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HOME > HOLIDAYS > CHRISTMAS MARKET BREAKS

There's nothing more magical than visiting an exciting new city during the most wonderful time of the year - the festive season. With the sweet smell of cinnamon filling the air, twinkling fairy lights, the sound of harmonic carols and tinsel-topped chalets, Christmas Market breaks are truly enchanting. Picking up a cup of warming mulled wine and a freshly baked mince pie will be one of the easiest decisions you'll make during your trip, the hardest will be which Christmas Market destination you’re going to visit. That's why we've highlighted the best European Christmas Markets Holidays to head to this winter, so you can choose to discover the spectacular cities of Berlin, Amsterdam, Vienna, Prague or Budapest during their yuletide celebrations.

We've rounded-up great deals to some of our favourite Christmas Market destinations in Europe so you can add a touch of sparkle to your mini break, without spending big. Get into the spirit in Berlin or Cologne, the home of the Christmas Market, or explore our offers on Paris, Krakow, Budapest and more.

Best Christmas Market Holiday Hotels

Wondering where to stay during your festive getaway? We’ve got a variety of different accommodations and board types to best suit you - whether you want to go all inclusive, half board or book a cosy bed and breakfast hotel during your stay. Why not go self-catering and save extra room for the delicious festive food available at the stalls?

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What better way to build excitement for the festive season than with a weekend soaking up the atmosphere in a city just a few hours from home? If you’re in need of a little inspiration, we’re sharing our favourite markets in Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and the Netherlands, so you can plan your wintery break today.

Christmas Markets Berlin, Germany

Immerse yourself in the atmospheric sights, stalls, smells and souvenirs as you hop from market to market in the German capital. The Berliner Weihnachtszeit at Roten Rathaus is one of the oldest and most famous markets in the city, followed by the Christmas Market at Charlottenburg Palace. Overwhelmed? Book a guided Christmas Tour and experience the best of the festivities across Berlin.

Christmas Markets Vienna, Austria

If you're a culture lover, beautiful Vienna is sure to set the scene this winter. With Christmas Markets here dating back to the 13th Century, you’ll find everything from ice rinks to gospel choirs and alpine log cabins. Popular markets include Rathauspark, Freyung, Belvedere Palace and Schonbrunn – so you'll certainly be spoilt for choice.

Christmas Markets Prague, Czech Republic

Winter wonderland awaits when you visit Prague, with its main daily Christmas Markets (Vanocni trhy) held in the Old Town and Wenceslas Square. Open from 1st December to 6th January, you’ll have just about enough time to discover everything on offer here. With everything from brightly decorated huts, to local handicrafts and souvenirs, traditional, hearty food and even an animal stable to be admired.

Christmas Markets Amsterdam, Netherlands

This charming city is all for the festivities; its cobbled squares overflow with 'gezellig' (the Dutch meaning for cosy, to you and I) wooden huts, fairy lights, Christmas circus’, live music events and even a visit from Sinterklaas himself – over it’s 12 day festive period. Catch the famous Light Festival (29 November – 20 January), go ice skating, watch the Winter Parade and more.

 

 
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f you want a weekend break in wonderland, discover our deals to our top European destinations for a short but oh-so-sweet getaway this winter. Hop on a flight and head to popular city destinations like Budapest, Tallinn, Krakow and beyond for a jam-packed two days of seasonal stalls, exciting events and fantastic local food and drink. Browse our selection of hotels and choose a board basis that best suits you, whether you want to grab-and-go with a bed and breakfast stay or have the freedom to explore the seasonal market food with self-catering accommodation instead.

Christmas Markets Budapest

Best loved for its awe-inspiring architecture, historical castles and traditional thermal baths, Budapest is a must-visit if you’re dreaming of a magical weekend away. Wander Castle Hill and feel like you’ve stepped out of a fairytale, warm up in the toasty Szechenyi Baths, snack on Chimney Cake, or book a Christmas Streetcar ride around the city!

Christmas Markets Cologne

In the run-up to Christmas, Cologne's city streets are dotted with red-topped 'Buden's' (festive huts) for visitors to browse at their leisure. There are a few festive markets to choose from while you’re here, including the Cathedral X-Mas Market, Angel's Christmas Market, Harbour Christmas Market and many more worth wandering.

