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    Best Places To Spend Christmas In Europe

    From the glittering conifers, to the midnight mass glitz,
    From the aroma of rum cakes, to the greetings with a kiss!
    From the smiles that the gifts bring, to the ones that we truly miss,
    It’s the favorite time of the year, that feels nothing less than sheer bliss!

    You got that right! 2018 is coming to an end and festivities are just round the corner. And when it comes to grand celebrations, all we could think of was which of these would be the best places to spend Christmas in Europe?

    With the snowfall covering the rooftops, christmas conifers up for sale, the taste of cinnamon and ginger breads in the air, and with the hustle and bustle of best Christmas markets in Europe, it’s undoubtedly going to be a grand show. And for those who cannot help but be a part of this mega celebrations, get going to these 20 best places to spend Christmas in Europe that will add magic to your winter holiday!

    How Is Christmas Celebrated In Europe?

    Celebrations in Europe start four sundays prior to the eve of Christmas which marks the beginning of the Advent. Post the Advent, most of the Catholic countries also celebrate the Feast of St. Nicholas on the 6th of December.

    European Christmas Celebrations

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    This may not be the tradition in all countries but some of the best places to spend Christmas in Europe do celebrate it as a part of their culture. Following the feast, the main celebration is that of the Christmas Eve wherein people attend the Midnight Mass and relish a heart-warming meal their families, and friends.

    Best Places To Spend Christmas In Europe

    20. Vilnius, Lithuania

    Considered to be the most underrated Christmas getaways in Europe, celebrating the most favorite time of the year in this historical land feels nothing less than magic. No matter how cold or dark the winters get, the spirit of the festivities and the colorful markets round the city, are always successful in cheering up everyone during large gatherings in the city centre.

    Vilnius in Lithuania

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    Must Experiences: Explore the International Christmas Charity Bazaar at Rotuse, admire the Cathedral Square Christmas tree, visit the Church of St Anne, buy a pair of woollens at the famous Wool House, and more.

    Temperature In December: An average of -3°C

    How To Reach: Vilnius Airport is the nearest airport located at a distance of about 6 kms from the city centre. The city has it own railhead of Vilnius Central Station.

    Suggested Read: Most Popular Euro Trips To Plan 2018’s Ultimate Escape


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    19. Dubrovnik, Croatia

    If at all there is one thing that you can’t miss on an European Christmas vacation in Dubrovnik, it is to sing the traditional Dubrovnik carols. Considered to be one of the best places to spend Christmas in Europe, it is a must for everyone to witness Christmas trees on the Stradun when in Dubrovnik.

    Christmas in Dubrovnik, Croatia

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    Must Experiences: Visit the Old Town, dine with the locals and relish some sausages with beer, attend the Christmas Fair at the Convent of St. Claire, shop for Christmas ornaments, taste the Christmas cookies, and more.

    Temperature In December: An average of 8°C

    How To Reach: Also known as the Čilipi Airport, the Dubrovnik Airport is located at a distance of about 15 kms from the city centre. Located at a distance of about 100 kms, Ploce is the nearest railhead to Dubrovnik.

    Must Read: 15 Best Places To Visit In India During Christmas In 2018!

    18. Geneva, Switzerland

    Christmas in Geneva is equal to the best Christmas Lights ever. The whole Lake Geneva is lit up with shops, stalls, and a thousand lights as a part of the European christmas traditions. And for the foodies who’re looking forward to the best places to spend Christmas in Europe this year, look no further than Geneva that hosts a market full of pre-Christmas food exhibitors from all over the world.

    Christmas at Geneva, Switzerland

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    Must Experiences: Must-attend the Genève Marché International de Noel at Place de la Fusterie, explore the Christmas market at Lake Geneva, go shopping at Rue du Marché, and Rue de Rive, and more.

    Temperature In December: An average of 3°C

    How To Reach: Geneva Airport is just 4 kms away from the city centre. Also, the nearest railhead is that of Gare de Cornavin which enjoys a central location in the city.

