Christmas Spirit: Our Favorite European Christmas Markets


1Best European Christmas Markets

Snow covers the twinkling lights of this Christmas market in Estonia. Photo by Estonia Tourism

In Europe, Christmas markets are a treasured holiday tradition. Though the weather is cold, hot mulled wine and gingerbread sweets warm the body and soul. Twinkling lights and tall Christmas trees  adorn the streets and squares where the markets are held, adding to the holiday feel.

Christmas markets, also known as Christkindlmarkt, are usually held during the four weeks of Advent. These festive markets have roots in the Late Middle Ages in the German speaking parts of Europe.  Frankfurt’s first Christmas market was held in 1393, while the Vienna “December Market” dates back to 1294.

Today, Christmas markets have spread throughout Europe and the world. Here are some of our favorites.