Last Updated on 5th December 2022 by Sophie Nadeau
Mulled wine, twinkling lights, and plenty of delicious food: the Christmas Markets are a veritable winter wonderland which will delight even the most Grinch of travellers during a festive trip to Europe. Here’s your guide to the best Christmas Markets in Europe, as well as travel tips, and what to know before you go.
For even more Christmas Market inspiration, be sure to check out our suggested Christmas Market itinerary and our guide to the best Christmas Market food. If you’re planning to see more of Europe, then be sure to check out our top Europe travel tips and the best of Europe bucket list.
Christmas Markets in Austria
Christmas Markets in Salzburg
By Paula of Paula Pins the Planet
If you are looking to explore the Best Christmas Market in Europe, you will need to add Salzburg, Austria on top of your bucket list. The Christmas Markets in Salzburg begin at the end of November and stays open until after Christmas day.
Visiting Salzburg during wintertime means the opportunity to enjoy the the magical Christkindlmarket (Christmas Markets), one of the oldest Advent markets in the world. One of the most popular Christmas Market is the Damplatz, but you can also find other options to visit smaller Markets, such as the Advent Magic Heilbrunn and the Market on Mirabell Square.
While experiencing the Salzburg Christmas Markets, you need to try the delicacies such as fried sausages and goulash soup and have a mug (or a couple) of Glühwein, known as hot, spiced wine. Also, buy some local handcraft, the most popular items are Christmas Ornaments, wood carving, decor, snow globes, wool items, and much more.
Besides all the amazing Christmas Markets here you will also have the opportunity to see the birthplace of Mozart, with a fairy-tale feel, nestled in the foothills of the Alps, with a perfect blend of incredible history, rich culture, and several Sound of Music sites to explore and enjoy as a day trip or as a vacation destination.
From charming streets and cozy cafes to visiting the iconic highlights including castles, and baroque historical buildings. You don’t need a car or public transportation to explore Salzburg, as the city is very compact and you can explore on foot.
But if your hotel is outside the town center, there is a trolley and bus system that serves the city. A good hotel to stay in and very well located in the Austria Trend Hotel Europe Salzburg, only 100 meters from Salzburg’s main train station and a 10-minute walk to the Mirabell Gardens.
Christmas Markets in Croatia
Zagreb Christmas Markets
By Kristin Lee of Global Travel Escapades
One not to miss Christmas market in Europe is located in the Croatian capital, Zagreb! Every year, the city hosts Advent, which is one massive Christmas market composed of 25 smaller Christmas markets dispersed around the city.
Each individual market has its own theme, decorations, and atmosphere, contributing to the ever-present Christmas spirit that befalls the city. The city-wide event lasts for a little over a month and is filled with all kinds of activities to do.
For example, visitors can enjoy live Christmas music in the evenings at Zrijevac Park. Meanwhile, those looking to take advantage of the winter weather can go ice skating at King Tomislav Square. And of course, no Christmas market is complete without some delicious local food.
Visitors will be happy to discover that the streets are filled with lots of food stalls serving traditional Croatian food. One traditional dish worth trying is Strukli, which involves dough, cheese, and other fillings to make the dish sweet or savory!
And as further justification for why this Christmas market is special, something well-known about Zagreb is that Advent has received multiple awards. For instance, it was deemed the Best Christmas Market in Europe by Best Destinations for three consecutive years (2016-2018).
The famous Christmas market likely would’ve won more if there wasn’t a rule capping the number of times an individual market could win. Thus, if you’re trying to decide which Christmas markets to check out this holiday season, be sure to consider Zagreb’s Advent Christmas market!
Christmas Markets in Czechia
Prague Christmas Markets
By Veronika of Travel Geekery
Prague is one of the best Christmas destinations. The Czech capital looks ten times prettier when all decorated with Christmas lights. There are Christmas markets in every little Square in the city centre.
The main one is traditionally held at the Old Town Square – the one with the Astronomical clock. It’s truly beautiful and quite large, too. It features the official Christmas tree, as well as a stage for Christmas performances. It’s one you shouldn’t leave out for sure.
However, for the ultimate Prague magic, you need to check out the Prague Castle Christmas market. This market is quite small and it has the best venue – the courtyard of Prague Castle. St. Vitus Cathedral and St. George’s Basilica create the most beautiful backdrop to the Christmas stalls.
