2. Birmingham, England
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.
6. Dresden, Germany
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.
13. Bergamo, Italy
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.
15. Wernigerode, Germany
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.
19. Dortmund, Germany
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.
24. Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm holds a beautiful Christmas market in its Old Town from 22 November to 23 December, where you can buy “Swedish Christmas sweets, smoked sausages, reindeer, elkmeat and other delicacies”.
26. Strasbourg, France
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.
35. Munich, Germany
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
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
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.