If like me, you don’t lose your traveling spirit even for the Christmas holidays, then this post is for you. I want to share the 10 Christmas destinations in Europe on my bucket list.
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10 Christmas destinations in Europe.
Where I live we have a tropical climate, sun, and beaches, all year long, even at Christmas. I’m not complaining, it’s okay, some people like that. But I can’t stop yearning for those beautiful cold and snowy towns, Christmas markets, hot wine … I don’t drink alcohol but it sounds good, right?
Well, this list of towns and cities that I compiled have that, the Christmas vibe that we love to see in the movies. And although I haven’t planned to visit any of these destinations this year, I have added them to my bucket list.
Prague, Czech Republic
This is destination number 1 on my wishlist. I visited it for Easter and I fell in love with its markets, decoration and festive atmosphere. So I imagine that visiting her at Christmas should be twice as charming. The Old Town Square with its gothic buildings and the Astronomical Clock decorated for Christmas? Yes, please!
Check out about my Easter experience in A magical city, what to do in Prague in 4 days
In their markets, you can find handmade Christmas ornaments. I particularly like wooden crafts and you find a lot in Prague. The Christmas market in Prague opens daily from December 1 until January 6. There are stalls everywhere, but they are concentrated mostly in Wenceslas Square and the Old Town Square.
The markets will be open from November 23 to December 30 of this year (2018). In this link, you can take a look at the activities and opening times.
Although the city of lights is not one of the most typical Christmas destinations … Paris will always be Paris. Also for these dates, it lights up even more and displays all its elegance. Different Christmas markets are set throughout the city. They offer food, sweets, handicrafts and activities for children.
Some things you can do is visit the ice skating rinks, take a special cruise on the River Seine or enjoy the markets. On this page, you can find the Christmas markets of Paris and anywhere in Europe.
It might interest you: A fleeting romance: 3 days in Paris + first impression
Vienna is another city that has a very special atmosphere for Christmas. Among its main attractions are the classical music concerts held in different venues. The most famous is the new year concert that is broadcast live through large screens for the delight of all.
And of course, Christmas markets are a must. Some of the largest and most famous are the Christkindlmarkt located opposite the Rathaus, the Stephansplatz, right next to the cathedral, and the Karlsplatz market. Also in Vienna, you can taste their traditional cookies and Christmas cakes.
Find out here what to do 3 days in Vienna: wind, rain, and Museum of Art History
German cities are known as excellent Christmas destinations in Europe. One of those typical Christmas cities is Nuremberg. Its Christmas market, the Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt, opens on the Friday before the first Advent Sunday.
An opening ceremony takes place where the Christkind or “Christ child” makes a speech. This figure is who traditionally brings toys to children in Germany and other regions of Europe. The Nuremberg market opens from November 30 until December 24. They also perform various activities for children including a Christmas market especially for them.
In this link, you can download the program of the Christmas market 2018.
Berlin is another of the German cities whose Christmas atmosphere stands out. It has more than 15 Christmas markets with a different personality. Some of the most famous are the Spandau Christmas Market, the Gendarmenmarkt, and the Alexanderplatz.
In the Christmas markets, you can taste regional products such as sweets and cookies. Besides some markets have a carousel, ice rink, life-size nativity scenes, and live music. Take a look at this link to some of the most magical Christmas markets in Berlin.
Berlin is one of the most attractive Christmas destinations in Europe due to the various artistic events that take place. For example, opera and classical music concerts with Christmas themes. This is a city where you won’t get bored.
London is a city that I’ve always wanted to see, and visit it at Christmas has to be a magical experience. the Londoners do their best to decorate their city with Christmas lights. Some of the streets you can walk to admire its lights decoration is Oxford, Regent and Carnaby street.
The biggest and most impressive market in London has to be the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. It’s full of color and more than 200 wooden stalls with all kinds of artisanal objects and food. Besides, the largest ice rink, rides, and circus shows are set up to entertain children and adults.
There are also different events such as ballet and carol concerts in various churches and theaters. And finally, you can visit Hogwarts in the snow (if you are Potterheads like me: D) in the Warner Bros. studios. For these dates, they decorate the Great Hall for the Yule Ball with snow, Christmas dinner and an orchestra of magical instruments. I want to go!
In Get your guide you can get a 7-hour tour to the Harry Potter studios with transport (the studios are a bit far) and tickets included.
Definitely, London is one of the destinations to spend Christmas in Europe with more activities and attractions. Don’t you think?
Madrid is not one of the Christmas destinations in Europe that we usually have in mind. But that doesn’t mean it is not an ideal Christmas destination. Due to their Catholic traditions, celebrations extend until January 6. On this day you can taste the traditional Rosca de Reyes (ring-shaped cake).
Streets like the emblematic Gran Vía are decorated with charming designs of lights worth to see. They set up carousels and ice rinks, as well as puppet shows and storytelling to entertain the children.
The most popular market is the one in Plaza Mayor, but you’ll also find various stalls selling crafts and ornaments throughout Madrid. And speaking of handcrafts the Madrid Arts and Crafts Fair will take place from December 1 to 30. A good place to visit to find unique presents and souvenirs. More information about the activities and markets here.
You can also buy a ticket for the Christmas lottery, a tradition since the 19th century. You might get lucky and hit the jackpot. For all this, Madrid is one of the destinations to spend Christmas in Europe that we can not ignore
And another of the Christmas destinations in Europe with Catholic traditions is the capital of Croatia. Zagreb is becoming more popular and has won the distinction for the best Christmas market 3 times in a row. One of its main attractions is the ice park in King Tomislav Square.
But there are also several fairs, markets, and parks where you can enjoy the Advent in Zagreb. For example, in Zrinjevac Park you can have hot wine and watch live performances. Near the cathedral, you can also see a show about the birth of Jesus.
And this year Tkalčićeva street will introduce you to the history of Zagreb with artisans workshops and old traditional songs. Besides you can enjoy the lively vibe of this street in one of its many restaurants and cafes.
Copenhagen is another fairytale Christmas destination in Europe. And as you know it was the home of one of the most famous children’s story writers. In this city, there is a Christmas market that honors this writer: Hans Christian Andersen. The Hans Christian Andersen market is located in Nytorv Square. Here you can find souvenirs and gifts stalls, hot chocolate, and a carousel for children.
Other Christmas markets that you can explore in Copenhagen are the Nyhavn market and the Kronborg castle market. In them, you will find fun and activities for the family, and you can try the Danish delicacies such as cookies and the Risengrod (rice pudding)
Another very popular Christmas market is the one that is set up in the Tivoli gardens. The gardens are decorated with wooden houses, snowy trees, Santa reindeer, all in a very Nordic style. And of course, you cannot miss the local crafts and products and hot drinks.
Which Christmas destinations in Europe are your favorites?
These are 10 of the Christmas destinations in Europe that I consider magical and with an authentic Christmas atmosphere. Which destinations are your favorites? or which are on your bucket list? Where will you spend Christmas holidays this year? Let us know in the comments.
I hope you enjoyed this brief research of ideal Christmas destinations in Europe. Share it on your favorite social media and subscribe to receive notifications of new posts. I also invite you to follow me on Instagram to share my trips with me and get to know each other better. Bon voyage and Happy Holidays!