Winter is upon us! You can start waiting for the first snow, which is bound to come any minute now. And while you’re waiting for it, start planning your Christmas market visits. After all, they’re probably the best place to get into the season’s cheer – and probably the best idea for a winter city break in Europe. That’s why we made this handy list of European Christmas Markets to visit in 2019!
17. Vienna, Austria
November 15 – December 26, 2019
Rathausplatz, Belvedere, Resselpark are some of the biggest Christmas markets in Vienna – smaller ones exist as well, like Spittalgasse. But wherever you go, you can expect expertly made sweets, mulled wine, punch and traditional Christmas gifts.
16. Cologne, Germany
November 25 – December 23, 2019
Yes, Cologne’s Christmas market is actually called “the Cathedral X-mas Market.” This year, 150 wooden pavilions will line up in front of the city’s amazing Cathedral. You can also enjoy the sight of the biggest Christmas tree in all of Rhineland.
15. Prague, Czech Republic
November 30, 2019 – January 6, 2020
Prague Christmas market is hosted in the Old Town Square, a.k.a. the one square that is always swamped by tourists. Bracketed by Church of Our Lady before Týn (named so after Týn Courtyard) and the Old Town Hall (named so for being old), it hosts a special Christmas tree accompanied by a special light and music show.
14. London, UK
November 1, 2019 – January 5, 2020
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland in London’s Hyde Park (duh) is quite new as far as Christmas markets go – it was only launched in 2007. It offers the largest outdoor skating rink in the UK as well as multiple Christmas markets to get your spirit of the season on.
13. Bratislava, Slovakia
November 22 – December 22, 2019
Why not try the Hlavné Námestie (literally “Main Square”), which hosts the main Christmas market in the heart of Bratislava’s Old Town? Try the dense and salty lokša pancake, sample some goose (yes, that’s poultry) and sip some mead.
12. Tallinn, Estonia
November 15, 2019 – January 11, 2020
Tallinn Christmas market 2019 starts early – in fact, it has already started! From Christmas sausages to Christmas sauerkraut, there’ll be plenty of stuff to eat. There will be gingerbread, sugary sweets, and mini pancakes, oh my! Online sources claim that a lot of people will be heading to Tallinn come Christmas, so make your reservation soon.
11. Dresden, Germany
November 27 – December 24, 2019
Named after Stollen cakes (as it is claimed that true Dresden Stollen is only made in the city and bears a special seal), Striezelmarkt is Dresden’s premiere Christmas market. It now hosts 240 stalls selling a variety of season’s goodies.
10. Basel, Switzerland
November 28 – December 23, 2019
Basler Weihnachtsmarkt – Basel Christmas Market – is one of the prettiest Christmas markets in Europe. It’s actually sprawled out into two sites that host 160 traders and craftsmen. Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz will greet you with wooden toys, traditional treats, and music.
9. Gothenburg, Sweden
November 15 – December 30, 2019
Liseberg Christmas Market, situated in an amusement park in Gothenburg, is the largest one in Sweden, hosting five million Christmas lights, 700 Christmas trees, and more Christmas activities than you can shake a stick at. See “The Christmas Carol” recreated on ice, visit the medieval village to witness a mock battle and buy traditional crafts and food.
8. Munich, Germany
November 27 – December 24, 2019
Christkindlmarkt has a history dating back to 1310, making it the oldest Christmas market in Munich and certainly one of the oldest in the world. Around 140 stalls cater to around 3 million visitors a year. Oh, and don’t forget the Krampus Run – where else will you see a bunch of devils competing in a race in a Christmas market in 2019?
7. Helsinki, Finland
December 6 – December 22, 2019 (closed on Mondays)
Located in Senate Square, Helsinki’s Christmas market can offer every Christmassy thing that your heart desires. Hand-made gifts, Christmas ornaments, locally grown food (and fish, don’t forget the fish) make it all very Finnish.
6. Rome, Italy
December 8, 2019 – January 6, 2020
Christmas and Epiphany Market – named so as it ends at Epiphany, meaning January 5th or so – is one of the biggest Christmas markets in the country. Piazza Navona is impressive on any regular day, yet its transformation into a Christmas Market is nothing short of breath-taking.
5. Copenhagen, Denmark
November 16, 2019 – January 5, 2020
Tivoli Gardens Christmas Market is the way for the second-oldest amusement park in the world to show you all of its rides, yet with a Christmas twist. Wooden houses decorated with pine branches, snow-covered trees, and about 70,000 Christmas toys will whip up an atmosphere you won’t soon forget.
4. Berlin, Germany
November 25 – December 30, 2019
Berlin Christmas market isn’t a solitary thing; there are 70 of them spread all over the city. Probably the most famous one takes place in the Gendarmenmarkt Square, named after the cuirassier regiment that was stabled there.
3. Budapest, Hungary
November 8, 2019 – January 5, 2020
If you’re looking for things to do in Budapest for Christmas, make sure to swing by Vorosmarty Christmas Market. Located in the square of the same name (Vorosmarty, not Christmas), it’s a delightful assembly of wooden stalls, chimney cakes, sausages, potato dumplings and mulled wine.
2. Krakow, Poland
November 29, 2019 – January 7, 2020
When you witness Krakow’s Christmas Market 2019, you will see live performances and listen to appropriate music, all while you wander around 80 stalls laden with traditional crafts and Polish food.
1. Strasbourg, France
November 22 – December 30, 2019
For the Strasbourg Christmas Market, 300 – yes, 300 – wooden stalls have been set up around the Great Christmas Tree and kilometers of Christmas lights laid down. You’ll be able to enjoy the Alsatian take on mulled wine (spoiler alert: it’s white), and munch on the bridle, the traditional Christmas cookies. Oh, and there’s the city itself!
As you can see, Europe is jam-packed with Christmas markets you could visit. However, flight disruptions can still darken the cheer. Instead of griping about your situation, why not claim flight compensation? Delayed flights, canceled flights, overbooking – you can claim up to €600 for these terrible inconveniences! Visit our flight delay compensation calculator and learn how much you can get for your disrupted flight. Afterward, you should just relax and try getting into that Christmas mood – that’s why you’re going to the Christmas market, right?