The 13 Best European Christmas Fairs and Markets
Most Beautiful Christmas Fairs in Europe
In almost every part of Europe, there is a great tradition of Christmas fairs with large markets going around. As December is the 12th month we present you with twelve fairs we considered as the finest ones in all of Europe.
So for those of you who want to travel in December, you can choose between places that are to your liking. In addition we also included a special bonus event at the end of the article that you may also like.
1. STRASBOURG – FRANCE
In 1570, the first Christmas fair was held in Strasbourg. Since then, Christkindelsmärik has been placed in the square in front of the cathedral.
The famous fair is visited by approximately two million visitors. The heart of downtown Strasbourg, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is beautifully decorated.
At the thousand-year-old Notre Dame cathedral, there are 300 small wooden huts, where mostly Alsatian dishes, boiled wine and decorations can be bought. The charm of the fair is that every year they invite a guest country to attend the event.
2. ZAGREB – CROATIA
3. SIBIU – ROMANIA
Christmas Fair stated in 2007 at the initiative of the Association for Events for Tourism, in collaboration with the Office of the Social Attaché of the Austrian Embassy in Romania and local authorities.
Usually start middle November and ends after New Year. Here you can taste local and seasonal products as sweets, food, and drinks as mulled wine. It’s perfect for hanging out with your friend or family because you have plenty of option of entertainment, as rally for kids and adults, carousel and more.
Also for kids Santa’s workshop it’s perfect for you if you need a break and for them because they will have fun a lot. Plenty of small wood houses will be opened for you to by food, drinks, souvenirs, presents, winter cloatses and more.
During evening plenty of concerts and Christmas carols warm the atmosphere along with a nice projection on surrounding buildings or on The Council Tower.
It’s similar with others Christmas Fairs but it’s a good choice to see how local get their mark.
4. COLMAR – FRANCE
The city of Alsace wines is famous for its gastronomy, lights and handmade items during the winter. It is a friendly and safe destination ideal for anybody who wants to enjoy a Christmas fair but avoid a huge crowd. Handmade products and special flavors await visitors.
The city’s special features are the beautiful ice sculptures.
5. VIENNA – AUSTRIA
he Wiener Christkindlmarkt, which is attracting thee million visitors a year, is held in the Town Hall Square, it is the most famous and largest Christmas fair in Vienna, but the Rathaus Park, Maria Terézia Square and Karlsplatz are home for also very popular Christmas markets.
At the end of the first winter months, the Schönbrunn Palace’s garden also floats in Advent lights, and visitors can taste the gastronomic delicacies of the locals in the park of the castle.
The Viennese Advent Venue in the Garden of Schönbrunn Palace is recommended for those who like to fly back to the past and take a glance at the time of the Monarchy.
6. BUDAPEST – HUNGARY
You can find here delicious food such as stuffed cabbage, smoky meats, gulyas that is a spicy stew made with beef, potatoes carrots and spices.
If you want something sweet try kurtuskalacs, a traditional Hungarian pastry you can also choose your own version may that be sugary, with walnuts or coconut.
Somloi galuska, dumplings are another kind of delicious pastry served with chocolate, peach gem, vanilla and chocolate pudding and whipped cream.
7. AACHEN – GERMANY
The Aachen Christmas Market was visited by one and a half million visitors in 2017. It is located in Aachen’s historic Old Town year by year we can see advent wreaths, lamp and gingerbread statues decorating the area.
In addition to punch and mulled wine with cinnamon, the town’s specialty is Bavarian sausage, Belgian fried potatoes and flammekueche a delicious pie.
8.BASEL – SWITZERLAND
Of course, there is no lack of a culinary experience, as specialties from the Swiss cuisine are undeniably delicious.
The undisputed highlight of the Advent event is the stage, where good music, laughter and compassion are never missing.
9. TALLINN – ESTONIA
This Christmas fair is waiting for many visitors every year from around the world. They sure like to celebrate in this time of the year as their fair is open from the beginning of November to the end of January.
10.BRUSSELS – BELGIUM
The event takes place on the Grand Place and around the Bourse and the Place Sainte Catherine cathedral.
Keeping the Belgian spirit, 240 wooden houses are home to craftsmen and craftswomen from all over the world, announcing hand-made masterpieces and Belgian tradition souvenirs.
The fair ends at the Fishmarket, which is converted every year into a long ice skating rink. There is also a 49-meter high-speed wheel for lovebirds to enjoy.
11. PRAGUE – CZECH REPUBLIC
The Czech offer souvenirs and a wide selection of handmade products, traditional Christmas decorations and other souvenirs during their Christmas markets that are in every major square of the city.
Interesting things you can find in their Christmas markets are petting zoos where mules, sheep, goats, ponies and even piglets are ready for a treat.
If you want to try a hot drink don’t go for the traditional mulled wine Prague has something else to offer and its name is Medovina. It is a honey based drink served hot it has a kick to eat but do to his sweetness you can’t drink a lot of it.
12. MUNICH – GERMANY
In Munich at Christmas time, the smell of mulled wine lingers in the city center.
According to historians, Munich is the oldest German Christmas fair, records show it was already held in 1310.
Of course, beer in the Bavarian capital was mainly consumed, but naturally, the mulled wine also played a big role. Marienplatz is the famous busy square that is decorated for the big event; there are around three million people in the Advent period here.
The Christmas Market in Munich is open from the 11th of November to the 24th of December.
13. HELSINKI – FINLAND
In Helsinki you can even meet Santa Claus in one of Finland’s largest parks, the Esplanade Park, It is the largest Christmas market in Finland, where more than 120 booths and celebrations are waiting for you.
The little ones can even meet with Santa Claus and tell him if they have been naughty and nice and what kind of present would they want.
The quality handmade products available here can stand under any Christmas tree. The huge Christmas market is open in Helsinki from the 3rd to the 22th of December.
If you are wondering about the promised special event prepare yourself for a treat; as this is non-other than the famous Lyons Light Festival in early December.
On the second weekend of December, if you really want to see a great miracle then you will be heading to Lyon, France. The Fête des Lumières, the Light Festival, has been making sure since 1999 that visitors remain astonished every year at this event.
This year, the festival will take place between the 8th and the 11th of December, during these four nights in addition to the spectacular light installations that cover all the renowned sights of the town the event is also beckoning that Christmas is just around the corner.
We know it is not an easy decision but we are sure that you won’t regret visiting one of these magnificent Christmas Markets whatever your decision will be. So pack up your bags and get ready for a wonderful experience during this special time of the year.