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Europe’s most festive Christmas markets

From the potent mulled wine of Salzburg to the sugar-dusted gingerbread of Valkenburg, we’ve collected the best of Europe's Christmas markets, according to travellers like you.*

Shop underground in Valkenburg, The Netherlands

Valkenburg Christmas Market

Valkenburg Christmas Market

The Christmas market of Valkenburg is worth a visit for the location alone. Forget snowy market squares, this Christmas market is held underground in the city caves. Here you’ll find a Santa’s grotto lit by fairy lights, filled with with the scent of gingerbread and mulled wine. Travellers who endorsed Valkenburg for it’s Christmas markets also named the Hotel Restaurant GESTE as a convenient and welcoming place to stay.

Eat all the food in Nuremberg, Germany

Nurmeberg Christmas Market

Nurmeberg Christmas Market

Nuremberg's Christmas market is one of the oldest in Germany and so they’ve had a long time to perfect their festive formula, with over 180 stalls selling traditional and locally sourced Christmas ornaments, presents, and the city’s internationally craved sweet gingerbread. Or if you prefer savoury snacks, stalls throughout the market sell grilled and spiced sausages (known as ‘Original Nurmebergers’). At just 2-minutes walk from the square where the market is held, travellers who endorsed Nuremberg for Christmas markets also endorsed the Hotel Five.

Swap a white Christmas for a green one in Trento, Italy

Trento Christmas Market

Trento Christmas Market

Delicious smells and sights abound at the Trento Christmas Market, with an entire section of the market devoted to festive fare and both mulled and non-mulled versions of the famous local wines. While a white-Christmas might the tradition, the market organisers are just as interested in creating a green experience by focusing on sustainability and environmentally friendly produce. The Heart of Trento Luxury House overlooks the city’s Old Town and is endorsed by travellers who visited the Christmas market.

Keep it traditional in Colmar, France

Colmar’s Magic of Lights

Colmar’s Magic of Lights

Populated with stone churches and beautifully preserved wooden chalets, Colmar’s Magic of Lights festival creates a bright and beautiful background for the city’s five Christmas markets. Here you’ll find Christmas wreaths, elaborately decorated gingerbread, hundreds of sweet stocking fillers and the specially designed Children’s Christmas Market. Fans of the Colmar Christmas market endorsed the James Boutique Hôtel for both the festive atmosphere and it’s location on the Alsatian Wine Route.

Go market-hopping in Salzburg, Austria

Domplatz Christmas Market

Domplatz Christmas Market

When it comes to festive first dates, snowy family-outings and the richest, sweetest, saltiest winter snacks, it’s hard to beat Salzburg. Not one, not three, but fourteen Christmas markets take place across the Austrian city throughout the winter months, including a festive farmers’ market, a Christmas market inside a fortress, and the gigantic Salzburg Christkindlmarkt. Travellers who love Salzburg’s Christmas markets also endorsed the Hotel Sacher as an ideal spot to recover after a long day browsing.

** We looked at the top destinations endorsed for ‘Christmas markets’ by travellers.