5 Magical European Christmas Markets You Have to Visit

by Maria Konou

It is December and the whole world is overwhelmed by the festive mood and emotions. Many rightly consider this time of year to be the most magical and beautiful. And, nothing says Christmas like a cozy Christmas market. You have probably come across some pictures of Christmas markets in Europe before. And surely your heart has fluttered at the sight of the lavishly decorated Christmas trees, beautifully lit cathedrals and old buildings, and of course the cozy little wooden houses offering all sorts of delicious foods and drinks. Countries in Europe are known for their wonderful Christmas markets, usually located on a square and around sparkling buildings. They are an absolute dream to experience in the chilly winter weather, surrounded by a cheerful crowd. That is why, we decided to show you the most magical European Christmas markets you need to visit someday! The best part is that they are actually affordable!

Let’s see which are the most magical European Christmas markets in the world 

what to buy at european christmas markets

5 Magical and Affordable European Christmas Markets

Christmas markets are more common in northern European countries with colder climates. These markets actually began in the late Middle Ages in the German-speaking parts of Europe and the former Holy Roman Empire. There, the traditional spirit of these unique places is still alive today and anyone can immerse themselves in it if they are looking for a unique Christmas experience. Continue reading to find out which are the most beautiful and magical European Christmas markets, what unique dishes they can tempt you with, and approximately how much it would cost to enjoy them!

Who doesn’t love Christmas markets full of delicious baked goods, mulled wine, and treats of all kinds 

when do european christmas markets open

#Rome, Italy

Maybe almost everyone goes to Rome to see the Pope and eat some delicious food. However, if you are there around Christmas, it is even more of a must to visit the festive bazaars. The Italian capital’s Christmas market is located on the iconic Piazza Navona in the city center. This year it is open from December 1, 2022, to January 6, 2023.

If you are in Italy around Christmas, it is a must to visit the festive bazaars

italy rome market christmas

What to enjoy?

The Christmas market offers mostly small gifts and decorations, including, for example, unique figurines of the witch Befana. In Italian folklore, Befana is an old woman who gives gifts to children throughout Italy on Epiphany, much like St. Peter. Nicholas or Santa Claus. Among the attractions you will find carousels, carnival games, and street performers enhancing the festive atmosphere.

The Christmas market offers mostly small gifts and decorations, carousels, carnival games, and street performers 

italian christmas market

What to try?

The most common Christmas pastry you will find is Panettone with raisins and candied citrus fruits. A lighter dessert option is Pandoro – star-shaped sponge cake dusted with icing sugar. Both pastries originated in northern Italy, and if you are looking for something specifically Roman, try the Pandgialo (literally called “yellow bread”). When it comes to culinary, Italy will never disappoint, and in Rome you can dine on traditional pizza or pasta at a restaurant in the center for around 15 euros per person.

Pandoro is a delicious star-shaped sponge cake dusted with icing sugar

italy market for christmas

#Prague, Czech Republic

Christmas markets in the Czech capital are open every day from 26 November 2022 to 6 January 2023 between 10:00 and 22:00. The markets welcome visitors even on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve and guarantee plenty of festive fun for residents and visitors. So, if you are in the area, make sure to vitit!

Christmas markets in the Czech Republic start later November, and they continue until January

prague biggest european christmas markets

What to try?

Among the unique dishes that the Czechs love during the festive season, you will find sausages, Langos (flat bread topped with garlic, cheese, and other toppings), Prague ham baked on a spit and sweet dumplings. These are all festive foods that can be enjoyed at the Christmas markets in Prague! The Czechs are also proud of their Christmas fish soup, which is traditionally cooked on Christmas Eve. It is made with carp, vegetables and spices, and some versions also use white wine, cream, or fish roe.

Langos is a traditional dish in Prague – flat bread topped with garlic, cheese, and other toppings

hungarian fried bread langos

Where to find them?

The biggest Christmas markets in Prague are in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, in the heart of the city. The two squares are a 5-minute walk from each other. There are also smaller bazaars on Kampa Island, in front of Prague Castle and in Havel Market.

The biggest Christmas markets in Prague are in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square

prague wenceslas square

How much will it cost?

Even if you visit the most expensive Christmas bazaar in Prague, you will still eat and drink cheaper than in a restaurant in the city center. A glass of mulled wine or beer costs around 3-4 euros, and you can eat for another 6-7 euros.

It does not cost much to visit this magical Christmas market and enjoy a cup of mulled wine

european christmas markets 2023

#Vienna, Austria

One of the most magical European Christmas markets, is the one in Vienna! It actually dates back to 1298, with the most iconic bazaar (in front of City Hall) featuring 150 houses. Christmas gifts, tree decorations, handmade items and much more are on offer. This year, the markets in the Austrian capital are open from 19 November to 26 December 2022. You can also find them in front of the Belvedere and Schönbrunn palaces, as well as in Maria Theresia Square and around St. Peter’s Cathedral. Stephen’s Cathedral.

