Bryony Symes
Staff Writer

See other Blog articles filed in ‘Travel and touring’ written by Bryony Symes
Inject some sparkle into your Christmas with a trip to one of Europe's many festive markets – we've found some of the best to help you plan your tour

Soak up some festive spirit at these great Christmas markets across the United Kingdom. Whether you want a unique or hand crafted gift, or want to get into the festive feeling with mulled wine and delicious foods, the twinkling lights of these markets are sure to tempt you.

Northern Ireland

Where to stay: 

Jordanstown Loughshore Caravan Park

Open: All year

Bangor Project 24 Christmas Fair

There will be arts, crafts and gifts galore for you to browse while the children rustle up their own gifts for you in the free drop in Christmas Craft workshops. Find work from local makers as well as seasonal refreshments and music throughout the afternoon.

Date: 1, 8, 15, 22, 28 November

Belfast Christmas Market

Try the gourmet food and drink while wandering through stalls full of unusual Christmas gifts in the grounds of Belfast City Hall. For the kids, there's a Santa's postbox to post letters to the North Pole.

Date: November 15 - December 21

Belfast Ballance House Christmas Market

Ballance House hosts a Victorian Christmas Market, with craft stalls selling unique Christmas gifts, mulled wine and mince pies in the Tea Barn and Santa in the parlour ready to greet the kids.

Date: December 6

Mossley Mill Christmas Craft Fair

The evening starts with a carol concert, then Santa arrives with his reindeer and the Christmas craft shopping can get started.

Date: December 4

North Down Museum Christmas Craft Market

Browse the work of Bangor's local artists and crafters in the festive atmosphere, and keep an eye out for Santa turning up.

Date: November 29-30

Rawallane Garden Yuletide Market

Seasonal cheer takes over this beautiful garden when craft and food stalls open and the gardening team help with finding the perfect Christmas trees and wreaths. Entrance is £5.70 for adults and £2.80 for children.

Date: December 13 - 14


Where to stay:

Mosshall Farm Caravan Park

Open: All Year

Edinburgh Christmas Market 

East Princes Street Garden turns into Santa Land, the perfect place to pick up gifts for the kids, or head to the European Market in the Mound Precinct. St Andrew Square will hold the Scottish market, where you can find traditional crafts and delicious food and drink.

Date: November 21 - January 4

Glasgow Christmas Continental Market

Head to St Enoch Square for 50 stalls of artisan products, global food and unique gifts.

Date: November 16 - December 23

Glasgow Country Living Christmas Fair

Find the best of British makers and craftspeople with decorations and gifts galore, plus regional food producers.

Date: November 20 - 23

Moffat Christmas Festival

The high street becomes a thriving market and a craft fair filled with Christmas-themed products takes over the town hall. Don't miss the entertainment on the High Street and Santa's Grotto in the Town Hall from 2pm, before the Christmas lights switch on at 5pm.

Date: November 30

Perth Christmas Market

This traditional Christmas market has plenty of unusual and crafty gift ideas in its Alpine-style chalets, with freshly-cooked street foods, mulled wine, continental beer and free entertainment such as carol singers and acrobats.

Date: November 27 - December 22


Where to stay:

Ty Coch Camping and Caravanning

Open: All Year

Abergavenny Christmas Fair

Regional food producers and top chefs can be found at the Christmas food and drink fair, cooking up festive cheer and tasters in the Market Hall and Brewery Yard.

Date: December 8 

Aberglasney Annual Winter Fair

Grab your complimentary mulled wine and mince pie as you stock up on Christmas presents from jewellery and children's books, to art and leather goods.

Date: December 6 and 7

Blackwood Christmas Market

Wander through the stalls and entertainment on the High Street to find that unusual Christmas gift and kick-start your Christmas shopping.

Date: December 6 and 7

Cardiff Winter Wonderland and Market 

Cardiff's pedestrianised city centre welcomes over 80 stalls selling arts and crafts (November 14 - December 23), and near to Winter Wonderland where you can glide along on ice skates or sample the local and traditional foods of the Alpine Village.

Date: November 13 - January 5

Caerphilly Medieval Christmas Market

Browse the mix of farmer's stalls, continental stalls and local food and craft producers or join in with family entertainment such as children's workshops and street theatre. Don't forget to take the kids to Santa's grotto.

Date: December 13 and 14

Llandudno Christmas Fayre

This is one of the largest Christmas markets in Wales, held on Madoc street, with around 130 stalls including tastings and craft demonstrations, a Dickensian atmosphere and a Santa's Grotto which the kids will love. 

