The best places to spend Christmas in Europe

The best places to spend Christmas in Europe

This holiday season, pack your bags and festive spirit and enjoy a cheery holiday at one of these top destinations in Europe for Christmas. From mulled wine, festive fairs and narrow cobbled streets, it’s hard to resist the charm of Christmas in Europe!

Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg is the birthplace of Christmas celebrations. If you love Christmas markets, you’ll absolutely love Strasbourg! The medieval heart of the city goes all out to celebrate the holidays. Strasbourg offers no fewer than 10 Christmas markets, a huge natural Christmas tree, and delicious traditional Christmas food and drinks sold at street stalls everywhere. Add to that a fairytale backdrop of half-timbered houses and you get a real Christmas wonderland!

Basel, Switzerland

Basel’s authentic Christmas Market with its unique atmosphere has a deep-rooted tradition as Switzerland’s most beautiful and largest holiday site. Not only is the well-preserved Old Town radiant in the warm Christmas lights but the shops and facades of many buildings glitter with original decorations.

Tall pine trees border the streets leading to the market, which is being held in the heart of the festively-bedecked Old Town. You will feel a magnificent Christmas atmosphere everywhere around you!

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is a fairy-tale city that only becomes more spectacular during Christmas, when a winter wonderland overtakes the streets. The city’s magnificent architecture provides a stunning backdrop for its famous Christmas markets where visitors can enjoy mulled wine and traditional delicacies. The Old Town Square hosts the most impressive Christmas market of all, complete with a stable full of donkeys, goats and sheep, dazzling holiday lights and music. The charming wooden huts are filled with all types of festive delights, from craft gifts to beautiful Christmas tree ornaments.

Nuremberg, Germany

The Nuremberg Christmas market is one of the best places to visit for Christmas in Germany. Unlike other markets, this one is extremely serious about making sure only traditional handmade toys and holiday goods are sold, which means you won’t find any of those mass-produced, plastic decorations, but you will discover lots of tempting aromas of mulled wine, gingerbread, sausage and sweet roasted almonds, all in an unforgettable holiday atmosphere in the Old Town.

Craiova, Romania

Appearing for the first time in the Best European Christmas Markets competition, Craiova is the highest-ranked Romanian Christmas Market.

To respect social distancing measures, Craiova officials have scattered the various Christmas events — markets, concerts, creative workshops and food stands — in different sections of the city. Linked together by magical illuminations (more than one million led bulbs) the Craiova fair is not only one of the best Christmas markets in Europe but also the best Christmas Lights Destination in Romania.

Vienna, Austria

Vienna is an alluring destination throughout the year with its legendary cafe culture and old-world charm, but during the holidays it shines bright with its array of elegant Christmas markets. Head to a Viennese Christkindlmarkts to smell the scent of sausages and hot chestnuts that mark the season. Alt Wiener Weihnachtsmarkt is a favorite for its handcrafted ceramics and toys, the Snow Globe Museum is a hit for all ages and the Rathausplatz is perfect for ice skating, while those looking for a dose of culture can snag tickets to a classical opera.

Manchester, United Kingdom

It’s one of the largest and most beautiful Christmas Markets in UK, and arguably the most original and best Christmas markets in Europe. The tradition of Christmas markets in Manchester started in 1999 and have been growing every year, now attracting more than a staggering nine million visitors.

Colmar, France

One of the most magical Christmas towns in the entire world, Colmar is a well-preserved 13th-century village, often referred to as “Little Venice,” for its waterways that wind through medieval streets. Here, the magic of Christmas can be experienced in its purest form. Illuminations linking the city’s multiple Christmas markets will light your way through the labyrinth of narrow streets lined with century-old half-timbered houses. Nestled in the town squares, each with its own distinct architectural features, the markets within are like mini villages, where you’ll find a multitude of passionate and enthusiastic craftsmen, chosen for the quality and the uniqueness of their products.

London, United Kingdom

An exciting destination during the holidays, London is known for shining brightly during Christmastime. Walk down Oxford Street for any last-minute shopping, visit the ice rinks at Somerset House and the Natural History Museum, then visit Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland with its Bavarian-style village serving gluhwein. If you want to pick up handmade wooden toys and enjoy festive gingerbread, head to the Christmas Market at Tate Modern. Just make sure to drop by Harrods to see its Christmas lights and over-the-top window displays.

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