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Christmas markets

'Tis the season to be jolly

Get into the Christmas spirit with a winter adventure and explore enchanting Christmas markets. Pick up glistening gifts, wander around food stands, sip on warming drinks and soak up the heart-warming atmosphere.

Christmas market multi-centre breaks

Discover the true meaning of Christmas in more than one European city

Prague – Vienna – Budapest

Start your winter wonderland adventure in Prague, making the most of the city’s magical markets on Staroměstské náměstí (Old Town Square) and shopping for Bohemian crystal. Explore the picturesque centre, before an evening at the famous opera. Book car hire and hit the road to Vienna, then take a ride on one of the world’s oldest Ferris wheels at Prater Park. Visit the Christmas market at Rathausplatz to drink delicious spicy glühwein and browse for handcrafted presents. Make a move to Budapest, where the magical Christmas Fair on Vörösmarty Square will take your breath away. Don’t forget to visit the prestigious Gerbeaud Coffee House for sensational cakes and pastries.

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Prague – Berlin

Christmas celebrations start early in Prague; the historic Old Town Square comes alive with a huge glistening market selling everything from colourful handmade lanterns, to mouthwatering Praska Sunka smoked ham, with warming mulled wine. Visit Prague’s fantastic cafés, like the famous Café Imperial, for Christmassy cakes amid stylish art deco surroundings. Book car hire and make your way to Berlin, where you will find more than 60 markets to occupy your time. Shop for ornaments and decorations at the impressive Weihnachtszauber at the Gendarmenmarkt, grab a hot chocolate – with a little rum, perhaps? Check out the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie and enjoy the sights.

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More Christmas markets

Scandinavian chic, German traditions or the magic of Disneyland® Paris?


Head to the Croatian capital of Zagreb, for Christmas market magic. Voted the Best European Christmas Market three years in a row, come and see why for yourself. Wrap up and watch Christmas concerts in Zagreb Square, soak up the open-air shopping in Ban Josip Jelačić Square and grab a bite in European Square. Gaze at the Christmas lights that sparkle throughout the city, then meander to Zrinjevac Park to see the old music pavilion and nibble baked štrukle (soft cheese in pastry), before exploring the Ice Park on King Tomislav Square.

2018 dates: 2 December – 6 January


Revel in the wondrous atmosphere of Denmark’s capital this Christmas. Wander through the festive landscape of Tivoli Gardens, which become even more magical for the festivities. Visit the glistening waters at the Nyhavn Christmas market by the harbour. Try local cuisine, listen to traditional Christmas music and browse through handcrafted gifts and decorations. Taste the best of Christmas at the Meatpacking District Christmas market. Enjoy flavourful churros, Christmas cookies, mulled wine, Christmas beers and traditional Danish open sandwiches.

2018 dates: 16 November - 31 December


Ireland offers plenty of charm, with even more during Christmastime. Hear brass bands play along cobbled streets, see gigantic Christmas trees sparkle away and try a pint of Guinness whilst you’re here. Wander along to The chq Building to find stocking fillers, or let the kids give their Christmas lists to Santa. Make a move to Arnotts Festive Flavours market for foodie delights. Indulge in chocolate stand pop-ups, find festive gift hampers and wine sets. Head to the Dublin Flea Christmas market for even more merriment.

2018 dates: To be confirmed


Enjoy the sensational atmosphere of the miniature Christmas village markets. Stroll through Germany’s festive scenes of Römerberg and St Paul's Square, then warm up with a cup of hot apple wine. Marvel at the half-timber buildings, twinkling with decorative lights in the old town. Visit the unique Honey House for wondrous honey goodies, or find your way to Roemerhallen and see hand-crafted gifts created by local artists. If pink is your colour, head to Friedrich Stoltze Square for the Pink Christmas market, for glowing pink Christmas trees, hot cocktails and adorable stalls.

2018 dates: 26 November - 22 December


Make a move to the magical Marienplatz, see the festive Christmas village of Residenz and the sparkle of the medieval market, Wittelsbacherplatz. Ramble around and enjoy the Bavarian character within the markets, pick up soft sheepskin jackets and sip on hot beer. Visit Wintertollwood for a party atmosphere and relish the festive fun. Join in with the Bavarian sing-a-longs, take a look at authentic Nativity scenes and browse through stalls with quirky crafts.

2018 dates: 27 November - 24 December

Outer Prague

Discover the Christmas magic outside of the Czech Republic capital. Visit the town of Český Krumlov, for the old Bohemian Christmas fair. Wander along picturesque streets, listen to Christmas carollers and eat tasty sweet pastries. Watch live nativity shows and sip on warming festive punch. Or take a trip to Plzeň, home to Pilsen beer. Enjoy Christmas traditions in Republic Square and watch the lights twinkle, as you browse through stalls oozing with creativity.

2018 dates: To be confirmed

Disneyland® Paris

Celebrate Christmas in France, in a winter dreamland of your favourite Disney friends. Watch the colourful Disney Christmas parade, then meet and greet Santa for a picture with Disney characters too. Wander about the Disney Christmas village and see Sleeping Beauty's castle turn into a mesmerising ice palace. Join in Christmas sing-a-longs with Mickey Mouse and friends, and see the famous Frozen sisters. Admire the magical decorations and captivating atmosphere of this fascinating world, made even more special come Christmastime.

2018 dates: 10 November - 6 January


Venture to the capital of Sweden and discover the sensational old town, with the spectacular market in Stortorgret Square. Relish the Christmas Nordic cuisine stalls and browse through the selection of handmade toys. Then make your way to the park island of Djurgården for the Skansen Christmas market, the oldest in the city, where you can nibble on Swedish toffee and sip on Schnapps to ease the chilly weather. Enjoy this colourful harbourside city and wander from market to market with a cup of glögg in-hand.

2018 dates: 22 November - 23 December 


Revel in the variety of Switzerland, including the Christmas markets of Zurich. Find yourself gazing up at the magnificent Opera House of Sechseläutenplatz Christmas market. Browse through fabulous stands of designer pieces and dazzling jewellery, before indulging in a hot pot of traditional, tantalising fondue. Pop along to Niederdorf Quarter, in the old town, for the oldest market bursting with charm. Visit the stunning indoor market at the main train station, with elegant stalls, aromas of cinnamon and mulled wine, as well as the dazzling Christmas tree – dressed in thousands of Swarovski crystals.

2018 dates: 22 November - 24 December


See this Scottish city come to life in the prime of winter. Venture through the Christmas market along George Street for festive fudge and pretty gifts. Then, make a move to the Christmas Tree Maze, visit Santa’s Grotto and hop on a carousel ride, all at East Princes St Gardens – which has its very own Santa Land. Glide along the ice rink at St Andrews Square, then warm up as you nibble on a hot dog and sip mulled wine.

2018 dates: 16 November - 24 December 

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With more than 100 marketsacross the city, Berlin is sureto please Christmas lovers

Simon Heptinstall,  Travel writer

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