Date: November 20 - 23

Royal Welsh Winter Fair

As well as the livestock, which is the main event of this fair, there are also trade stands, a food hall, handicraft stalls, art and antiques stalls, demonstrations and plenty of Christmas present ideas.

Date: December 1 and 2

Swansea Waterfront Wonderland

The lights, entertainment, shopping and giant snow globe in Swansea's Christmas market is best paired with the Waterfront Wonderland's ice rinks, fun fair rides and Santa's Grotto for a day of festive cheer.

Date: November 23 - December 16

Wrexham Victorian Christmas Market

Enjoy a freshly baked Welsh cake and glass of mulled wine as you peruse over 70 crafts, plants, decorations and gifts stalls.

Date: December 11

North East England: 

Where to stay:

Ord House Country Park

Open: All Year

Durham City Christmas Festival

Durham's iconic castle and cathedral are the backdrop for this weekend of festivities, with a craft and gift market, a local food market, carol services and other entertainment including live reindeer, a falconry display and children's arts and crafts plus a lantern parade between the Market Place and the Cathedral.

Date: December 5 - 7

Newcastle Continental Christmas Market

Head to Monument for a cosmopolitan Christmas market full of gifts and festive foods from across Europe. There will also be a market with local producers and craftspeople (December 3 - 7).

Date: November 15 - 29

Yorkshire and the Dales

Where to stay: 

Boroughbridge Camping and Caravanning Club Site

Open: All Year

Bradford Christmas Market

Pick up christmas gifts such as homemade soup, Yorkshire cheese or hand-crafted jewellery and warm yourself up with a hot mulled wine or two on Darley Street, Kirkgate, Bank Street and Tyrell Street.

Date: November 27 - 30

Bradford Industrial Museum Market

Held at Bradford Industrial Musuem, join Santa and his elves for a day of shopping.

Date: November 22 and 23

Grassington Dickensian Festival

Grassington village adorns its square with Christmas lights as villagers dress in Victorian costumes and traditional market stalls open, including traditional country crafts.

Date: November 29, December 6 and 13

Harrogate Christmas Market

The historic Montpellier Quarter of this market town will welcome around 200 stalls selling gifts, food and decorations and funfair rides to start your Christmas with a jingle. 

Date: November 27 - 30

Harrogate Country Living Christmas Fair

This treasure trove of decorations and Christmas gift ideas also has a programme of talks and demonstrations, including cookery theatres and workshops.

Date: November 27 - 30

Haworth Christmas Market

Local craftspeople and producers will be selling their wares at this traditional Christmas market.

Date: November 15 and 16

Kelham Island Victorian Christmas Market

This Dickensian celebration has over 130 stalls, a fairground, Santa's grotto and reindeer, and showcases traditional crafts and skills.

Date: November 29 and 30

Knaresborough Edwardian Christmas Market

Here in North Yorkshire, the picturesque town of Knaresborough will be sparkling with decorations, stalls will be selling special gifts and street entertainers will wander through the crowds in the cobbled Market Square, and surrounding lanes and courtyards.

Date: December 6 and 7

Leeds Castle Christmas Market

Stall holders selling Christmas gifts, local produce and festive fayre will fill this atmospheric location.

Date: December 6 - 23

Leeds Christkindelmarkt 

This traditional German Christmas market takes over Millennium Square, transforming it into a scenic winter village. Visit for over 40 traditional chalets, a Christmas carousel, speciality food and drink, the Frankfurter Scheune (a festive meeting hall) and the Alp Chalet Bavarian eatery.

Date: November 14 - December 20

Shipley Christmas Market

Shipley Market Square will be transformed into a winter wonderland with gifts, food and drink to tempt you.

Date: December 12 and 13

Skipton Yuletide Festival & Christmas Market

There is a mixture of festive gifts, food and drink plus local charity stalls throughout the High Street and surrounding streets. At 4pm, a procession to the Holy Trinity Church grounds takes you to a traditional Christmas carol service.

Date: December 7 and 14

York St Nicholas Fayre

The Guild Hall becomes home to 'Made in Yorkshire' artists and crafters while Parliament Street, St Sampsons Square and Coppergate welcome other stallholders with gifts, food and drink. Barley Hall also presents a special medieval market with live crafting, mulled wine and costumed traders, whilst St William's College is the place to go for fine, handmade arts and crafts.

