With December just days away there’s no better way to get yourself into the Christmas spirit than to visit one of the many Christmas markets across the UK or maybe for the more adventurous across the channel. With hundreds of unique gifts for you to browse, great-smelling food and drink stalls and the wonderful sights and sounds on offer they make a perfect outing for the Christmas season. We have put together a list of our favourite Christmas markets in the UK and Europe so you can find the perfect one for you.
1. London, Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland
November 21st to January 5th
Opening times- 10am – 10pm
Winter Wonderland is now one of the best know Christmas markets in the UK and it truly is a celebration of everything that is Christmas. Located in Hyde Park, central London and with free general entry, it offers a variety of activities including over 200 cabins selling everything from traditional goods through to many bars and eateries. There’s numerous festive fairground rides, ice skating, the circus and ice and snow sculptures to admire (these items require purchase of a ticket).
2. Arras, France
November 29th to December 30th
Opening times- 12pm – 8:30pm Monday to Thursday, 12pm – 10pm Friday, 10am – 10pm Saturday, 10am – 8:30pm Sundays
Arras is under an hour from Calais so great for a day trip especially if using Eurotunnel. Located in the magnificent Grand Place square there are over 100 chalets that sell a variety of Christmas products, from local produce, especially of the alcoholic variety and many handmade gifts. They also have other activities for you to enjoy such as a big wheel and an ice skating rink. If you’re visiting as a day trip why not stop at Bethune as you drive down the A26, another wonderful square dominated by it’s UNESCO Belfry. Although a small market the setting is great for a wander and a beer, there’s normally a petting area for children with Reindeer, Donkeys among others. Amiens is also a short drive away and worth a visit with over 100 stalls and the historic Gothic Cathedral as a back drop. In fact it’s quite easy to visit Amiens, Arras and Bethune in a day. Although popular we wouldn’t recommend the local temptation of Lille, the markets basic and traffic can be a pain.
3. Strasburg, France
November 22nd to December 30th
The Strasburg Christmas market is one of the oldest markets in France, dating back to 1570, it’s also one of the most popular with over two million visitors each year. The market is spread out across the city with 300 chalets in 11 locations around the city, mostly around the Gothic Cathedral offering traditional decorations and of course plenty of Alsatian food and drink.
4. Bath, Bath Christmas market
28th November to December 15th
Opening times- 10am – 7pm Monday through Wednesday, 10am – 8pm Thursday through Saturday 10am – 6pm on Sundays
This award-winning Christmas Market has over 150 chalets across the city centre, selling local and handmade Christmas Gifts. When you’ve finished shopping why not head for the ice rink or even the glow-in-the-dark crazy golf course, yes really!
5. Vienna, Austria
15th November to December 26th
Vienna has more than 20 Christmas markets dating back to 1298. The main market, located right in front of City Hall, has over 150 stalls selling products in a Christmas Wonderland. At night the Hall is lit up like a Christmas tree and there are activities for the kids inside.
6. Chester, Chester Christmas Market
November 16th to December 22nd
Opening times- 10am – 6pm Monday through Wednesday and Sundays, 10am – 8pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday
With over 70 wooden chalets in the heart of Chester, this market is the perfect opportunity for you to buy Christmas gifts of local and regional products.
7. Frankfurt, Germany
November 25th to December 22nd
Opening times- 10am – 9pm Monday through Saturday, 11am – 9pm Sunday
As one of the oldest markets in Europe the Frankfurt Christmas market features 200 stalls in the iconic Römerberg square, selling traditional products. You can also have guided tour around the market.
8. Antwerp, Belgium
December 7th to January 5th
Opening times- 12pm – 10pm Monday through Thursday, 12pm – 12am Friday and Saturday, 12pm – 10pm Sunday
100 stalls selling traditional gifts stretch from the cities Groenplaats to the market square. However it’s not just market stalls they have but also a Ferris wheel so you can see the lights of the city from up high. Don’t miss out on the delicious Antwerpse handjes’ hand-shaped cookies or chocolates and of course you can’t visit Belgium without the pomme frites.
9. Edinburgh, East Princes Street Gardens Christmas Markets
November 16th to January 4th
Opening times- 10am – 10pm
This traditional Christmas market is in the city centre of Edinburgh, with a variety of crafts, artists and gift shops.
10. Manchester, Cathedral Gardens Christmas Markets
November 8th to January 5th
Opening times- 10am – 9pm (craft stalls open until 8pm)
One of Manchester’s many Christmas markets, this family friendly Christmas market has stalls selling arts and crafts for you to give to people this Christmas. As well as a waffle and pancake house and an ice rink to enjoy.
11. Birmingham, Frankfurt Christmas Market
7th November to December 23th
Opening times- 10am – 9pm
Located in Victoria square, Birmingham, this market is the largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany and Austria. It offers traditional gifts and foods such as Pretzels and roasted almonds and as could be expected plenty of mulled wine and German beers.
12. Winchester, Winchester Cathedral Christmas market
21st November to December 22nd
Opening times- 10am – 6.30pm Sunday through Wednesday, 10am – 8pm Thursday through Saturday
The medieval city of Winchester has over 100 wooden chalets, alongside an ice skating rink. The market like many others is inspired by the traditional German Christmas markets and has a range of hand picked exhibitors, selling high quality and interesting products.
Do you have a local or favourite Christmas market that you’d like us to share? Why not drop us an email with some information and we’ll add it to the list! firstname.lastname@example.org