Prague Castle belongs to the top sights in Prague and is one of its oldest monuments. It lies on a base from the 8th century. The castle has been the seat of Czech rulers for most of its history.
Its building happened over several centuries – from the 10th century and then mainly between the 14th and the 16th centuries. The St. Vitus Cathedral, originally started in the 14th century, saw its finishing only in 1929.
You can buy the usual Christmas market things – roasted chestnuts, sausages, the famous chimney cake called Trdlo, mulled wine, hot mead, Christmas decorations – some made from Czech glass, and handmade wooden toys.
Allow for some extra time when visiting because you must pass through security frames. If you can, avoid peak times such as weekends and afternoons. This market typically closes down on December 24, when the Czech Christmas starts.
Christmas Markets in Denmark
Christmas Markets in Copenhagen
By Alex and Leah of Alex and Leah on Tour
By far the best Christmas market in the whole of Europe has to Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen. Whilst Tivoli Gardens is normally a theme park for the majority of the year, during the festive season it really becomes something spectacular.
Tivoli first opened in August 1843 and is the third oldest amusement park in the world. However, 100 years later Nazi sympathisers burnt down many of the buildings, including the concert hall which resulted in a major revamp.
The whole estate because a winter wonderland, filled with everything Christmassy you can imagine whilst still maintaining its authentic touch. This is epitomised by the gigantic Chinese temple illuminated in one corner.
Also make sure to spend time around the lake where you can view the popular lighting display as well as the Christmas lights being reflected off the lakes surface. Christmas at Tivoli is between the 18th November and 31st December so don’t miss out! Why not tie your trip to Copenhagen with other destinations around Europe?
However need not worry, Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen is awash with popular Christmas activities for everyone, especially for the family. If so, make sure to hop on the Fatamorgana or Rutschebanen as your kids are bound to love it!
There’s also numerous spots to grab some well deserved hot chocolate and gluhwein – make sure not to miss out! Top tip: Make sure to visit in the early evening on a weekday to miss the crowds; you’ll enjoy your time a lot more!
Christmas Markets in Estonia
Christmas Markets in Tallinn
By Fiona of Travelling Thirties
If you’re looking for a beautiful and festive place to explore the Christmas markets, look no further than the small Baltic city of Tallinn, Tallinn is such a magical place to visit in the winter.
Unlike many cities around Europe, Tallinn only has one Christmas market but it is home to over 50 wooden stalls. The market is set up in Town Hall Square and features a range of traditional Estonian handicrafts and foodstuffs, as well as a selection of festive entertainment.
The medieval town square comes alive with Christmas markets from the 25th of November until the 8th of January. Make sure to swing by between 12pm and 7pm each day to soak up all the holiday cheer!
The Tallinn Christmas Market is the perfect place to stock up on traditional Estonian Christmas decorations, such as handmade glass baubles and woolen socks. The little ceramic houses are the cutest souvenir or gift.
There is also a wide selection of Estonian foodstuffs on offer, including smoked meats, blood sausage, fried potatoes and cheeses. In addition to the traditional market stalls, there is also a range of festive entertainment on offer at the Tallinn Christmas Market.
Visitors can enjoy live music, dance performances and a range of other festive activities. The market is a must-visit for anyone spending Christmas in Tallinn.
The Christmas markets are most authentic on weekends, when you’ll find folk dancers and choirs singing carols. They light the advent candle each Sunday. The Estonian capital’s Christmas markets have been voted the best Christmas Markets in Europe numerous times.
If you’re looking for a lovely place to stay in Tallinn, look no further than Hotel St. Barbara. Just outside of the city walls but still within walking distance of the old town, it offers everything you need for a comfortable visit.
Christmas Markets in Germany
Dresden Christmas Markets
By Ali of Berlin Travel Tips
Germany has tons of amazing Christmas markets, and it’s really the best place for them. But even within Germany, Dresden has one of the best Christmas markets around. If you’re looking for tradition, this is the place for it since Dresden’s Striezelmarkt is considered the oldest Christmas market in the world since it dates back to 1434.
Dresden is in eastern Germany, and you can easily travel from Berlin to Dresden in about 2 hours by train. It’s a lovely city on the Elbe River, and even though it was heavily damaged in WWII, it has be carefully rebuilt. The old town is filled with charm and makes for a wonderful setting for a Christmas market.
