Make the most of your vacation this festive season with our picks of the Best Christmas Market’s in Italy, London, and Paris.
Piazza Navona Christmas Market, Rome – November 26th to December 31st
Rome's Piazza Navona plays host to the City’s biggest Christmas Market. Babbo Natale also known as Father Christmas, visits the market to greet both young and old, and of course take some picture and of course a life-size nativity scene. The famous square turns into the ultimate Christmas Market, with stalls and booths filled with sweet treats and traditional gifts. Street artists and acrobats play throughout the market to the soundtrack of Christmas songs, creating an unforgettable festive atmosphere.
Milan has a few different Christmas Markets running during the festive season, but Oh Bej! Oh Bej! is one of the longest-running market dating back to around 1510, It is a must-see if you’re thinking of visiting the City. Originally it was a way for the locals to pay respect to the city’s patron saint, but now it is a buzzing market filled with locals and tourists wandering around over 350 stalls selling antiques, clothing, toys, Christmas gifts as well as plenty of sweet treats and festive foods. Search for the perfect gift or just to enjoy the magical atmosphere of celebration and tradition.
Christkindlmarkt, Verona November 18th to December 26th
The Veneto region really comes to life around Christmas time with events, shows, and markets. Piazza dei Signori, The Old Market Courtyard, and the Tribunal Courtyard host the City’s main Christmas market. Verona turns into the German city of Nuremberg with the help of traditional wooden houses of the Christkindlmarkt and traditional treats. Taste some German foods, from bratwurst sausage to stollen (a Christmassy fruit bread) and Lebkuchen (German gingerbread) in the 60 stalls lining the streets. The entrance to the city is illuminated with thousands of Christmas lights, setting the scene for a fairy-tale experience.
Bolzano Christmas Market, Bolzano - November 24th to January 6th
Set against the backdrop of the Rosengarten Dolomites, Bolzano hosts Italy’s biggest Christmas Market. For the past two decades, the market has attracted huge crowds to Piazza Walther. Over 80 wooden chalets are filled with traditional gifts and decorated with brightly lit garlands, lamps and candles that line the streets of the medieval town. As well as shopping for gifts, visitors can try regional specialties like vin brule (hot mulled wine). There is also a variety of children’s attractions and activities making the market perfect for the whole family.
Greenwich Winter Time Festival – December 1st to December 31st
The Greenwich Winter Time Festival takes place in the unique setting of The Old Royal Naval College. The festival embraces the traditions of the season with London’s finest independent and innovative lifestyle Winter Market, providing the very best of artisan festive food and drink and amazing entertainment, plus an authentic Father Christmas experience for all the family. The market is a ticket only event with a limited capacity per session, guaranteeing a safer, less overcrowded more intimate environment for all ages. Make sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Winter Wonderland – November 17th to January 1st
Soak up the festive atmosphere at Winter Wonderland, as one of the biggest Christmas markets in London returns to Hyde Park. Wander around 200 wooden cabins overflowing with fantastic gift ideas, go for a skate on the open-air ice rink, or sit back and enjoy one of Winter Wonderland's top Christmas shows. Entry to Winter Wonderland is free, but some of the attractions are ticketed and are sure to be booked up in advanced.
Wintertime at Southbank Centre - November 10th to January 4th
Wintertime at Southbank Centre is pulling out all the stops to throw its biggest Christmas celebration yet. With over 50 Nordic-inspired wooden chalets filled with festive food, drinks, gifts, and treats.Top traders from all across the UK and beyond return, with each bringing their unique winter spin to the feast including gourmet burgers, raclette, vegan street food specials, hot dogs and traditional favorites like bratwurst and hearty pies. There is also a rooftop bar for post-drinks too, and some mulled-wine to warm you up.
Christmas by the River – November 30th to January 3rd
This is London's most picturesque festive market; and is back for its fourth year running. Taking place in London Bridge, the market has the perfect backdrop of London most iconic landmarks including Tower Bridge, Tower of London and the City skyline. With over 60 German style chalets twinkling next to the River Thames, Independent traders have a huge selection of original presents, handmade crafts and plenty of festive snacks. Enjoy a programme of seasonal and romantic workshops in the market’s chalet-style event space.
Unfortunately, the popular Champs Elysées Christmas market won't be happening in 2017, but there are still plenty of Christmas markets going on to get you in the spirit.
Strasbourg Christmas Market – 24th of November – December 24th
The Christmas market in Strasberg has become known as the Capital of Christmas and dates back to 1570. In 2014 and 2015, it was voted “Europe’s best Christmas Market” by travel organization Europe’s Best Destination. With over 300 châlets, it is spread throughout the Old Town into 12 separate locations. Within Strasbourg Market, there is European village market which stands on Place Gutenberg and every year; a particular European country is honored. In 2017, the guest country is Iceland.Traders are selling a selection of decorations, local produce and of course “vin chaud” (mulled wine) and plenty of other festive treats.
The Christmas village in La Défense - November 23rd to December 28th
Running for its 23rd year, The Christmas village in La Défense square will be host to over 250 Christmas cabins, and it is one of the biggest Christmas markets in the Ile-de-France region. Sample some French delicacies and enjoy festive food from around the World. No visit to a Christmas market would be complete without a warming drink of mulled cider or vin chaud, as you enjoy the festive magic.
Marché de Noël de Paris Notre-Dame – December 15th to December 24th
Around 50 different type of traders gather together to bring their work to Marché de Noël de Paris Notre-Dame this December. Set in Square René Viviani, two minutes from the Notre Dame cathedral, the market will feature a variety of handmade gifts and the usual selection of ‘regional gastronomy’ like foie gras, sausages, macaroons, and chestnuts. Every year, an enormous decorated tree is set in front of the Cathedral, making it the perfect Christmas picture.
Reims Christmas Market - November 24th to December 31st
Reims Christmas market, in the Champagne region of France, is considered one of country's best. The market is full of life with street performances from carolers, jazz bands, jugglers and organ grinders. 135 little wooden chalets will be dotted around the city in different locations; selling local crafts, as well as delicacies from the region, expect a lot of champagne. In the courtyard of the Tau Palace lies the “Royaume des enfants” (Children’s kingdom) with many free animations for kids. Activities include an automaton show, Santa’s chalet, a free ride on a little train and the Christmas rope course.