Hey there travelers and welcome to my post where I will outline for you my 5 best European Christmas markets to sample the egg nogs in this year. There is nothing quite like Europe in winter. Fewer tourists, cheaper accommodation and of course, the magic of Christmas. For someone like me used to hot weather during the holiday period, the site of all those trees, lights and decorations in the snow is something to behold.

Best European Christmas Markets - Header

Discover the most stunning Christmas trees, the most beautiful Christmas lights or if snow is not your thing, even the sunniest Christmas markets in Europe as well. And to help you out, I have checked the reviews, done some research and reached into my own memory banks to come up with 5 great options below.

Let’s check them out…

  1. Budapest’s Advent Basilica Feast
  2. Berlin’s Christmas Markets
  3. Basel Switzerland
  4. Warsaw’s Christmas Markets
  5. Metz France

Best European Christmas Markets

Ok, now for our list.

1. Budapest’s Advent Basilica Feast (Hungary)

Best European Christmas Markets - Budapest

Voted best Christmas market of 2020. the Advent Feast at the Basilica is Budapest’s most magnificent Christmas market. It comprises more than 100 artisan and culinary merchants, typical fair cuisine as well as various local specialties. The brilliantly adorned ambience of the fair itself is complemented by the hugely successful lightshow projected each day on the front of the Basilica in recent years.

True to Christmas traditions, each advent Sunday a new candle is lit on the communal advent wreath complemented by several musical performances performing their particular joyful holiday shows. Since Christmas is a time for giving to those less fortunate, the event’s organizers have invited various charitable organizations to participate in the program, in keeping with their philosophy and the ideals upheld by Christians.

The Advent Feast at the Basilica runs from mid November until new year’s day.

2. Berlin’s Christmas markets (Germany)

Best European Christmas Markets - Berlin

Whilst more of a group of markets than a single operation, Berlin’s Christmas Markets are generally regarded as one of the largest, most festive and best-decorated in Europe! Also, they’re scattered apart, there is the extra fun of finding little treasures in between as you ride the double-decker, hop-on, hop-off bus to and from. There are also bus and train stations from which you may reach Berlin’s Christmas Markets as well. Here are some of the more popular options:

  • Kurfürstendamm – Here you can take a stroll along the famed Kurfürstendamm (also known as the Champs-Élysées of Berlin) and let the bright lights get you in the holiday mood before you visit the market beside the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. These markets offer large Christmas tree as well as 100 holiday booths, fairground attractions, a petting zoo and more! It is also the place to get a hold of a popular authentic German dish called Germknödel – fluffy yeast dumplings filled with spiced plum jam. You can also try the small doughnuts known as Schmalzkuchen, and the gingerbread.
  • Gendarmenmarkt – The Christmas market at Gendarmenmarkt is a visual and auditory extravaganza with choirs, gospel singers, classical musicians, jazz musicians, jugglers and fire-twirlers just to name a few! Among the many items for sale at the booths are paintings, pictures, combs, belts and a wide variety of locally crafted apparel.
  • Potsdamer Platz – Sometimes called Winter World, this is where you will find a gigantic sled and ice skating rink for a bit of winter fun. The booths are styled like miniature log houses and offer a variety of delicious treats and seasonal goods, such as candied apples, roasted almonds, and mulled wine.

And if you did want to venture out of Berlin, you could also try:

  • Ravenna Gorge – This is a market set in a valley filled with evergreen trees crossed by a railway overpass 130 feet in the air. Approximately forty wooden shacks provide regional produce, crafts, and eats.
  • Nuremberg Christkindlemarkt – The Christkindlemarkt is a large and well-known Christmas market that has been held annually since the 16th century. More than a hundred vendors sell anything from Lebkuchen (600-year-old gingerbread) to wooden and glass ornaments to the customary Rauschgoldengel (gold foil angels).

Berlin’s Christmas markets run from late November to early January.

