If he’s drinking Powdered winePerusing the endless booths of holiday goods and admiring the thousands of twinkling fairy lights feels like your own winter wonderland. Plan to celebrate the season at one of… EuropeHoliday markets. Traditional Christmas markets date back hundreds of years and are still very popular today in many European countries.
The weather is cold (and snowy in some destinations). However, experiencing the twinkling lights, scents of traditional foods and holiday cheer can be the best ways to combat the cold temperatures. Since many markets start in November and continue through the holidays, travelers have plenty of opportunities to score a fall or winter flight deal or redeem awards during off-peak times.
Here are some of the best Christmas markets in Europe, with tips on how to get there and where to stay.
Zurich’s Wienachtsdorf, held at Sechselautenplatz, is one of the city’s largest Christmas markets, enchanting visitors with its festive atmosphere against the backdrop of the Zurich Opera House.
Just a short walk from Lake Zurich, around 100 stalls make up the charming Christmas Village, offering a unique shopping experience with local designers showcasing their signature jewelry and finds. The market also boasts a variety of culinary options, from international dishes to traditional Swiss cuisine at the Fondue-Chalet, ensuring that no visitor will leave hungry. The market, which runs from 23 November to 23 December 2023, is the perfect place for an after-work drink, a day out with friends or family time making candles at Burkliplatz.
Serving: Stay at the Zurich Marriott Hotel, which has renovated rooms and is a 15-minute train ride from the Christmas market. Prices start from 59,000 Marriott Bonvoy points or $278 per night.
It arrives: Zurich is a major transportation hub with many nonstop flights from the United States Swiss International AirlinesBoth United Airlines and Delta Air Lines have nonstop options from the New York area. American Airlines also offers flights from Philadelphia, Charlotte, Dallas, and Phoenix. Then it’s just a quick train ride into the heart of the city.
Mark your calendars for a festive extravaganza at Kongens Nytorv (New King’s Square), running from November 3 to December 21, 2023.
As the largest market in Copenhagen, it transforms into a captivating wonderland decorated with twinkling Christmas lights and dazzling decorations. Navigate through a maze of wooden stalls, each filled with delicious Danish food, games and more. Children will be happy to take a photo with Santa, while adults can relax with a warm cup of Christmas punch. Couples don’t miss out on an enchanting stroll along the historic cobblestone lanes. With High Bridge Square and Nyhavn nearby, there are many other markets you can explore too.
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Serving: Nobis Hotel Copenhagen strikes the perfect balance for travelers looking for proximity to the city’s bustling hotspots while still enjoying a quiet getaway away from it all. Additionally, the luxury accommodation can be booked using Marriott Bonvoy points. Prices start at 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points or $310.
It arrives: There are a few nonstop options to Copenhagen from the US, including New York City, Chicago, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Boston, Miami and San Francisco. Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) It is the main provider, but other airlines, e.g IcelandairWe offer layover options to get cheaper flight tickets.
From 17 November 2023 to 6 January 2024, Edinburgh is transformed into a winter wonderland, hosting one of the UK’s most luxurious and beloved Christmas markets. Picture over 130 charming cottages, each lit up with festive lights and dotted with decorations, creating a magical atmosphere.
These stalls offer a plethora of local handmade gifts and an array of delicious dishes for you to sample. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy an enchanting ride on the Big Wheel, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the entire festive event. The festival has something special for everyone, with many rides suitable for children and adults and even a Santa’s Grotto for an up-close encounter with Santa Claus.
Related: How to spend one day in Edinburgh
Serving: The Hilton Edinburgh Carlton is the best choice to enjoy the festivities at the Edinburgh Christmas Market, just a short walk away, with prices starting from around $253 or $60,000. Hilton Honors points at night. Another great option is Hotel Indigo Edinburgh — Princes Street, an IHG hotel, starting at $195 or $38,000 IHG One Rewards Points per night. For a luxurious stay, consider the iconic Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian on Princes Street, which offers stunning castle views from around $275 or 67,000 Hilton Honors points per night.
It arrives: Direct flights to Edinburgh are available from New York City, Boston, Orlando, Atlanta, Chicago and Washington, D.C., through Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and other airlines.
Browse through more than 100 kiosks at The largest Christmas market in Vienna, on Rathausplatz City Hall Square (from November 19 to December 26). Children will love the reindeer train, Ferris wheel and carousel – and there’s even a nativity track. This year, the market and its stalls will focus on improving sustainability, so expect more eco-friendly products and materials.
Planning a winter visit? Pack your rental skates at Vienna Ice World in City Hall Square to skate around the 96,000-square-foot rink. (Exact dates are to be determined, but the rink should be open from January to March 2024.)
Serving: the Park Hyatt Vienna It is the ultimate in Viennese luxury: high arched ceilings, an indoor pool, chandelier-adorned suites and marble bathrooms. Winter rates start at €456 ($457) or 21,000 Hyatt Honors points per night, but are significantly higher around Christmas.
