The Best Christmas Markets in Europe

1 August 2023


Why not take your corporate Christmas party abroad and indulge your team in a traditional Christmas market? We reviewed the best Christmas markets in Europe, collating the ultimate list of cities to consider travelling to this festive season.

Strasbourg, France

One of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe and in the birthplace of Christmas celebrations, the city of Strasbourg believes itself to be “The Capital of Christmas”. What a better place than this to get you in the festive spirit?!

Dates: 24th November – 24th December 2023 TBC

Located: Grande Île in Strasbourg, a UNESCO world heritage site

Theme: No theme, but being the Capital of Christmas speaks for itself!

Highlight: Not only are the Christmas markets of Strasbourg super festive, the city itself is adorned with incredible festive decor

Recommended Hotels:

  • Sofitel Strasbourg Grande Ile
  • Maison Rouge Strasbourg Hotel

Budapest, Hungary

The Advent Basilica has been voted the best Christmas market in Europe 2019, 2021 and 2023 and is without a doubt one of the most beautiful Christmas fairs in Europe. Authentic and traditional, this market has over 120 craft exhibitors, a free ice rink and many food stalls to try.

Dates: 24th November – 31st December 2023 TBC

Located: St. Stephen’s Square

Theme: “Where Love Takes your Hand…”

Highlight: Hosted in front of the basilica, the manger of Bethlehem and the monumental advent wreath can’t be missed.

Recommended Hotels:

  • Corinthia Budapest
  • Four Seasons Hotel
  • Budapest Marriott Hotel
  • The Ritz-Carlton

Dresden, Germany

Founded in 1434, this is one of Germany’s oldest Christmas markets. Dresden’s Striezelmarkt boasts a unique character, with glittering lights, mulled wine and traditional Dresdner Christstollen fruit loaf alongside numerous regional specialties. Love stollen? Head to the Dresden Stollenfest, with baking traditions, historic pageants and a giant stollen, weighing several tonnes.

Dates: 29th November 2023 – 24th December

Located: City Centre

Theme: Dresdner Striezelmarkt, the name deriving from local fruit cake, otherwise known as stollen.

Highlight: Look out for the giant candle pyramid, standing at 14 metres tall (the world’s tallest!).

Recommended Hotels:

  • Hotel Innside Dresden, by Melia Hotels
  • Maritim Hotel Dresden
  • Hilton Dresden

Edinburgh, Scotland

The Edinburgh Christmas markets bring festive fun for all the family! In addition to the traditional huts selling food, drink and gifts, this market has plenty to offer. Santa Land offers rides suitable for all ages, while Santa’s Grotto brings the classic Christmas magic for children. In addition to this, festive cheer will be spread across 12 locations in the Scottish capital with special projections.

Dates: 24th November 2023 – 1st January 2024 TBC

Located: East Princes Street Gardens

Theme: “A Festive Welcome”

Highlight: Reimagined Light Night will be opening Edinburgh Christmas market with a spectacular event on the Royal Mile.

Recommended Hotels:

  • The Balmoral
  • Cheval The Edinburgh Grand
  • Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh

Prague, Czech Republic

Situated in the heart of Prague, this is the largest Christmas market in the Czech Republic which has long been rated as one of the most beautiful Christmas destinations in the world. Hosting numerous traditional stalls providing advent novelties and traditional Czech items.

Dates: 25th November 2023 – 6th January 2024, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day.

Located: Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square

Theme: “Angelic Christmas”

Highlight: The 22-metre tall Christmas tree embellished by thousands of lights and special ornaments with a nativity scene and small gingerbread village.

Recommended Hotels:

  • Mandarin Oriental, Prague
  • President Hotel Prague
  • Hilton Prague Old Town

Brussels, Belgium

The largest Christmas market in Belgium, a 2 km stretch of snow covered chalets, bars and pop-up restaurants. Featuring all the Christmas classics with culture, Christmas trees and various stalls while harmoniously offering innovation with video-mappings and high-tech domes. A truly immersive festive experience.

Dates: 24th November – 31st December 2023 TBC

Located: Grand-Place, Bourse, Place Sainte-Catherine and Marché aux Poissons

Theme: “Winter Wonders”

Highlight: Travel here in under 2-hours using the EuroStar!

Recommended Hotels:

  • Grand Place Brussels
  • Hilton Brussels Grand Place

Krakow, Poland

Christmas is one of the most important festivals in the Polish calendar, and a time of deep religious significance and as such puts on a fantastic show to rival other European cities. With its castle skyline, traditional wooden huts, horse-drawn carriages, and a high chance of snow, this is Poland’s very own Winter Wonderland.

Dates: 24th November – 26th December 2023 TBC

Located: Rynek Glowny, the Old Town Square

Theme: No theme, just think traditional!

Highlight: Polish craftsmanship is very fine, producing gifts that you would not find elsewhere, while also being famous for amber jewellery and hand-painted glass decorations.

Recommended Hotels:

  • Hotel Saski Krakow
  • Grand Hotel
  • The Bonerowski Palace

Vienna, Austria

Vienna’s most famous Christmas market, Christkindlmarkt Rathausplatz Square, has an idyllic backdrop of the City Hall. In the evening, Christmas lights illuminate thee Rathaus giving the family-friendly market a unique fairytale charm. With more than 150 wooden stalls showcasing local products, culinary delights & Viennese arts and crafts, an illuminated ice skating rink and carousel, there’s plenty to see and do.

Dates: 18th November – 26th December 2023

Located: 20 festive markets across the City – Rathausplatz is a must see

Theme: A Christmas dream

Highlight: Christkindlmarkt Rathausplatz is one of the largest Christmas markets in Europe

Recommended Hotels:

  • Park Hyatt Vienna
  • Ritz Carlton Vienna
  • Le Méridien

Manchester, England

Manchester Christmas market is the original, the biggest, and arguably the best Christmas market in England. With around 300 stalls, food, drink and finely crafted yuletide will be in abundance. Unlike other markets, Manchester is spread across 10 individual sites, all within close proximity, each with their own character and theming.

Dates: 11th November – 22nd December 2023 TBC

Located: 10 Individual sites across the city

Theme: Each individual site has its own distinct theming

Highlight: This year the market is introducing a designated family site filled with fun rides and entertainment with views over the stunning cathedral.

Recommended Hotels:

  • Kimpton Clocktower Hotel
  • King Street Townhouse Hotel
  • The Lowry
  • Hyatt Regency

Want to indulge in the Christmas spirit abroad this year? Our elves would be happy to help with your next trip to one of the best Christmas markets in Europe including travel and accommodation. Get in touch via creative@aokevents.com.