Christmas Markets in Europe
Our first Christmas Market in Europe is Strasbourg
The Christmas Markets in Europe is 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 January, visiting the Christmas markets are a wonderful destination for shopping and exploring.
It took us almost the entire day to drive from the airport to Strasbourg. We arrived late in the evening and only had tonight 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.
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.
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.
The market also features spectacular shows and concerts that add to the enchanting Christmas experience.
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.
Get your Christmas mug. These mugs make the perfect souvenir.
Vsiting the beautiful La Petite France located on the Grande Île (Main Island)
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.
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.
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.
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.
This charming city is nestled in the foothills of the Alps and boasts a stunning old town, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
On the other hand, Vienna is the capital city of Austria and is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, classical music, and grand architecture.
Known as the City of Music, Vienna has played a pivotal role in the history of classical music, with famous composers such as Beethoven, Mozart, and Strauss all having lived and worked in the city.
Visitors to Vienna can enjoy the magnificent imperial palaces, traditional coffeehouses, and world-class museums, all of which contribute to the city’s incredible allure.
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..
Hohensalzburg Fortress is a large medieval fortress in the city of Salzburg, Austria. It sits atop the Festungsberg at an altitude of 506 m. It was erected at the behest of the Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg.
The fortress is 250 m long and 150 m wide, making it one of the largest medieval castles in Europe
In the year 1077, archbishop Gebhard had the fortress built. In the years which followed, his successors drove ongoing development of the fortress architecture. The original purpose of the fortress was to protect the principality and the archbishops from hostile attacks. In all of these years, it has never been captured by foreign troops.
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 on 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 shop was close due to a little snowstorm.
A day in Nuremberg Christkindlesmark.
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.
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.
Erbach Palace (Schloss Erbach)
One market behind Erbach Palace is very beautiful, all the craft is 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 motivators 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.
Our final Christmas Market. We took another train this morning for Regensburg, Germany.
Regensburg is one of Germany’s oldest towns. Today, many flocks 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.
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.
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.
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 european christmas markets
Christmas decorations and hand-made presents, such as candles or soap
Viennese snow globes
Handicrafts and holiday (or general household) decor are among the top Christmas market souvenirs to buy!
Nutcrackers, Linen, Wood carving
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 main purpose for the Munchers is not to shop- it’s to hang out, eat and drink.
**The merchandise at the stalls is geared towards what tourists buy and there are too many that sell the same thing.
**The famous Christmas Markets begin at the end of November.
**So much to see not enough time if you are there for one day.
**Dress warm, the wind is pretty cold.