The Ultimate Europe Christkindlmarket Bucket List


The Ultimate Europe Christkindlmarket Bucket List | Discover the most magical Christkindlmarkets (Christmas markets) in Europe with this bucket list guide to the best holiday markets from Edinburgh to Italy! #christmasmarkets #europechristmas #holidaymarket #christmasineurope #christmas #holidays #wintertravel

Ready to get in the holiday spirit and explore the most magical Christkindlmarkets in Europe? Check out this bucket list guide to Europe’s best holiday markets and start planning your trip!

I know what you’re thinking.

What the heck is a christkindlmarket?!

The answer, in a nutshell: a Christkindlmarket is a Christmas market (the word literally means Baby Jesus Market, y’all). Christkindlmarkets are street markets that center around the celebration of Christmas, and they are usually held during the four weeks of Advent leading up to Christmas Eve. If you love Christmas as much as I do, you’re probably getting a little giddy right now.

While these types of markets originated in Germany, they are now held all over the world, and have become an incredibly popular holiday tradition. Christkindlmarkets are traditionally held in the town square, and feature local food and drinks as well as adorable seasonal items sold from open-air stalls. There’s also usually some traditional singing and dancing involved. As you might expect.

Insert “The More You Know”  jingle here.

Now that you’re basically a Christkindlmarket expert, let’s dive in to our European Christkindlmarket bucket list together and discover the best festive holiday markets all over Europe!

Munich, Germany

Marienplatz Christkindlmarket

Germany is well known for its array of Christmas markets but one of my favorites is the Marienplatz Christkindlmarket in the centre of Munich.

You’ll know you are in the right place when you spot the huge Christmas tree in front of the Munich Town Hall. It’s adorned with 3,000 fairy lights that provide a festive atmosphere, as do the musicians that perform on the Town Hall balcony each evening.

The market itself is huge (it covers 20,000 square metres) with over 160 wooden booths selling all manner of Christmas decorations, traditional crafts, and food and wine. Wandering along the stalls you can’t help but be tempted by the aromas of roasting chestnuts, freshly baked gingerbread and mulled wine.

Whilst the Marienplatz Christmas Market is a great place for Christmas shopping, it’s also a popular meeting spot for locals.  Friends and colleagues gather after work to catch up on the day’s happenings and share a drink or a bite to eat.  Why not join in the Christmas cheer and enjoy a Würst (German sausage) whilst listening to brass bands play and carollers sing?

The market opens at 10 am daily from 27 November until 24 December. To really experience the congenial atmosphere, try and visit later in the afternoon or evening.

With snowflakes falling and fairy lights glowing, there’s no more romantic place to be than at the Marienplatz Christmas Market in Munich.

Carolyn | Holidays to Europe

Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg Christkindlmarket

One of the most amazing things in the build-up to Christmas has to be visiting a German Christmas market, and Hamburg is one place that knows how to do Christmas markets in style. The whole city gets involved and there are a number of different markets at different locations. In fact, there are even Christmas Markets in the Reeperbhan, coined the sexiest Christmas markets in Europe.

The main markets are located around the Rathaus (Town Hall) where there is an array of stalls selling everything from food and drink to giant Santa statues. There are a ton of stalls selling bratwursts, and also gluhwein, which is not only delicious, but helps fight off the chills on those cold winter days.

These markets do get very busy and it can often be hard to walk around, particularly on weekends. For those willing to walk a little further to the shopping district, Winterwald is one of the best areas to sit down and drink gluhwein. The makeshift forest with Christmas Trees and fairy lights only add to the atmosphere.

The most magical of all the markets though, can be found in Bergerdorf, a suburb which is about a 20-minute S-Bahn train ride from Hamburg Central station.

The markets are situated in front of an old castle and provide the opportunity to experience a real authentic Christmas Market experience. There are fire pits by the river where people can sit around to warm up, as well as atmospheric little corners to stand and sip mulled wine, and hot chocolate with Bailey’s.

With the aromas from the food stalls whetting those appetites, bratwurst and currywurst are a must try, and those still hungry, can finish off with some German donuts coated in sugar. What makes it even more special is that there are few tourists around, which means less crowds and a more intimate experience.

