Top 10 Christmas Markets (2018)

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Welcome to our Top 10 Christmas Markets round-up for 2018! We’ve collected what we think are the must-see Christmas markets this year! Most, if not all are accessible by ship (ocean or cruise – some might be a coach journey from the local port though – ask your cruise line)

1.Copenhagen, Denmark

The Christmas market in Copenhagen is held in the ever-popular Tivoli Gardens. It’s lit up with millions of colourful lights and has many displays throughout the park. There are plenty of traditional hot food stands and games for prizes for you to play. Additionally, there is an ice-rink available too. Although this Christmas market is very beautiful to walk around, there are fewer gifts here to purchase than at others. However, they do have a beautiful theatre which for 2018 has performances of The Nutcracker to book. [More information]

Copenhagen's main Christmas market: Tivoli Gardens

Copenhagen’s main Christmas market: Tivoli Gardens

2.Gothenburg, Sweden

The Christmas market in Gothenburg is held in the Liseberg Amusement Park. Full of traditional hot food and entertainment stalls, it’s another great market to takes in the sights. Additionally, there are some ride attractions within the park still open despite the cold and there are a number of historical re-enactments where you can see how they made the first tools or created pottery. [More information]

Liseberg Christmas market in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Liseberg Christmas market in Gothenburg, Sweden.

3.Bruges, Belgium

Bruges is beautiful at all times of the year. It even has an all-year-round Christmas decorations shop! However, at Christmas, it also has an ice rink and a Christmas market called the Grote Markt. It’s decorated with real Christmas trees around it and many lights. You’ll find plenty of places to drink traditional mulled wine across the city too.

A city Christmas market

A city Christmas market

4.Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg knows how to do a Christmas market. In fact, they are so good at Christmas markets we’ve mentioned them twice – that’s because they have twelve markets running throughout the festive period! We’re covering the main two. The first one is right by the Rathausmarkt (Town Hall Square) and by far the most popular. It is absolutely packed with traditional food stalls, handmade gifts and everything else in-between! There is a Christmas decorations shop at one end of the market that is usually so busy it’s one person in, one out – so make sure when you go to this market you have plenty of time so you don’t miss anything!



Christmas Markets 2015

Hamburg’s main Christmas Market

5.Bath, United Kingdom

Okay, an odd one to find in this list, but Bath’s Christmas market is becoming ever more popular each year. Having expanded it to a full Christmas period now (basically all of December) the market is based in the city centre near the Roman Baths. It’s made up of around 30 small wooden huts and has traditional gifts, foods on offer and live music playing. The floor surrounding the market is usually covered in straw and the whole event has a great festive feel to it. It’s worth a visit to this historic city!

Christmas market traditional decorations

Christmas market traditional decorations

6.Oslo, Norway

Oslo has a number of Christmas markets – but the nicest one is right by the port. Around 30 stalls, surrounded by trees draped in white lights surround a small public area. Hot food and drinks are available and traditional Norwegian Christmas gifts such as gingerbread and hats.

Additionally, they have many open fires for you to stand around and warm yourself up on! Good job, as the average temperature in Oslo in December, is -2c and as low as -14c! It’s the perfect stop-off before boarding your warm ship to your next port!

A Christmas market in Oslo alongside the port

A Christmas market in Oslo alongside the port

7.Amsterdam, Netherlands

Although traditionally the Netherlands celebrates Christmas earlier than most (5th December is their most important date) they do still have Christmas markets, in fact you’ll find the 26 neighbourhood markets all have a Christmas theme in one way or another. There is also an ice rink and many oliebollen (doughnut ball) food stands which are located at Leidseplein.

Traditional Christmas market food

Traditional Christmas market food

8.Frankfurt, Germany

Billed as the oldest Christmas market in the world, Frankfurt’s market dates back to 1393! It’s one of the largest Christmas markets in Germany and if it’s Christmas games or gifts you are after – you are sure to find exactly what you want here! You can of course also enjoy traditional foods such as bratwursts, marzipan and of course glühwein from a number of stalls. Don’t forget to buy the decorated mug with your mulled wine for a keepsake of your trip!

Open fires are common at European Christmas markets to warm your hands!

Open fires are common at European Christmas markets to warm your hands!

9.Berlin, Germany

As the capital of Germany, you’d expect one of the best Christmas markets to be located here. Well, you won’t be disappointed – for starters, in 2018 there are sixty Christmas markets located in Berlin! The most famous of the Christmas markets is the Charlottenburg Castle Christmas Market, with over 150 stalls including vendors from around Germany and other countries too. Thankfully, most of the markets are very close to each other which means you can visit many in one day!

Traditional Christmas market decorations

Traditional Christmas market decorations

10.Hamburg, Germany

Back again in Hamburg! This lovely Christmas market is situated right by Lake Alster, a short walk from the main Christmas market and the rest of the city centre. The market has all the usual suppliers of hot food and glühwein, but you can also take short trips on a beautiful steam-powered boat around Lake Alster. If you decide to partake in this trip you’ll enjoy drinking mulled wine, hot chocolate and eating traditional Germany Christmas snacks whilst you listen to some live music and a little history tour of the lakeside properties – it’s not to be missed!

Hamburg's Alster Lake Christmas market

Hamburg’s Alster Lake Christmas market

We hope you found our list useful! If you visit any Christmas markets this year, please share some of your photos by uploading them to our Facebook page. Have a great time visiting them!

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About Author

Chris Hughes

Chris is an ex-Royal Navy Reservist. During his time in the Royal Navy, Chris served in the Maritime Trade Operations branch. A now seasoned cruiser, the first ship for Chris was Cunard Line's Queen Victoria. Chris enjoys nothing more than relaxing on a balcony during a sea day, gazing out to sea and enjoying the cruising lifestyle!

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