- Vienna, November 12 – December 24
Dating back to the 13th century, this traditional Christmas market in front of the neo-Gothic City Hall is set up with more than 150 stalls in the Rathausplatz. Situated amidst the unique backdrop of the charming streets of Vienna, the gleuhwein and chestnut stands are sure to draw you in. Take your pick from handicrafts such as hand-made Christmas decorations or listen to carols sung by international choirs. CLICK HERE to see where to stay nearby.
- Lille, November 18 – December 30
Set in Place Rihour and linked by the Eurostar (barely 80 minutes from London), this is one of the most popular Christmas markets in Europe. Traders with their unique gifts from across the world assemble at chalets which are bedecked in festive lights adding to the joyous excitement all around! An 18 meter high Christmas tree, an exciting Ferris Wheel and more shopping at the boutiques in the near vicinity are added incentives for visiting this Christmas market! CLICK HERE to see where to stay nearby.
3. Strasbourg: November 25 – December 31
Decorated with Christmas ornaments, the “villages” themed areas in Strasbourg are surely a trip to fairyland in the festive season. First started in 1570 and then called the “Christkindelsmärik” (market of the Infant Jesus) this is the oldest Christmas market in France. Don’t forget to pick up the famed local bredele biscuits and savour the wine and delicacies prepared by the locals. This will definitely make your Christmas a memorable one! CLICK HERE to see where to stay nearby.
- Hamburg, November 21 – December 23
Hamburg has a multitude of traditional markets such as the Jungfernstieg market or the Fleetinsel but the best is the one in front of the impressive town hall. Pick up unique hand made Christmas tree decorations from the Erzgebirge region or pottery made by artists from Lausitz. On the food front you must try the famous “printen” cookies made by the bakers from Aachen or the gingerbread from Nuremberg, For the over 18’s, a visit to the naughty Santa Pauli market is worth a visit! CLICK HERE to see where to stay nearby.
- Worms, November 21 – December 23
Close to Frankfurt and popularly known as Germany’s oldest city, Worms boasts about 50 beautifully decorated stalls close to an ice skating rink. You can be part of a “living Nativity scene” while classical music, traditional Turmblasen and carol singers create a Merry Christmas mood!
- Bologna, November 20, 2016 – January 6, 2017
Christmas shopping at the Fiera di Natale along the historic San Pietro Cathedral and the Antica Fiera di Santa Lucia at the church of Santa Maria dei Servi is an exceptional experience! Relish the local delight torrone made from honey and almonds while enjoying the traditional Nativity scene with such characters as ‘The Wonder’ and ‘Sleeper’. CLICK HERE to see where to stay nearby
- Stockholm, November 23 – December 23
Buy reasonably priced Swedish crafts, unique straw Christmas ornaments and handmade candles at the Christmas market in the vicinity of the Royal Palace. Do not miss tasting the mulled wine known as glögg and the local ginger biscuits called pepparkakor. CLICK HERE to see where to stay nearby.
- St Gallen, November 24 – December 24
Within an hour from Zurich, St Gallen is a shopper’s delight during Christmas. Seven hundred stars shine above the city’s romantic old town and magnificent medieval buildings set amidst snow-capped mountain peaks make for the ultimate setting for Christmas shopping. Taste local savouries such as the biberli (ginger bread/marzipan preparations) and feuerzangenbowle (wine and rum fire cocktail). CLICK HERE to see where to stay nearby.
- Budapest, November 13, 2016 – January 6, 2017
The Christmas fair set up at Vörösmarty Tér is where you can shop for traditional Hungarian handmade craft items including fur hats and gloves and garden pixies. Do not miss out on tasting the kurtoskalacs (cinnamon-pastry chimney cakes), toki pompos (pizza with bacon and cream) and Hungarian sparkling wine! CLICK HERE to see where to stay nearby.
- Bruges, November 18, 2016 – January 1, 2017
Visit the historic and quaint Bruges town where the Ice Rink on Simon Stevinplein is one of the star attractions in addition to the Christmas market on the Market Square. Have a sip of Baileys hot chocolate or Irish coffee and follow it up with tartiflette Savoyarde (baked cheesy potatoes with lardons) to charge up your energy as you go shopping for handmade jewellery, wooden toys and chocolates! CLICK HERE to see where to stay nearby.