Merry Markets

If you’re looking for a winter break with a bit of sparkle, why not consider a trip to one of these traditional Christmas markets?

There are few things better than getting into the festive spirit, wrapping up warm and sipping on mulled wine, but perhaps the best way to enjoy all three is at one of the fantastic Christmas markets, held in hundreds of locations across the world.

The Christmas market is thought to have originated in Germany and dates back to the late Middle Ages and, along with Christmas trees they are among Germany’s oldest and most famous traditions.

Although there are thousands of incredible markets to be experienced in Germany alone, November and December also sees these festive offerings open across Europe, America and even on our home turf.

If you’re planning a trip this winter, we’ve compiled a list of the best locations to visit to experience the magic of a Christmas market.

Bath Christmas Market

Stay a little closer to home and visit the spa town of Bath this winter. Each year the city centre is transformed into a magical Christmas shopper’s paradise, as over 170 chalets packed full of gorgeous Christmas gifts line the streets surrounding the Roman Baths and Bath Abbey. The market has a distinctively British feel, and over 80% of the stallholders are local businesses. Stroll the streets and enjoy a mulled wine, mince pie and the sounds of carols as you pick up some unique handcrafted items.

From November 26 to December 13 |

Berlin Christmas Market

If it’s the wow factor you’re after, head to Berlin, Germany’s capital city and the Christmas market capital. This year the city boasts 60 markets, selling everything from food and drink to handmade crafts. The largest Christmas market takes place in the Spandau Old Town and boasts 250 stands during the week and 400 at weekends, with entertainment on the stage and a Christmas crib with live animals. For something spectacular, head to the Charlottenburg Castle Christmas Market, where, for 35 days the castle and its park are illuminated and 150 stalls line the grounds and building, selling arts, crafts and traditional food.

From November 23 to December 31 |

Innsbruck Christmas Market

A stunning mountain backdrop makes Austria’s Innsbruck Christmas market a must-visit, for the beautiful scenery as much as the abundance of stalls. Six individual markets take place in the town, from the traditional Christkindlmarkt in the Old Town with its ornaments, candles and Christmas pastries, to the Innsbruck Marktplatz by the river with storytellers, animals at the petting zoo and a merry-go-round. You’ll also want to see the impressive Christmas tree, which is this year adorned with 170,000 sparkling Swarovski crystals.

From November 15 to January 6 (some markets open later or close earlier)

Strasbourg Christmas Market

It’s earned the title of ‘best Christmas market’ two years running, and has been going since 1570, so if it’s an authentic market experience you’re after, head to Strasbourg in France. Situated in the Alsace region, this market consists of 300 chalets across 11 sites in the city and among the delights for sale you’ll find arts and crafts, food and typical Alsatian Christmas decorations. As well as marvelling at the 30ft high tree, you can also enjoy a spot of ice skating on the 300m2 rink, situated in place Dauphine, at the entrance to the Rivetoile centre.

From November 27 to December 31 |

Prague Christmas Market

The Czech capital comes alive with the spirit of Christmas, as Prague hosts an impressive festive celebration. In the Old Town Square you’ll find the animal stable, where children can stroke sheep, goats and a donkey and the impressive Christmas tree which is shipped in from from the Krkonose mountains in the north of the Czech Republic. As well as plenty to see and buy, the food stalls in Prague will tempt you to try an array of mouth-watering delicacies. From the barbecued sausages (klobása) to the hot sugary pastries, you definitely won’t go hungry while you’re enjoying the festive market.

From November 28 to January 1 |

Stockholm Christmas Market

Dating back to 1915, Stockholm’s Christmas market has drawn crowds of people looking to the Old Town area of the city for many years. Famed for its Swedish delicacies, visitors can indulge in glögg (mulled wine), saffron buns, smoked sausages and even reindeer and elk meat. Shop for decorations in Stortorget Square and find over 40 stalls selling handmade gifts. This market is more intimate than some of its larger European counterparts, but maintains a lovely ambience and is ideal for families looking for a festive experience.

From November 21 to December 23 |


Treat yourself with one of these festive deals.

Munich Christmas Market

Departs between: November and December 2015
Duration: 4 days Price from: £349pp

Visit the Christmas markets of Munich, and discover the festive fun of the Christmas season as celebrated in the Bavarian capital. When the city’s Christmas markets – the most famous being found on the central square, Marienplatz –open their stalls, Munich really does become a fairytale winter wonderland.

Vienna Christmas Market

Departs between: November and December 2015
Duration: 4 days Price from: £389pp

Few festive markets enjoy a grander or more romantic setting than those held in the elegant Austrian capital, where the magic of Advent sparkles against a backdrop of baroque palaces, shopping arcades, churches and museums. This marvellous value break includes accommodation in a fine, four-star hotel.

Krakow Christmas Market

Departs between: November and December 2015
Duration: 4 days Price from: £349pp (From price based on 28th November 2015 departure from London Gatwick)

Join us in the ancient royal capital of Poland, where colourful Christmas markets, steeped in tradition, are held against the spectacular backdrop of one of the few European cities to have survived the centuries unscathed. Discover the city’s great history, enjoy Krakow by night, and soak up the festive atmosphere on this unmissable seasonal break.

All available from