Lizzie & Dave | Wanderlust & Life

Dresden, Germany

Striezelmarkt Christkindlmarket

There are approximately 1,500 Christmas markets in Germany, and approximately 85 million people from around the world pay them a visit every year. If you love Christmas, you will inevitably fall in love with Dresden during December. Dresden has 11 Christmas Markets – more than any other German city and is the perfect place to celebrate Christmas.

Traditionally, the largest Christmas Market in Dresden is called Striezelmarkt. It is the oldest Christmas market in Germany and has a long history with records proving that it dates back to 1434.

The name comes from Hefestriezel, which is a sweet delicacy that many Germans now call the Dresden Christstollen. It is a cake made from sweet yeast dough filled with nuts, dried fruits and sometimes chocolate and has a sugar glaze on top. When you visit the Dresden Christmas Market, you definitely have to try one and wash it down with a cup of hot Glühwein.

The second largest Market is called Augustiner Market and what makes it unique is its international atmosphere. There is a Pagoda that is lid up with Christmas lights and you can try many international foods. Many locals prefer this market over the more traditional, but also more touristy Striezelmarkt.

Make sure to also visit some of the smaller markets in Dresden, which are not as overrun by people and have a cozy atmosphere.

Maria Haase | Europe Up Close

Schloss Guteneck, Germany

Schloss Guteneck Christkindlmarket

Nestled in the rolling hills of the Oberpfalz region in Bavaria, Germany is the beautiful Medieval Schloss Guteneck. Originally established in the 12th century, the castle has been built up over the centuries to include stunning gardens, courtyards, and turrets. Today, it is home to one of the most magical Christmas markets, also called Christkindlmarket or Weihnachtsmarkt, in the area.

Open all four weekends in December until Christmas Day, the market lights up at night and plays host to all variety of food stands, artisans, including local artwork and Medieval artwork, concerts, shows, and more.

Enjoy a warm mug of Glühwein or apple cider with schnapps next to the fire in a twinkle-light-clad courtyard while listening to live concerts specializing in holiday tunes. For those with a fascination with the story of Krampus, an elaborate Krampus show is put on once every season – keep in mind that the actors can be quite interactive!

Food specialties, especially locally made bratwurst and freshly-made, Medieval brown bread, can be enjoyed. Don’t miss touring around the 120 artisan stalls, featuring wood work, metal work, lace-weaving, glass blowing, and more, on the Castle ground’s gardens and forests, and loop through the Medieval times re-enactment forest! Kids and adults alike will also enjoy seeing sheep, highland cattle, alpacas, camels, and more.

There is a €2 fee for parking on the premises, though this will be the most traffic-heavy option. Otherwise, a shuttle bus runs from the nearby Nabburg train station for €1 per person, or free to those with a train ticket. The Castle entrance fee ranges from €2.50 on Fridays to €6.00 on Saturdays and Sundays, however children 12 and under enter for free.

This is one of the most sought-after Christmas markets in the region, even attracting those from Czechia, so expect crowds on dry evenings. Despite the fees and probable crowds, don’t hesitate to visit this awe-inspiring castle to get into the holiday spirit and experience one of the greatest Christmas markets in Germany and all of Europe!

Christa Rolls | Expedition Wildlife

Düsseldorf, Germany

Düsseldorf Christkindlmarket

Every season has its charms. Winter may be cold and grey, but Christmas markets are there to brighten up these dreary months!

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The Christmas market in Düsseldorf is one of bigger and better Christmas Markets in Germany. Germany is still the country to go for the real authentic experience of how a Christmas market should be.

It consists of seven different themed markets. As you stroll along the richly decorated stalls and shop windows in the Altstadt (Old Town), savor the fragrances of cinnamon and gingerbread, mulled wine and hot chestnuts. A visit to the Christmas market is a treat for all five senses and there’s no better way to get into the festive spirit of the season.

Christmas markets are so much better after dark when multicolored twinkling lights will light up the streets. That’s why you should absolutely include one overnight stay so that you can enjoy it well past sunset. No need to worry about dinner as the stalls at this Christkindlmarkt offer a wide range of food selections that go well together with one or more cups of famous hot glühwein.

The Christmas market in Düsseldorf starts on November 22nd and ends on December 30th. Happy Holidays, make sure to leave some room in those suitcases for Christmas presents!

