Our pick of the 5 best European Christmas Markets! by Alice
2017/10/05  |  By:   |  Features  |  

It’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas – in my book at least – and with the release of Heidi Swain’s Sleigh Rides and Silver Bells at the Christmas Fair, we are definitely starting to feel Christmassy here at Books and the City.

Do I hear ‘bah humbug?’ Are you thinking that October is far too early to be talking about Christmas? If so, then you are just like our book’s heroine, Anna. However, when Anna takes on the role of companion to the owner of Wynthorpe Hall, she meets Jamie who promises to help her fall back in love with Christmas.

Well, unlike Anna, I am a huuuge Christmas lover and I want to help you fall back in love with Christmas. So, here is my list of the best European Christmas markets that I think you should visit this year to get you in the Christmassy mood.


1. Nuremberg, Germany


Nuremberg Christmas market is my number 1 favourite market. Nuremberg feels like a Christmas town even in the height of summer, so imagine what it must be like in December! This market is open from 1st to 24th December this year and holds such delights as mulled wine, roasted almonds, Nuremberg bratwurst and gingerbread. And, if you’re there on the first Sunday of the Advent, watch out for the Nuremberg Christkind appearing on the balcony of the Church of Our Lady to open the holiday season.

2. London, England


If you don’t want to fly overseas for your Christmas cheer, one of the best Christmas markets is in this very country. London’s South Bank is transformed into a wintry wonderland at Christmas for the Southbank Centre’s Winter Market. As with all Christmas markets, there is a great array of seasonal food including mince pies and traditional German sausages and you can even warm yourself next to the pit fires at the Rekorderlig Winter Lodge.

3. Brussels, Belgium


The Winter Wonders market in Brussels runs from 24th November to 31st December this year and, with an ice skating rink, an amazing Christmas tree, a light and sound show, a Christmas parade and the traditional Ferris wheel and carousels, it is a sight to behold! It is no wonder this market has become a key event in the Belgian Christmas calendar.

4. Budapest, Hungary


If you’re like me and think that Christmas cannot possibly start soon enough, then the Advent Fair at the Basilica in Budapest is the market for you! St Stephen’s Square will be lit up from 10th November 2017 to the 1st January 2018, but this year it’ll be even more spectacular than usual with a new monumental 3-dimensional video mapping visual experience!

5. Colmar, France


This isn’t just one Christmas market, but 5 markets around the city of Colmar, linked by Christmas lights through the labyrinth of tiny streets. Each market is like a mini-village, lined with century-old houses.  And on top of the normal stalls and festive foods that you would expect to find, you can even take a guided tour, participate in a wine tasting or go to a concert! This market runs from 24th November to 31st December.

Feeling Christmassy yet? No? Then pick up a copy of Heidi Swain’s charming Sleigh Rides and Silver Bells at the Christmas Fair, out now! We guarantee you’ll be feeling Christmassy by the end.