Date: November 27 - December 21

North West England

Where to stay: 

Silverdale Caravan Park (Holgates)

Open: All Year

Brockholes Christmas Market

Brockholes Nature Reserve will turn into a winter wonderland, with crafty vintage market stalls (November 28 - 30), santa's grotto (December 6/7, 13/14, 20/21) and a gift and food fayre (December 13/14) as well as plenty of yuletide entertainment.

Date: November 28 - December 21

Carlisle Christmas Market

This international market transforms Carlisle's city centre, with a magical Christmas grotto in the nearby Old Town Hall Tourist Information Centre.

Date: December 3 - 7

Liverpool Christmas Market

Over 50 stalls have a selection of Christmas gift ideas from five different continents – a truly international Christmas market. Head to Chavasse Park for the ice rink and look out for Santa's Grotto.

Date: November 21 - December 22

Manchester Christmas Markets

Manchester has five weeks of festive cheer from these award-winning markets. There are several, all within a quarter-mile of each other, at Albert Square, Brazennose Street, Exchange Street, Exchange Square, King Street, Market Street, New Cathedral Street and St Anne's Square.

Date: November 14 - December 20

Ulverston Dickensian Festival

This traditional market town's Christmas celebration harks back to the 1850s, with specialist shops, cobbled streets, free entertainment, costume competitions, horse drawn carriages, a traditional fairground, music, and the gifts and festive food of the Christmas market.

Date: November 29 - 30

Eastern England

Where to stay: 

Run Cottage Touring Park

Open: All Year

Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre

This large market has over 300 stalls, taking in Angel Hill, Abbey Gardens, Athenaeum, Hatter Street, Moyses Hall Museum, The Apex, Arc Shopping Centre and the Buttermarket. 27 November sees a 'local evening' with late night shopping, special offers, free refreshments, discounted fairground rides and free parking.

Date: November 27 - 30

Deepdale Farm Christmas Market

Over 70 stalls selling gifts, decorations, food and drink will set up in marquees and St Mary's Church.

Date: December 6 and 7

Ipswich Christmas Market

Street entertainment and stalls will take over Princes Street, Giles Square, Buttermarket and Queen Street, filling the town centre with Christmas cheer.

Date: November 21 - 23

Lincoln Christmas Market

The impressive backdrop of the Norman castle, gothic cathedral and medieval square make this a market full of character. There will be over 250 stalls, talented buskers and lots of festive cheer to enjoy.

Date: December 4 - 7

Heart of England 

Where to stay: 

Somers Wood Caravan Park

Open: All Year

Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market and Craft Fair

This German-style market has over 180 stalls in Victoria Square. Head to nearby Chamberlain Square for local traders at the Christmas Craft Fair.

Date: November 13 - December 22

Blenheim Palace Living Crafts for Christmas Fair

Keep cosy in the heated pavilions and the Stables Theatre as you browse the stalls or enjoy the entertainment. There will be around 150 designer-makers with unique gifts, plus specialist food and drink to feast on.

Date: November 20 - 23

Cheltenham Christmas Market

Head to Cheltenham's Promenade to pop in and out of the wooden chalets filled with festive crafts, gifts, food and drink.

Date: December 5 - 21


Head to Chester Racecourse to enjoy the ice rink, fairground rides and hot drinks to warm you up. Then head into the town centre to visit Santa and the Christmas market. Chester Zoo will also be holding a lantern festival.

Date: November 13 - December 24 (Winter Wonderland) November 20 - December 14 (Market) December 4-7, 11-14 and 18-23 (Lantern Magic)

Gloucester Quays' Victorian Christmas Market

Browse around 150 stalls for Christmas gift ideas and winter warmers, while a cast of Victorian characters entertain and amuse shoppers with traditional costume and wares. There will also be brass bands, choirs, street performers, steam engines and a carousel.

Date: November 20 - 23

Leamington Spa Yuletide Fair 

Kicked off with the lights switch on and a parade, the market has crafts, antiques, and food and drink plus a farmers' market on the final day.

Date: November 16, 23, 30 and December 7, 14 and 21

Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre

Ludlow Castle goes back in time with shows of battling knights, wassailing and dancing to St Nicholas plus over 100 stalls with gifts, food and drink and historical goods. Don't miss the carol singing across the castle between 6pm and 8pm each day.

Date: November 29 - 30

Nottingham Winter Wonderland

Head to the Old Market Square for an ice rink, Christmas trees, a bandstand and snow-topped cabins full of gifts and crafts.

Date: November 20 - January 4

Oxford Christmas Market

The historic streets will be transformed by stalls from local craftspeople and artisans to international sellers, with plenty of food and drink to keep you shopping on into the evening.

