You know, if you’re planning to travel to Europe this winter, everyone back home will be eagerly anticipating this year’s holiday gifts, because they will assume they will be from your trip abroad. Luckily for you, during this time of year in most European cities, it’s easy to shop for everything you need in one convenient, open air, bustling and fantastically decorated Christmas market. Most markets set up in late November and carry on right up until, or even just after the Christmas holiday, and they’re generally open every day, so you’ve still got plenty of time. Here you’ll find great presents to take home to your family and friends, like classic tourist apparel and trinkets, destination-themed holiday decorations (like a hand painted tree ornament), plane packed and ready-t0-travel jarred local delicacies, and often authentic made trade products from the area like scarves, ceramics, glass or jewelry depending on which city you’re in.
As you wander these vast winter wonderlands, you’ll also come across plenty of options to stop for a snack or warm drink. The bigger Christmas markets have booths of vendors visiting from neighboring countries too, so you may even get the chance to try something foreign to the foreign that you’re already in, or potentially grab some souvenirs from someplace you didn’t have time to visit this round. That being said, Christmas markets are extremely common and popular in Europe, among locals and visitors alike, so all cities have them, but unless you’re planning on jetsetting around to every single country, you might need to narrow down some options. Here are the notably top seven Christmas markets in Europe this year.

1. Strasbourg, France

When: November 28 – December 31

france market

Photo via Flickr/Sole Garcia Salas

2. Dresden, Germany

When: November 27 – December 24

germany christmas market

Photo via Flickr/Matthias

3. Brussels, Belgium

When: November 28 – January 4

belgium market

Photo via Flickr/Dirk Van de Velde

4. Basel, Switzerland

When: November 27 – December 23

switzerland market

Photo via Flickr/Luis

5. Vienna, Austria

When: November 15 – December 24

austria market

Photo via Flickr/symonmreynolds

6. Birmingham, England

When: November 13 – December 22

england market

Photo via Flickr/Tim Ellis

7. Barcelona, Spain

When: November 28 – December 23

spain market

Photo via Flickr/Hotel Colón Barcelona, Spain

Which Christmas Market do you want to visit?

American by chance, but Roman by choice, Sarah is currently feeding her adventurous soul with expatriatism and pizza. Her finest moments are always on the wrong bus with a backpack and an upside down map, waiting to see what the world’s got for her next, so long as she can blog about it. She likes writing more than talking, dolphins more than humans, old movies more than new, and Rome more than anything else.


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