While people all over the world are going to be shopping for hours to find just the perfect gift for friends and family, those over in Europe have a slightly easier way to go about this monstrous task. In this part of the world, Christmas markets are popular, and many people choose to shop at them instead of at any of the big box stores.
The Best Christmas Markets in Europe
The Christmas carol, Silent Night, was written and first sung near this city, so it is fitting that one of the best Christmas Markets in Europe can be found here. The first Christmas Market was held during the 15th century in Salzburg and you will find as many quality items there now at the more than ninety-five vendors. As you are purchasing nativity figures and ornaments, you might want to grab a gingerbread heart or two. When this market is open, you can watch the free concerts that are held every day right outside the cathedral or sing along to the Christmas carols that are sung on Tuesday evenings.
Vienna like many capital cities in Europe takes Christmas very seriously so locals and visitors can enjoy many different holiday related events and venues. Probably the biggest market is the one in front of the city hall named the Viennese Dream Christmas Market. The beautiful light, sounds and aromas complement the impressive structure of city hall which is also open for visitors and includes many activities for children.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Amsterdam opens the ICE Village inside the Museumplein every year and you will have more than enough to do with the ice-skating rink, live entertainment, and the stalls filled with gifts to purchase. You might want to arrive hungry too, because there is plenty of food for sale and the aromas will make you hungry even when you are not!
There are many reasons to visit Paris and the city is beautiful no matter when you’re visiting but Christmas time is magical with all the beautiful window displays at the Grand Magasins, the numerous Christmas trees all around and of course, Christmas markets. Paris doesn’t have one, it has around 20 different ones! The famous ones are of course the one on the Champs Elysees / Tuileries which is one of the biggest in Europe but also the Montmartre market is fun and charming. Apart from the big ones it is always fun to discover the local market in one of the many Parisian arrondissements. Just take your legs and let them wonder…
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Helsinki are very quiet, because the locals spend time together with their families. However, in the days leading up to the holiday, everyone spends time celebrating Little Christmas. As people are preparing for the big day, they do their shopping at the Christmas Market, which consists of one hundred stalls that sell everything from lanterns, handicrafts, decorations, and food.
This Christmas market is one of the oldest in the world dating back to 1628 and held in the city’s central square in Nuremberg’s old town. This Christkindlemarkt is one of the biggest in Germany with over two million visitors each year.
As you can expect from this massive city London doesn’t have just main Christmas market but several, spread all over the city.
Probably the most visited is the Winter Wonderland and with a location at Hyde Park, right in the heart of the city it is no wonder at all. This massive market is more like a State Fair. It is free to enter but you would have to pay for many attractions. Still there is so much to see and taste than even jut wandering around is super fun!
Another fun market is the Carnaby Christmas Carnival in Carnaby street in the heart of West End. During Christmas time this street and surrounding area just turns into a festival of lights, food and music.
The Christmas Market in Copenhagen is called the Tivoli Gardens Christmas Market and in between purchasing handcrafted gifts, decorations, and food, you can take a spin on the twenty-seven rides. Of course, you can also wander around the gardens to see the wooden houses, decorated for the season, as well as the snow-covered trees, lights, and Santa’s reindeer.
These are just a few of the many Christmas Markets over in Europe every year. Once you have been to one, I guarantee that you will have found a new way to not only shop for this holiday, but also spend time with family and friends while getting into the Christmas spirit!
On the other had, If you’re a US resident you might be interested more in a list of US Christmas Markets.