The 7 best Christmas Markets in Europe

Read about the top Christmas markets in Europe, from the Vienna Christmas market to a Christmas market in a cave! Find your favourite, learn how to get there and read which Christmas gifts you should buy.
Back to blog overview

The 7 best Christmas Markets in Europe

13-12-2019

Are you looking for the ultimate Christmas experience? Here you will find some Christmas markets which you will need to cross off your Christmas list. Read up activities, practical tips and gift ideas at these markets. If you are looking for a charming, warm and authentic Christmas environment, you've come to the right place!


1. Strasbourg Christmas market, France


Strasbourg also called the ”Capital of Christmas” is one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe. Strasbourg has held it’s world-famous Christmas market every year since 1570, which is almost 500 years! Strasbourg really goes “all out”. It becomes this big feast and all the lights are set against the backdrop of the beautiful city of Strasbourg and the amazing Strasbourg Cathedral. No wonder it’s also called ”the hottest” Christmas market destination in Europe.



Strasbourg Christmas parking

Source: Visit Alsace



When & Where?


22nd November - 30th December 2019 / Place Broglie Cathedral Square, Strasbourg, France.


What to do?


There are over 300 stalls spread across the city, selling traditional food, drinks and an abundance of cheese! You can also take your family ice skating or enjoy some live music performances. If you want to experience something traditional and unique, you could learn how to cut and bake traditional Alsatian Christmas biscuits with a local baker.



Christmas Food Parking Mobypark

Source: Holiday Inn Express Strasbourg



The best Christmas gift


What you should look for at this market are definitely the traditional gifts. The gifts from this region include the handmade wooden toys and blown glass candles. Be sure to bring some of them home!


Travel tip


This is the most popular Christmas market in France. If you want to visit, be sure to reserve your hotel and parking upfront. You could find a nice Airbnb in the area for a more local experience and you could reserve your parking upfront at one of our private owners. There are plenty of things to do when visiting this magical Christmas market.



2. Lille Christmas market, France


The month-long Christmas Market in Lille is the largest in Northern France and has been a tradition for centuries. The Christmas festival is held in the Place Rihour in the town centre. Rustic wooden chalets fill Lille’s Place Rihour, selling toys and gifts along with tempting vats of cheesy tartiflette and sweet waffles dripping with chocolate. More than 900.000 visitors come every year, to discover the magical light decoration of Lille's Christmas Market and the magic of the ferris wheel "Grande Roue" at the heart of the Grand Place


Lille Christmas market parking mobypark

Source: Toot la FranceToot la France



When & Where?


22nd November - 29th December 2019 / Place Rihour, centre of Lille, France


What to do?


In the heart of winter, Lille takes on a festive atmosphere and welcomes you to a precious winter wonderland! Amongst the traditional wooden chalets selling local products and gifts, there is plenty of entertainment and regional specialities, such as gingerbread. At this Christmas market, the main star may not be santa, the star of the show is the huge ferris wheel in the centre of the square. This ferris wheel is actually one of the biggest ferris wheels in France being 50 meters high



Ferris wheel parking lille mobypark christmas




The ultimate Christmas gift


From this market, you should take home some of the wooden figurines. They are the traditional gift from this area. Furthermore, you can also find amazing arts and crafts from Russia, Canada and Poland!


How to get to the Lille Christmas market?


Lille Christmas market is a true shopping heaven in the city centre of Lille! If you are planning a proper shopping weekend then you should probably take the car to store all the gifts. A tip is to book your parking upfront, so you do not have to waste time searching for parking when you get there. You could, for example, book with private owner Antoine or with private owner Pierre.



3. Bath Christmas market, UK


Discover the award winning magic of the Bath Christmas market. With over a 150 unique chalets spread out across Bath’s picturesque Georgian streets, it’s the perfect place to do your Christmas shopping. There is always something new to discover at Bath Christmas market, for example, this year they even have a new vegan food chalet! In this festive atmosphere you can find the perfect Christmas gifts from many different local makers and designers showcasing their handmade produce.



bath christmas market mobypark parking

Source: Visit Bath



When & Where?


