7 best & biggest Christmas Markets in Europe

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Are you looking for the biggest Christmas Markets in Europe this year? Wondering which European city is best at Christmas and basically feeling completely overwhelmed?

I know exactly how you feel. I remember trying to choose our FIRST Christmas market experience; wanting to get it ‘just right' and make sure we weren't missing out on anything. But then came the decisions. 

Did I pick the biggest Christmas market in Europe? Or the oldest? Or the most famous? Seriously, how are you supposed to decide this stuff?

So, here's a quick run-down on 7 of the best & biggest Christmas Markets in Europe and what makes them awesome. And then you have to choose one.

Sorry.

Biggest Christmas Market in Europe- Nuremberg
Biggest Christmas Market in Europe- Nuremberg

 

Which is the biggest Christmas market in Europe?

Believe it or not, Nuremberg in Germany is the biggest Christmas market in Europe, and in fact the WORLD. (Or at least, it was last year. I suppose someone could be building a bigger one somewhere this year!)

 

 

Why should you visit the Nuremberg Christmas Market, Germany?

As well as being the biggest Christmas Market in Europe, for me, Nuremberg is one of the most intriguing! I LOVE the story about how the locals pick a girl to be the ‘face of Christmas' (Christkind). She must be blond, local, 16-19 and not afraid of heights!! On the opening day of the Market, she is the most important person there. Santa who?

Apart from that, you'll find hundreds of beautiful wooden stalls, selling everything from traditonal christmas gifts, local delicices, food (mmmmm) and glühwein (warm wine). The Glühwein mugs are unique each year and become collector's pieces. They also make great stocking fillers for people back home! (After you've finished the wine, of course!)

The best thing about visiting the biggest Christmas market in Europe is the atmosphere. Germans know how to party anyway, but the scale of the festivities gives it a uniquely awesome touch. All the locals gather in the markets after work and party into the evening- it becomes a fun place to hang out. 

Nuremberg Christmas Market 

Oldest & Biggest Christmas Market in Europe- Nuremberg
Oldest Christmas Market in Europe- Dresden

 

Where is the oldest Christmas market in Europe? 

Dresden, Germany boosts the title of the oldest Christmas market in Europe. It's apparently also the oldest Christmas market in the WORLD- dating back to 1434!

Strasbourg (see below) is regularly (and wrongly!) touted as the oldest Christmas market in Europe, but its Christkindelsmärik only goes back to 1570. Pfft.

 

Why should you visit the Dresden Christmas markets?

Dresdenn has over 11 different Christmas Markets and each one has it's own appeal. I particularly like that you can watch the artisans at work– glass blowers creating Christmas baubles, bakers plaiting Christmas wreaths- it adds to the atmosphere and traditional feel. 

They also boast the World's Tallest Christmas Pyramid and the world's biggest Nutcracker! 

Dresden Christmas Market dates 

Most Famous & biggest Christmas market in Europe- Strasbourg, France
Most Famous and biggest Christmas market in Europe- Strasbourg, France

 

Which is the most famous Christmas Market in Europe?

This is a tough one, as fame fluctuates, but the market known as the ‘Capital of Christmas‘ is Strasbourg, France. I've asked several people which is the best Christmas market in Europe and they've mentioned Strasbourg and Christkindelsmärik every time.

The sheer scale of it makes it one of the biggest christmas markets in Europe, and every street is full of lights, beautiful decorations and festive cheer! 

Why should you visit the Strasbourg Christmas Market?

Strasbourg really goes ‘all out' at Christmas. Every shop, street and alley has decorations, lights, ornaments, and often some type of animation. It's a feast for the senses in every way, all set against the backdrop of the beautiful city of Strasbourg and the incredible Strasbourg Cathedral!

Strasbourg is the one of the biggest Christmas markets in France and dates back to 1570. There are over 300 stalls spread across the city in 10 different locations, selling traditional food, drinks and an abundance of cheese! There is also an ice rink, live music performances and cultural events arranged throughout the festive period.

Strasbourg Christmas Market dates

 

Other best & biggest Christmas Markets in Europe to visit this year

 

One of the biggest and best Christmas Markets in Europe- Munich, Germany
One of the biggest and best Christmas Markets in Europe- Munich, Germany

Munich, Germany

Ahhhh, Munich. My very first Christmas Market in Europe and it was AWESOME! The sheer overwhelming size (Munich is spread out across several sites in the city), the amount of food and beer being consumed and the happiness of everyone was totally addictive.

