10 Most Magical European Christmas Markets
When it comes to Christmas and yuletide celebrations, Europe knows what they’re doing! These are the top 10 most magical European Christmas markets that you must see before you die!
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity this month to embark on a European Christmas Market Tour! It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life and really got me in the Christmas spirit this year. I’ve been to plenty of European Christmas markets in my lifetime, but these are my top 10 favorites of all time!
Interactive Map of the 10 Most Magical European Christmas Markets
1. Basel, Switzerland
Often overlooked for towns such as Lucerne and Zermatt, Basel is the hidden gem of Switzerland that I almost hesitate to tell people about! Nestled on the borders of Switzerland, Germany and France, it’s a perfect destination for exploring all three countries. The Christmas market in Basel has a very local feel to it since the city doesn’t receive too many tourists making it one of the best Christmas markets in Europe. Be sure to stop by Laderach for the most amazing chocolates you’ve ever had!
2. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest, Hungary takes the prize for having the markets with the most handmade goods and lowest prices. At Vorosmarty Square Christmas Market, all items are required to be handmade. You can find wooden toys, steaming chimney cakes, beeswax candles, handcrafted pottery and more all at reasonable, wallet-friendly prices.
3. Bratislava, Slovakia
Sandwiched between Austria and Hungary, the little-known town of Bratislava, Slovakia is full of charm and the magic of Christmas with the Christmas markets spreading nearly over the entire city. Find handmade ornaments crafted from chicken eggs, chocolate tools, handmade lace ornaments and strands of decorative potpourri.
4. Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market in Vienna, Austria
What could be better than a European Christmas Market? Try a European Christmas Market at a palace! What makes the Christmas Market at Schonbrunn Palace special is its setting. Stalls nestled right in front of the gorgeous yellow palace make this market so magical and Austrian treats and trinkets abound.
5. Rathausplatz in Vienna, Austria
The largest and most popular Christmas Market in Vienna receives nearly 3.5 Million visitors per year and for good reason. With a Ferris wheel, fair rides, ice-skating rink, trinkets, and treats galore, this place is a Christmas wonderland. Rathausplatz wins for best fun light display in my book!
6. Salzburg’s Christmas Market in Salzburg, Austria
Perhaps one of Salzburg’s oldest Christmas markets, mentioned as far back as the 16th century, this magical market near the Salzburg Cathedral offers an extensive program of singing and theater along with stalls offering nativities, pretzels, and ornaments.
7. Christmas Market at Old Town Square in Prague, Czechia
This large Christmas market offers a plethora of stalls selling all sorts of goodies from chimney cakes to smoked cheese and pork knuckle while providing you with the incredible view of the old buildings and the famous astronomical clock.
8. Christmas Market at Prague Castle in Prague, Czechia
This is a small Christmas market in the center of Prague Castle and Cathedral that has a great display of ornaments and goodies that feel very local.
9. Heidelberg, Germany
The adorable university town of Heidelberg, Germany has several amazing Christmas markets throughout the old part of the city at the base of Heidelberg Castle. Be sure to ride the train up the hill to tour the castle and catch the breathtaking view of Heidelberg.
10. Strasbourg, France
And finally, known as the Capital of Christmas, and the oldest known Christmas market in Europe, Strasbourg, France in the Alsace region boasts the most incredible lights and decorations you’ll see in Europe! Nearly every storefront and alleyway have decked the halls and taken it to the next level, with bubble machines, teddy bears and moving decorations. Be sure to wander over to Petit France to see the adorable half-timber houses decorated for the season. As if the stunning decorations weren’t enough, the backdrop for the Christmas market is the huge and ornate Strasbourg Cathedral. Strasbourg is a European Christmas Market you cannot miss!