    Suggested Read: Top 11 Unique Things To Do In Copenhagen To Experience The City Like A Local

    17. Tallinn, Estonia

    The real glow of Christmas can be witnessed in its glorious form only in Tallinn. Reckoned to be one of the best Christmas destinations in Europe, walk through the cobblestone streets that take you down the nostalgic lane of a winter wonderland. From attending the special winter programs like Christmas Villages to exploring the realms of Estonian Open Air Museum, Tallinn is going to be a gem in the heart of Europe during Christmas.

    Christmas at Tallinn, Estonia

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    Must Experiences: Skating in the Old Town, taste the mulled wine, explore the medieval churches, shop at the Town Hall Square’s Christmas market, and enjoy the vibrant nightlife of Tallinn, and more.

    Temperature In December: An average of -2°C

    How To Reach: Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport is the closest airport to the city centre whereas the Baltic Station is the nearest railhead to Tallinn.

    Suggested Read: 10 Most Beautiful Rivers In Europe For Cruise Journeys

    16. Stockholm, Sweden

    Be it shopping at the beautiful Christmas markets or relishing some of the delectable and freshly baked gingerbreads, none of your Christmas trips to Europe are complete without experiencing the best of both the modern as well as traditional worlds at Stockholm. Let the beautiful lights guide to some of the most beautifully decorated places to visit in Sweden.

    Christmas at Stockholm, Sweden

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    Must Experiences: Christmas markets at the Old Town, and Skansen, Christmas show with Richard Soderberg, be a part of celebrations at the Drottningholm Castle, and more.

    Temperature In December: An average of -1°C

    How To Reach: Stockholm Bromma Airport is located at a distance of about 11 kms from the city centre. The nearest railhead is that of the Stockholm Central Station which connects the city to nearby places of Oslo, Goteborg, and so on.

    Suggested Read: Top 10 Places To Visit In Switzerland During Winters

    15. Helsinki, Finland

    In most of the European destinations, the Christmas markets steal the show for the whole of winter season. Similarly, the astonishing Christmas Market of Helsinki is considered to be one among the much famed top 10 Christmas markets in Europe. Forming the core of almost all that the best places to spend Christmas in Europe have to offer, attending one of these bustling markets is all about fun, food, family, friends, and the festive mood.

    Christmas at Helsinki, Finland

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    Must Experiences: Follow the tradition of eating rice, porridge, and plum juice in the morning, shop for some of the best handicrafts from more than 140 vendors at Christmas markets at the Senate Square, attend a free Christmas concert, and more.

    Temperature In December: An average of -4°C

    How To Reach: The airstrip of Helsinki-Vantaa Airport is the closest to the city centre located at a distance of 19 kms. Also, Helsinki railway station enjoys a central location in the city.

    Suggested Read: 10 Exciting Things To Do In Helsinki For Unforgettable Finnish Experiences

    14. Madeira, Portugal

    For those who’re planning to spend their Christmas holidays in Europe with one of the best music and entertaining scenes, must head towards Madeira in Portugal. The moment the streets of Funchal are lit up with decorative lights, everybody in the city turns on their festive mood and becomes a vital part of the cultural, artistic, and religious programs.

    Christmas celebrations at Madeira, Portugal

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    Must Experiences: The Fireworks show, Twelfth Night celebrations, the traditional Christmas Carol show, live performance by the local music bands, attend the Funchal Road Race, and more.
    Temperature In December: An average of 18°C

    How To Reach: Madeira Airport is the nearest airstrip located at a distance of 18 kms from the city centre. Traveling by train to Madeira is not the best choice as the nearest railway station is that Agadir in Morocco.

    Suggested Read: 11 Chilling Winter Destinations In Europe That’ll Melt Your Heart!e

    13. Budapest, Hungary

    From riding the lit Streetcar to skating on the ice rink at Budapest Park, Budapest serves as one of the most fascinating and best places to spend Christmas in Europe. With grand celebrations like attending the midnight mass at the St Stephen Basilica to being a part of the traditional and classic Hungarian Folk Show, Budapest will leave no stone unturned in charming you with its festive offerings.

