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Christmas is a joyous time of merriment and celebration. A time when loved ones gather from across the globe to celebrate and spend quality time together. Alas, that magical time of year is nearly upon us once again. The sweet aroma of Christmas is slowly but surely sneaking back into our lives — and with it, the urge to get into the ‘Christmas spirit’ grows ever stronger. And what better way to embrace the Christmas spirit than by attending a Christmas market?
Christmas markets are an excellent way to enjoy the festive period: whether you are bulk buying cute presents or lapping up the mulled wine, Christmas markets have it all. But which ones are the best? We have you covered. Here’s our list of the best Christmas markets in Europe and the UK.
Every year, Birmingham hosts the largest authentic German market in Europe outside of Germany and Austria. With 5.5 million annual visitors, it is truly a spectacle to behold. With German beer, bratwursts, live bands, and a singing Christmas Moose (yes, you read that right!), this Christmas market has something for everyone.
Dates: 3rd November 2022 - 23rd December 2022
Location: Victoria Square, Birmingham, Birmingham B3 3AA
If you fancy a winter getaway to Hungary, then Budapest has some of the best Christmas markets in Europe. Vorosmarty Square is Budapest’s oldest Christmas market, with beautiful wooden stalls creating a nostalgic and old-fashioned atmosphere. There are endless handmade gifts if you fancy purchasing a unique gift, alongside plenty of free musical concerts to entertain you. Budapest also offers another Christmas market in Basilica which boasts an ice-skating rink that circles around a stunning Christmas tree.
Dates: 19th November 2022 - 1st January 2023
Location: Budapest, Vörösmarty tér 3, 1051 Hungary
For a Christmas market slightly closer to home, the beautiful city of Edinburgh hosts an enticing affair. Regarded as one of the best Christmas markets in Europe, it is certainly one for the bucket list. There are markets scattered across the city as well as grand rides that cater to all the adrenaline junkies. Stalls run up The Mound, Princes Street and Princes Street Gardens. Some stalls even offer a quintessentially Scottish mulled Irn Bru!
Dates: 25th November 2022 - 3rd January 2023
Location: Edinburgh city centre, Scotland
One of the best Christmas markets in Europe takes place in the outrageously beautiful city of Vienna. Peruse the quaint streets of the old town with a cup of mulled wine and a pretzel in hand. For an excellent European winter getaway and a world-renowned festive experience (with ice rinks and all), Vienna is the place for you.
Dates: 19th November 2022 - 26th December 2022
Location: Friedrich-Schmidt-Platz 1, 1010 Wien, Austria
Every year, Manchester’s Christmas markets attract huge waves of tourists — and for good reason. There are eight (yes, eight!) markets spread across the city with roughly 300 stalls in total. If you want to be spoiled for choice, this is the Christmas market to go to. A huge variety of delicious culinary delights and quaint handmade gifts. Manchester Christmas markets certainly provide a buzzing atmosphere for all to enjoy.
Dates: 8th November 2022 - 19th December 2022
Location: Manchester city centre, England
At the Prague Christmas markets, you will be greeted by all manner of food items. From traditional Czech Christmas fish soup to smoked meat dumplings, there are an excess of food that may tickle your fancy. Also, have a wander into the Old Town Square, where you’ll be met by sheep, goats and donkeys in a scene reminiscent of the nativity. This is certainly a contender for the best Christmas market in Europe.
Dates: 26th November 2022 - 6th January 2023
Location: Old Town Square, Staroměstské nám., 110 00 Josefov, Czechia
If you are after a magical and more regal Christmas market vibe, then the Chatsworth Christmas market is for you. It only runs in November which only serves to add to its allure of exclusivity. Indulge in 100 market stalls that sell chic stocking fillers and delicious food. You can also experience one of their groovy outside bars. This is definitely a Christmas market worth visiting.
Dates: 5th November 2022 - 23rd November 2022
Location: Chatsworth House, Bakewell, DE45 1PP
Last but not least, why not pop over to Berlin to attend one of their many Christmas markets? Berlin Christmas markets provide a trendy and upbeat experience. It is impossible to go to all of the Berlin Christmas markets (there are roughly 80!) but there is certainly something for everyone. If it’s variety you’re after, then Berlin is for you. For example, Winter World on Potsdamer Platz provides tourists with excellent winter sports events (e.g. tobogganing and curling) — a great one if you want to take along younger children! Other Berlin Christmas markets offer more orthodox Christmas amenities, such as copious amounts of mulled wine served in the beautiful market in Gendarmenmarkt square.
Dates: Variable (mostly between mid November and late December)
Location: Berlin, Germany