Top
Image Alt
  >  Events   >  Christmas   >  15 Best Cities for Christmas in Europe
Melissa in a santa outfit petting a dog on a bed
  • Save

Do you want to spend Christmas in Europe this year? What an excellent idea, I couldn’t agree more! A traditional European Christmas is all about Christmas markets, twinkling lights, spiced hot wine, candy and lots of fluffy snow (if we’re lucky enough). 

There are SO many amazing Christmas destinations in Europe that it gets hard to choose which one to visit. But no worries! Scroll down to find my ultimate list of the 15 best cities for Christmas in Europe, as well as reasons why each of them is a wonderful choice, the most Christmassy things to do there, traditional dishes to eat and more! We have the magical Vienna, the ever-so-elegant Paris, Santa’s birthplace and many other famously festive destinations as well. 

In Europe, Christmas celebrations take more than one day – at least three! The main event usually takes place on Christmas Eve, at midnight, as that’s the time when Jesus Christ was born. Europeans celebrate with the Midnight Mass and a big, festive meal. Of course, traditions differ depending on the country, but one thing’s for sure: some of the best places to spend Christmas are in Europe! And the Christmas markets in Europe are simply… incomparable!

The best time to visit each of these European cities is, usually, from mid-November ‘til Christmas day, but most festive markets remain open until New Year’s Eve or until the first days of January.

RELATED READ: Best Christmas Markets in the World

Now let’s find out all about my hand-picked selection of 15 Christmas destinations in Europe:

15 Best cities for Christmas in Europe

1 - Vienna, Austria

Streets in Vienna with people walking past and a large building in the background
  • Save

Vienna is hands-down THE best place for a European Christmas in my opinion!

Vienna’s Christmas Markets (called Christkindlmarkt) are literally the best ones in Europe. The entire city is filled with lights, food and concerts in every corner. When winter comes, this wonderful capital city has something for everyone – from big ice rinks where the little ones can have the time of their lives to traditional stalls that serve gluhwein (mulled wine) hot enough to unfreeze the heart of a grinch.

You can shop for Xmas ornaments, indulge in some stuffed goose or sacher torte at Hotel Sacher or simply walk around the beautifully lit streets in the evening. But, whatever you do, make sure you don’t miss a classic Christmas concert such as the ones at Vienna Opera House – they’re magical!

REASONS TO CHOOSE VIENNA AT CHRISTMAS TIME: around 24 superb Christmas markets all around the city, unique cuisine and cookies, loads of classical holiday concerts everywhere

BEST CHRISTMAS MARKET: the one in front of the City Hall (Rathausplatz) called “Vienna Magic of Advent”

MUST-DO CHRISTMASSY ACTIVITIES: taste Weihnachtspunsch (Vienna’s Christmas punch), see the nativity play at St. Peter’s Church, visit Schönbrunn Palace, catch the famous concert called “Christmas in Vienna” by the Vienna Boys Choir at Wiener Konzerthaus, walk along Der Graben street at night, go to the Snow Globe Museum

TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS DISHES: stuffed Christmas goose with red cabbage, Christmas carp, gluhwein (mulled wine), Christstollen (traditional Xmas cake), sachertorte (chocolate cake)

AVERAGE TEMPERATURE IN DECEMBER: 3°C

CHRISTMAS TOURS: 

2 - Prague, Czech Republic

Prague's center square seen from above with thousands of people walking on the streets at night
  • Save

If you’re going to the Czech Republic, Prague must be #1 on your list. But did you know this wonderful capital city is also one of the best European destinations for the Christmas holidays? When December comes, the Old Town Square fully transforms and becomes a Winter Wonderland full of tiny Christmas lights and music. 

While you’re there, make sure to admire the Christmas tree in front of St. Vitus Cathedral, the Gothic architecture all around the city, shop for some beautiful glass decorations and indulge in as much traditional food as you can. And hot spiced wine, of course!

