The best Christmas markets across Europe

By Photobox on 3 November 2023

Every festive season, cities across Europe transform into something out of a fairy tale. It’s a picture perfect sight – fairy lights glittering along cobbled streets, beautifully decorated trees, and rustic wooden huts that sprout from the ground seemingly overnight. You can’t help but feel like there’s magic in the air.

Each market has its own charm, but you can expect the same enchanting atmosphere everywhere you go. You’ll find rich chocolate, spicy mulled wine, sizzling food, and endless trinkets and homemade items perfect for gifting. From Salzburg’s famous markets to Edinburgh’s winter wonderland, there’s a Christmas market tucked into almost every city.

Wrap up in your cosiest scarf and explore the very best festive fun that Europe has to offer with these 10 winter markets – don’t forget to take pictures so that you can relive the joy of your trip with a photo book later.


Edinburgh’s Christmas – Edinburgh, UK

17 November 2023 to 6 January 6 2024

If Scotland’s capital didn’t already look like something out of a storybook, with its cobbled streets and castle on a hill, the festive season brings it to a whole new level.

Visit Santa’s Grotto, enjoy the Christmas illuminations when it gets dark, check out artwork by local artists, or pick up a handmade tartan item. And while you’re in Scotland, you have to try mulled Irn Bru. ‘Tis the season.

Christkindelsmärik – Strasbourg, France

24 November 2023 to 24 December 2023

It’s no wonder people say that Strasbourg is the Christmas capital of France. Almost 300 wooden chalets squeeze into nearly every square in the city, selling everything from local Alsatian sausages and sweet kugelhopf, to hand-blown glass trinkets and wooden Christmas tree decorations.

The festive markets have existed in Strasbourg since the 1500s, so the city definitely knows what it’s doing when it comes to the festive season.

Basler Weihnachtsmarkt – Basel, Switzerland

23 November 2023 to 23 December 2023

This storybook city comes to life every winter with Switzerland’s biggest Christmas market. You can expect more than 150 stalls selling hand-carved wooden toys and jewellery, along with classic Swiss fare like fondue, raclette and Basler Läckerli, a zesty, gingerbread-style sweet biscuit.

The market is split across Basel’s two squares, Barfuserplatz and Munsterplatz, with plenty of kid-friendly activities in the latter, including a winter forest and the opportunity to decorate a gingerbread house.

Christkindlesmarkt – Nuremberg, Germany

29 November 2023 to 24 December 2023

Nuremberg’s winding cobbled streets and colourful buildings give it an enchanting atmosphere throughout the year, but at Christmas, the 180 wooden stalls that fill Hauptmarkt Square give it an extra dusting of magic.

You can find all the winter market classics like mulled wine, gingerbread and handmade ornaments, along with endless Zwetschgenmännle, or ‘Prune Men’. These doll-like figurines made of prunes, raisins and nuts are seen as good luck charms during the festive season.

Jul i Vinterland – Oslo, Norway

12 November 2023 to 2 January 2024

Right in Oslo’s city centre, you’ll find Jul i Vinterland (which means ‘Christmas in Winterland’), which is packed with plenty of stalls selling ornaments, clothing and toys, and of course, lots of food options. You can expect the classic Christmas market fare, along with Norwegian food, including elk dishes.

You’ll find Christmas performances, activities and carnival rides, with even a Ferris wheel on site too – the perfect spot to take a few snaps for your photo book.

Bath Christmas Market – Bath, UK

23 November 2023 to 10 December 2023

Bath’s winding cobbled streets are the ideal setting for a Christmas market. There’s no wonder it’s known as one of the UK’s best Christmas markets, with over 170 stalls selling handmade items from local artisans, including personalised tree decorations, and pottery and candles.

The entire city centre becomes part of the market, with the wooden chalets you’d expect, along with local restaurants and shops getting involved too.

Tivoli Gardens – Copenhagen, Denmark

17 November 2023 to 31 December 2023

Copenhagen’s known for its cosy, colourful atmosphere, and its market is no different. There are winter markets around the city, but Tivoli Gardens is the star of the show. You can expect whimsical fairy lights draped across trees, an ice rink, and bands playing Christmas carols. At its market stalls you’ll find glogg, Danish mulled wine, along with honey cakes and caramelised almonds.

Liseberg Christmas Market – Gothenburg, Sweden

19 November 2023 to 30 December 2023

Liseberg transforms from popular amusement park to magical winter wonderland every year. Unlike some other winter markets, you have to pay to enter, but it’s well worth it. Explore Santa’s workshop, watch an ice show, or warm up with a cup of decadent hot chocolate or glogg (mulled wine). If you want to try something local, why not enjoy smoked reindeer?

The nearby harbour looks particularly beautiful at night, with Christmas lights bobbing on the water that would be the perfect subject for a photo for your travel photo album.

Salzburg Christmas Market – Salzburg, Austria

23 November 2023 to 1 January 2024

There’s a reason this market is famous all over the world. Not only is it the hometown of The Sound of Music, but it’s been home to a Christmas market since the 1400s.

You’ll find almost 100 stalls packed with quality homemade items, like locally-made knitwear and hand-carved wooden toys. As the sound of traditional wind music drifts through the air, so does the smell of fresh pastries and spiced wine. Grab a hot drink and head to the cathedral at 5pm for daily concerts, or join the carol sing-alongs to really get into the Christmas spirit.

Vianočné Trhy – Bratislava, Slovakia

23 November 2023 to 23 December 2023

In Bratislava city centre you’ll find hundreds of wooden huts throughout its squares selling toys, trinkets and food. Known to be particularly good for families, Vianočné Trhy is a whimsical winter wonderland. You’ll find traditional Slovakian sausages and cakes, and glittering fairy lights draped across the entire city.

If your feet are tired after hours of festivities, there’s a special Christmas tram that takes you between each of the squares.

Christmas is already a magical time of year, but when market season hits it brings it to another level. You’ll be wanting to snap photos on every corner, whether it’s a picture of your loved one messily enjoying a hot chocolate, or a photo of the incredible Christmas trees.

Turn your favourite snaps into a photo book when you get home so that you can relive your best festive memories even after the decorations have been put away for another year.

So wrap up warm, grab a mulled wine and explore all the enchanting festive fun that Europe has to offer.