Europe is at its best during Christmas! Here is our list of best Christmas destinations in Europe.
During Christmas period every European city is dressed with its finest lights and decorations. It is mostly during this period that you will find Christmas balls and Christmas lights illuminate the romantic Christmas markets of Europe. If you have ever been to any of the Europe’s Christmas destinations, then you really know all the beauty that is presented by these destinations.
For those who are looking to spend their Christmas holidays in one of the Christmas holiday destinations Europe, you will discover the best Christmas markets. You will make lots of beautiful memories for lifetime and bring back home amazing traditional Christmas presents. Europe has some very fascinating traditions that will always mesmerize you and keep you entertained throughout your Christmas holiday.
So, here are top 20 best Christmas destinations in Europe 👇
1. Strasbourg, France
Strasbourg is the capital of Christmas in France. As a matter of fact, it has been rewarded and recognised twice as European Best Christmas Market in 2014 and 2015. Strasbourg capital of Christmas is characterised with the Alsatian tradition which has been maintained ever since the oldest Christmas market in Europe, which was known as the Christkindelsmarik was first held in the city. Strasbourg has well-established spiritual environment and traditions of advent. There are usually 4 outstanding advent concerts and lots of authentic live music and cultural events. This is one of the best Christmas destinations Europe which offers a perfect opportunity to go and experience the rich culture in that city.
2. Copenhagen, Denmark
If you really want to experience a unique Christmas holiday, Copenhagen is the perfect place for you. the festive spirit and the shining lights all blend together to give you an amazing Christmas holiday that you will always talk about. During Christmas you can always feel the radiant atmosphere in this city due to the presence of the adorable Christmas markets and tasteful decorations. Taking a stroll along the beautifully decorated waterfront district of Nyhavn is one beautiful decision that you will make when holidaying in the city. You can also decide to be part of the Royal Copenhagen’s Christmas table tradition which is a 50 year old event that features Christmas tables each with its own story and significance.
Get tickets to Christmas attractions in Copenhagen!
3. Vienna, Austria
If you really want to celebrate Christmas with grace and much elegance, then Vienna is the perfect Christmas destination. The beautiful Christmas markets and the old-world charms on the streets are just a few of the many things that give this city a magical appeal. There are several things you can do in the city including indulging freshly baked pastries, sausages at the Vienna’s Christkindlmarkts, visit the Snow Globe Museum in the 17th District or attend the legendary Christmas concerts.
4. Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is at many times termed to as the gothic fairy-tale of Europe and is certainly one of the top Christmas holiday destinations Europe. The beautiful architecture is simply breath-taking. Christmas shopping is usually at the peak in Prague during the Christmas holiday. You can visit the oldest Christmas market in the Old Town Square. The Prague Christmas are usually fully packed with all types of festive goodies that will make your holiday always memorable.
Get discounted tickets to Prague museums!
5. Lviv, Ukraine
Lviv – seems like not such well known location as previous four places, but it’s a great destination for Christmas! First of all, it’s much cheaper, than major European Christmas spots. Second, it’s less crowded as well. But, still it has amazing architecture, cuisine, pubs, events and so on! Lviv lives in its own “vibe”, a bit different from other parts of Ukraine.
6. Brussels, Belgium
Brussels is one of the best Christmas destinations Europe which often covered with the constellation of Christmas lights all manner of seasonal souvenirs. In the city you will enjoy all the Belgian chocolates and bring home creative gifts with an eco-friendly manner. You can’t afford to go to the Grand Place UNESCO World Heritage site where you will find and listen to the marching bands and traditional concerts. Brussels Christmas market is the biggest in Belgium, hence you should expect to have a very nice experience in the city. That’s Brussels is one of the best Christmas destinations in Europe!
Read also: Best Christmas Getaways in Europe
7. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam has several Christmas markets which all total to 26. The Christmas markets that are usually the top picks by visitors are the markets on Leidesplein and Museumplein, in which you will be amazed by very hearty festive food and nice drinks. You can actually go skateboarding and even attend the Amsterdam Light Festival which lit up the city’s sky like the Northern Lights. We also recommend visiting unique and not that well-known Pipe Museum in the heart of Amsterdam!
