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Christmas markets

'Tis the season to be jolly

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Get into the festive spirit with Christmas market breaks and enjoy an enchanting winter adventure. Wander around food stands, sip on something mulled and soak up the heart-warming atmosphere.

Discover the best Christmas markets in Europe and get to see the big sights minus the summer crowds – filled instead with ultra-Christmassy stalls festooned with lights and decorations. Pick out your favourite hand-crafted baubles in Austria, nibble some classic Bratwurst sausage at Christmas German markets and try the hot sugar-coated pastries in the Czech Republic.

Carefully selected European Christmas market hotels

Choose from a merry selection of Christmassy destinations, enjoy a city break and make the most of this magical time of year. Immerse yourself in the best traditional markets when you stay in Vienna, which date back to the thirteenth century. See miniature puppets, glistening lights and delicate handblown glass. Or go to Innsbruck for a romantic Christmas retreat – see Christmas tree lights bounce off the snow-dusted mountain backdrop and smell the aroma of sweet gingerbread. Visit the best festive food spot in Budapest. Stroll through the stalls and try kurtoskalacs (a cinnamon-pastry chimney cake), toki pompos (a Hungarian-styled pizza with bacon, onion and cream), home-made chocolates and honey cakes. Whether it’s cosy alpine themed lodges or twinkling fairground rides you're looking for, choose the festive destination for you.

Where are the best European Christmas markets?

A visit to Europe’s Christmas Markets is a chance to combine an indulgent city break with shopping for truly individual gifts. This is our pick of the continent’s best cities to soak up the fairy-tale festive atmosphere.

Other Christmas market destinations you might be interested in…

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There are few cities with more fairy tale appeal than Prague.

Simon Heptinstall,  Travel writer

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