Enjoy the Sparkle and Joy of Europe’s Best Christmas Markets

by | 10 Oct 2021

If you want to wrap yourself up in the most Christmassy Christmas ever, then a trip to Europe’s unforgettable Christmas markets is just the treat. Imagine beautiful, iconic cities covered in lights and alive with music and singing. Or picture yourself gazing up at the snow-capped Alps as you sip mulled wine and nibble on traditional holiday treats. How fabulously festive!

We at Insight simply can’t get enough of Europe’s Christmas markets and have no less than six premium guided tours to whisk you away to winter wonderlands. Between them they take in the markets of France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, The Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovenia and Slovakia. Visit the best markets, explore beautiful destinations and try new experiences, and travel in comfort and style all the way. With premium guided travel every step your vacation is taken care so all you have to think about is where you want to go.

Perhaps you don’t get a white Christmas at home, or maybe you just love tinsel and sparkle?
Whether you have visited these iconic European cities before, or they have always been on your bucket list, this is the perfect reason to pack your bags and put on your Santa hat. Each country offers its own traditional take, with different twists on food, beverages and the range of gifts and trinkets sold on the array of stalls. Maybe try a new destination, or revisit some of your favorites for this magical time of year.

Traditional German origins


Did you know that the Christmas market originated in Germany? Known locally as a Weihnachtsmarkt, Christkindlesmarkt, Christkindchesmarkt and Christkindlmarkt, they date back to the 14th and 15th century and originally enabled people to stock up ahead of the long winters. Over the centuries the markets have become more and more enchanting, serving as a place to gather and buy Christmas presents for children and friends, and an opportunity for local craftsmen and artists to sell their work.

Germany’s oldest market is in Dresden, first held in 1434, is one of the highlights on our eight-day Christmas Markets of Germany premium guided tour, along with the sparkle and festivities in Berlin, Nuremburg, medieval Rothenburg ob der Tauber, and Munich.

Awesome Austria


Magnificent at any time of year, Austria’s cities and town are simply mesmerizing when lit up with festive lights. Fall in love with the capital Vienna, and see the Schönbrunn Palace, the Opera House and the Hofburg Imperial Residence glittering and sparkling against the winter sky. Cloak yourself in advent carols in musical Salzburg, Mozart’s birthplace, as you wander among the sparkling domes and spires of the Old Town.

As for the markets, expect delicious Glühwein, nativity displays and a vast array of seasonal gifts and mouth-watering treats. If this sounds like your kind of winter vacation, you can enjoy Austria’s finest markets and destinations on our eight-day Christmas Markets of Austria and Bavaria premium guided tour.

Christmas time in the Alps


Are you in search of a picture-perfect white Christmas? We can confirm that experiencing the best of the festive season in a magical winter wonderland with the snow-capped Alps as your backdrop is truly unforgettable.

Choose our Alpine Christmas Markets premium guided tour to discover the most dazzling and vibrant Alpine markets of France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Shop for goodies in France’s oldest market in Strasbourg, and in Salzburg meet a stall holder to taste traditional Bavarian Lebkuchen with a fragrant cup of Glühwein. Be amazed by Europe’s biggest indoor Christmas extravaganza in Zurich, held in the main railway station, with over 160 wooden chalets and a three-story Christmas tree, draped with Swarovski crystals. Now that’s what we call sparkle! 

The perfect reason to visit Croatia, Slovenia and Slovakia


Maybe less obvious destinations for Christmas markets than some of their European counterparts, these fascinating and beautiful countries have bags to offer in the festive cheer department. Get ready for a shopping bonanza of traditional gifts and delicious delicacies.

Now, have you ever wondered how the lights and music at a Christmas Market are designed? Check out our Christmas Markets of Croatia, Slovenia & Austria and Christmas Markets of Central Europe premium guided tours and in Ljublijana, Slovenia you will meet with Urban Modic, the talented local artist who designs Ljubljana’s Christmas lights. Be treated to an insight into the city’s famous decorations and share tales of holiday season fun as you take an insightful walk through the old town. With attractions handpicked by Local Experts at every stop on these tours, discover something new at every destination.

Festive fish in Prague


You may be surprised to see carp for sale in buckets as you wander through the Christmas markets of Prague. Cooked in breadcrumbs, the fish is the tasty main ingredient in a Czech Christmas dinner.

Explore stunning Prague, along with Poland’s great cities Kraków and Wroclaw, and Dresden and Berlin in Germany with our Christmas Markets of Poland, Prague & Germany premium guided tour. In Prague meet a local stallholder and savor a glass of Svařák, traditional mulled wine, along with the local Trdelník pastry. And in the Polish capital Wroclaw, enjoy a vibrant Christmas Market full of fairy-tale charm, surrounded by the city’s Baroque splendor adorned with thousands of twinkling lights. 

So will a Christmas Market vacation be on your list to Santa this year?

If you’re now dreaming of a winter getaway, full of festive spirit and fun, we would love to take you there. Think warm, comfortable and stylish hotels, perfectly located for you to explore, and soak up the charming atmosphere. Mix this with delicious dining and foodie explorations to drive your taste buds wild. And, through our exclusive Insight Experiences and MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences come away with a deeper connection and understanding of your destinations and their people, customs and cultures, that will stay with you forever.

Download our new interactive brochure or visit our website and discover all of our magical worldwide premium guided tours, now available to book for 2022 & 2023.

Alex is the Editor of Insightful, and has over 10 years' experience as a writer and editor within the travel industry. In his professional travels, he has been all over the world – from road-tripping in Australia and New Zealand, to eating his way around the Canadian Maritimes and criss-crossing Italy from Sardinia to Emilia-Romagna.