European Christmas markets usually open the begiining of Advent


The Catholic Travel Guide

European Christmas Markets

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Perhaps one of the most festive events within Europe are the Christmas markets held in many cities and towns on the continent. These are held outdoors, but the warmth of the celebrations along with some great hot drinks and food make the whole thing enjoyable. And the many unique craft items make it a shopper's paradise..

They are becoming especially popular with river cruise lines that will visit several of the markets as they sail along their route.  The boat is your hotel for the night, so no worries about staying so long that you miss the departure.

Most markets are open from about the end of November up until Christmas Eve, but be sure to check out the exact locations to be sure because some of them last until New Year's Eve.

We can't list them all here but among the more notable are those shown below.  But don't overlook the smaller markets that you might find in other towns and cities.

Salzburg: One of Europe's oldest markets, it is smaller and therefore more intimate than many others, but a wonderful experience nonetheless.  For the official website of the Salzburg Christmas market click here.

Czech Republic
Prague Click here for the Prague Experience website.


Colmar:   As you can tell from the photo above, Colmar is one of the most picturesque towns in France.   In addition to the Unterlinden Museum, Colmar is almost picture-perfect as a setting for Christmas markets.  Click here for the official Colmar Christmas markets link.

Strasbourg:  Originating in 1570 this is the country's oldest Christmas market.  Each year, a country is invited to be the official Guest of Honor with its own special entertainment. There are several locations throughout the city.  Click here for the official website of the Strasbourg Christmas Market.

Dresden:  This market has some of the best crafts Germany has to offer, in addition, of course, to the famed blue-and-white creamics for which the city is famous.  Click here for the official website of the Dresden Christmas Market.

Munich  click here for the official website of the Munich Christmas markets.

Nuremberg  Perhaps the most famous market in Germany, the Christkindlesmarkt dates to the mid-sixteenth century.  There are more than 180 wooden stalls.  click here for the official website of the Nuremberg Christmas markets.

Rome  click here for the official Rome tourism site

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The Christmas Market in Tallin Estonia.(photo courtesy Estonia tourism)
Saint Nicolas distributing chocolates (courtesy CRTA/Meyer )
Strasbourg, France.(photo courtesy Strasbourg Tourism).
A typical German Christmas Market.
Prague, Czech Republic.
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