Sylvia Van Overvelt | Wapiti Travel

Nuremberg, Germany

Nuremberg Christkindlmarket

Germany is very much the spiritual homeland of the Christmas Market! The largest and perhaps most famous Christkindlmarket is undoubtedly in Nuremberg.

The Nuremberg Christkindlmarket is officially declared open on the last Friday of November with a Christmas welcome speech from the Christkind, a young blonde girl resembling an angel selected from a final shortlist of local girls between the ages of 16 and 18. The grounds by the Frauenkirche remain open until December 24th and provide a festive backdrop of all the seasonal goodness you would expect from Yuletide.

Earliest records of the Christkindlmarket are known to date back to around 1628, making it one of Germany’s oldest – although there is some evidence of Dresden’s Christmas market from longer ago.

No Christmas would ever be complete without a mulled wine, the perfect winter warmer especially when consumed from traditional boot-shaped jugs. When it comes to unique specialties local to the region, Nuremberg has some of Bavaria’s finest that cannot be replicated anywhere else.

A Bratwurst complete with proper Nuremberger sausage and the internationally famous Lebkuchen are must-eats for any visitor. Lebkuchen is not just any gingerbread, but a gingerbread glazed in chocolate, honey and almond deliciousness.

The market also has an international flavor, as there is a section dedicated to goods from Nuremberg’s many sister cities. Nuremberg shares special friendships with cities ranging from Glasgow to Krakow to Verona and even cities as far away as San Carlos, Nicaragua. For a truly global Christmas experience, there is no place like the Nuremberg Christkindlmarket!

Jonathan | Journeymaxx


Cologne, Germany

Cologne Christkindlmarket

Although I’ve been to quite a few Christmas markets, I loved the Cologne Christmas markets. Some people assume that it’s just one, however there are more than five different Christmas markets in Cologne. In order to experience them properly, give yourself at least two days in order to have time to browse the different markets.

My recommended souvenir are one of the iconic mugs that are redesigned every year. Each market has their own mug, which makes for a great souvenir from Germany! Some smaller markets don’t require a deposit when you buy a gluhwein while others do. It’s hard to say what the best souvenir is, but I love my handmade paper house that I got at one of the smaller markets. As a word of warning, I recommend having some cash on hand as not all stalls accept cards.

As soon as you arrive in the city center, you’ll see the Kolner Dom, one of the landmarks of Cologne. Right underneath on the other side, you’ll find the Alter Christmas Market, which is the most famous market in Cologne. You can avoid the worst of the crowds by going to this market between 4pm and 7pm as this is after when the tourist buses with day trippers leave.

Karen | Wanderlustingk

Berlin, Germany

Berliner Weinachtszeit

There are several Christmas markets in Berlin that are worth a visit. One of the most famous ones is perhaps The Berliner Weinachtszeit, which is located behind Alexanderplats. The Christmas here is in the right mood with plenty of stalls selling ornaments, christmas candies, glühwein, currywurst and of course some fun rides for the children.

Weinachtszauber is another popular Christmas market at the Gendarmenmarkt, which is a beautiful square that gets filled with stands and street food before Christmas. These Christmas Markets are great to meet other people or hang out with friends and family. The Christmas spirit is always nice and the people working at these markets are jolly and talkative as well.

I recommend getting some mulled wine, buy some traditional toys and just enjoy the spirit of Christmas and the lovely decorations. The best thing about the markets in Berlin is that they are closely located, but also spread out as there are several of them in the city, which means that you can visit all of them if you spend a few days in the German capital.

Christine Wedberg | Christine Abroad

Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Christmas Market

Edinburgh’s Christmas market has exploded over the past years. Come November, you can now expect the iconic Princes Street Gardens to be taken over by stalls, festive music and gluhwein. All this underneath the beautiful setting of Edinburgh Castle.

From the middle of November to January, outdoor skating takes place at St. Andrews Square. Here you can also find a cozy bar serving hot chocolate and alcoholic beverages too.

Don’t miss the thrilling Drop Tower and ‘cool’ Ice Adventure on George Street which are amongst the many things to do in Edinburgh during Winter. Although not an official part of the Edinburgh Christmas Market, everyone goes to Edinburgh to see The Dome lit up like something out of a Hollywood movie!