Date: December 11 - 21

Solihull Christmas Market

Visit for traditional craft stalls, an al fresco German bar and lots of Christmas spirit.

Date: November 29 - December 22

St Albans Christmas Market

A German-style Christmas market with up to 65 chalets selling both British-made and international gifts and winter essentials, with plenty of mulled wine to put you in the festive spirit. The market will be in the beautiful setting of Vintry Garden, across from St Albans Cathedral.

Date: November 27 - December 21

Warwick Victorian Christmas Evening

This evening of celebration includes the Christmas lights switch on, a lantern procession, traction engines, fire spinners, a carousel, children's entertainment, a Victorian magician and Victorian market and craft stalls with shopkeepers and stallholders in period costume.

Date: November 27

Welwyn Garden City Christmas Market

Keep the children entertained with Father Christmas and carol singing while you explore the food hall and over 40 stalls full of Christmas gifts. Free entry, parking and buses from the train station.

Date: December 6 and 7

Worcester Christmas Fayre

Over a hundred stalls fill the heart of Worcester with local arts and crafts makers, international sellers, festive gifts and a food court. With Victorian accents such as the classic Carousel and juggling stilt-walkers amongst the crowds.

Date: November 22 - 30


Where to stay: 

Chertsey Camping and Caravanning Club Site

Open: All Year

Belgravia Christmas Sunday

Festive shopping and entertainment fills London's Belgravia at Elizabeth Street and Pimlico Road with elegant, interesting Christmas gift ideas. Santa and his reindeer will also be in attendance, enjoying the music from carol singers and a brass band.

Date: December 7

Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink

One of the most scenic ice rinks in the UK also has an Ice Bar and Cafe where you can warm up after your skate and indulge in festive snacks before enjoying the Christmas Lights Trail (December 12 - 23), carol singing in the palace courtyards (December 16 - 23) and seeing how King Henry VIII and his courtiers would have celebrated (December 27 - January 1).

Date: November 21 - January 5

Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park 

Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland has the UK's biggest outdoor ice rink, plus fair rides, festive food stalls, Christmas gifts and keepsakes and big top shows.

Date: November 21 - January 4

Winterville in Victoria Park

East London welcomes a new winter festival with a festive market, a covered ice rink, a ferris wheel and other fairground rides, Santa's grotto, horse drawn carriages, a huge selection of street food vendors and even vintage motorcycles performing daring stunts on a Wall of Death for some racier entertainment.

Date: December 2 - December 31

South East England

Where to stay: 

Two Hoots Campsite

Open: All Year

Brighton Christmas Fair Spectacular

This fair promises a one-stop-shop for Christmas presents, with both an indoor and outdoor market, entertainment, food and drink, Santa's grotto, a kids' funfair and a nativity scene where the kids can meet farm animals, all at Brighton Racecourse.

Date: November 15

Brighton Christmas Market

Find alternative Christmas gifts and delicious foods from European and local producers on the Churchill Square piazza. This German style market has winter warmer treats such as German Bratwurst and mulled wine aplenty.

Date: November 1 - December 24

Chichester Christmas Market

Over 50 festive stalls can be found in North Street and East Street with a selection of gifts and crafts direct from the makers and designers.

Date: December 6 - 14

Christmas at The Hop Farm

Near Tonbridge, Kent, there will be a series of weekend markets at this family park, with perfect stocking fillers and other gifts, plus festive food and drink.

Date: December 7 and 8, 14 and 15, 21 - 24

Petworth House Christmas Fair

Leave the hectic High Street behind and head to this grand National Trust house. There will be over 120 stalls from jewellery sellers to chutney and home-made food vendors. Entrance is £5.

Date: November 22 and 23

Portsmouth Victorian Festival of Christmas

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard will be hosting Victorian-style Christmas celebrations, with a traditional Father Christmas, Victorian characters and entertainment, a traditional carousal, a stage show, and of course a Christmas market.

Date: November 28 - 30

Rochester Christmas Market

Rochester's castle gardens will hold around 70 market stalls full of gift ideas, decorations, food and drink. There will also be a family fun fair and daily music and entertainment. The weekend of December 5 will see a Dickensian Festival, too.

Date: November 29 and 30, December 5 - 7 and 12 - 14

Southampton Christmas Market

This busy market has stalls throughout the High Street, plus funfair rides.

Date: November 21 - December 28

Winchester Christmas Market

Surrounding the beautiful cathedral, this market is one of the best in Europe, with an open air ice rink, hand-picked exhibitors and a bustling, jolly atmosphere.

