ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Christmas Markets in Europe

Updated on September 18, 2013

Christmas markets are street markets which take place during the four weeks of Advent. Usually held in a town square, they have open-air stalls selling food, drink, gifts, decorations and other seasonal goodies.

You can usually find a Nativity scene, with a crib, somewhere at a Christmas market. Chances are you'll also find some traditional singing and dancing, there to put everybody in a festive mood.

The whole tradition of Christmas markets began in the Late Middle Ages in the German speaking part of Europe. They originated in Germany, Austria, South Tyrol (Italy) and Alsace (France). Some of the oldest markets include Frankfurt Christmas Market, which was first held in 1393, as well as Munich Christmas Market, which began in 1310.

Germany is the nation where you are likely to find the most Christmas markets. However, other countries in Europe have also taken on the tradition. Let's take a tour of some markets which are all well worth a look.


Cologne Cathedral Christmas Market

There are seven Christmas markets in the German city of Cologne. The Christmas Market at Cologne Cathedral is one of the most impressive, largely because of the backdrop provided by the Cathedral.

The aroma of mulled wine, hot chestnuts and gingerbread fills the air. The spirit of Christmas will fill you as you browse the 160 wooden stalls, selling gifts, decorations, sweets and other delicacies. As well as checking out great stuff to buy, you can watch pewter pourers, wreath binders and glassblowers all demonstrate their art. There is a great atmosphere at this market, which attracts millions of visitors from all over the world.

Other markets of note in the city include the Christmas Market on the Alter Markt, The Neumarkt Christmas Market and the Christmas Market on the Rudolfplatz.


Birmingham's Frankfurt-Style Christmas Market

A German style Christmas market can also be found in Birmingham in England. It is the largest market of its type in the UK and the biggest outside of Germany. Traders from Frankfurt, the city with which Birmingham has been twinned for over 40 years, run many of the stalls here. Handmade toys, decorations, jewelery and craft goods are all available to buy.

You can keep the winter chill at bay with German mulled wine, grilled sausages, vegetarian dishes, pretzels, German beer, crepes and sweets. There’s also a carousel for the children in the market, which takes place in Victoria Square.


La Fira de Santa Llucia, Barcelona

For a market which doesn't quite have the same German feel, but does provide plenty of festive spirit is La Fira de Santa Llucia in Barcelona. This is a very Spanish market, so don't go expecting German mulled wine and bratwurst. Instead, it is a great place to pick up your Christmas Caga Tio, a log with a friendly face, which is an essential element of a Catalan Christmas.

The stalls of the market are grouped into four different categories: Nativity Scenes and Figures, Greenery and Plants (with artificial trees, moss and lucky branches), Crafts (good for hand-made products clothes, jewelery and other decorative objects), as well as an area dedicated to musical instruments.


Spittelberg Christmas Market, Vienna

If you happen to be in Vienna during the month of December, you should head on over to Spittelberg. During the festive season, the historical cobble-stoned streets of this suburb become the scene for a romantic picture postcard Christmas market.

There is a bohemian feel to this market, which has more than 100 stalls spreading out through the narrow streets and backyards. When you tire of shopping, there are also plenty of cafes and small bars nearby.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)