Hi! I would like reccomendations for beautiful Christmas Markets. I don't care if they are large. I prefer them in a village setting. No junk from China being sold. Thanks!
Christmas markets are everywhere. Munich markets tend to be small and scattered across the city except for the big central market. Strasbourg on the border between France and Germany is the oldest in Europe -- or so they claim. Nurnberg is very nice but huge and, of course, Rothenburg is a small village. Lots of choices.
Strasbourg on the boarder between France and Germany is the oldest in
Europe -- or so they claim
They claim that it is the oldest in France, which is probably true. But there are older ones in Germany.
To answer the OP's question, they are more or less everywhere in Germany so a trip to Germany will allow you to visit several within day trip distance from each other.
The Christmas market in the Bavarian city of Bamberg to me is better than the massive crowds at the Nuremberg market. Nuremberg reminds me of visiting Disney World at the height of summer except more drunks!
The Budapest vendors must submit their products in advance for approval. 100% local crafts and products. And they make the top 10 in Europe in most polls and surveys. Not particularly large, but with the most beautiful capital city in Europe as a back drop, hard to forget.
We go to the Xmas Markets EVERY year. Sometimes we do them on our own. Sometimes we take a Xmas Market River Cruise which is a great way to see them. I will send you a PM later this weekend. Our favorites are Passau, Vienna, Salzburg, Strasbourg, Nuremberg (old and authentic despite what others say- plus great concerts, music, food, cathedrals), Trier, Dresden, Regensburg, Cologne, Budapest. The ones in Germany are our favorites.
ChinaLake67: More information on those Christmas Market Cruises please. A quick search yields quite a few options. Thanks.
All the major river cruise lines have Christmas Market cruises. I’ve been on the Rhine, the Danube and the Mainz-Danube Canal . All are different but great. I’ve traveled with Uniworld, Grand Circle, and Gate 1. If you go to CruiseCritic.com and look at their river cruise forums you’ll get a lot of information.
As far as Xmas Market River Cruises - we go almost every year. We have been on Tauck, Uniworld, Viking, AMA, Scenic, Avalon, Gate 1. They are all VERY different. Viking is more 3 star (like Carnival Ocean Cruises). Tauck, Uniworld, Scenic are 5 star and all inclusive including tips, port charges, meals, airport transfers, all excursions, unlimited top shelf alcohol, etc. So when you start looking, be sure you are comparing apples to apples. Tauck is, by far, our favorite. We also like the Xmas Markets along the Danube better than the ones along the Rhine. We book 12-18 mo in advance as they sell out very quickly. Feel free to PM me with questions.
all of these are where people congregate and shop so are in cities and large towns but not villages. Villages are far too small to attract either vendors or shoppers.
You appear to be including all of Europe in your search. Could you narrow down at all which countries or parts of countries you are most interested in?
Above is my Trip Report from 2019.
You can also do a Search here on the Forum, as there's a wealth on info.
From my experience, you are a bit late for lodging availability, especially on the weekends. Perhaps research lodging in your price range first.
Good luck, it's a magical experience,
I loved England's christmas markets! the one next to Winchester Cathedral was probably my favorite. Lincoln was good too! Actually, my absolute favorite was the one held inside Highclere Castle (aka Downton Abbey); got a ring i wear all the time from a jeweler there.
Colmar, France has a wonderful Christmas Market. Also had a lot of fun visiting the nearby Kaysersberg market as well.
Hey @Pat, your attached trip report is amazing, thanks so much!
Sandancisco, I'm glad it was helpful. Hope to return in a few years!
I make a trip report of all the Christmas markets I visit each year.
My favorites over the years have been Ravenna Gorge (small but stunning and you need to book your tickets soonish) Esslingen, Marburg, Büdingen, Idstein, Stuttgart, Mainz, Fulda, Colmar, Strasbourg, and yes, Frankfurt, which has changed over the last couple of years and spread out. It is also one of the oldest ones, going back to 1393.
I prefer the markets with stands that have individual decorated roofs, so Nuremburg looks rather boring to me, with all the stands looking alike, compared to other markets like Frankfurt or Stuttgart.
Plan this year is for Ravenna Gorge (with a torch walk there from Hinterzarten), Cologne, Aachen, Speyer, Worms, Heidelberg, Marburg, Limburg, Koblenz (Winter Garden), Büdingen, Mainz, Wiesbaden, and maybe Bacharach.
I have a special fondness for the Christmas market in Krakow, as its enchanting atmosphere and traditional Polish crafts, fill me with the joy of the holiday season.
We’re seriously considering this for 2024, since we have a summer trip elsewhere for a big anniversary. If we did a shorter trip, without a lot of moving around, suggestions? Pat your TR was helpful. But we’d probably not do a 2 week trip in winter, maybe 10-12 days. We’d probably fly into Zurich, or fly home from Zurich. We’d love to do that as well as probably Strasbourg. Then Brussels? Heard that one is good. We don’t want to move around too much or do too many. Ideas? Spouse would also love a mass at a spectacular cathedral. BTW I should add we have no interest in doing Germany for this trip. So looking for maybe 3-4 cities only. TIA