Christmas in Europe: Top 15 Ideas for Christmas Holidays in 2019

Do You Want to Spend a Magical Christmas in Europe FEATURED

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Celebrating Christmas in Europe is a dream for many. European cities are synonymous with white snow, age-old traditions, fabulous choirs at Gothic churches, and medieval squares filled by festive Christmas stalls.

Some European cities celebrate this festival in grandeur while others follow their traditional customs. If you wish to spend your Christmas in Europe, then we bring you the cities that are finest during this time of the year.

So, where to go in Europe for Christmas? Read down below!

Christmas in Europe: Top 15 Ideas for Christmas Holidays

Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb in Croatia has been voted the best city to celebrate Christmas two years in a row. During this time of the year, every nook and corner of the city is adorned with decorations, stalls, and open-air entertainment.

The festive entertainments are the ones that take away the breadth of the tourists. Live music and open DJ all day every day is something that uplifts everyone’s festive spirit.

Traditional delicacies line up the streets and you can even opt for themed entertainment.

Related read: Day trips from Zagreb and Castles in Croatia

Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg is one of the oldest Christmas markets operating in France. This place can be cited as the best winter tourist destination.

During Christmas, the mighty cathedral is surrounded by more than 300 traditional stalls that are packed with ornaments for decorating Christmas tree, lovely Nativity figurines, seasonal delicacies, and their very special mulled wine.

The continuous waves of carol singing will lift your Christmas spirit to a new level. And who can resist the temptation to jump into ice skating?

Read also: Castles in France

Aachen, Germany

Aachen, Germany

Every year during Christmas, the area around the Cathedral and Town Hall in Aachen, Germany is perfused with festivities. The entire city is transformed into a small paradise of colors and lights, twinkling festivity sounds, and salivating smells.

If you are a culinary enthusiast, you will love this place. Throughout the festival season, stalls of traditional delicacies, such as Potato fritters, Printen, Christmas cakes and biscuits, line up the streets. You will even find some very pretty art and craft items at the colorful stalls.

Every year this place witnesses more than 1.5 million visitors who come to enjoy the festival. 

Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria

Vienna in Austria is known for the grace and elegance that it puts into while celebrating Christmas. It feels like magic if you are in Vienna at this time of the year.

The streets and plazas are filled with sparkling Christmas stalls, cafes with traditional delicacies, and twinkling lights adorning the city’s magnificent architecture.

You can indulge in freshly baked condiments at Vienna’s Christkindlmarkt, try your hand (or feet) at ice skating in Rathausplatz, visit the Snow Globe Museum, or be a part of the legendary Christmas concerts.

If you’re interested in visiting on some other season, make sure to read this useful post about when to visit Vienna!

Related read: Castles in Austria

Dresden, Germany

Dresden, Germany

When you step into Dresden in Germany during the festival season, a strong scent of mulled wine will hit you right away. Then slowly the happy Christmas music will flow towards you spreading joy. Next thing you know, twinkling lights will light up your life! Yes, this is what the markets of Dresden feel like during Christmas.

It’s worth experiencing the hustle-bustle of the markets and the traditional Saxon treats. This year, the city will be celebrating its 583rd Dresden Striezelmarkt.

Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia

Powdered snow, wooden stalls, cozy woolen hats, salivating delicacies, and the contemporary decor defines the markets of Tallinn in Estonia at this time of the year.

Their yearly Christmas celebrations have earned them the reputation of being one of the most cheerful and treasured Christmas markets in all of Europe.

The pretty twinkling stalls are filled with handcrafted artisanal goods and traditional delicacies. Mini zoos with adorable animals keep the kids busy while the elders can go about their shopping sprees. Tallinn feels like pure magic during Christmas.

Related read: Day trips from Tallinn and Islands in Estonia

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague in the Czech Republic gives the impression of a Gothic fairyland during Christmas. The grandeur architecture of the city provides the perfect and most elegant background for this lively festival that is filled with the scents of mulled wine, colorful stalls, and the decorations.

