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Christmas Markets

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Visit a Christmas Market

Christmas markets are the perfect way to get into the spirit of the festive season. There is something about the atmosphere at Christmas markets; with their delightfully enchanting selections of stalls that somehow manages to whisk people away from everyday life and transport them to a world of warming mulled wine, delicious sweet treats and pleasing arts and crafts from around the world.

Booking ahead for 2020

If you’re looking to save money, then why not book ahead? Great Christmas market holiday deals are now available for 2020.

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With streets filled with lights and a festival of smells that seduce you to try local Christmas cuisine, you’ll find that Aachen and Cologne won’t disappoint. Teaming together tradition and style, these must-see markets are a place that locals meet family members to celebrate the season, giving them the most magical atmosphere.

Berlin will spoil you for choice when at the end of November, you’ll have the chance to experience great-smelling food, festive stalls, rides, mulled wine and sights and sounds to delight the eyes and ears. Choose from Berliner WeinachtszeitWeinachtsZauber or Späth'sche Baumschule. 

For a medieval touch, try the Christmas markets in Dresden or one of the oldest markets in Leipzig (dating back to 1458), where local churches fill with the sounds of organs and gospel concerts. Dresden offers eleven different Christmas markets with traditional wooden hut stalls. You’ll also be treated to a festive display of illuminated boats as they chug down the Elbe and have the opportunity to enjoy many themed events run at the local museums.

Dresden, Germany

For real , we recommend Dresden. This city becomes the pinnacle of festivity whenever Christmas rolls around, offering 11 different all in this one , so you’ve got plenty of choice from the more and cosy feeling to the more modern and fun, energetic ones.


Brussels offers five whole weeks of sparkling festive encounters. You’ll be greeted with an impressive Christmas tree, ice rink, merry-go-rounds, a Ferris wheel, a Christmas parade, an original light and sound display and colourful stalls with incredible gifts and crafts. Don’t forget to try the hot chocolate, which is served in bowls – your senses will be delighted.

Czech Republic

Christmas comes to life in Prague as the whole city takes part in Advent. With its medieval feeling and historical squares, Prague offers a unique experience and an unforgettable atmosphere. The generous amount of food and beverages include Czech food like barbecued pork, blood sausage, Czech muffins, conkers and beer mull mead. You’ll have the chance to buy wood-carved toys, glasswork ware, blacksmith’s ware, confectionery and decorations for your own home. The topping on the tree is the amount of performers that sing angel-like carols, making you feel warm inside.


Edinburgh’s East Princes Street Gardens and George Street offer a feast for the senses at Christmas time. A traditional and romantic market, East Princes Street Gardens sits in the heart of the city, where you’ll find the work of skilled artisans, artists and gastronomic surprises. George Street comes to life mid-November with stalls, smells of cinnamon and Christmas spirit in abundance.


If you’d like to visit another one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe, then try Strasbourg: the markets date back to 1570 and are steeped in tradition with over 300 stalls to enjoy. The Strasbourg festive celebrations include concerts, living nativity plays and authentic music and cultural events.

Starting earlier than some, Colmar offers six authentic Christmas markets around a maze of streets lined with old half-timber houses. The stall holders are true artisans, who take pride in their handmade goods, with many of them from Alsace. You can book wine-tasting tours and festive shows.

Metz offers Christmas markets around the six main squares, with a frozen fairyland, enchanted forests, ice-rink, merry-go-round, big wheel and an abundance of mulled wine – you can let your imagination run wild.


Travel to Hungary, and you’ll find Christmas at the Basilica, deep in the inner city, this Christmas market opens on 10th November each year. Illuminated with beautiful lights, the fairy-tale stall huts on St. Stephen’s Square entices visitors to browse the handcrafted products from over eighty talented artisans. You’ll find applied art, textiles, leather goods, jewellery, clothes, photography and graphic artists.


The Christmas market in Krakow is located in the centre of the city and offers lovely handcrafted items and jewellery in Baltic amber, Bohemian glass, wood carvings, Christmas decorations, clothes, sweets, mulled wine, traditional beer, Polish sausage, soups and stews. You’ll find a chorus of Christmas carols, folk dancing and performances to get you in the festive mood. Finally, you can view the traditional Polish nativity scenes (Szopki) made in miniature and displayed in the monument of Adama Mickiewicza.

