Christmas Markets in Europe
The Christmas Markets in Europe are a must see at least once. Are you dreaming of a magical winter wonderland filled with festive lights, delicious food, and unique gifts to spoil your loved ones?
If so, why not consider embarking on an enchanting journey throughout Europe’s most renowned Christmas markets?
With so many countries to explore, each with their own distinctive traditions and specialties, you’re bound to experience a world of wonder and excitement during the holiday season.
From charming winter wonderlands in Germany to traditional crafts and delicacies in Austria, the festive magic of Paris to the sparkling Christmas lights of Prague, you can indulge in delicious cakes, savory snacks, and mulled wine as you explore the enchanting stalls.
Best of all, you’ll soak up the local culture and traditions of each destination, immersing yourself in the heartwarming joy of the holiday season and creating lasting memories to cherish for years to come.
Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Between the end of November and December, visiting the Christmas markets is a wonderful destination for shopping and exploring.
Visiting Strasbourg Christmas Markets
Strasbourg, a stunning city in France, is known for its breathtaking fairy lights that adorn the Rhine River.
The city also boasts one of Europe’s oldest Christmas markets, the “Christkindelsmärik,” which dates back to 1570 and is held in its traditional location.
If you are looking for a festive and magical experience during the holiday season, then visiting the Christmas Markets in Strasbourg is an absolute must! As one of the oldest and biggest Christmas markets in Europe, Strasbourg is famous for its charmingly festive atmosphere, amazing decorations, wonderful food, and unique handcrafted gifts, perfect for finding that special Christmas present for your loved ones.
Visitors can marvel at the tallest Christmas tree in Europe and browse over 300 stalls offering wooden toys, blown glass ornaments, candles, candies, and scrumptious gingerbread cookies.
There are numerous market stalls and shops placed throughout the city, selling everything from gingerbread and mulled wine to handmade ornaments and crafts that will remind you of a true Alsatian Christmas. With so much to see and do, you can spend the day wandering around the beautifully decorated streets and enjoying enchanting performances from local artists.
So why not come and enjoy Strasbourg’s magical Christmas markets and create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime!
It took us almost the entire day to drive from the airport to Strasbourg. We arrived late in the evening and had only one night to explore. To reach the hotel, we had to go through a security check with our suitcases.
If you want to avoid having your luggage inspected, it’s better to choose a hotel outside of Grande Île. However, staying in the historic center was the best option as we only had to go through the security check once.
Visiting the beautiful La Petite France located on the Grande Île (Main Island).
Get your Christmas mug. These mugs make the perfect souvenir.
The atmosphere is truly unique, and the food selection is vast, including flaming mulled wine, fluffy fried donuts, and smoked cheeses.
If you’re not a fan of mulled wine, don’t worry, as there are plenty of other drink options, such as Alsace’s dark ale Christmas beer.
Christmas Market in Munich, Germany
Munich, Germany is home to a renowned Christmas market that is one of the oldest and most traditional. The Christkindlmarkt is held in front of the Munich Town Hall, right in the heart of the city. Despite being known as a conservative state, Munich is also a trendy cultural hub with unique market offerings.
If you’re looking for one of the most enchanting and festive Christmas experiences in the world, look no further than the Christmas market in Munich, Germany! This bustling and vibrant market is a must-visit for anyone seeking authentic holiday cheer and a taste of traditional German holiday culture. Whether you’re in search of locally-made crafts and gifts, delicious traditional German holiday treats like gingerbread and mulled wine, or just looking to soak up the sights and sounds of this magical event, the Munich Christmas market is an experience like no other.
With over 150 stalls to explore, each one offering unique and delightful holiday items, you’re sure to find something that will make your heart sing and brighten your holiday season.
The markets stretch from Marienplatz to the Christmas crib market, Rindermarkt, and the Cathedral. However, these markets can become crowded and touristy, with vendors selling similar items.
Luckily, there are several other Christmas markets in Munich that are less crowded, less touristy, and more enjoyable.
Each market has its own theme and most are within walking distance of Marienplatz, making it easy to have an authentic experience.
It is recommended to visit these markets at night and explore other markets during the day.
Christmas Market in Salzburg, Austria
We left early to take the train to Salzburg. The dust of snow is on the ground and the weather is not too cold today. So why not add Salzburg’s Christmas market to your holiday travel wish list today?
Salzburg and Vienna are two of the most popular tourist destinations in Austria. Salzburg is renowned for its baroque architecture and enchanting atmosphere, as well as being the birthplace of the famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
If you’re feeling the holiday spirit and are looking for a festive destination to visit, you may want to consider visiting the bustling Christmas market in Salzburg, Austria! Home to well over a dozen vendors selling everything from hot mulled wine to handmade Christmas ornaments, this is the ultimate place to experience the magic of the holidays.