It arrives: Austrian Airlines, the flagship carrier, is part of Star Alliance. If you have miles on any partner airline, you should be able to get a seat with a good rating. Austrian Airlines flies direct from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), and Washington, D.C.’s Dulles International Airport (IAD). , with seasonal flights from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). If you’re flying to a European hub such as London Heathrow Airport (LHR), British and Austrian Airlines fly non-stop between the two cities, as well as low-cost carriers such as Wizz Air and Ryanair.
Germany is one of the most popular countries in Europe when it comes to Christmas markets, as there is one in almost every city. We couldn’t choose just one, so here are some of the best:
- Cologne: This city, famous for its towering Gothic cathedral, has not one but seven different Christmas markets, including an LGBTQ-friendly Christmas market (most of which run from November 23 to December 23).
- Munich: Bavaria’s most famous market usually runs on Marienplatz Square, which is decorated with thousands of candles and has more than 100 stalls (from November 27 to December 24).
- Munich Airport: Get into the holiday spirit (even go ice skating) during a long layover at Munich International Airport (MUC), which turns into a Christmas market (November 17 to December 31).
- Frankfurt: Enjoy shopping and a 100-foot Christmas spectacle at Frankfurt’s main Christmas market (November 27 to December 21).
- Nuremberg: In addition to her international fame Gingerbread (Gingerbread), keep an eye on this market Christian childa young lady with curly blond hair and dressed as a golden angel who appears frequently at the celebrations (December 1 to 24).
- Berlin: The German capital has a number of Christmas markets, but one of the best is the one surrounded by two cathedrals at Gendarmenmarkt (November 27 to December 30). Expect typical food and shopping but also wonderful holiday-inspired performances from fire eaters, acrobats, jugglers and choirs playing classic Christmas tunes, jazz and gospel.
- Dresden: One of the country’s oldest and largest markets, the Striezelmarkt, located in what was former East Germany, features puppet theatres, storytime and gingerbread decorating workshops (November 29 to December 24).
Serving: the JW Marriott Frankfurt It features 219 rooms and more than 200 hand-painted pieces of art by German artist Hartwig Eberbach. Rates start at €264 ($264) or 45,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.
It arrives: Star Alliance partner Lufthansa operates direct flights to Germany from several US airports, including major hubs such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), as well as smaller airports such as Denver International Airport (DEN).
If you want to visit in comfort and style, you can enjoy one of the most popular places Ways of fifth freedom Outside the United States, it is served by Singapore Airlines between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Frankfurt Airport in Germany (FRA). Ultra-luxury business class awards on this route cost 81,000 miles each way Singapore Airlines ChrisFlyer. You can transfer points to KrisFlyer from all… Transferable points programs — American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Rewards, City thank you And Chase the ultimate rewards.
You can’t go wrong with the markets in French cities like Lyon and Lille. However, Christkindelsmarik in Strasbourg, near the city’s cathedral, is one of France’s most popular holiday spots for sipping mulled wine, and sampling French winter fare such as flambé or sugar tarte. Wide parts Biscuits and shopping among the wooden stalls (November 24 to December 24).
The city is known as the Christmas capital. Strasbourg’s towering Christmas tree, millions of twinkling lights and festive ice skating rink can convince any Grinch to love the holiday season.
Serving: Consider staying at one of the city’s newest hotel additions, Aloft Strasbourg Etoile. The hotel is welcoming and modern, just a 15-minute walk from the main Christmas market. Rates start at €96 ($96) or 21,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.
It arrives: Strasbourg is a smaller city, and you can’t fly nonstop from the US. Alternatively, you can fly into Strasbourg Airport (SXB) from hubs such as Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD) or Amsterdam. Schiphol Airport (AMS). Or plan a stop to visit the Christmas market at Munich Airport (see above), then continue your flight to Strasbourg. You can also take a train from Frankfurt or Paris to the French city.
Sample Baltic holiday treats like black pudding and gingerbread with spiced wine at a Christmas market in Tallinn’s medieval Town Hall Square (December 1-January 7).
The setting is simply amazing. The historic buildings are surrounded by stalls selling Christmas goods and decorations (many heart-shaped, as Estonians firmly believe that Christmas is a time for love), with a huge tree as the centrepiece.
This season, there will be two different carousels for little ones and a double-decker holiday bus to take around the city.
Serving: the Radisson Blu Sky Hotel It is located a short walk from the town square, which you can view from the hotel’s outdoor terrace overlooking the Estonian capital. Prices start at €96 ($96) or $44,000 Radisson Rewards Points per night.
It arrives: Although you can’t fly nonstop from the US to Tallinn Airport (TLL), you can easily connect to hubs like Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW), Istanbul Airport (IST), Frankfurt, or Brussels Airport (BRU) and then fly . more. If you are taking Finnair between the United States and Helsinki Airport (HEL), the ferry to Tallinn takes about 3 1/2 hours. From various London airports, you can fly to Tallinn on low-cost airlines such as Air Baltic, Ryanair or Wizz Air.
While the markets of Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges have a smaller, more charming and relaxed atmosphere, Brussels’ Winter Wonder Market (24 November to 31 December) is the largest and most impressive in Belgium, with more than 200 stands roaming the city centre. .
