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It’s that time of the year when every home is decorated with red, green and fancy Christmas lights. The season of love and gifts is almost here, and it’s about time the Christmas markets opened up in Europe. A Christmas market is basically an open market season dedicated to shopping for Christmas decorations, treats and gift items. What’s more is that some Christmas markets remain open even on Christmas Day to ensure that late shoppers can still do their shopping.
Which European Christmas market is best? Different cities in Europe host Christmas markets in their most populous areas, and offer amazing discounts and special offers to Christmas shoppers. Check out now our list!
5 Best Christmas Markets in Europe
There are lots of Christmas markets in Europe, and most times it’s a competition of which Christmas market has better offers, special treats, and beautiful setup. With lots of Christmas cookies and treats to taste for free, and lots of price slashes on Christmas gift items and decorations, it’s almost impossible to decide which Christmas market you should visit. Right here, you’ll find the top 5 Christmas markets of Europe and all they have to offer. There’s most likely a European Christmas market near you.
The Prague Christmas market opens November 26 till January 6. It’s one of the longest serving Christmas markets in Europe that covers both Christmas and New Year’s shopping. The Christmas market in Prague is known for its bustling array of temporary Christmas huts that are fully stocked with all you need for Christmas.
While the Prague weather in December may be freezing cold, there are still lots of local and international Christmas treats and gift items to awe you. You’ll find lots of Christmas trees and decorations up for sale. But more impressive is the abundance of Christmas treats and drinks that are free to taste. What’s more is that there are lots of Christmas street shows to witness in Prague Christmas market – it’s an adventure on its own. You should also check out which are the best hotels in Prague for christmas.
To enjoy the best of Prague Christmas market, hurry over to Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square for all the fun and shopping sales. Other major Christmas markets in Prague include: Prague Castle, Republic Square and Peace Square.
2. Tallinn, Estonia
Tallinn Christmas market runs from November 25 to January 8 – making it one of longest running Christmas markets in Europe. It stands as one of the best Christmas markets in Europe thanks to its musical Christmas shows. You’ll witness lots of local Estonian Christmas music as well as dance troupes.
Feast your eyes on all that Tallinn Christmas market has to offer in its fabled Town Hall Square. The Square is packed full with nearly 100 Christmas shops selling local arts, Christmas treats, handmade wreaths and lots more. To top it all, the biggest Christmas tree seats pretty in front of the Town Hall for all to gaze upon.
3. Strasbourg, France
From November 25 to December 26, Strasbourg Christmas market is open for all your Christmas shopping. There are over 300 Christmas shops stocked with lots of Christmas decorations, wreaths, gift items and special treats. Strasbourg is literally known as the “Capital of Christmas” in France, and it’s all thanks to its rich history and bubbling Christmas market. Strasbourg Christmas market has literally been in existence for four centuries and it’s still waxing strong. It’s the perfect place to enjoy french treats – don’t forget to seek out a nice place to take a memorable picture when visiting.
4. Koln, Germany
Shopping in Koln Christmas market takes a full month between November 21 till December 23. This means that you have to finish shopping latest by 11pm on December 23. Anything later than that, and you’ll be stuck with visiting regular stores with costly prices. Koln has lots of Christmas markets scattered across the city, but its largest and most impressive Christmas market is right in the city center – beneath the Koln Cathedral. Another major Christmas market in Koln is at St. Nicholas’ village which has a special show that tells kids the story of the real Santa Claus – St. Nicholas. If you’d love to be more adventurous with your Christmas decorations, there are Christmas markets that also provide Christmas gnomes and other fascinating decorations in Koln.
5. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest Christmas market is one of the earliest, and it starts from November 19 till January 1. It’s famous for its glittering Christmas lights and ice-skating rinks. There are two major Christmas markets in Budapest – Vorosmarty Square and Basilica. Vorosmarty Square has all you need and is located in the city center – surrounded by amazing architecture. There are hundreds of Christmas shops packed full with local Christmas gift items, food and also amazing musical street shows. The Basilica Christmas market takes things up a notch by providing cool laser Christmas projections onto the fabled Basilica. What’s more is that you can go ice-skating on the Christmas ice-skating rink that surrounds the largest Christmas tree in the Basilica.
Plan now your trip to Europe’s best Christmas markets
Going by the list of the best Christmas markets in Europe, there’s one that stands out among the others – Prague Christmas market. Besides the fact that you can do both your Christmas and New Year shopping at any time in Prague Christmas market, the stores are well stocked with literally anything you might need. What’s more is that there are lots of free tasting Christmas treats and also amazing sights to see such as the Dancing House once you’re done shopping. It’s the Golden City for Christmas.