Gemma Armit | Two Scots Abroad

Montpellier, France

Les Hivernales at Montpellier

Forget about Germany, Switzerland or Austria. Awesome Christmas markets can be found everywhere in Europe. In fact, my favorite is in the South of France! In 2018, the Christmas market of Montpellier will be worth visiting from Thursday, November 29 to Thursday, December 27, the city will show the world how French people can also have their traditional Southern French Christmas market: Les Hivernales.

Among the Comédie square and the Charles de Gaulle Esplanade, over one hundred sixty local and regional merchants will offer visitors Christmas typical products such as mulled wine, sweets, oysters, Christmas themed decorations, toys, hot chocolate drinks, and many other delicacies in over a hundred small wooden houses.

Santa will also be at the heart of this Christmas market in France. A mailbox will collect all the children wishes and a special hood will do so with charity donations. Fairy parades will happen regularly and Santa Claus himself will pick up his mail and say hi to the attending children a few days before the 25th of December as usual.

Inma Gregorio | A World to Travel

York, England

St. Nicholas Christmas Fair

York is a beautiful city all year round with picturesque streets like the Shambles. Come Christmas time, though, the decorations and markets make it magical. There are several different markets in the city centre that make up the York St. Nicholas Christmas Fair.

The largest portion of the Christmas markets is along Church Street and Parliament Street. You will also find markets at Coppergate and the Judge’s Lodging. Behind the Shambles, there is the York Shambles Christmas Market and the Made in Yorkshire Yuletide Village.

They have a great selection of local food and drinks. York is known for its chocolate and its pastries. There are also many delicious kinds of cheese. Most stalls were offering samples, so you can make sure you like it before you buy it. The warm drinks like mulled wine and hot chocolate will help keep you warm during your visit. It’s also a great place to shop for those hard-to-buy-for people on your list because you will find some unique gift ideas.

If you need a break during your shopping, head to Thor’s Tipi. It’s a pop-up bar in the middle of the market. They have a nice selection of warm and cold drinks with a fun atmosphere. Try some hot chocolate with Bailey’s in it.

It’s best to use public transportation to get to the York City Centre. The York St. Nicholas Christmas Markets are walking distance from the York Train Station. If you are driving, the closest parking for the York Christmas market is the Piccadilly York car park.

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Anisa | Two Traveling Texans

Riga, Latvia

The Old Town Christmas Market

Riga, the capital of Latvia is the kind of European destination that most people haven’t even heard about. That’s exactly what makes it kind of a hidden gem, tucked in between Northern and Eastern Europe. Riga is a spectacular city to visit during summer, but even more so during winter. Right then Riga Old Town turns into an idyllic Christmas wonderland with the scent of gingerbread and mulled wine taking over the city.

Latvians take their Christmas traditions very seriously as there is actually an evidence that the world’s first ever Christmas tree was put up in Riga in 1510. So Latvia prides itself to be “home of Christmas” and you can actually find three main Christmas Markets around the Riga Old Town.

The main market is on Doma Square where the main Christmas tree of the city is standing. The second, a bit smaller one is on Livu square, where all the Latvian traditional Christmas foods and crafts can be found. The third one in Esplanade Park might be the kids favorite one, as it has a Christmas village with tens of real rabbits running around.

All of the markets are within a 5-minute walking distance from one another, so visiting all of them is the right thing to do. That gives even more chances to try such Christmas delicacies like sausages with sauerkraut, grey peas with onions and bacon, and of course “Speķa Pīrāgi” – oven baked crescents filled with smoked meat.

All three Christmas markets are great for getting such traditional Latvian Christmas gifts such as hand-knitted shawls and mittens and socks, aromatic candles, artisanal spoons, and different handmade jewelry. And the best part – visiting Riga Christmas markets is a great idea any time of the day as they never are too busy to miss out on all the delicacies and Christmas fun.

Anete Ilmete | The Travel Leaf

Belfast, Northern Ireland

Belfast Christmas Market

Belfast doesn’t quite have the same traditional heritage when it comes to the traditional Christkindlmarket and continental markets of central Europe, but it still shares all the same seasonal charm, and few markets share better locations, where it is found beneath the backdrop of Belfast’s main attraction at the City Hall. A landmark central to Belfast (Donegall Square), and can easily be found on foot from the central bus and train stations.

