World-famous traditional Christmas markets across Europe are not only special, but a true embodiment of the annual Christmas spirit. Christmas is just around the corner. What better way to get into the Christmas spirit than a visit to an authentic European Christmas market? The holidays over Christmas and New Year are incomparable; with a touch of magic in the air, the winter evenings, warm mugs of mulled wine, the smell of cinnamon and ginger in the air and a beautiful girl on your arm.
From the end of November to the end of the year, European cities immerse themselves in this ancient tradition,and despite the cold, people flock to experience the atmosphere of the Christmas markets. The fairy wheel is turned to 100, and each place presents its delicious festive dishes, pop-up bars, craft shops and fairground rides, not to mention the stunning decorations and impressive lighting. Although every city does things a little differently, you’ll be able to experience the magic of Christmas markets anywhere in Europe – the exuberance and festive joy will be immense.
Here’s our pick of the best Christmas Markets in Europe to visit this season…
One of the most spectacular Christmas markets in Europe, which has already been awarded “Best Christmas Market in Europe” for the second time, opens its doors for the 12th time on St. Stephen’s Square in Budapest.
For the 12th time on St. Stephen’s Square in Budapest. More than 100 artisans and restaurateurs will offer their porticans, other local delicacies and traditional cuisine, and the spectacularly decorated atmosphere of the market itself will be complemented by the highly successful light show on the Basilica and an ice skating rink circling around a large Christmas tree.
After all the festive and eventful days, you need a quiet, charming and relaxing place to enjoy the private benefits of a Christmas getaway. There is no better place than the sublime Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest, which is just a short walk from the Basilica – with a Nobu restaurant on site, as well as other restaurants and bars, this is the ideal place for a break from the winter wonderland outside.
Not only can you enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of the Christmas market in Budapest, but thanks to the explosion in popularity of Danube river cruises (most of which start or end in Budapest), you can also really enjoy the festive season and visit some other legendary Christmas markets with your company! We all know that when it comes to Christmas, one treat is never enoug
Discover magnificent cities, mediaeval towns and picturesque villages along the “Blue Danube”,” which spans three countries: Hungary, Austria and Germany. Stroll among the stalls at Budapest’s Christmas market and immerse yourself in the joyful atmosphere of Vienna while shopping for handmade decorations. Visit fairytale Regensburg, one of the best-preserved cities in Europe, and enjoy the city’s festive cheer.
Budapest is a city that always has something to offer and is definitely at the top of our Christmas list.
The Trier Christmas Market is not only the most beautiful Christmas market in Germany, but also the most romantic Christmas market setting in the world! Already in its 43rd year, it takes place on the mediaeval main market square, which houses a smorgasbord of architectural styles, from Romanesque to Gothic to Baroque, against the imposing backdrop of Trier Cathedral, and truly offers a wonderfully romantic ambience. What makes the Trier Christmas Market truly unique, apart from everything you would expect from a Christmas market, is the “Gluehwein Queen”. Germany’s only mulled wine queen graces the Christmas market every market weekend and is, of course, also present at the official opening. The Christmas atmosphere can be felt throughout the pedestrian zone, festively decorated streets and shop windows make Christmas shopping a very special experience.
Complete this festive getaway with an overnight stay at the Park Plaza Trier. What more could you want from such a storied tradition: a charming setting, festive food, romantic atmosphere and a seductive lady to enjoy it all with – that’s certainly the star on the tree!
Basel has a long tradition as the most beautiful and largest Christmas city in Switzerland. With over a hundred tall fir trees lining the streets and pointing the way to the authentic market, this well-preserved old town exudes Christmas spirit: from the warm Christmas lights to the shimmering golden shops and house facades. Muensterplatz, one of Basel’s most beautiful squares, is home to (unsurprisingly) one of the most beautiful Christmas trees in Europe. With neighbours like Germany and France, you can look forward to absolute magic on Basel’s Muensterplatz.
The Basel Christmas Market is not only the largest, but also the most beautiful in Switzerland. 160 carefully decorated stalls offer a wide range of culinary delights, from genuine Basler Lackerli (a local version of gingerbread) to hot punch, festive fondue and raclette with ribs to beat the winter chill. The hustle and bustle of the Christmas market mingles with the smell of mulled wine, hot cider and melted cheese, while the lights shine in the trees in the square and on the towering Christmas tree. What could be better than wrapping up warm and enjoying the festivities with a wonderful companion before retiring to a beautiful hotel like the Hyperion Hotel Basel to unwrap your Christmas present?
Metz shows its most beautiful side in winter. When the nights draw in, the Christmas lights take over the city. Nothing gets you in the mood for Christmas more than the incredible illumination of the Metz Christmas Market. Keep warm with traditional attractions like the open-air ice rink and the carousel. Look out for the Ferris wheel next to the cathedral before savouring the most delicious gingerbread before strolling through the enchanting “Sentiers des Lanternes” (Lantern Paths) with illuminated nutcrackers, teddy bears and gifts – a unique and romantic destination to share with an enchanting companion.
No wonder it has been on the list of the best “Christmas markets in Europe” for 10 years and is considered by many to be the most beautiful Christmas market in France. Spread across six different squares in the city, the Metz market really does have something for every kind of festive fanatic. If you time your visit for St Nicholas weekend, you can also catch the parade of floats that passes through Metz and is certainly the icing on the Christmas market cake.
La Citadelle Metz Gallery in the heart of Metz is the ideal choice for a private getaway; an ideal place to explore the city even further or simply take time to enjoy a warm and cosy atmosphere in the Bar Ambiance Lounge or taste exotic flavours in the hotel’s bistronomic restaurant, ‘La Reserve’.
One of the best-known Christmas markets is the traditional “Wiener Adventzauber” (Viennese Advent Magic), which transforms the Rathausplatz into a glowing fairytale land. The trees of the surrounding Rathauspark are festively decorated and shine in a sea of lights, icicles dangle from magnificent Habsburg buildings. All this captured between craft stalls, steaming mugs of mulled wine and the wonderfully festive smell of roasted chestnuts and freshly baked pretzels – a Viennese experience not to be missed!
If you have had enough of the winter wonderland and want to enjoy some other festive activities, the Grand Ferdinand Vienna is hard to beat. With its rooftop terrace breakfast and purist rooms, it perfectly complements the pre-Christmas feeling of magic and joy in the city.
A festive getaway for a few days, with one of our lovely ladies is certainly a gift you can give yourself this year. However, if you’d rather stay at home, there’s plenty to do in London this festive season.
To arrange a date, call Allure today on 0207 183 1094 and treat yourself to a wonderful pre-Christmas treat.