    Christmas in Budapest, Hungary

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    Must Experiences: Christmas Market at Vorosmarty Square, Christmas Fair at the Basilica, explore the Szechenyi Baths, enjoy night cruises on the river Danube, relish the Chimney Cake at the Xmas Fair, and more.

    Temperature In December: An average of 1°C

    How To Reach: Located at a distance of 21 kms from the city centre, Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport is the nearest airport. Also, the Budapest Keleti Train Station is located just 10 minutes away from the city centre.

    Suggested Read: Your Guide To Budapest: The Most Stunning City In Europe

    12. Valencia, Spain

    As traditional as the nativity play, and as modern as the quirky feels of the city, Valencia offers a perfect mix of both the old and the new during Christmas. Lifting up the true essence of the holiday spirit, Valencia is one of the best European cities to be cherished on a Christmas Eve followed by New Year’s as well.

    Christmas at Valencia, Spain

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    Must Experiences: Witness the mesmerizing decorations at Plaza Ayuntamiento, go ice skating at the Aqua shopping mall, treat yourself to the roasted chestnuts, take your kids to the Gran Circo Wonderland, and more.

    Temperature In December: An average of 10°C

    How To Reach: The city of Valencia has its own international airport which is just 11 kms away from the centre. The city also facilitates the travelers with easy access to nearby cities of Madrid, and Barcelona from the central train station of Valencia Train Station or the Estació del Nord.

    Suggested Read: This Winter, Escape To The Most Romantic Destinations In Europe 2018! Pick From Top 10

    11. Brussels, Belgium

    Search for some of the best gifts for your family and friends? Head to one of the biggest Christmas markets held in Brussels inside the premises of Place Flagey. Shop for some of the best handicrafts products as souvenirs by artists who fly down from places like France, Hungary, Germany and so on.

    Christmas at Brussels, Belgium

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    Must Experiences: Adore the huge Christmas tree at the Grand Palace, witness the soul-stirring light and music show, go skating at the Marché aux Poissons, don’t miss out on savoring the best beef stew in town, treat your sweet tooth with some chocolate waffles at the Christmas markets of Place Sainte-Catherine, and more.

    Temperature In December: An average of 5°C

    How To Reach: Located at a distance of 55 kms, Brussels Charleroi Airport is the nearest airstrip whereas Brussels Nord train station is easily accessible due to its central location.

    Suggested Read: 10 Best Places To Visit In Brussels That Highlight The Charm Of The City

    10. Amsterdam, Netherlands

    Unlike other European countries, celebrations in Amsterdam start a month ago in November itself. The main gathering place of the Museum Square transforms into a magical Christmas village where one can enjoy to the fullest at some of the best Christmas markets. From enjoying a joyous ferris wheel ride to the endless food, music, drinks, and dance scenes, Amsterdam is indeed one of the best places to spend Christmas in Europe.

    Ice Skating at Amsterdam, Netherlands

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    Must Experiences: Attend the Amsterdam Light Festival, enjoy a special Canal Cruise, be a part of the Amsterdam Winter Parade at Amsterdam RAI convention centre, experience the second Christmas day or the Boxing Day in Amsterdam, and more.

    Temperature In December: An average of 4°C

    How To Reach: Schiphol Airport is the nearest airport located at the distance of just 18 kms while the Amsterdam Central Train Station is the nearest train station to the city centre.

    9. Salzburg, Austria

    Considered to be one of the oldest Christmas markets in not just Europe but the whole world, Salzburg Christkindlmarkt is known to be rooted to its age-old traditions and cultural values. Dating back to the 15th century, Salzburg serves as one of the traditional cities with a strong historical background for those who are gearing up for one of the best places to spend Christmas in Europe.

    Christmas at Salzburg, Austria

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    Must Experiences: Drinking Glühwein and eating Lebkuchen is a must, enjoy skiing in the Alps, go shopping in the famous Salzburg Christmas markets, attend the Alpine Heritage event of Perchtenlauf, know the history behind Silent Night, and more.

    Temperature In December: An average of 1°C

    How To Reach: Linz airport is the nearest airport to Salzburg located at a distance of about 101 kms. The nearest railhead happens to be the Central Train Station which is just 15 minutes away from the city centre.

