All over Europe, hundreds of loud, whimsical, glittering Christmas Markets take stage in the centre of towns and cities bringing festive cheer. Christmas Markets are a fantastic place to tour and browse trinkets, decorations, tourist attractions and enjoy an evening with friends and family. There’s usually great food on offer and they can really help you to get into the Christmas spirit!

With so many Christmas Markets taking place across this diverse continent, we try to narrow them down to our top ten…

1. Basel – Switzerland

It’s official; Basel has been voted as the number one Christmas market in Europe for 2021!

Basel has a deep-rooted tradition as Switzerland’s most beautiful and largest Christmas city and is well worth a visit every year. Not only is the well-preserved Old Town radiant in the warm Christmas light, but the shops and facades of many buildings glitter with a golden glow.

Around a hundred tall pine trees line up the streets and stand like brightly lit sentinels guiding the visitor. Particularly recommended is the Christmas market, which is being held not only on Barfüsserplatz, but also on Münsterplatz – one of the most beautiful squares in Basel.

We recommend this Co-op Holidays Christmas Market Package:

3 nights – 3rd, 10th & 17th December 2021

Room only. Flay from Gatwick

4* Pullman Basel Europe (Central Location) from just £279 per person. See our offers page for more information. 

Christmas fairytale market at Munsterplatz and Munster Cathedral.

 2. Budapest – Hungary

The organisers of this event work hard every year to offer you what is certainly one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in the world.

The Christmas spirit sparkles in front of Budapest’s grandest cathedral during the Advent Feast at the Basilica. This open-air festive season market welcomes everyone with delightful gift items, delicious Hungarian and international food such as the favourite “flódni” the Hungaricum chimney cake, mouth-watering burgers and a range of fish dishes.

3. Poznań – Poland

The Poznan Christmas Market will take you to a magic winter land of ice, snowflakes and Christmas attractions, and all of it thanks to original arrangements that will be located on the Old Market Square and Plac Wolności (Freedom Square) during this magical time.

Get lost among the wooden stalls, try winter delicacies or look for inspiration for Christmas gifts. Jump on a Ferris wheel on Freedom Square and enjoy spectacular views of Poznań s historical parts.

Do not miss the International Ice Sculpture Festival that will take place on Poznań Old Market Square. Contestants from all over the world will turn massive blocks of ice into works of art before your very eyes.

4. Vienna – Austria

Vienna is a must-see destination for Christmas. Considered a safe destination for families, it is also popular with lovers and is awarded among the best romantic destinations in Europe but also the best destinations for a marriage proposal.

From mid-November to Christmas, Vienna’s prettiest squares transform into magical Christmas markets. The aroma of Christmas baked food and hot punch creates a lovely pre-Christmas atmosphere.

One of the most well-known Christmas Markets is the traditional “Vienna Magic of Advent” which turns the City Hall Square into a shining fairytale land. Christmas gifts, tree decorations, sweets and warming drinks are awaiting you as well as a carousel and craft fun Christmas Workshops for kids. The trees of the surrounding City Hall park are festively decorated and radiate in a sea of lights – a Viennese experience, you’ll definitely won’t want to miss!

5. Brussels, Belgium

With its 2.5 million visitors, the Winter Wonders market is the unmissable end-of-year event in Brussels which, for the occasion, dons its festive costume and pulls out all the stops on the menu.

The teams in charge of this event set the bar higher every year to offer you moments of pure magic. The great classics are all awaiting you: magnificent Sound and Light shows at the Grand-Place, a majestic tree, a life-sized manger, a skating rink, magical lights and many exhibitions which dot the event and, of course, amazing Christmas markets bursting with treasures which will delight the curious and titillate the gourmets’ taste buds.

6. Edinburgh, Scotland

World-renowned Edinburgh’s Christmas celebrations will spread the festive cheer across the Scottish capital between 19th November 2021 and 1st January 2022. From mulled Irn Bru to vegan pigs in blankets, from Harry Potter-themed gifts to local handmade produce, the stunning Christmas Market in East Princes Street Gardens will offer treats for all!  Santa Land will return to East Princes Street Gardens with rides for people of all ages to enjoy, whilst Santa’s Grotto once again will take residence on Castle Street.

7. Berlin, Germany

December is a magical month! And this is especially true for Germany, because of the Christmas markets (Weihnachtsmärkte).

Although today you can find these Weihnachtsmärkte across all of Europe, they are in fact an old German tradition. Their history can be traced back to the 14th-16th century.

In fact, the Christmas markets are street markets, that are dedicated to Christmas. In the past, their main role was to help people to prepare for the coming holidays. You were able to buy meat, vegetables, and all kinds of spices. Nowadays, it’s more about fun than practicality.

We recommend this Co-op Holidays Christmas Market Package:

3 nights on 11th December (room only) fly from Stansted.

4* NH Berlin Potsdamer Platz (central location) – from just £205 per person.  See our offers page for more information. 

Berlin, Germany

 

8. Copenhagen, Denmark

Christmas in Copenhagen is a wonderful time to enjoy the city, with plenty to offer visitors from the magical atmosphere at Tivoli Gardens, to delightful Christmas markets in Nyhavn and The King’s New Square.

The most famous of Copenhagen’s Christmas markets is probably the one found at the Tivoli Gardens, one of the city’s top attractions.

This historic theme park goes all out for Christmas, with thousands of twinkling lights, jaw dropping decorations and even a chance to meet Father Christmas himself!

We recommend this Co-op Holidays Christmas Market Package:

3 nights on 11th December (B&B) fly from Stansted.

4* Hotel Mayfair (central location) – from just £279 per person.  See our offers page for more information. 

The carousel and christmas illumination in Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen.

 

9. Prague, Czech Republic

 

One of the most romantic cities in Europe awaits you this winter. The Christmas markets in Old Town Square in the centre of Prague are the biggest project of its kind in the Czech Republic. Set in the very heart of the city is a traditional Czech marketplace, where, in dozens of wooden stalls, merchants offer typical Christmas goods such as traditional Czech blown glass balls, products made of glass pearls or straw, hand-embroidered tablecloths, wooden toys, biscuit cutters and many other things.

Grown-ups will enjoy the typical mulled wine, and all gourmet, young and old, will enjoy Czech Christmas biscuits, hot roasted chestnuts, gingerbread biscuits or typical Czech grilled sausages and skewered foods.

10. Tallinn, Estonia

Already awarded the title of the most beautiful Christmas market in Europe 2 years ago, Tallinn has become a must-see destination at Christmas. The Tallinn Christmas Market delights everyone with its coziness, historical location, centuries-old buildings and long traditions.

Every year, more than half a million people from close by and far away come looking for magic at the Tallinn Christmas Market. Children will love the carousels and Santa Claus who distributes candy in his little house to those who are better at reciting verses. You will be spoilt for choice: high-quality handicraft, practical winter accessories and all sorts of nick-nacks too; and your tummy will enjoy gingerbread and hearty Christmas roasts.