Explore The Best Christmas Markets in Europe

The Best Christmas Markets in Europe – We might try and replicate the famous German Christmas markets here in the UK, but nothing beats the real thing. From Munich to Cologne, Dusseldorf to Hanover, Germany truly comes alive over the festive period with magical winter huts popping up every which way, serving spiced mulled wine, currywurst and lebkuchen.

That’s not to say that Germany has the monopoly over Christmas markets. Indeed, France, Budapest and Switzerland show-off their twinkle toes with equally beautiful markets and other festive additions like light shows, ice skating rinks and life-size Nativity scenes.

Who takes the Christmas crown is yet to be discovered. Luckily, it’s the perfect excuse for a much-needed mini break abroad.

Cologne, Germany

Cologne boasts one of the biggest, longest-running Christmas markets in the whole of Germany. You can spot the first stalls going up as early as November, marking the official start of Christmas season. The stalls, all of which sell anything from handmade crafts to culinary specialties, attract millions of visitors a year. They also enjoy a supreme backdrop; the market’s Christmas tree rated is one of the most beautiful in the whole world.

Explore everything this extraordinary city has to offer with a river cruise along the Rhine. Surrounded by thousands of twinkling lights around every corner, this is a truly enchanting way to experience the city during the most magical time of the year.

Budapest, Hungary

It’s not often a city we associate with Christmas, but the Advent Feast at the Basilica market in Budapest has been rated the best Christmas market in Europe for the second time! Here you’ll find over 100 artisan and culinary vendors selling their own handcrafted goods, with many delicacies impossible to find elsewhere.

And if the market wasn’t visually spectacular enough, their daily lightshow is bound to blow you away, joining other visual feasts like the shared advent wreath and live performances that make this market truly unforgettable.


best christmas markets in europe


Basel, Switzerland

The home of luxury watches has also made a name for itself as Switzerland’s Christmas capital. Basel’s pristinely preserved Old Town is the perfect setting for its Christmas market and positively glows with Christmas cheer. Soak in the glittering pine trees on your approach and head to Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz where a brilliantly ornate Christmas tree and dozens of dinky huts await.

Montbéliard, France

A hidden beauty in Eastern France, Montbéliard is home to one of the most showstopping Christmas markets in Europe. Go from stall to stall, sampling the delicious delicacies of the region before watching the performances and singing our heart out at the carol concert. And with beloved illuminated characters all around, it really is a joyeux noël.