    Suggested Read: 7 Salzburg Hotels That Let You Experience The City’s Fine Hospitality

    8. Copenhagen, Denmark

    A true Christmas city in all its senses, Copenhagen follows some of the best traditions during the celebrations at one of the best places to spend Christmas in Europe. The whole city is covered in lights to the brim and one can always run into massive Christmas markets at every nook and corner of the city. From relishing the best of street food to touring the old candy factory, Copenhagen has a lot more than what meets the eye.

    Christmas in Copenhagen, Denmark

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    Must Experiences: Stroll through the majestic gardens of Tivoli, enjoy mulled wine at the unique Hotel d’Angleterre, go ice skating at Frederiksberg Have, dine at one of the Royal Copenhagen’s Christmas tables, and more.

    Temperature In December: An average of 2°C
    How To Reach: The nearest airport is that of the Kastrup Airport which is just 8 kms away while the nearest railhead of Copenhagen Central Station is located at a distance of 15 minutes from the city centre.

    7. Leipzig, Germany

    Considered to be second oldest yet one of the prettiest markets in the whole of Europe, Leipzig also happens to be one of the lesser known destinations in the continent. Serving as a stunning and one of the best places to spend Christmas in Europe at its best, Leipzig is yet to be explored to its fullest potential.

    Christmas in Leipzig, Germany

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    Must Experiences: Explore the city centre of Zentrum, be a part of endless parades and music scenes, attend the arts and craft market at the Old Leipzig, take a ferris-wheel ride at Augustusplatz, go for cross-country skiing, and much more.

    Temperature In December: An average of 2°C

    How To Reach: Leipzig or the Halle Airport is the nearest airstrip located about 22 kms away from city centre while the nearest Leipzig train station serves as the central point for getting around the city.

    Suggested Read: 18 Invigorating Places To Visit In Germany That Will Compel You To Stay Here Forever

    6. Vienna, Austria

    From the evening sky at Belvedere to the streets of Graben and Kärntner Strasse, every bit of Vienna feels magical during Christmas in Europe. It is needless to say how thriving the Christmas markets in Europe are, but for those lucky ones who get to be in Vienna during Christmas, it is a must to explore the fantasy-like markets, and stroll around the city during the evenings.

    Christmas in Vienna, Austria

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    Must Experiences: Capture Belvedere Palace in a perfect light, taste the culinary delights served in the most creative forms, gulp down the Christmas punches called Weihnachtspunsch, take a hop on hop off bus tour in the evening, attend the nativity play at St. Peter’s Church, and more.

    Temperature In December: An average of 3°C

    How To Reach: Located at a distance of 23 kms, Vienna International Airport is the nearest airport whereas Vienna Main Station enjoys a central location in the city.

    5. Rovaniemi, Lapland

    Welcome to the land of Santa! Celebrating at one of the best places to spend Christmas in Europe brings a lot of surprises on the go, of which, the best one can be encountered in the city of Rovaniemi. The official home of Santa Claus which is located at the heart of Lapland, travelers can visit and greet the Santa at the Santa Village which lies on the Arctic Circle. This is possible for all 365 days of the year, and we’re not joking!

    Christmas in Rovaniemi, Lapland

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    Must Experiences: Meet Santa at the Santa Village, experience a Reindeer ride, tour the city with huskies, let northern lights charm you, explore the Arctic zoo, enjoy snowshoeing during Christmas, and more.

    Temperature In December: An average of -11°C

    How To Reach: Rovaniemi has its own international airport which is located at a distance of 11 kms from the city centre. Rovaniemi Railway Station is located right next to the city centre.

    Suggested Read: 15 Places In India To Celebrate New Year Extravagantly In 2018-19!

    4. London, England

    If you do not have enough time to discuss and decide with your family about where to spend Christmas in Europe then London is the easiest option. Celebrating Christmas in London is an unique experience in itself. The whole city transforms into a winter wonderland with skating being one of the most loved activities during Christmas. From shopping to relishing a heart-warming meal, and from the carol concert to the midnight mass celebrations, London is worth spending the Christmas at.

