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5 of the Best European Christmas Markets

Updated: Sep 24, 2018

With some of the World's most delightful cities on our doorstep, there are many ways to get away and soak up the Christmas spirit without breaking the bank.

The smells of mulled wine and Christmassy spices, jingle bells, stunning medieval old towns and sumptuous stalls filled with enticing foods...here's a few ideas to inspire you.

1. Hungary

The most beautiful, oldest and internationally-acclaimed Christmas market in Budapest is on Vorosmarty Aquare in the heart of the city - running since 1998. Sample the famous chimney cake (kürtőskalács) – dough wrapped around a pole, baked, coated in sugar and cinnamon – at their festive markets. You can also explore the Budapest Basilica Christmas Fair for lots of handmade crafts and as much chimney cake a you can eat.

Credit: DailyNewsHungary

2. Dresden

Running since 1434 (!), the Striezelmarkt returns again in December and takes place on Altmarkt Square. Experience the bustling marketplace and traditional Saxon treats during the Christmas season in the heart of this stunning baroque city.

Famous for shopping, handmade goods and of course, a warm cup of glühwein is a must! There's 11 completely different Christmas markets right at your feet, from the traditional to the merry medieval and après-ski charm of the Hüttenzauber.

Credit: dresden.de

3. Prague

With Czech treats galore, beautiful nativity scenes and towering, glistening trees, Prague has all the festive ingredients for a perfect Christmas break. You'll love browsing around the charming decorated arts and crafts market stalls, or just relax and watch the world go by whilst swigging local beer and feasting on fish.


Credit: PragueVisitor.eu


Closer to home, Bath should be on your bucket list at any time of the year, but Christmas in this Roman city is extra special. Hosting a full calendar of family friendly events, excellent restaurants, beautiful architecture; it is also home to the UK’s only natural thermal baths. 200 twinkling chalets spread across the picturesque Georgian streets of Bath will be selling handmade and local Christmas gifts. This year’s 2018 Market runs form Thursday 22nd November — Sunday 9th December.

Credit: bathchristmasmarkets.co.uk

5. Lille

A short trip to the French city won't disappoint (just 90 minutes by Eurostar from London). Over the holiday season, Lille is decked out in lights and colour and all around the Christmas market, the town is covered in a huge crown of garlands.

Head over to Place Rihour where you'll find 90 wooden chalets teeming with gift ideas, nativity figures, Christmas decorations and all sorts of delicious festive foods. Don't forget the gingerbread and other delicacies, washed down with a glass of mulled wine...

Credit: LilleChristmasMarket

Please do get in touch if you're interested in a Christmas markets trip abroad, which start from as little as £150 per person.

Sarah Bennett

Independent Travel Experts

0800 0465 116