We all know about and certainly love the grand Christmas markets in major European cities like Paris, Rome, Budapest, Prague and Berlin. They’re always worth the crowds and the cold to pick out presents, enjoy typical local treats and drinks and admire the festive lights and magical looking scenery. Christmas Markets are a timeless tradition all throughout Europe though and while some are famous for good reason, we should not forget that we have options. Smaller and lesser known cities can be particularly charming during the holiday season, and can sometimes provide a more fantasy-like atmosphere than the popular cities we see every day whether we’re there or not.

Whether you have been to the big ones and are looking for something new to you, or something less touristic, or maybe your bucket list reaches a bit farther than the usual destinations, here are some lesser known European Christmas Markets that you absolutely cannot miss!

1. Sibiu, Romania

When: November 20 – December 26

Where: Great Square

CM Romania christmas markets

Photo via Sebastian Marcovici 

2. Bordeaux, France

When: November 27 – December 27

Where: Allées de Tourny

CM France

Photo via Flickr/Charles Hutchins

3. Brno, Czech Republic

When: November 28 – December 23

Where: Freedom Square

CM Czech

Photo via Flickr/EadaoinFlynn

4. Tallinn, Estonia

When: November 20 – January 8

Where: Town Hall Square

CM Estonia

Photo via Flickr/Anita

5. Lübeck, Germany

When: November 23 – December 30

Where: Rathausmarkt, Koberg Square and Breite Strasse to name a few

CM Germany

Photo via Flickr/traveljunction

6. Ljubljana, Slovenia

When: November 27 – January 3

Where: Prešeren Square and city centre

CM Slovenia

Photo via Flickr/Thibault Deckers

7. York, England

When: November 19 – December 23

Where: Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square

CM England

Photo via Flickr/Keith Laverack

8. Bolzano, Italy

When: November 26 – December 23

Where: Piazza Walther

CM Italy

Photo via Flickr/sergejf

9. Tampere, Finland

When: December 4 – December 22

Where: Tampere Central Square and Kuninkaankatu

CM Finland

Photo via Flickr/Miia Sample

10. Bratislava, Slovakia

When: November 21 – December 23

Where: Hlavné Square

CM Slovakia

Photo via Flickr/Miroslav Petrasko

Which Christmas markets will you visit this holiday season?

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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