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Christmas, with its tree, the catalogues of gifts which flood letter boxes and its markets, which more and more cities are trying to organize to foster the magic of the holiday. But not all are created equal, and so we have made a list of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe for 2023. Magical moments guaranteed.
🎄 Magic all year round. Here is a small selection of Christmas stores in Europe which are open all year round. Who do we thank?
Vienna Christmas Market | Austria
The Austrian capital is home to more than twenty lively villages dedicated to the end-of-year celebrations, all while you enjoy the magnificent imperial scenery characteristic of the city, such as the Belvedere and Schönbrunn palaces. The biggest market is Rathausplatz with 150 traditional stalls. If you want an even more authentic experience, you can go to Art Advent on Karlsplatz where you will find many craftsmen at the foot of the imposing Karlskirche Church. The city also hosts multiple festive fireworks shows and theatrical performances, and you can be sure of a magical atmosphere.
Dates 2023: from November 14 to December 20
Strasbourg Christmas market | France
The Strasbourg Christmas market had to appear on this list. This village is located on Place Broglie at the heart of the city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also considered the birthplace of Christmas celebrations and now has over 300 log cabins. And don’t miss our guide about spending Christmas time in Strasbourg !
Dates 2023: from November 24 to December 24
☃️ French Christmas Markets. We also have a nice selection of the most beautiful Christmas markets in France.
Erfurt Christmas Market | Germany
This market is located in the ancient city of Erfurt and is one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany. It takes place on the Cathedral Square and has nearly 200 chalets. There are appetizing pastries and traditional handmade crafts, Thuringian specialties (including sublime ceramics) and beautiful Christmas decorations available to buy. A few must-see attractions: the massive Christmas tree, the traditional candle-lit pyramid and the life-sized nativity scene.
Dates 2023: from November 24 to December 22
Tallinn Christmas Market | Estonia
This is one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe, and has been since 1441! Tallinn Market attracts a lot of tourists due to its historical location, long-standing traditions, and well-preserved medieval buildings. It offers a lot of handicrafts from all over Estonia, and sometimes further afield. Need a break? Visit the famous medieval Olde Hansa restaurant, located just 50 meters away behind the church.
Dates 2023: from December 1st to January 7
🧭 Must-sees. At Destination(s) Europe, we love Tallinn. So, we’ve put together a list of must-do’s in the Baltic capital. You’re welcome.
Winchester Christmas Market | UK
This Christmas market attracts more than 400,000 visitors each year and the atmosphere is intoxicating. The market overlooks Winchester Cathedral and has over 100 cabins where you can shop for festive delicacies like Mince pies, mulled wine, and bratwurst sausages. The cathedral is usually illuminated after dusk and gives the market an enchanted glow. There is also an outdoor ice rink with a large Christmas tree in the middle.
Dates 2023: from November 17 to December 21
Montepulciano Christmas market | Italy
Montepulciano is an ancient hilltop town that hosts its own Christmas market every year. It starts in December and takes place in Piazza Grande and extends into the surrounding streets. It boasts over 70 wooden huts selling sweet treats, traditional crafts, Christmas decorations, and leather goods. The market also includes a carousel and a mini ranch with ponies. Your children will enjoy Château du Père Noël where they can meet Santa Claus and try out various activities and interactive shows. There is also an ice rink in the fortress garden.
Dates 2023: from November 19 to January 6
The Geneva Christmas market (Les Bastions) | Switzerland
This market is in the Christmas Village at the Parc des Bastions and it is made up of traditional wooden chalets where you can taste local specialties such as apple strudel and raclette. You will also find a large selection of food stalls and a fondue restaurant – but be aware, it is best to book in advance. For more exciting activities, it boasts a carousel, an ice rink and chalets for children which host many festive workshops.
Dates 2023: from November 16 to December 24
The Helsinki Christmas Market | Finland
Helsinki’s main Christmas market offers a mix of contemporary and traditional attractions. There are lots of activities you can try out at the market, like playing bingo or watching the dog show. If you visit on the weekend, you can listen to the choirs singing Christmas carols. You can also simply take the time to stroll between the illuminated market stalls, a glass of mulled wine in hand. There is also a wood-heated unisex sauna where you can relax in true Finnish fashion!
Dates 2023: from December 1st to December 22
The Brussels Christmas market | Belgium
Brussels and its Grand-Place which hosts the main Christmas market is an ideal destination for gourmets looking for Belgian chocolate or regional sweets during the holiday season. You will also find plates of steamed snails or mussels on offer. You can put on your skates and slide on the ice rink. Or simply admire the Christmas tree, the sounds, and light show at the Grand-Place.
Dates 2023: from November 24 to December 31
Budapest Christmas Market | Hungary
At the foot of the imposing Budapest Cathedral, the largest market in the Hungarian capital is truly alluring. There, like the other Christmas villages, we find national and local specialties such as flódni. There is also something to occupy the youngest in your group: the skating rink, surrounded by hundreds of chalets, is free for children.
Dates 2023: from November 17 to December 31
That is our selection of the ten most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe in 2023. Obviously, all this is very subjective, so do not hesitate to share your personal favourites with us in the comments.