The Belfast Christmas Market is open daily from early November through to Christmas Eve, when it opens from morning hours (10:00AM) through to the later evening hours. However I would suggest arriving in the late afternoon if hoping to find some space in the festive beer tents in the later hours. Otherwise the market shares all the usual continental treats; such as frankfurters, schnitzels, and vin chaud (mulled wine).

But the traditional favourite in Belfast would have to be the unlikely burgers sold at the annual “Meats of the World” stall, including wild boar, ostrich, and kangaroo burgers. Meanwhile Belfast is just a great city to explore in winter time, as it’s compact and easy to navigate, and the local pubs are hard to beat when it comes to local banter and festive cheer. The City Hall as well, right next door to the market, has free tours of the exhibits and museums inside, and it’s all dressed up and decorated for Christmas.

Allan Wilson | Live Less Ordinary

Prague, Czech Republic

Old Town Square Christmas Market

Prague has some of the most magical Christmas markets in Europe. They’re spread across the city, from modern Wenceslas Square to the historic Castle district. The best of them is the one in the Old Town Square, one of the most enchanting squares in Europe – it’s the setting that makes it so special.

One side of the Square is dominated by the Old Town Hall, whose tower makes a great, albeit crowded, vantage point high above. The Baroque St Nicholas Church is in another corner of the Square, while the fairytale spires of Our Lady Before Týn Church dominate the scene.

Prague Christmas markets come with several Czech twists. A number of stalls sell a tubular cake roasted on a spit called trdelnik. It’s coated with sugar and either almonds or walnuts, and delicious eaten hot. There are also plenty of drinks to try, including medovina – Czech mead – and the local variant on mulled wine. If you brave something colder you can sample some of the best beer in the world, which is brewed locally and across the country.

Until Christmas Eve, another common sight around the Christmas markets in Prague are buckets of Iive carp. This will be the main dish at Christmas dinner, which is held on the evening of Christmas Eve.

After early morning the Old Town Square market gets crowded, and stays that way through the day. The other Prague market worth the trek is outside St George’s Basilica in the Castle – and this is also usually less busy.

David Angel | Delve Into Europe

Copenhagen, Denmark

Christiania Christmas Market

One of the most interesting Christmas markets in Europe is definitely the Christmas market in Christiania, Copenhagen. Freetown Christiania is a semi-autonomous community located in central Copenhagen. What started as squatted military barracks in 1971, is a thriving and close-knit community today.

The spirit of this community can best be experienced during December, at the Christiania Christmas market. Located at the ‘Grey Hall’ (Den Grå Hal), all booths are manned and all activities are organized by Christiania residents.

In keeping with the Freetown’s bohemian vibe, the booths at the Christiania Christmas market are anything but traditional. Residents sell arts and crafts such as ceramics, knitwear, and paintings. Items tend to be a little bit on the pricey side, but it is worth supporting this community’s high-quality work.

Although much about this Christmas market is unconventional, traditional Danish Christmas foods, such as Æbleskiver, are available inside. In the evenings there may also be music performances taking place.

The market is open from the second week of December until the last Friday before Christmas. Because the market is located in an enclosed area, it can get very crowded. Depending on when you arrive, you may need to wait outside as only a limited number of people is allowed inside the hall at a time.

While you are waiting, buy yourself some hot Danish gløg and strike up a conversation with those around you. After all, Christiania is all about community.

Jacky | Nomad Epicureans

Olomouc, Czech Republic

Old Town Olomouc Christmas Market

The Old Town of Olomouc is home to one of the most picturesque Christmas markets in the Czech Republic. Even though last winter, when I last spent a few days in Olomouc, there was a large reconstruction being done on the Town Hall, it still couldn’t steal any charm away.

Must try items include homemade cheeses from the region. Go for the ’Korbačíky’ or ‘Korbáčky’, which are essentially cheese strings. Sausages of all types can be found too. You can easily buy handicrafts, such as products made of wool. Everything is handmade and will work as a great souvenir or a gift.

The city center is where locals meet. They grab a cup of mulled wine or hot mead and leisurely stroll around the Town Hall among all the stalls, meeting friends and chatting the winter days away. Christmas carols are often on, and there could be a performance or two at the stage.

