Europe’s 10 Best Christmas markets
We all love a good Christmas market. They’re great for unique presents – and picking up delicious food and drink! Here’s our round-up of the best ones across Europe…
1. BERLIN (Nov 21-Dec 27)
With 60 markets spread right across the city, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Whether you prefer a magical market or a lively and urban one, this German city has it all. The most famous is at the Charlottenburg Castle.
2. EDINBURGH (Nov 19-Jan 7)
Choose between the European market at East Princes Street Gardens (main pic, above) and the traditional Scottish market showcasing local goods at West George Street. Finish your day at the stunning Street of Light, with music from local choirs and bands. Performances nightly.
3. VIENNA (Nov 12-Dec 24)
Dating back to 1298, the largest market in Vienna is the Magic of Advent, in front of the impressive City Hall. On the ground floor children can learn how to make festive cookies and candles. There are also carol-singing choirs, with free entrance at weekends.
4. STRASBOURG (Nov 25-Dec 31)
The oldest Christmas market in France (panel, above left), dating back to 1570. Even the towering Christmas tree on the Place Kléber is a 400-yearold tradition. Be sure to sample the ‘bedele’, a local Christmas biscuit in a variety of shapes and flavours.
5. HYDE PARK (Nov 18-Jan 2)
Celebrating its 10th year, Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is so much more than just a market. As well as over 200 Bavarian-style wood chalets selling unique gifts, traditional decorations and culinary delights, there’s an ice rink, a bar and more than 100 rides and games to entertain. And the little ones will love a visit to Santa Land
6. PRAGUE (Nov 26-Jan 1)
Brightly-lit wooden huts fill Staromestské námesti (Old Town Square) and Wenceslas Square, where you will find an abundance of traditional Czech goodies like barbecued pork, Czech muffins, beer, mulled wine and mead. Great for unique ornaments, decorations, toys and glassware.
7. BATH (Nov 24-Dec 11)
The streets surrounding the Roman Baths and the Abbey are a Christmas shopper’s paradise. With the majority of the stallholders being from Bath and the surrounding areas this truly is a local affair. And, for something a little bit different, don’t miss the glow in the dark crazy golf course
8. BELFAST (Nov 19-Dec 22)
The famous City Hall provides an exquisite backdrop for the Belfast markets. Expect both European and local Irish traders selling traditional yuletide products and cuisine. And keep your eyes peeled – Santa himself is rumoured to be making an appearance!
9. MANCHESTER (Nov 10-Dec 20)
The largest of the 10 spaces around the city hosting the markets is in Albert Square in front of the Town Hall. Expect mouthwatering hog roast, bratwurst, Hungarian goulash and mulled wine.
10. INNSBRUCK (Nov 15-Jan 6)
Sample the fresh ‘kiachln’ (hot Advent doughnuts) while listening to traditional Austrian trumpeters playing carols in the Old Town. Take the funicular railway up to the Panorama Christmas market on Hungerburg for breathtaking views.