The Best Christmas Markets For Festive Feels
7 minutes read
Do you love Christmas markets? Whether you’re a keen market-goer or haven’t yet been, we can guarantee that nothing will make you feel more festive than strolling around one with a cup of mulled wine. While the weather might be gloomy around this time of year, there are still so many activities that can fill us with festive cheer – and luckily, the UK and Europe is home to so many amazing Christmas markets. We’ve rounded up the best ones below, so get your woolly hat and warmest coat on because it’s time to get festive!
What are The Best Christmas Markets in the UK?
When: 17 November 2023 – 17 December 2023
The ultimate festive wonderland, the Blenheim Palace Christmas Market has long been known as one of the most lavish in the UK. Although it is brimming with market traders and designers selling everything from jewellery to homeware, the pinnacle for most is the local cheese sampling and magical Illuminated Trail. It’s also free to enter – although you do have to pre-book tickets in advance.
When: 16 November – 22 December 2023
Although York is arguably be one of the prettiest towns in the UK already, it really comes to life during the festive season. The York Christmas Market is filled with small wooden chalets, sparkling with fairy lights, and features a food court where you can sample copious amounts of street food. Not to mention Thor’s Tipi: a luxurious cosy corner of the market where you can warm up with a hot drink.
When: 23 November – 26 November 2023
Looking for the best handmade gifts? The Norwich Festive Fair has got you covered. Seriously lively and gloriously lit up from start to finish, there are countless stalls selling artwork, jewellery, ornaments and leather goods from small businesses.
When: 17 November – 21 December 2023
Based in the grounds of Winchester Cathedral, you won’t find a more picturesque setting to indulge in mince pies and mulled wine to your heart’s content! Full of crafts and featuring a good-sized ice rink, the Cathedral choir also hold their services at the market throughout the festive period – so get your hymn book at the ready and scrub up on your Christmas carol knowledge.
When: 10 November – 21 December 2023
Heading to Manchester over the Christmas period? It’s likely you’ll stumble across a Christmas market or two – as there are eight of them in the city centre alone. You’ll find something for the whole family – carousels, big wheels, carol singers and most importantly… endless mince pies.
When: 17 November 2023 – 6 January 2024
The ultimate location for festive fun, Edinburgh is the place to be for Christmas markets. Scattered around the entire city, there are so many choices when it comes to theme, with a children’s market in Princes Street Gardens and a typical Scottish market in George Street.
When: 18 November – 22 December 2023
If you’re all about the mulled wine, Belfast might be your best bet. Filled with stalls selling unique gifts and two bars, as well as local sellers offering all kinds of food, Belfast Christmas market is the ultimate place to go if you want to turn your visit into more of a night out.
When: 23 November – 10 December 2023
If you’ve never been to Bath – here’s your excuse to go! Known to be one of the most charming locations in the UK, Bath’s Christmas market is one of the loveliest you will find, located around the town’s striking Abbey and Roman Baths. With craft ale on tap and stalls selling local produce, as well as carol singers and performers, you’re bound to leave with a full belly and a full heart.
When: 9 November – 23 December 2023
Consisting of over 200 stalls showing local arts and crafts – as well as more food stalls than you can fathom – Cardiff Christmas Market is the best place to go if you want to soak up the opportunity to eat as much festive food as possible.
When: 17 November – 21 December 2023
It might be one of the smallest Christmas markets of the bunch, but don’t let that put you off. Full of festive food, drink and designs from local artists, Chester’s enchanting Christmas Market is more than enough to get you into the festive spirit.
What are the Best Christmas Markets in Europe?
Venturing abroad this Christmas? There are many Christmas markets scattered around Europe that are well worth a visit…
When: 18 November – 30 December 2023
Located in the biggest theme park in Sweden, Liseberg Christmas market in Gothenburg is one with a difference. While you might expect to find a tonne of thrilling rides and adventures, it transforms into a classy wonderland full of stalls selling trinkets, all different types of festive food and drink, along with free children’s entertainment.
When: 17 November – 31 December 2023
Based in Tivoli Gardens – the heart of Copenhagen – this market is one of the prettiest you’ll find. With a skating rink, hundreds of thousands of fairy lights draped as far as the eye can see, along with other amusements and countless mulled wine stalls, this is a great all-rounder market that will give you a bit of everything festive.
When: 24 November – 31 December 2023
For mesmerising Christmas light shows and the best outdoor ice rinks in Europe, take a trip to Brussels. With over 200 wooden chalets featuring delicious food and drink, there’s nothing not to love!
When: 23 November – 23 December 2023
Basel hosts one of the most beautiful European Christmas markets, where you’ll find masses of stalls and entertainment, as well as delicious food and drink to warm you up from the bitter chill in the air.
What are the London Christmas Markets?
If you’re making a voyage to see the London Christmas lights, it’s definitely worth popping into a Christmas market (or two) while you’re in town. Here are some of the best you can visit:
When: 8 November 2023 – 7 January 2024
If you love the theatre, you will LOVE the Leicester Square Christmas Market. You’ll find cabaret shows, comedy sketches and circus performers amongst the hustle and bustle of the busy city.
London South Bank
When: 28 October 2023 – 7 January 2024
The London South Bank Winter Festival is full of small business pop-up shops and toasted marshmallow stations as well as art exhibitions. With classical music as well as stand-up comedy, there’s something for everyone.
When: 17 November 2023 – 1 January 2024
Full of rides, amusements and food stalls, Winter Wonderland is the ultimate hot spot for festive fun in London. With its enormous party tent where you’ll find street food and bars as well as live entertainment – it’s one not to be missed!
Will there be German Christmas Markets in 2022?
Whether you’re in Germany or the UK this Christmas, you’ll still be able to soak up the German Christmas traditions. We’ve rounded up a few of the best German Christmas markets to visit this year.
When: 27 November – 30 December 2023
For the best German Christmas market, it goes without saying that you’ll find it in the heart of the country. Berlin is brimming with Christmas markets – in fact, there are 80 scattered around the whole city. For the biggest, you’ll want to visit Spandau, but for the best aesthetic Instagram opportunities, Weihnachtszauber is where you want to be.
When: 23 November – 23 December 2023
This German city is renowned for being super festive, and the biggest Christmas market here is in the city centre. Adorned with thousands of fairy lights and aimed at children, it’s the perfect place to visit for a festive family day out. There is also a big ice rink for those that fancy getting their skates on.
When: 2 November – 24 December 2023
The biggest of its kind outside of Germany and Austria, Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market is the place to be if you want to soak up the German festive spirit. With carol singers, live music, German beer and stalls selling small gifts and trinkets, you won’t want to miss it.
When: 24 November – 22 December 2023
Leeds Christkindelmarkt is one of the best-known German Christmas markets in the UK, where you’ll find typical German food and drink, as well as a host of stalls selling everything from toys to Christmas decorations.
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