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.

1. Jena, Germany

Rene Schwietzke / Via Flickr: rene-germany

The Christmas market in Jena runs from 25 November to 22 December 2014, with a festive trumpet fanfare at 5pm each day.

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.

3. Innsbruck, Austria


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.

4. Brussels, Belgium

Tineke / Via Flickr: fototineke

From 28 November 2014 to 4 January 2015, the Brussels “Winter Wonders” festival stretches throughout the city centre and includes 230 businesses, a ferris wheel, an ice rink, and more.

5. London, England

REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

The Southbank Centre is holding one along the waterfront from 11 November to 4 January.

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.

7. Vienna, Austria

AP Photo/Ronald Zak

Vienna hosts several beautiful Christmas markets, with the Christmas Village Belvedere Palace (pictured above) running from 21 November to 23 December in front of the famous baroque palace.

8. Glasgow, Scotland

byronv2 / Via Flickr: woolamaloo_gazette / Creative Commons

Glasgow’s traditional Christmas market is held in the City Centre on Argyle Street, with traders from around the world, open this year from 14 November to 21 December.

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.

11. Budapest, Hungary


Budapest’s Vörösmarty Square is transformed every winter into a festive wonderland, compelte with ice rink, from 28 November to 1 January.

12. Dusseldorf, Germany

Getty Images/iStockphoto Thomas Quack

The Düsseldorf Christmas market is open from 20 November to 23 December, with a free ice skating rink and six differently-themed markets to enjoy.

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


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.

16. Manchester, England

Phil Long / Via Flickr: skyfire

The city of Manchester holds a massive collection of Christmas markets from 14 November to 21 December.

17. Bremen, Germany

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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.

18. Exeter, England

Christopher Martin / Via Flickr: chrismartinuk / Creative Commons

Exeter’s Christmas market runs from 20 November to 20 December this year, with a mix of local and international traders peddling their wares.

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.

20. Paris, France

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Paris boasts many Christmas markets, including this one near the Eiffel Tower at at the Trocadero throughout December.

21. Bath, England

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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.

22. Madrid, Spain


Madrid’s largest square, the Plaza Mayor, hosts a stunning Christmas market from 28 November to 31 December.

23. Southampton, England

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Southampton hosts a Bavarian-style Christmas market in its city centre from 21 November to 28 December this year.

24. Stockholm, Sweden

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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”.

25. Berlin, Germany

Getty Images/iStockphoto LianeM

Berlin’s magnificent Gendarmenmarkt square is transformed into a glittering Christmas spectacle from 25 November to 31 December.

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.

27. Portsmouth, England

Mark Hooper / Via Flickr: neonbubble

Portsmouth has held a Victorian-themed Christmas festival in its historic dockyard for the part 15 years. This year’s festival is running from 28 November to 30 November.

28. Frankfurt, Germany

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Frankfurt’s sparkling Christmas market is one of the largest in Germany, running from 26 November to 22 December.

29. Edinburgh, Scotland

Getty Images/iStockphoto AndrewLinscott

Edinburgh hosts a number of Christmas festivities, including plenty of theatre performances and a large Christmas market from 21 November to 4 January.

30. Nuremberg, Germany


Nuremberg’s famous Christmas market, called the Christkindlesmarkt, runs from 28 November to 24 December this year, featuring an elaborate opening ceremony.

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.

36. Galway, Ireland

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Galway’s Continental Christmas Market runs from 21 November to 22 December, with traders from Ireland and across Europe, live music, and workshops for children.

37. Goslar Christmas Market, Germany

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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.

39. Cardiff, Wales

Mark Turner / Via Flickr: markturner / Creative Commons

The Cardiff city centre hosts a Christmas market from 13 November to 23 December this year, featuring Welsh businesses and traditional Welsh artisanal crafts.

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Hannah Jewell is a senior staff writer for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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