Tourism Ireland

Europe’s Best Christmas Markets

by Allie Moore

Dec 7, 2015

© Nivi | Dreamstime


When Christmas hits Europe, it is impossible to ignore. Before December even begins, cities already paint their streets and window fronts with yuletide decor and lights aplenty. Some cities rock the holiday more than others, including those below who open Christmas-focused markets in some of their open plazas. If you find yourself in Europe in November or December, try to make it to one of these once-a-year spectacles.



Once you’re full of Belgian waffles and delectable chocolate, browse the Belgian markets for handcrafts and potential presents, followed by a lap around the centrally located ice-skating rink.


Berlin, Germany © Luna4 | Dreamstime

© Luna4 | Dreamstime



Germany is famous for its nationwide holiday markets, but Berlin takes the cake with more than 60 markets throughout the city. Treat yourself to mulled wine and a traditional German Christmas cookie.



Gingerbread, toy horses and some of the world´s best coffee accent Austria’s market that dates to the 13th century. The city lights charm the streets and illuminate the large square in front of City Hall.


Christmas in Prague, Old Town Square © Povalec | Dreamstime

© Povalec | Dreamstime



Predictably, one of the Czech Republic capital´s markets sets up in Old Town Square in the shadow of the Astronomical Clock Tower and the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn. Other markets exist elsewhere, like in Wenceslas Square where the carol of ´Good King Wenceslas´ can be sung underneath the statue of Wenceslas himself.



The very first Christmas market took place in this town in France on the border of Germany. Celebrate the tradition where it all began by visiting the 11 individual Christmas villages and taking home some of the edible decorations!



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