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Written by Rohitha Bollipalli on October 13, 2023 Share on

Best Places to Spend Christmas in Europe 2024

2024 Christmas is going to be lit. Lights, chocolates and love everywhere! Christmas brings joy to the heart even as a word. When the whole world comes together in celebrating a festival, it is only fair that it’s as grand as Christmas is. Whatever world may it be, religions, or even realms like Narnia and the magical community, celebrate December the 25th, in all its glory. After all the years of Christmas, it has come to be the celebration of life and a season everybody waits for, as soon as it is over. Check Pickyourtrail’s International tour packages to get a wide range of places to visit.

A whiff of a scent could bring you Christmas in the middle of summer, snow on any normal day, the sight of snow-capped trees being lit up, tiny little figurines placed in a certain way, thick woollen socks, a particular song about a red-nosed guy, sipping chocolaty Starbucks- it goes on. But the point is, Christmas visits you any time of the year, all you need to do is hold on to it. This list, with the best cities to spend Christmas in Europe, will help you get an idea to plan your trip. Read further to know about the best places to spend Christmas in Europe.

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11 Best Destinations/ Places to Spend Christmas in Europe

  1. Tromso, Norway
  2. Zagreb, Croatia
  3. Milan, Italy
  4. Krakow, Poland
  5. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  6. Prague, Czech Republic
  7. Hallstatt, Austria
  8. Manchester, UK
  9. Paris, France
  10. Nuremberg, Germany
  11. Vienna, Austria
  12. Brusseles, Belgium
  13. London, England
  14. Cologne, Germany
  15. Craiova, Romania
  16. Edinburgh, Scotland
  17. Basel, Switzerland
  18. Leipzig, Germany
  19. Malaga, Spain
  20. Strasbourg, France

1. Tromso, Norway :

Christmas in Tromso
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Starting this list with a huge bang is Norway’s Tromso, the mother of snowy Christmases. I completely believe in all the theories that claim that Santa and his Reindeer live here (the North Pole, Christmas all year around, Hello!). Snowy with a chance of Northern Lights is the perpetual weather here. How can Christmas paired along with these Nordic light showers not be the best in Europe? The white hues of the town blend seamlessly with the reds and greens of the festival. Lights and Christmas trees propped up against the white mountains in the background is something you should never miss. best places in Europe to spend Christmas Spend your next Christmas leaning back into a blanketed chair, in front of a crackling fire, sipping glasses and glasses of Aquavit or simply under the Norwegian moon.

Read also: Where and how to watch the Northern Lights in Iceland

2. Zagreb, Croatia:

The Advent, Zagreb
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Zagreb is Croatia’s most dreamy city. With high beige roofed medieval buildings that look like Shakespeare’s palace sets, it is an ever beautiful jewel. Christmas Tale, a market on Ban Jelacic, plays host to a giant wreath called Advent Wreath. It is positioned around the Mandusevac fountain in a bewildering fashion. The first candle is lit on December 2nd, followed by a new candle that appear each Sunday. Finally, on Christmas Eve, the wreath is completely fired up. With the glimmering wreath as a backdrop, concerts, shows and festive activities start. Each picture taken of this frame is celebrated all over the world for the sight it puts up and hence Zargeb is undoubtedly one of the best places to spend Christmas in Europe.

3. Milan, Italy:

mMilan's Cathedral
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You must already know how Milan is the fashion capital of Italy. But did you know that Christmas in the city is the most beautiful in the country? You do now! There are at least a million lights throughout the city. Not only are the markets glowing in the night, so are the storefronts and boutiques that come out to celebrate Christmas. Everybody you see will smile and welcome you inside for a cup of coffee. The Naviglio Grande and Duomo are the prettiest parts of the city in this respect. Local Jazz schools put up gigs to celebrate the advent calendar. The Christmas markets shown in the picture above, are self-explanatory. places to spend Christmas in Europe

4. Krakow, Poland :

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If you’re in love with the idea of spending a Christmas in Europe but do not have the dough for it, Krakow is your place. Not only budget travellers but people looking to chase Jack Frost and have a peaceful little Christmas in cottages, Krakow is one of the best places to spend Christmas in Europe. The decorated Old Market Square and Old Town’s centre become the most picturesque and the most colourfully lit areas against the plain stone cold of the city. Carols and live performances are always happening in the squares and artists being introduced to the world.

5. Amsterdam, Netherlands:

Amsterdam's lit canals during Christmas

Christmases in Amsterdam is the snowiest time of the year. No native reindeers present but definitely expect a drunk Santa Claus to end up at your door because that’s how the Amsterdammers roll. Surely, Amsterdam doesn’t show any lesser Holiday spirit than the other European towns. If you take a walk during the night and you will know. Even the canals and trees aren’t spared. The traditional Dutch houses are somehow even prettier in the new light. Not to mention all the famous cafes. Nightlife is tweaked a little bit with the Christmas Eve parties. The Amsterdam Light festival takes place too, which is a European version of the Thailand one. Dutch cheese, Olieballen and appelbeignets are some delicacies you should try during the season.

