Europe comes alive every year with an abundance of Christmas markets brimming with treats and homemade gifts. To brighten up the long dark nights, cities across the continent offer tourists a glimpse into their traditions, and activities and entertainment to match.
From France to Finland, there are a range of incredible experiences to enjoy, so we have rounded up some of the best European Christmas markets you should consider.
Here are 11 of the best Christmas markets in Europe:
1. Strasbourg, France
Located near the border of Germany, Strasbourg has a medieval village vibe, and every Christmas it comes alive. In the festive season, the markets, known as Marche de Noel, engulf the town with 300 wooden stalls spread through the city centre. Themed markets are located in different parts of the city, and in the main market, Place Kleber, sits a 30-metre Christmas Tree. They have an abundance of treats, such as hot mulled wine, special Christmas beers and biscuits made with spices. Photo: FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP via Getty Images
2. Salzburg, Austria
Just outside the Salzburg Cathedral, is the Salzburg Christkindlmarkt, fashioned from 100 stalls and snow from the Alps. Brimming with treats, this marvel offers an array of punch, chocolates and cakes all in different flavours, shapes, and sizes. But it isn’t just food you’ll find here, there are ornaments and souvenirs, with bells, figures and parades, so you can take a bit of the Christmas spirit home with you. Photo: BARBARA GINDL/AFP via Getty Images
3. Helsinki, Finland
In the capital of Finland sits a Christmas market packed with 130 stalls in wooden huts. They sit in Gift Alley and sell handmade traditional Finnish products, such as himmeli ornaments. Visitors can buy candles made of pine and birch tar, or jewellery. Drinks and edible treats are available too. The traditional Finnish Christmas drink, glogi - which is a mixture of spiced wine, almonds, raisins (and sometimes vodka), is nice with traditional Finnish pastries that come with plum jam and gingerbread. Photo: Tuomaan Markkinat/Kim Öhman
4. Prague, Czech Republic
Available until 6 January, Czech Christmas parties pop up around the city, but the heart sits in the Old Town Square. Every day, carol concerts are sung, as visitors can browse around stalls selling traditional Czech crafts, where nativity scenes play out. There is even a huge Christmas tree to amp up the vibe. Of course, with cheap beer, and Czech delicacies, such as Prazsk Sunka (ham), and trdelnik (a Slovakian dish of spiralled dough coated in sugar and cinnamon) this makes the city wonderful at Christmas time. Photo: MICHAL CIZEK/AFP via Getty Images