Cassidy Travel's Christmas Market Guide

Europe is home to the best Christmas markets in the world and there is some great value to be had when booking a Christmas market trip from Ireland. We have compiled a list of our top choice destinations and everything you need to know before you book your perfect winter weekend.

30 November – 6 January

Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic is a well-established destination for Christmas markets. The main markets take place in Old Town Square. If you are heading away with the family, Prague is an ideal market destination where you can find animal stables and children’s choirs throughout Old Town Square to keep the little ones entertained. Make sure to sample the “Pražská Šunka”, a traditional Prague ham followed by “Trdelnik” pastry and washed down with “Svařák” (Mulled wine). For those wanting to head to a Christmas Market after Christmas, the Prague markets still run for New Year’s Eve and the first week in January and would make an excellent Christmas present.

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vienna christmas markets


24 November – 1 January

Christmas markets are a long-standing tradition in Vienna with the oldest markets dating back to 1298. One of the most impressive markets to be found in Vienna is in front of City Hall. Inside the City Hall on the ground floor, there is an area dedicated to children, where they can learn how to make Christmas cookies or candles. Make sure to stroll around this musical city and enjoy the free Christmas concerts and gospel choirs throughout the markets.

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copanhagen christmas markets


19 November – 31 December

Never been to Copenhagen before? Well, there is no better time of year to visit then around Christmas. Tivoli Gardens host one of the most famous Christmas Markets out there, another great option for families as Santa Claus will be there to welcome you to the 27 fun rides. Freetown Christiania is another alternative style Christmas market found in Copenhagen with resemblances of an Oriental Bazaar. The food is not to be missed in the Copenhagen markets with a special emphasis on the Ebelskiver (Danish pancake puffs) and candy.

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Grand Place Brussels


30 November – 6 January

Belgium’s capital is famous for its Christmas markets. Step into a winter fairytale at the Grand-Place, the Place de la Monnaie, the Marché aux Poissons or any other of the Christmas markets dotted around this city’s historic streets and squares. Brave the ice-skating rinks, shop for traditional wares and unique gifts among the rows of charming stalls, enjoy light shows, the Ferris Wheel, and so much more. There’s so better way to get into the festive spirit than this, and to make some great memories along the way.

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30 November – 31 December

December will be truly magic with a trip to one of Amsterdam’s Christmas markets! A treasured tradition for this time of years, thousands flock to the city to celebrate the season this way. Locals and tourists alike love to wander along the bustling market stalls where you can find festive treats, perfect gift ideas and a lot more. It’s a great recipe for holiday cheer. Try some traditional festive foods like fresh hot Dutch donuts, grab bargains and buy handmade crafts, souvenirs and so much more.

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23 November  – 2 January

You don’t have to venture far for some truly special Christmas magic! How about a trip to London, one of the world’s greatest cities all year round but especially when its Christmas markets get going. Whether you’re searching for a last-minute bauble or desperately seeking inspiration for the perfect gift, we’ve got you covered with our deals to London’s Christmas markets and fairs. Explore countless stalls by the bank of the Thames, under the auspices of stunning Tower Bridge – a great way to make some Christmas memories.

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1 December – 6 January

The Eternal City is also famous for its Christmas markets where you can soak up the Christmas cheer among the ancient wonders of the city. The capital’s best known Christmas market is the Befana at Piazza Navona, which has a traditional feel among the stunning rustic surrounds of the Piazza. It has that unmistakable Roman atmosphere that visitors crave and it’s a great setting for festive celebrations. You’ll also find quirky alternative options and markets to suit all tastes across the city.

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Christmas Markets

Top Reasons to Visit a Christmas Market this Year

Known and loved the world over

Every year, millions of people pay a visit to Europe’s magical Christmas markets. Why not be one of them? It’s a real bucket list thing to do and you can see what all the fuss is about for yourself.

Centuries of cheer

Get up close and personal with treasured Christmas traditions that have enthralled and delighted countless visitors from locals to holidaymakers alike. Some of these markets have been around for a very long time.

Unique gift ideas

These markets are full of locals selling unique handmade wares with a real tradition behind them, as well as modern faves – a Christmas market is a great place to discover perfect gifts for loved ones.

The food!

Sample some delectable festive favourites from world-known mulled wine to local pastries and traditional treats, as well as delicious examples of your chosen country’s cuisine. Start the Christmas indulgence early!

The lights!

These markets are like something out of a fairytale. Thousands of twinkling lights create a magical atmosphere that’s just unforgettable. Discover some of the best Christmas light displays you’ll ever see in Christmas markets around Europe.

Christmas in Frankfurt

Top Tips for Visiting a European Christmas Market!

Cash is King

Markets are made up temporary stalls and especially in the smaller ones the primary mode of payment will be cash. Make sure you have some so you don’t miss out.

Visit more than one market

Most of our top recommended cities to visit for Christmas markets have more than one, and especially in smaller cities they’re often not far from each other so it’s easy to see more than one!

Dress for the cold

You will probably be spending a long time outdoors so dress appropriately! It’s woolly hat weather.

Come early in the day

These markets get busy, fast, so go early in the day to explore at your own pace.

Go mid-week if you can

Again, these markets are popular! Travelling mid-week rather than on the weekend will get you a better deal and a bit more breathing room, too.

See our full range of deals on travel to Europe’s most magical Christmas markets on our site.

This blog is powered by Cassidy Travel, one of Ireland’s leading travel agencies. Our team of over 100 expert travel advisors send 1000s of Irish holidaymakers around the world every year. And we love doing it! Visit our website to start planning your next getaway. If you’re Dublin-based, drop into one of our stores. With 33 years of experience we’ve mastered the art of easy booking. Whether it’s a city escape, US adventure or family holiday we’d love to help you plan, book and dream.

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Cathal Kehoe - 1 June 2019

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