The Prague Christmas Market is topped up with cute wooden huts jam-packed with traditional delicacies like freshly baked pastries and hams, craft items made out by artisans, and beautiful Christmas tree ornaments.

The entire city is lit up by lights, music, and nativity scenes, the true spirit of Christmas.

Budapest Christmas Fair, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary

If you are in Hungary during the winter holidays then make sure you pay a visit to the Budapest Christmas Fair and Winter Festival that takes place at Vörösmarty Square.

This will be a unique experience for you. The grandeur plaza located at the heart of Budapest transforms into a festive space filled with wooden stalls, traditional delicacies, and stages for local entertainment.

If you are a foodie, it is recommended that you try the honey cookies made out of traditional Budapest recipes, cinnamon, and the scintillating mulled wine.

The fragrance of these food stalls will automatically lure you into the market square.

Christmas market in Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, Belgium

The Christmas market in Brussels in Belgium lasts for more than a month and takes place at the Grand Place, the Place de la Monnaie, the Marché aux Poissons, and the Place Sainte-Catherine.

The market is jam-packed with cute little stalls that offer traditional craft items and delicacies, a festive ground with merry-go-rounds, and an ice rink for some skating.

But what takes away the breadth is the gigantic Christmas tree surrounded by the light and sound show. One of the best places to spend your Christmas holidays.

Related post: Day trips from Brussels

Graz, Austria

Graz, Austria

Graz in Austria will leave you enchanted during the time of Christmas. The markets, especially, look dazzling against the backdrop of the city’s glimmering festive lights.

The markets buzz with traditional stalls of artisan-made products, freshly-baked condiments, and local delicacies.

A very famous local drink, the Feuerzangenbowle, comes very handy in the biting cold. Even there is something for the kids as well in the form of the carousel.

Related post: Castles in Austria

Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki, Finland

Snow arrives right at the time for Christmas in this Finnish city covering vast swathes of the city in white and creating a perfect cozy festive ambiance. Helsinki‘s Aleksanterinkatu, the main street of the city is lined with decorative lights that add to the Christmas spirit.

Moreover, the hustle-bustle of the traders and artisans in the markets accents the festive celebrations. Their traditional drink, Glögi, is served around with warm amiability. The Ice Park has recently become popular among tourists and locals alike for ice skating.

They also follow the traditional rituals of celebrating St. Lucia Day and The Tiernapojat tradition. The stalls offer handicrafts, decorations for Christmas, beautiful lanterns, traditional delicacies, and hot drinks.

Related post: Neighborhoods in Helsinki, Day trips from Helsinki, and Islands in Finland

Rovaniemi, Lapland

Rovaniemi, Lapland

Rovaniemi, the capital city of Lapland, witnesses snow 6 months of the year making this place an ideal landscape for Christmas celebrations.

The main attraction of this city during the winter months is the Santa Claus village, which means it is Christmas all around the year in Rovaniemi.

They hold exhibitions depicting the spirit and tradition of Christmas and that of Santa Claus. You can even take part in exhibitions for exquisite handicrafts.

And if you pay a visit to the forest of the Elves, you will even get a glimpse of reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh through the forest.

Christmas in Europe, Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden

If you are willing to enjoy a contemporary or traditional Christmas, then Stockholm in Sweden is the right place to be. The powdered snow provides a great festive ambiance.

You can just visit the Old Town’s Christmas Markets, have some gingerbread and glögg, and go shopping for artisanal products under the starry decorations that spread throughout the city. Little red stalls will definitely grab your attention and are a must-visit.

They offer traditional sweets, reindeer meat, smoked sausages, and elk meat along with many other Christmas specialties.

Related post: Palaces in Sweden

Christmas in Europe, Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges in Belgium buzzes with the festive cheer of Christmas and definitely takes you down the memory lane by helping you to experience the warm Christmassy feeling like when you were a kid.

