Learn all about the best European Christmas markets with our guide to some of the finest in Belgium, Germany, France, Czech Republic and Austria. If it’s a beautiful Bavarian winter you’re looking for, or a festive French market for a fun weekend away, our yuletide guide will point you in the right direction. So pack your scarf and wooly hat, as well as your shopping bag, and get ready to create some new Christmas memories, all with directions provided by the RAC Route Planner.
Bruges Christmas Market
Already known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, from November 23rd to January 1st the Bruges Christmas Market turns an already stunning city into a glorious Winter Wonderland. Apart from Christmas Day, the city is lined with lights that are on from 10am till 7pm. The market is free to enter but there is a small charge for skating on the ice rink. There are, in fact, a number of smaller markets around the city, but the proximity of the markets only adds to the feeling that the whole city has turned into a giant festive market.
RAC Route Planner journey time: 1hrs 17mins
Berlin Christmas Market
For many, Berlin Christmas Markets are the epitome of Christmas. With many holiday-makers seeking a traditional holiday, and coziness permeating the city, Berlin captures the hearts and imaginations of all those who visit. Not just one market, in fact there well over 50 individual Christmas markets in the city over the holiday period, from November 26th until New Year’s Eve. With a wide and diverse range of booths available, visitors will be spoilt for choice with some of the finest stalls the country, if not Europe, has to offer.
RAC Route Planner journey time: 8hrs 46mins
Brussels Christmas Market
Famous for its food, especially chocolate, it is no surprise that the Brussels Christmas Market is one of the most popular destinations for holiday-makers during the festive season. Open from November 23rd, the market can be found outside the stunning Place Saint Catherine. There is an enormous range of drink on offer, with delicious mulled wines and beers, as well as mouthwatering food, from gingerbread, chips, hot dogs, paellas to their world-famous Belgian waffles. There is also a large and beautifully lit Christmas tree next to the Town Hall and ice rinks for adults and children.
RAC Route Planner journey time: 1hrs 58mins
Lille Christmas Market
With its beautifully lit paths and delicately decorated wooden huts, the Lille Christmas Market is one of the prides of France. Its dazzling Ferris wheel delights children and adults alike and offers a view of the city that is second to none. With the Ferris wheel illuminating the main square you will find over 80 wooden huts offering an array of mulled wines, foods and other festive treats. Running from November 19th until New Years’ Eve (though temporarily closed for Christmas Day), stalls are open from 11am to 9 pm for the whole season.
RAC Route Planner journey time: 1hr 9mins
Vienna Christmas Market
Widely regarded as one of the most romantic cities on the planet, the Vienna Christmas Market is a must for lovers of Austria’s capital. Starting from the end of November, the market is open until Christmas Day. Similarly to Berlin, there are a number of little markets sprinkled across the city, with the biggest saved for the square in front of City Hall. Drawing visitors from all over the world, Vienna’s market is truly unique, with its intricately decorated Christmas trees and Shoenbrunn Palace providing an unforgettable backdrop to the Schoenbrunn Christmas Village.
RAC Route Planner journey time: 12hrs 23mins
Find information here on European Breakdown Cover.