Christmas is just around the corner, and with the pandemic finally subsiding, we are sure that you are excited to celebrate this Christmas with your loved ones. Christmas and shopping go hand-in-hand because without gifts, is it even Christmas?
If you are looking for the best markets to go shopping this Christmas, worry not! We have you covered. In the next few sections, we will introduce you to some of the magical markets in Europe you can visit this year to shop for presents and enjoy an exclusive Christmas shopping experience.
So, what’s the delay for? Let’s dive into this list of the top 10 Christmas markets in Europe to visit.
Dates to Visit: 25th November to 22nd December 2021
Nearest Airport: Köln-Bonn Airport
Where to Stay: Mercure Hotel Severinshof is the most feasible option since it is 1.3 km (0.8 miles) away from Cologne Cathedral.
One of the most popular of its kind, the Christmas market in Cologne, Germany, is the city’s largest Christmas market.
Set in the city center, the customers can enjoy both the shopping experience and a dazzling view of Cologne’s signature cathedral as the backdrop of the market. The market décor adds to the magic as thousands of fairy lights are suspended overhead to create a mirage of a starry sky.
One whole section of the market is dedicated to scrumptious Christmas treats. You can get these delicacies to spark up your Christmas dinner table.
This Christmas market is also a major attraction for kids where Nikolausdorf (Saint Nicholas Village) is set up. You can take your kids to visit these shops and introduce your kids to the true spirit of Christmas.
Dates to Visit: 25th November to 23rd December 2021
Nearest Airport: EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg
Where to Stay: Hotel Marthof Basel is only 0.5 km (0.3 miles) away from Basel Christmas Market
Basel Christmas Market in Switzerland is famous for its authenticity and the unique experience it offers to visitors. The well-preserved medieval town is lit up with a classic golden glow, taking the visitors back in time to enjoy an authentic shopping experience.
You will find rows of tall pine trees lining up the street, sparkling with fairy lights in contrast to the night sky. We recommend that you also visit Barfüsserplatz Marketplace and make sure to check out the Münsterplatz Christmas market located in Basel Square.
Basel in Switzerland is also filled with scenic views that you can enjoy during your quintessential shopping experience.
If you are looking for some places to visit in Basel, Fine Arts Museum Basel and Basel Minister are some popular tourist sites to get you going.
Dates to visit: 19th November to 1st January 2021
Nearest Airport: Budapest (BUD) Airport
Where to Stay: Kempinski Hotel Corvinus is the best place to stay in Budapest. The hotel is also within walking distance of the market.
Set in the beautiful square of St. Stephen’s, there’s no competition with Advent Basilica, one of the best Christmas markets in Budapest, Hungry.
Continuing the tradition for the past eleven years, this Christmas market has always been a promising spot for shopping, festivity, and entertainment.
The colorful shops set against the backdrop of a magnificent cathedral are certainly a treat to your eyes that you do not want to miss out on.
Considering the pandemic, you will find strict safety measures enforced by the management to allow a smooth and flawless customer experience.
Dates to Visit: 18th November to 26th December 2021
Nearest Airport: Salzburg (SZG) Airport
Where to Stay: City-Center Apartments at 0.4 km (0.25 miles) distance from Salzburg Christmas Market
Salzburg Christmas Market in Austria is another marvelous wonder to feast your eyes upon during Christmas time.
Staying true to medieval customs, the market is traditionally decorated to allow visitors an authentic shopping experience.
The Salzburg Christmas Market in Austria specializes in quality over quantity. Instead of large piles of items, you will find limited yet unique handmade crafts to gift your loved ones.
Apart from the shopping and feasting on Christmas delicacies, you can also enjoy the free concerts that run daily from 5 pm till 8 pm.
Dates to visit: 26th November 2021 to 5th January 2022
Nearest Airport: Malaga (AGP) Airport
Where to Stay: Soho Boutique Malaga at 500m (0.3 miles) from the market.
Spain is not only famous for its sunny skies and architectural splendor, but the country is also famous for its Christmas markets, set up yearly in November.
The atmosphere of joy, love, and celebration is unmatchable in Malaga during the holiday season. The city squares are especially a sight to visit where you can enjoy freshly baked treats, including Mantecados (shortbread), turron (nougat), and borrachuelos (wine flavored pastries).