Make your way to the Altmarkt square in Dresden’s old town to enjoy the festive Striezelmarkt. The stalls sell delicious food, hot mulled wine, and creative Christmas decorations and gifts to bring home with you. One food you should definitely try here is Stollen. This is a bread that’s similar to fruitcake. You’ll find it in many cities in Germany, but it originates from Dresden.
Another reason the Dresden Christmas market is so special is its massive Erzebirge pyramid. Most Christmas markets in Germany will have one of these tall wooden structures, but at 14.62 meters (almost 48 feet) tall, the one in Dresden holds the title for tallest in the world.
The Striezelmarkt is the most famous market in Dresden, and there’s no entry fee. But there are others hosted in various parts of the old town. Check out the Christmas markets near Frauenkirche, Dresden Castle, and Stallhof, to name a few. They’re all within easy walking distance from each other.
Hamburg Christmas Markets
By Marta of Where Life is Great
Hamburg’s Christmas Markets, together with all the others across Germany, are strongly ingrained in the country’s culture. Every December, Germany transforms its cities into attractive marketplaces where you can socialize with friends and eat and drink seasonal fare.
Nothing will better evoke the spirit of Christmas than sipping mulled wine, enjoying holiday fare, listening to carols, and observing snowflakes fall from the sky. Shopping in the centre of Hamburg during the holidays is also a real treat because small boutiques, shops, and shopping centres are all decorated for the holiday season. Every Saturday in December, there is also a parade.
There are three Christmas markets in Hamburg that you shouldn’t miss – Hamburg City Hall Christmas Market, The Weisser Zauber Christmas Market and Santa Pauli Christmas Market in Hamburg.
The largest Christmas market in Hamburg is called City Hall Market, and it is situated in front of the Rathaus. Here, you can buy a variety of Christmas decorations, vibrant gingerbreads, delicious chocolates, and traditional German foods like bratwurst and gluhwein.
At the Inner Alster lake, on Jungfernstieg Boulevard, is where you’ll find the Weisser Zauber Christmas Market. It features stalls that are white and stylish where you can smell cinnamon in the air, taste freshly roasted nuts, and listen to the “White Christmas” carol playing over the loudspeakers.
Travel tip: All Christmas markets have a similar look, except for Santa Pauli Market. Everything here has a “Kinky Christmas” theme. You can even buy sexy gingerbreads and watch a nasty Santa show. Read more about Christmas markets in Hamburg and discover other fun winter activities, such as visiting Chocoversum in Hamburg.
Nurembeg Christmas Markets
By Paul D’Souza of Paulmarina
The Nuremberg Christmas market is one of the most well known traditional advent time markets in Germany and Europe. Held every year on the main market square, known as Hauptmarkt in German, in Nuremberg city, is a classic market that visitors shouldn’t miss.
The Bavarian cities inner medieval walls create a special ambiance, unparalleled by other Christmas markets. Nuremberg city has a rich history, as it was a main trading post in the day. Many Jews called this city their home throughout the ages and traders came from far to bring spices, nuts and dried fruits.
Traditional treats such as the famous Lebkuchen reflect just that. The Nuremberg Elisenlebkuchen is prepared with minimal or without flour and contains chopped dried fruits, nuts, and spices. Visitors to the market can get various Lebkuchen types at the Christmas markets, including Lebkuchen hearts and houses.
Other local specialty are the Nürnberger Bratwurst sausages. Three grilled sausages are served in a bun with a topping of choice. Christmas market visitors will also come across roasted chestnuts and candied almonds in the Nuremberg market among various dried fruits, typical German Christmas cookies and many more treats.
The Christmas market is held from end of November or beginning December up to the 24th of December. Guests to this magnificent German city can experience this authentic market daily from 10 am to 9 pm.
The first market is inaugurated by the Christkindles, a young lady dressed as an angel. The Christkindles, or Christkind, is the Christ child who brings gifts and good wishes on the 24th of December.
Kids love to have a picture taken with the Christkindles, which makes for a fantastic memory. Further, families will appreciate all the Nuremberg attractions and fun things to do in the city.
Ravennaschlucht Christmas Market
By Bec of Wyld Family Travel
The Ravennaschlucht Christmas Market (Weihnachtsmarkt in der Ravennaschlucht in German) held just out of Freiburg Germany is out of this world and one that is not easily forgotten.
Christmas Markets in Europe all have a slightly different feel when you first attend them, whether it is the food, the entertainment, or where they are held within a town they all have something that makes them stand out…until you attend the Ravennaschlucht and you realise this one is epic.
