5 Last Minute Christmas Market Trips In Europe
Is anyone else freezing? Okay, rhetorical question. It’s December and we are in the United Kingdom so I’m pretty sure everyone is building duvet forts to warm themselves up before bed (Okay that might just be me?). Although this is one of my favourite months of the year, post Birthday (26th November for anyone recording), getting the Christmas Jumpers out of the loft and everyone feeling slightly jollier than normal with a more than over-filled Christmas diary, I still can’t help but feel something is missing. Then after scrolling through some of my Insta-photos it dawned on me. I haven’t been to a Christmas market this year!
I’ve traveled to at least one per year (ever since could afford it), but unfortunately due to time (and budget) constraints this years’ European market blues will have to stick, but that doesn’t mean that you guys can’t have a last-minute trip! So to spread my Christmas cheer here are 5 of the BEST Christmas markets to visit in Europe for a quick city break!
Best known for Oktoberfest and the Bavarian capital of Germany, Munich over Christmas time is an absolute dream. With more to offer than just beers, sausages and lederhosen’s Munich’s Christmas Market has a host of traditional Bavarian foods and gifts on offer and has been held at Marienplatz since the 14th Century! Although the main event is in the centre, I couldn’t walk more than a few metres until I would come across another brightly decorated hut. My absolute favourites were the ones in the English Gardens and The Middle Ages Market (seriously anyone who has watched GoT or Vikings this you HAVE to check this one out!)
Munich’s Christmas Market 25 Nov – 24 Dec
English Garden Christmas Market 25 Nov – 23 Dec
The Middle Ages Market 26 Nov – 23 Dec
Prague, Czech Republic
My first ever European Christmas Market weekend was actually not intending to visit the markets at all … I was heading with friends to check out Swedish House Mafia’s (remember them?) last European Tour and stumbled onto one of the most magical square my eyes have ever set eyes on. Situated neatly within the Old Town Square and the Wenceslas Square the contrast of the festive beaming Christmas tree and the brooding gothic cathedral is a winning snap for your Instagram reel.
Top Tip: You have to try these pastries called, I think they’re called Trleniks, but I have never seen them again!
Both Prague Markets 26 Nov – 06 Jan
For any of you that have met me, I probably harp on about Copenhagen far too much. Especially since I was only there for a weekend…but that goes to show what an incredible city it is. Copenhagen is a city made for Christmas, with its cosy port bars and festive coloured houses it even has an amusement park that is essentially one huge Christmas market! If you want a little magic in your life and transported to your excitable 8-year old self (27 rides, light-shows AND a Santa!) then Tivoli Gardens is the must see local favourite. For a more mature historical affair Kongens Nytorv is worth a visit and for those who want to soak up the Hygge atmosphere and Danish specialities then Nyhavn Christmas market is your best bet!
Tivoli Gardens 19 Nov – 31 Dec
Kongens Nytorv 18 Nov – 22 Dec
Nyhavn harbour 11 Nov – 23 Dec
There are two distinct markets in Budapest one situated on Vorosmarty Square and another directly in front of the grandiose Basiclica. In both areas you can find traditional food, folk dance and live music galore to soak up the Christmas cheer. The Christmas fair in front of the Basilica also has a free ice-rink! And of course the added bonus of visiting Budapest for the Christmas markets is that you can get completely relax in one of the many hot springs in the city. I would recommend the Szechenyi Baths for the invigorating outdoor pools.
Vorosmarty Square 11 Nov – 1 Jan
Basilica Christmas Fare 27 Nov – 2 Jan
Bath, United Kingdom
Fancy something a little more local and can’t bare the Christmas airport rush? Well the Bath Christmas Market is my all-time favourite. It may have something do with living there for 5-years but what makes the Bath Christmas market so special is that as the centre is quite small, the whole cobbled roman streets are transformed into a cosy magical Christmas paradise that you can go for a quick day-trip. As an added bonus you can plan your trip to finish up at the naturally-heated Roman Baths can catch the sunset from the roof-top trerrace. Perfect.
Have you been lucky enough to check out any Christmas Markets this year? Which is your favourite? Has anyone built any duvet forts this winter…? Let me know in the comments below!