Smashing European Christmas Markets to Visit This Cold Season

*Collaborative post

Christmas 2022 is just around the corner, so don’t feel guilty you’re already looking for a destination to spend the most beautiful time of the year. Fortunately, you have plenty of options. The holiday season in Europe is nothing but magical, and this is due mainly to traditional Christmas markets that make everything sparkle with fairytale merriness.

Snow-capped cathedrals, hot mugs of gluhwein, hand-crafted ornaments, seasonal gingerbread, and wooden chalets are reminiscent of Christmas festiveness. If only these words give you goosebumps, imagine how you would feel if you saw them in person!

It’s never too late to book accommodation in a sparkly, jolly European city, especially if you have nothing planned for this holiday season. Find our picks of the most beautiful European Christmas markets in no particular order.

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest’s Christmas market – the Advent Feast at the Basilica – is the best in Europe. But this should come as no surprise – the Advent Feast at the Basilica is home to spectacular decorations, a fairy-tale-like light show, flavourful artisan food, and musical numbers. You’ll be thrilled to taste traditional Hungarian food like the famous lentil soup and lencseleves, as well as many other delicacies from various cultures. 

Budapest’s Christmas market takes place around the historical sight in Szent István Square and delights visitors with everything from folk dance shows and a skating rink to hundreds of gastronomic Christmas essentials. The majestically-decorated atmosphere of this market has gained popularity recently and was voted the best Christmas market in Europe for the second time. We don’t doubt that the coming edition will be just as expected and thousands of visitors from around the globe will be there.

Trier, Germany

Germany is well-known for its Christmas festiveness. After all, this is where the Advent Calendar tradition has its origins. So, it’s no wonder that Germany has the most beautiful Christmas markets, including the Trier Christmas Market. What makes this market stand out? Well, everything from decorations and historical puppet theatre performances to tasty foods, songsmiths and star tenors. However, the market’s romantic atmosphere, in particular, makes Trier one of the most beloved holiday destinations. Trier’s festive market is set on the mediaeval central plaza and in front of the majestic background of Trier Cathedral. This idyllic setting is one of the main reasons people worldwide choose Trier as their holiday destination. 

But this romantic ambience is not everything – the market’s program includes a range of activities and experiences, from musical numbers to theatre performances. International guests are also amazed by the festive crafts, arts, and traditional specialities like the “Original Moselle Vintner Mulled Wine”.

Berlin, Germany

Christmas market Berlin-based is also one of the most beloved holiday traditions, so if Berlin sounds better, you’re welcome to book your travel ticket to the German capital. NS International, for example, is a viable transportation option to Berlin and other European cities, so if you’re looking for comfortable and reasonably priced travel, this might be suitable for you.

Ghent, Belgium

You’ve probably heard about Brussel’s Christmas market in Belgium – Winter Wonders – as it’s one of the most visited globally. Indeed, it’s unmissable, but so it’s Ghent’s market. The Gentse Winterfeesten is all about tradition, so if this is your main priority this Christmas, we highly encourage you to visit this market in the heart of Ghent. Lots of green, moose, hygge-like cosiness, northern lights, and the scent of pine resin will blow you away. Christmas market Ghent is your chance to wander among pines and firs and taste authentic delicacies. So, ensure you book your train ticket and find accommodation in advance to enjoy Ghent’s idyllic atmosphere in winter.

Vienna, Austria

Vienna’s Christmas market is one of the most popular, as it combines tradition and experience harmoniously. The main points of interest include artisan foods and drinks, richly-decorated trees, spectacular lights, thousands of gifts, a Ferris wheel, and an old-fashioned carousel kids love. All these transform Austria’s capital into an outstanding fairytale land that radiates light, peace, and love. Viennese Dream Christmas Market is an excellent opportunity to get a taste of the city’s abundant culture and make memories for a lifetime. The atmospheric market is beloved by adults and children alike, so if you’re a family looking for a holiday adventure, this is an ideal place to start. An extensive kids’ program delights the little ones while the many music concerts and dance performances lure adults, so everyone is happy.

Metz, France

Metz at Christmas is out of this planet, not for nothing has it appeared in the best Christmas markets in Europe competition for ten years. Some people even consider it the most exquisite market in France. With dozens of activities and unique appeals, such as a magical Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, amazingly decorated chalets, and the “lantern trail”. The hand-crafted gifts and gingerbread will offer you the warmest of welcomes, so it’s impossible not to fall in love with this place.

Don’t also forget to explore the “Sentiers des Lanternes”; Christmas is, after all, all about light!

Craiova, Romania

Craiova Christmas Market established itself among the top-rated favourites. The Romanian city is listed for the first time in such a big competition, so Romanians have reasons to be proud. This market gained the popularity deserved, being visited by thousands of individuals from around the globe. Some even recognise it as the most beautiful Christmas market in Europe. While this is somewhat subjective, one thing is for sure – it is the best-ranked Christmas market in Romania. Craiova Christmas Market is unique because of its royal illuminations (more than one million led bulbs lit the city!), outstanding concerts, culinary specialities, creative workshops, and a magnificent Christmas tree exhibited in Mihai Viteazul Square.

Craiova Christmas Market was definitely a thing last season, and it’s surely full of surprises in the coming season, too. All eyes on Craiova – it promises big experiences!

Whatever your choice, be sure you’re in for unique experiences that deserve to be included into this hopefully boundless album of life.

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