Best Christmas Markets to visit in 2021
T’was the month before Christmas when all through the land
All the markets were stirring and set to expand.
Christmas 2021 is spreading joy to the world as traditional markets open up in major European capitals from this week on.
Browsing festively festooned stalls for trinkets and gifts, while sipping mulled wine or hot chocolate, has become as much a part of the Christmas experience as turkey dinner and pulling crackers.
So we’ve had a look at some of the best Christmas markets 2021 across the continent to help you plan your perfect pre-Christmas break.
Prague Christmas Markets 2021
From November 27th, 2021 to January 6th, 2022
Opening on November 27th and running until January 6th, the Czech capital’s markets are divided into five sections.
The main attractions are in Old Town Square and quite fittingly, Wenceslas Square.
The three smaller markets are at Republic Square, Kampa Island and Prague Castle.
Traditional crafts, jewellery and lace are some of the star attractions of the brightly decorated wooden huts while large spit-roasted hams and craft beer are the favoured fare.
If you manage to get all your shopping done, you might even be lucky enough to squeeze in a performance of the seasonal ballet, the Nutcracker, at the National and Hybernia Theatres.
Vienna Christmas Markets 2021
Rathausplatz Christmas Market: from November 12th, 2021 to December 26th, 2022
Belvedere Market: from November 19th, 2021 to December 26th, 2022
Noted for their natural representation of the season and lack of plastic gaudiness, the Austrian capital’s markets are plentiful, with about ten major players leading the charge.
Packed with over 150 stalls, the Christkindlmarkt at Rathausplatz is the largest but a close second is the Belvedere Market, set against the stunning backdrop of the illuminated palace. The former is already in full swing having welcomed visitors since November 12th while the latter is due to have the lights on from November 19th. Both will run until St. Stephens Day.
And to make the most of your seasonal stay in the home of classical music, try to catch one of the many Christmas concerts scheduled around the city.
Budapest Christmas Market 2021
From November 19th, 2021 to January 1st, 2022
The shimmering spectacle of the Advent Fair in St Stephens Square is set to sparkle from November 19th to January 1st under the theme of ‘In Love and Safety’.
The packed program includes a free ice rink, a daily light projection display on the Basilica façade and live music.
Local bands and choirs will perform throughout the day on the fair’s stage while shoppers peruse the 100 artisan and gastronomic vendors on offer.
And if all that retail therapy isn’t enough to relax you in the Hungarian city, take a thermal dip in the Szechenyi Baths, where the hot springs are only more blissful against the crisp winter air.
Krakow Christmas Market 2021
From November 26th, 2021 to December 26th, 2021
Standing between the famous Cloth Hall and St Mary’s Basilica, the Krakow Christmas Market takes over Rynek Glowny square from November 26th to December 26th.
This is the market for all the foodies out there, with grilled meat stations and savoury dumplings providing the sustenance while sweet vodka-based drinks help it go down smoothly.
Due to its proximity to the Tatra Mountains, snow is always a good bet for Krakow at this time of year so if you are dreaming of walking in a winter wonderland, this might be the market for you.
Brussels Christmas Market 2021
From November 26th, 2021 to January 2nd, 2022
An event attracting over two million visitors each year, Winter Wonders will take place at the Grand Place and in the centre of the Belgian capital from November 26th to January 2nd.
Highlights of the event will be a 200 stall Christmas market, an ice staking rink and a sound and light show.
New for 2021 is a high tec dome in the pedestrian zone offering audiovisual performances, films, concerts and family activities. Helping Santa to entertain kids will be his little blue Belgian buddies, The Smurfs.
For the older kids, there will be curling and toboggan runs at the Bois de la Cambre.
Berlin Christmas Market 2021
From November 22th, 2021 to December 31st, 2021
The atmospheric market at Gendarmenmarkt is the picture-perfect Christmas scene, nestled between the Französischer Dom and Deutscher Dom in the German capital.
In the market’s large crafts tent, visitors can observe woodcarvers, belt makers, dressmakers, comb makers and other craftspeople at work while graphic artists, photographers, stonemasons and painters display their talents.
As well as the usual festive delicacies, this market offers visits something a little different in the form of jugglers, fire eaters and various styles of live music.
The city’s most popular market runs from November 22nd to December 31st.
*All information is correct as of 16 November 2021