Europe is famous for its traditional Christmas markets. From half a century old markets across Germany to breezy Portuguese holiday fairs, each market is more unique and special than the last. This year Europe’s Christmas season will certainly be different than years past. With sweeping closures of borders and some nations even heading back into lockdown, many Christmas markets have become null and void. However, there are still some places that plan to celebrate the holiday season no matter what. Here are twenty European Christmas Markets taking place this year. After all, it’s still the most wonderful time of the year!
European Christmas Markets Still Going on This 2020 Holiday Season
As Covid-19 continues to evolve across Europe, we strongly recommend double-checking local regulations before visiting any of these markets.
Dresdner Striezelmarkt – Dresden, Germany
First on the list is one of Germany’s best Christmas markets, Dresdner Striezelmarkt. While most Christkindle markets are cancelled this year, Dresden’s is planning on going full steam ahead. The Striezelmarkt is one of the oldest and most beloved in Germany dating back 586 years. Be sure to shop the Christmas bakery tents and grab some handmade crafts.
Dates: November 26 – December 24
Funchal Christmas Market – Madeira, Portugal
The Portuguese island of Madeira comes to life in the winter with their elaborate Funchal Christmas Market. The annual shindig is famous for their Christmas carollers who take up shop in the fish market. Additionally, the island’s local punch and wine marinated meats are unbeatable. Be sure to catch the show on Market Night which takes place on December 23 and is one of the most vibrant celebrations of the whole season. Fly into Madeira airport (FNC) and hire a car in Funchal from as little as € 3.00 per day if you book in advance.
Dates: December 1 – January 10
Brno Christmas Market – Brno, Czech Republic
This year the cosy town of Brno in Czechia will be hosting quite the European Christmas market. The exhibition is set to feature nearly 400 sellers in a large and airy pavilion. There will be a wide variety of regional culinary specialities and artisan goods to choose from. Plus, there will be various live performances to keep the whole family entertained.
Tyrol Advent Market – Tyrol, Austria
Few places wow like Tyrol’s annual Advent season. The old cities medieval charm makes it one of the best Christmas markets around. Tyrol is planning on managing the covid situation closely during the events. Guests can expect to be met with tons of carolling, Christmas storytelling and delicious warm treats every step of the way.
Dates: December 1 – December 24
Zagreb Advent – Zagreb, Croatia
Croatia’s bustling capital of Zagreb draws visitors from all over the globe for its rich history and vibrant local culture. The annual Advent in Zagreb is one of the most anticipated annual events. Never failing to impress, you can expect tons of local treats and more mulled wine than any one person can handle. Keep an eye on their site for exact dates.
Hafnarfjörður Christmas Village – Hafnarfjörður, Iceland
Hafnarfjörður has been nicknamed the “Town of Elves and Lava” and is a treasure trove of Viking history. Thanks to this, it’s one of the most unique and interesting places to experience a Christmas market. This year the artsy town set in a lava field is slated to host their Christmas Village Market full of carriage rides, Icelandic crafts and loads of live entertainment.
Dates: November 25 – December 23
Český Krumlov Christmas Market – Český Krumlov, Czech Republic
Set deep in the heart of Czechia’s Southern Bohemia region is unquestionably one of Europe’s most charming Medieval towns, Český Krumlov. This year revellers can expect a Christmas far in the 13th century Old Town. Get your fill on hot punch and warm gingerbread cookies and take in the holiday spirit in one of Czechia’s best village-esque towns.
Dates: November 28 – January 6
Gdansk Christmas Fair – Gdansk, Poland
Poland is home to some of the most unique historically rich cities in Europe and Gdansk is no exception. This cosy city on the Baltic coast of northern Poland is slated to put on one of the best Christmas markets of 2020. We mean it, too. Gdansk’s Christmas Fair ranks 3rd in Europe’s Christmas markets. Their Christmas fair will no doubt be full of your favourite artisan goods and warm drinks. Moreover, don’t skimp on the local beer.
Dates: November 20 – December 27
Rothenburg Reiterlesmarkt Christmas Market – Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber, Germany
This Bavarian fairy tale town is known for its medieval architecture and cosy streets, making it the perfect place to bring your German Christmas market dreams to life. Expect the city to be decked out in holiday decor and Christmas cheer to overflow during one of Germany’s most celebrated Christmas markets.
