Best Christmas Markets to Visit in 2023

Whether you want to visit one area of Europe to immerse yourself in the joy of the holiday season, or you would like to take a river cruise that will seamlessly take you to multiple markets with ease, visiting Christmas Markets in Europe will surely be a vacation to remember. Now is the perfect time to start planning and thinking ahead.

With the magic of Christmas only a distant memory, let’s talk about the best Christmas markets to visit in 2022. There is only one place worth considering and that’s Europe!

Cologne, Germany

christmas market in front of cologne's cathedral

The German city of Cologne is home to 7 wonderful Christmas markets, each offering something different, in November and December. The favorites include:

As you navigate through the city center you´ll enjoy the scents of roasted almonds and the favorite winter beverage in Germany, Glühwein, a spiced mulled wine.

Luxury Hotel Suggestions: Excelsior Hotel Ernst

Family Friendly Hotel Suggestion: CityClass Hotel Residence am Dom

Salzburg, Austria

salzburg austria's christmas market

A winter spent in Salzburg among its many Christmas markets brings great joy and cheer.  In addition, to buying many Christmas gifts you can visit the cathedral where ´Silent Night, Holy Night´ was written by Josef Mohr. You can also visit the magical Christmas museum and visit the birthplace of Mozart.

If you are a fan of the Julie Andrews movie The Sound of Music, don´t miss ´The Original Sound of Music Tour´ (€50/person) as you are in the neighborhood. It includes a trip to the “sixteen going on seventeen” gazebo and more.

Luxury Hotel Suggestion: Hotel Schloss Mönchstein 

Family Friendly Hotel Suggestion:

>> Read Experiences in Salzburg, Austria You Can't Miss

Vienna, Austria

Vienna christmas market

If you are a foodie then consider taking a trip to the Christmas markets in Vienna as they are known for their love of traditional Christmas treats. With a few days of eating roasted chestnuts, freshly baked bread, strudel, Victorian candy and baked potatoes you´re sure to go home a little bit bigger around the waist and a smile on your face.

Christkindlmarkt is the most famous market in Vienna as it is home is a large beautifully lit Christmas tree and is next to a wintry park which often has some advent treats.

For a sophisticated and stylish market check out Schönbrunn market in front of the Schönbrunn Palace.

Luxury Hotel Suggestion: Hotel Sacher Wien

If you wish to experience the historical side of Vienna spend some time at the Am Hof Christmas market and keep your eyes open for a taste of Bergkäse cheese.

Prague, Czech Republic

woman shopping christmas market

Prague has three noteworthy Christmas markets all located in magnificent squares around the city. They are:

  • Old Town Square Christmas Market
  • Wenceslas Square Christmas Market
  • Republic Square Christmas Market

All share a magical atmosphere, made up of Christmas trees, fairy lights, and various Christmas related aromas. But what makes Vienna special is their music concerts. Be sure to get tickets for one of them, they usually take place at Municipal House and St Martin in the Wall Church.

Luxury Hotel Suggestion: Mandarin Oriental Prague

Family Friendly Hotel Suggestion: Grandium Hotel Prague

Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg nicknamed “Capital of Christmas” is home to the oldest Christmas markets in France and possibly Europe, Christkindelsmärik, which began in 1570.

Within the market, you will find many magnificent handmade toys and gifts from the local craftspeople, a giant Christmas tree, and spectacular illuminations. Like other markets there is plenty of food to go around, one local favorite to try is pain d´épices. This is a delicious spiced bread that’s often served smothered in honey.

In addition to the markets, explore the town´s narrow streets to admire the quirky and colorful timber homes, which will make you feel like you have stepped back in time.

Luxury Hotel Suggestion: Hôtel & Spa RÉGENT PETITE FRANCE 

Budapest, Hungary

budapest at christmas

The largest Christmas market in Budapest is located in Vörösmarty square. For live entertainment, craft stalls, food vendors and more this is the place to be! Christmas markets in the capital are usually open from early-November to New Year’s Day so you can experience the magic of Christmas for a few extra days.

Less than a 10-minute walk away you can also visit a Christmas market in front of St Stephen’s Basilica, named after the first King of Hungary (c. 975–1038). Here you can skate on the small and temporary ice rink.

Luxury Hotel Suggestion: Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest

>> Read 8 Food Lover Tips for Budapest

Basel, Switzerland

woman drinking gluhwein at christmas market

In the city center of this picturesque town that overlooks the River Rhine, you can visit two Christmas Markets, which will have over 150 adorable wooden stalls to explore, offering everything from jewelry to toys. The markets of Basel are located in Barfusser Plaza and Munster Plaza.

The whole town is decorated to embrace the charms of Christmas, the Old Town is especially magical. To escape the cold winter air you can visit 1 of the 30+ museums scattered around the area. My top pick is the Basel Paper Mill Museum, which offers papermaking and calligraphy workshops perfect for making a handmade Christmas card.

Luxury Hotel Suggestion: Les Trois Rois

>> read Day Trips from Basel: Ideas for your Luxury River Cruise in Europe

Christmas Market River Cruise

family taking selfie during christmas market

If you can’t choose just one Christmas market, consider a Christmas market river cruise to combine multiple markets into one epic trip.

You can spend 7 nights on a luxury river cruise, Christmas Markets on the River Rhine. From Amsterdam to Basel you´ll choose from daily activities as you adventure through France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. In addition to visiting an array of magical markets, you can enjoy wine tasting, biking tours, and unique experiences, like visiting the world’s largest Advent calendar.

As you experience a memorable Christmas you´ll stay in a spacious stateroom with access to twin balconies, heated pools, multiple dining rooms, and wi-fi.


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If you are feeling overwhelmed with these choices and organizing a Christmas to remember, get in contact with me because I will remove all the stress involved in making your vacation memorable from start to finish.

With my personalized service that specializes in Europe, I´ll take care of all the details so you don't have to worry about a thing. Check out some of our client testimonials.