Lesser Known European Christmas Markets

In the Southern Hemisphere, we try to replicate the feel of the festivities with ‘Christmas in July’ celebrations during our colder months, but they don’t do the holiday real justice.

In fact, Australian ‘Christmas in July’ celebrations fall short when compared with the experiences of a genuine European winter wonderland Christmas. Imagine the romance and excitement of exploring real Christmas markets, magical towns and villages steeped in history across Germany during the season itself!

Many Christmas traditions are believed to have actually emanated from German Europe, including the carol ‘Silent Night’, advent calendars and the modern depiction of Santa Claus, so it makes it all the more special to be in its spiritual home.

We know that the genuine white Christmas traditions of Europe are very attractive to Australians, so we offer many different tours around Europe exploring Christmas markets, local traditions, cuisines and entertainment.

From the fairytale alike Neuschwanstein Castle to the relaxing Budapest Baths and everything between, Europe is the place to be this festive season.

Our Christmas Markets tour in Heidelberg, Germany is one of the most popular white Christmas experiences we offer. This journey takes our guests through Munich, Salzburg, Nuremberg, Prague and Vienna during the festive season.

And while we’ve talked about some of the best European Christmas markets in Frankfurt, Nuremberg, Prague, Vienna and Brussels in our earlier blogs, have you been to the lesser known, but equally amazing markets in Romania, Estonia, Italy and The Netherlands and a few other underrated destinations? You cannot miss them this year!

Sibiu, Romania: roasted almonds, toffee apples and handmade presents!

This Romanian fair with Viennese flair is only hosted for a few days; but this is no doubt Romania’s most vibrant Christmas market, located in Sibiu’s Grand Square. The city centre is no accidental choice for the markets – being surrounded by such magnificent Baroque architecture truly makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

BONUS: Sibiu is nestled right in the heart of Transylvania, between three groups of mountains, which means snowfall is a common occurrence during this time of year, giving the city a truly festive, Christmassy feel.

Tallinn, Estonia: first Christmas tree in Europe!

Once Tallinn’s Christmas tree rises up in the centre of the Town Hall Square, the magic starts to pop up everywhere: great food and drink stalls, fabulous handmade goods, a petting zoo for little visitors, dance groups, live music and real snowflakes settling on visitors’ woolly hats. Magical stuff!

Tallinn is the oldest capital city in Northern Europe and has one of the best preserved medieval town centres in the world. The first Christmas tree was erected in 1441, also making it the first Christmas tree ever put on display in Europe!

Bolzano, Italy: longest Christmas markets in Europe!

The Christmas Market in Bolzano in South Tyrol is Italy’s biggest Christmas market. For almost a month, festive aromas fill the streets and picturesque alleyways; the shimmering sparkle of romantic lamps and flickering candles bathes Bolzano in a magical light. By the way, this Italian market runs far longer than most Italian – indeed most European – markets do!

These fairytale-like markets offer puppet theatres, trips in horse-drawn carriages, miniature trains and delicious sweet nothings that transport one back to childhood in an instant. This is a magical experience for travellers of all ages seeking to transform their Christmases forever.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Christmas markets for all tastes!

There are so many Christmas markets in Amsterdam in December. One of our favourite experiences is Ice*Amsterdam – the magical and tasty Ice*Village Amsterdam at the Museumplein – a true adventure of warm winter chalets which offer a variety of lifestyle, fashion, Christmas gifts, live entertainment and delicious food.

Amsterdam Christmas markets are exciting and diverse experiences. Inside the industrial warehouse of Kromhouthal in Amsterdam Noord awaits a charming Christmas market for you to explore.

There is nothing so magical as a Christmas market in a castle! At the Castle Christmas Fair in Heemskerk, just a 30-minute drive northwest of Amsterdam, you are welcome to embark on a real winter wonderland adventure, complete with fun workshops, market stalls hawking handmade goods, and, this year, a pack of alpacas.

If you are planning your white Christmas this year, give our team a call on 1800 242 353 – and they’ll design a truly magical experience for you.