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It’s almost our favourite time of year again - the knitted jumpers come out in force, we eat and drink far too much, 80's festive classics become acceptable, and we shop till we drop. What better way to get in the spirit and make your Christmas holidays extra special than by visiting one of Europe’s famous Christmas markets?

With traditional food, hand crafted ornaments and all round 'Christmassy' entertainment, there really is no better way to get into the festive mood. 

Berlin

Described by some as the ‘Capital of the Traditional Christmas Market’ Berlin hosts over fifty markets across the city every year – with the most popular being the one at Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche, which receives over 2 million visitors each year.

When: 24th November – 1st January

Famous for: Jewellery, Decorations, artwork and food such as chestnuts and of course, mulled wine.


 

Birmingham

Hosting the largest authentic German market in Europe outside of Germany and Austria, the English city of Birmingham sees over 5.5 million visitors pass through its market each year. Now with over 180 stalls, an ice rink and big wheel – this is a must see if you’re in the area this Christmas.

When: 17th November – 22nd December

Famous for: Handcrafted jewellery, wooden toys, crafts, sausages, German beer and pretzels.


 

Cologne

Cologne holds several different markets every year, with the larger markets held in the downtown area. The markets attract millions of visitors from around the world every year, and the festively decorated city is sure to get you in the festive mood.

When: 21st November – 23rd December

Famous for: Baked apples, cinnamon biscuits, mulled wine.


 

Vienna

This stunning city is made even more beautiful every year and transformed into a winter wonderland. One of the most well known Christmas Markets is the traditional ‘Vienna Magic of Advent’ which transforms the City Hall Square into a fairy-tale land.

When: 13th November – 23rd December

Famous for: Christmas gifts, tree decorations, the carousel, craft workshops.


 

 

Lille

This underrated French city transforms every year into a picturesque winter wonderland. On Place Rihour, more than 80 chalets sell a wide range of festive goods and gourmet food.

 When: 18th November – 30th December

Famous for: Festive food, regional specialities, arts and crafts from Russia, Poland and Québec and products from Native America.


 

Brussels

The beauty of Brussels’ Christmas Market has now reached legendary status and is one of the key events during the festive season. With an ice skating rink, stunning tree, light and sound shows, video mappings, a ferris wheel, and a Christmas Parade – there’s a lot to see and do.

When: 25th November – 1st January

Famous for: Christmas parade, perfumes, tasting sessions, and colourful stalls. 


 

Strasbourg

The oldest Christmas market in Europe, the ‘Christkindelsmärik’ was first held in Strasbourg in 1570. Today, it has over 300 stalls spread out over 12 locations in the city centre selling a range of hand made goods.

When: 25th November – 31st December

Famous for: 4 outstanding concerts, a Living Nativity and a wide range of authentic live music and cultural events. 


 

London

Every year England’s capital hosts the spectacular Hyde Park Winter Wonderland with free admission and a huge range of entertainment. With over 100 rides and attractions there’s something for the whole family. The traditional German Christmas market has over 200 chalets.

When: 20th November – 3rd January

Famous for: Rides, the Angel Christmas Market, and great decorations. 


 

Barcelona

Dating back to 1786, Barcelona’s traditional Christmas market has expanded to over 300 stalls today. As well as the stalls, there’s also a Nativity scene contest, musical parades, exhibitions amd a life-size Nativity scene in Plaça Sant Jaume.

When: 25th November – 23rd December

Famous for: Handcrafted decorations, mistletoe, musical parades and exhibitions. 


 

Budapest

Based at the centre of the Pest district near the start of ‘fashion street’ this quaint market has up to 150 stalls, puppet theatres and plenty of local art and culture. The cottage-esque stalls sell traditionally handmade products, which are guaranteed to be handmade by a professional jury.

When: 18th November – 30th December

Famous for: Folk Dances, live music, daily advent calendar. 

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