28th November - 15th December 2019 / Centre of Bath. For more information visit the Christmas bath website.


What to do?


Once you have discovered the chalets and the unique local handmade gifts you should definitely try your hand at Christmas Crafts and make a festive wreath with leading famous florist Hannah Southfield or at the Bath Aqua Glass’s Theater. Both experiences include a two course lunch with champagne and a two hour session in the relaxing Thermae Bath spa. Both activities are quite popular and are often fully booked, so be sure to reserve your spot well in advance.



bath earn money christmas parking mobypark




The best Christmas gift


You can find everything from unique homeware to handmade Christmas decorations at this market. If you do one of the above mentioned experiences, you can give a unique glass-blown Christmas ornament or wreath.


Travel tip


More than 400,000 people visited the event last year and it looks like it will be similar numbers from across the country this year. Be sure to reserve your hotel and parking upfront as much as possible!


Heavy traffic is being reported around the area. If you live in Bath and want to take the opportunity to make some extra money during these festivities, you could consider renting out your own parking space.


4. Bruges Christmas market, Belgium


Bruges is a magical city all year around, but at Christmas time it becomes even more interesting. From November until December, it transforms into this big sparkling Christmas postcard. You will find the main Christmas market on the market square in the center of the city. However, Burges will be filled with interesting and unique little markets as well. It will be the ultimate Christmas package, as Belgium is famous for its waffles, beer and chocolate



bruges christmas market mobypark parking




When & Where?


22nd November – January 5th 2019-2020 / Market Square and Simon Stevinplein, Bruges, Belgium.


What to do?


Enjoy the fairytale backdrop with the colourful, lit up gingerbread-like buildings and warm up with a creamy hot cup of cocoa in the cold winter air or have a nice beer. Visit the Historium bar and learn about their specialty beers or select your favorite beverage from the extensive drink menu alongside the priceless view of the market. If you are taking the car later on and can’t enjoy a beer don’t worry! In this case, you could definitely try one of the best hot chocolates! Bruges is the hot chocolate capital of the world, head over to “Chocolaterie Sukerbuyc”. If you have kids, it is a great activity to have a hot cocoa and to take your kids ice skating on the big square!


The best Christmas gift


Buy a Chocolate box from the Sukerbuyc to share with your loved ones on Christmas eve, they have the best chocolate and offer worldwide shipping express.


Travel tip


This market will have a large selection of beers, don't drink and drive: park and drink. It is best to park your car at the edge of the city, for example in a P+R and to continue by taxi or bus for the rest of the way. You can buy a ticket on the bus itself, but only if you pay with smaller bills in cash.




5. Frankfurt Christmas market, Germany


Christmas in Germany is celebrated with treasures and gifts of every size and price, the Frankfurt Christmas market is indeed no ordinary event. It’s history has been traced back to 1393 and it has grown out to be a huge market with around 3 million visitors a year. The market is spread out over three locations: Römer square, Paulsplatz and the main Quay


frankfurt christmas market mobypark parking

Source: Kerstmarkten.net



When & Where?


25nd November - 22nd December / 2019. Römerberg, St Paul's Square, Mainkai (Main Quay), Hauptwache and Friedrich-Stoltze-Square. Frankfurt, Germany.


What to do?


Shopping at Frankfurt’s festive market really requires stamina, and that’s one of the reasons why the food sold here is so tempting. You can find any find of the typical German Christmas delicacies, from cookies, candies and roasted almonds to sausages, currywurst and glühwein. Besides eating (a lot), you should visit St. Paul’s Church and Römer where a major art exhibition awaits. You will see paintings, sculpture, photography, ceramics, graphics, jewelry, textile wood and paper work. Also, check out the rest of Christmas market programme for all other events.



warm christmas drink mobypark



The best Christmas gift


If you want to buy something sweet visit the Honey Wagners House. This family owned business specializes in bee products. They have beeswax candles you would almost want to eat because of the sweet smell and they also have a huge variety of honey based drinks and liquor to buy. Get some sweets for your sweets.


