Europe is pretty darn amazing at Christmas Markets and so I’ve picked a few favourites that I’ve been able to visit myself and then chatted to a few friends to see where they would recommed a visit to. I’m fairly new to Christmas Markets as I’m usually a bit of a Grinch, but being able to drink mulled wine whilst looking at local crafts with the chance of ice skating has very much won my over!
Pop these on your to visit list if you haven’t already!
26 November – 31 December
The Gendarmenmarkt is one of Berlin’s most stunning public squares and was the first Christmas Market I went to outside of the UK so it will always have a special place in my heart. The market offers a large range of handmade goods crafted by artisans in their crafting area, Christmas food, plenty of hot drinks and live entertainment.
In the market’s large crafts tent, you can look woodcarvers in action, belt makers, dressmakers, comb makers and other craftspeople that are all working away, and selling, of course!. You can also view images from talented graphic artists, photographers, stonemasons, and painters which is something I really love! If you’re into mulled wine, and let’s admit it, there’s not many of you that aren’t, grab a mulled one in one of the mugs as you can keep that as a souvenir! We brought our two home and love drinking out of them as it brings back great memories!
Prague Castle, Prague
23 November 2018 to 6 January 2019
This year the sweet scent of mulled wine and trdelník, a traditional sweet pastry, wafted around Prague Castle as more than 70 German style huts offered food, drinks and local crafts in such a stunning setting!
When we ventured to Prague back in November we had to make the trek up to Prague Castle, that’s actually a lot more like a Cathedral, but we’re not here to argue about the name, to visit their Christmas Market as our Airbnb host has told it was a must do! We drunk mulled wine, obviously, ate waffles on sticks smothered in chocolate and even had breaded cheese all whilst looking over the very imposing Castle. Such a glorious setting!
Winchester Cathedral, Winchester
17 November – 20 December
Wonderful gifts, decorations and festive foods make this Christmas market one of the best in Europe. Visitors can expect a bustling atmosphere and high-quality exhibitors in abundance. A giant Christmas tree will also take centre stage on the cathedral’s ice rink to fill skaters of all ages with festive cheer.
I love visiting Winchester and their Christmas market is one of the most unique ones around due to being stationed underneath the amazing Winchester Cathedral. Festive food and drink can be found in abundance so why not treat yourself to mulled wine when having a wander throught the British Crafts Village, and the 100 chalets to there to explore. There’s also an open-air ice rink so you can have a quick whizz round whilst admiring the traditional Christmas market surrounding you.
I’ve asked a few of my blogger babes where their favourite Christmas Markets are are, and here’s their responses…
9th November – 22nd December
Soak up the atmosphere and follow the market as it winds all through the city’s centre. It’s filled to the brim with gifts, crafts, jewellery, clothes, and toys. European and local producers offer everything from fine amber jewellery, handcrafted leather bags and top-quality bonsai trees, to handmade Belgian kitchenware, framed photo prints and French soaps. Plus when you’re planning a visit, don’t miss the amazing array of food and drink!
Rachel from her self named blog, Rachel Nicole, is a huge fan of the Manchester Christmas Markets and here’s why; ‘The Manchester Christmas Market is one of my favourites in the UK. It’s the one I was looking forward to visiting each year and you know you’ve arrived when you spot the giant Santa Claus on the Town Hall Building. After an afternoon of Christmas Shopping in the Arndale Centre, you can grab some delicious food at the market and a mulled wine! This year, I tried the Yorkshire Pudding Wrap and it was delicious! Don’t forget to keep an eye out in St. Ann’s Square for the Camper-van which is actually a Photo Booth and you can get a free print! ‘
15 November – 23 December 2018
Discover the delights of the iconic St Nicholas Fair, don some skates at the Ice Factor or spend a night in the stalls for playful panto fun. Immersed in tradition and bustling with activity, the historic streets of York come alive during the wonderful winter months. We’ve got the season wrapped up with all the information you need for the ultimate Christmas experience in York.
Lizi from Glasses Girl recommends York and says ‘I love York’s Christmas market as the huts which line Parliament Street are predominantly filled with Yorkshire-based businesses selling beautiful gifts and incredible street food. One of my favourite brands which are there every time is the brownie company Brown and Blond – they’re incredible every time. I love to time a visit to the markets with the Ice Trail, which is a weekend where ice sculptures (and an ice Jagermeister bar) pop up around the city. They’re absolutely beautiful and really draw both locals and visitors into the city centre.’
16th November – 5th January 2019
Edinburgh’s Christmas spectacular, six-week season is filled to the brim with festive entertainment in the heart of the city. The festival is a fantastic Christmas celebration, and great fun for the whole family! There’s silent discos, comedy shows, ice skating, Santa’s Grotto, and La Clique Noel – Part Deux.
Hayley from Strangeness and Charm says ‘Edinburgh is very festive, the setting with the castle in the background makes it feel much more magical than other markets. Going up in the big wheel gives you a great chance to see over the whole market and is well worth doing.’