6. Prague, Czech Republic:

Prague Christmas
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Brick reds of the Art-Nouvelle structures contrasting stunningly with the scarlet carpeted roofs of market shops. Mixed aromas of Trudel, pancakes and hot chocolate whirl in the music-saturated air. Waking up to the smell of delish food and clouds of snow and watching people falling in and out of markets on their way to the traditional Christmas mass is one of the best holidays ever. Especially if that city is as beautiful as Prague is.

Also read: Christmas Markets in Europe for some early festive vibes.

7. Hallstatt, Austria:

Hallstatt's White Christmas
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Consider me a sucker for picturesque European towns and Alpine mountains hovering over them. Hallstatt not only made me fall in crazy love right at the first go, but it gave me so much to look forward to in the world. The way these beautiful houses cling to the lake hits me in all its glory. When Christmas arrives, it is already a winter wonderland and one of the best places to spend Christmas in Europe. With the added beauty of the festival’s influences, Hallstatt becomes the rich postcard sight that we all swoon over. You could get to the place after just an hour’s walk. The rest will all be party time. Freshly falling snow on the cobbled streets is a sight that will stay with you forever. Go fall in love! places to spend Christmas in Europe

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8. Manchester, UK:

Manchester's Christmas Markets
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The United Kingdom celebrated Christmas like no other place in the world. The very mood of the towns and its people is uplifting. Kids hang up socks full of treats for Father Christmas, dad bring in the biggest tree they can acquire and erect it in a grand place in the living room. Moms spend hours in the kitchen, making pies, cakes, tarts and potlucks. You’d think, isn’t this how Christmas is in every country? It is, but the warmth that wafts out of the chimneys and the glow in the eyes of everybody on the street. Everything that we read about English Christmases in the books is true. One city that sets the bar high is Manchester. At least a dozen Christmas markets exist in the city squares. Special Christmas theatres, fairs, food stalls and ice skaters pop up. Every mall and restaurant sprinkles stardust and throb with high spirits.

Blissful UK vacation for nature lovers

9. Paris, France:

Parisien Cafe In Christmas
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Did you really think we’d compile a list of top destinations for Christmas in Europe, and leave out the city of love? Take my word upon it, if you should ever decide to visit Paris, it should be in December during Christmas. It is when all the important historical spots like Champs Elysees, Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower look their best, drenched in all their former glory. Every cafe you enter will be a little piece of Christmas heaven. The crepes, hot chocolates, croissants and even the pastries that you eat will whisper the word ‘Christmas’ in your ears. Every storefront will be colour coordinated in red, green and gold. You can literally feel love in the air. Hence Paris is without a doubt, one of the best places to spend Christmas in Europe. Just point yourself in the direction of the nearest Mistletoe and you will know.

10. Nuremberg, Germany:

Nuremberg Christmas
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The whole place starts smelling a lot like Christmas much before the actual festival. You can’t resist much against mulled wine and rum rage. Needless to say about the Christmas markets, which are world famous. This scenic little town in Germany’s Bavaria came to be so famously associated with Christmas because of the ongoing festive mood that is observed, year after year. Snow drenched needle pines adorn the streets along with the fairy lights. Tiny little shops full of candy canes, hot pancakes, eggnog and gingerbread are seen everywhere. If not for the Christmas markets, you should visit Nuremberg just to check out the toy making factories in the outskirts.

11. Vienna, Austria:

Viennese Christmas
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There isn’t a city that equals Vienna’s grace and class. Especially when it comes to Christmas, it seems as if Christmas exists because it has to come to Vienna. There are so many books and theatres written about the Viennese Christmas. It seemed good enough for Romeo & Juliet, so it should be magical enough. The cute little cafes that are scattered throughout the city, are decorated with alluring lights, hence the collective look of stars on earth. Winter is in its most ravishing state too hence making Vienna one of the best places to spend Christmas in Europe. Rathausplatz is the place to be if you need a change of air. Ice skate your way into the markets too!


12. Brusseles, Belgium

Experience the magic of Christmas in Brussels, Belgium! Named one of the best places to visit for Christmas in Europe, Brussels offers a delightful festive atmosphere. Explore the enchanting Christmas markets, indulge in delectable Belgian chocolates, and marvel at the stunning light displays. Discover the iconic Grand Place and enjoy ice-skating at Place Sainte-Catherine. With Belgium tour packages available, make this Christmas unforgettable with a trip to Brussels, the perfect destination for holiday cheer.

