December goes with the arrival of candles, chimney fires, hot wine, songs, illuminations, gingerbread, the delicious smell of cinnamon, beautifully decorated houses and especially the beginning of the Christmas markets!
For those who didn’t know I started dating my partner on December 17th, in the middle of holidays. So we have a little ritual which consists in discovering a new Christmas market in Europe every year.
European Christmas markets are well known throughout the world! So here is my top 5 among those I went to.
Prague’s Christmas market
This is my favourite European Christmas markets without doubt! Prague’s Christmas market is quite famous and one of the most popular in Europe. It must be said that its location in the heart of a charming and romantic city adds a unique cachet.
The main Christmas market is in the Old Town Square. Its huge Christmas tree decorated and illuminated makes this place even more magical than ever. Like every Christmas market, it consists of small and beautifully decorated chalets. The chalets propose gingerbread, Christmas decoration, wooden toys, hot chestnuts and their incredible cinnamon pastry!
Other small Christmas markets are hidden all over the city, some high up others in small alleys. Here are some of them: Wenceslas Square, Peace Square, Republic Square and one of Prague’s oldest and most beautiful, the Havelská Christmas Market.
Alsace’s Christmas markets
Christmas markets are famous in Alsace! They were invented here and in Germany 700 years ago.
Alsace is quite large and has many Christmas markets all as beautiful and unique as each other.
So we decided to stay there for 3 days to visit them all. Considering their greatness, I wrote a full article about it last week.
Here are my top 5 Christmas markets in Alsace: Colmar, Strasbourg, Kaysersberg, Riquewihr & Ribeauvillé! And also a small bonus that you can discover in the article by clicking right here.
Copenhagen’s Christmas markets
As temperatures drop the atmosphere becomes more and more warm in Copenhagen. Already known as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, imagine its magic during Christmas time!
Incidentally this is the only flight I almost missed in my traveller life! We had to embark without luggage but it didn’t spoil our trip.
The Tivoli Christmas market is certainly the one that I liked the most. Once night falls it becomes even more magical than during daytime. It’s fully illuminated & penned with thousands of garlands and decorations but also animated by wonderful Christmas carols. (As it’s in a theme park, the entrance is charged).
Every neighbourhood in Copenhagen has its own small European Christmas market. The best known is probably Nyhavn, pretty charming along the coloured houses and the canal. There are also other Christmas markets scattered throughout the city such as in Strøget, Nytorv or Christiana.
Warsaw’s Christmas markets
As it was my first time Poland, why not start with the capital? December is a very interesting month to discover Warsaw and the Christmas markets.
These two European Christmas markets (30 & 60 chalets) are quite small. It’s possible to discover both in just a few hours. Don’t hesitate to visit the picturesque old town.
If you want to discover the whole city combined with the Christmas markets, I advise you to come for a two days trip. This will be more than enough unless you want to visit the museums.
Bruge’s Christmas market
What would be this European Christmas markets top 5 without a market in my country? I could have told you about Brussels, Namur or Durbuy’s Christmas markets which are as pretty as each other but Bruges remains my favourite city in Belgium.
I might write an article of the 5 most beautiful Belgian Christmas markets, who knows!
Bruges undoubtedly represents everything expected during Christmas time: the romanticism, the magic, the illuminations, pleasant smells without forgetting its numerous chocolate shops.
This city is already very charming and magical the rest of the year thanks to its canals, its architecture, its many bridges and the absence of vehicle in the city centre.
The Market Square is home to Bruges’ largest Christmas market. You will find a skating rink, pretty chalets, chocolate makers and many garlands and illuminations.
The second Christmas market is located on Simon Stevin Square. This one is a little more commercial because the small shops of the city which sneak there to propose you what they sell in their shop all year long.
With the holidays approaching, I can only thank you for your daily support. I hope this article has plunged you into the spirit of Christmas. Make me dream and tell me in comment what is the most beautiful Christmas market you have ever visited.
I would like to point out that all the pictures except that of Alsace were taken at the Christmas market of Maredsous and Durbuy in Belgium. I didn’t have my instagram yet and so I don’t have pictures of the previous European Christmas market.