Dispatches has had Christmas markets roundups every year since 2017. Well, there were those COVID years when some of the markets were shuttered. This year, to everyone’s relief, the pandemic is a distant memory and it’s once again time to celebrate the Yuletide as only Europeans can.
New for this year is a more stripped-down format that makes it easier to just get the details. But, you can see the observations and curated recommendations of our expat network here, here and here.
Let’s start in Vienna, which has multiple locations.
Vienna Christmas Markets
Vienna has several, and here are the locations and opening hours:
- 11 November: Stephansplatz; Altes AKH; Spittelberg; Am Hof; Genussmarkt bei der Oper
- 16 November: Weihnachtsdorf on Maria-Theresien-Platz
- 18 November: Belvedere; Karlsplatz, Freyung
- 19 November: Christkindlmarkt am Rathausplatz (the big one); Wintermarkt am Riesenradplatz; Schönbrunn Christmas market
All locations normally stay open until at least 23 December.
- Christkindlmarkt am Rathausplatz (until 26 December)
- Stephansplatz (until 26 December)
- Wintermarkt am Riesenradplatz (until 8 January 8)
- Weihnachtsdorf on Maria-Theresien-Platz (until 26 December)
- Belvedere (until 26 December)
- Genussmarkt bei der Open (until 31 December)
- Schönbrunn (until 26 December and then from 27 December to 4 January as a New Year market)
If you have time to visit only one, head for the biggest on the Rathausplatz.
Although Strasbourg in Alsace is a comparatively small city, it bills itself modestly as “the Capital of Christmas,” with no less than 13 Christmas markets for the Marché de Nöel. The tradition of the markets dates back to 1570; it’s the oldest in France.
Here are the locations:
- Place de la Cathédrale de Strasbourg, which is the center of the city
- Place Kléber (where the Christmas Tree is)
- Place Gutenberg Christmas market
- Place Broglie Christkindelsmärik
- Place du Château
- Place du Marché aux Poisson
- Place du Temple Neuf
- Place Saint Thomas
- Place des Meuniers
- Place Benjamin-Zix
- Place Grimmeissen
- Advent Village at Square Louise-Weiss
- Place du Corbeau
The markets run from 25 November to 26 December and are open on Sundays.
These are the opening times:
From 25 November to 26 December
Every day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
24 December – from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
25 December – from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
26 December – from noon to 6 p.m.
Strasbourg’s cathedral (Munster) is world-famous, so if you visit only one market it should be the one in front, combining Christmas spirit with history and outstanding architecture.
The capital of Germany is a huge city, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that there are more than 100 Christmas markets and events for visitors of all ages and tastes.
The first has been open since 28 October on the Potsdamer Platz and several run into the first days of January.
Here is a list of all Christmas markets, as you can see it is a very international affair:
Berlin Christmas Markets 2022
- Advent Bazaar of the Albert Schweitzer Foundation
- Advent Bazaar of the Lübars Church
- Advent Market in Alt-Buckow
- Advent Market at Domäne Dahlem
- Advent Market at Hanff’s Ruh
- Advent Market on Karl-August-Platz
- Advent Market on Kollwitzplatz
- All Inclusive Christmas Market at Spreespeicher
- Advent Market in Altglienicke
- Arts and Crafts Christmas Market in Frohnau
- Arts and Crafts Christmas Market in Gatow
- British Christmas Market
- Christmas Avenue
- Christmas Festival at the Alte Fasanerie
- Christmas Fair on Frankfurter Allee
- Christmas in Westend
- Christmas Lights at Lichtenberg City Hall
- Christmas Market in Lichtenrade
- Christmas Lights at Spandau Citadel
- Christmas Market in Alt-Kaulsdorf
- Christmas Market in Alt-Rixdorf
- Christmas Market on Alexanderplatz
- Christmas Market at Berlin City Hall
- Christmas Market on Gendarmenmarkt
- Christmas Market on Breitscheidplatz
- Christmas Market on Potsdamer Platz
