Best Places for Christmas in Europe

Christmas in EuropePin

Thanks to its rich culture, history, and traditions, Europe is like a magical place for visitors. There is an old town part of nearly every city. Old towns are fascinating places with gothic architecture, enormous castles, and intimidating cathedrals. If you visit a European city, you should see the old town before leaving. This rich history and culture brings deep-rooted traditions and perhaps the most beautiful Christmas markets. While the festive season arrives, European cities transform and become more enchanting. Almost all European cities are illuminated with festive lights and washed in red and green colors. If you visit any European city during Christmas, you are in luck, but in some, you may be luckier. Here are the best European cities for Christmas.

Budapest, Hungary

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This year, many visitors flock to Budapest, which was chosen as Europe’s Best Christmas Market in 2022. The Advent Basilica is a market organized for 11 years. Christmas lighting and decorations have surrounded the whole city, but the focus is on The Advent Basilica. There are more than 100 wooden chalets from the Christmas market. There is everything from books about the city’s past to Christmas pendants in these chalets. However, many street food carts are also available at the Christmas market. There is also an interactive selfie area in the market area. If you visit The Advent Basilica, you can take a fun selfie here to make this experience unforgettable. The Advent Basilica is open between 18 November 2022 and 1 January 2023. Note that the city is trendy at this time, and almost all hotels can be full.

Basel, Switzerland

Basel Christmas MarketsPin
Basel Christmas Markets

Basel, the largest city in Switzerland after Zurich and Geneva, is one of the best cities in Europe to visit for Christmas. The city, which was selected as Europe’s Best Christmas Market in 2021, also has the largest market in Switzerland. The lights radiating from the center of the Old Town to the whole city make the city look completely different. More than 130 wooden chalets are on the Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz squares in the Christmas market. In these chalets, you can buy gifts that will make your holiday and Christmas unforgettable or warm you up with hot liqueurs. The area also has essential street food chalets where you can taste the local delicacies of Basel. If you are looking for the best places to spend Christmas in Europe, you should visit Basel. The Christmas market in the city is open from 24 November to 23 December. It would be best if you considered these dates when planning your vacation. During this period, hotel occupancy rates are also relatively high.

See also: Where to stay in Basel?

Prague, Czechia

Christmas in PraguePin
Christmas in Prague

Prague is a great city, even on an ordinary day. During Christmas, it turns into a dream city. Prague, which has an almost untouched city texture, is one of the cities that must be seen during Christmas. A magnificent Christmas market is held annually in the city, which has a substantial old town center. Located under a vast 22-meter Christmas tree, the market has almost everything that belongs to the local culture of Czechia. Finding the best examples of Czech cuisine in the market is also possible. Many people walk around with mulled wine and the famous grilled sausage or chimney cake. Prague is a city that is flooded with tourists every year during Christmas. It is one of the most popular Christmas destinations in Europe. Therefore, if you want to visit the city during Christmas, you should book Prague hotels early. Prague Christmas market is open from 26 November 2022 to 6 January 2023.

See also: Best place to stay in Prague

Manchester, United Kingdom

christmas in ManchesterPin
Christmas in Manchester

Manchester Cathedral has been the center of Christmas decorations and events in Manchester since 1999. One of the most essential features of the Christmas market in the city is that it has expanded to a larger area every year since its organization. Manchester’s Christmas market is the UK’s best and most significant. There are different market gift shops, street delicacies, and activities, with more than 300 chalets. More than 10 large and small markets with various features form a vast market and event space in Manchester. One of the most beautiful activities of the region is the performing arts on the streets. Manchester is definitely amongst the best European Christmas destinations. The market is open from 10 November to 22 December.

Strasbourg, France

Christmas in StrasbourgPin

Many cities around the world have something very famous. The most renowned feature of Strasbourg is that it is known as the Christmas city in the world. There is a very deep-rooted Christmas culture in Strasbourg. The town, which is the oldest Christmas market in Europe, takes on a completely different identity during this period. The Christmas market in the center of the city is one of the must-sees in the city. When you step into the center with more than 300 chalets, you will feel like you have come to a completely different time. The Christmas market in Strasbourg is open from 25 November to 25 December. Strasbourg is one of the best places in Europe for Christmas.

See also: Best places to stay in Strasbourg

Tallinn, Estonia

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Tallinn is an underrated city, but it is one of the best places in Europe for Christmas. In 1441, the first public Christmas tree was planted in Tallinn. Today, a Christmas market out of children’s books is set up around the giant Christmas tree in the heart of the Old Town. With its magnificent lighting, more than 300 chalets, and an open-air museum, Tallinn is one of the cities that must be seen during Christmas. It is possible to find many things in the Tallinn Christmas market, from the famous wooden carved Christmas decorations to the mulled wines containing the city’s renowned liqueur, Vana Tallinn. Selected as the most beautiful Christmas market in Europe in 2019, Tallinn warms your heart in a snowy and cold period. The Christmas market can be visited between 26 November 2022 – 2 January 2023.