REASONS TO CHOOSE PRAGUE AT CHRISTMAS: some of the best Christmas markets in Europe, beautifully lit Gothic architecture and cathedrals, delicious food

BEST CHRISTMAS MARKET: the one in the Old Town Square, followed by the one at Wenceslas Square

UNMISSABLE CHRISTMASSY ACTIVITIES: visit the Xmas markets, admire the Old Town Square and St. Charles Bridge, indulge in grilled sausages and beer

CHRISTMAS DISH: fish soup, fried carp, Pražská Klobása (grilled sausage), Prazska Sunka (spit-roasted ham), Trdelnik (chimney cake)

AVERAGE TEMPERATURE IN DECEMBER: 2°C

CHRISTMAS TOURS:

3 - London, England

Street in London with people and Christmas angels hanged above the streets
  • Save

RELATED READ: Christmas Day in London: 15 Festive Things to Do

Disclaimer: I’m not adding London as #3 on this list because I’m a London girl, but because it 100% deserves it’s spot here!

Sure, London is an excellent destination all year long with its world-famous landmarks, beautiful streets, buildings and incredible cuisine. But the city seems to completely transform in December! There are countless ice rinks, midnight mass celebrations, beautifully decorated window shops everywhere you look, Xmas markets and everything in-between. London is a mix of cultures and traditions, so don’t be surprised to find food stalls serving international cuisines at the Christmas Markets! 

REASONS TO SPEND XMAS IN LONDON: lots of gorgeous Christmas markets, skating rinks, excellent shopping opportunities, festively decorated shops, Christmas carol concerts, endless xmas activities

BEST CHRISTMAS MARKET: Southbank Centre Winter Market and Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park

UNMISSABLE CHRISTMASSY ACTIVITIES: the Carol Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, midnight mass at Westminster Abbey, admire the Xmas tree at Trafalgar Square (which is donated by Norway every year), do some seasonal shopping at Regent Street

CHRISTMAS DISHES: turkey, Yorkshire pudding, pigs in blankets, mince pies, cranberry sauce

AVERAGE TEMPERATURE IN DECEMBER: 5°C

CHRISTMAS TOURS: 

4 - Strasbourg, France

Street in Strasbourg at night with lots of christmas decorations hanged
  • Save

Did you know that Strasbourg is known under the nickname of “Christmas Capital”? Yep – and that’s because it hosts one of the oldest Xmas markets in Europe.

This gorgeous place in Alsace, France has Christmas Markets (called Marchés de Noël) dating from 400 years ago, giant Christmas trees and incredible half-timbered houses scattered everywhere you look. And let’s not forget about traditional Alsatian gastronomy which is really… something else!

TIP: In case you get bored of Strasbourg and want to further explore the region, this city is a perfect starting point to explore other towns on the Wine Route of Alsace. You can either do this by train or with a rented car for a complete Christmas getaway!

REASONS TO CHOOSE STRASBOURG AT CHRISTMAS: no less than 2 million people go to Strasbourg for Christmas each year to admire its architecture, explore some of the best Christmas markets in Alsace, and indulge in its German-French-fusioned gastronomy

BEST CHRISTMAS MARKET: the one at Notre-Dame Cathedral (Marche de Noel Strasbourg Christmas Market) – also considered one of the best in the world!

UNMISSABLE CHRISTMASSY ACTIVITIES: see the giant Christmas tree at Sharing Village, shop for traditional crafts at the markets, wander around the Old Town (part of UNESCO World Heritage)

CHRISTMAS DISHES: flammekueche (tarte flambée), honey gingerbread, bredele cookies, roasted chestnuts, vin chaud (mulled wine)

AVERAGE TEMPERATURE IN DECEMBER: 3°C

CHRISTMAS TOURS:

5 - Budapest, Hungary

Large Christmas Tree in the center of Budapest with a fence around it and lots people surrounding the fence
  • Save

Budapest is the capital of Hungary and a brilliant European destination, especially for city breaks. This city has something for everyone: monuments, cool restaurants, hot baths, lots of culture and everything in-between. But I’m pretty sure you didn’t expect it to be #5 on my list of top places in Europe to spend Christmas, right? Heh, I guess Hungarians really take their celebrations seriously with lots of markets scattered all around the city, carolling and heaps of traditional food.

One of the best things about spending your winter holidays in Budapest is the fact that this city is definitely on the affordable side when it comes to plane tickets, accommodation and general expenses. Oh, and if you’re feeling too chilly, you can always take a hot dip at the Szechenyi Baths, a traditional outdoor hot spring – one of the most Budapest-y things to do!