London Christmas

13. London, England

As one of the best countries to visit for Christmas in Europe, London comes alive with festive cheer. Explore iconic landmarks like Big Ben and Buckingham Palace adorned with dazzling lights. Indulge in Christmas markets, ice skating at Somerset House, and the enchanting Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to create lasting memories. Book your England tour packages now and immerse yourself in the holiday spirit in beautiful London.

14. Cologne, Germany

Germany, one of the best countries to visit for Christmas in Europe. Immerse yourself in the festive spirit as you stroll through the enchanting Christmas markets, adorned with twinkling lights and delicious aromas. Explore the magnificent Cologne Cathedral and indulge in traditional German treats like gingerbread and mulled wine. Make your holiday even more memorable with Germany vacation packages that showcase the country’s rich history and cultural heritage. Create lifelong memories in Cologne this Christmas season.

Craiova, Romania

15. Craiova, Romania

Germany is one of the best countries to visit for Christmas in Europe, but if you’re looking for a unique experience, consider Craiova, Romania. Nestled in the heart of the country, this charming city offers a magical Christmas atmosphere with its beautifully decorated streets and festive markets. Explore the historic Old Town, indulge in traditional Romanian cuisine, and immerse yourself in the warm hospitality of the locals. Make the most of your visit with Romania tour packages that showcase the country’s rich cultural heritage. Come and create unforgettable memories in Craiova this Christmas 2024.

Edinburgh Christmas

16. Edinburgh, Scotland

Germany is one of the best countries to visit for Christmas in Europe, but Scotland offers a magical holiday experience too. In Christmas 2024, explore the enchanting city of Edinburgh, Scotland. Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere with traditional markets, dazzling lights, and charming decorations. Discover the city’s rich history, visit the famous Edinburgh Castle, and indulge in delicious Scottish cuisine. With Scotland tour packages, you can experience the warmth and beauty of Edinburgh during this special time of the year.

17. Basel, Switzerland

Switzerland is one of the best countries to visit for Christmas in Europe, and Basel is a magical destination that captures the essence of the festive season. With its enchanting Christmas markets and stunning decorations, Basel offers a memorable experience for travelers. Immerse yourself in the joyful atmosphere as you stroll through the picturesque Old Town. Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in Swiss delicacies and shop for unique gifts. Explore Switzerland tour packages and embark on a winter wonderland adventure in Basel this Christmas 2024.

Leipzig Germany

18. Leipzig, Germany

Leipzig, Germany, is a magical destination to celebrate Christmas in 2024. Nestled in the heart of Europe, it ranks among the best countries to visit for Christmas in Europe. Immerse yourself in the enchanting holiday spirit as you explore Leipzig’s charming Christmas markets and historic landmarks. Experience the warmth of German traditions while indulging in delicious festive treats. Discover Leipzig’s Christmas magic with exclusive Germany tour packages, creating cherished memories to last a lifetime. Don’t miss this extraordinary holiday adventure in Leipzig!

19. Magala, Spain

Experience the magic of Christmas in Magala, Spain! As one of the best countries to visit for Christmas in Europe, Magala offers a delightful holiday atmosphere. Immerse yourself in the festive spirit as you explore the charming streets adorned with twinkling lights and beautifully decorated Christmas markets. Discover Spain’s rich traditions with special events and delicious cuisine.

Strasbourg France

20. Strasbourg, France

Experience the magic of Christmas in Strasbourg, France, one of the best countries to visit for Christmas in Europe. Immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere of the famous Strasbourg Christmas Market, where you can explore beautifully decorated stalls offering exquisite crafts and delicious treats. Discover the city’s stunning architecture, including the majestic Strasbourg Cathedral.

Book your own little Christmas getaway here. Or just go crazy with these already designed itineraries.

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Debating on where to spend Christmas? Pickyourtrail has got the answer to your query! Discover the best places to spend Christmas in Europe with our curated list to celebrate this festive season. Get in touch and book your Europe Tour Packages now!

Frequently Asked Questions

Where’s the best place in Europe to experience a traditional Christmas market?

Germany is well-known for its traditional Christmas markets, especially in cities such as Nuremberg, Munich, and Cologne. These markets are a must-see during the holiday season because of the festive atmosphere, mulled wine, handmade crafts, and delectable treats.

Which European country has the most elaborate Nativity scenes?

Italy is famous for its intricate and detailed Nativity scenes known as “Presepi.” During the Christmas season, Naples, in particular, features some of the most elaborate and artistic displays.

Where can I witness a unique Santa Claus tradition in Europe?

In Rovaniemi, Finland, you can visit Santa Claus Village, which is located right on the Arctic Circle, where you can meet Santa and even cross the line into the Arctic.

Which European city hosts an ice sculpture festival during Christmas?

The Winter Wonders festival in Brussels, Belgium, features a magical display of ice sculptures that adds a touch of wonder to the holiday season.

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