The Ravennaschlucht Market is held in the middle of the forest in the Ravenna Gorge and it is one of the best things to do in Freiburg in winter for visitors and locals alike. This market is so popular there are tickets sold every year for you to attend and buses leave from local towns to take people out to it.
If you do plan to visit the Ravennaschlucht Market you also have to book your parking to go with it. You’d think just being in the forest is the most unique thing but it is also held under an arched 40-foot railway bridge!
It dominates the skyline during the day with trains travelling over it throughout the day and at night. At night the arches are also lit up with an ever-changing colourful light display. Many locals from Freiburg and the surrounding attend the market with their children.
It is a big family event and you will see many families out there. A Christmas Story is told through the forest following the little stream that runs beside the footpath. The story is played over a loudspeaker and you follow along with the story to each of the little scenes. It is in German for anyone visiting from other countries and it is not in English.
Add in the small wooden stalls selling hot Ghluwein and plenty of people cooking wurst by the roaring fires dotted through the market and you have one of the most memorable Christmas Markets in Europe!
Christmas Markets in Hungary
Christmas Market in Budapest
By Kate of Adventurous Kate
The Budapest Christmas markets are well worth a visit! In fact, these are good markets to hit up early. While Germany’s Christmas markets open on December 1, Budapest’s Christmas markets open in mid-November. Additionally, many Christmas market river cruises start or end in Budapest, making it a great place to spend a few days at the end of your journey.
The main Christmas market in Budapest is on Vörösmarty Square. Here you’ll find market stalls dishing up Hungarian delicacies like kürtőskalács (chimney cakes), lángos (slabs of fried dough topped with sour cream and cheese, or any variety of items), or gulyás (Hungarian goulash, filled with lots of paprika). You can enjoy a killer view from St. Andrea Wine and Skybar above.
Another popular market is at St. Stephen’s Basilica, with live music performance and a video-mapping light show on the cathedral, as well as more mulled wine and tasty treats. You can ride a Ferris wheel in the park nearby.And if you want to go a bit further out, the Óbuda Christmas Market is a more traditional market popular with locals, while the artsy town of Szentendre, 40 minutes away by train, brings small town Hungarian charm.
During your time in Budapest, be sure to hit up the Szechenyi Baths. These outdoor baths in their iconic yellow building are wonderful to visit year-round, but especially nice in the chill of the holiday season. Afterward, go ice skating in nearby City Park. Looking for a fun night out? Hit up one of Budapest’s legendary ruin pubs, like Szimpla Kert or Instant-Fogas Complex!
Best Christmas Markets in Iceland
Reykjavik Christmas Markets
By Victoria of Iceland Trippers
If you’re in search of some of the best Christmas markets in Europe then you can’t beat Reykjavik, Iceland. In fact, this stunning metropolis is home to a wide variety of fun and inviting markets that are just waiting to be explored.
So, if you really want to get into the spirit of the season then start off with a visit to Yule Town at Ingólfstorg. Because the real highlight of any trip here is the giant ice skating rink that sits at the center of the market.
Then, after you’ve finished skating, take some time to admire the incredible holiday decor before strolling through local vendors and checking out a wide array of gifts, artisanal crafts, and local food.
However, for all of my fellow foodies out there, don’t forget to stop at Hlemmur Mathöll Food Hall. And while this amazing place has a wide variety of festive fare for you to try, you’re gonna want to grab some mulled wine since this delectable delight isn’t widely available elsewhere in Iceland in December.
After you’ve enjoyed some wine, journey 15-minutes outside of town to The Christmas Village in Hafnarfjörður. It’s open all weekend long throughout December and is brimming over with cozy chalets that sell delicious food.
If you want, you can even go on a horse-drawn carriage ride as you listen to Christmas songs being played in the background. Although, if you want to explore a more traditional market then you’ll need to stop at the Christmas Market in Heiðmörk.
After all, this is where local go to purchase their Christmas trees and to sit around a giant fire while listening to Christmas stories being read out loud.
Best Christmas Markets in Northern Ireland
Christmas Markets in Belfast
By Allan of Bangorni
Belfast is a lesser-celebrated European city, and while it once was a destination to avoid, Belfast has developed significantly since the troubled days in Northern Ireland. Now it is the perfect escape for weekends and short breaks and in the festive months (November 20th – December 24th) it is all about the Belfast Christmas Market.