Dates: November 27 – January 6
Ljubljana Christmas Market – Ljubljana, Slovenia
The Christmas Market in Ljubljana is truly a holiday sight to behold. From the classic Slovenian honey schnapps to the ice sculptures and craft booths, it’s fun for the whole family. Stroll the booths of mulled wine and sausages or stock up on some holiday decor like mistletoe and nutcrackers.
Vienna Christmas Dream Christmas Market – Vienna, Austria
The Austrian capital city is known for its elaborate winter celebrations and festivities. Truly the epitome of European Christmas charm, Vienna is one of the best places to experience Austria’s holiday markets. This year the schedule is a tad different but not null and void just yet. The event planners hope to kick off the annual market in Rathauspark in early December if all goes to plan. Be sure to check their site for more details as the dates approach.
Fira de Santa Llúcia – Barcelona, Spain
If there’s one thing Barcelona really knows how to do, it’s celebrate. Fira de Santa Llúcia is one of the city’s oldest and most anticipated Christmas markets dating back over 230 years. Set in the shadows of the famous Barcelona Cathedral, it’s about as charming and cosy as it gets and will be a real treat this holiday season.
Dates November 29 – December 23
Valencia Christmas Markets – Valencia, Spain
Valencia’s set of European Christmas markets are some of the best on the continent are still going on this year. Spend the day wandering the seven different markets spread across the historic old town. Be sure to get your fill of local foods like the turron de Navidad and grab some of the famous handcrafted ceramics.
Dates: December 1 – January 6
Guernsey Christmas Market – Guernsey, United Kingdom
This English Channel island is set to put on an excellent Christmas fair this holiday season. The Guernsey Christmas Market will be set in the heart of the island, Market Square. You can expect to find loads of lovely goods such as hand-painted plates and local soaps perfect for Christmas gifts.
Dates: “Mid-November – December”
Aberdeen Christmas Market – Aberdeen, Scotland
Aberdeen’s Christmas market will undoubtedly be a silver lining for Scotland this year. As Edinburgh and Glasgow have both cancelled their annual extravaganza’s Aberdeen is carrying on with the festivities. Whether you want to shop local silver foods, throw back a few craft pints or browse handmade gifts, this is the place to be.
Dates: November 26 – December 6
Christmas at Skansen – Stockholm, Sweden
Christmas at Skansen in Stockholm is taking a different approach to their famous Christmas fair this season. This year instead of hosting one of their traditional European Christmas markets, they will be holding advent celebrations that can be pre-booked. The celebrations will still have the same look and feel as their traditional markets in the past but will be safer. Moreover, revellers can expect massive bonfires and park walks to help get them in the spirit.
Dates: November 28 – December 20
Hadeland Glassverk Christmas Market – Jevnaker, Norway
Just an hour north of Oslo on the southern shores of Lake Randsfjorden, you’ll find Hadeland Glassverk in Jevnaker. The market is located within the glasswork’s gallery building and will be brimming with all of your favourite holiday treats and decor from warm breads to candycanes. It’s also a great chance to load up on Norweigian Christmas delicacies and mulled wine to get into the spirit.
Dates: October 31 – December 23
Helsinki Christmas Market – Helsinki, Finland
Next up is Helsinki’s annual Christmas Market is truly a highlight on Finland’s calendar. Watch as the entire city comes to life with Christmas lights and giant advent calendars. In addition to the city lighting up, the Tuomaan Markkinat is the heart of the party. Take a ride on the old fashioned carousel, snag a pair of wool socks or warm up with a cup of spiced coffee while wandering the market.
Dates: December 6 – December 23
Pesochnica Xmas Market – Minsk, Belarus
Indulge in the best that Belarus’ holiday season has to offer in Minsk’s Pesochnica Xmas Market. The free-entry market is brimming with more street food than you can imagine and handmade goods of every kind. Not only will you have plenty of local bites to choose from like dried fish, you’ll also have plenty of mulled drinks to keep you warm.
Dates: November – January
Chișinău Christmas Market – Chișinău, Moldova
Last but not least is Crăciun Acasă or “Christmas Home” in English, is one of Moldova’s most cherished holiday events. Each year Chișinău lights up for the holidays with Christmas goods of every kind like peppermint hot chocolate and classic sugar cookies. This year the show is still going on with artisan vendors, Christmas tunes and holiday cheer galore.
Dates: December 19 – December 24