There are plenty of fantastic Christmas markets held in cities right across Europe, many of which can be reached from UK airports in just a couple of hours.
So here are just 10 Christmas markets that are perfect for those who love getting into the festive spirit while also wanting to enjoy a short trip away during the winter months to some of the finest cities in the world.
November 28 – December 31
Voted the best Christmas Market in 2015 by European Best Destinations, Strasbourg’s Christmas market is one of the oldest in Europe as it has been around since 1570.
Set in front of the Strasbourg Cathedral with its famous astronomical clock, this Christmas market attracts over 2 million visitors during the festive season.
November 20 – December 23
Visit the German town Aachen and see its streets and squares light up in the run up to Christmas.
The Cathedral and the Aachen Town Hall are transformed into a Christmas-lover’s paradise and there is an enormous choice between original, stylish and precious goods.
November 13 – December 26
There are an incredible 25 Christmas markets in Vienna alone and their markets have been around since 1294.
A stunning sight, Vienna’s Christmas markets include the one in front of City Hall, the traditional Viennese Christmas market on Freyung, the markets on Spittelberg, Am Hof and another in front of the church of St. Charles Borromeo (Karlskirche).
You’ll find traditional treats including candied fruit, candy floss, Christmas punch and roasted chestnuts.
November 27 – December 24
Germany’s Nuremberg Christmas market is a truly traditional affair and even offers an old fashioned steam train, Ferris wheel, carousel and Nativity scene.
You’ll find classic delights here including Nuremberg’s spicy gingerbread, fruit loaves, bakery goods, sweets and typical Christmas items such as Christmas tree angels, cribs, Christmas tree ornaments, candles, toys as well as many arts and craft products.
November 18 – December 30
Lille’s Christmas market is perfect for those who want a winter wonderland.
Place Rihour, Lille’s square is filled with more than 80 chalets that have brilliant gift ideas, Christmas decorations, tasty treats and arts and crafts that are from around the world including places such as Russia, Poland and Québec.
November 26 to December 24
Dresden is the home of Germany’s oldest Christmas market, and the city has an impressive 11 different markets for you to work your way through.
Located in Altmarkt Square, in the city’s historical city centre, the Dresden markets have both a romantic and festive charm making it ideal for anyone who loves Christmas. From candleholders to indigo-dyed printed textile products, blown glass tree decorations to gingerbread from Pulsnitz, you’ll find plenty of gifts for the family.
November 27 – January 3
Enjoy the enchanting delights of Brussels in once place including tasting sessions, an ice-skating rink, an original light and sound show and a fun-filled festive Christmas Parade.
This Christmas market is spread across 2 kilometres through Brussels’ town centre and is a must-see for anyone visiting the city around this time of year.
November 23 to December 23
Set by the Cathedral, you’ll find the largest Christmas tree in the Rhineland area, with over 160 wooden pavilions joining up to create the Cologne Christmas market.
You can indulge in some festive mulled wine, hot chestnuts or an unlimited choice of sweets before heading to the puppet theatre or Santa’s grotto. There is also pewter pourers, wreath binders and glassblowers there demonstrating their art.
Prague, Czech Republic
November 28 to January 1
The markets are held at the Old Town Square and the Wenceslas Square and are both brightly decorated with huts that offer a range of festive treats including embroidered lace, wooden toys, Christmas tree decorations and traditionally-dressed dolls.
There is also an array of traditional culinary treats on offer including barbecued sausages, cakes, pastries, including their staple hot mulled wine.
November 21 to December 23
Sweden’s Stockholm Christmas market is an old favourite. It’s the most famous Swedish Christmas market, with the little red stalls filled with Christmas sweets, smoked sausages, mulled wine and a range of Swedish arts and crafts.
With over four different markets to choose from and an open air ice-rink nearby, there is plenty to see and do in Stockholm this Christmas.