Explore 10 of the best European Christmas markets

Get in the festive spirit with our list of Europe’s 10 best Christmas markets!

Basel Christmas market

Basel Christmas Market. Credit: iStock / emicristea
Voted Best Christmas Market in Europe in 2021, Basel Christmas Market takes place in the festively decorated Old Town in the heart of the city. Explore the Christmas delicacies on offer at Barfüsserplatz and be sure to step by Münsterplatz and admire the magnificent Christmas tree, decorated with hand-blown and hand-painted ornaments by Johann Wanner.

Advent in Zagreb

Advent in Zagreb. Credit: Dreamstime / Davor Đopar
Advent in Zagreb was once one of Europe’s better kept secrets on the christmas market scene, but winning the best European Christmas Market 3 years in a row (2016-2018) has made it the bell of the festive ball. The Croatian capital is filled with the scent of cinnamon, cloves and local delicies as revellers gather in the streets and squares to enjoy a hot chocolate or cup of mulled wine and listen to some live music.

London - Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland has become a Christmas institution for Londoners. Combining spectacular funfair attractions with a huge range of Christmas stalls and eateries, it takes over a large swathe of the city’s central Hyde Park with its trademark neon festive glow. Sculpted using over 500 tones of ice and snow, the immersive Ice Kingdom takes visitors through the nine realms of Norse mythology while the insta-worthy Bar Ice brings an 80s vibe with its après-ski theme.

Birmingham - Frankfurt Christmas Market

Birmingham’s huge Frankfurt Christmas Market is the world’s largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany and Austria. Everything you love about a German Christmas market is on hand - glühwein (mulled wine), schnitzels, bratwurst – as well as over eighty stalls selling traditional and hand-made gifts. Accompanying the market, a programme of live music and carols takes over the city’s Victoria Square, adding that extra bit of Christmas cheer to proceedings.

Brussels - Winter Wonders

Brussels’ Winter Wonders takes place throughout the city during the month of December centering around the spectacular light show of the Grand-Place. At its heart, over 2.5 million visitors descend on a huge Christmas market made up of more than 200 chalets with fairground attractions and a covered ice rink also present for plenty of Christmas merriment.

Poznan - Poznan Bethlehem

Poznań’s Christmas market - also known as Poznań Bethlehem - takes over the city’s Old Market Square and Plac Wolności each year from mid-November onwards. As well as the usual attractions, what makes it unique is the International Ice Sculpture Festival. Held in Poznań every December, this festival sees international artists make shining, glass-like ice sculptures in the main square.

Oslo - Spikersuppa Julemarked

A cold winter morning in Oslo calls for a steaming beverage and kanelsnurrer (cinnamon twist). Make your way to the Spikersuppa Julemarked (Christmas Market), and revel in the festive stalls and ice skating here. In December folk museums such as the Norse Folkemuseum arrange special concerts, crafts and gingerbread house workshops alongside traditional markets.

Rome - Piazza Navona

Christmas markets spring up all over Rome in December, with the most famous one hosted at the Piazza Navona daily from 10am until 1am. Those staying in the city on Christmas Day can make their way to the Vatican to see the Pope give his Christmas blessing on Piazza San Pietro.

Vienna - Christkindlmarkt

Every year for centuries, Vienna has transformed into a winter wonderland with lights twinkling in the frosty nights and open-air Christmas markets popping up all over the city. 

As you wander through the maze of stalls, the smell of roasted chestnuts, glühwein, punsch and lebkuchen (a moulded gingerbread) drift through the air, tempting you to try the Christmas fare.


Berlin fights the winter gloom with festive Christmas Markets. There’s no central one to visit - in fact there’s over seventy of them to explore - some indoors, some outdoors, some with rides, some intimate, some spectacular. However, they all offer glühwein, snacks and an assortment of gifts and entertainment.

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