Exploring the Best Christmas Markets in Europe: A Festive Adventure 

04 December 2023
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The magic of Christmas is almost upon us, and what better way to embrace the holiday spirit than by visiting the enchanting Christmas markets of Europe? From the twinkling lights and the aroma of spiced wine to the handcrafted gifts and delightful treats, these markets offer a truly magical experience. This is especially true for those of us who have grown up in the Southern Hemisphere, and experienced only hot, summer Christmases. 

In this guide, we’ll explore the best Christmas destinations in Europe, answer some key questions to help you plan your visit, and delve into the festive atmosphere of Christmas markets in Cape Town

Discovering the Top Christmas Destinations in Europe 

As the holiday season approaches, you might be wondering which European city is the ultimate destination for Christmas markets. From Vienna to Prague, Strasbourg to Cologne, Europe boasts a wide array of Christmas markets, each with its unique charm and traditions.  

Which City in Europe Has the Best Christmas Market? 

One common question that arises when planning a European Christmas market adventure is, “Which city in Europe has the best Christmas market?” While the answer might vary depending on personal preferences, each city offers something special. From the historic charm of Prague to the grandeur of Vienna’s markets, you’re sure to find the one that suits your festive desires. 

Europe’s Biggest Christmas Market: A Grand Spectacle 

If you’re looking for grandeur, then Europe’s biggest Christmas market will surely amaze you. These mammoth markets are a spectacle to behold, with an array of stalls, entertainment, and festive activities. From the impressive Cologne Cathedral market to the grandeur of Strasbourg, these markets are not to be missed. 

The Dates of Christmas Market in Europe: Plan Your Visit 

To make the most of your European Christmas market adventure, it’s essential to plan your visit around the dates when these markets are in full swing. Typically, European Christmas markets begin in late November and run until Christmas Eve. However, some may extend into the New Year. Planning your visit around these dates will ensure you don’t miss out on any of the festive magic. 

Exploring European Christmas Markets: Packages to Consider 

Now that you’re excited about the prospect of visiting these enchanting markets, let’s explore some holiday packages that can make your journey even more memorable. 

The Christmas Markets of Poland, Prague & Germany 

Begin your European Christmas adventure with this 8-day tour that takes you through the magical markets of Poland, Prague, and Germany. The package includes visits to the Kraków Christmas Market, a Prague Castle District Walking Tour, a Dresden City Tour, and much more. You’ll enjoy stylish hotel accommodations, delectable meals, and the comfort of Insight’s luxury coach. 

Explore the German Christmas Markets with Contiki 

For the younger Christmas adventurers, experience the charm of German Christmas markets with this 7-day Contiki trip. From Frankfurt’s Christmas Market to wine tasting and gingerbread-making classes, you’ll be immersed in the festive spirit from beginning to end of your trip. The package includes twin-share hotel accommodations, expert guides, and a journey from Frankfurt to Munich. 

Indulge in the Christmas Markets of Austria, Germany & Switzerland 

To experience even more Christmas markets, consider the 8-day tour of Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. You’ll explore the markets in Vienna, Salzburg, Munich, Innsbruck, Lucerne, and Vaduz. Highlights include visits to famous landmarks and stunning alpine scenery. This package includes guided holiday, comfortable accommodations, and sightseeing opportunities that you won’t want to miss. 

Christmas Markets in Cape Town: A Local Delight 

For those staying closer to home this festive season, experiencing the Christmas markets in Cape Town is a local delight. Festive markets start as early as late October, and run right up until the end of December, so you’re sure to find a couple that fit into your busy festive season schedule. A couple of notable ones are:  

  • Stellenbosch Christmas Market — from November 20 to 2 December 
  • Pinelands Craft & Gift Fair at Pinelands High School — from 9 to 23 December 
  • Simply Gifts Market at Sans Souci Girls High School, Newlands — from 13 to 23 December 
  • Fab Ideas Christmas Gift Fair in Sun Valley — from 16 to 21 December. 

These markets capture the essence of the festive season with a South African twist. You can expect beautiful crafts, delectable local cuisine, and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss. 

Experience the Magic of a European Christmas 

The Christmas markets of Europe are a truly magical experience, and with the help of these holiday packages, you can make the most of this festive season. Whether you choose to explore the markets in Poland, Prague, and Germany, embark on a German Christmas adventure, or delve into the charm of Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, your European Christmas market journey will be unforgettable. And for those of us planning to enjoy our hot, summer Christmas — head out to a couple of the amazing Christmas markets hosted locally. You never know what you might find. So, pack your bags and get ready to experience the enchantment of Christmas markets. 

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