Each festive season around Advent the European cities become part of a true fairy tale with their rich decoration, illuminations, animation events going on from mid November till the Christmas eve and even sometimes after the New Year’s celebrations. In the center of that preparation for the holidays stand the city Christmas markets. From one year to another, they become more and more exciting and inspiring. Mulled wine, gingerbread, sausages, handicraft decorations, toys and gifts – all around the Christmas tree with Santa Claus presence – these are only pieces of the whole world of the festive city markets. The spirits of Advent is all around in Europe from this month. Go for it and enjoy the experience!
Let us take you to the atmosphere of 15 of the most popular Christmas markets in Europe with their opening dates for 2014:
1. Christmas market in Munich
Opened: November 27 to December 24, 2014. The oldest Christmas market in Munich is around Marienplatz. Every day from the balcony of the Town Hall at 5.30 pm live festive music will sound and a "Heavenly workshop" will be working for the kids. Another attraction - a Christmas Post Office will be opened to drop your Christmas wishes to Santa himself :)
Opened: November 15 to December 24, 2014. A classic destination for the festive season each year, Vienna is perhaps a must if you are a fan of the Christmas markets. Many other activities can be done in the Austrian capital at that time of the year, you can read about them in our special blog post for Vienna at Christmas (...)
3. Christmas in Lapland
What is better at Christmas times than the very home of Santa Claus? Nothing. Its village in the Arctic circle in Rovaniemi officially opens on November 22, 2014 at 4 p.m. and will be available for visits every day between 11am and 7 pm. And what a visit? You can meet the very Santa Claus and speak with him in person!
4. Christmas market in Nuremberg
Opened: November 28 to December 24, 2014. Nuremberg's Christkindlesmarkt pretends to be one of the world oldest markets. The mulled wine, sausages and gingerbread are fantastic, but there is more to see in Nuremberg such as the Children Christmas market, the Nuremberg's lantern procession, the gifts on the Christmas market of the sister cities from all over the world, etc.
5. Christmas markets in Colmar
Opened: November 21 to December 31, 2014. The atmosphere in the small Alsace town becomes even more fabulous around Christmas times. In the historic town there are 5 Christmas markets - around Place des Dominicains, the children's market in Petite Venise, market at Jeanne d'Arc square, the covered market of Koïfhus and the former customs square market ...
6. Christmas in Strasbourg
Markets opened: November 28 to December 31, 2014. In 1570 a Christmas market was held for a first time in Strasbourg. Since then the city respects the tradition and during the festive season its markets, events and amazing decorations will surprise the visitor. The last Strasbough Christmas market in 2013 was selected to be the best in Europe.
7. Christmas in Helsinki
Markets opened: November 29, 2014 to January 6, 2015. The oldest and most traditional Christmas market in Helsinki is St. Thomas market at Senate Square - opened between 8 and 21 December. The official opening of the Christmas street (Aleksanterinkatu - the main shopping street) will take place on November 23 as each year.
8. Christmas in Bruges
Opened: November 21,2014 to January 2, 2015. Every year in late November the historic center of the medieval Belgian city becomes a huge Christmas market and the visitors are tempted with mulled wine, sweets, handmade decorations, an ice rink and festive lights all around the streets, shops and cafes...
9. Christmas markets in Gothenburg
Opened : November 14, 2014 to January 1, 2015. The Swedish city boasts some of the richest, most interesting and extensive Christmas markets. The market in Liseberg park is the biggest one in the whole Scandinavia. Other fascinating Christmas markets are placed around the old Town Hall Kronhuset, in shopping center Nordstan, etc.
10. Christmas market in Tallin
Opened: November 21, 2014 to January 10, 2015. The largest Christmas market in Estonia is located in front of the City Hall at Raekoja square. Besides the traditional local drinks and delicacies around the big Christmas tree, here you will find handmade decorations, toys and gifts as well as snow sculptures and mini-zoo for the youngest visitors.
11. Christmas market in Brussels
Opened: November 28, 2014 to January 4, 2015. "Winter Wonders" is the name of the traditional and the largest Christmas market, which takes place in the heart of the Belgian capital. An ice rink, illuminations and a variety of events complement the traditional gift stalls, wine and Christmas goodies, turning Brussels into one of the cities with the most cheerful Christmas mood..
12. Christmas market in Budapest
Opened: November 28 to December 31, 2014. The 2 biggest Christmas markets of Budapest are located on Vorosmarty Square and in front of St. Stephen Basilica. The first venue is believed to be the older and more traditional. With handmade gifts, cinnamon cookies, sausages, mulled wine and various Christmas concerts the Christmas markets of Budapest are waiting for you!
13. Christmas markets in Prague
Opened: November 29, 2014 to January 11, 2015. Prague Christmas markets are located on Old Town square and on Wenceslas square - very close to each other. Two smaller markets are on Havel's and on Republic Square. In the cosy Prague markets you will be surrounded by local pastry, sausages, Czech beer, mulled wine (svařák) and traditional Christmas gifts.
14. Christmas markets in Salzburg
Opened: November 20 to December 26, 2014. The hometown of Mozart becomes even more enjoyable in winter season. In the historic city several markets are held - the largest, dating back to the 15th century, is in front of the Salzburg Cathedral. Other markets are located on Mirabellplatz, around St. Leonhard church and in the Hohensalzburg fortress courtyard.
15. Christmas market in Dresden
Opened: November 27 to December 24, 2014. Dresden's Christmas market called Striezelmarkt, is held on Altmarkt Square. It dates back to 1434 and is the oldest in Germany. Along with the usual entertainments, gingerbread, mulled wine, the market is famous for the highest Christmas pyramid (14 m) and the festival of Christmas stollen (striezel), hence the name of the market itself.