One of the most magical European Christmas markets, is the one in Vienna, Austria

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If you love the Christmas spirit and beautiful scenery, then Austria is just the place for you

salzburg austria christmas market.jpg

What to try?

Mulled wine and potato pancakes are among the most popular dishes at Christmas markets. In addition, you shouldn’t miss out on the Wursts, Krapfen (yeast pie filled with sweet or sauerkraut), Raclette (bread with warm cheese), or the so-called Bauerngröstl (fried bacon, egg and potatoes, usually topped with a fried egg). Sweet lovers can enjoy delicious cinnamon cookies and gingerbread cookies in various shapes and with different decorations.

You will find the most delicious treats and dishes only in the Christmas market 

vienna market what to buy

How much will it cost?

Vienna is not a cheap city, so the prices at Christmas markets there are slightly higher than in Hungary and the Czech Republic. A glass of mulled wine can run from 5 to 10 euros. However, the most common dish – freshly baked wursts in a pita – remains the most common and affordable food that will surely warm your soul and won’t affect your budget too negatively.

There are so many delights that will surely warm your soul and won’t affect your budget too much

best european christmas markets

#Budapest, Hungary

You can find Christmas markets in Budapest from November 18, 2022 to January 1, 2023. There are several in the city, with the most popular being those in Vöröszmarty Square and in front of St. Stephen’s Basilica.

The Christmas bazaars in Budapest, Hungary start quite early – on the 18th of November

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What to try?

If you opt for the largest market, the one in Vöröszmarty Square, you can stroll among over 100 stalls selling everything from handmade local wares to mouth-watering goulash and other delicious Hungarian specialities. A staple of Budapest’s Christmas markets are the various meat dishes: roast goose leg, grilled sausages, roast pork knuckle, but also grilled freshwater fish such as pike and trout. You will also find the Lángos bread, which is a traditional Hungarian dish. For dessert, opt for the so-called Kürtőskalács, a caramelized brioche flatbread in a cylindrical shape, cooked on a spit over the fire (known here as a chimney).

You need to try the so-called Kürtőskalács – a caramelized brioche flatbread, cooked on a spit over the fire 

hungary budapest christmas market

This delicious sweet treat is also known as the chimney because of its cylindrical shape

budapest market for christmas

How much will it cost?

Mulled wine and punch in Budapest’s Christmas markets cost around €3 each, and drinks made with rum cost double that. Prices for a main meal range between 10 and 20 euros per person.

Christmas markets in Budapest are affordable, so we suggest taking advantage of them

budapest hungary best christmas market

#Frankfurt, Germany

The largest and most traditional Christmas market in Frankfurt is next to St. Peter’s Church. The most popular and most traditional place in Frankfurt is St. Paul’s Square, on the Römerberg. It runs from 21 November to 22 December 2022. Its history dates back to the late 14th century, when mystery plays were performed there.

The largest and most traditional Christmas market in Frankfurt is next to St. Peter’s Church

germany market for christmas

What to try?

Over the centuries, the Frankfurt market has developed its own specialities. Two of them are baked cookies with marzipan: Brenten and Bethmännchen. Others are the strange Quetschemännchen men, which are figures made of prunes and nuts. Among the more unusual foods for Germans are potato pancakes, wursts, Handbrot bread stuffed with ham and cheese, tornado chips (baked potato on a skewer) and breccels. To keep you going through this culinary feast, be sure to support yourself with mulled wine or egg punch, and for dessert, opt for an authentic schnitzel or strudel.

Germany surely has a lot to offer when it comes to delicious dishes and sweet desserts

frankfurt christmas market beautiful

When in Frankfurt, Germany, make sure to have some delicious Handbrot bread stuffed with ham and cheese

christmas market frankfurt what to buy

How much will it cost?

Wursts at German Christmas markets cost an average of €5-7 and mulled wine is also over €5. Again, it is safe to say that a meal at the Christmas market, as well as getting you in the festive mood, will cost less than a meal in a restaurant in the city center.

A delicious festive meal at the Christmas market costs less that a meal in the city

frankfurt germany christmas market

These were the most magical European Christmas markets and bazaars you need to visit! Christmas is felt different in a small old town, surrounded by mountains and sparkling lights. And, nothing beats market treats and the delicious mulled wine!

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Maria Konou

Maria Konou is a specialist in the field of digital marketing and fashion. However, she has always had a way with words. That’s what led her to her dream job here at Archzine. She has worked in many different fields over the years, but according to her, being an author has been the most rewarding. Maria is a huge plant enthusiast, loves everything fashion-related, is very sustainably aware, and is always open to learning about new things.