Date: November 20 - December 21

Wokingham St Anne's Manor Christmas Market

Browse the mixed stalls for tastings and unique gifts or enjoy the family entertainment at this country house-turned-hotel.

Date: November 30


Where to stay: 

South Lytchett Manor Caravan and Camping Park

Open March 1 - January 2

Bournemouth Christmas Market

A traditional German style market in Bournemouth's town centre, with a festive feel, international sellers and the unique Moose Bar. Watch out for the Christmas Light Switch On, Father Christmas Parade and Nativity Parade.

Date: November 13 - December 30

Somerset, Avon & Wiltshire

Where to stay: 

Bowdens Crest Caravan and Camping Park

Open: All Year

Bath Christmas Market

As well as the gifts, crafts and seasonal food and drink for sale, Bath's city centre will ring with choral music and you can skate on the outdoor ice rink.

Date: November 27 - December 14

Bristol Christmas Market

This German-themed Christmas market has traditional chalets full of gifts and festive treats, a Christmas nativity Pyramid, a giant advent calendar, Bavarian music and entertainment, plus beer gardens to make it the festive hub of the city. 

Date: November 7 - December 22

Devizes Christmas Festival

Join in the lantern parade or enjoy the firework displays after a day-long Christmas market plus live music and street theatre.

Date: November 28

Hestercombe Gardens Christmas Market

The stalls will all be under cover, with a range of unusual and hand-crafted gift ideas and a cosy cafe where you can enjoy a festive mince pie. The children will enjoy the music from local choirs and entertainment from Malcolm the Magician.

Date: November 15 and 16

Salisbury Christmas Market

Explore the traditional stalls to find the Made in Salisbury and Made in Wiltshire chalets for local gifts, meet Santa then slow down to sip and nibble on festive fare.

Date: November 27 - December 20


Where to stay: 

Hidden Valley Touring and Camping Park

Open: All Year

Brixham Christmas Market

Held in Scala Hall, this market has all the warmth of being indoors plus festive cheer among the local stall holders.

Date: November 29 and 30

Exeter Christmas Market

Held on the Cathedral Green, you'll find the best food, decorations and gifts that Britain, the South West and Europe can produce plus a touch of Christmas magic.

Date: November 20 - December 20


Where to stay: 

Padstow Touring Park

Open: All Year

Fowey Christmas Market

This is a weekend of seasonal indulgences with food and drink, entertainment and lots of Christmas shopping with both traditional and Cornish traders.

Date: December 5 - 7

Nadelik Cornish Christmas at Pendennis Castle

The market has plenty of craft and gift stalls as well as wine and mince pies. Celebrate the Cornish way with fireside tales, music and dancing, and meet Father Christmas in the castle keep.

Date: December 6 and 7

Padstow Christmas Festival

This fishing village turns into a festive paradise with celebrity chefs serving up seasonal dishes, a Christmas market in a marquee on the quayside, Santa's grotto, fireworks and live music.

Date: December 4 - 7

St Austell Seasonal Market

Craft, produce and food traders will get you into the Christmas spirit with music and entertainment right into the evening. This seasonal market is accompanied by an unusual busking competition on December 10, where you'll see a wide range of music and street theatre. On December 17 head back into the town centre for mince pies, mulled wine, Santa Claus and more at the Festive Feast.

Date: December 3


If you want to head a bit further afield for a seasonal getaway, there are markets across Europe which promise even more twinkling lights, joyful song and unique gifts. The likes of historic markets like Strasbourg, which has been around for hundreds of years, are great to visit for the history and culture. However, newer markets such as Liseburg in Sweden, which is held at an amusement park, have loads to do for the whole family. Alternatively, get a feel for the locals at small village markets in places like Merano, Italy – lots of inspiration for your winter motorhome tours.


Republic of Ireland

Where to stay:

Camac Valley Tourist Caravan and Camping Park

Open: All year

Cork Christmas on the Grand Parade

Cork's Glow festival has artisan food markets on the Grand Parade, a 30-metre ferris wheel, beautiful light displays and a mystical 'faery' village called Tir na Nollag at Bishop Lucey Park.

Date: November 29 - December 23

Dublin Christmas Market

Head to St Stephen's Green, between Grafton Street and Merrion Row, for more than 60 stalls of Irish handmade gifts, accessories, food and drink. You'll get the traditional winter favourites of crepes, bratwurst and gluhwein as well as Irish specialities.

Date: November 13 - December 23

Dun Laoghaire Christmas Market

Dun Laoghaire's shopping centre, high street and George's Street will play host to a variety of food, art, craft and gift stalls in wooden chalets, with entertainment such as a trolley dash, cookery and crafts demonstrations.

