There’s no better way to get into the Christmas spirit than to tour the most magical Christmas markets in Europe. With lots of shopping options, yummy food selections, and spectacular sights to see, Christmas markets can provide you with plenty of holiday cheer. Not sure which cities have the best Christmas markets in Europe? Read on for a rundown of our 10 favourites!
1. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland in London, England
Hyde Park is always a fun place to go no matter what time of year it is. But once winter hits, the park is transformed into a magical ice kingdom with shops and food stalls to explore. It’s also one of the best Christmas markets in the UK because it has the largest open-air ice rink and a fun show, “Paddington on Ice,” that the whole family can enjoy. Oh, and if you need recommendations for what to pack for your trip, we have you covered!
2. Christmas Markets in Prague, Czech Republic
If you’ve found it’s easiest to feel the Christmas spirit by listening to holiday music, then the Christmas markets in Prague are your best bet. Old Town and Wenceslas Square (just a five-minute walk from each other) offer open-air concerts where you can hear the soothing sounds of live music (and sip on some festive drinks to keep you warm). You can also stay cosy by wearing one of our winter parkas to help protect you from the cold Prague air. Just make sure to arrive at the marketplace by 5 p.m. to see them turn on the festive Christmas lights each day!
Image by Alisa Anton on Unsplash: Don’t forget to bring a PS coat with you while you’re strolling around all the best Christmas markets in Europe!
3. Viennese Dream Christmas Market in Vienna, Austria
Vienna is home to one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe, mostly because the city looks so gorgeous blanketed in snow. Located on Rathausplatz, the market has plenty to do, including reindeer rides for the kids, an ice rink for skating and curling, a merry-go-round, and a Ferris wheel. This market is also ideal for finding traditional handmade gifts, such as wooden toys and artisanal crafts. Despite the chill, you’ll feel warm on the inside by snacking on freshly baked pretzels and sipping some mulled wine.
4. Vorosmarty Square and Basilica in Budapest, Hungary
There are two separate areas in Budapest you can visit in order to be immersed in the Christmas spirit. First, the Basilica: Hungary’s largest church, which features a Christmas festival with more than 160 vendors, an ice rink and folk-dance shows. There are also laser projections on the Basilica itself and a huge, beautiful Christmas tree. Second is Vorosmarty Square, Budapest’s oldest Christmas market with lots of food stalls, shops and free concerts to entertain you. We at Protected Species also love that this market is one of the more sustainable, eco-friendly options in Europe.
5. Bath Christmas Market in Bath, England
Bath has definitely earned its spot as one of the most magical Christmas markets in the UK. With over 150 chalets offering gifts ranging from jewellery to homewares to decorations, this market also offers Fairtrade-certified shopping – about 99% of all the products are handmade in Britain! There are also loads of activities to take part in, including the “Bath on Ice” rink, a Christmas trail at Prior Park Landscape Garden, and Shoppers’ Carols at Bath Abbey during the holiday season.
6. Christmas Markets in Berlin, Germany
If you’re looking for the most market options in one area, Berlin has over 80 (!) Christmas markets at your fingertips. The Spandau location is the biggest, but the Weihnachtszauber (in Gendarmenmarkt Square) is perhaps the most festive, with lots of arts and crafts for you to purchase. If you’d like to get your heart rate up, consider heading to Winter World on Potsdamer Platz, where you can feed your love for winter sports. They offer tobogganing and curling as well as an ice-skating rink (with free lessons for kids). Some of the smaller markets are only open for a brief time, so if you’re wondering, “What dates are Christmas markets in Europe?” make sure to check so you can plan your visit.
7. Magic Christmas in Colmar, France
Want more than one Christmas market to choose from in Colmar? This area of France actually offers six, including Place des Dominicans, Place Jeanne d’Arc, Place de l’Ancienne Douane, Koïfhus, Petite Venis and Gourmet Market Place de la Cathédrale. Colmar has a magical atmosphere with lots of twinkly lights, an ice-skating rink and a carousel. There are also plenty of shopping opportunities and nativity scenes to set the mood.
8. Christmas Markets in Copenhagen, Denmark
Want more of that cosy hygge vibe in your life? The Copenhagen markets are filled with holiday cheer, and lots of Christmas lights and decorations. The city centre has several markets, but many people prefer the one at Tivoli Gardens. There’s also a Ferris wheel and skating rink, but no matter which one you choose, you’ll find tons of gift options (including wooden toys, ceramics and chunky knitwear). Embrace the hygge lifestyle by nibbling on caramelised almonds or sipping traditional mulled wine, also known as gløgg.
9. Piazza Navona Christmas Market in Rome, Italy
Get your fill of Christmas festivities by heading to the Piazza Navona Christmas market. The square transforms during the winter with stalls brimming with sweets and gifts. There’s an added element of cheer as street artists and acrobats play throughout the area to the sounds of Christmas songs. It can get a little chilly during this time of year, so make sure to snag a PS City Walker that’s easy to layer, while still allowing you to look ultra-chic.
10. Edinburgh’s Christmas in Edinburgh, Scotland
Located in East Princes Street Gardens, right next to the Scottish National Gallery, this market turns the city into a Christmas wonderland. With a Christmas tree maze and a mini-train ride, this location is ideal for families with small children. Plus, you can get an even better view of the Christmas lights by riding on the Edinburgh Eye (a tall Ferris wheel with stunning views of the city).