The Best Christmas Markets to Visit This Winter

December 12, 2018

Europe is filled with amazing cities that come alive during Christmas time. From food stalls selling local delicacies, to magical 20-metre Christmas trees that twinkle all day long, Europe boasts some of the best Christmas markets in the world, and they’re just a short ferry journey away.

Below are five of our favourites that you must visit this winter!


Brussels, Belgium

This year, the Winter Wonders and Christmas Markets take place from 30th November until the 6th January 2019 in the centre of Brussels. This truly magical festival holds over 200 stalls serving delicious local delights, hand crafted ornaments and of course mulled wine.

Along with these chalets, there is a fairground including attractions such as a Ferris wheel and merry-go-rounds. There is even an ice rink, which is fun for all the family.

Measuring 22 metres, a magnificent tree from the Belgian forests will stand tall in the centre of the Grand-Place. This Norway Spruce, after having been freshly cut the day before, was transported to Brussels in a special convoy and mounted on 22 November.

You’ll be able to spend hours exploring this fantastic city, not to mention the festive parades that make their way through the city to excite and awe the many people who come out to watch and take in the festive spirit.



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Cologne, Germany

The fourth largest city in Germany is touched by festive magic in the run-up to Christmas. Cologne is filled with music, crafts, Christmas decorations and toys for all ages to enjoy. Your senses will be treated to many delights, such as the smell of Christmas bakeries, aroma of Glühwein and gingerbread, and the fabulous wreath binders and glass blowers. There are several markets to explore across the city.

The Cathedral Christmas market is set in front of the impressive back-drop of Cologne’s most famous landmark. This wonderful market holds 150 stalls for visitors to explore. It’s also well-located, as it lies within walking distance to Cologne’s well-known shopping areas; ‘Hohe Straße’ and ‘Schildergasse’, and also close to rustic brewing houses.

Another must-see is the Old Market or the ‘Alter Markt’ in front of Cologne’s town hall, in the heart of Cologne’s old town. The great thing about this market is that it has two main themed alleys; “Futtergasse” (Feeding Alley) where visitors can buy different food delicacies, and the “Glitzergasse” (Glitter Alley) where fashion accessories and Christmas crafts can be bought.


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Paris, France

The Champs-Élysées Christmas Market is the largest and most famous Marché de Noël in Paris, and is a must-see this year. This year the market has moved from the iconic Champs-Élysées to the Tuileries Garden next to the Louvre, which is a mere five-minute walk from the dazzling boulevard.

This picturesque market is open until early January, which gives everyone plenty of time to explore these fabulous stalls.

There are around 100 stalls, showcasing French-produced food, wine and hand-crafted gifts that are perfect to take back home to your loved ones. Not only are you able to explore these festive chalets, but there are dozens of carnival rides, an ice rink, glittering lights and maybe even a guest appearance from Santa to really get you in the festive spirit.

And in case you still need to do some last-minute shopping, this market is a stone’s throw away from Rue Saint-Honoré where you can explore the chic boutiques, or the brightly-lit stores in the underground shopping mall Carrousel du Louvre.


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Amsterdam, Holland

Throughout December, Amsterdam is alive with Christmas festivities. There are several squares you should visit to get yourself in the Christmas spirit, and explore this vibrant city.

Dam Square is a great place to head to so you can visit the 20-metre tall Christmas tree lit up in all its glory, standing proud in front of the Royal Palace. It is the perfect place to soak up the bright lights with the crowd.

If you fancy doing some ice skating, you’ll have to head over to Museumplein. This smooth ice rink is in front of the beautifully lit Riksmuseum, and surrounded by the cosy Christmas stalls, selling all kinds of goodies and wintery refreshments. Known as the Ice Village, this winter market allows you to immerse yourself in Christmas cheer by sipping on mulled wine and visiting the different stalls choosing out the perfect gift or souvenir.

And it isn’t just the streets that are lit up for Christmas. The Amsterdam Light Festival is a truly beautiful sight; all the canals turn into a beacon of light. More than 35 pieces of artwork and installations from national and international artists adorn the canals, creating an extra romantic setting for the canal cruises.


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Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

Luxembourg transforms pockets of its city into real Christmas villages to help create a truly magical scene.

For a month, the main square in Luxembourg City is covered with wonderful wooden huts selling all kinds of Christmas treats, such as handmade wooden crafts, toys, candles, decorations, sweets and roasted nuts – to name a few. Not to mention the mulled wine, fresh gingerbread, and typical foods like the Grillwurscht (grilled sausage), Mettwurscht (Luxembourgish sausages) or Gromperekichelcher (potato pancakes).

Right in the heart of the city centre in front of City Hall, we are treated to “Knuedler on Ice” returns to Place Guillaume II. Grab some skates for a fantastic time for all the family at this 800 m² ice skating rink (half of which is covered under a marquee). You’ll be able to spend hours on the ice and explore what all the stalls have to offer in this scenic festive city.


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To make planning your Christmas market trip a little easier and for more inspiration, visit our Christmas market packages to get the most out of your break and create some magical festive memories.

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