Date: November 26 - December 31

Galway Continental Christmas Market

Ireland's longest running Christmas market takes place in Eyre Square, with stalls of crafts, festive food and gift ideas as well as a music stage, children's workshops and visits from Santa.

Date: November 21 - December 22


Avignon Christmas Market

Join over 60 craftspeople on Place de l'Horloge, celebrating the festive period with local food and drink – and keep an eye out for the many nativity scenes displayed at the Palais du Roure and in Avignon's churches.

Date: November 30 - January 4

Strasbourg Christkindelsmärik

This is France's oldest Christmas market, started in 1570, and it weaves through the streets and squares with lots of arts, crafts, decorations and the famous chocolate yule log and Alsace's 'Bredele' biscuits.

Date: November 28 - December 31


Magical Maastricht

Surrounding the 800-square metre ice rink are locally sourced gifts and produce including traditional Dutch pancakes, with a 60m tall ferris wheel for an aerial view and a grand carousel. There are heated cafe terraces and the Vrithof pavilion hosts entertainment.

Date: November 29 - December 30

Czech Republic

Prague Christmas Market

Find Czech handicrafts, delicious food and drink, and even a mini zoo amongst the various markets in Prague this winter. The Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square are the main attractions, and don't miss the carol singing.

Date: November 29 - January 11


Hamburg Christmas Market

Hamburg has several markets in the run up to Christmas, but the largest is held in the square outside the town hall. Its motto is "art instead of commerce" and includes quirks such as clowns and circus artists serving mulled wine and a Christmas parade every Saturday. Don't miss 'Spielzeuggasse' (Toy Street) for a huge selection of children's toys from around the world.

Date: November 25 - December 23

Nuremburg Christkindlesmarkt

One of the oldest markets in Germany, it has been held annually since the 16th century. Head down to find out some of the unusual historic traditions. Buy grilled sausage, mulled wine and fresh gingerbread, or try the 'Zwetschgenmännle', a small doll made from dried plums, nuts, raisins and figs.

Date: November 28 - December 24


Antwerp Christmas Market

Antwerp has a season of cheer spread out across the city, with markets in Handschoenmarkt, the Grote Markt, Suikerrui and Steenplein, which is open the longest.

Date: December 6 - January 4 

Brussels Winter Wonderland

Brussels' light displays are breathtaking, and there are attractions such as a ferris wheel, merry-go-rounds and an ice rink as well as the bustling Christmas market.

Date: November 28 - January 4 

Bruges Christmas Market

As well as the main market and ice rink, there are several smaller markets in the city.

Date: November 21 - January 4 

Ghent Christmas Market

Try regional food and drink as well as international fare at this traditional market in Ghent's Sint-Baafsplein, Klein Turkije and Korenmarkt.

Date: December 5 - January 4

Leuven Christmas Market

See craftsmen at work and taste local delicacies from 140 stalls at this well-established market in a beautiful city.

Date: December 11 - 21

Liege Christmas Village 

Explore the 200 wooden chalets full of Christmas goodies before you hit the ice rink in the Place de la Cathédrale. There is also an exhibition to teach you about Russian traditions.

Date: November 28 - December 30

Winterland Hasselt

You'll find markets on the Kolonel Dusartplein and the Grote Markt, an impressive Christmas tree, an ice skating rink and the new Santa's House where Santa and his elves give tours of the house. Don't miss the 'Hesselse Poepjee', a Venetian two-storey carrousel.

Date: November 15 - January 4

Ypres Christmas Market

This is a smaller market, but promises a cosy, festive time in the Market Square with an ice rink and other entertainment.

Date: November 28 - January 5



If you're in town for the Christmas Parade (November 29) you'll see some great festivities to kick off the shopping. The Old Town Museum hosts a living history market town of more than 75 restored buildings with Christmas scenes through the years. The market stalls are housed in the 'Ridehuset' Equestrian Hall with Danish crafts, homemaking, warm Christmas punch, music and entertainment.

Date: November 16 - December 31


Tivoli Christmas Market has a carnival atmosphere, with traditional hot meals as well as street foods, walkways of prettily painted stalls, pony rides and other entertainment for the children. Make sure you also go to Nyhavn canal for apple dumpings, glögg, and a traditional market, or Grey Hall in Christiania for unusual gift ideas. There is also a Christmas Tables exhibition at the Royal Copenhagen which is one of the most popular Christmas events in Copenhagen.