    Christmas in London

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    Must Experiences: Know the history behind Christmas tree at Trafalgar Square, attend the midnight mass at Westminster Abbey, dont miss out on the Christmas Lights, attend the Carol Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, be a part of the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, and more.

    Temperature In December: An average of 6°C

    How To Reach: London has a total of five major airports of Gatwick, London City, Heathrow, Stansted, and Luton. Similarly, the three express railways of Heathrow, Stansted, and Gatwick facilitate the travelers in daily commutation and getting around the city easily.

    3. Strasbourg, France

    Want to know the best place to cherish your Christmas celebrations? It has got to to be Strasbourg, hands down! Much reckoned to be the Christmas Capital, it is a strict no no to miss out on exploring the 400 years old Christmas markets that makes Strasbourg one of the best European cities for Christmas.

    Christmas in Strasbourg, France

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    Must Experiences: Visit the city centre of Place Broglie, explore the Christmas Markets at the Cathedral Square, admire the giant Christmas tree near Sharing Village, and more.

    Temperature In December: An average of 3°C

    How To Reach: Karlsruhe or the Baden-Baden airport is the nearest airport which is 42 kms away from the city centre. For those who’d like to travel by train, Strasbourg has its own central train station.

    Suggested Read: 13 Best Places To Visit In France In Winter

    2. Milan, Italy

    Christmas in Europe is not complete without considering the fashion capital of the world in the list. All those who’ve dreamt of a fairyland like that in the movie Frozen, can flock to Milan to make their dreams come true. The whole city is covered with snow and the lights add the much needed glam to the city which looks magical to bits and pieces.

    Christmas in Milan, Italy

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    Must Experiences: Adore the Christmas tree at Piazza del Duomo, spot the beautiful window displays throughout Milan, visit the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, relish the Panettone, and more.

    Temperature In December: An average of 4°C

    How To Reach: Of all the three airports of Linate, Malpensa and Orio Al Serio, Linate is the closest airport to Milan located at a distance of just 8 kms. The nearest railhead is that of Milan Centrale.

    1. Prague, Czech Republic

    Last but not the least, nothing surpasses the charm of Prague when it comes to the best places to spend Christmas in Europe. Beating the second oldest and the oldest markets, Prague boasts of the most beautiful and the best Christmas market in the whole of Europe. With its famous attractions all decked up and all the streets shining brighter than ever, celebrating Christmas in Prague feels nothing less than a carnival.

    Christmas in Prague, Czech Republic

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    Must Experiences: Experience dining with Mozart, shop till you drop in the best Christmas market at the Wenceslas Square, walk through the Old Town Square, savor the traditional Czech Christmas meal, and more.

    Temperature In December: An average of 2°C

    How To Reach: Prague Václav Havel Airport is the nearest airstrip to the city located at a distance of just 19 kms. Praha Hlavni Nadrazi is the central railway station which is located just 15 minutes from the Old Town Square.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Best Places To Spend Christmas In Europe

    Q: Which is the best Christmas market in Europe?

    A: Though Zagreb in Croatia has been voted twice in a row as the best Christmas Market in Europe, nothing beats the charm of the Christmas market in Prague. It is the European’s favorite.

    Q: Are there Christmas markets in Prague?

    A: Not just one or two, but the whole city of Prague is decked up with Christmas Markets while the most famous are the ones that are held at the Old Town Square, and the Wenceslas Square.

    Q: Where is the best place in Europe to spend Christmas?

    A: All the above listed cities serve as the best cities to celebrate Christmas in Europe. Of these, Strasbourg, Prague, London, Vienna, Rovaniemi, and Milan would be the most enchanting ones.

    With Christmas just round the corner, which of these charming European city are you heading towards? Plan your Europe Christmas vacation with your loved ones. Also let us know your favorite city where you’d like to celebrate Christmas this year in the comments below!

    Further Read: Cultural Tourism: 20 Cultural Cities In The World That Cannot Be Surpassed By Any Other!


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    Category: Europe, Events And Festivals, Winter Travel

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