Surrounded by the stunning Alpine scenery, Salzburg’s Christmas market has something for everyone, including delicacies like gingerbread, Austrian-style sausages, and roasted chestnuts.
You’ll also find plenty of entertainment, performance, and traditional Christmas music, along with plenty of opportunities to take memorable photos and create unforgettable memories.
The Getreidegasse is a bustling pedestrian shopping street located in the old town. It is famous for its elaborate wrought-iron signs that adorn many of its stores.
This street boasts a vibrant atmosphere, impressive architecture, and unique shop signs that catch the eye. It’s a great spot for leisurely strolls, window shopping, and people-watching.
The street is lined with modern shops and narrow passages that lead to neighboring parallel streets, places, and the Salzach River, which provides stunning views of the nearby mountains.
While exploring, don’t miss the chance to visit Mozart’s birthplace and discover some of the city’s charming corners and corridors.
Despite the beauty and charm of the city, one clerk at a small shop called Steiff’s Bear was not very friendly. She directed us to look at the bears in the window and choose which one we wanted to see first before bringing it to us.
Despite this disappointing experience, the massive animals displayed in the window were impressive. I look forward to returning to this stunning city during the warmer months..
Fortress Hohensalzburg is a magnificent medieval castle overlooking the Austrian city of Salzburg. Built in the 11th century, it has stood as a symbol of power and strength for centuries. It is one of the largest and best-preserved castles in Europe, with its walls and towers imposing themselves on the landscape and providing an impressive view that is hard to forget.
The castle’s interior is just as impressive as the exterior: there is a vast array of furniture, art pieces, and exquisite tapestries, all set against the backdrop of the historical architecture that radiates a sense of grandness and regality. Visitors can also appreciate the rich history of the fortress by exploring its numerous museums and exhibitions.
Fortress Hohensalzburg is truly a monument to the past and a testament to the resilience of history. It is a must-visit destination for anyone who is interested in the arts or history of Austria, as it offers a unique insight into the country’s cultural heritage.
The Museums of Hohensalzburg Fortress Highlights include the fortress’s many museums: The museum itself shows historical exhibits focused on courtly life led by the prince archbishops; the Marionette Museum as well as the Museum of the Rainer Regiment likewise invites visitors to embark on a journey into the past. The historic armor houses an interactive exhibition on suits of armor and weapons.
The Panorama is a truly special experience, the panoramic tour, which leads from the salt magazine via the dungeon to the viewing platform of the Reckturm [tower], where there is probably the most beautiful view of the city. Afterward, the tour leads through the battlements to the famous Salzburg Bull.
The fortress is open year-round. Since 1892, not only can it be reached on foot, but also using the Fortress Funicular.
The little shops were closed due to a freak snowstorm who came so fast,it was not funny.
Christmas Market In Nuremberg
Nuremberg is also famous for its gingerbread, a sweet and spicy treat that’s been baked in the city for more than 600 years. The ingredients in the gingerbread include almonds, cinnamon, and other spices, while the many forests surrounding Nuremberg provided the natural honey.
Today, they are found in everything from giant heart shapes to cookies coated with icing or chocolate. While Nuremberg’s gingerbread must be made within city limits, travelers can find gingerbread varieties across Europe’s markets.
Ever since then traditional wares such as handmade Christmas decorations and culinary treats have been offered by the 180 wooden stalls, decorated with red and white canvas. Take a stroll through the festively lighted lanes between the stalls and discover the enchantment of the unique atmosphere.
Walking around the old town, we saw beautiful architecture.
The German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer’s house, the Imperial Castle courtyards, and the Town Hall, gothic St. Lawrence Church, bustling Craftsmen’s Courtyard, and much more.
The city has much to offer for the visitors, including the rebuilt Nuremberg Castle and the world-famous gingerbread at Hauptmarkt. Hansel and Gretel would have loved this place.
Visitors can expect to be entertained with live music, carols and a visit from the star of the show, Santa Claus. So, gather your loved ones and prepare for a truly magical Christmas in Nuremberg!
This morning we took the regional train to Nuremberg from Munich, which was very enjoyable. This Christmas market dates as far back as the 16th century. Feast on mulled wine and bratwurst after indulging in some gingerbread as you walk the rows of stalls.
**Erbach Palace (Schloss Erbach)
One market behind Erbach Palace is very beautiful, all the crafts are handmade and so unique. There is an entrance fee, but it is worth it. This place is not very big, but oh! Beautiful.
