Europe's must-see Christmas markets

2 min read

Europe's must-see Christmas markets
The continent is known for magical Christmas markets, but what are the best Christmas markets in Europe? From Prague to Strasbourg, these are the must-see markets
Festive lights, tempting aromas, seasonal music...Christmas markets delight all your senses and offer an opportunity to explore different cultures and culinary joy.

1. Prague

Open daily at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square in Prague's Old Town, you can enjoy mulled wine and cider from end of November until beginning of January.

2. Cologne

The Cologne Cathedral is an impressive backdrop to the brightly lit tree and market. Christmastime in Cologne is magical. The city is illuminated with festive Christmas lighting that bathes the streets in a warm glow.  

3. Strasbourg

Strasbourg, France, calls itself the “Capital of Christmas”, as it is one of the oldest running  Christmas markets having started around the Cathedral back in 1570. If it's your first time visiting, there is no fee. However, it's recommended that you do a Christmas Market Tour and enjoy the markets throughout the Alsace region.

4. Madrid

Each year offers colourful illumination at the Plaza Mayor market in Madridfeaturing with over 100 stalls offering crafts, nativity scene figures, musical instruments, toys and joke items.  Neighbourhoods across the city dazzle as locals celebrate in the Christmas festivities.
Image of people walking around a Christmas Market

5. Reykjavik

Cheerful merchants selling everything from Icelandic design and crafts to snacks and hot drinks, and Christmas wreaths in their booths at the Reykjavik, Iceland market.  You will be treated to a feast of sights and sounds with live entertainment.

6. Nuremberg

The opening ceremony for Nuremberg’s huge Christkindlesmarkt is held in the Hauptmarkt and adjoining squares and streets during Advent in Nuremberg’s old town.  it is known as one of the World's most famous Christmas markets and is one of the oldest.

7. Tallinn

The Christmas market in Tallinn, Estonia, has been held on the 15th-century Town Hall Square since 1991. When you arrive, it feels like you've stepped right into a fairy tale set in the medieval Old Town that is usually dusted in snow around Christmas.

8. Munich

Father Christmas visits the market at the Marienplatz in Munich, so it is certain to get you in the festive mood.  There are many options if you shop for gifts or simply want to sample the local traditions, all in a charming atmosphere.

9. Krakow

Centred in and around Krakow's Main Square, the Krakow Christmas market sells gingerbread cookies expressing words in Polish as well as offering many other eateries and nearby shops.

10. Copenhagen

The Christmas market at Tivoli is a beloved tradition in Copenhagen and a favourite with locals and visitors alike because it offers a magical adventure.  There is an entrance fee to embark on the illuminated journey through the gardens with stalls, live entertainment as well as a selection of rides to go on too.
Keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter