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An insider’s guide to the top Christmas markets

 

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas market season!

It’s that time of year again! Soon, the lights will be twinkling, the trees will be going up and the Christmas markets will be opening their stalls to kick off the festivities.

With the smell of mulled wine wafting through the air, fresh festive food on offer and beautifully decorated stalls at every turn, visiting a Christmas market is the perfect way to soak up the Yuletide atmosphere. What better way to really get into the spirit than book a Christmas market getaway? Whether it’s a romantic weekend or a family trip, this magical experience will be unforgettable.

To help make your Christmas extra special, we’ve rounded up the very best markets you should be putting on your wish list. So, pull on your woolly hat and wrap up warm, as we inspire your next festive getaway.

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Rynek Glowny Christmas Market, Krakow

When Christmas draws closer, Krakow’s main square, right in the heart of the Old Town, transforms into a festive hotspot. Think strings of multi-coloured lights, wooden stalls and gold-tinged streets bustling with people.

Krakow’s Christmas market is also one of the best places to be for a traditional experience. Check out the nativity crib decorating contest or, if you’re felling particularly peckish, sample the 12 staple Polish Christmas dishes.

You can also do a spot of Christmas shopping and take your pick from crafts, art, foods and even a tree if you need one! This market really does deliver on all your festive essentials.

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Viennese Dream Christmas Market, Vienna

In Vienna, Christmas markets are nothing short of breathtaking.

For a quintessential experience, check out the Magic of Advent Christmas Market. With the spectacular backdrop of City Hall all lit up, it’s like stepping into a fairytale. At this time of year, the huge square is dressed in all its twinkling Christmas finery, delicious aromas of seasonal treats fill the air and choirs can be heard singing carols. When it comes to atmosphere, a Christmas market in Vienna is hard to beat.

If you’re bringing the kids, head to the ground floor of City Hall, where there are workshops on how to make Christmas cookies or craft their own candles. Here, everyone can embrace the magical occasion and have some festive fun along the way.

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Vörösmarty Square Christmas Market, Budapest

Budapest’s Christmas market is a must for the traditional experience. From elaborately decorated gingerbread to authentic toys and crafts, Vörösmarty Square Christmas Market respects all the time-honoured customs that are sure to charm your woolly socks off.

Foodies, explore the stalls and tuck in to Hungarian casserole or roast goose. Those with a sweet tooth can sample marzipan or chocolate treats, all decorated with stunning festive flourishes.

Just around the corner, outside St Stephens Basilica, you’ll find an ice rink. See skaters glide around, with the beautiful building as their back drop.

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Old Town Square Christmas Market, Prague

Prague in winter is like something out of a festive storybook. Think snow dusted roofs, gingerbread-style stalls and a truly magical atmosphere.

The enchanting architecture of the Old Town Square is the idyllic setting for Prague’s Christmas market, which is probably why it’s home to the busiest and most vibrant in the city.

Here, foodies and gift hunters alike are well catered for, with plenty of stalls to tempt you. On top of that, visitors can head to the concert stage, where you can watch live performances, carol choirs and dancers too. While the kids enjoy workshops and the minizoo, grown-ups can indulge in a warming mulled wine. There’s something for everyone!

Posted: 12th Oct 2021. Updated: 2nd Oct 2023.

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