1. Strasbourg, France
23rd November – 30th December
Strasbourg, a UNESCO world heritage place in the East of France, helds one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe, with the first edition taking place in 1570. Gaze at the 30-meter Great Christmas Tree at Place Kléberthe and the fairy lights all over the town. Admire the numerous nativity scenes, enjoy free concerts and shows and discover Alsatian products from around 300 stalls. You can go on a Christmas food tour and taste the delicious Alsatian wine. Each year Strasbourg has a “guest” country village, being Finland the guest country of 2018.
2. Innsbruck, Austria
15 November – 6th January
The biggest Christmas markets in Austria take place in the popular cities of Vienna, Salzburg or Graz, but there are plenty of other interesting Christmas markets all over the country. Innsbruck is the capital of the Tyrol region and its markets are counted amongst some of the most beautiful and romantic in the Alpine region. The Old Town Christmas Market, Christmas Market Maria-Theresien Straße, The Family Christmas Market at Marktplatz, or Panorama Christmas Market on Hungerburg are some of the most popular ones. Traditional dishes such as Kiachln and a mug of Glühwein (mulled wine) are worth trying.
3. Weihnachtszauber at Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin, Germany
26th November – 31st December
Berlin is one of the most popular cities in Europe at Christmas. There are plenty of Christmas markets around the city but the most popular one is the one at Gendarmenmarkt, located between The Deutsche Dom, the Konzerthaus, and the Franzozische Friedrichstadtkirche. This market is especial for its unique handmade products. You can buy all kind of art, as well as try all kind of typical German food. It also offers a special New Years Eve party on the 31st of December which starts at 9 pm and the tickets cost 6 Euro.
4. Budapest Christmas Fair and Winter Festival, Hungary
9th November – 1st January
Budapest has two main Christmas markets. One at Vörösmarty Square which is the oldest (since 1998) and the most popular one, and the other one at the Budapest Basilica. You will find more than 100 food stalls, a nice variety of handicraft shops, and special Hungarian delicacies, such as Chimney cake. There’s also plenty of entertaining events like folk dancing, free concerts, or a laser projection on the Basilica. As a curiosity, the exterior of the famous Gerbeaud Coffee House on Vörösmarty Square is converted into a giant advent calendar, with a new magical window display opening every day from December 1 to 23. In the evenings, there are also festive light painting shows on this Cafe.
5. Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark
17th November – 31st December
In November the historic Tivoli garden gets filled with glittering Christmas lights, cute wooden houses, and snow-covered trees. Food and crafts are available around 60 stalls and restaurants, and more than 30 rides are open to the public. Different events such as light shows, concerts, and firework displays takes place during the month of December.