The salivating scent of warm, freshly baked waffles fill the streets of Bruges and the twinkling fairy lights all over the majestic buildings make Christmas seem like a fairytale.

The white snow adds the perfect backdrop to the celebrations and festivities. You can even hop aboard a carriage driven by horses to take a tour of this beautiful Christmas-loving city.

Christmas in Europe, Paris, France

Paris, France

Paris in France, the city that brings alive the art, fashion, and gastronomy cultures, is another dazzling destination for Christmas in Europe. The popular market buzz with shopping events at this time of the year.

The markets are jam-packed with cute chalets that accent the Christmas atmosphere. You will be awed by the diverse Christmas decorations and art products available at these markets.

When it comes to food, the typical French cheese, wine, and champagne are proudly featured in the gourmet market. And the glittering view of the city at night will definitely give you some unforgettable memories.

Related post: Paris Itinerary, Day trips from Paris, and Chataeuxs in France

Are you on Pinterest? Pin these for later read!

Christmas in Europe | Looking for winter wonderland cities to visit in Europe? Look no further, we have compiled the best destinations for you to visit! Read this now and plan your itinerary may it be in London England or Czech Republic or pin this for later read. #traveldestinations #traveltips #bucketlisttravel #travelideas #travelguide #amazingdestinations #traveltheworld #christmas

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25 thoughts on “Christmas in Europe: Top 15 Ideas for Christmas Holidays in 2019

  1. Christina Liu says:

    Hi, thank you for the article. We are spending Christmas and NY’s in Europe this year and heard a lot of towns actually close down on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and similarly for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. What cities/towns would you suggest visiting in Germany, Austria that will likely be open for us to experience new cultural traditions for a family of 5 with girls ages, 2, 4, and 6? Thanks again!

    • Evan Kristine says:

      Hi Christina! Thanks for dropping by. Germany, I suggest Berlin and Munich for some culture, history, and tradition for the kids. These are really family-friendly cities in Germany, as well! As for Austria, Vienna and Salzburg are the ones that come up on top of my head. All of these cities I mentioned also have really good Christmas markets which the kids will enjoy and as well nice NYE displays. I hope you guys enjoy Germany and Austria! 🙂

  2. Shirley says:

    Oh how I would LOVE to visit Zagreb! I sure didn’t know that it was voted the best city to celebrate Christmas two years in a row! My sister mentioned this place a couples years back but it just went in one ear and out the other. But now this confirms it, I’ve really been missing out and it’s time for me to visit!

  3. Era Salvacion says:

    Thanks for the nice suggestion! All the places that you mentioned are all magical but if I were to be honest, what really captured my eye and heart is Tallinn, Estonia. I’d love to go there and shop! The place seems really cozy and spectacular.

  4. aurora says:

    My favourite places to go would be Prague, Dresden and Croatia. But all places you put on this post seems lovely and magical. I wish one day i will make it to Europe for my white winter experience.

  5. Harpreet Singh says:

    I never visited France but would love to someday and enjoy the typical French cheese and wine. I guess it’s an Ideal place to make Christmas more magical.

  6. Mau says:

    I thought Lapland is a country I’ve never heard of before. Later on I realized it’s in Finland! Would love to see the Santa Claus village; I don’t know if I’ll be able to bear the cold though.

  7. Rain says:

    My vote goes to Helsinki, Finland because of the Ice park and I feel it’s good to experience snow here. We don’t have snow in our country and I’d like to experience it once in my life time. And I’ve always been curious about Helsinki! It’s just the perfect place for me. <3

    It'll be such a white Christmas to go there.

  8. Marc Rodelnard Hamili says:

    All of these places looks great but TALLINN,is ESTONIA really stands out for me. It might look simple but there’s that vibe that it’s a nice place to spend christmas.

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