The annual Christmas Market in Belfast is set among the statues and monuments of the grounds of Belfast City Hall which makes for the perfect backdrop in the epicenter of Northern Ireland’s capital city. Each year the stalls and attractions are fairly similar with 2 large beer tents in the centre of the market then surrounded by alleys of food and gift kiosks.
As with most Christmas markets the focus is mostly on food including the continental favourites such as German sausages, gluhwein (or mulled wine as they call it here), a traditional hog roast, and the local novelty ‘meats of the world’ selling kangaroo ostrich and wild boar burgers.
There’s also lots of sweets and candy shops, and of course steins of beer in the beer tents to escape the harsher winter weather. Also, Belfast is one of the most affordable cities in all of the UK so a visit won’t likely dent your wallet.
Traditionally Belfast Christmas marker has been central to the festive season to escape to after a day at the adjoining shopping streets of Donegall Place and Royal Avenue and before a night out at the Irish Bars and Belfast Pubs that are dotted across the city. The location at City Hall itself also has free tours of the buildings and museums to tick off some cultural tourism as well.
Christmas Markets in the Netherlands
Valkenburg Christmas Markets
By Cosette from KarsTravels.
The small town of Valkenburg is all the way South in the Netherlands, near the city of Maastricht and the border with Belgium. Each year in November and December the Christmas markets in Valkenburg are held in caves. This makes them unique.
There are 4 caves that host Christmas events. Gemeente grot has a Christmas market that’s considered the oldest underground Christmas market in Europe. Fluweelengrot (Velvet cave) has a magical Christmas market.
In the caves stalls are lined up in the corridors and in between Christmas decorations are set up. Providing a warm and cozy feeling. Since the markets are inside the caves it’s always dry and a steady 12°C. Food, clothes and Christmas trinkets are being sold at the stalls. A unique souvenir is a Christmas item made from marl.
Mergelrijk is a cave where the Christmas story and other Christmas scenes are on display in miniature. The display is 25-meters long. Winter Wonderland has the Wilhelmina grot, which is a small cave with the Christmas story on display.
It’s a mountain which has a 30-meters high Christmas tree, a bobsled ride, a toboggan run and a small Christmas market on top. Buy erwtensoep (Dutch split pea soup), glühwein or hot chocolate here. A cable lift brings you up the mountain.
But these are not all the Christmas events happening in Valkenburg. There’s Santa’s Village, a Christmas market on a square. Where Santa is present and oliebollen (a Dutch New Year’s Eve treat) are being sold. Twice a week the Landal Christmas Parade rides through town.
Book your tickets for the caves online, they don’t sell them at the door. Further go early to avoid long waiting lines. For years marl was removed from quarries in this area. The marl removal has stopped, leaving series of caves with corridors. Nowadays tours and events are held in these caves.
Christmas Markets in Poland
Christmas Markets in Krakow
By Lowri of Many Other Roads
Europe is full of the most amazing Christmas markets on the globe. But if you are looking for one that has the most unique gifts and the weather for a perfect winter wonderful, add Krakow, Poland to your list.
Krakow is an amazing city to visit, but it is even better during the Christmas period. The city has been hosting its Christmas markets for hundreds of years now, which means that it has perfected the art of making it an enjoyable experience for everyone.
The city of Krakow puts up stalls with different kinds of foods and drinks from all over Poland, as well as stalls with arts, crafts and boutique items. In addition to these stalls, there are also a lot of live performances going on in the city at this time of year.
If you are looking for unique handmade gifts, the handmade candles you can find around the market are amazing. There is also a blacksmith who creates wonderful gifts and you can even have them engraved for free.
Typically the markets are open from 10 am to 8 pm. However, the stall owners tend to come and go and the food stalls stay open until at least 10 pm.
For the most enjoyable experience, I recommend visiting when the sun has gone down. The stalls look so amazing with all the Christmas lights around them. But it can get really cold so make sure you are wearing your warmest winter clothing!
The best way to get into Krakow is to fly into John Paul II International Airport (KRK). This is only 20 minutes away from the City so you can either get the train or order a taxi.
For all budgets, wants and needs, you will not struggle to find an amazing place to stay in Krakow. But no matter what hotel you want to stay in, it’s a good idea to book in advance as the Christmas Markets are a popular time to visit the city.
