European Christmas markets
November 8, 2011 4:26 PM   Subscribe

What are the best European Christmas markets?

We visited the Berlin markets a few years ago and liked them, the Gendarmen Markt particularly. We enjoyed the food and drink as well as decent quality traditional local products. Can you recommend other Christmas Markets around Europe which would make for an enjoyable experience, ie an interesting city with large markets but with potentially other good shopping and points of interest. Not necessarily a clone of Berlin, different cultural contexts are welcome.
posted by biffa to Travel & Transportation (16 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
Rothenburg ob der tauber seems perfect but this website links you to all the German ones.
posted by YukonQuirm at 4:32 PM on November 8, 2011


From my own experience, Bruges and Lincoln are excellent. Bruges is a beautiful medieval city and Lincoln is one of the UK's oldest cities with a wonderful cathedral.
posted by essexjan at 5:01 PM on November 8, 2011


My lord I can't recommend the Viennese Christmas Markets enough. I loved them. In particular I remember the ones near or in the University of Vienna's campus to be awesome.
posted by Carillon at 6:27 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Loved the one in Erlangen.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:46 PM on November 8, 2011


My endorsement isn't worth much, but I was also going to recommend the Rothenburg ob der tauber market. I went there when I was like nine and my memories of it are that it's wonderful.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:49 PM on November 8, 2011


A friend of the family lives in Osnabrueck, which has a museum designed by Daniel Libeskind.
posted by brujita at 9:25 PM on November 8, 2011


Nuremberg has the oldest Christmas Market, and it's also one of the largest. If you then want to do a bit of a Christmas Market tour, Bamburg, Rothenburg o.d. Tauber and Schwabach all are short train rides away and have smaller ones (and in my opinion, they're more enjoyable - you have space to move when you're drinking your gl├╝hwein, unlike in Nuremberg).
posted by cmonkey at 9:56 PM on November 8, 2011


Strasbourg Christmas market is the reference in France.
posted by rom1 at 1:06 AM on November 9, 2011


If you want to try something different to Mitteleuropa then you could give the Barcelona Christmas markets a shot...
posted by garlicsmack at 2:33 AM on November 9, 2011


Cologne and Maastricht both have popular Christmas markets.
posted by neushoorn at 2:40 AM on November 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Prague's Christmas Market is absolutely lovely, although that link seems a rather poor view of it.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:35 AM on November 9, 2011


Brussels will have lots of neat food and drink stalls around Grand Place, and a big market surrounding the Saint Catherine metro station.
posted by troywestfield at 8:13 AM on November 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Manchester in the UK has large markets, though as with many UK markets they are something of a homage to the German ones. There are a few in London, but not to the same scale.
posted by mippy at 8:43 AM on November 9, 2011


I just came here to recommend Alsace's Christmas markets in France too! They're gorgeous.

Also enjoyed the lovely Christmas markets lining the Champs-Elysées in Paris. Lights everywhere, the Seine reflecting them, the Eiffel Tower looking gorgeous... it was quite different from the spring, summer and autumn Paris I'd known until then.
posted by fraula at 10:58 AM on November 9, 2011


We did Munich while I was young and it was very ideal Christmas. Also enjoyed the one in Cannes, but with the nicer weather there, it's a little less Christmas-sy.
posted by dripdripdrop at 11:19 AM on November 9, 2011


One of my favourites is the Valkenburg Christmas market in the Netherlands. It is actually two markets and they are both in caves. I went three years ago and it was really atmospheric.
posted by Laura_J at 12:32 PM on November 9, 2011


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