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Most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe 2022: These cities are particularly impressive! (+ ideas for after Christmas)

After more than 2 years of restrictions, everything is different in 2022! Finally we are allowed to celebrate without limits again and that is of course wonderful especially at Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Advent time also means Christmas market time and since you have been rather limited in terms of travel options the last few years, surely you feel like visiting some romantic or exciting European cities! Combine both and enjoy the Christmas scent and unique atmosphere at one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe! We have a few ideas for you that are perfect for a short vacation.

Visit a Christmas market in France near the border

In Strasbourg, France, the market is surrounded by half-timbered houses

Strasbourg invites you to its Christmas market and also offers everything your heart desires in 2022. The already stunning and popular city on the border is even more magical at this time of year, and the half-timbered houses that line up around the “Christkindelsmärik” create a unique setting that somehow reminds us a little of Grimm’s fairy tales.

Montbéliard in France is small but with special atmosphere

For the 36th time, the market in Montbéliard opens again. Particularly impressive is the decoration of lights in the city, which is composed of more than 60 000 bulbs and is supposed to symbolize the jewels of the Dukes. The Christmas market itself stretches around the oldest surviving Protestant church and offers impressive handicrafts for sale, as well as many tasty treats.

If you’d prefer something quieter and more homey, you can also take a detour to Colmar, which is about an hour’s drive from Strasbourg. There, pretty market stalls selling all sorts of interesting things line the Place Jeanne d’Arc, with architecture strongly reminiscent of Strasbourg’s.

Most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe – Basel market in Switzerland

Most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe - Basel in Switzerland was best Christmas market 2021

From France, we are drawn straight to Switzerland and more precisely to Basel, where the Christmas market stalls on Barfüsserplatz and around Barfüsserkirche invite you to get the last Christmas gifts (you can even make one yourself, namely by candle making, for example) and indulge yourself a bit. The atmosphere is unique and not without reason the city won the title “European Best Destinations” as well as “Best Christmas Market 2021” specifically because of its Christmas market. But not only the Barfüsserplatz offers a wonderful market. On the Münsterplatz you will find another highlight.

Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Portugal

Christmas markets in Europe - Warm Christmas in Funchal on Madeira, Portugal

When thinking about Christmas and markets, you surely have winter cold and maybe even snow in mind. Hardly anyone would associate a Christmas market with mild Portugal. But Madeira has one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe and impresses with its unique nature. Various performances, sound and light shows, a unique nativity scene as well as numerous smaller ones scattered all over the place and a breathtaking fireworks display as a final effect will keep you amazed all the time. Since the Christmas market is located in the city center, you can also combine your trip with a sightseeing tour.

Our beautiful neighboring country Poland – Visit Krakow for Christmas

Visit Christmas markets in Europe - Krakow in Poland on the medieval market square

The city of Krakow invites everyone who feels like it to its medieval market square (Rynek Glówny), where almost 70 Christmas market stalls are equipped with the most diverse gift ideas and nibbles and that from traders from different countries such as Ukraine, Slovakia, Lithuania and Hungary, for example. The market also offers the classics like mulled wine, so you shouldn’t be short of anything. Perfect for a short city trip .

Visit Christkindlmarkt in Austria – Salzburg invites you to stroll!

Christkindlmarkt in Salzburg, Austria with world heritage and historical flair

If you want to visit a Christmas market in Austria, we recommend the Christkindlmarkt in Salzburg. It is one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe and one of the oldest. What deserves special mention is the stunning square where the market is held every year (when there is no Corona pandemic) – the Dom- und Residenzplatz. Unique handicrafts, including toys and regional treats combined with historical world heritage are simply worth a visit! So be sure to consider Salzburg for a Christmas market visit.

Christmas markets in Europe – A great choice in Budapest.

Budapest in Hungary offers an ice rink for skates

It probably won’t surprise you, but among the top 10 most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe are also those in the Hungarian capital. You have a choice of 5 markets: in Vörösmarty Square, by St. Stephen’s Basilica, in Deák Pedestrian Street (“Fashion Street”), in Erszébet Square and in City Hall Park. The atmosphere combined with the Hungarian architecture and an ice rink make for a unique experience that you will surely want to repeat.

A selection in the “Golden City” of Prague

One of the largest Christmas markets in Europe is in Prague in the Czech Republic

There is not only one Prague Christmas market. You have a choice of several markets, with the most popular probably being the one in the city center. No wonder, you can combine it with a city tour! You’ll find everything you’d expect from a German Christmas market, but combined with some local traditional treats and crafts, a living nativity scene and much more – all right in view of the famous astronomical clock. Visit one of the biggest Christmas markets in Europe and check out the others too if you have time!

Where are there still Christmas markets in Europe after Christmas?

The market in Zagreb, Croatia, also opens after Christmas

Some cities in Europe, with the arrival of the Christmas holidays, do not immediately put an end to the breathtaking atmosphere that markets of this kind exude. Some of them remain open until New Year’s Eve and, in some cases, even a few days after New Year’s Day. So, if you managed to grab a few vacation days only after the holidays or are looking for an idea for New Year’s Eve, you can choose a Christmas market after Christmas from the following list.

Best Christmas markets in Europe that open after the holidays:

  • Aarhus, Denmark
  • Aosta, Italy
  • Brussels, Belgium (Winter Wonders)
  • Budapest, Hungary
  • Colmar, France
  • Craiova, Romania
  • Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
  • Copenhagen, Denmark (Christmas Market at Tivoli)
  • London, England
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Strasbourg, France
  • Valkenburg, Netherlands
  • Zagreb, Croatia

Would you prefer to stay at home at Christmas time? Then you might be interested in the most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany !