Top 5 European Christmas Markets

Top Five European Christmas Markets

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So many markets, so little time…

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Vienna Christmas Market Arch

Vienna, Austria

There are TWELVE Christmas markets in Vienna! Albert I of Germany granted the city the right to hold the first-holiday market in 1298. Most of the largest markets are located within walking distance of each other.

Enter through the arched gateway laden with candles at the entrance to the City Hall Square for entry to over 125 booths. The Old Viennese Christmas market is the most traditional market selling handicrafts, glass decorations, and ceramics. Vienna is a stunning city to visit and full of many things to see and do.

Vienna City Hall Market

 

Market Must-Eats:

 

Kartoffelpuffer – potato pancakes

 

Krapfen – pastry filled with different things such as jam or sauerkraut

 

Bauerngröstl – a mixture of fried items including bacon, eggs, and potatoes that are usually topped with a fried egg.

2023 Markets

Wiener Weihnachtstraum 

Dates: November 11 to December 26

Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Location: Rathausplatz

 

Weihnachtsmarkt am Stephansplatz

Dates: November 10 to December 26  

Hours: Daily 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Dec 24 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Dec 25-26 from 11 a.m.- 7 p.m.

Location: Stephansplatz 

 

Weihnachtsdorf Schloss Belvedere

Dates: November 17 to December 23

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Dec 24 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Dec 25-26 from 11 a.m.to 7 p.m.

Location: Prinz Eugen-Strasse 27

 

Christkindlmarkt am Karlsplatz

Dates: Nov 18 to December 23

Hours: 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Location: Karlsplatz

 

Weihnachstdorf am Maria Theresien Platz 

Dates: Nov 15 to December 23

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Dec 24 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Christmas day to January 6 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Location: Maria-Theresien Platz

 

Weihnachtsmarkt Schloss Schönbrunn 

Dates: November 18 to January 4, 2024

Hours: Daily 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Dec 24 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Dec 25-Jan 4 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Location: Schönbrunn Palace

Weihnachtsmarkt Am Hof

Dates: Nov 11 to December 23

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Location: Am Hof

 

Altwiener Christkindlmarkt

Dates: Nov 18 to December 23

Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Location: Freyung

 

 

Weihnachtsdorf Altes AKH

Dates: Nov 10 to December 23

Hours: Monday-Thursday 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 2 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Location: Alserstrasse/Spitalgasse, Hof 1

 

 

Weihnachtsmarkt am Spittelberg

Dates: Nov 16 to December 23

Hours: Mon-Fri from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Location: Spittelberggasse, Schrankgasse, Gutenberggasse

 

 

Wintermarkt am Riesenradplatz

Dates: November 19 to January 8, 2023 

Hours: Mon-Fri 12 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Dec 24 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., December 31 from 12 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Location: Riesenradplatz

 

 

Winter at Museumsquartier (MQ)

Dates: Nov 8 to December 23

Hours: Mon-Fri 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Location: MuseumsQuartier Wien, Museumsplatz 1

Prague Church with Christmas Market

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is full of stunning architecture, and yes, history. Thankfully, the city wasn’t badly damaged during WWII leaving most of its historical buildings intact. If castles are your thing, then you need to visit the ninth century, Prague Castle that is renowned for being the largest castle complex in the world. Another attraction is the Charles Bridge; one of Europe’s oldest bridges that was built between 1357 and 1402.

Now, as far as the markets go, you must see the beautiful tree in the Old Town Square.  Don’t bypass the lit ornaments decorating the nearby gardens.

Prague Christmas Decorations

Market Must-Eats:

  • Praska Sunka – the famous Prague Ham that has been spit roasted
  • Klobasy – grilled sausages
  • Bramboraky – salty and savory potato pancakes
  • Vanocka – traditional Christmas braided cake

2023 Market Dates

Old Town Square

Dates: December 2 to January 6, 2024

Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Location: Old Town Sq and Wenceslas Sq

Prague Castle

Dates: November 26 to January 6, 2024

Hours: Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Location: St. George’s Square behind St. Vitus, Prague Castle

Havel’s Market

Dates: December 1 to January 6, 2024

Hours: Monday to Friday 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.,

Sat 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sun 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Location: Havelská 13, 110 00 Staré Měst

Wenceslas Square

Dates: December 2 to January 6, 2024

Hours: 10 a.m. to midnight

Location: Wenceslas Square

 

Prague Church with Christmas Tree

Dresden, Germany

Dresden Christmas market

This is one of my favorite Christmas markets!!! Not only is the city absolutely beautiful, but the markets add some storybook magic to each square. Dresden is also home to one of the oldest Christmas markets in Germany.

It also holds the world record for the tallest Christmas pyramid at almost 48 feet. If you aren’t sure what this is, think about the movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”.  Cousin Eddie knocks the fan blades off the Christmas pyramid and Chevy Chase attempts to replace them.