Christmas Markets Tallinn

The heart-warming town of Tallinn, Estonia, is sure to add a sparkle to your winter escape. The main Christmas Market is held at the Town Hall Square, where you’ll find seasonal festivities circling the spectacular towering Christmas tree. In addition to the handmade goods, traditional black pudding treats and reindeers – you've got fun-loving events including Gingerbread Mania and Christmas Jazz to discover.

Christmas Markets Paris

The city of lights makes for the perfect romantic, winter weekend. You'll find festivities held all over the French capital, in Les Halles, Notre-Dame, Champs de Mars and Christmas Village at La Defense – each as magical as the last. Wander the pretty Swiss-style chalets and admire the fairy-lit walkways where you can browse arts and crafts, shop for traditional sausages and cheeses, and ride colourful carousels.

Christmas Markets Krakow

The only thing prettier than the historic streets of Krakow, is the historic streets of Krakow with snow-topped wooden chalets and twinkling lights. Located on the main Market Square and the Old Town is Poland’s most popular Christmas Markets – a hive of activity with everything from Christmas tree on sale, to mouthwatering Polish dishes, carol singing and nativity performances.

 

 
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Whether its crumbly mince pies, freshly made gingerbread, warm mulled wine or traditional roasted chestnuts that hit the spot, the mouthwatering food and drink available is arguably the best part of the festive season. Whichever Christmas Market destination you visit, you're sure to taste-test a medley of authentic, heart-warming dishes along the way – but which tradition tickles your fancy? Will it be a popular German Bratwurst sausage, Dutch Poffertjes (pancakes), Belgium Oliebol (fried fruit dough balls), or French Macarons d’Amiens (almond and honey cakes) that make your must-devour list?

 

 
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As soon as the holiday season hits, there’s one destination in particular that springs to mind – Germany. The birthplace of the very first winter wonderland, there’s an abundance of spectacular festive markets to discover across the country, with over 60 to choose from in Berlin alone. In addition to the capital’s seasonal celebrations, you’ve got equally must-visit events in Munich, Hamburg and Cologne. So what are you waiting for?...

Hamburg

During Advent, Hamnurg transforms into a grotto serving up signature Gluhwein, decorative garlands and the best German gingerbread around. The market huts, located in front of the Grand Town Hall, boast individually themed alleys selling a medley of arts and crafts from wood carvings to glass art lanterns. If you’ve got the kids in tow, head to Jungfernstieg for fairytale ships, face painting and magic shows.

Munich

Christkindlmarkt is the most popular celebration in Munich, located in Marienplatz in the centre of the Old Town. Visitors will find handcrafted Bavarian wooden souvenirs sure to make ideal stocking gifts, quirky events including the Krampus Run, paper workshops and a carol-singing event. In addition, Theresienwiese (where Oktoberfest is hosted) offers fun-loving concerts and events, too.

Cologne

Crowned for having possibly the biggest market of them all (with seven separate markets rolling into one in the city centre), Cologne is on the map for must-visit Christmas Markets in Germany. With a stunning backdrop of the city's most famous landmark, the Cologne Cathedral, its no doubt you'll be feeling merry when you wander these market stalls.

Berlin

The capital is probably the most popular destination in Germany for Christmas Markets, with a varied selection of seasonal events sure to get you in the spirit this winter. Choose from Weihnachtszauber Gendarmenmarkt, Berliner Weihnachtszeit at Roten Rathaus, Wintertraum am Alexa and Winterwelt am Potsdamer Platz among other celebrations.

 

 
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FAQs

What is a Christmas Market?

A Christmas market is a street market associated with the celebrations during the four weeks of Advent leading up to Christmas Day on the 25th December. The markets feature local handmade arts and crafts, traditional food and drink, decorations, carol singing, Christmas trees and much more.

When do the Christmas Markets open in Germany?

German markets usually open towards the end of November (around the week of the 25th) and end during early January. So whether you prefer to warm-up for the Christmas season with a festive weekend away, or celebrate when there are lesser crowds in January – you’re in for a magical time.

What are the best Christmas Markets in Europe?

A short haul flight of just two hours will take you to some of Europe’s top Christmas Markets, including Germany, Paris, Budapest, Amsterdam, Krakow and more. You’ll find markets and events across many European cities with some of the best highlighted above. Simply browse our deals and find a wallet-friendly weekend break in wonderland...

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