Ring in the Shopping Spree: Top 15 Christmas Markets in Europe
Christmas means plenty of shopping, hours of picking gifts and buying everything you need to celebrate the perfect holidays. Europe has a grand tradition of some of the finest Christmas markets in the world, where you find everything ranging from expensive gifts, to food delicacies. So let us go around on a bit of window shopping and find out what glittering deals are on offer.
Vienna – Austria
Vienna has a great tradition of arts and crafts and that will ensure that this highly creative town will put on a very unique and unmatched Christmas market with plenty of local talent on display. Open between Nov 15 and Dec 24, the markets at Spittelberg, city square, and the local university will keep you busy over the weekends.
Copenhagen – Denmark
The one thing that’s guaranteed with the market in Copenhagen is that it will last a real long time, and as you get closer to the end, the sweeter the deals will be. So it might be good to wait out at times and enjoy some window shopping! The Tivoli Gardens is the spot where the good times start, and this is one of the most happening Christmas markets in Europe. Starting Nov 17 and ending Dec 30, there is a great theme park, plenty of cool rides and some dazzling lighting and a giant Christmas tree that make you feel like you are in a cool Christmas flick.
Antwerp – Belgium
The Christmas market is open in Antwerp, a province north of the Belgium capital, from December 7 to December 26 and will offer you plenty of opportunity to shop around with loads of stalls, a temporary ice rink near the cathedral and plenty of Christmas spirit once the sun starts to set.
Basel – Switzerland
The beauties of Switzerland are never-ending and the brilliantly lit Christmas markets along with their snow-clad surroundings will transport you into a land that is almost ‘fairytale’ in nature, and the market in Basel is the best of the lot. Open from Nov 24 to Dec 23, the Weinachtsmarkt in Basel is the oldest and the most beautiful Christmas market in Switzerland. This is one market you do not want to miss.
Berlin – Germany
Open from the start of holiday season on Nov 26 to New Year’s Eve, the German capital and its modern Christmas markets present a stark contrast to the ‘classic and romantic’ touch of the markets in Basel. Wilhelm GedÃ¤chtniskirche market attracts over four million visitors each year, while there are loads of other Christmas markets in Berlin that will keep you busy all month and will fill your hands with stuff to carry.
The market in the Belgian capital is held all through December unlike the one in Antwerp and as it is the country’s capital, it appeals a lot more to both tourists and the locals alike. St Catherine is the place that hosts the famous market and apart from some fine shopping options, you can expect plenty of ‘old school’ Christmas charm in this part of the world.
Budapest – Hungary
If you want to keep your date with ‘Father Christmas’, then the markets in Budapest, Hungary is the place to visit. Open from Nov 21 to Dec 29, the VÃ¶rÃ¶smarty Square is the place to hit if you happen to be in Hungary at this time of the year. The unique Christmas market is the only place where you will find a ‘Puppet Market’ while shopping around.
Cologne (Koln) – Germany
Cologne’s special Christmas market is unique in the fact that out of all the ones the city sports, you can always find one floating around on the Rhine in a boat. While the largest market is at Neumarkt, it is the floating market that should interest you the most. Open from Nov 28 to Dec 23, this is one experience that is unmatched anywhere else in Europe.
Frankfurt – Germany
It is not that we have a thing for Germany, but it is just that Germany truly has some really spectacular and wonderful Christmas markets which bring together both the old and the new. Open between Nov 30 and Dec 23, the market in Frankfurt is one of Germany’s oldest and largest. Locals take great pride in buying local gifts, and even as a tourist you will be assured very high quality along with the great Christmas discounts. People return to the Frankfurt Christmas Market year after year, as its some of the best shopping around!
Jersey – The English Channel
Jersey is not a place on top of the ‘places to visit’ list of most people visiting Europe, but this amazing island in the English Channel offers a great Christmas treat with its famous FÃªte de NouÃ© in St Helier that takes place each year under some brilliant lights, along with plenty of shopping, and Christmas carols. The time to visit would be Dec 7 to Dec 23, if you want to catch up on the Christmas spirit.
Munich – Germany
A complete shopping delight at any time of the year, Munich is all the more a shopper’s paradise during the Christmas season that spans from Nov 27 to Dec 24 in the city. Oktoberfest is famous for its special local artwork and products on display, and you would surely be tempted to buy these as they are both unique and exquisite. If you love arts and crafts and would like something new for Christmas, this is the market to scan.
Paris – France
The city of lights, romance and fashion is a sure-shot place to visit anytime of the year, and all the more during Christmas. There are loads of Christmas markets across Paris like Boulevard Saint Germain, Place Saint-Sulpice, and a few more famous ones around the legendary Champs Elysee. Open through the entire month of December and surely through the later half, Paris is as happening as any other market in Europe around Christmas.
Prague – Czech Republic
The unique marketplace at Prague is on between Dec 5 and Dec 23 and the tradition of the land apparently dictates that you enjoy sipping mulled wine as you go around shopping for ingenious gifts and some real delicious food. The unique Christmas market at Prague is all about having fun the good old way.
Stockholm – Sweden
The Swedish capital has a Christmas market that is more medieval in shape and form and is open from Nov 25 to Dec 22. There is also a weekend shopping market at Skansen which has been open since 1903. Plenty of tradition and great gifts await you in Stockholm’s shopping spree.
Tallinn – Estonia
This is probably the longest running market in all of Europe and despite the chilling Estonian winter, the simple and traditional market will warm up your heart with some real special gifts and exquisite items on view. It might not be as famous as markets in Germany, France or other parts of Europe, but the trip is equally worthwhile.
Christmas is all about putting aside the mundane and the routine as we take a month out to rejoice, have fun and recharge ourselves for the coming year. Whether you are a tourist in Europe or a local who wishes to go around, Europe has the world’s most beautiful and amazing Christmas markets that will keep you busy with special and fair bargains. So go and spoil yourself. Even if you are tight on cash, you still can go around just to have great fun!