buffet breakfast each morning.
4. Prague, Czech Republic
The Christmas Market in the Old Town Square in Prague is among the best in Europe. Even CNN agreed on this when they voted it the best of 2018. The Christmas Market is themed each year and has a massive Christmas tree at the center of the market that is lit every hour from 4:30 pm to 9:30 pm each day. This special European Christmas Market offers a beautiful set-up that is picture perfect and offers great arts and crafts stalls and refreshment stalls. You will be sure to find something yummy here.
Dates: 30 November to 6 January
Opening Hours: The market is open between 10:00 am to 10.00 daily while refreshment stalls are open till midnight daily.
Where To Stay in Prague
Old Prague Hotel is a wonderful 3-Star hotel that is set in a historic building in the center of Old Town. The rooms are comfortable and there is a small terrace area where guests can relax. It is just a short walk away from the Christmas Market.
Little King U Malvaze is a 4-star located near the Charles Bridge and near to the Christmas Market. the hotel offers a garden and an onsite restaurant. The rooms are beautiful and spacious and offer stunning bathrooms and are traditionally furnished in light colours.
Grandium Hotel Prague is a 5-Star situated in the heart of Prague, near Wenceslas Square. This beautiful and stylish hotel offers modern rooms and luxurious bathrooms. The hotel has its own restaurant as we as a summer garden. It is a perfect touch of modern and luxury and close to the Christmas Market.
5. Strasbourg, France
The Strasbourg Christmas Market is one of the oldest and probably the most popular European Christmas Market. The market takes place on the Grande Île near the Strasbourg Cathedral. It brings in over 2 million people per year and there is a good reason for this. Strasbourg is a picturesque fairytale town and has an amazing atmosphere even when there isn’t a Christmas Market. With the Christmas Market, it is straight out of a Hallmark movie, full of romance and Christmas spirit. It is a must-see and should be at the top of your list of European Christmas Market.
Dates: 22 November to 30 December
Opening Times: The market is open from Sunday to Thursday between 11:00 am to 20:00 pm. On Friday the market closes at 21:00 pm and on Saturday at 22:00 pm. The Market closes at 18:00 pm on Christmas Eve and is closed on Christmas Day.
Where To Stay In Strasbourg
Hotel Arok has an excellent location and the best part is that it’s almost right next to the Train Station which is great if you’re visiting Strasbourg for a shorter trip. This 3-Star Hotel has a great rating and is perfect for a stop at this wonderful European Christmas Market.
Hotel Cour du Corbeau Strasbourg – MGallery is a wonderful hotel set in a renovated 16th Century building. This great 4-Star hotel is in a perfect location to explore the famous Christmas Market and other sites it is also one of the highest-rated hotels in Strasbourg.
Hotel & Spa Regent Petite France is highly rated and the place to stay if you are in need of some good old fashioned R&R. The hotel was once a 17th-century mill. Besides being perfect to explore the Christmas Market it also offers an on-site restaurant and a wellness center with a sauna, hammam, hot tub, and massage treatments.
6. Gothenburg, Sweden
The biggest Christmas Market in Sweden is held in Gothenburg at the Liseberg Amusement Park. The park is a figure of Swedish pride and its no surprise. This Christmas market shows off over 1000 Christmas trees each year. That is pretty special, even for a Christmas market. The market offers several shows over the holiday period. You can check out the line up here. Kids and adults alike can enjoy the many amusement rides that are lit up for Christmas as well as an ice skating rink. There is a brand new light show that will be starting in 2019 so don’t miss out on one of the best European Christmas Markets.
Dates: The market is open from 15 November to 30 December
Opening Times: The times vary so make sure to check out their website to find out more.
Where To Stay in Gothenburg
Hotel Lorensberg – Sure Hotel Collection by Best Western is a 3-star hotel located near Liseberg Amusement Park. The hotel offers comfortable rooms that are spacious. There is free wifi and free coffee is offered throughout the day.
