Best Christmas markets In Europe
Christmas markets date back to the middle ages, and are a great way to get into the spirit of Christmas and pick up some great Christmas presents. You’ll find local fare on sale across miles and miles of market stalls. Handcrafted, unusual and traditional gifts can be bought, as well as a great selection of food, mulled wine and of course, in Europe, their traditional beers.
European Christmas markets are increasing in popularity, helped by the fact they are easily accessible – just a couple of hours from Gatwick – so they can be enjoyed for a couple of days and you don’t have to take lots of time off from work to be able to go.
Here’s a selection of some of the best European Christmas markets and what’s on offer there for you to enjoy and really get you in the festive spirit:
Prague, Czech Republic
Arguably one of the best markets in Europe is the Christmas market in the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square in the middle of Prague. Open Daily from 30th November this market is filled with stalls selling traditional arts and crafts, plus a huge choice of beer, wine and food stalls. This market is so popular it’s even open on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Another of Europe’s most popular markets is in Vienna. Attracting millions of visitors from mid-November through to December make sure you go early to avoid the crowds. Adorned with thousands of fairy lights, the local park is the perfect place to grab takeaway refreshments and soak up the atmosphere. Children are catered for here too - the ‘Vokshalle’, in the Town Hall, holds a workshop each day for the kids where they can make beautiful Christmas presents and make Christmas biscuits.
As one of the oldest markets in Europe, Copenhagen is by far the most traditional market across Europe, escaping the more commercial markets elsewhere. Proud of its heritage, market streets are lined with decorations and lights. You’ll be spoilt for choice here, as stalls sell crafts, arts, jewellery and wonderful food. There’s an ice rink too for festive fun, and a massive rollercoaster in the city’s main gardens.
Not an obvious Christmas market destination, but you’d be surprised at the wonderful markets in Barcelona. Revel in 300 or more wooden stalls in the Avda de la Catedral and Pla de la Seu regions where you’ll find authentic Christmas themed decorations and gifts. And be sure to check out the locals who compete to win the crown of hosting the best nativity scene in the city!
Not far from home, Dublin is a great place to get into the Christmas spirit. Celebrating the ’12 Days of Christmas’, the Docklands are lined with festive stalls. As well as shopping heaven, there’s plenty of carol singers to get you in the mood.
The Grand Palace sets the scene for Brussels’ Christmas markets. Traditional Christmas gifts, food stuffs, arts and crafts can be found on stalls surrounding an ice rink and carol singers.
Fairly new to the Christmas market scene is Tallinn. Small, yet perfectly formed, it’s less busy than its competitors so a perfect starter if you’re new to the Christmas market break. There’s lots to do here, with hundreds of market stalls selling anything and everything Christmassy. It’s a visual spectacular as the City has made a real effort to be one of the best European markets – so good is this market even Father Christmas takes a break in his busy schedule and meets the children.
Boasting the longest Christmas Street in Europe, Basel’s market is found in the Old Town Hall region. This market gives a real sense of fairy tale magic. As well as the wonderful stalls and carol singers there’s a modern twist as rock and pop band entertain visitors with their own take on Christmas classics.
If you’re flying out of Gatwick for your Christmas break then don’t forget to book Help Me Park’s Gatwick meet and greet airport parking, available 24/7, 365 days a year, even Christmas Day!