European Christmas Markets

Perhaps one of the most festive events within Europe are the Christmas markets held in many cities and towns on the continent. These are held outdoors, but the warmth of the celebrations along with some great hot drinks and food make the whole thing enjoyable. And the many unique craft items make it a shopper’s paradise.

They are becoming especially popular with river cruise lines, that will often visit several of the markets as they sail along their route. The boat is your hotel for the night, so no worries about staying so long that you miss the departure.

Most markets are open from about the end of November up until Christmas Eve, but be sure to check out the exact locations to be sure because some of them last until New Year’s Eve, and some even longer….up until Epiphany on January 6.

We can’t list them all here but among the more notable are those shown below. But don’t overlook the smaller markets that you might find in other towns and cities.


Salzburg: One of Europe’s oldest markets, it is smaller, and therefore more intimate, than many others, but a wonderful experience nonetheless. Click here for the official website of the Salzburg Christmas market.
Czech Republic

Prague: Click here for the Prague Experience website.

London:  Click here for “Timeout London’s” list of Christmas Markets.


Colmar: As you can tell from the photo above, Colmar is one of the most picturesque towns in France. In addition to the Unterlinden Museum, Colmar is almost picture-perfect as a setting for Christmas markets. Click here for the official Colmar Christmas markets link.

Strasbourg: Originating in 1570, this is the country’s oldest Christmas market. Each year, a country is invited to be the official Guest of Honor with its own special entertainment. There are several locations throughout the city. Click here for the official website of the Strasbourg Christmas Market.


Dresden: This market has some of the best crafts Germany has to offer, in addition, of course, to the famed blue-and-white ceramics for which the city is famous. Click here for the official website of the Dresden Christmas Market.

Munich: click here for the official website of the Munich Christmas markets.Nuremberg:  Perhaps the most famous market in Germany, the Christkindlesmarkt dates to the mid-sixteenth century. There are more than 180 wooden stalls. Click here for the official website of the Nuremberg Christmas markets.

Click here for the “Walks of Italy” website detailing the top 10 Christmas Markets in Italy