Europe’s 3 Best Christmas Markets

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With the festive season rapidly approaching, a Christmas market is a great way to enjoy the festivities and spend quality time with your family and friends. There’s something really special about the twinkling lights, the chill in the air and snow gently falling around you if you’re lucky.

There’s no better place to get into the spirit of things than by visiting a European Christmas market. Over the years their reputation has grown, and this is now one of the most popular pre-Christmas breaks. You can try some of Europe’s best traditional foods, browse for trinkets, buy gifts for loved ones and experience the magic of Christmas.

Why not combine your visit to Europe’s Christmas markets with renting a car and exploring the surrounding region? 

Here is a list of some of the most well-known European Christmas markets that you have to experience for yourself.

Named the Advent Basilica, the market takes place against the imposing backdrop of St Stephens Basilica and runs from the end of November to the 1st of January in Budapest

The market offers a huge number of attractions with around 200 events, 80 vendors selling handicrafts and a delicious selection of both Hungarian and international cuisine. To keep the children happy there’s free entry to a beautiful ice skating rink at the centre of the market. 

As the day turns to night the real magic begins. Europe’s biggest 3D light show is projected onto the walls of the Basilica and a truly stunning display of short Christmas films is put on for marketgoers to watch and enjoy.

As well as providing you with a wonderful Christmas experience, the advent feast at the Basilica is well known for being one of Europe’s most eco-friendly markets. The Basilica market creates a huge community spirit. Concerts are performed and the Hungarians do their best to preserve the environment by using eco-friendly cups and cutlery throughout the fair, as well as making sure leftovers are recycled.

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Why not visit one of Europe’s most beautiful cities? Every November and December, Vienna showcases its expertise in creating a magical pre-Christmas atmosphere. Named “Vienna Magic of Advent”, Vienna’s Christmas markets are some of the most traditional across the whole of Europe.

Vienna’s prettiest squares transform into magical Christmas markets, where the streets fill with the beautiful aroma of the warm Christmas bakery treats on sale. 

The town hall square turns into a winter wonderland where you’ll see tree decorations, Christmas gifts, sweets and winter drinks to warm you. There is also a wide variety of craft workshops available for children to take part in and plenty of family fun on the carousel. For a great picture check out the trees that surround the town hall park which are decorated in a sea of lights. 

You should also take the time to visit another Vienna hotspot, the cultural and Christmas market that takes place in front of Schönbrunn Palace. This sits in front of a stunning imperial backdrop and after Christmas converts into a New Year’s market. The pretty fairy-tale location offers extensive traditional handcrafts, handmade Christmas decorations, Christmas concerts and entertainment and things to do for children.


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This Christmas market takes place from mid-November to the end of December and is one of the top 10 most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe.

Famous for activities that can only be found in the city of Metz, such as the lantern trail, in the Jardin de Boufflers, which takes you on a fairy-tale walk through the Arctic forest lit up by 400 lanterns, this is an enchanting attraction.

The market also features a Ferris wheel and beautifully decorated chalets selling many local products. Metz at Christmas is a warm and welcoming winter paradise that not only attracts travellers but also creative minds, designers and innovative artists.

Get lost in the magic of Christmas in Metz whether you’re skating along the ice road, enjoying a taste of the finest gingerbread or warming yourself with a mug of hot chocolate or mulled wine. Metz is certainly a great place to visit if you’re looking for a Christmas escape.

If you’re already starting to get excited about the forthcoming festive period why not try something different this year and visit one of the top European Christmas? You’ll find plenty of souvenirs and gifts and some gorgeous decorations to take home.

This is the perfect opportunity to take a short break and rent a car to discover more of Europe too.

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