Check out these: 5 Best Winter Destinations in Germany

3. Basel (Switzerland)

Best European Christmas Markets - Basel

The Basel Christmas Market consistently receives top marks as one of the best such events in all of Europe. As the biggest and most beautiful Christmas city in Switzerland, Basel is a must-see every year as the restored Old Town come to life with Christmas light in its stores and the exterior of buildings. Visitors are met with about a hundred large pine trees line the streets, all lit up to guide visitors into the market.

The festivities are located in the middle of the festively adorned Old Town within Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz, two of Basel’s most picturesque squares and the famous designer, Johann Wanner has decorated a Christmas tree that stands out on Münsterplatz. Within these squares you will find 155 small, rustic wooden chalets offering all kinds for treats and gift ideas including:

  • Waffles
  • Mulled wine
  • Genuine Basel Läckerli (a kind of gingerbread)
  • Delicious Swiss raclette
  • Grilled sausages
  • and so much more!

The Basel runs from the last week in November up until Christmas.

4. Warsaw’s christmas Markets (Poland)

Best European Christmas Markets - Warsaw

As with Berlin above, Warsaw’s Christmas Markets are actually a group of markets rather than a single offering as well. In fact, there were several beautiful Christmas Markets in Warsaw including:

  • The Warsaw Christmas Market — The Warsaw Christmas Market, which is held annually at Castle Square in front of the Royal Castle stands the city’s Christmas tree, adorned with twinkling lights. Stalls made to look like wooden huts, painted in red and green, offer a wide variety of holiday decorations, regional specialties and tourist trinkets. Enjoy a hot Gluwien and some baklava during a typical Polish cheese party.
  • The Christmas Market in Barbakan – Surrounded by brick buildings coated in snow and situated in the Old Town, this market consists of approximately 60 wooden booths featuring regionally crafted products including jewelry, apparel, holiday decorations and toys. And of course you can indulge in some Gluwien and a hot chocolate or two as well
  • Krakow – and should you feel like a bit of travel you can also head to Krakow. Widely considered as one of Europe’s most attractive towns, its Christmas markets are lined with timber huts offering a range of grilled and smoked specialties, slow-cooked hearty soups and goulash. Oh and you can also find handcrafted toys and Christmas decorations to take home or give as gifts as well.

Depending on the location, Warsaw’s Christmas marketing run from mid November to early January.

5. Metz (France)

Best European Christmas Markets - Metz

Ranked among the greatest Christmas markets in Europe for over 10 years, Metz is generally regarded as one of the most beautiful Christmas market in France. The markets include the “lantern trail,” a Ferris Wheel and several chalets selling local items,

The Christmas markets are found in the town’s major squares where you can find hand-crafted presents in the Christmas pyramid and sample the tastiest gingerbread available. You can also Skate down the ice road then warm your hands over a mulled wine or hot chocolate. And afterwards you can take a stroll through the beautiful “Sentiers des Lanternes” presented by the Department of Moselle or take the opportunity to stock up on gourmet Christmas staples at the local market hall.

the Metz Christmas markets run from around late November until Christmas.

Check out my: 10 Ways to Spend One Day in Paris

Before you go:

As we look at our list above, let’s just run though some things to keep in mind as you check out each market.

  • Layer up! Most Christmas Markets in Europe are outdoors and it gets pretty chilly!
  • Don’t go overboard on the Gluwien (hot mulled wine) (hot mulled wine) – it tastes sooo good but can end in pain – trust me.
  • If you want to go to more than one nation, limit yourself to collecting a single mug from each location. Or else you’ll be lugging around a lot of them!
  • Find out when the Christmas tree will be lit up this year.
  • Try and stay in accommodation within walking distance of the Christmas Markets.
  • If you are travelling on a budget, they provide for some great free entertainment.


What are the dates of European Christmas Markets?

This obviously depends on the location but in most cases, Christmas markets in Europe generally run from mid November to early January.


So there you have it, my 5 best Christmas markets in Europe to sample this year. I hope it has been of assistance but as usual, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out by commenting below.

Do you have any other Christmas market tips? If so, please comment below.

Until next time

Have fun


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