Date: November 15 - December 31

Odense H.C. Anderson Market

Inspired by the fairytale writer, Hans Christian Anderson, this Christmas celebration has an old fashioned market with decorations, booths, a vegetable market and H.C. Anderson-inspired entertainment. Elsewhere in Odense is the City Christmas Market.

Date: December 5 - 7 and 12 - 14



Tradition is rife in Barcelona at this time of year, with saints' days and festivities that date back hundreds of years. 'The Little Market of Santa Lucia' is actually the largest Christmas market, with traditional Catalan gifts and decorations. Listen to Christmas carols as you shop, then head to the 'Fira de nadal de la sagrada familia', a smaller traditional market with lantern workshops and children's entertainment.

Date: November 25 - December 23


Spanish customs come into their own with fiestas and activities, including the San Silvestre Vallecana race on December 31, the Three Kings' Parade on January 5 and the sharing of a roscón de reyes (traditional cake) on January 6. The old town's streets are festive, with market stalls in the Plaza Mayor and nativity scenes on display.

Date: end of November - January 6


Natalis-Lisboa Christmas Fair

Head to Lisbon Congress Centre for gifts, souvenirs, and tasty food and drink. Try the different themed areas and there are even workshops and tree decorating contests.

Date: December 3 - 7

Óbidos Vila Natal

The town turns festive with an ice rink, a Santa Claus farm, an ice bar, a Christmas market and colourful decorations.

Date: December 5 -  January 4



Date: December 9 - 24

The Place de la Fusterie is the place to go for locally-made arts and crafts as well as colourful Christmas presents. You can also join in with traditions like the 17th century parade, smashing chocolate soup pots and giving coins to costumed children.

Lucerne Kristkindlimarkt

Visit the mechanical nativity scene in the Museum of History or take to the street for a life-size nativity, Christmas stalls and plenty of hot punch and sweet roasted chestnuts. The Kristkindlemarkt will be held in the railway station, with gift ideas, food and drink plus carol concerts and other seasonal entertainment.

Date: November 21 - December 23

Montreux Noel

Warm yourself in the Montreux winter with festive delights at this celebration that has been running for 20 years. You can visit Santa, in his house at the Rochers-de-Naye, discover an authentic Christmas Village in Caux, or stroll through the Medieval Enchantement in the legendary Château de Chillon.

Date: November 21 - December 24

Zurich Christmas

Watch the traditional Santa Claus Parade, browse the Christmas Collector's Fair in the halls of the Messe Zurich trade fair or head to the Old Town's christmas market in Hirschenplatz square, the oldest Christmas market in Zurich. A market in the train station will have around 150 decorated huts selling gifts, and a gigantic Christmas tree will be adorned with over 7000 crystal ornaments glittering in the festive cheer. There will also be a smaller market at Werdmühleplatz with 'The Singing Christmas Tree' children's concert. There is even The Conelli Christmas Circus to entertain.

Date: November 20 - December 24


Merano Christmas Market

Pick up trademark sheep wool products, wooden toys and felt slippers with over 80 stalls to choose from. There are also craft and cookery workshops, pony rides and advent stories for children to enjoy. Set on the shore of the Passer River with the Alpine mountains as a picturesque backdrop, this market is famed for its atmosphere.

Date: November 28 - January 6

There are also nearby village Christmas markets in unusual locations such as castles and forests: 

  • Christmas at Tyrol Castle: December 6 - 8
  • "The Star Money" Christmas Market in Lana: November 29 - December 24
  • Tesimo Christmas in the Forest
  • Rovereto Christmas Market: November 22 - January 9
  • Lagundo Christmas market: November 28 - 30, December 6 and 7, 13 and 14, 20 and 21, 27 and 28, January 3 and 4

Trento Christmas Markets

This famous regional celebration has gourmet food including local specialities, local crafts typical of the Alpine region, beautiful decorations and lots of gift ideas packed into Piazza Fiera and Piazza Cesare Battisti. Don't forget to warm yourself with vin brulé (mulled wine).

Date: November 22 - January 6

Verona Christmas Market

This beautiful city's Piazza die Signori will have wooden huts with about 60 exhibitors or local handicrafts, gifts and festive delicacies. Don't miss the Christmas star in Piazza Bra.

Date: November 23 - December 21

Florence Mercato Tedesco di Natale

Experience the Veihnachtsmarkt in Santa Croce Square, a taste of Heidelberg in Florence, complete with Stollen, Glühwein (mulled wine) and other German specialities to try. There are also several other local artisan markets around in December.