Travel tip


As mentioned above, this market is very popular with its 3 million visitors, make sure to book everything upfront! It is especially smart to book your hotel and parking upfront. Through Mobypark, you could book your parking at the Delta hotel or opt for a parking which is a bit outside of the centre, in a more quiet area, such as the parking at the Moxy hotel.




6. Vienna Christmas market, Austria


Elegant Vienna gets a glittering makeover as 14 Christmas markets pop up around the city. This is truly a Christmas market experience which you could stretch for a couple of days. If you want a full-on traditional Vienna Christmas, stroll around the market in front of the fairytail-like Schönnbrunn Palace and go to the Christmas Village on Maria-Theresien-Platz, before heading over to the popular Wiener Weihnachtstraum at the City Hall (Rathaus). Soak up all the beauty of this Medieval and Baroque city scattered with Christmas lights.



vienna christmas market parking mobypark




When & Where?


15th November - 24 December / 2019. Rathausplatz, 1010 Vienna, Austria.


What to do?


Experience one of the most unique ice-skating experiences in the world. Ice-skate on the 3,000 m² ice rink with Christmas music and Viennese architecture in the background. Truly one of the best settings for a photograph is at the Rathaus or Belvedere Palace. Get seduced by tempting foods, warm drinks and beautiful decorations after having. If you look for mouth-watering seasonal treats, this is the place to go.



Rathaus christmas market parking mobypark



The best Christmas gift


Look for one of the stalls with local produced snow globes and bring home some extra glow for Christmas.


Travel tip


This magical place can be very crowded and it’s a good idea to make a reservation for your parking and hotel upfront. You could, for example, stay at the romantic Imperial Riding School Renaissance Hotel. If you do not want to stay at the hotel, you could still consider parking here, even your parking can look romantic at the Imperial Riding School Renaissance Hotel. Vienna has a limitation on parking in its city centre, usually you can only park for a maximum 2-4 hours. At the hotel, you can park for the entire duration of your stay.




7. Valkenburg Christmas market, Netherlands


Visit this unique underground Christmas market in Valkenburg to get a charming city break. This little old mining village near Maastricht, transforms into a festive Christmas town from the mid of November until the end of December. The entire Christmas market is held in the caves of the old mines, which gives this a truly unique and cosy feel. It will probably be one of the only underground Christmas markets you will ever find.



valkenburg christmas market caves mobypark parking maastricht

Source: I am Expat



When & Where?


15th November - 5th January /2019 - 2020. Daalhemerweg 27 in Valkenburg aan de Geul. Valkenburg, Netherlands.


What to do?


Take a walk through these unique caves and enjoy the special atmosphere. If you have time, take a tour of the Velvet caves and see the castle ruins. You will need to purchase an entry ticket in advance, otherwise you have the chance that you will have to wait in line for a long time. You can easily book your ticket in advance. After visiting the caves, also head over to the nearby Maastricht for a nice visit and lovely dinner. Check out the Maastricht blog as well, if you are planning to head over.



caves maastricht parking mobypark

Source: Bezoek Maastricht



The best Christmas gift


Most of the stalls in this Christmas market are Christmas themed, so it is perfect to buy cute ornaments and other unique handmade goods.


Travel tip


Valkenburg is a small town and the parking lots tend to be overcrowded during the Christmas market. To get there from Maastricht, it will take about 30 minutes by car. If you do not want to go through the parking hassle, then it is recommended to park your car in Maastricht and to take public transport from Maastricht to Valkenburg.

Take your time to visit one of the above mentioned Christmas markets with your family and friends. Do not spend too much on parking, spend your money on good things such as warm drinks and good food.


Did you like this blog? Share it with, using one of the buttons below.



Michelle

Working in Communications and Digital Marketing, Michelle is enthusiastic about people, travel and the sharing economy.