Dresden christmas side market

Market Must-Eats:

  • Handbrot – literally translated as hand bread. It is a billowy roll stuffed with cheese
  • Stollen – Dresden is the home of this traditional German dessert and you will find it on every table during the holidays
Dresden daytime Christmas market

2023 Markets

The Striezelmarkt

Dates: November 29 to December 24

Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Location: Altmarkt Square

 

Augustusmarkt

Dates: November 29 to January 7, 2024

Hours: Monday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Location: Starts in Neustädter Markt through

to Dreifaltigkeitskirche

Christmas Market at the Frauenkirche

Dates: November 24 to December 24

Hours: Sunday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.,  Friday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Christmas Eve 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Location: In Münzgasse

Christmas Market on the Neumarkt

Dates: November 30 to January 7, 2024

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Location: Neumarkt Square

Winter Lights Market

Dates: November 30 to December 23

Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Location: On the Prager Strasse

Náměstí Republiky

Dates: November 26 to December 26

Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Location: Náměstí Republiky in front of the Palladium Shopping Center

 

Kampa Island Market

Dates: December 8th to January 6, 2024

Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Location: Kampa Island

 

Náměstí Míru Market

Dates: November 20 to December 24

Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Location: Náměstí Míru, Vinohrady

 

Tylovo Náměstí Market

Dates: November 26 to December 24

Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Location: Tylovo Náměstí by I.P. Pavlova metro

Jiřího z Poděbrad Christmas Market

Dates: December 1 to December 24

Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Location: Jiřího z Poděbrad Square, Vinohrady

 

Anděl Christmas Market

Dates: November 30 to December 23

Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Location: Pedestrian area outside Anděl metro

 

Výstavište Holešovice

Dates: November 29th to January 1, 2024

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Location: Exhibition grounds at Výstavište in Prague 7

Nuremburg church with Christmas Market top

Nuremberg, Germany

If you are wanting the traditional German Christmas experience, then this market is for you. It is one of the biggest and best-known Christmas markets in the world with over 200 booths and stalls. Starting in the 17th century, the first indication of a market comes from a wooden box with an inscription that reads, ‘Regina Susanna Harßdörfferin von der Jungfrau Susanna Eleonora Erbsin zum Kindles-Marck überschickt 1628’ (translated, ‘received on the occasion of a Christkindl market in 1628’).

Nuremberg is a truly historical city that offers so many important sites for any traveler to visit. The local markets are some of the most well-known in Germany. In fact, this is where the famous Christkindl, the Christ child, tradition originates.

After a brief pause in holding the markets during WWII, the tradition resumed in 1948. Now, Nuremberg Christmas markets receive more than 2 million visitors a year, from around the world.

Nuremburg Christmas Market stall

Market Must-Eats:

  • Nürnberger Rostbratwurst – finger-sized sausages that are absolutely delicious. Try it on a crunchy bread roll with mustard.
  • Feuerzangenbowle – basically Glühwein, but with a cone of sugar that has been soaked in rum and placed on top of the mug then set on fire. Nuremberg has the biggest cauldron in the entire world
  • Nuremberg Lebkuchen – gingerbread – this town is the birthplace of gingerbread, so it is only fitting to partake in this tasty treat.
Nuremburg square with tree

2023 Markets

Christkindlesmarkt

Dates: December 1 to December 24

Hours: Monday to Sunday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Christmas Eve 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Location: Hauptplatz Square

The Sister Cities Market

Dates: December 1 to December 24

Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Christmas Eve 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Location: North of the Hauptmarkt

Zurich Christmas Market

Zurich, Switzerland

Have you ever wanted to see a Christmas tree dripping with Swarovski crystals? Zurich is the place to see it! There are plenty of markets scattered around the city offering the visitor everything needed to put even the grumpiest Scrooge into the Christmas spirit.

Zurich is known for being one of Europe’s cleanest and wealthiest cities.  Because of its extremely high standard of living, it rockets to the top of most of the “livable cities in the world” lists.

Zurich shopping district

Market Must-Eats:

  • 65h Cider Steak – a lengthy process is involved in preparing this piece of meat. The beef is cooked in cider for 24 hours, then sous vide for 11 hours, then topped with caramelized onions for another 30 hours. A MUST-TRY!
  • Öpfelchüechli – Crispy apple fritters that are usually served with custard (A dieters dream! LOL)
  • Raclette – a delectable Swiss cheese that is melted and scraped onto your plate of potatoes, bread, or meats… drooling

2023 Markets:

Christkindlimarkt

Dates: November 23 to December 24

Hours: Sunday to Wednesday 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday to Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Christmas Eve 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Location: Zurich Central Station, Hauptbahnhof Zürich, Haupthalle

Wienachtsdorf Sechseläutenplatz   

Dates: November 23 to December 23  

Hours: Monday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Location: Zürcher Wienachtsdorf, Sechseläutenplatz       

Zurich Christmas Market train station

Weihnachtsmarkt with Singing Christmas Tree

Dates: November 23 to December 23  

Hours: Monday-Thursday 4-9 p.m., Friday 4-10 p.m., Saturday 1-10 p.m., Sunday 1-9 p.m.

Location: Werdemühleplatz

Badeners WunderDorf

Dates: November 23 to December 24

Hours: Unknown

Location: Theaterplatz Baden

Dörfli Weinachtsmarkt

Dates: November 23 to December 23  

Hours: Monday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Location: Niederdorf

Zurich Christmas Market stalls
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Christmas Market Tips

Glühwein, which is hot mulled wine cooked with holiday spices, is the official THE OFFICIAL DRINK of the European Christmas Markets. It dates to at least 1420, though it is probably older than that. No doubt, whenever you read about the markets, you will inevitably see people holding mugs with the city’s markings on them. Each year has a uniquely designed mug.

For a couple of euros, you can get a mug full of piping hot Glühwein to enjoy while strolling around the markets. When you have finished your drink, you have the option of either keeping the mug or turning it back in (where it will be sanitized and reused) and receiving a partial refund of what you originally paid (pfand).

Example: Pay 5 euros for a mug and drink – when turning it back in you can receive 2 euros back or keep the mug for a relatively inexpensive souvenir.

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Kristal Ham

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Traveler and Photographer

My name is Kristal and I am so happy to have you visit my site! 

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