Europe’s Top 10 Cities for Christmas Travel

 SUMMARY   Welcome to a magical journey through the heart of Europe’s most enchanting Christmas cities. In this article, we’ll take you on a tour of the top 10 destinations that truly come alive during the festive season. From the twinkling lights and charming markets to the aroma of mulled wine and the joyful sounds of carolers, these cities offer an unparalleled experience for anyone seeking to embrace the spirit of Christmas.

Discover the timeless traditions, exquisite decorations, and the warmth of local hospitality that make these cities stand out during the holiday season. Whether you’re planning a winter getaway or simply seeking inspiration for your next Christmas adventure, join us as we explore the best Christmas cities in Europe, each offering a unique and unforgettable holiday experience.

Strasbourg, France

Christmas in Strasbourg, France, offers a heartwarming and cozy holiday experience. Known as the birthplace of Christmas markets, the city comes alive in December with numerous decorations and twinkling lights. You can stroll through the historic streets and discover a plethora of Christmas markets offering gifts, souvenirs, and delicious street food.

The Christkindelsmärik, or “market of the Christ child” in Alsatian dialect, is the name given to the traditional Christmas market in Strasbourg. Dating back to 1570, it is one of the oldest in Europe and was long the only one in France.

The Great Christmas Tree (map): Standing in the heart of the city, the Grand sapin, soaring 30 meters high, is the unmistakable symbol of Strasbourg. Place Kléber (map) and the facade of the Aubette Building, transformed into an enchanted setting, sparkle with a thousand lights, instantly immersing you in the magic of Christmas.

Traditional Christmas concerts and performances add to the festive ambiance, while the city’s architectural wonders, like Strasbourg Cathedral (map), are adorned with holiday lights, creating a magical scene. Whether you’re exploring the markets, savoring culinary delights, or simply wandering the charming streets, Christmas in Strasbourg promises enjoyment and unforgettable memories.

Also сheck оut мore info: Our article about StrasbourgPublic transport •  ⇑ Back to list of cities

Prague, Czechia

Christmas in Prague, Czechia, is a truly enchanting experience. The city’s historic charm is heightened during the holiday season with stunning decorations and festive lights adorning its cobblestone streets. You’ll have the opportunity to explore Christmas markets scattered throughout the city, where you can shop for unique gifts, handmade crafts, and savor traditional Czech treats.

Prague’s Old Town Square (map) becomes the centerpiece of the holiday festivities, featuring a magnificent Christmas tree and a nativity scene. Carolers and musicians fill the air with joyful melodies, adding to the festive spirit. Prague’s largest Christmas market lies a few meters away from the famous Astronomical Clock and Gothic Tyn Church (map). Those held in Prague can pride themselves on having been voted the most beautiful of these events by the USA Today readers in an extensive opinion poll.

Don’t miss the chance to warm up with a cup of hot mulled wine or trdelník, a sweet pastry. As you wander through the city’s fairytale-like architecture and iconic landmarks, such as Prague Castle (map) and Charles Bridge (Karlův most, map), you’ll be immersed in the magical atmosphere that Christmas in Prague offers, creating memories to cherish.

Also сheck оut мore info: Our article about PraguePublic transport •  ⇑ Back to list of cities

Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria, transforms into a winter wonderland during the festive season, making it a perfect destination to experience the magic of Christmas. Vienna’s historic architecture adds to the charm of Christmas, with beautifully illuminated buildings and streets, creating a romantic and cozy ambiance. St. Stephen’s Cathedral (map), with its stunning Gothic architecture, is especially captivating when adorned with twinkling lights.

The aroma of roasting chestnuts and mulled wine fills the air as you stroll through the beautifully decorated stalls, making it impossible to resist the holiday cheer. One of the most iconic Christmas markets in Vienna is the Rathausplatz Christkindlmarkt (map), set against the backdrop of the stunning City Hall. This market is a true spectacle, with its towering Christmas tree and ice-skating rink, creating a picturesque scene straight out of a holiday postcard.

Don’t miss the opportunity to savor some classic Viennese holiday specialties, such as fluffy potato pancakes (Kartoffelpuffer) or sweet, spicy gingerbread cookies (Lebkuchen). And of course, a cup of steaming hot Glühwein (mulled wine) is a must to keep warm as you explore the festivities.

