The location of a good Christmas market hardly seems crucial if the rest of the elements are right; a good range of stalls, a seasonal atmosphere, and plenty of good quality food and drink, however some Christmas markets just happen to be situated in the most romantic and festive of locations that really provides the icing on the Christmas cake!
Here’s a list, a wish-list in some respects, of Christmas markets chosen for their magical locations.
Some we’ve visited and can talk of with experience, and some are on our list of places to visit – in which case the photography isn’t ours, it’s taken from official websites!
Salzburg has a certain magic to it at any time of year, but a Christmas market in the shadow of the magnificent cathedral that dominates the city skyline is a beautiful backdrop for a Christmas market! It was sunny during our visit but if you’re lucky enough to get snow, you’ll be in a Winter Wonderland!
With a backdrop of both lake and mountains, canals running through the centre, and historic buildings, Annecy makes the perfect Christmas market location!
We’ve visited the city in summer and the local market is phenomenal, so we’d love to experience the Christmas market, especially in the snow!
Find out more about Annecy Christmas market here
8. Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Not only is it known as the Christmas Capital of Germany, Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a medieval walled city with stunning architecture and history!
The cobbled streets and winding alleyways make the perfect setting for a festive Christmas market! During our first visit we even got snow!
7. Winchester Cathedral
Set in the historic grounds of Winchester Cathedral, what a beautiful and atmospheric location for a Christmas market!
With nearly 100 wooden chalets situated around a real ice-rink (a rarety in the UK, usually the ice is fake) this market is definitely on our ‘to-do’ list!
Find out more here
A Christmas market in a cave, what more can we say?!
Valkenburg Christmas market is in unique and intriguing setting, within a beautiful town that simply oozes Christmas spirit throughout the festive period!
Medieval buildings and snowcapped mountains set the scene for Innsbruck Christmas market in this beautiful Austrian town.
It’s held in the old town in front of the ‘Golden Roof’ – want to know more? So do we! Click here to find out
Like many European cities that host Christmas markets, Brussels has its share of historic architecture, quaint streets and monumental squares, but it’s in La Grand Place that the capital of the EU steals the glory as a perfect location for a Christmas market.
An incredible light show which takes place at regular intervals transforms the buildings surrounding the square into a spectacular sight, worth the visit to see this alone!
Prague’s old town square is breathtaking at any time of year, with cobbled streets, stunning architecture and the famed astronomical clock tower, so imagine this as a setting for a wintery Christmas market!
This is another destination that’s definitely on our Christmas markets Bucket List!
Find out more here
The french town of Colmar could be a scene lifted straight from a Hans Christian Andersen fairytale with its painted houses and narrow cobbled streets.
Add a row of wooden chalets, some festive decorations and dare we say it, a dusting of snow, and you’re in Winter Wonderland!
We can’t wait to visit Colmar Christmas market! Find out more here
1. St Wolfgang
There’s a story behind this one…
Wolfgangsee is one of the many lakes that make up the Salzkammergut, the Austrian Lake District, and it boasts some of Europe’s most stunning scenery, in our opinion. (The opening scene of The Sound of Music – filmed here.)
In 2013 we spent an amazing Christmas holiday in the Salzkammergut and we set our hearts on visiting this fantasic market on Christmas Eve, right at the height of the festivities, or so we thought. Imagine our delight when this is what we found…
Note to self… some Christmas markets close the day BEFORE Christmas Eve! So it’s our mission to return to this beautiful location and enjoy the St Wolfgang and the surrounding Christmas markets when they’re in full swing!
To find out more about this stunning destination click here
A couple of the links in this post are affiliates, but most of them aren’t, we’re just being helpful!