Take a spin around the ice rink, soar high on the Ferris wheel or enjoy a visit from Santa. The market also offers an immersive Christmas audio and visual show, a creative way to experience all the holiday fun.
Serving: Budget travelers can stay in the middle of all the action Holiday Inn Express Grand Palace For up to €133 ($133) or 27,000 IHG One Rewards points per night (breakfast included).
It arrives: Travel to Brussels Star Alliance Moving companies from centers such as New York and Washington, DC. Some of your one-way redemption options include United MileagePlus, Avianca LifeMiles, Air Canada Aeroplan, and Singapore KrisFlyer. Consider combining a trip to Brussels with other European cities (or Christmas markets) using Brussels Airlines’ stopover service. this Stop program Passengers are allowed to stay from one to five nights at no additional charge in Belgium.
If you fly from the US to London, you can fly to Brussels on British Airways and Brussels Airlines. Taking Eurostar The train between London and Brussels is an alternative option – the journey takes just over two hours. Fares start at £33 ($37) each way.
Prague, Czech Republic
It’s hard to decide whether you want to visit Prague’s Old Town Square Market or Wenceslas Square Market. Given that they are a 10-minute walk from each other, it is easy to visit both (December 2nd to January 6th).
There is also another market near Prague Castle. Markets sell similar goods, such as Medovina honey wine, and Czech crafts such as dolls and dolls, but the Old Town Square houses live animals such as sheep and donkeys for children to pet.
ServingLocated a 10-minute walk from Old Town Square, Hilton Prague Old Town offers modern amenities and renovated guest rooms that still retain Prague’s old-world charm. Room rates start at €145 ($145) or 33,000 points per night.
It arrives: Find Great deals Over the next few months, she will be flying to Prague from the United States with TAP Air Portugal and LOT Polish Airlines. Fares from Chicago O’Hare Airport, Miami International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, and Dulles International Airport can be found for $500.
Many airlines fly to Vaclav Havel Airport Prague (PRG) from many European hubs, and it is also a cost-effective way to travel during the winter. Although British Airways has a direct route to the capital of the Czech Republic, it is easy to get there if your Avios are not completely full via Low cost carriers Such as Ryanair, EasyJet, Jet2 and Wizz Air from different London airports.
Just be sure to check the rules before flying on low-cost European airlines, so you’re not surprised.
It has been voted several times as the best Christmas market in Europe, making Zagreb’s holiday magic truly special. In fact, the entire city is decorated with lights, nativity scenes and ornaments. Start with a visit to the Christmas Market in Zrinjevac Park (December 2 to January 7), where you can sample hot specialties StrokelyOr pastries with melted cheese Ginger men Cookies paired with wine warm you up while you browse for handmade ornaments and toys.
Then visit Zagreb Cathedral with the famous Nativity scene outside. You can end the evening with a few laps around the ice rink in King Tomislav Square or a ride on the carousel in Strossmayr Square.
Serving: Within walking distance of the Christmas action, Westin Zagreb Ideal for those who want a quiet, contemporary space to relax while staying close to all the holiday joy. Rates start at €108 ($108) or 15.00 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.
It arrives: Getting to Zagreb Franjo Tudman Airport (ZAG) will take you more than one flight: There are no nonstop flights available from the US to the Croatian capital, and United’s seasonal nonstop service from Newark Liberty International Airport to Dubrovnik Airport (DBV) only operates from May To October.
You will need to stop first at destinations such as London, Frankfurt, Istanbul or Frankfurt on your way to Zagreb on different airlines. British Airways and Croatia Airlines both fly between London and Zagreb, and Ryanair also operates from London Stansted Airport (STN).
Wander through more than 160 snow-covered wooden stalls at Basel’s Christmas Market, which stretches from Barfusserplatz to Munsterplatz (November 22 to December 22). Steaming cup of Powdered wine Perfectly complements traditional delights such as pancakes, gingerbread and melted Swiss raclette.
Serving: the new Marriott Basel It offers the best of Swiss culture without sacrificing modernity. Rates start at around CHF169 ($171) or 27,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.
It arrives: Getting to EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg (BSL) from the United States requires a stop somewhere in Europe. The airport is actually located in France, although it is only a short drive from Basel and the German border, and is ideal for visiting three countries in one trip. You can also fly Swiss International Airlines to Zurich, making a quick stop there before hopping on the Swiss Federal Railways train to Basel, which can be booked as one full ticket on the Swiss website.
If London is your preferred international hub, getting to Basel from the UK is simple. You can fly with EasyJet from London Gatwick Airport (LGW), Manchester Airport (MAN), Edinburgh Airport (EDI), or British Airways from London Heathrow Airport (LHR).
Christmas markets It’s a festive way to celebrate the holidays, complete with local gastronomy, mulled wine, ice skating and sparkling holiday decorations.
If you want to visit other European destinations, check before booking to see if your destination has a market. Many cities have versions of these seasonal markets, including Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Madrid, Budapest and Krakow.