Enjoy the Holidays in a European Christmas Market

by Sep 1, 2022Travel Tips

If you’re looking for a real life winter wonderland, look no further than a European Christmas market. These open air markets along the streets and main squares of European cities bring together locals, tourists, and people of all ages. Sip hot chocolate or mulled wine while wandering down each lane of rustic timber booths and enjoying local crafts, foods, and music.

Origin Story edinburgh christmas

This annual tradition began in modern day Germany and other German speaking cities during the Late Middle Ages. Originally, markets were held for a few days to supply locals for the winter months. Over time more stalls lined the streets selling toys, baskets, wood carvings which eventually started the gift giving Christmas tradition. 

Today you can find Christmas markets from Scotland to Romania. Visit the Swiss alps for a ski trip and spend your evenings strolling through the market or travel between the cities that held the very first Christmas markets, Dresden, Frankfurt, and Vienna.

Here are some of our favorites:

  • Budapest, Hungary – The Advent Feast at the Basilica is one of the most renowned Christmas markets in Europe. The light show welcomes you into this market filled with over 100 artisans and food vendors. 
  • Trier, Germany – While this may not be the largest market, it is certainly the most romantic! The backdrop of gothic and medieval architecture surrounds the squares filled with a blend of German and Belgian foods, culture, and art. 
  • Tallinn, Estonia – The famous Gothic city of Tallinn brings half a million people to its annual market dating back to 1441. From craft fairs, Christmas concerts, and a festival of lights to honor the birth of Jesus Christ, you will be immersed in the Christmas spirit. 

Plan well in advance to visit these markets during the Advent season beginning in late November. There is no shortage of holiday festivities to bring your family together. We’ll help you decide which city market fits your vision best to kick off a holly jolly Christmas season!

vienna christmas


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