- Christmas Market at Köpenick Palace
- Christmas Market at Späth’sche Baumschulen
- Christmas Market at Charlottenburg Palace
- Christmas Market at the Christuskirche Oberschöneweide
- Christmas Market at the Evangelical St. John’s Foundation
- Christmas Market in Grunewald
- Christmas Market in Spandau
- Christmas Market on the Karlshorst Harness Racing Track
- Arts and Crafts Christmas Market on Mexikoplatz
- Christmas Market in Natur-Park Südgelände
- Christmas Market at Orankesee Lido
- Christmas Market at Spandau City Hall
- Christmas Market at Villa Donnersmarck
- Christmas Market on Wilmersdorfer Straße
- Christmas Market in Zehlendorf
- Danish Christmas Market
- Finnish Advent Bazaar
- Heissa Holzmarkt
- Japan Market Christmas Edition
- Lucia Christmas Market at Kulturbrauerei
- Medieval Christmas Market at the RAW Compound
- Medieval Christmas Market at Britz Palace
- Norwegian Christmas Bazaar
- Neukoeln Xmas Flohmarkt
- Rudow Christmas Mile
- St. Nicholas Market at Charlottenburg City Hall
- Sustainable Christmas Market on Sophienstraße
- Swedish Christmas Bazaar
- Weddingmarkt – Christmas Edition
- Weihnachtsrodeo Design Market
Opening hours are daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays from noon to 7 p.m.
Don’t miss the best known Christmas market around the Kaiser Wilhelm memorial church and experience an important part of Berlin history at the same time.
Basel, the historic and beautiful Swiss city on the river Rhine River (crossed by impressive bridges and a quirky hand pulled little ferry) features two Christmas markets. They are held on the Munsterplatz and the Barfuesserplatz in the centre of the Old Town. They run from 24 November to 23 December and are open from 11 a.m. to 8.30 p.m.
Sparkling decorations, mulled wine and many stalls selling wood carved angels will delight you and make you forget the cold. The markets are considered the largest and most beautiful in Switzerland and are the favorite of Dispatches founder Terry Boyd.
If you want to go farther north, head for Riga, the capital of Latvia located on the Baltic Sea and enjoy the Christmas markets there. Riga features three and is rumored to have been the home of the first Christmas tree.
By far the biggest and most famous Christmas market in on Dome Square. Several of the stands selling all kinds of food and ornaments are decorated like gingerbread houses, bringing visitors into the Christmas spirit and reminding them of their childhood fairy tales of Hansel and Gretel.
The markets run from 27 November to 2 January and are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Of course, the more the daylight fades the more magical the lights become. What Riga lacks in tourists, it makes up in the number of locals who bring their kids to enjoy the Christmas markets.
Another city located on the river Rhine, but this time in Germany, is Düsseldorf. The city boats seven Christmas markets.
Engelchen Markt, Heinrich Heine Platz( gilded huts crowned with a cherub)
Sternchen Markt, Wilhem Marx courtyard
Altstadt Markt, Flinger Strasse
Ko-Bogen Markt overlooking the Hofgarten
Schadow Markt, Schadowstrasse
They all have a different theme. If that isn’t enough for you, there is the giant ferris wheel on the riverside and, for some exercise, the DEG Winterwelt outdoors ice skating ring.
See our detailed post here from our 2021 visit.
The Christmas markets run from 17 November to 30 December.
Here are the opening times:
Sunday – Thursday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m..
Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday of the Dead (20.11.22): closed
Christmas Eve: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Christmas Day: Closed
26 December: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
See all our previous Christmas market lists here in Dispatches’ archives.
Inka Piegsa-Quischotte is an international attorney-turned-travel and lifestyle writer based in Spain. She has contributed to BBC/Travel, several in-flight magazines, TripSavvy (Spain) and TravelAwaits among many other publications.