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Europe's Top Christmas Markets

‘Tis the season to be jolly and nowhere is this more evident this time of year, than in Europe’s bustling Christmas markets, active from late November to Christmas. While Europe is beautiful at the best of times, something truly magical happens at Christmas time as the towns literally twinkle with fairytale joy.
There is something truly special about wandering the market stalls full of festive cheer. They will reignite your inner child and sense of Christmas wonder. Take a deep breath and the scent of warm mulled glühwein, fresh cookies and gingerbread will fill your senses. Wherever you go, embrace the mug of mulled wine or local tipple to keep warm.
In no particular order, here are the top Christmas markets in Europe to fill you with the Christmas spirit.

Prague, Czech Republic

With several locations to choose from and located within walking distance of each other, our top picks are in Prague’s Old Town and Wenceslas markets. The Gothic architecture and brightly-lit Christmas tree add to the mood. Make sure you try the local delicacies from barbecued pork to trdelník, a hot, rolled pastry rolled in cinnamon and sugar and cooked over a grill. Postcard-pretty Prague is perfect for the festive season. 
Prague Christmas Markets

Vienna, Austria

Vienna’s city Christmas Market has everything that represents a classical European Christmas; from reindeer rides to ice skating and curling, plus a Ferris wheel and merry-go-round. Countless Christmas markets fan out through the old town, offering stalls brimming with traditional wooden toys and artisanal handicrafts. Make sure you grab a freshly-baked pretzel to nibble on during your wandering. 
Vienna Christmas Markets

Cologne, Germany

This is your classic German Christmas market – glühwein, handmade crafts and twinkling lights. The entertainment here takes it to the next level with more than 100 stage performances held throughout the festive month. Snacks of choice here are definitely the bratwurst.
Cologne Christmas Markets

Budapest, Hungary

The place to be for festive cheer in Budapest is in Szent István Square with 160 vendors and a skating rink. Also consider heading to Vorosmarty Square and Basilica. Vorosmarty Square is in the heart of the city and is Budapest’s oldest Christmas market. Basilica has stepped it up a notch with Christmas laser projections and an ice-skating rink that loops around an impressive Christmas tree. The Hungarian delicacies to feast on here include Chimney cake.
Budapest Christmas Markets

Strasbourg, France

The Christkindesmäkir in Strasbourg are fairytale-like and the oldest Christmas markets in France. The delightful wooden chalets and evening concerts attract millions each year. The Great Christmas Tree illuminated in the central square of Place Kléber has made this France’s ‘Capital of Christmas’ and you feel as though you have stepped back in time to the nativity scene. There are over 300 traditional market stalls. Seek out the sausages and kugelhopf cake.
Strasbourg Christmas Markets

Basel, Switzerland

We all know Switzerland as a winter wonderland, but it also home to charming Christmas markets, including Basler Weihnachtsmarkt in the Rhine-side town of Basel. Don’t miss out on the Swiss raclette and take in the twinkle lights and trees that will surround you.
Basel Christmas Markets

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