Dates: December 3 - 21

Rome's Piazza Navona Christmas Market 

There are many different markets across Rome, but this is the most famous, selling nativity scenes, decorations and sweets in the historic town square where street artists and acrobats will provide extra entertainment.

Date: December 1 - January 6

Naples Christmas Market

Via San Gregorio Armeno is a narrow street famed for its handcrafted nativity figures, a whole area of the city permanently dedicated to Christmas. In December it becomes a buzzing market where you can get figures made from wax, bronze, cork and clay shaped into anything from the traditional nativity figures to Mother Theresa.

Date: All year



Head to Vorostmarty Square and St Stephen's Basilica where Hungarian folk music, dance, classical music and children's programmes go hand in hand with Hungarian specialities such as strudel and pastry horns, and mulled wine served in a Christmas Fair Mug that you can take home. The gift stalls and shops will close at midday on December 24, ready for Hungarian Christmas celebrations to begin.

Date: November 28 - January 1


Gdansk Christmas Market

The Coal Market will be filled with dozens of wooden stalls selling Christmas decorations, gifts, toys, crafts and arts, plus regional food and drink.

Date: December 5 - 23

Krakow Christmas Market

The climate of Krakow means you are almost guaranteed a white Christmas, which makes this market in Europe's largest medieval town square particularly magical. Discover special Polish traditions and festive delicacies amongst the stalls of Christmas decorations, sweets and other goodies. There are open air eateries, shows, folk dances and carols, too.

Date: November 28 - December 26

Warsaw Christmas Market

This market is smaller than Krakow's, but you should still check out the huge wooden kegs of mulled wine, surrounded by Polish and regional specialities. Stalls sell a huge variety of both Polish and international gifts, food and drink.

Date: November 22 - December 23


Graz Christmas 

As well as 13 different Christmas markets within walking distance in the beautifully decorated city, Advent celebrations take centre stage with a giant Advent calendar projected onto the town hall, Landhaus Courtyard becomes home to a nativity scene made of ice, and there is a nativity trail in Stempfergasse. If you get tired, hop on the Advent train and have a scenic ride between the different markets in the streets of the old town.

Date: November 21 - December 24

Salzburg Chriskindlemarkt

Head to Residence Square, at the foot of the Hohensalzburg fortress, where you'll find this impressive market. The 28m tall Christmas tree is sure to impress. There is a diverse range of stalls, plus Salzburg pastries, punch and roasted chestnuts for festive snacking.

Date: November 20 - December 26

Vienna Magic of Advent

International choirs, festive smells and glittering lights help make this a beautiful market. There are 150 stalls selling gifts, decorations, plus arts and crafts in the City Hall and pony riding in the park for the children. There is even an app to help you make the most of your visit.

Date: November 15 - December 24


Bratislava Christmas Market

The distinctive atmosphere of this market is very popular. Shop at the market stalls during the day and then wind down with mulled wine, traditional Slovakian food and entertainment – including music, choirs and theatre – every evening.

Date: November 21 - December 23



Experience a traditional Norwegian Christmas at the Open Air Museum (December 6 and 7 and 13 and 14), and you can find a Christmas fair at the Norsk Folkemuseum and another in Spikersuppa. There is a traditional Swedish market at Margaretakyrkan (November 20 and 21) and a German Christkindlesmarkt at the German Evangelical Church.

Date: November 11 - December 20


Liseberg Christmas Market

The largest market in Sweden is held at the Liseberg amusement park in Gothenburg. There are themed areas, such as a Lapland, a medieval camp and a 'Designtornet' arts and crafts market, plus a Christmas buffet and delicious Swedish candy canes to try.

Date: November 14 - 16, 21 - 23, 28 - 30, December 3 - 7, 9 - 14, 16 - 23, 26 - 30



Helsinki's main shopping street becomes a beautifully decorated 'Joulukatu' (Christmas Street). There are also many markets, including the Women's Christmas Fair in Wanha Satama (December 3 - 7), St Thomas Market in Senate Square (December 7 - 22) which is the largest Christmas market in Finland, Soumenlinna Christmas Event (November 30 - December 1) where King Gustav III and the Old Militia of Helsinki open the Christmas season, as well as many more opportunities for Christmas shopping.

Date: November 30 - January 6 


Frankenmuth, Michigan

Frankenmuth's world-famous Bronners Christmas shop is open year-round (apart from December 24 and 31, January 1, Easter and Thanksgiving) and is the world's largest Christmas store which stocks over 50,000 items. You just need to head to Michigan, so why not hire an RV and have a US road trip? 

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