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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

Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

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.

3. Innsbruck, Austria

REUTERS DOMINIC EBENBICHLER

Innsbruck in Christmastime is made all the more spectacular by the snow-capped Alps which loom above the town. Inssbruck’s multiple Chirstmas markets run from 15 November to 6 January.

6. Dresden, Germany

ROBERT MICHAEL/AFP / Getty Images

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.

9. Krakow, Poland

Mattia Panciroli / Via Flickr: dtpancio

Krakow's beautiful Christmas market runs from 28 November to 26 December – although sometimes stays open through January. In any case, it boasts an almost guaranteed blanket of snow by Christmastime.

10. Nottingham, England

Carl Sukonik / PeppermintEvents / Via Flickr: peppermintevents

Nottingham's Christmas Wonderland, open from 20 November to 24 December, boasts a large ice skating rink, a Tudor theme, children's rides, 200 Christmas trees, and live music.

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

PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP / Getty Images

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.

17. Bremen, Germany

Getty Images/iStockphoto catolla

The Bremen Christmas market stretches across the city's Market square and Schlachte Embankment from27 November to 23 December, with decorative stalls lighting up the waters of the River Weser.

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.

21. Bath, England

Matt Cardy / Getty Images

Bath hosts a beautiful Christmas market from 27 November until 14 December, with 170 decorative wooden chalets selling festive foods and artisan goods – 60% of which are made in the UK.

26. Strasbourg, France

FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP / Getty Images

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.

31. Belfast, Northern Ireland

Burkazoid / Via Flickr: djburkey

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.

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.

33. Basel, Switzerland

Tim Venchus / Via Flickr: desatur8 / Creative Commons

Basel hosts the largest Christmas market in Switzerland, with an abundance of waffles, gingerbread, and sausages to enjoy, from 27 November to 23 December in the city centre.

34. Bury St Edmunds, England

Dave Catchpole / Via Flickr: yaketyyakyak

The Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre will take place 27-30 November this year, featuring 300 stalls from across the world, two stages of entertainment, and a traditional funfair.

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.

37. Goslar Christmas Market, Germany

Graham Hills / Via Flickr: grahamhills

The Goslar Christmas Market takes place in a medieval market square, with around 70 market stalls and a "Christmas Forest" with 36 trees decorated with twinkling lights. Open from 26th November – 30th December 2014.

38. Copenhagen and Odense, Denmark

Jonas Smith / Via Flickr: jonassmith

Copenhagen's Christmas market is held at Tivoli Gardens from 15 November until 4 January. Meanwhile in the Danish city of Odense, a Hans Christian Andersen-themed Christmas market celebrates Christmas as it was in the days of the famous fairytale author.

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