Christmas markets are where the magic and tradition of Christmas come together. The air is filled with the sweet scent of gingerbread and chestnuts while stalls are alive with the bright colours of wooden crafts and handblown glass.
The heavenly sounds of Christmas choirs surround visitors who stop to view the pretty little ornaments whilst sipping on their gluhwein. Why not enjoy some of the best Christmas markets whilst exploring some of the finest cities in Europe?
Our holidays take you to some of Europe's most historic and charming cities. Indulge in the festivities of Christmas, visiting the finest Christmas markets. We have also put together walking routes around the city to showcase the very best highlights and include either city or bus passes to help you explore a little further. Our hotels are all well located so that you can make the most of your stay.
From late November to Christmas Vienna's prettiest squares become magical Christmas market sites, the aromas of glühwein and hot punch mixing with fresh Christmas baked treats and roasted chestnuts. The largest market stands in the shadow of the city's Rathaus (town hall) where trees are decorated with sparkling lights and the large Christmas tree stands surrounded by over 150 stalls and a large ice rink. For handicrafts, head to Maria-Theresien-Platz or to Freyung where the "Old Viennese Christmas Market" dates back to 1772. For moving choirs and a romantic affair we recommend the Schönbrunn Palace where there are so many stalls to choose from, all equally impressive.
We have put together two and three night packages in this wonderful city, complete with a selection of walks to discover more of Vienna. Enjoy a classical concert at the Kursalon and dinner at the Augustiner-Keller - one of the last remaining ancient monastery cellars in the city. A Vienna card to help you get around the city has been included for the duration. It gives you discounts to lots of attractions as well.
A warm welcome awaits you at the Hotel Austria, superbly located in Vienna's Old Town. Just a short walk from St. Stephen's Cathedral and the Hofburg Palace, the hotel offers a comfortable stay and a plentiful Viennese buffet breakfast!
From late November until Christmas, Munich excites with its range of markets; the largest is in the Marienplatz - the city's meeting place. As early snow falls, stalls sell wonderful handicrafts coming from the whole of Bavaria, glühwein is served alongside dark Christmas beers and roasted bratwurst. The first recorded Christmas market was in 1642 which was at KaufingerStrasse, and as it still is today, it was a celebration of artisan skills.
As well as Marienplatz you will find over 20 different market areas including the Kripperlmarkt, the most spectacular of these and which specialises in cribs and other nativity accessories. Other notable markets are the mediaeval market complete with gospel singing and the International Tollwood Christmas Market featuring theatrical and musical entertainment. There's even a Christmas market and ice rink at the airport!
We've put together a two-night package in this great city, complete with a selection of walks, a 24-hour hop on, hop off bus pass, and a dinner at the famous Hofbrauhaus which is accompanied by a special Christmas concert and traditional Bavarian brass band.
You stay in the beautiful 4-star Hotel Opera, just a 15 minute walk from Marienplatz. The wonderful Romanesque façade opens up to an elegant luxury hotel complete with its own garden.
Since the C15 Salzburg has celebrated advent with the Christmas market. Despite the variety of different markets, there is a constant perfume of hot glühwein, toasted almonds, roasted chestnuts and baked apple. Stalls are filled with handmade crafts whilst choral notes fill the air.
The main market appears at the foot of the magnificent Hohensalzburg Fortress and hosts a series of shows. For culinary delights, head to Mirabellplatz where stall after stall offers traditional and local delights. You must also stop by Salzburg's permanent and magical Christmas shop!
We have put together two and three night packages which include a Salzburg city card, a "Christkindlpass" which gives vouchers to exchange for simple gifts, hot drinks and traditional food.
We stay at the 4-star Hotel Markus Sittikus, just a 15-minute walk from Salzburg's Old Town. Featuring bold, upbeat décor and a cosy lounge/bar, this is one of the few hotels in Salzburg to enjoy its own garden.