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Enchanting Christmas markets in Europe to visit this winter

Are you dreaming of a Christmas abroad? Look no further for your travel inspiration. Whether you dream of jetting off for a romantic European Christmas or are looking for fun for the whole family, these festive markets have everything you need to get in the holiday spirit.   

We’ve rounded up the best Christmas markets in Europe to help you celebrate the holiday season. 

Budapest, Hungary

Subodh Agnihotri | iStock

Budapest is home to some of the most beautiful Christmas markets, making it clear this city knows how to celebrate the holidays.   

The Budapest Christmas Fair is the city’s largest and longest-running holiday market. The Christmas fair is at Vorosmarty Square and is a can’t-miss spot for holiday travellers. At it, you can walk through the over 150 stalls selling mouth-watering traditional Hungarian foods and spectacular goods while you take in the magical decorations.   

We recommend diving into delicious Hungarian pastries like chimney cakes or apple strudel. Plus, keep warm while you stroll the market with mulled wine.   

Why stop at just one market? You’ll also want to add the Advent Feast At The Basilica to your itinerary. It was voted the best Christmas market in Europe in 2020, 2022 and 2023. At the magical holiday celebration, you can enjoy traditional food and drinks while you browse stalls for that perfect Christmas gift or souvenir. Remember to pack your skates and glide over the central ice rink under a dreamy array of glowing lights.

Vienna, Austria

sborisov | iStock

Vienna is one of the best places in Europe to visit for the holidays. You won’t want to miss the Vienna Christmas Market. The area transforms every winter into a Christmas wonderland. Everywhere you look, there are sparkling lights and eye-catching decor.  

Walk around the square and discover the carousels, unique handmade gifts, sweets and warm drinks. But make sure to arrive hungry as there are so many desserts to try.  

One top pick is Kaiserschmarrn, a fluffy shredded pancake dessert that is so good you’ll want to order a second plate. 

Trier, Germany

Christmas market in Trier
GeorgHanf | iStock

At Trier Christmas Market, you’ll feel like you’ve entered a Hallmark holiday movie. You’ll find it before the majestic Trier Cathedral at the medieval central plaza.  

You’ll have an unforgettable time exploring nearly 100 booths decorated in bright white twinkling lights while you enjoy Bratwurst or gingerbread. Then, you can stroll past the festive displays and sip hot mulled Viez, an apple wine that is a seasonal favourite.

Brussels, Belgium

Christmas fair in Brussels, Belgium
Poike | iStock

Winter Wonders in Brussels attracts 2.5 million visitors per year! There is so much to see and do. You can explore over 200 chalets, marvel at the colourful lights and sounds, and feel like a kid on carnival rides before gliding on the ice rink.  

It is overflowing with entertainment for individuals of all ages. But some top picks are visiting the towering Christmas tree at Grand-Place while you nibble on Belgian chocolates. 

Enjoy Europe's Christmas markets with AmaWaterways

From tasting traditional foods in Budapest to drinking mulled wine in Germany, AmaWaterways has many Christmas market river cruises to choose from, each with its own magical touch. As an extra bonus to CAA Members, you’ll save up to $720 per stateroom and get a free bottle of wine on European cruises.* It’s our gift to you. Book an appointment with a CAA Travel Consultant to start planning. 

*Conditions apply. Partners and offers are subject to change without notice. CAA Member Benefit is only available to active CAA Members (Membership dues paid in full) who book with CAA Travel. 

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