Sip Mulled Wine At These Destination-Worthy European Christmas Markets


It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not the holidays. It’s time to start planning Christmas-themed travel, and there’s no better way to embrace the season than exploring one of Europe’s best Christmas markets.

Get ready to sip some glühwein (traditional mulled wine) or some hot cider while perusing handmade gifts. Here are the top picks for checking off your holiday shopping lists.

Strasbourg, France

November 25 to December 31

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It’s the oldest Christmas market in Europe, dating back to 1570. There are 300 stalls of craftspeople and artisan food vendors, and they’re spread out over 12 locations throughout the city.

Vienna, Austria

November 13 to December 23

It’s unsurprising that beautifully polished Vienna offers two Insta-worthy Christmas markets. City Hall Square transforms into an explosion of lights (there’s a carousel, Christmas trees and spiced drinks), while Schonbrun Palace hosts its own cultural market with handmade ornaments and decorations.

Colmar, France

November 24 to December 31

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Colmar’s markets take place right in the center of the medieval town. There are five different seasonal fairs in five different town squares, each offering different types of products.

Prague, Czech Republic

December 2 to January 6

Town Square in Prague feels like wandering back into medieval times, but when you add snow and some holiday twinkles, it’s heaven. The glow from the enormous tree lights up the entire square.

Aachen, Germany

November 24 to December 23

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Aachen Town Hall and the Cathedral set the scene for the holiday season, where it’s pretty during the day, but truly comes to life at night. Between the church lights and glowing gingerbread men, it’s a magical festival.

Zagreb, Croatia

December 2 to January 7

Croatia’s coast may have been the European hot spot of the summer, but Zagreb’s holiday season is not to be missed. The city goes all out, decorating all of the town’s many plazas and squares, as well as hosting parties complete with live music.

Budapest, Hungary

November 10 to January 1

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The spacious St. Stephen’s Square gets whimsical floating lights, an art fair and concerts inside the stunning basilica. Don’t miss the Hungarian doughnuts and a mug of mulled wine.

Tallinn, Estonia

November 18 to January 7

Tallinn’s holiday market is straight out of a Christmas storybook. There’s a giant tree in the middle of town square and gingerbread houses galore. And there’s plenty of gingerbread for eating too, in case you were curious.