REASONS TO CHOOSE BUDAPEST AT CHRISTMAS: affordable + the main Xmas Market in the city was awarded the third most beautiful market in Europe in recent years

BEST CHRISTMAS MARKET: the one at Vorosmarty Square

UNMISSABLE CHRISTMASSY ACTIVITIES: skate at the ice rink in Budapest Park, take a ride with the Christmas Light Tram, attend the Christmas Mass at St. Stephen’s Basilica, join the Hungarian Folk Show, go to the Grand Opera House to see “Budapest Nutcracker Ballet”

CHRISTMAS DISHES: Kurtoskalacs (chimney cake), roasted chestnuts, goulash, grilled sausages, forralt bor (mulled wine)

AVERAGE TEMPERATURE IN DECEMBER: 2°C

CHRISTMAS TOUR: 

6 - Tallinn, Estonia

empty streets of Tallin with christmas decorations at night
  • Save

Although small, Tallinn is one of the most charming destinations in Europe, especially when it comes to December celebrations! Seeing the beautiful Christmas tree in the Town Hall Square of Tallinn is already a tradition – they’ve been putting it up since 1441 and it was basically the first Christmas tree in the world, can you believe it?

Although Tallinn is a great destination year-round, it’s at Christmas that this capital city comes to life and its main square becomes glittering and jolly. There are Christmas markets and Christmas Villages scattered all around the city, heaps of gingerbread sweets, hot chocolate, spiced wine and, if the snow becomes too much for you, you can always go to a local sauna to warm yourself the traditional way.

REASONS TO CHOOSE CHRISTMAS IN TALLINN: very high chances of snow due to its location, iconic destination as it’s the first city in the world to have a public Xmas tree erected in its main square

BEST CHRISTMAS MARKET: the one at the Town Hall Square (Raekoja Plats)

UNMISSABLE CHRISTMASSY ACTIVITIES: visit the Christmas Village at the Estonian Open Air Museum, admire the medieval churches (UNESCO-listed), ice skate in the Old Town, climb to see the views from Toompea Castle, join a classical concert

CHRISTMAS DISHES: pork with black pudding, sauerkraut and lingonberry jam, aspic (meat in gelatin), blood sausage (verivorst), gingerbread, marzipan

AVERAGE TEMPERATURE IN DECEMBER: -3°C

7 - Nuremberg, Germany

Streets of Nuremberg with people walking down the street and christmas decorations hanged up
  • Save

Now here’s a well-known fact among Xmas lovers: nothing can compare to German Christmas Markets. And the one in Nuremberg (called a ‘Christkindlesmarkt’), a city in Northern Bavaria, is the first one to become a true landmark of the city, attracting thousands of tourists every winter. You’ll find countless stalls selling food, sweets, handmade objects but also contemporary design items, which I think is a pretty cool addition.

By the way, did you know that most Christmas traditions all around Europe originate from Germany? I’m talking about gingerbread, mulled wine, grilled sausages, Christmas markets (dating from the 16th century) and more. So if you want to truly experience this wonderful holiday, you know where to go for a German Christmas!

NOTE: If you’re going to visit Nuremberg’s Christmas Market, make sure to pay a visit to the Sister Cities Market as well! It’s a secondary, equally charming Xmas market where you can buy themed goodies from partner cities from all around the world. How awesome is that?

REASONS TO CHOOSE NUREMBERG AT CHRISTMAS: nothing can compare to a German Xmas market (especially the one in Nuremberg), fairytale setting, lots of Christmas traditions emerged here

BEST CHRISTMAS MARKET: Christkindlesmarkt in the main square

UNMISSABLE CHRISTMASSY ACTIVITIES: visit the Sister Cities Market, attend a traditional concert in one of the churches, take a tour of the city in a horse-drawn carriage, take the kids to Hans-Sachs-Platz for some Christmassy activities, get drunk on Feuerzangenbowle

CHRISTMAS DISHES: Nürnberger Lebkuchen (gingerbread cookies filled with a spice mixture), gingerbread houses, Nürnberger Bratwurst (grilled sausage in a bun), mulled wine (glühwein), Feuerzangenbowle (hot drink with wine and rum)

AVERAGE TEMPERATURE IN DECEMBER: 1°C

CHRISTMAS TOURS:

8 - Paris, France

Street Leading to arc de triomphe in Paris with cars driving past it
  • Save

You know how they say… Paris is always a good idea! And this stands true at Christmas as well, when the entire city is covered in snow, twinkling lights and magically decorated shops. Except for the world-famous attractions and charming cafes, Paris at Christmas is THE place to taste traditional dishes, try your hand at ice-skating and, of course, shop ‘til you drop (for gifts or shoes – your choice!). Except for these charming, elegant details, there’s one major advantage of visiting Paris in the winter: fewer tourists! Which means less time wasted in lines at the major attractions and cheaper accommodation.

TIP: In case you’re visiting the City of Lights at Christmas with your little ones, I only have one word for you: Disneyland!

REASONS TO CHOOSE CHRISTMAS IN PARIS: shorter queues at Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, cheaper accommodation compared to the rest of the year, gorgeous decorations + tons of shopping opportunities

BEST CHRISTMAS MARKET: the one next to Notre Dame Cathedral, in Square René Vivani

UNMISSABLE CHRISTMASSY ACTIVITIES: see the gorgeous Christmas decorations at Galeries Lafayette, admire the 400 Christmas trees on Champs-Elysées, buy traditional food and trinkets at the wooden stalls from the Marchés de Noel, go to the Eiffel Tower in the evening

CHRISTMAS DISHES: boeuf bourguignon (beef stew), foie gras, escargots, mulled wine, Kouglehopf (dried fruit cake), souffle

AVERAGE TEMPERATURE IN DECEMBER: 6°C

CHRISTMAS TOURS:

9 - Amsterdam, Netherlands

canal in amsterdam with boats parked up in the evening with christmas decorations on the surrounding trees
  • Save

Amsterdam starts celebrating Christmas in November, so it’s the perfect destination for all enthusiasts that want to get into the Christmas spirit and experience the shiny lights and decorations as soon as possible! Christmas markets, concerts, yummy food, beautifully lit buildings, ferris wheel rides and wonderful walks along the canals – that’s what makes Amsterdam an ideal destination for your Christmas vacation!

TIP: If you choose Amsterdam to spend a magical Christmas, make sure to visit Zwolle as well to attend the Netherlands Ice Sculpture Festival in case you’re interested.

NOTE: Compared to other destinations I mention in this article, in Amsterdam most of the different Christmas markets are held during one weekend only (different for each of them). Luckily, the one at Museumplein is open all season.

REASONS TO CHOOSE CHRISTMAS IN AMSTERDAM: fewer tourists, gorgeous decorations on the bridges and canals, high chances of snow, hearty food perfect for cold days

BEST CHRISTMAS MARKET: the one at Museumplein

UNMISSABLE CHRISTMASSY ACTIVITIES: take a canal cruise to see the gorgeously lit bridges, Amsterdam Light Festival (different theme each year, which is super cool), take a ride on the huge Ferris Wheel, go see the Christmas tree at Dam Square

CHRISTMAS DISHES: Stamppot (mashed potatoes with veggies and meat), Bisschopswijn (mulled wine), Kruidnoten (yummy ginger cookies), Oliebollen (a type of festive donuts)

AVERAGE TEMPERATURE IN DECEMBER: 4,5°C

CHRISTMAS TOURS:

10 - Dresden, Germany

Dresden streets during the day with lots of christmas decorations on the houses
  • Save

Ah, Dresden… a gorgeous Saxon city you probably never had on your shortlist for a vacation, am I right? Well, let me change your mind!

You know all those pretty wood decorations that all Europeans use to adorn their homes and trees when winter comes? Well, they all originated in Dresden, together with the famous nutcrackers, during those times when wood carving was the main activity in the city! Aaand they make some pretty neat souvenirs for your Christmas shopping.

Oh, and did you know that Dresden Christmas Market is the oldest Xmas market in the world? Thank you, Dresden, for such wonderful traditions!