Zagreb, Croatia

Christmas in ZagrebPin

Zagreb, the charming city of Croatia, is one of the popular cities of the Christmas period. If you are going for the first time, you will understand that this popularity is not unfounded. Zagreb Christmas market was named the best Christmas market in Europe three times in a row in 2016, 2017, and 2018. You won’t be able to get enough of watching the bright square and the entertaining visitors from the restaurants around the Christmas market. At the same time, many concerts and performance art events are held in the city center of Zagreb. One of the most essential features of the city is the Biserka toy factory in Zagreb, where licensed Disney toys are produced outside the USA. So don’t be surprised if you come across Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, or Smurfs in Zagreb during Christmas. The Christmas market in Zagreb is open this year from 26 November 2022 to 6 January 2023. There are also important events in the city between these dates. To have a Christmas in Europe, you should visit Zagreb.

Vienna, Australia

Christmas in ViennaPin

Another of the best cities to visit in Europe during Christmas is Vienna. The Christmas market set up in City Hall Square is one of the must-sees. The square turns into a sea of lights and neon during Christmas. Every year, many visitors come to the square, which is painted in yellow, green, and red colors. One of the best parts of the Christmas market in Vienna is that rich Austrian cuisine floods the streets. You can visit the stands selling souvenirs among delicious smelling foods. You can try the famous desserts of Austria accompanied by mulled wine to warm your heart. There are also workshops for children in the Christmas market. Vienna is the best place for Christmas in Europe to have fun with your child and experience the spirit of Christmas. The Christmas market in Vienna is open from 19 November to 26 January this year. If you are considering visiting the city, plan accordingly.

Cologne, Germany

Christmas in ColognePin

Suppose you like to eat, try different flavors, and taste the flavors of Christmas. In that case, Cologne is a place you must visit during the Christmas period. Various Christmas markets are set up in the city with different themes. While you can taste apple tarts, cinnamon cookies, or hot waffles accompanied by mulled wines and liqueurs in one, you can find gifts that will make your holiday unforgettable in another. Cologne turns into a magical place at Christmas. Almost a million visitors flock to the city to see this. Therefore, if you plan to spend Christmas in Cologne, you must look at the hotels beforehand. It is one of the most crowded Christmas villages in Europe. This year the Christmas market in Cologne opens from 21 November to 23 December.

Craiova, Romania

Christmas in CraiovaPin
Christmas in Craiova

Craiova may not be one of the first cities that come to mind when it comes to vacationing in Europe. However, it is one of the cities that must be visited during Christmas. Craiova is one of the best Christmas destinations in Europe for you if you like Christmas lights. A sparkling Christmas awaits you in Craiova, which is the most beautifully decorated city in Romania at Christmas. There are 4 different Christmas markets with different themes in the city, and they are all connected by millions of lights. You can visit the markets in Mihai Viteazul square, Old Town, William Shakespeare square, and Doljana Fountain area taste local delicacies and experience the spirit of Christmas. The city, which has an extensive and glorious Christmas period, also organizes many events and concerts. Craiova Christmas Market is open to visitors between 11 November 2022 and 8 January 2023.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Christmas in EdinburghPin

Edinburgh is a city famous for its Christmas celebrations in the world. There’s nothing you won’t find in the vast Christmas market set up in East Princes Street Gardens. This year, the Christmas market in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is open between 19 November 2022 and 3 January 2023. One of the most exciting things in the Christmas market is Harry Potter-themed souvenirs. The fact that some of the film adaptations of Harry Potter, which has gained worldwide acclaim, were shot in Edinburgh contributes to the city’s popularity. Thus it is one of the best Christmas markets in Europe for kids. You can also taste local delicacies accompanied by a warm Irn Bru. One of the best parts of the Edinburgh Christmas market is Johnnie Walker. Even there is a Johnny Walker bar in the market.

See also: Best places to stay in Edinburgh

Stockholm, Sweden

Christmas in StockholmPin
Christmas in Stockholm

With the Christmas celebrations in the center of the Old Town, Stockholm takes on a completely different identity. With its eye-catching lighting and fun decorations, Stockholm is one of the cities that must be seen during Christmas. The Christmas market with many wooden huts has been established in Stortorget since 1915. If you are visiting Stockholm during Christmas, you should not return without a glass of glögg to warm your tummy. While visiting the market, you can see many people walking around with glögg and gingerbread in hand. Stockholm is amongst the best European Christmas villages. You can visit the dazzling Christmas market this year from 19 November to 23 December.

Helsinki, Finland

Christmas in HelsinkiPin

The Christmas market is the heart of the Christmas celebrations in Helsinki, as in many other cities. Local producers are selling in more than 140 wooden huts in the market established on Senate Square. You can find many things about Finland and Christmas in this market. One of the things you should definitely do when you visit the Christmas market is to try the local delicacies in food stalls. Helsinki may not be the most visited or the biggest Christmas market in Europe, but it’s definitely the coldest. Prepare for yuletide in Helsinki between 1 December to 22 December.

Malaga, Spain

Christmas in MalagaPin

If you visit Malaga during Christmas, be prepared to be dazzled. Thousands of lights placed along Larios Street annually offer visitors a visual feast. When you visit Malaga, you will feel like you have entered a completely different world. The Christmas market is located on Paseo del Parque. You can find local delicacies by following the mouth-watering scents in the air of the region, which it is offered to visitors. In many ways, Malaga is one of the best Christmas villages in Europe. The Christmas market is open to its visitors from 25 November 2022 to 5 January 2023.

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