5 Best Winter Markets in Europe to Visit This Christmas

5 Destinations in Europe With the Best Winter Markets for Christmas!

The most wonderful time of the year.

When it comes to capturing the jolly ambience of Christmas, nothing tops a winter trip to Europe. As the days grow colder and the nights become longer, town squares burst into bustling, glittering life. Picture quaint wooden booths and trees wrapped in fairy lights, all set against a backdrop of snow-capped cathedrals and burning log fires.

It’s a magical atmosphere that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. With that thought in mind, here’s a list of European destinations sporting the best winter markets you can visit for Christmas.

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Discover European cities with beautiful winter markets!

1. Amsterdam, Netherlands | Museumplein Christmas Market

A city of canals and bikes, Amsterdam’s old-world beauty blossoms evermore during Christmas. Every year, its Museumplein Park transforms into a fantastical winter wonderland for the holidays – the Museumplein Christmas Market. Nurse a cup of hot chocolate while strolling through the market and enjoy the picturesque view of Rijksmuseum in the background.

Dozens of vendors sell delicious fare like hamburgers, fresh sandwiches, and warm waffles by the fireplace. After that, you can skim across the ice-skating rink with a replica of Amsterdam’s famous Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge).

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Where to stay: Citadines Sloterdijk Station Amsterdam. This apart-hotel is a 12-minute drive from the Museumplein Christmas Market. Expect thoughtfully designed apartments that are the perfect home away from home. These fully-equipped spaces come with a host of modern amenities including a laundrette, kitchens, and a fitness area. A 3-minute walk away from Amsterdam Sloterdijk station, visitors are within easy reach of popular destinations such as the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House.

2. Berlin, Germany | Berliner Weihnachtszeit

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Visiting the Berliner Weihnachtszeit feels like stepping back in time. Located between Red Town Hall and St. Mary’s Church, this winter market will have you discovering all sorts of treats. At the medieval stalls, you can taste bread baked in a traditional foam bakery, and wash it down with warm mead. 

Besides that, you can try some ice skating around Neptune Fountain, a rink that’s popular for its round track. Don’t miss a ride on the 50-metre-high Ferris wheel that offers a fantastic bird’s-eye view of Berlin. When you’re feeling peckish, indulge in more festive treats like currywurst, candied almonds, and glühwein (mulled wine).

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Where to stay: Citadines Kurfürstendamm Berlin. This apart-hotel is a 20-minute drive from  Berliner Weihnachtszeit. It is also just a few steps away from Kurfürstendamn (Ku’damm) Avenue, which is a must-see destination in Berlin. This three-kilometer stretch is filled with stores, restaurants, and cultural hotspots that include Berlin’s largest private theatre: the Theater am Kurfürstendamm.

3. Strasbourg, France | Christkindelsmärik

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Christkindelsmärik, or the Strasbourg Christmas Market, is the oldest of its kind in France. Its legacy is one of beautifully decorated streets, sparkling storefronts, and the dreamlike scents of cinnamon and spices. Throughout the end of the year, Strasbourg becomes one of the most illuminated cities in Europe, with every one of its buildings twinkling with unique decorations.

Explore the breadth of this winter market and prepare yourself for a carnival of the senses. Over 300 chalet-style stalls peddle festive gifts, seasonal treats, and everything in between. The crown of Christkindelsmärik is the massive, 30-metre-tall Christmas tree that stands in front of Place Kléber, wreathed in ornaments and lights.

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Where to stay: Citadines Kléber Strasbourg. This apart-hotel is a 5-minute walk from Christkindelsmärik. It is located on the Grande-Île de Strasbourg, which is the city’s historical centre and a hub for many attractions such as Christkindelsmärik, Notre Dame de Strasbourg, and Petite France.

4. London, United Kingdom | Winter Wonderland

Welcome to a winter market, funhouse, and theme park that’s rolled into one big celebratory Christmas package! Set in Hyde Park, Winter Wonderland welcomes people of all ages into an unforgettable festive extravaganza. Looking for some spin, thrills, and chills? Check out the Munich Looping, the world’s largest transportable roller coaster. There’s also the 85-foot tower drop ride and the Real Ice Slide.

Indulge in your favourite holiday treats and festive treats whenever you want at Winter Wonderland. A variety of booths and stalls await, ranging from simple street food to the classy Bar Ice that serves up festive cocktails amidst an 80s ambiance.

On top of that, you can explore the intricate ice sculptures of Ice Kingdom, take in London’s skyline atop The Giant Wheel, or explore a gigantic, Santa-themed funhouse. The options at Winter Wonderland are simply endless, and each one of them promises an exciting, memorable Christmas experience.

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Where to stay: The Cavendish London. This hotel is a 20-minute walk from Winter Wonderland. A den of class and luxury, The Cavendish London is the perfect place for a seamless stay in the United Kingdom’s capital city. Housing beautiful rooms that are equipped with a bevy of amenities, it sits within easy reach of West End theatres, restaurants, and iconic landmarks.

5. Vienna, Austria | Rathausplatz Market

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Vienna boasts plenty of winter markets during Christmas, but none of them are quite as loved as the Rathausplatz Market. Known more formally as the Wiener Weihnachtstraum, the market’s history stretches back to the year 1600. The warmly lit stalls set against Vienna’s Gothic city hall and the snow-covered streets make for a truly enchanting sight. It’s no wonder this market is often called the Viennese Dream.

Here, you’ll find everything from reindeer rides to an ice rink for skating and curling. Don’t forget to try out the Ferris wheel too! Once you’re done, fill up on sausages, vanilla cookies, and mulled wine. When it comes to capturing the magic of Christmas, this Viennese winter market is as classic as you can get.

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Where to stay: Citadines Danube Vienna. This apart-hotel is an 18-minute drive from Rathausplatz Market. Located in Danube City, it is close to public transport, being only 100 metres from the U Line. Guests can reach the centre of Vienna in under 10 minutes this way. Citadines Danube Vienna offers a wide range of amenities and services including high-speed WiFi and a private car park. It is also a pet-friendly space.

Which one of these fairytale winter markets will get you feeling the Christmas magic this year? No matter your pick, you can enjoy amazing savings at any one of these destinations in Europe thanks to Ascott Star Rewards!

Say YES to your next adventure! Take advantage of Ascott Star Rewards’ (ASR) Year-end sale from 13 November to 31 December 2023.

Enjoy savings of up to 50%* off stays at any of your favourite ASR participating properties in over 40 countries! *Terms and conditions apply.


Brought to you by Ascott Star Rewards.

About Author

Jeremiah Patrick
Jeremiah Patrick

A journeyman wordsmith wandering the creative lexicon, looking to craft a masterpiece. The only thing on par with Jerry’s love for a good story is the time he spends playing dauntingly difficult video games, reading works of fiction, and listening to horror podcasts. His mood shifts between dark brooding and cheery quips, depending on how much caffeine swirls in his system.