Christmas Markets in Wroclaw
By Dee of Vanilla Papers
Wroclaw’s Christmas market is an underrated gem held in an enormous medieval square and packed with regional delicacies and crafts. This Christmas market in Western Poland is one of the most beautiful in the country.
And a night spent browsing through this festive feast for the senses is one of the celebrated Polish Christmas traditions. Wroclaw’s market square is one of the largest in Europe and it’s lined with historic buildings that surround the magnificent city hall.
From mid November until late December, the Rynek (Square) comes alive with colorful lights, roller coasters and carousels that transform the city centre into a winter wonderland. The market stretches from the main square to Plac Solny with booths full of handicrafts, street performers, live music and plenty of mulled wine.
Dating back to the sixteenth century, Wroclaw’s Christmas market has fairground games and fairytale characters that children especially love. The market is a great destination for a family Christmas getaway.
Craftsmen from across Europe sell their handiwork inside wooden huts. And if you’re looking for an authentic Polish souvenir, then pick up some glass blown ornaments for your tree. Poland is famous for creating these colourful ornaments and you can find them in dozens of shapes from traditional Santas to Nefertiti busts.
And don’t miss the traditional Polish specialties that fill the square with their sweet aromas. Try some smoked cheese with cranberries, sauerkraut stew (bigos) and potato pancakes for a taste of some Polish holiday favourites.
There are also international treats including Spanish churros, crepes and Hungarian fried flatbread to satisfy any craving. Special annual events include a Christmas parade, a tree lighting ceremony, carol singers and choir concerts.
Christmas Markets in Spain
Christmas Markets in Barcelona
By Vicki of Vicki Viaja
Barcelona is probably not the first city you think of when planning a Europe City trip for the Christmas season. But still, or maybe precisely because of that, the Catalan capital is an ideal destination to visit in December.
The main reason for a Christmas trip to Barcelona is the city’s great Christmas markets. They have quite a different vibe from the traditional Christmas markets you might know from other European cities. In addition to delicious Spanish Christmas foods such as hot chestnuts, turrón, and churros con chocolate, the main focus here is on unique craftsmanship.
You can’t leave the markets without checking out Catalonia’s fun traditional Christmas decorations – and they’re not just any Christmas adornments, they’re perhaps one the craziest European traditions.
One example is the caga tió, the traditional Catalan “poop log,” which is a festive “wooden piñata” that children hit with a wooden stick at Christmas until the block poops out their presents. The caga tió will easily fit any luggage to take home as a souvenir.
While there also has been a newer, more modern Christmas market at the port for several years now, the city’s two traditional Christmas markets have a long tradition in the Catalan capital. The older and bigger one, the Fira de Santa Lucía in the Gothic Quarter by the Cathedral, dates back to the 18th century.
But also the other classic market, the Fira de Nadal in the park by Barcelona’s most famous sight, Sagrada Família, is popular with locals and visitors alike.
While the Fira de Santa Lucía offers a broader range of products, the Fira de Nadal is more of a local market, mainly selling Christmas trees, nativity scenes, and interesting Catalan decorative items.
Since both of the markets have their own unique atmosphere, it’s absolutely worth it to visit them both. Moreover, due to their convenient locations near the city’s sights, you can easily integrate your visit into your itinerary.
Christmas Markets in Malaga
By Cristina of My Little World of Travelling
Malaga’s Christmas market is one of the most beautiful in Andalusia and takes place in Paseo del Parque. The Christmas Market is home to stalls selling traditional Spanish nativity scenes, Christmas decorations, and traditional sweets.
It runs from the end of November until the 6th of January. However, this isn’t the only Christmas Market in Malaga. Muelle Uno, Malaga’s Port, has its own Christmas Market with more stalls to buy unique gifts and plenty of activities for children such as visiting Santa’s Grotto.
If you are visiting Malaga during this time of the year, make sure to check out the Christmas Light Show that takes place in Calle Larios. This is a show in which the lights dance to the rhythm of Christmas songs. The show often happens at three different times, between 6 pm and 10 pm, but you can check the exact times on Malaga’s official website.
Apart from all the fantastic Christmas activities to do in Malaga, the city has many other things to offer in winter – from visiting museums and art galleries to exploring historic buildings like the Alcazaba and Gibralfaro Castle with breathtaking views of the city and the port.
History lovers will enjoy learning that Malaga is one of the oldest cities in Spain. The city was founded by the Phoenicians in the 8th century BC and has been occupied by the Romans, Visigoths, and Moors.