Book Amsterdam Christmas things to do!
Tip: Maastricht is also a fantastic Christmas destination!
8. Vatican City
If you happen to visit Rome during the Christmas festive season, you will definitely conclude that there is no better place to celebrate Christmas than Vatican. The papal audiences and the presence of the pope are all held in St Peter’s Basilica. The Christmas Eve mass is always awesome.
Get discounted Vatican things to do!
9. Nuremberg, Germany
Nuremberg’s Christmas market is located at the charming Old Town Hauptmarkt known as the market square which has 180 stalls. In the market you can experience and enjoy all sorts of things including the horse carriage rides, local foods handmade local products that make very beautiful gifts, and also the Children’s Christmas markets.
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10. London, England
This capital of England is very thrilling and unique during the festive period. right from the first day of November very beautiful Christmas lights illuminate the Oxford street and just keeps in you celebration mode. You can visit the Natural History Museum and the Somerset House as a traditional winter pastime. For sure, it’s one of the best Christmas destinations in Europe!
Book London things to do for Christmas!
11. Berlin, Germany
Berlin has a huge range of seasonal markets that you can visit. For example you can visit the WeihnachtsZauber at the Gendarmenmarkt which is popularly known for its homemade products. It is always flooded with artisans from all over the country who come to exhibit their wares. You can also decide to excite your kids by visiting the Berliner Weihnachtszeit where your kids will definitely love the traditional band music and animal rides.
Take a Christmas quiz!
12. Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm is one great Christmas holiday destination that you will have a whole new different Christmas experience. You will have the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the Sweden’s festive culture with one of the festive city tours, such as the Christmas Spirit Tour where you will have an opportunity to learn about Swedish Santa, how to celebrate Christmas and indulge in the region’s delicacies such as a traditional Julbord.
13. Dusseldorf, Germany
In Dusseldorf the entire city centre is caught up in festive celebrations for five weeks. There are usually artisans who exhibit and sell their handmade traditional gifts in front of the historic town hall. You can grab the traditional German gingerbread and head to Dusseldorf’s Old Town for an exciting refreshment.
14. Gothenburg, Sweden
Gothenburg is the Scandinavia’s Christmas city in Sweden. The illuminations in a 3 km lane of lights will give you an amazing stroll along the street. You can checkout one of the four main city markets, among Liseberg, Haga, the Roda Sten Art Centre and the Gustaf Adolf’s torg. Sample out all the Swedish festive delicacies at the markets.
15. Bruges, Belgium
Markt which is Bruges’s main square hosts the city’s picturesque Christmas market. In the market you will find all sort of things ranging from leather to handmade jewellery at the stalls. You can also spend your romantic afternoon skating with your love at the ice rink on Simon Stevinplein.
What to do in Bruges during Christmas? We have a unique partnership with tour providers and you can access discounted things to do in Bruges by clicking this link.
16. Tallinn, Estonia
Although, Tallinn is a small Christmas market is perfectly established. The old town is covered with tiny huts which are all covered in fairy lights and with the grand old buildings in the background which makes the whole town look like the Victorian Christmas card. There are artisan who sell their handmade crafts in the stalls and the region’s festive delicacies and plenty of mulled wine. We also highly recommend visiting Epping Tower – to get understanding of Estonia fortifications and medieval architecture!
17. Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh is one great Christmas destination Europe that is home one of the finest Christmas markets in the UK. This city certainly has the best ways to celebrate Christmas. The main market is flooded with arts and crafts, and also there is a children market at Santa land that has face painting, little Christmas treats for the kids and the Christmas tree maze that leads to the elves’ workshop.
18. Bremen, Germany
Bremen is the city where you will get fascinated by the hot wine and of Germany. Along the banks of River Weser in the shadow of the city’s medieval fortifications, you will find the German taverns with open fires, and jugglers and other street entertainers who will just make your experience even more fascinating.
19. Lapland, Finland
We all that Christmas without Santa is not Christmas at all. The official hometown of Santa is Rovaniemi. Lapland is a simply wonderful Christmas destination Europe, not only for kids but for all who want to experience something new like fly fishing or sleeping in an igloo hotel. There is so the husky safari that will surely give you a very nice experience.
