Your Guide to some of Europe’s most Festive Christmas Markets
All across Europe, the start of the holiday season is signalled by the arrival of Christmas markets. Cities transform into winter wonderlands with string lights illuminating every street and beautifully decorated trees standing on every corner. Spiced, savoury notes waft through the air, while cosy wooden huts filled with festive goods and mouth-watering delights populate town squares. It's a beautiful sight, and a tradition that dates back as far as the late Middle Ages.
With the festive season just around the corner, we take a look at some of Europe's most magical markets in Prague and Berlin.
Old Town Square
The Christmas market in Old Town Square, Prague, is the largest market in the Czech Republic. Set in the very heart of the city is a traditional Czech marketplace with brightly decorated wooden huts stocked with local handicrafts and traditional Christmas treats including ceramics, jewellery, glassware, wooden toys, candles, tree ornaments and more.
Soak up the festive atmosphere, browse the stalls and enjoy Christmas carols, hearty food and local drinks. There is plenty of mulled wine on offer for grown-ups, while the entire family can enjoy traditional Czech Christmas biscuits, hot roasted chestnuts or typical Czech grilled sausages and skewered foods.
The Prague Christmas Markets can be found at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, which are a 5-minute walk from each other.
- Dates: 26/11/2022 - 06/01/2023
- Opening Hours: 10:00 - 22:00
- Admission fee: Free
Other local markets: Kampa Island | Prague Castle | Peace Square
The Winterwelt (Winter World) at Potsdamer Platz is a highlight among Berlin's winter attractions and ideal for winter sports enthusiasts. Unlike traditional Christmas markets, the Winterwelt is also a sporting venue. A special highlight is the 12-metre high and 70-metre long winter slide. The toboggan run enjoys views of the Brandenburg Gate and, with its colourful disco lights, it is sure to make children's eyes light up. Afterwards, a crafts market and numerous stalls with Christmas delights await visitors there.
- Dates: Winter World: 28/10/2022 - 01/01/2023 Christmas Market: 25/11/2022 - 26/12/2022
- Opening Hours: Winter World: 11:00 - 22:00 (24 December until 14:00, closed on 14 & 22 November) Christmas market: 10:00 - 22:00 (24 December, 10:00-16:00)
- Admission fee: free, toboggan run fee €1.50
Located on one of the most beautiful squares in Berlin, this Christmas Market offers quality decorations, food and entertainment. Nestled between the Concert Hall, the German Cathedral and the French Cathedral, this market is one of the prettiest in Europe attracting around 800,000 visitors per year.
Also known and loved for its wide range of artistic offerings with a large tent serving as a demonstration space for craftspeople - here, wood carvers, comb makers and tailors show their skills to visitors. In addition to the traditional roasted almonds, chestnuts and mulled wines, visitors will also find more gourmet foods and drinks at this Christmas market.
- Dates: 21/11/2022 - 31/12/2022
- Opening Hours: 11:00 - 22:00 (24 December until 18:00, 31 December until 01:00)
- Admission Fee: €1, children aged 0-12 free
Set in front of the majestic Charlottenburg Palace, over 200 vendors display and sell traditional Christmas crafts and snacks. The palace, parts of its gardens and the Christmas market itself are festively illuminated making this Berlin's most romantic Christmas market. The smells of gingerbread, mulled wine, freshly-baked bread and other savoury snacks add to the Christmas atmosphere.
Nostalgic fairground attractions such as a big wheel, merry-go-rounds and tiny rollercoasters will keep the children busy while the parents keep warm with mulled wine.
- Dates: 21/11/2022 - 26/12/2022
- Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday 14:00 - 22:00 Friday to Sunday 12:00 - 22:00 (25 & 26 December 12:00 - 20:00, closed 24 December)
- Admission Fee: free