Overall, Malaga is a fantastic place to visit at Christmas and has become a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches, warm and sunny weather, and friendly locals.
Christmas Markets in the UK
Chatsworth House Christmas Market
By Jenny of Peak District Kids
Chatsworth House, situated in the heart of the UK’s Peak District National Park and home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire since 1549, is one of the grandest estates in the UK. And when it comes to Christmas, they pull out all the stops.
The Chatsworth Christmas Markets generally run from mid November to the beginning of December, but the house and garden decorations stay up until mid-January. Entry is free, but you do have to pay for parking.
Visitors can browse over one hundred stalls offering a range of Christmas gifts and decorations, sample delicious treats (including the famous Bakewell Tarts!), and enjoy a mulled wine at one of the outdoor bars. If you visit later in the day, ideally at dusk, the setting feels even more magical with the twinkling lights set against the impressive Chatsworth Estate and live music filling the air.
Whilst visiting the markets, you must venture inside the house to marvel the festive transformation (pre-book tickets) . Each year Chatsworth pick a specific theme and it takes a year of planning. Alternatively take a walk around the grounds (which is free) either along the River Derwent to spot deer, or head up to the Hunting Tower and through the woods.
A Peak District Christmas can make you feel like you’ve stepped into a Dickens novel; quaint limestone villages decorated in festive cheer, and a dusting of snow on the hilltops. It’s worth visiting for at least a weekend and combine your visit to Chatsworth with some winter hikes along the Peak District’s impressive escarpments, such as nearby Baslow Edge and/or Curbar Edge.
Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park
By Travel Mad Mum
London is a magical place to visit during the festive season. With an abundance of Christmas markets and glittering lights decorating many of the streets, it’s the perfect European Christmas Destination.
The most popular markets are based at the Southbank Centre, Leicester Square, Hyde Park and Convent Garden. However, Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is the largest with the best activities and entertainment for all ages.
Every year the area transforms into a large-scale festive fairground with lots of rides for all ages. Not to mention the Bavarian village, with traditional wooden bars, covered halls with long benches, heaters, great food, stein beers, concerts and live music.
There are also family friendly theatres performance and lots of wooden huts selling festive gifts and treats. Paddington On Ice has been an example of shows held in previous years. The markets start mid-November and end early January each year.
It tends to attract families from the afternoon until early evening, whilst later evenings attract party goers to the Bavarian beer houses. Smell the aromas of mulled wines and ciders, roasted chestnuts and melted chocolate laced waffles throughout the area.
Christmas tunes are on repeat, and everyone is in the festive spirit. Activities such as ice skating and theatre shows are worth booking in advance on the Winter Wonderland website to secure a spot. Pick up some cute gifts from local business owners from one of the many stalls.
Winter Wonderland is a large area, so it is worth wearing comfortable warms shoes to make your way around the entire space. Pack plenty of layers as the weather is cold in London during the Christmas period.
York Christmas Markets
By Sinead of York With Kids
The historic city of York in the north of England hosts a six week long Christmas market in the heart of the city centre. The market has been running for 30 years and gets bigger and better each year.
Over 100 Alpine style wooden chalets line York’s pedestrianised streets selling locally made arts and crafts and locally produced food and drink. The market is free to enter and is open from morning till late seven days a week.
Shoppers are entertained by brass bands, buskers and choirs who set a festive atmosphere with their Christmas music and carols. Visitors can buy wood, ceramic and woollen gifts as well as a range of Yorkshire Gin flavours, Yorkshire wine and locally made chocolate.
The centrepiece of the market – and a Yorkie favourite – is Thor’s Tipi. The huge tipi is erected especially for the Christmas market and features sheepskin lined benches set around an open log fire. Shoppers can revive themselves with a mulled wine, mince pie or a creamy hot chocolate. The communal seating creates a convivial atmosphere both day and night.
York Christmas Market is part of a wider, city-wide Christmas festival so shoppers should plan extra days to explore York at Christmas. There are carol concerts in York Minster, the largest gothic cathedral in Northern Europe, themed events in the city’s historic houses and festive window displays.
Hotels throughout York feature Christmas decorations and host festive themed afternoon teas. York gets very busy at Christmas so it is advisable to visit by train, rather than drive into the city. York is a small, compact city and the major attractions and the market are easily visited on foot.
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