Gothia Towers Hotel is located opposite the Liseberg Amusement Park and offers stunning panoramic views of Gothenburg from the 23rd-floor sky bar. The rooms are modern and are spacious and comfortable. The hotel offers an onsite restaurant as well as a gym and spa facilities.
Upper House is a 5-Star hotel located near the Liseberg Amusement Park and offers free entry to the popular city-view spa. The spa includes impressive views and an outdoor, glass-bottom pool. The luxurious rooms offer beautiful decor, a spacious setting, and modern furniture. It is the perfect place to stay if you’re visiting the market and offer amazing views of the Christmas market.
7. Vienna, Austria
The Vienna Christmas World on Rathausplatz offers more than 150 stalls. You’ll find everything from arts, crafts, delicious food, and confectionary as well as great Gluehwein. There is also a massive ice rink, a beautiful light show, a carousel and a reindeer train for the kids. There is nothing like the streets of Vienna’s old town lit up and the perfect mixture of aromas wafting through the air. The paths in the park around the Rathausplatz are also open to ice skaters and there is even a little patch of trees especially for couples, with hearts hanging from the tree branches.
Dates: The Market is open between 15 November to 26 December and the ice skating is open until the 6th of January.
Opening Hours: From Thursday to Sunday the market opens between 10:00 am and 9:30 pm. On Friday and Saturday, the market closes at 10:00 pm. On Christmas Eve the market closes at 18:00 pm.
Where To Stay in Vienna
Leo’s rooftop apartment near the town hall is an apartment just a 5-minute walk away from the Rathausplatz. The apartment offers 2 bedrooms and is located right next to the university. Guests can enjoy free wifi, a TV, a fully equipped kitchen and a dishwasher.
Boutique Hotel Das Tigra is a 4-Star hotel located in the heart of Vienna. The hotel offers spacious and comfortable rooms and private bathrooms. A portion of the hotel was once an apartment where Mozart and his father lived. It is the perfect place to explore the city including Vienna’s beautiful Christmas Markets.
Hotel Sans Souci Wien is a beautiful 5-star hotel is just a 15-minute walk from the Rathausplatz. The hotel includes a spa and an indoor swimming pool and guests can relax in the sauna and steam bath for free. It is the perfect way to warm yourself up after a trip to the Christmas Market.
8. Copenhagen, Denmark
The most popular Christmas Market in Copenhagen is located in Tivoli Park. Tivoli Park is a 175-year-old theme park and gets lit up by more than 70 000 Christmas lights every year. The park puts on a themed light show each year which brings in massive crowds. Besides the lights, visitors can enjoy a multitude of small wooden houses that are layered with pine branches and snow-covered trees. The aroma of mulled wine and roasted almonds welcome guests and ensure that they enjoy one of the best European Christmas Markets.
Dates: 16 November to 5 January
Opening Hours: Thursday to Sunday the market opens between 11:00 am to 23:00 pm and from Friday to Saturday from 11:00 am to 00:00 pm.
Where To Stay in Copenhagen
Carlton Guldsmeden is perfectly located in the Vesterbro district just a 10-minute walk away from Tivoli Gardens. The hotel is an eco-friendly boutique hotel with individually designed rooms and free wifi. The hotel has an onsite cafe where guests can enjoy the views from the balconies.
citizenM Copenhagen Radhuspladsen is a 4-star hotel in the center of Copenhagen. The hotel is modern and the interior and exterior feature murals by local Danish artists. Each room has a MoodPad fitted to control lighting and temperature in the room. The hotel is just a 6-minute walk from the Tivoli Gardens.
Manon Les Suites Guldsmeden offers spacious rooms and a rooftop cafe as well as free wifi. All rooms offer a kitchenette and organic toiletries in the private bathroom. The hotel also offers a fitness room and an indoor pool. Tivoli Gardens is just a 10-minute walk from the hotel.