Also сheck оut мore info: Our article about Vienna • Public transport •  ⇑ Back to list of cities

Nuremberg, Germany

Nuremberg, a picturesque city in Germany’s Bavaria region. The city’s rich history and charming old-world ambiance combine seamlessly with the festive spirit, creating a magical experience for visitors. Nuremberg’s medieval architecture adds to the enchantment. The market square, Hauptmarkt (map), with its elaborately decorated fountain and the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady, map) as a backdrop, provides a stunning setting for the Christmas festivities.

Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt, or Christmas Market, is one of the most famous in the world. The market’s centerpiece is a stunningly beautiful Christmas Angel (Christkind) who officially opens the festivities. As you wander through the market, the delightful scent of traditional Nuremberg gingerbread cookies (Lebkuchen) and sizzling Nuremberg sausages wafts through the air, tempting your taste buds.

The Children’s Christmas Market, or “Kinderweihnacht,” (map) is a treat for the young and young at heart. A nostalgic carousel, a steam train, and numerous games and activities make it a magical experience for families.

The nearby Handwerkerhof (Craftsmen’s Courtyard, map) recreates the atmosphere of a medieval village, where artisans demonstrate traditional crafts and sell their wares.

Also сheck оut мore info: Our article about Nuremberg • Public transport •  ⇑ Back to list of cities

Cologne, Germany

With its stunning cathedral, historical charm, and lively atmosphere, Cologne is an ideal destination for a memorable Yuletide experience.

The heart of Cologne’s Christmas festivities lies in its enchanting Christmas markets. The Cologne Cathedral Christmas Market (map), or “Kölner Weihnachtsmarkt am Dom,” is one of the most iconic in the country. Set against the backdrop of the majestic Cologne Cathedral, this market boasts over 160 festively decorated stalls selling everything from handcrafted ornaments to delicious seasonal treats.

The Old Town, with its narrow cobblestone streets and historic buildings (map), takes on a magical quality during the holiday season. The Alter Markt (Old Market Square, map) hosts the Heinzels Winter Fairytale Market, where fairy tale characters come to life in charming wooden stalls, creating an atmosphere straight out of a storybook.

The city’s bridges (Hohenzollern Bridge, map) over the Rhine River, adorned with sparkling lights, provide a breathtaking backdrop for a romantic evening stroll.

Also сheck оut мore info: Our article about Cologne • Public transport •  ⇑ Back to list of cities

Krakow, Poland

Krakow, Poland’s historic jewel, transforms into a captivating winter wonderland during the Christmas season, offering travelers a magical and culturally rich holiday experience. The Cloth Hall (map) and St. Mary’s Basilica (map), with its stunning Gothic interior, are particularly captivating when seen against the backdrop of a starry winter night.

The heart of Krakow’s Christmas celebration is its enchanting Christmas Market, located in the city’s main square, Rynek Główny (map). Here, a giant Christmas tree, adorned with twinkling lights and ornaments, takes center stage, creating a postcard-perfect setting. Indulge in the delicious Polish street food available at the market, such as the savory oscypek cheese, kielbasa sausages, and pierogi dumplings. For those with a sweet tooth, be sure to sample the local gingerbread cookies and sękacz, a spiral cake made on an open flame.

For those who enjoy a bit of adventure, take a day trip to the nearby town of Zakopane (map), nestled in the Tatra Mountains. Here, you can experience a traditional Polish mountain Christmas with horse-drawn sleigh rides, snow-covered landscapes, and cozy mountain huts serving hearty meals.

Also сheck оut мore info: Our article about Krakow • Public transport •  ⇑ Back to list of cities

Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, the capital of Belgium, is a charming Christmas destination that combines festive traditions, delicious cuisine, and enchanting decorations. The heart of the city’s holiday celebration is the iconic Brussels Christmas Market in the Grand-Place (map), surrounded by stunning architecture. Here, you’ll find unique gifts, Belgian treats, and a captivating Sound and Light show on the Town Hall faсade.

The biggest Christmas market in Brussels takes place at Marché aux Poissons (map), where over 200 wooden stalls, with snow roofs and illuminated lights, are selling Christmas ornaments and delicious festive food. Here you’ll also find the Ferris wheel to enjoy a view of the decorated city from high above.