The markets are located right in the heart of Old Town, so you can’t miss them even if you wanted to. It’s right there where most of Olomouc sights can be found too – including the Town Hall with the astronomical clock, the Holy Trinity Column and several baroque fountains.

Veronika Primm | TravelGeekery

Verona, Italy

Piazza dei Signori Christmas Market

The Christmas market in Verona is held at Piazza dei Signori, a UNESCO World Heritage site which has always been a meeting point for culture and traditions. Verona was the backdrop to the story of Romeo and Juliet! The city is transformed and dressed in lights, sounds and colors during the Christmas season.

The entrance to the city will be illuminated by hundreds of lights, going through all the streets of the historic center, and arriving in the beautiful Piazza Bra, along with Roman Arena and decorated with an the impressive Christmas tree on the square.

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Piazza dei Signori, the beautiful square features a number of high arches and the monument of Dante, as well as all the major buildings of the former city council, such as the courts and the seat of power of the ruling family of the time, the Scaligers. It is just a few meters from the Piazza delle Erbe, which is a piazza of great history and beauty.

As with any Christmas market, the Italian stallholders will have mouth-watering displays of local food and drinks plus of course the usual array of locally manufactured seasonal gift items. Wander around different stalls tasting the freshly baked potato pizzas, homemade chocolates, mulled wine and yummy bites laced with truffles.

Priya | Outside Suburbia

Vienna, Austria

Vienna Christmas Market

Vienna is absolutely our favorite place to be during the Christmas festivities. Magic is in the air, because more often than not it snows, giving this city an eerie feel that you won’t find anywhere else in Europe. Outside Schonbrunn Palace there are couples in love or happy families exploring the city in horse-drawn carriages, the air is filled with the scent of roasted chestnuts: everything looks like the perfect Hallmark Christmas card!

If you’re planning to spend the festivities in Vienna, know that there isn’t just one big Christmas market, as in many other cities in Europe. Here in fact they have at least 20 different Christmas markets scattered in different places.

The most famous one, that everyone always talks about, is located in front of the Vienna City Hall (Rathausplatz). The backdrop is in fact unique, especially at night, when the historical building is all lit up. If you travel with your children, absolutely visit the ground floor at Rathausplatz: there’s an entire area dedicated to kid-friendly activities. They will have fun and learn how to bake Christmas cookies, how to make candles and little crafts that they can give as Christmas presents.

During the weekends, at the Rathausplatz several international choirs sing the best Christmas carols: the entrance is free and it’s yet another one of those things that make Vienna at Christmas absolutely unique.

Public transport in Austria is amazing, so in stead than renting a car, I suggest you to explore all the best Christmas markets using trams or metros. We liked the tram rides best because that way we could see Vienna all covered in snow, but either one is fine. All the Christmas markets in Vienna are in fact located next to tram or metro stops.

Now, if it’s too cold and you are looking for a place to warm up, by all means, try one of the amazing historical cafes in Vienna! Sachertorte was on the top of our bucket list. Vienna’s most celebrated cake is rich in chocolate, and stuffed with a tick layer of apricot jam: pair it with a hot cup tea or cocoa and you’ll feel warm all over!

Street food is also a huge part of Vienna’s traditions, especially at Christmas. For just a few Euros you’ll get a thin loaf of bread (it looks like a French baguette but it’s not). They will punch a hole into it and stuff it with sauce and a Vienna sausage. Because the hole doesn’t reach the base of the loaf of bread, you won’t drip sauce all over yourself if you’re eating and walking at the same time: neat!

As you stroll through the Christmas market’s stalls, follow your nose. It will guide you to the krapfen vendor (please don’t tell me I’m the only one with a sweet tooth!) This sugary pastry is fluffy and fried in front of you. It looks like an American donut, only without the hole in the middle, but it’s much more than that.

After they deep fry it, they stuff it with hot chocolate (actually pumped inside with a syringe-like machine) or jam, and cover it in powdered sugar. Krapfens generally cost about 2-3€, and are served scorching hot. According to the locals… it’s the best way to keep your hands warm when it’s snowing!

Danila Caputo | Travelling Dany

Cornwall, England

St. Ives Christmas Market

So many people see the South West coast of England as a summer only destination, but it’s still full of sparkle in the winter. As things turn festive, there’s nowhere more beautiful than St Ives. The beachy feel and salt in the air make this place really stand out.

