The time of year has come around again where everyone is getting into the festive spirit and what better way to celebrate than to explore some of the best Christmas markets Europe has to offer!
Basel is Switzerland's largest and most beautiful cities, this winter wonderland is full of magic and traditional market stalls. Beautifully decorated pine trees line the streets to lead you to the amazing Christmas markets at Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz. These stunning squares in the heart of the city are the perfect Christmas backdrop.
Visit the Old Market Square and Plac Wolności (Freedom Square) for the most magical Christmas markets, enjoy the historical city from the Ferris wheel and after that take a look through the wooden stalls offering great gifts and stocking fillers for the whole family. Artists from around the world come to Poznan to compete in the International Ice Sculpture Festival they create the most beautiful sculptures from ice, this unique event is definitely not one to miss!
One of the largest Christmas markets in the UK it attracts more than 9 million visitors each year, it is the perfect spot to get into the festive spirit. Spread across 10 sites there are 300 beautifully crafted stalls offering the chance to taste mouth-watering Christmas treats and buy handcrafted gifts for your loved ones.
Prague, Czech Republic
The streets of Prague are made even more beautiful by the glistening of Christmas lights at Wenceslas Square every night at 5pm you can witness the turning on of the tree lights, then why not warm yourself up with a nice cup of svarák. This citrussy cinnamon drink is the local take on mulled wine, the aroma fills the air as you walk through the many stalls selling handcrafted items. If you have younger children then be sure to take a trip to the Old Town square where you will meet the nativity animals, sheep, goats and donkeys are waiting to say hello.
Vienna is a popular Christmas destination perfect for both a romantic getaway and a short trip with all the family. One of the most popular Christmas markets is the "Vienna Magic of Advent", city hall square is transformed into a festive party with home baked goods filling the air, take a ride on the carousel to get the best view of the fun! You will not want to miss out on this Christmas spectacular!
Edinburgh at Christmas time is especially beautiful and unique, with the added Hogmanay celebrations we recommend visiting at New Year to experience this one of a kind experience. The market runs from 19th Nov to 1st Jan, visit Santa land at East Princes Street Gardens and the Grotto on Castle Street. For a very Scottish Christmas treat why not try a mulled Irn Bru whilst you look around the local handmade crafts and produce.
Budapest is a great city to visit all year round at Christmas time the Advent Feast at the Basilica is the best place to be in the city. Try some of the local specialties, enjoy free concerts and a laser projection show on the Basilica as well as ice skating around the grand Christmas tree.
For an authentic and traditional German market you can't beat Dresden, starting the 15th century it is one of the largest Christmas markets attracting 3 million visitors each year. Keep warm with a lovely cup of gluhwein whilst you look through the 200 stalls. The Christmas spirit is not just limited to the market, the whole city comes alive with special exhibits at the museums and theatres, even the boats lining the Elbe are festooned with twinkling lights.
Voted best Christmas market in Europe 3 years running Zagreb is bound to hit the spot! Fill up on tasty treats whilst you enjoy live music and shop for your Christmas gifts. Whilst there make sure you take a trip to the Ice Park on King Tomislav Square.
There are many markets across Copenhagen but, the Christmas market at the Tivoli Gardens is by far our favourite. The colourful scene can be viewed from the Ferris wheel, before you take a twirl on the ice skating rink. To keep you in the Christmas spirit sample the local gløgg (mulled wine) while you take a look through the stalls selling handcrafted wooden toys and fantastically warm knitwear among other things.
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