REASONS TO CHOOSE CHRISTMAS IN DRESDEN: the city hosts THE oldest Christmas Market in the world with 200+ stalls, gorgeous wood trinkets, hearty food

BEST CHRISTMAS MARKET: Striezelmarkt (Dresden Christmas Market), right in the city centre

UNMISSABLE CHRISTMASSY ACTIVITIES: visit the ‘medieval’ market at Dresden Royal Palace for a 100% authentic experience with traditional artisans from the nearby villages, take a walk along Elbe river, join a concert or Xmas show at the theatres or museums 

TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS DISHES: Dresden Christstollen (dried fruit bread), sausages, mulled wine

AVERAGE TEMPERATURE IN DECEMBER: 2,5°C

CHRISTMAS TOURS:

11 - Salzburg, Austria

streets of Salzburg with christmas decorations everywhere
  • Save

If you love the mountains, narrow streets and… Mozart, you might fall in love with Salzburg at the first sight. Although this amazing city in Austria is an excellent destination year-round, the city really comes to life in the winter. In addition, it holds one of the best Christmas markets in Europe where you can buy sweets, wooden toys and decorations, plus warm drinks to keep you up and going through the day.

Ahhh… before I forget: you surely are familiar with one of the most famous Christmas carols called “Silent Night” (Stille Nacht), right? I’m sure you do, it’s all around the world. Well, you’ll probably be surprised to know that Salzburg is its birthplace. Yep, Amadeus Mozart was born here!

TIP #1: Movie lover? Why not try the original Sound of Music Tour!

TIP #2: If you want to enjoy a truly magical Christmas, make sure to organise a day trip to the village of Hallstätt as well, only 1 hour away from Salzburg. It’s one of the most beautiful Austrian villages and it looks exactly like it was taken out of a fairytale book. It’s got skiing, carriage rides, 12th century buildings and a superb background of the snow-rich Dachstein Mountains. 

REASONS TO CHOOSE SALZBURG AT CHRISTMAS: it’s Mozart’s birthplace and the birthplace of ‘Silent Night’ carol, lots of day trip opportunities, warming food, gorgeous 17th century buildings

BEST CHRISTMAS MARKET: Salzburg Christkindlmarkt in the centre, in Residenzplatz

UNMISSABLE CHRISTMASSY ACTIVITIES:

CHRISTMAS DISHES: fried carp, Salzburger Nocker (sweet souffle), knödel (dumplings), Lebkuchen (gingerbread), Glühwein (mulled wine), apple strudel, kletzenbrot (fruit bread)

AVERAGE TEMPERATURE IN DECEMBER: 1°C

CHRISTMAS TOURS:

12 - Rovaniemi, Finland | Lapland

Close up of a street lamp and some houses with snow everywhere in Rovaniemi
  • Save

Everyone knows that Santa Claus was born and lives in Lapland or the North Pole, right? I was told this information ever since I was a little girl! But did you know that his exact, official home is at Rovaniemi, a city that actually exists in Finland? And now I’m pretty sure you know why I added this place on my list of the best places to spend Christmas in Europe! Yes, Rovaniemi is in Lapland, so we weren’t told lies in our childhoods. And it’s inside the Arctic Circle, so expect some low temperatures and an authentic experience that few people can brag about!

By the way, because Rovaniemi takes its role seriously, you can actually go to “Santa Village” and have a meet & greet with Santa all year round, not just around Christmas time!

Some other traditions around this area include ice sculptures, reindeer rides in the snow and making gingerbread cookies. You simply can’t get closer to the spirit of Christmas than this!

REASONS TO CHOOSE A ROVANIEMI CHRISTMAS: it’s the home of Santa Claus (and you can actually visit it!), you can take reindeer or husky rides, you can see the Northern Lights and the entire setting is postcard-like

BEST CHRISTMAS MARKET: no Christmas Market here, but you can visit the Santa Claus Village instead

UNMISSABLE CHRISTMASSY ACTIVITIES: go meet Santa and his little helpers at Santa Village (or, if you manage to go on the 23rd of December, you can even wave him off while he starts his journey), visit the Santa Claus Post Office, have a reindeer or husky ride around the city, see the Northern lights, try snowshoeing, help Mrs. Claus make gingerbread cookies, warm yourself in a traditional sauna, stay in an ice hotel

CHRISTMAS DISHES: mashed potatoes with sautéed reindeer, salmon soup

AVERAGE TEMPERATURE IN DECEMBER: -10°C

CHRISTMAS TOURS:

13 - Copenhagen, Denmark

Streets of Copenhagen at night with christmas decorations
  • Save

Super cosy, sparkling and festive – that’s how I would describe a Christmas vacation in Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark. If you identify yourself with the concept of ‘hygge’ (= ‘cosiness’, then this is surely one of the best places to spend your Christmas day!