9. Helsinki, Finland
The main market to visit in Helsinki is the Tuomaan Markkinat. It’s a mouthful but well worth learning how to say. The Christmas Market is located outside the senate square and offers everything from Christmas trees to traditional foods and the most beautiful atmosphere. Make sure to enjoy some Finnish Glögi, a mulled wine that will definitely warm you up as it is a lot stronger than normal mulled wines. Make sure to stroll around and have a look at the many local arts and crafts where you will most likely find some great Christmas gifts for your loved one. I love Finland and have been a few times, and my expectations are always met.
Dates: The market is open between the 6th and 22nd December.
Opening Hours: The market is open from Tuesday to Friday from 11:00 am to 20:00 pm and on Saturday and Sunday between 10:00 am to 20:00 pm
Where To Stay in Helsinki
Hotel F6 is a unique boutique hotel is located just a 6 minute walk away from the Senate Square where the Christmas Market is held. The hotel offers spacious and comfortable rooms with wooden flooring. The hotel offers a daily breakfast as well as free use of bicycles to explore the city.
Hotel Rivoli Jardin is a stylish property just an 8-minute walk from the Christmas Market. The hotel offers a gym, sauna and free wifi. Enjoy spacious comfortable rooms that cater to guests’ needs.
Hotel St. George Helsinki is an elegant hotel just a few minute’s walk away from the Christmas Market. The hotel is set in a building that dates back to the 1840s. Guests can enjoy luxurious rooms, some with balconies or furnished terraces. The hotel has an in-house bakery as well as a restaurant which caters fresh local produce.
10. Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh hosts several Christmas Markets each year and the main one is held in East Prince Street Gardens beside Waverley Station. This special European Christmas Market is one of the most fun to visit and probably one of the best in the United Kingdom too. The market offers multiple fairground rides, kids mazes, Reindeer rides and so much more entertainment for the whole family. There is even a Johnnie Walker Bothie Bar that is perfect to make sure to keep warm and is a great place to relax and enjoy some well-made whiskey.
Dates: 16 November to 4 January
Opening Hours: The market is open from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm daily.
Where To Stay in Edinburgh
ibis Styles Edinburgh Centre St Andrew Square is a 3-star hotel that offers a unique style and design. The hotel is perfectly located to explore the old town and markets. The hotel offers a bar, restaurants and free wifi as well as comfortable and spacious rooms that offer basic amenities.
Apex Waterloo Place Hotel is a beautiful hotel that offers a stylish swimming pool and a traditional Scottish restaurant. The hotel is located at the end of Princes Street in the Edinburgh Old Town. Guests can enjoy large comfortable rooms and modern bathrooms as well as a fitness suite, sauna, and spa.
The Balmoral Hotel is located on Princes Street and was opened in 1902. The hotel offers a pool and gym as well as beautiful traditional rooms that have spacious bathrooms. many of the rooms offer views of the Edinburgh Castle and the old town. The hotel also offers a Turkish steam room, a sauna, and a spa.
11. Munich, Germany
The Sternenplatzl (Star Platz) at the Rindermarkt is just a step away from the popular Marienplatz but feels worlds away. The stars hanging from the trees give the market a wonderful whimsical feel. Christmas pyramids are usually much smaller and used for decorative purposes inside, but here there is an oversized one that serves as a Glühwein stand at the Sternenplatzl. It’s thought that Christmas pyramids were the predecessor to the Christmas tree, so perhaps the medieval Christmas markets had more of them! If your planning on going shopping then visit during the day but to really have the full impact of this wonderful European Christmas Market I recommend visiting at night. Munich has many more Christmas Markets to enjoy which you can read about here.
Dates: The market is open from the 27 November to 24 December
Opening Hours: The market opens from Monday to Saturday between 10:00 and 21:00 and on Sunday from 10:00 to 20:00. On Christmas Eve the market is open from 10:00 to 14:00.
Where To Stay in Munich
Bayerischer Hof – This five-star hotel is a hot spot for celebrities and heads of states when they visit Munich. It’s conveniently located close to the Bavarian State Opera and Marienplatz. It’s a great choice if you’re seeking luxury. The rooftop bar (open in summer) has some of the best views of Munich.