Without a doubt, the city can be dubbed as the “city of life” during the Christmas season. You will find every corner of the city lit with Christmas lights and decorated with Christmas trees.
This time when you are planning your Christmas vacation, abandon the snowy European streets for this cozy Mediterranean country where you can not only enjoy a divine shopping experience but can visit some marvelous historical sites like the Castle of Segovia.
Dates to Visit: 17th November to 26th December 2021
Nearest Airport: Vienna International Airport
Nearest Hotel: Boutique Hotel Das Tigra is your best option if you want a quiet stay nearby the market.
Vienna is a famous tourist spot for romantic getaways and spending some quality time with your lover. So, if you are planning to propose to your partner or looking for the perfect destination to celebrate your wintery honeymoon, Vienna is the right place for you, especially with the Christmas season around the corner.
Vienna’s Christmas market is a sight to witness. The aroma of freshly baked items followed by glittery markets is a perfect combination to enjoy with your partner.
The most attractive Christmas market is “Vienna Magic of Advent,” set in the city hall square.
Filled with Christmas decor and a giant carousel, Christmas music in the background, the square becomes the definition of a fairyland.
Nearest Airport: Zagreb (ZAG) Airport
Nearest Hotel: Olive Tree City Apartment at 0.3 km (0.2 miles) distance from Zagreb Christmas Market
Located in the heart of Croatia is its capital Zagreb, which can also be dubbed as the country’s cultural hub. Zagreb’s Christmas market is unlike others, with tons of cultural touch added to the marketplace.
The Zagreb Christmas market also holds its popularity worldwide, titled the best Christmas market in Europe three times in a row.
What makes this Christmas market special is the live music festivals, souvenir stalls, and tons of stockings and decorations items available, with a local flavor added to each one of them.
Don’t miss out on the mouth-watering and freshly baked traditional Christmas delicacies that the Zagreb shops have to offer!
Dates to Visit: 26th November 2021 to 2nd January 2022
Nearest Airport: Brussels (BRU) Airport
Nearest Hotel: Hotel des Galeries, located in the city’s heart, is the prime location to stay.
Brussels is also a prime option to explore for Christmas markets. The market is held annually in front of Saint Catherine Cathedral, which adds to the holy spirit of Christmas.
The majestic Christmas tree filled with Christmas décor surely takes the limelight in Brussels’ Christmas market.
There is so much more than just shopping when it comes to the Brussels Christmas market. You will find ice-skating rinks, carnival rides, live music, and light shows, and so much more.
Out of some activities that are a must-try in Brussels includes the “Winter Wonder” Inauguration parade. You will get to see a cultural touch of Belgium in the ceremony.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Dates to Visit: 12th November-22nd December 2021
Nearest Airport: Manchester Airport
Nearest Hotel: Motel One Manchester is a prime location if you want to stay near the Christmas market.
Perhaps one of the biggest and most original United Kingdom Christmas markets can be found in Manchester. The city is not only an ideal tourist destination but certainly a festivity worth visiting to people shopping for Christmas.
There are more than 300 stalls covered with picturesque items, including foods, drinks, handicrafts, cultural and historical artifacts, and much more.
The Manchester Christmas market attracts thousands of visitors every year to take in the splendor and grandeur of the place.
You will not find a single stall boring or irrelevant in the market. Every stall adds its unique touch to the extremely diverse blend of items available for sale.
Dates to visit: 1st December 2021 to 9th January 2022
Nearest Airport: Madeira Airport
Nearest Hotel: Castanheiro Boutique Hotel is a feasible option if you want to stay near the market.
If you are looking for some safe Christmas markets given the pandemic, the Madeira Christmas market, with its strict precautions, is the best place for you.
Every year, the Madeira Christmas market takes the limelight in the city’s capital Funchal. The walkways to Avenida Arriaga central are decorated in detail to add to the splendor of the place.
You will find a large variety of products to enjoy, from traditional souvenirs to exotic flowers to traditional delicacies, during your shopping experience.
An interesting element which you will find in Madeira is the folklore performances accompanied by entertainment shows and carnival festivals.
And this concludes our list of the top ten Christmas markets to visit in Europe for 2021. We hope that you must have found this guide informative in choosing your dream vacation spot.
Let us know in the comments which Christmas market made it onto your bucket list!