EuropeChristmas Markets in Europe
Visit Moscow Russia in Winter

Christmas Markets in Europe

Best Christmas Markets in Europe

The Moscow Christmas Market

Moscow has become one of the hottest Christmas destinations in Europe. 

Being the home of Nutcracker- the most Christmas-sy play, it’s not surprising. 

Believe me, if you do visit Moscow during Christmas time, you will understand the Nutcracker could not be written anywhere else!

Imagine the square wholly covered in lights. Moscow is among the best Christmas lights destinations in Europe. The most creative, romantic, stylish, and festive lights.

There is a reason for this lights extravaganza: 

Russia gets about 5-6 hours of daylight during the winter season. Lights are almost essential, and even though the residents often complain about the expenses, the government goes to decorate the cities in wintertime. I can’t think of how depressive it would be if they didn’t! However, Russia is a wonderful place to visit in winter.

What to see, buy and eat in European Christmas markets

Authentic with plenty of snow, lights and family-friendly activities, the Moscow Christmas market is truly among the most beautiful in Europe.

Moscow truly becomes a Nutcracker backdrop during the Christmas season. 

A bonus? Russia is an orthodox country and doesn’t celebrate Christmas until Jan. 7. So you can visit any time in late December through January and experience the magic of Christmas in Russia. 

Read more about visiting Russia in winter here. 

What to eat in Moscow Christmas fair: 

  • Russian pancakes with caviar
  • Baked potato with mushrooms
  • Pryaniki honey spice cookies with vanilla, nutmeg, spice and anise Medovukha -honey-based alcoholic beverage 
  • Tea

What to buy in the Moscow Christmas fair:

Hand-painted Christmas ornaments

Original nutcracker toys

USSR inspired toys 

The variety and the incredible work will want you to purchase all of your following Christmas decors at the Russian Christmas fair.

Rome Christmas Market

According to many historians, Rome was the site of the first keeping of Christmas back in the fourth century. The spiritual aspect of the holiday is essential in Rome. Religious scenes are an indispensable part of the city’s Christmas festivities. There is a life-size Nativity scene right outside St. Peter’s Basilica and many more all around the churches of Italy. 

Each year, the Santa Maria del Popolo church shows 100 presepi from all over Italy on the Piazza del Popolo.

Rome Christams market navona

Each Christmas a different part of Europe contributes an evergreen tree for St. Peter’s Square.

From Dec. 15 through Jan. 15, there is a Christmas market in Piazza Navona.

You can buy all sorts of Christmas-related decorations, ornaments, and holiday treats, and, of course, panettone. Major shopping streets are stylishly decorated with festive lights, ribbons, and wreaths. 

My favorite part about this time of year in Rome is the peaceful energy surrounding it. There is no rush, and though it might be hard (but not impossible) to find a place to eat during Christmas itself, there is something special about it.

Fewer tourists, no rush, no fuss, the weather is perfect. I think spending Christmas in Rome was the only time I was one on one with the eternal city. 

You should be aware that buses and the Metro run on a restricted schedule on Christmas and Christmas Eve.

Taxis are available but might be mot easy and more expensive than usual.

Most smaller shops and restaurants are likely to be closed from Christmas Eve until Jan. 2. As well as museums. 

What to eat at Rome Christmas market 

  • Castagne (roasted chestnuts)
  • Maron glacé (candied chestnuts)
  • Vin brulé (mulled wine)

The Prague Christmas Market

Prague is one of the most visited cities in Europe, especially at Christmas time. Outstanding architecture, incredible history, reasonable prices, and the food scene that can impress the most seasoned foodie. 

Its cathedrals, bridges and castles deliver a dramatic backdrop to the city’s attractive landscape during the Christmas season. And of course, the Prague Christmas market is known to be one of the best in Europe.

The most packed stalls sell Gluhwein, hot mulled wine spiced with cinnamon sticks or cloves. Holiday shoppers stamp off the cold as they take steaming cups of the potent winter drink. And all around, there are endless rows of market stalls, food tents, souvenirs, and festive buzz.

Most Christmas markets are located in Old Town Square in the center of Prague. 

What to buy at Prague Christmas market:

traditional Czech blown glass balls

glass pearl goods

handmade tablecloths.

What to eat at Prague Christmas market:

Czech grilled sausages

Czech Christmas biscuits

hot roasted chestnuts

gingerbread biscuits.

The Budapest Christmas Market

Several years in a row now, the Budapest Christmas market is 

Budapest’s Christmas Markets are often considered among the most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

The leading Christmas fair takes place in Vörösmarty Square, also known as Budapesti Karácsonyi Vásár, or Budapest Christmas Fair. It is the biggest and longest-running Christmas Market in Budapest. And hands down the one you must visit to spend Christmas in Budapest.

Hundreds of stalls sell everything from handcrafted local goods to warming Gluhwein, spicy sausages, and other tasty Hungarian specialties.

 But really, Christmas markets ate all around Budapest. The Advent Feast at St Stephen’s Basilica is another good one. 

Read more Budapest travel tips here

Vienna Christmas markets

Viennese experience you’ll definitely don’t want to miss! 

One of the most famous Christmas Markets in Europe is the classic Vienna Magic of Advent. 

The City Hall Square turns into one festive Christmasland. Christmas decorations, lights, festivities, sweets, and hot drinks, sopping, and even workshops for kids.  

 The surrounding City Hall park trees are festively decorated and shine in a sea of lights.

The Christmas market in front of Schönbrunn Palace is another more calm and modern spot with an imperial backdrop twist. Right after Christmas, it is converted into a New Year’s market. 

What to eat at Vienna Christmas markets:

Kartoffelpuffer – potato pancakes

Raclette – bread with warm cheese.

Traditional Bavarian sausage (Bratwurst)

I believe that you can travel the world without quitting your job. I believe that you can experience all the magic, the foodies and the cultures of the world while having a normal life. And, perhaps, two dogs. This is exactly what I’ve been doing for 15 years. This is exactly what my blog is about. Love, Lilia

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