European Christmas markets are a must-see for any avid world traveler. While they can be found in any major city, Eastern Europe takes the cake for having the most extravagant festivals. In Salzburg, Berlin, and Budapest, you will find the best Christmas markets complete with homemade gifts, flavorful foods, and tasty drinks. Each city incorporates its own culture and customs into their market, making each market a unique and magical experience.
The hills are alive with the sound of Christmas cheer. This picture-perfect market is made to look just as it did in the 15th century. Although the market stalls contain vendors of today, many prefer to sell goods that would’ve been found during that time, think homemade knitwear rather than novelty candles. Silent Night was first performed in Salzburg and you can still hear it sung while strolling throughout the market.
If you’re looking for a modern take on the ancient tradition, Berlin’s Christmas markets are the perfect solution. Berlin hosts eighty separate markets throughout the holiday season. Spandau Old Town houses the largest of the markets, complete with Christmas concerts and a plethora of vendors. After indulging on food and drinks, stop by Winter World on Potsdamer Platz for ice-skating, sledding, and curling.
Budapest goes above and beyond with Christmas illuminations at their markets. There are two markets that you must see: Vorosmarty Square and Basilica. Vorosmarty Square is the oldest Christmas market in the city. Vendors sell everything from chimney cakes and mulled wine to handmade goods. Basilica offers the same, but with the addition of a beautiful light show projected onto the Basilica itself.