The best Christmas markets in Europe to visit in 2023

From Prague to Berlin, go further afield for your festive shopping this year by visiting one of the most magical Christmas markets that pop up in European squares

Prague, Czech Republic

  • When: 2 December 2023 to 6 January 2024
  • Where: The Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square
  • Website:

Prague's fairy-tale backdrop of cobbled streets and elaborate architecture makes it a magical Christmas setting. Easy to reach from London (the flight takes less than two hours), the capital of the Czech Republic is home to the country's most impressive Christmas market, selling local crafts, wooden toys and traditional food, while simultaneously lighting up the sky and towering buildings of the Old Town Square.

A Christmas pyramid at Alexanderplatz, close to the Berliner Fensehturm (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)Carsten Koall/Getty Images

Berlin, Germany

  • When: 27th November to 30th December 2023
  • Where: Alexanderplatz
  • Website:

Berlin doesn't take Christmas festivities lightly, with over 100 Christmas markets taking place across the German city each year. The Christmas market on Alexanderplatz is particularly popular, with the scents of Bratwurst, gingerbread and mulled wine wafting through the popular square.

(Photo credit should read ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images)ATTILA KISBENEDEK/Getty Images

Budapest, Hungary

The Vorosmarty Square, a plaza in the heart of Budapest, turns into a festive marketplace with the scent of traditional honey cookies, mulled wine, cinnamon and fir wafting from cottage-style huts, while two outdoor stages host live shows and music. Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace, an art nouveau beacon on the banks of the Danube situated at the foot of the famous Chain Bridge, is a comfortable base from which to explore the city and its seasonal treats. Many of the generously sized rooms have balconies and vaulted ceilings, while the restaurant serves up Hungarian specialities such as lángos flatbread and goulash soup alongside its signature burger with beef confit and remoulade.

(JOE KLAMAR/AFP via Getty Images)JOE KLAMAR/Getty Images

Vienna, Austria

  • When: 11 November to 26 December 2023
  • Where: On the square in front of the City Hall
  • Website:

Vienna comes alive with festivity and lights in the winter. Snow often blankets the city, four different Christmas markets spring up on its cobbled streets and locals are out and about enjoying glühwein, chestnuts and spicy Christmas cookies. Don't miss the Advent windows of the Rathaus (town hall), which are decorated by local artists, and the enchanting tree illuminations in the Rathauspark.

Gdańsk, Poland

  • When: 23 November 2023 to 1 January 2024
  • Where: The city’s main square, Targ Węglowy, as well as on Tkacka and Bogusławskiego streets
  • Website:

While Krakow and Wroclaw's markets may be bigger, the romantic city of Gdańsk's Yuletide fair is considered to be the most beautiful Christmas market in Poland. Find over 120 stalls with unique gifts, decorations and treats, including regional foods like pierogi filling up the historical town square as it transforms into a winter wonderland.

(Photo by Manuel Romano/NurPhoto via Getty Images)NurPhoto/Getty Images

Copenhagen, Denmark

  • When: 17 November to 31 December 2023
  • Where: Tivoli Gardens
  • Website:

Winter is one of the best times to visit Copenhagen, especially for the city's most famous attraction, Tivoli Gardens. At Christmas, the historic amusement park in the centre of the Danish capital transforms into an illuminated wonderland. There's everything you'd want from a festive day out, from ice skating rinks to Santa sleights, markets and the Cinnamon infused mulled wine, called gløgg in Danish and æbleskiver as a sweet treat. For those staying around a few days, you can easily cross the bridge to Malmö for a taste of Swedish Christmas too.

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(Photo by Ying Tang/NurPhoto via Getty Images)NurPhoto/Getty Images

Cologne, Germany

No place does Christmas quite like Germany, with lebkuchen and glühwein and twinkling lights taking up the fairy-tale like medieval town squares each winter. Cologne is no different, with four big markets popping up each Christmas. The biggest is the Cologne Cathedral Christmas Market, in front of the landmark cathedral which dates back to the 13th century. There are more than 100 stage performances throughout the festival, including Christmas swing music, sing-along concerts, and gospel.