Indulge in Belgian waffles, frites, and chocolate while sipping hot cocoa or mulled wine. The Winter Wonders amusement park adds excitement with a Ferris wheel and ice skating rink. Explore nativity scenes from around the world and enjoy the city’s beautifully decorated streets.

Brussels offers cultural experiences like Christmas concerts and ballet performances. The city’s historic charm and festive spirit create a memorable Christmas atmosphere for all.

Also сheck оut мore info: Our article about Brussels • Public transport •  ⇑ Back to list of cities

Salzburg, Austria

The crunch of snow underfoot, the scent of mulled wine in the air, and the twinkling lights that illuminate historic streets – Christmas in Salzburg, Austria, transforms this charming city into a true winter wonderland. One of the appealing aspects of Christmas in Salzburg is its calm and serene atmosphere. The city slowly awakens and settles down with the sunset, creating an ideal sense of tranquility and peace.

At the heart of Christmas in Salzburg are its Christmas markets, which open in late November and continue until early January. The main Christmas market is located at Residenzplatz (map), in front of St. Rupert’s Cathedral.

Salzburg’s main square, Getreidegasse (map), comes alive during the festive season with a stunning light show. Facades of historic buildings transform into canvases for projections, creating magical illusions and narrating stories of Christmas and the city.

In the wintertime, Salzburg offers a rich variety of Austrian dishes. From traditional potato dishes like Brudersuppe (potato soup) and Bretzel (pretzel cookies) to an array of sausages and cheeses. Don’t forget to try Apfelstrudel (apple strudel) and marzipan sweets.

Also сheck оut мore info: Our article about Salzburg • Public transport •  ⇑ Back to list of cities

Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the city’s crown jewel. Its cobblestone streets, medieval architecture, and charming squares transport you to a bygone era. This captivating city transforms into a fairytale destination, filled with magic and goodwill. Town Hall Square (map) in Tallinn’s Old Town becomes the enchanting focal point during Christmas. It hosts a vibrant Christmas market where stalls are adorned with Christmas decorations, crafts, and culinary delights.

One of the most beautiful traditions in Tallinn during Christmas is the candlelit procession. Thousands of people gather, each holding a candle, to create a mesmerizing sea of light winding its way through the cobbled streets of the Old Town.

Toompea Hill, the upper town, offers some of the most breathtaking views of Tallinn. Climb to spots like Kohtuotsa (map) viewing platform for panoramic vistas of the Old Town’s red-tiled roofs and spires set against the backdrop of the Baltic Sea.

Also сheck оut мore info: Our article about Tallinn • Public transport •  ⇑ Back to list of cities

London, UK

London, one of the most enchanting cities in the world, becomes even more magical during the Christmas season. London transforms into a fairy tale city with an abundance of twinkling lights and Christmas decorations adorning Trafalgar Square (map), Regent Street (map), and many other corners of the city.

One of the most popular markets is the Southbank Centre Winter Market (map). Test your skating skills at the ice rink in front of St. Paul’s Cathedral (map), all while enjoying a splendid view of the city and the historic cathedral. ⇒ Best 10 Christmas markets in London (visitlondon.com)

The culmination of London’s Christmas festivities is the traditional Lord Mayor’s Show, which takes place in early November. This exciting event with fireworks and colorful processions marks the beginning of the holiday season.

Christmas in London is not just about gifts and enchantment; it’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in authentic British Christmas traditions. This city offers much more than words can describe—it simply must be experienced!

Also сheck оut мore info: Our article about London • Public transport •  ⇑ Back to list of cities

Strasbourg Capitale de Noël

Le marché de Noël de Strasbourg aura lieu à partir du 25 novembre 2022. Offrez-vous une parenthèse enchantée à Strasbourg. À Noël, au détour des rues et des ruelles illuminées, la ville se transforme en un écrin enchanteur et enchanté. La balade est magique pour le plus grand plaisir de toutes et tous.

Laissez-vous émerveiller par l’incontournable Grand sapin place Kléber et l’historique marché de Noël du Christkindelsmärik place Broglie, retrouvez vos exposants préférés sur les différentes places et découvrez les traditions de Noël grâce à une programmation enrichie : des spectacles, des animations, des concerts, des ateliers créatifs: Noël se prépare à Strasbourg!

video source: Strasbourg Eurométropole /youtube.com/