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Christmas Markets in Europe: A Seasonal Treat


Winter in Europe is an excellent time to visit the most beautiful Christmas markets. If you are looking for Christmas presents and dream of the lovely aroma of a Christmas tree or the heartwarming sound of Christmas carols, please explore our selection of the best Christmas markets in Europe, the best destinations for perfect Christmas holidays.
1. Zagreb (Croatia): Once again the traditional Christmas Fair will take place in the streets surrounding the Jelacic Square. Take your pick of seasonal gifts, gingerbread hearts, cookies, colorful decorations, jewelry and souvenirs made by Zagreb’s craftsmen, artists, and manufacturers of traditional Croatian products (27th November 2016-8th January 2017).
Getting There:The easiest way to get to Zagreb is via direct flights to Zagreb Airport. Turkish Airlines, Swissair, and Austrian Airlines are among airlines servicing the airport.British Airways and Croatia Airlines offer some of the best options.
2. Strasbourg (Eastern France): Strasbourg, has been holding its famous Christmas market, since 1570
Strasbourg holds one of the oldest and largest Christmas markets in France, with a beautiful setting; in front of Strasbourg Cathedral. The Cathedral, with its Gothic towers and famous astronomical clock, is worth a visit in itself.
Strasbourg Christmas Market has over 300 stalls, spread out over 12 locations, and attracts over 2 million visitors during the Christmas season.  A magnificent Christmas tree is to be found on Place Kléber, and a skating rink on Place du Château.
A visit to La Petite France, an area of picturesque buildings with Christmas shops and a gingerbread bakery, is a must, as is the food on offer at the market, including sausages and choucroute (pickled cabbages), and the famous three-meat baeckeoffe stew.
Getting There: There are no direct flights to Strasbourg, but KLM/AirFrance operate a service from London City Airport to Strasbourg via Amsterdam.An alternative (and cheaper option) is to fly into Brussels from London (Brussels Airlines and British Airways offer frequent services) prices from $101
3. Aachen (Western Germany): Dates: Fri 18 Nov - Fri 23 Dec
Being the closest Christmas Market in Germany to the UK, the Aachen Christmas Market has become one of the most sought after for British visitors.
Every year, Aachen is transformed at Christmas with its Market, considered to be one of the very best in Germany, but also very accessible from the Netherlands, Belgium, and France.
A paradise of colors and lights awaits the visitors together with festive sounds and aromas.
Getting There: Cologne, Airport 55 miles away is the nearest airport with regular flights.Easyjet, Ryanair, and Eurowings fly here with fares from $87 return. Alternatively 4 hours from London on Eurostar and local train.
4. Colmar (Eastern France): The magic of Christmas in Colmar.
First of all, there’s the ambiance of the Old Town; lit up and decorated like a fairy tale, a historical setting, made magical by the Christmas illuminations, blend harmoniously with the fantastic lighting to enhance the town’s heritage, and lay a soothing aura of light over the center of Colmar. 25th November-24th December. The nearest airport is Strasbourg (40 miles) KLM/AirFrance operate on service from London City Airport
The whole of Colmar is decorated, as in a dream, turning the old center into a real open-air theater, where the warm Christmas mood envelops the heart of the town.The cakes are a delectable delicacy.

Getting There:  The nearest airport is Strasbourg (40 miles) KLM/AirFrance operate on service from London City Airport
5. Brussels (Belgium): Brussels Winter Wonders takes place from 25 November 2016 to 01 January 2017 on and around Grand-Place, Bourse, Place Sainte-Catherine and Marché aux Poissons.
Visitors are enchanted by many aspects of the Winter Festival; including the magical son & lumière illuminations, on the Grand-Place
Christmas markets in the city center. Attractions including merry-go-rounds on Place Sainte-Catherine, the large wheel and ice rink at Marché aux Poisson's.
Getting There: There are frequent flights to Brussels from London (Brussels Airlines and British Airways offer regular services) prices from $101
6. Leipzig (East Germany): The beautiful city of Leipzig hosts one of Germany's largest and oldest Christmas markets.
Throughout the festive season, the market, and its adjacent squares and streets, is decked out in seasonal attire – a fairytale forest.The chance to meet Father Christmas, and town musicians performing in the tower of the Old City Hall, are among the attractions for young and old alike.
Leipzig Christmas market dates all the way back to 1458. Its six areas synchronized with the fascinating historical scenery of the city center.
With more than 250 twinkling stalls embedded like gems in the historic center, Leipzig Christmas market is one of the oldest, and one of the largest, Christmas markets in Germany.
Visitors, may partake of a multitude of festive treats, indulge in numerous culinary delights or explore the city’s traditional medieval market.
Getting There: Ryanair, Lufthansa, Eurowings and Austrian fly here, but Ryanair operates the only direct flight, prices from $87.
7. Rothenburg ob der Tauber (Central Germany): Well known for its medieval setting, Rothenburg Christmas market is one of the most picturesque in Germany. 25th November-23rd December
Christmas seems to be year-round in Rothenburg ob der Tauber but No more so than during the festive period. Rothenburg is on the Romantic Road in Bavaria and can lay claim to being one of the most romantic Christmas Markets in Germany.
Getting There: The nearest airport is Nuremberg; please see the next section for details.
8. Nuremberg (Bavaria): The world famous Nuremberg Christmas Market attracts visitors from around the world. The Market in Nuremberg dates back over 400 years. Visitors will find the charm of the Nuremberg Christmas Market irresistible.
The Old Town is decorated in its Christmas regalia, and permeated with the enticing aromas of mulled wine, sweet roasted almonds, Nuremberg sausages and gingerbread, creating an unforgettable atmosphere.
The Christkindlesmarkt lies in the heart of the city, steeped in more than 400 years of tradition, providing a festive showcase for all Franconian and German Christmas Markets (25th November-24th December).