Copenhagen is very careful about its festive traditions and, during winter, the city awaits with HUGE Christmas markets (of course), Christmas lights (d’uh), lots of goodies to eat from the street food stalls and a relaxed, festive atmosphere that only Danish people can put together!

REASONS TO CHOOSE COPENHAGEN AT CHRISTMAS: gorgeous architecture, big Christmas markets, high chances of snow

BEST CHRISTMAS MARKET: Nyhavn Christmas Market or Julemarked Kongens Nytorv

UNMISSABLE CHRISTMASSY ACTIVITIES: visit Tivoli Gardens amusement park, take a relaxing walk on the waterfront of Nyhavn, join and dine at the Royal Copenhagen’s Christmas table tradition, take a tour of the old candy factory, sip some mulled wine at Hotel d’Angleterre, have some fun at the Frederiksberg Have ice skating rink

CHRISTMAS DISHES: roast pork or roast duck, glögg (mulled wine), risalamande (cold rice pudding with hot cherry sauce), flødeboller (chocolate cream puff)

AVERAGE TEMPERATURE IN DECEMBER: 3°C

CHRISTMAS TOURS:

14 - Edinburgh, Scotland

Streets of Edinburgh at night with christmas decorations and cars driving through
  • Save

Christmas Eve in Edinburgh is hands-down one of the best ideas ever! And if you’re not looking for a huge city, but a charming little one that offers something for everyone instead… then your answer is clear. 

The capital of Scotland is a wonderful option filled with music, lights, handmade souvenirs and heaps of warming food. All window shops are adorned with Xmas decorations and the shopping possibilities are pretty much endless. Make sure you end the day with a stroll on Princes Street!

REASONS TO CHOOSE: charming atmosphere, amazing ice rinks, good weather

BEST CHRISTMAS MARKET: Edinburgh Christmas Market near the Central Station

UNMISSABLE CHRISTMASSY ACTIVITIES: take a walk on Princes Street and George Street, try your skills on an ice skating rink, sip some traditional English tea or festive drinks at the Dome, go see the winter flowers at the Royal Botanic Garden, admire Edinburgh Castle, take an adventure inside the Christmas Tree Maze

CHRISTMAS DISHES: leek and chicken soup (cock-a-leekie soup), roast turkey with roasted potatoes and Brussel sprouts, pigs in blankets, Scottish smoked salmon, Christmas pudding, 

AVERAGE TEMPERATURE IN DECEMBER: 4°C

CHRISTMAS TOURS:

15 - Reykjavik, Iceland

snowy landscape of Reykjavik's city centre
  • Save

In case you’re looking for a bit of an unconventional option for your special Christmas in Europe, why not try Reykjavik? Although it may look like the capital of Iceland doesn’t have a lot going on, it’s actually one of the best Christmas destinations and a great choice for a prolonged winter holiday. That’s if you don’t hate low temperatures, of course!

Reykjavik is the northernmost capital in the world, so you literally can’t get closer to Greenland and winter itself!

Christmas carols, colourful lights and unique dishes for the festive celebration – this is what Reykjavik is all about!

TIP: Reykjavik can be quite expensive, so if you’re already planning on going there… might as well make the best out of it and embark on a cool road trip around the country, right? Road tripping is one of the most popular things to do in Iceland and I’m 100% sure it will be one of your BEST European vacations.

