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39 Christmas Markets Across Europe To Visit Before You Die

From Berlin to Budapest to Birmingham, these Christmas markets will put you in a festive mood.

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2. Birmingham, England

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You don't have to go all the way to Germany for a German Christmas Market – Birmingham claims its Frankfurt Christmas Market as the largest in Britain, with a range of German delicacies and ice skating rink to boot. This year, the market runs from 13 November to 22 December.

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6. Dresden, Germany

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This year will be the 580th Striezel Christmas market in Dresden, eastern Germany. The enormous market – which is Germany's oldest – runs from 27 November to 24 December, and features Dresden's culinary specialty, the traditional Striezel (or Stollen) fruit loaf.

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13. Bergamo, Italy

Getty Images/Moment Open Rosmarie Wirz

When Christmas comes to the Italian town of Bergamo, so does the sound of the baghèt – a traditional instrument similar to the bagpipes. The best day to enjoy the season's festivities in Bergamo is the Feast Day of Saint Lucia, on 13 December. Christmas markets also run in Bergamo's Piazzale Alpini and Piazza Dante from late November till the end of December.

14. Cologne, Germany

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The German city of Cologne hosts a number of Christmas markets throughout the city from 24 November to 23 December. The biggest are in downton Cologne, including the square beside the city's famous gothic cathedral.

15. Wernigerode, Germany

Getty Images/Moment Open Krzysztof Baranowski

The Wernigerode Christmas market runs from 28 November to 22 December. It looks frankly magical with its 15-century houses framing a small but beautiful marketplace. The festival features a "Living Advent Calendar", in which one door to a shop, museum or restaurant is opened each day approaching Christmas, with special offers that day inside.

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19. Dortmund, Germany

AP Martin Meissner

The town of Dortmund boasts Germany's biggest Christmas tree – though locals insist that it's the biggest in the whole world. The tree is made up of 1,700 smaller fir trees, and reaches 45 metres into the sky. The very impressive festival runs from 22 November to 23 December.

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26. Strasbourg, France

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Strasbourg is the French capital for Christmas – and has been since its first Christmas market in 1570. The market, which runs from 28 November to 31 December, features 300 chalets across 11 different sites throughout the centre of the town.

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31. Belfast, Northern Ireland

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Belfast's Christmas market, open form 15 November to 21 December, features a post box for children to send letters to Santa – and every child who writes one will receive a response from the North Pole, of course.

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32. Bonn, Germany

Getty Images Mareen Fischinger

You can't deny Germany's monopoly on the Christmas Market, so here's one more: Bonn's Christmas market runs from 21 November to 23 December, transforming its town hall into an advent calendar which lights up one window each day.

35. Munich, Germany

Getty Images/iStockphoto Antonio Gravante

Munich holds a large Christmas market (complete with a massive Christmas tree) in its Marienplatz (St. Mary’s Square) from 26 November to 24 December. The market features a performance of advent carols at 5:30 every evening from the balcony of the Town Hall.

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