Erbach Palace is a palace in Erbach im Odenwald and the seat of the Count of Erbach. It was originally built in the Middle Ages, but most of the buildings today date back to the early 18th century. The palace houses the extensive antique collection of Franz, Count of Erbach-Erbach.
**Bring your own bag
One of your main motivations for visiting the Nuremberg Christmas Market will no doubt be shopping, SO don’t forget to bring something to carry your goodies in! Most of the stalls will only have small envelopes/bags or will wrap their goods up for you, but not give you an actual big tote to carry them around in.
Regensburg Christmas Market
Our final Christmas Market. We took another train this morning for Regensburg, Germany.
Coming out of the train station, we pass an old church. Going through the streets we spent a day in this lovely town. So much to see and to learn about the history of amazing bridges. Beautiful Christmas markets.
Regensburg is one of Germany’s oldest towns. Today, many flock to see the wonderful intact old city and its many medieval structures. The Regensburg Cathedral (or Dom St. Peter) is one of southern Germany’s finest examples of Gothic architecture.
The market is a great place to experience the warm hospitality and traditional Bavarian culture that has been celebrated for centuries.
In addition, you will find many shops in the city for shopping and strolling. Many cozy cafes and restaurants invite you to linger.
Regensburg has a total of 4 Christmas Markets, all within a 20-minute walk radius.
Each market is different and has something special to offer, so there is no excuse not to visit all of them!
Let's wrap up our trip to the Christmas Markets in Europe
As our last day approaches, we are filled with mixed emotions. We are thrilled to have experienced all the beauty and wonder of the Christmas markets, but sad that our time here is coming to an end.
Throughout our stay, we have delighted in the sights and sounds of the magical holiday season, from the twinkling lights to the delicious treats. We have shopped for unique and handmade gifts for our loved ones, and have sampled local specialties that have delighted our taste buds. It has been a truly remarkable journey, filled with unforgettable memories that we will cherish forever.
We are grateful for the opportunity to have visited these markets, and we will carry the warmth and joy of this holiday season with us in our hearts as we return home.
I was a bit disappointed not everything was handmade, I can find the same glass balls at Michael’s store in Canada.
Pretty much every kiosk has the same, tree decorations, hot wine, gingerbread cookies, etc.… but they all have something different and magical.
The weather was not too bad (-5 or so), but the wind was cold, good thing we came prepared.
One day, I will be back in spring or fall to visit all those beautiful places.
We left for Munich airport, what a nice, modern and huge airport. What are you waiting for to Visit the Christmas in Europe !!
What to buy at the Christmas Markets
Christmas decorations and hand-made presents.
Viennese snow globes.
Handicrafts and holiday (or general household) decor are among the top Christmas market souvenirs to buy!
Nutcrackers, Linen, Wood carving.
I particularly love the ginger bread cookies,and the most addictive treat in the markets – Sugared Nuts!
These are few to look for….
Bayerstrasse 95, Munich, Germany32
Email [email protected]
Exceptionally clean, beautiful traditional atmosphere, charm hotel with comfortable rooms and a very good free breakfast a la carte or buffet. The hotel is convenient for both the train station and the city center.
It is not far from the old town. Many attractions can be found within walking distance.
Parking, Free WIFI, Pets allowed, Non-smoking rooms, 24-hour front desk, Bar, and very good service.
They told us to call direct, instead of going through hotel.com, they will give you a discount at the hotel.
Good to know, because I want to see Munich during spring or fall.
Hannong Hotel, Strasbourg
The Hannong Hotel is located in the heart of Strasbourg, just a 5-minute walk from the TGV train station, Petite France district, and the Cathedral.
It offers free Wi-Fi access.
Guest rooms at the Hannong are air-conditioned and soundproofed. They are equipped with hardwood floors, European designed furniture, satellite TV and each has a private bathroom with a bath or shower.
A breakfast buffet is served every morning in Hannong’s breakfast room. It includes hot drinks, handmade bread, and French pastries, local products, jams, and juices.
Guests can enjoy a drink at the wine bar in the glass ceiling salon or on the large terrace.
Hotel Hannong is just 100 m from the Tramway Central Station, Place de l’Homme de Fer. Strasbourg Train Station is a 9-minute walk from the property.
They Speak English, French and more.
Things to remember
**Some things to remember: the Markets are not for bargains or low prices.
**The merchandise at the stalls is geared towards what tourists buy and there are too many that sell the same thing.
**Their main purpose for the Munchers is not to shop- it’s to hang out, eat and drink.
**The famous Christmas Markets begin 27th November to 24th December.
**So much to see, not enough time for one day.
**Dress warm, the wind is pretty cold.