Rocco Forte The Charles Hotel – This elegant hotel overlooks the Old Botanical Garden providing an oasis even though you’re in the heart of the city, just steps away from the Hauptbahnhof. It’s also home to the longest indoor pool in Munich. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a larger hotel room.
Anna Hotel – Munich’s first design hotel has beautiful aesthetics with attention to details like lamps and textiles carefully thought out. Located right at Stachus (Karlsplatz) you’re right in the heart of all the attention. If you’re interested in design and architecture, you’ll love staying here.
12. Brussels, Belgium
The most famous Christmas Market in Belgium is the Winter Wonderland in Brussels. It really does live up to its name and is one of the most wonderful European Christmas Market. The market is held in the Grand-Place in Brussels. It’s pretty massive to make sure that you have enough time to explore, or better year spend a few days enjoying everything about the market. Visitors will find 200 stalls, a massive fairground, an ice rink and one of the best light shows in Europe. It is fantastic and there are even several parades that happen as well as great places specially made for kids so parents can have time out to relax and enjoy a warming drink. The best part – it is open longer than in most markets. 2019 will have some new additions to Winter Wonderland so don’t miss out.
Dates: 29 November to 5 January
Opening Hours: The market opens daily from 12:00 to 22:00. On the 24th and 31st December, the market will close at 18:00.
Where to Stay in Brussels
Urban Suites Brussels Royal is an apartment located near the Grand Place and offers city views and free wifi. Each unit offers a fully equipped kitchen with a fridge, a seating area with a sofa, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a shower and a hairdryer. A stovetop and coffee machine are also offered.
NH Collection Brussels Grand Sablon is situated just a few minutes’ walk from the Grand Place and is a perfect place to stay if you are visiting the Winter Wonders Christmas Market. The hotel offers wifi as well as bright comfortable rooms.
Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo is a 5-Star hotel that offers elegant rooms and is located on the corner of the Grand Place. It is a perfect place to enjoy the Christmas Market. The hotel offers rooms with a seating area and a luxurious bathroom and mosaic details and a beautiful restaurant.
13. Cologne, Germany
Cologne hosts a few Christmas Markets every year and the most popular one is the Cathedral Christmas Market. The market is centrally located with the beautiful Cologne cathedral as a majestic background to one of Germany’s best Christmas Markets. This spectacular market offers live music, events, many Christmas decorations, and light installations. You will even have the opportunity to see traditional crafts such as glassblowing. Visitors love having Cologne’s unique Gluhwein and enjoying warm chestnuts among other delicacies and confectionaries. If this isn’t enough reason to visit, Cologne sports the biggest Christmas tree in the Rhineland. Cologne’s Christmas Market is one of the best European Christmas Markets.
Dates: 25 November to 23 December
Opening Hours: The market is open from Sunday to Wednesday between 11:00 and 21:00 and on Thursday and Friday it is open from 11:00 to 22:00. On Saturdays, the market is open from 10:00 to 22:00.
Where To Stay in Cologne
Hyatt Regency Köln has the best views of the cathedral spires and the river Rhine. Enjoy the indoor swimming pool and state of the art gym. The hotel’s restaurant is in a glass atrium that gives you perfect views of the old town below.
CityClass hotel residence am Dom has gorgeous modern furnished rooms. The hotel is located at the Alter Markt in the old town. The Cologne central station is located just 500m away from the hotel. Enjoy breakfast on the balcony of the hotel, overlooking the city.
Eden Hotel Früh am Dom is right across from the cathedral. The rooms and bathrooms have modern fittings and some of the rooms have the perfect view of the cathedral and surrounding buildings.