Munich is a great first Christmas market to visit. It's not TOO big and there's something for everyone. The main square is full of your traditional stalls, bratwurst, glühwein, crepes, waffles and beer. The HUGE Christmas tree is a fantastic backdrop to all the festivities, and you need to stop and watch the Glockenspiel while you are there too. 

We also loved the Munich medieval Christmas market, which was a LOT of fun and had a different range of stalls and goods if you're looking for that perfect gift. 

Munich Christmas Market dates 

 

One of the best and biggest Christmas Markets in Europe- Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen
One of the best and biggest Christmas Markets in Europe- Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen

 

Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen has the biggest Christmas Market in Denmark, at Tivoli Gardens. Each year, they use over 120,000 Christmas lights!! (Just think of the electric bill!!!) 

I love the backdrop of this Christmas Market against the water of the sea, canals and the lakes- the whole city shimmers. There are around 100 stalls and you'll see a distinctly Nordic range of gifts, clothing and food being offered!

There are also fairground rides and light shows taking place in the park and often live music. 

December 13th is St Lucia's Day, where there is a procession through the city by girls carrying candles and singing. 

Copenhagen Christmas Market  Entrance to Tivoli Gardens is around £20

 

 

One of the biggest Christmas Markets in Europe- Brussels, Belgium
One of the biggest Christmas Markets in Europe- Brussels, Belgium

Winter Wonders, Brussels, Belgium

The Brussels Winter Wonders is the biggest Christmas market in Begium and has one of the best party atmospheres of them all! There are more than 200 chalets serving glühwein, crepes, bratwurst and of course lots and lots of Belgian beer! 

The wonderland is spread across several areas in Brussels and include a Ferris Wheel, ice skating, light shows and a HUGE Christmas tree to enchant the 2.5 million Christmas visitors! 

If you've never been. Brussels is a beautiful European city anyway, but the real draw of this Christmas market has to be the chance to see the…err… Smurfs??!!! (Nope, I have no idea why they are the star attraction – but they are!)

Brussels Winter Wonders Christmas Market 

 

Best and Biggest Christmas Market in Austria- Rathausplatz
Best and Biggest Christmas Market in Austria- Rathausplatz

Rathausplatz In Vienna, Austria

Vienna has the largest Christmas Market in Austria and receives nearly 3.5 Million visitors per year!  There's a Ferris wheel, fair ground rides, ice skating rink, and hundreds of stalls selling presents and food. They also have one of the best light displays in Europe!

Vienna Christmas Market

So, which city has the BEST Christmas market in Europe?

I'm sorry, but there's no way I'm making that decision. I highly recommend you visit them ALL and decide for yourself. And then let me know! 

But seriously, don't worry too much. Just pick one. Pick the one with the cheapest flights, or the best deal or the one closest to you if you're driving! (Heck, if you're driving, you could visit them all and make a real road trip out of it!!)

Either way, you'll have a fantastic time. I promise. Here are some essentials tips for visiting Christmas Markets in Europe.

Merry Christmas!

Want to remember these Christmas Markets? Pin it to your Christmas in Europe boards!

Looking for the best and BIGGEST Christmas markets in the Europe? Wondering what the BEST European Christmas market it? Add these to your Europe Bucket List. | Christmas Market in Europe| Best Christmas market Europe | Vienna Austria Christmas Market | Bucket List Christmas Markets in Europe | Christmas Market Ideas | Christmas Markets Germany

Looking for the best and BIGGEST Christmas markets in the Europe? Wondering what the BEST European Christmas market it? Add these to your Europe Bucket List. | Christmas Market in Europe| Best Christmas market Europe | Vienna Austria Christmas Market | Bucket List Christmas Markets in Europe | Christmas Market Ideas | Christmas Markets Germany

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2 thoughts on “7 best & biggest Christmas Markets in Europe”

  1. I must thank you for the efforts you’ve put
    in penning this site. I am hoping to view the same high-grade content by you later on as well.
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  2. Thank you for doing this it’s so informative, not sure which one will come first but I’m sure it will be one to remember!

    Reply

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