20. Krakow, Poland
Krakow is one of the best Christmas holiday destinations Europe that will give a white Christmas surrounded by cultural treasures. With all the customs, spending Christmas in Poland gives you unique, specific traditions and maybe some little bizarre.
Book Christmas things to do in Krakow ahead of time, save time and avoid queues!
21. Dublin, Ireland
Dublin streets are filled with an irresistible sense of Christmas. Christmas here is celebrated with gusto and glee.
To keep things short – Dublin – a fantastic christmas destination.
22. Reykjavík, Iceland
During Christmas, all people in Iceland expect to meet one of thirteen “Yule Lads”, who can show up in the town during Christmas. If you go to Reykjavik on Christmas, maybe you can spot one 🙂
Iceland is a fantastic and surreal place during all seasons, so you should go there anyway.
23. Dresden, Germany
Dresden, as practically all German cities, has a traditional Christmas market, but it’s not the main reason why you should go there on Christmas. You should do it because of a huge Christmas cake, which is paraded through the city on holidays. It’s called stollen.
So, go to Dresden and taste an amazing cake!
24. TrØmso, Norway
If you want to enjoy northern lights on Christmas – Tromso – is a fantastic destination.
25. Vilnius, Lithuania
Vilnius – is one of the most underrated Christmas getaways in Europe, but it’s a magic city to spend your Christmas. This Baltic jewel features great architecture, tasty local food, great festivities and colourful Christmas markets.
26. Bern, Switzerland
Nothing is quite a great Christmas destination like the snowy winter wonderland of Switzerland. Bern’s medieval town is always immersed in gold lights during the Christmas holidays that will simply give you romance that is unparalleled in Europe. There are fancy Christmas markets and very nice cafes where you can enjoy hot chocolate just to warm up. Here you can do lots of shopping until you are done with your Christmas list. In Bern, you can engage in winter activities like taking some adventure in the slopes of the Gurten.
27. Hallstatt, Austria
Hallstatt is a tiny mountain village that can offer you an amazing Christmas experience. It is characterized by mountains that rise steeply all around the shore of Lake Hallstatt. The lights simply make the town really amazing coupled with the snow falling gently on the streets. This could be the best Christmas destination for you.
28. Gran Canara, Spain
If you really want to have a sunny Christmas holiday at a great destination, Gran Canara is the best place to be this season. In the Canary Islands, you can spend your Christmas lying on the beach boosting your vitamin D. you can enjoy great food like turkey and all other trimmings in the romantic Gran Canaria’s restaurants. This is definitely the perfect warm Christmas destination in Europe without any stress.
29. Madeira, Portugal
Madeira is a Portuguese island that really knows how to welcome and celebrate Christmas to the fullest. There is a traditional Christmas market which is always held in the Avenida Arriaga central walkaways and the heart of Funchal, its main capital. Here, you can experience and taste some of the best delicacies and drinks in town for the season and get to discover some a wide variety of items and exotic flowers and even traditional souvenirs. During the Christmas season, Madeira is always filled with the welcoming Christmas ambience that will definitely make you feel like truly you are in a perfect Christmas destination.
you can participate in the season’s festivals, experience and enjoy the daily activities and entertainment shows, like the Christmas carols and folklore groups performances. You can also treat yourself to the iconic Madeira wine.
30. Cologne, Germany
Cologne is popularly known for its fantastic cathedral which is a Gothic masterpiece that really takes the better part of the city. It is a great Christmas destination to visit from the end for November or the first days of December until New Year’s Eve. Cologne hosts at least Christmas fairs in which some are traditional and authentic while others are uniquely themed. Cologne immerses into the Christmas atmosphere and offers you the opportunity to experience and become familiar with its customs during the season.
To sum it up
When it comes to Christmas holidays, Europe is considered to have the best plenty of possibilities. There are grand and tiny destinations where you can enjoy the holidays with your family. The idea of every person during the holidays is to have a perfect destination where they can spend their time, interact and come to learn more about other cultures. People have different ideas of a perfect Christmas destination, however, whatever it is, Europe has plenty of destinations you can choose from. Europe simply gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself into different cultures and experiences that you can hardly forget.
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