14. Basel, Switzerland
What’s better than Swiss chocolate? Well, to be honest, little else, but Christmas in Basel is definitely up there. The city knows how to tune up the Christmas spirit and the Christmas Market, some of Europes finest, are no exception. The main Christmas Markets are located on the Münsterplatz and Barfüsserplatz and offer visitors more than 150 stalls where you can get your “shop on”. And did I mention chocolate? Make sure to indulge a little with some hot chocolate while you take in the wonderful lights, Christmas trees, and the overall happy holiday feeling. You won’t regret a trip to this wonderful European Christmas Market.
Dates: 28 November to 23 December
Opening Hours: The market is open daily between 11:00 and 20:30
Where To Stay in Basel
Motel One Basel is located near the Basel Cathedral and offers guests a bar and free wifi. The rooms are well furnished and comfortable and the hotel offers a great atmosphere.
Hotel Basel – urbane Tradition und Moderne is located near Munsterplatz where the Christmas Market takes place. The hotel was renovated in 2018 and features comfortable rooms and a great atmosphere. Guests also receive vouchers that offer discounts in 30 nearby shops.
Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois is situated in the center of the old town on the banks of the Rhine river. The hotel is one of the oldest in Europe and as housed people such as Napoleon and Elizabeth II. It offers wifi and access to the fitness centre as well as a 3 Michelin star restaurant. The hotel offers a BaselCard for free public transport to all guests.
15. Tallinn, Estonia
The Christmas Market in Tallinn Estonia has been voted the best European Christmas Market of 2019 and it truly deserves the honor. Tallinn is a very traditional city that has so many medieval aspects that make the market so special. It is a fairytale market that has everything from arts and crafts, fresh produce and loads of locally made trinkets that are perfect as gifts and memoirs. Make sure to try out some local confectionaries like the local honey and fish chocolate (if your brave enough). The traditional blackcurrant bread is a must when visiting the market, it is perfect with a hot mug beverage. It is absolutely scrumptious! You can also enjoy many entertainment programs and a carousel for the kids to enjoy.
Dates: 15 November and 7 January
Opening Hours: The market is open daily between 10:00 to 20:00 and on Friday & Saturday it is open from 17:00 to 19:00. Sundays the market is open from 12:00 to 14:00.
Where To Stay in Tallinn
Taanilinna Hotel is set in the old town and offers elegant rooms with free internet and traditional decor. The hotel assists in car and cycle rentals and offers comfortable rooms for guests’ convenience.
My City Hotel is set in the heart of the old town and offers spacious and comfortable rooms. The rooms are bright and offer a minibar and some rooms have tea and coffee making facilities. The hotel offers a small private jacuzzi and a bar.
Savoy Boutique by TallinnHotels offers modern rooms and free wifi as well as art decor interiors. The hotel has its own restaurant which serves traditional foods. Guests can enjoy the best of Tallinn as the hotel is centrally located.
16. Bratislava, Slovakia
The Old Town Christmas Market in Bratislava is picturesque and a perfect market if you want to stay off the normal tourist track. The market takes place in Hvlezdoslav Square. Unlike the more popular markets, the old town Christmas market is more local than touristy and an amazing way to experience the holiday season. This Christmas Market offers folk music shows, choirs, and a massive kids area. Make sure to try out the traditional ice rink as well as check out the gourmet stands and the wooden Bethlehem reproduction.
Dates: 22 November to 22 December
Opening Hours: The market opens daily from 10:00 to 22:00
Where To Stay in Bratislava
APLEND CITY Hotel Perugia is a newly refurbished hotel situated in old town of Bratislava. The hotel offers spacious and comfortable rooms as well as their own restaurant which offers traditional cuisine. Some rooms offer a small private balcony.
The Park Inn Danube by Radisson Bratislava is located in the old town and is perfect if you are visiting the Christmas Market. The hotel offers modern and spacious rooms and provides basic amenities. There is an on-site restaurant.
Marrol’s Boutique Hotel is located in the city center within walking distance to the old town. The hotel offers free wifi as leisure accommodation. All rooms include tea and coffee facilities. The lobby boasts an inviting fireplace where guests can relax.