REASONS TO CHOOSE: super winter-y weather and atmosphere, road trip opportunities (ice caves, whale watching etc), Northern lights, 

BEST CHRISTMAS MARKET: Yule Town Christmas market

UNMISSABLE CHRISTMASSY ACTIVITIES: watch the Oslo Christmas tree being lit up, join the Winter Woods Wonderland at the City Hall, buy a traditional sweater made of Icelandic wool, see the Northern Lights, whale watching, go to the famous Blue Lagoon

CHRISTMAS DISHES: Humarsúpa (langoustine soup), Hangikjöt with uppstúfur (smoked lamb with potatoes, peas and Bechamel sauce), Reykjavik Hot Dog, Hangikjöt with uppstúfur (Xmas drink made of a combination of 2 juices)

AVERAGE TEMPERATURE IN DECEMBER: 1°C

CHRISTMAS TOUR:

Other notable options for a Christmas holiday in Europe

Grand Place of Brussels on a snowy evening
  • Save

Can’t get enough of this list? Here is my extra list of amazing destinations in Europe for a fairytale-like Christmas:

  • Zagreb, Croatia – Zagreb is one of those cool European cities that’s been winning the European Advent for the last few years, so it’s surely high up on my list! Plus, I consider it to be a great alternative to Prague if you’re looking for a similar vibe.
  • Koln / Cologne, Germany – Cologne (or Köln in German) is one of the most charming cities in Europe for Christmas shopping, for exploring the nicely decorated streets and for sipping on spiced mulled wine, as this is the place where this drink originated!
  • Vilnius, Lithuania – This is truly one of the most underrated destinations in Europe for Christmas, at least in my opinion! This cute city has Xmas markets, charity bazaars, a huge Christmas tree in the centre, wool souvenirs and more!
  • Brussels, Belgium – An enormous Christmas tree in the middle of Grand Palace, ice skating, yummy food and, of course, LOTS of chocolate waffles – this is what Christmas in Brussels is all about! If you want to read more about Brussels, check out all my articles here.
  • Berlin, Germany – I know that there are many other German places to visit at Christmas before Berlin, but if you’re looking for a mix of coolness and fun traditions, don’t overlook the capital as well! And the restaurants near the Xmas markets in Berlin are perfect for some chilling and socialising.
  • Kraków, Poland – Beautifully decorated squares, church concerts, snowy days and tons of shopping opportunities – sounds pretty good, right? And let’s not forget about the traditional plum cakes!
  • Basel, Switzerland – this might be one of the most unexpected cities in Europe for Christmas, right? But it’s here where you’ll find the most beautiful Christmas market in Switzerland, as well as festive cruises down Rhine River and a unique vibe that will make you fall in love with this celebration!

RELATED READ: 15 Destinations for a Sunny Christmas

BONUS: Christmas itineraries in Europe

Car driving through a road in the middle of a snowy mountains besides the sea
  • Save

Now that you know all about the BEST Christmas destinations in Europe (at least in my opinion), let me offer you some itinerary ideas for those that want to really embark on a beautiful Christmas trip around different cities and destinations. Why choose from these 15 best places when you can visit 3 of them (or more)?

NOTE: All these itineraries are do-able in at least 7 days, preferably 10.

  • Budapest -> Vienna -> Prague
  • Budapest -> Bratislava -> Prague
  • Munich -> Salzburg -> Vienna
  • Salzburg -> Vienna -> Prague
  • Salzburg -> Nuremberg -> Rothenburg ob der Tauber -> Munich
  • Zagreb -> Ljubljana -> Salzburg
  • Paris -> Strasbourg -> Basel
  • London -> Paris -> Amsterdam

RELATED READ: Christmas Checklist – 25 Activities to Get You Feeling Festive

Now I’m pretty sure you’re ready to choose THE perfect destination to spend Christmas in Europe! From Vienna to Prague, Paris, London, Rovaniemi and everything in-between, I have told you ALL my Christmas facts about my 15 top Christmassy places in Europe for an unforgettable vacation. Plus 7 bonus options, as well as 8 itineraries for all Christmas fans out there that want to make the best out of their winter holiday!

Which one is your favourite?

 

xoxo,

Melissa

Pin it for later!

15 Destinations for a White Christmas in Europe
  • Save
15 Magical European Christmas Destinations
  • Save
Want To Stay In The Loop?

Sign Up For Our Newsletter!

You’ll join my exclusive mailing list, plus you’ll gain access to my ever-growing free resource library!

    Melissa in a santa outfit petting a dog on a bed
    • Save

    I’m a travel enthusiast, content creator and sun seeker extraordinaire! I love a good matcha latte, am obsessed with hats and like to give human names to the stray animals that I befriend on my travels ( I’m talking about you, Lesley!) In 2018 I took the leap and switched my London lifestyle for continuous adventures abroad.

    post a comment

    Copy link