You’ll find brightly glimmering lights, Santa meeting the kids, dozens of cute gift ideas and so many carol singers. But what you really want to pay attention to is the food on offer. Cornwall’s famous piping hot pasties are perfect in the crisp air and there’s no fresher food than what Cornwall’s organic farms grow.

Traditionally English options to chow down on are mince pies (despite the name, they contain no meat) with dusting of sugar on top and mulled wine. Mulled wine is definitely still capable of making you tipsy, but it contains a blend of winter fruits and spice cooked into it, so that it’s both warm and sweet. Don’t forget to pick up some carrots for the reindeer on Christmas Eve.

What makes Christmas in the county of Cornwall even more special is that the area has its own language. ‘Christmas’ in Cornish is ‘Nadelik’ and there are local language carols which you’re likely to hear.

Danni Lawson | Live In 10 Countries

London, England

Winter Wonderland

London is a huge city with lots of Christmas markets. One of the absolute best is Winter Wonderland. It is not only magical for children, but teens, adults and the elderly can get equally excited about a visit to this place. It is a pop-up place in Hyde Park, normally opens in the middle of November and closes the beginning of January.

It is a very popular place and it can get really crowded, especially in the evenings and weekends. Winter Wonderland is different from traditional Christmas markets. You might compare it to a theme park. There are lots of different rides: roller coasters, merry go round, inflatable slides, Ferris wheel, haunted house and the list goes on. In addition, you can go ice skating around a cute Victorian bandstand.

Every year, they have lots of different shows as well to get people in the Christmas spirit. You can visit the circus, an ice statue exhibition, ice skating show, theatre performance, a comedy show and so much more. There is even an opportunity to take part in an ice sculpting workshop.

Walking around this huge area and having too much fun will, of course, make you hungry. Winter Wonderland has lots of food stalls and bars. Don’t go home without trying the German sausage and Hungarian chimney cake!

Krix Eniko | Travel Hacker Girl

Brno, Czech Republic

Brno Christmas Market

Most people who visit the Czech Republic in December head straight to Prague for the most known Christmas markets. Yet Brno, the country’s second largest city, has some lovely markets too which are fun to explore. The atmosphere is very festive, with carols, music, artists performing, nativity and trees all around.

There, it is possible to find some lovely gifts that go from the most traditional local arts and crafts (especially Christmas decorations), to more modern items such as clothing (hats, scarfs and gloves are a favorite, perhaps as it is very cold) and natural cosmetics. However, Brno Christmas markets are not just for shopping.

Indeed, it is possible to try a wonderful selection of local (and seasonal) foods and drinks. Among the musts are mulled wine, which is perfect to warm up; mead, which is made of honey and water; trdelnik, which can actually be found year round and is a sweet pastry topped with sugar, cinnamon and almonds (and occasionally filled with cream and other sweet goodness).

One of the nicest markets in Brno is the one located behind the City Hall, in a lovely square that is also not far from the city Cathedral!

Claudia Tavani | My Adventures Across The World

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  • Reply
    Jim Cassidy
    October 8, 2018 at 8:52 AM

    Strasbourg is another stunning venue as is market in the medieval streets of Sarlat

    • Reply
      October 26, 2018 at 9:59 PM

      Oooh yes! I need to go to that one.

  • Reply
    September 29, 2018 at 12:58 PM

    I loved that i started Saturday with this blog post! Now I’m in a great mood dreaming of Europe:)

    • Reply
      October 26, 2018 at 9:58 PM

      Aw yay! 🙂

  • Reply
    September 29, 2018 at 10:00 AM

    I love Christmas markets. Been to the one in Paris one year and it was the best thing ever. I feel the warm and fuzzy feeling already as I look at the photos in this post! Would love to visit more markets in other countries of Europe!

    • Reply
      October 26, 2018 at 9:58 PM

      They’re so magical!

  • Reply
    September 29, 2018 at 9:58 AM

    Can you believe I’ve never been to a European Christmas market? It’s high up on my bucket list. It seems like such a romantic, magical experience. That mulled wine…:)

    • Reply
      October 26, 2018 at 9:58 PM

      The WINE though. Should we pick a market and meet up for a pint (of mulled wine? Is that a thing?)

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