Here I’ll show the christmas markets we visited, in the beautiful squares of Vienna, Prague, Krakow, and many more. So here are first some of the sites of the Christmas markets throughout Europe, and then compare specific markets from different cities.
What You’ll See At Christmas Markets
As you can imagine, if you’re going to stand outside and drink, it might as well be something hot. Hot wine, hot cider, fruit-based wine, and sometimes hot chocolate with alcohol.
Germanic countries (Germany + Austria) and a lot of eastern Europe, they love their meats.
Maybe especially so in Poland.
My wife loves this aspect of Christmas markets. And for the record, European chocolate is delicious.
Trinkets and other Junk
Souvenirs, aren’t my thing, to say the least. I don’t want to spend my holiday buying junk made in China. But there are often hand made crafts as well. Still not my thing, but apparently normal people enjoy it.
Salzburg is where we spent Christmas, and while the rest of town was dead, the christmas market was hopping. Out of 60 stands though, only 10 were food. But it was a beautiful market, in a beautiful city.
Vienna is possibly the birth of the Christmas market as its “December Markets” have been around since the 13th century.
Although, I’m not sure which market should be described as the christmas market, since they are all over the capital city. Perhaps my favorite was in Karlplatz, which seemed to be where tons of locals went to socialize and drink.
This was one of my favorite markets, partly because of the view. Poland is cheap, Krakow is beautiful, and Poland does Christmas markets right.
We stayed in “Old Town” which is the beautiful part of Warsaw. The Christmas markets weren’t as big as some of the others, and Warsaw isn’t as cool ask Krakow. So if you had to choose… go to Krakow.
This is by far the coolest Christmas market we saw. The food was amazing (and cheap), there was tons of it, and the market was huge and all around the beautiful main square. But the coolest part is how bizarre the market is. Weird little glass boxes with a freaky animatronic wolf waiting for little red riding hood, and equally weird rides.
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague also had a ton of Christmas markets, including in the beautiful main square.
But my favorite was a cheap local market on the weekends under Charles Bridge.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
They had a fair christmas market exceeding in the area of chocolates, as you can imagine. And waffles, as it is Belgium.
I wouldn’t ever recommend Villach over Salzburg, Innsbruck, Hallstatt, Vienna, etc… Still, it was small but charming.
A northern Italian christmas market isn’t too different. Just replace waffles with pizza.