Getting There: Ryanair and Air France offer flights to Nuremberg prices from $164, from London Stansted and Heathrow.
9. Lille (Northern France): Lille Christmas Market is hugely popular with British visitors because of the Eurostar link. The Christmas Market in Lille is centered in the Place Rihour, which is a sea of stalls.
Lille stages one of the best Christmas markets in Europe.
Approximately 80 chalets, are festively adorned with lights and color, with traders from many countries, offering many gift ideas. 
A Ferris Wheel rotates on the main square, which becomes a winter wonderland, dominated by an 18-meter high Christmas tree. Shop displays compete to be the most original.The 3,900 stores in the city, offer something for every taste and budget.
Getting There: Lille and Charleroi have airports closer. Brussels, just over 80 miles away, is the nearest reasonably priced option. Prices and flights as per the Brussels market section. Alternatively, the super-fast Eurostar journey from London to Lille Xmas Market takes as little as 80 minutes!
10. Dresden (East Germany): At Christmas time, the Markets transform the city (on the River El into a winter wonderland, pervading the city with sparkling lights and festive spirit.
Dresden’s Christmas market, traditionally known as the ‘Striezelmarkt,' is one of Germany’s oldest markets dating all the way back to 1434. This attractive market is named after the city’s most famous culinary creation – the delicious and gorgeous Christmas Stollen. November 24th-December 24th.
Getting There: KLM and Lufthansa operate regular flights from London Heathrow and London City Airports prices from $166.
11. Vienna  (Austria): The present day markets date back to 1298 when the first ‘December Market’ was held. Today, there are over 20 Advent Markets selling a wide selection of seasonal delicacies; like Christmas punch, and roasted chestnuts.
Christmas markets include:
Viennese Christmas Market: in front of the City Hall – 12 Nov to 24 Dec 2016
Christmas Village: Belvedere Palace – 18 Nov to 23 Dec 2016
Christmas Village: Maria-Theresien Platz  – 16 Nov to 26 Dec 2016
Christmas Village: in the Former General Hospital – 12 Nov to 23 Dec 2016
Christmas Market at Spittelberg  – 12 Nov to 23 Dec 2016
Christmas and New Year’s Market at Schonbrunn Palace – 19 Nov to 26 Dec and 27 Dec to 01 Jan 2017.
Getting There: British Airways, Air Berlin, Ryanair, and Easyjet, operate regular flights from London Stansted, Gatwick and Heathrow prices from $130.
12. Prague  (Czech Republic):  A Christmas Market in Prague is an exceptional experience, and takes place at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square.
Prague Xmas Market brings out everyone's festive spirit.
There is a multitude of Christmas Markets in Prague, the main ones being found at Staromestské námestí (Old Town Square) and Wenceslas Square, with a smaller market at Christmas Market námestí Míru.
Wherever you go, you will find traditional Czech food, such as barbecued pork, Czech muffins, beer, mulled wine and mead.
Gifts include wood-carved toys, glass-work ware, and other traditional crafts. 25th November-1st January 2017.
Getting There: British Airways, Czech, Ryanair, Easyjet and Wizz fly here from London Stansted, Luton, Heathrow and Gatwick prices from $142.
13. Budapest (Hungary): One of the most popular Christmas fairs in Europe awaits you, in the heart of Budapest (in Vörösmarty Square).
More than 100 wooden pavilions, with their unique high-quality folklore and art products, will be placed on the Square.
Christmas decorations, small presents, candles, gloves, woolen hats, are just a few of the gift ideas.
You can experience the wonders of winter-time, while enjoying award winning products , and satisfying your hunger at traditional Hungarian buffets, including mulled wine, kürtoskalács (sweet Hungarian pastry), roast chestnuts, and other tasty snacks.
Take a mulled wine, and kenyérlángos (flat bread baked in a cob oven)  to the front of the Gerbeaudcafé, where a genuine festive atmosphere is guaranteed, featuring performances by dance groups, bands,orchestras, and choirs.
Getting There: British Airways, Ryanair, Easyjet and Wizz fly here, from all main London airports prices from $120.