Come crisp winter days, there’s nothing more enticing than to give in to that warm, fuzzy feeling of Christmas. And with an abundance of festive markets all over the globe spanning into the New Year, it’s no mean feat to find the perfect place to get into the spirit! There’s no wrong way to do Christmas in terms of markets, but we’ve made it a little easier for you with our list of ultimate favourites…
Christmas Markets, Prague, Czech Republic
Where: Old Town and Wenceslas Square
When: November 30 to January 6
Why we’re going: Perhaps at the top of our festive checklist, no one quite does Christmas like Prague. With excellent local food like trdelník, a hot, rolled pastry rolled in cinnamon and sugar and cooked over a grill, and klobása (grilled sausages), it's a perfect place to soak up some festive atmosphere. 'Tis the season to be greedy after all...
Christmas Markets, Bruges, Belgium
Where: Grote Markt
When: November 22 to January 5
Why we’re going: Only a short ride away on the Eurostar from St Pancras, the Belgian city of Bruges plays host to one of the most festive events you can imagine. An intoxicating scent of famed fresh waffles lingers in the streets, which are dressed like gingerbread houses with festive fairy lights reflected in the canal and there’s no shortage of tempting chocolatiers and cosy cafés to take a minute’s rest.
Christmas Market, Edinburgh, Scotland
Where: East Princes Street Gardens
When: November 16 to January 4
Why we’re going: Taking place in the heart of the city, Edinburgh’s spectacular six week event has fun for all the family. Whether you fancy making your way around the Christmas tree maze, or visiting Santa in his grotto or taking it all in atop the Edinburgh Eye; there are plenty of activities for everyone. There’s also an abundance of theatre productions taking place, unsurprisingly in the city that hosts the famous Fringe Festival each summer.
Christkindesmäkir, Strasbourg, France
Where: Place de la Cathédrale, Place Kléber, Place Gutenberg, Place Broglie, Place du Château
When: November 22 to December 30
Why we’re going: Strasbourg, in the Alsace region of France, is basically a fairytale come to life year-round, but it miraculously manages to become even more spectacular during the festive season. Wooden chalets, nightly concerts, and ice skating rink make up the basis of this holiday event - not to mention all that foie gras and cockle-warming hot white wine!
Jul i Vinterland, Oslo, Norway
When: November 16 to December 30
Why we’re going: Norway’s capital city, Oslo, has all the elements you'd expect from a classic European Christmas market, from decorated stalls to a tree-lined ice skating rink. Sip on a glass of gløgg, Norweigan mulled wine, as you meander around the Christmas stalls. Be sure to check out the unique lighting installation that extends from the National Theatre, along Stortingsgata and down towards Eidsvoll Plass.
Winter Wonderland, London, England
Where: Hyde Park
When: November 21 to December 5
Why we’re going: Located in the heart of the city in Hyde Park, there’s no better place to fully immerse yourself in all things festive than at London’s biggest Christmas market, Winter Wonderland. Enjoy a whole host of events from a Christmas Comedy Club to thrill-seeking rollercoaster rides. At night, it’s transformed by thousands of sparkling lights, perfect for enjoying a mulled wine or Bavarian beer with live music.