Best Destinations

Christmas shopping doesn't have to mean joylessly battling through department store crowds. Why not combine present-buying with some travel and see more this Christmas?

Our top 5 Christmas markets around the world make great destinations for traditional gifts, glasses of glühwein and that unbeatable festive feeling. Here's our top picks from our Travel Experts!

What makes it special: The Jolly Christmas Tram is tough to beat. Here kids (and big kids) can cruise through the city centre accompanied by Santa and his elves. Two times in a row Zagreb won the award for “European Best Christmas Market.” the streets surrounding Jelacic Square, the numerous attractions on offer include an ice rink, live ice sculpture carvings, pop-up bars, street food stands and outdoor music stages.

  • Viennese Christmas Market, Vienna, Austria​

This might be the most traditional Christmas market going, with around 151 stalls serving everything from boozy Christmas punch to gut busting Austrian sausages, the market also boasts a huge ice rink for skating, reindeer rides for kids and a classic nativity scene.  

  • Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, Prague, Czech Republic

No city lends itself to Christmas better than Prague. The city's two main Christmas markets, in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, are only five minutes' walk from each other, so can both easily be explored in one day. 

Visitors can grab a klobása (Czech sausage) and wash it down with a Pilsner Urquell in the afternoon, then hang around for the main tree to be lit up on Old Town Square. 

  • Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh’s East Princes Street Gardens and George Street offer a feast for the senses at Christmas time. A traditional and romantic market, East Princes Street Gardens sits in the heart of the city, where you’ll find the work of skilled artisans, artists and gastronomic surprises. George Street comes to life mid-November with stalls, smells of cinnamon and Christmas spirit in abundance. 

  • Budapest Christmas Fair and Winter Festival, Hungary

The Budapest Christmas Fair and Winter Festival takes place at Vörösmarty Square in the centre of the city from early November to the end of December each year. It's the oldest festive market in the Hungarian capital as well as the most popular. 

This could be the best Christmas yet! Speak to a travel expert for more; 

Call: 01922 234400

Cheap Christmas market holidays

Turning your trip to a Christmas or German market into a holiday will give you the opportunity to relax and explore the cities and towns too. From popular Christmas cruises to Belgium to a few nights in a city hotel or a trip to Lapland – it will make Christmas time even more magical.

If you’d like to book your Christmas market break with us, you can give us a call and tell us which of the deals on our website you’re interested in. If none of our online deals appeal to you, you can just tell us what kind of Christmas market holiday you’re looking for, and we’ll take care of the rest.

Co-op Travel offers a number of Christmas cruises and packages over the festive period. We can also tailor an itinerary for your perfect Christmas holiday – call us on 01922 234400 to book today.

Europe’s best Christmas markets

The winter season is the most beautiful time to enjoy some of Europe’s best Christmas markets. The UK now has a number of European-themed Advent events with Edinburgh topping the list, filling the senses with all things festive. Why not venture a little further to Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland or Prague by aeroplane or on a Christmas cruise to immerse yourself completely.

Where to find the best Christmas markets

Most large European cities boast impressive Christmas markets, although the German Christmas markets are perhaps some of the most famous and most authentic, they shy away from the commercialism that seems to overwhelm so many shops as December 25th draws near. Some of the most popular German Christmas market sites are those in Berlin, Cologne and Dusseldorf, where visitors can pick up handcrafted items.

Why not combine a visit to a Christmas market with the experience of visiting a new city, especially when everywhere looks even more beautiful in the festive season? Prague has a great Christmas market and is a truly beautiful city, well worth a visit any time of the year, but even more so at Christmas.

Christmas and German markets in the UK

For those who would prefer to stay a little closer to home, the Manchester Christmas market offers a very lively atmosphere, nestling in the square beneath the city’s impressive town hall. Both local and European traders set up shop under the traditional chalet-inspired stalls, and their voices ring out over the hustle and bustle of visitors as they sell cheeses, meats, Christmas chutneys and sweets. Hot food and mulled wine are also available, while the large covered bar is perfect for a catch up with friends over some delicious European beer after work.

Some of the best Christmas markets in Britain can be found in Birmingham, Leeds, Bath and York, each of which offers their own charm and appeal to those who want to find a few unique gifts for their loved ones, or simply stroll around and soak up the atmosphere on a chilly December evening.



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