European & Canadian 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 out late……..so long as you don’t miss the departure!
Most markets are open from about the end of November (often the Saturday before the first Sunday in Advent) 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, the more notable European markets are those shown here. But don’t overlook the smaller markets that you might find in other towns and cities, they are often outstanding.
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.
Prague: Click here for the Prague Experience website.
London: Whether you’re looking for festive food, classic decorations, arts and crafts or that last-minute gift, you can find all you want for Christmas at one of several London markets.
London: Click here for “Visit London’s” list of Christmas Markets.
Arras: In Northern France, just an easy hour’s drive from Calais, featuring 130-plus chalets selling one-off gifts, gourmet specialities, hand-crafted wooden toys, and festive decorations including Advent wreaths. It also has an ice rink, a big wheel, a merry-go-round and a toboggan slide, and there are music concerts around the city.
Click here for the official Arras Christmas markets link.
Colmar: As you can tell from the photo, 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. Not just one market, but several Christmas markets in the city.
Click here for the official website of the Dresden Christmas Market.
Munich: Munich holds its traditional Christmas Market from November 27th to December 24th 2019 on Marienplatz (St. Mary’s Square) in the center of Munich. A huge Christmas tree covered in lights towers over the square.
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. The Nuremberg Christkind appears on the balcony of the Church of Our Lady to open the holiday season on Friday before the first Sunday in Advent.
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.
And other continents:
Discover the magical, warm atmosphere typical of European Christmas markets, where artists, craftspeople and local producers will be pleased to show you their work. This is a short market only open on the last weekend in November and the first weekend in December. There is train service from Quebec City, so that makes it a nice day trip.
Click here for the website of the Baie-Saint-Paul Christmas market.
Quebec City, Quebec : The German Christmas Market
It is a market designed to recreate as closely as possible the atmosphere of the big European Christmas markets and to offer you a unique and unforgettable experience.
Click here for the German Christmas Market in Quebec
Christmas Markets in the U.S.A.
Click here to go to the summary of Christmas markets in Travel & Leisure Magazine (will open in new window)
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