15 Best Places in Europe to Experience the “Christmas Feels”

Family with takeaway drinks at Christmas market

Summer may still be in full swing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start preparing for Christmas’s festivities. 

These 15 European places offer only the best and most vibrant “Christmas feels” that will have you singing Christmas carols days later.

1. Prague, Czech Republic

prague christmas

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Prague is up there as one of Europe’s best Christmas destinations. The Christmas markets are open daily, plenty of pubs and restaurants to dine at, and the grand concert halls, churches, and concert houses host festive performances over this time of year. 

2. Vienna, Austria

vienna christmas

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If Vienna doesn’t give you those warm “Christmas feels,” no European city will. There are busy and exciting Christmas markets to browse and Advent concerts to watch. What makes this city a top choice is Austria’s heart winter cuisine. 

3. Salzburg, Austria

salzburg austria christmas mozart square

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With a glass of Glühwein to warm your belly, walking the Christmas markets in Salzburg is the ultimate Christmas destination. Take a walk around the Old Town, enjoying the beautifully decorated homes along the streets, ice skating in Mozart Square, and find Salzburg’s largest Christmas Market at the Salzburg Cathedral.

4. Krakow, Poland

krakow poland christmas

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Christmas is a significant festival in Poland and holds an important religious significance to the citizens. Although it is a great country to visit any time of the year, its Christmas markets and warm mulled wine make it the perfect Christmas destination.

5. Innsbruck, Austria

inssbruck austria christmas

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Bite into a warm, fresh donut flavored with sauerkraut, take in the jolly Christmas carols, and marvel at the festive tree lights. The medieval alleys of Innsbruck are turned into a magical winter wonderland, and the Christmas lights cast their magical glow. 

6. Munich, Germany

munich christmas

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Bratwurst and mulled wine leave their scents along the Munich streets, the shop windows glisten with Christmas lights, and festive craft stalls beckon you to find a Christmas keepsake. Munich is also home to the world’s most extensive collection of nativity scenes. 

7. Nuremberg, Germany

nuremberg germany christmas

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Christkindlesmarkt is one of the world’s most famous and oldest Christmas markets. The stalls sell gingerbread, delicious Spekulatius, almond cookies, and handmade Christmas decorations, creating that happy holiday feeling. 

8. Copenhagen, Denmark

copenhagen denmark christmas

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A very merry place to visit during Christmas is Copenhagen. Spend a morning at Broen’s Ice Rink, which overlooks the harbor, and stuff yourself with delectable Christmas Danish food. Christmas beer is a must when visiting this city for the holiday.

9. Bavaria, Germany

bavaria christmas

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Christmas in Bavaria is a truly festive affair. Whether held next to a peaceful lakeside or a princely castle, each market has its own magical feeling. When the mountains are snow-capped, and the old buildings are twinkling light-adorned, you can’t help but get into the Christmas spirit.

10. Berlin, Germany

berlin christmas

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One traveler described Christmas in Berlin as “so incredibly magical, warm (despite the cold), and awesome. I really thought I had hit the maximum Christmas wholesomeness.” Berlin transforms into a Christmas wonderland with its markets, decorated squares, streets, and concerts. 

11. Strasbourg, France

strasbourg christmas

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Strasbourg, highly regarded as a Christmas destination, is known as the ‘Capitale de Noel. Twinkling lights adorn the streets, 13 markets to wet your Christmas appetite, and you may even spot a polar bear if you’re lucky.

12. Zurich, Switzerland

zurich christmas

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Described as ‘enchanting,’ Zurich is as Christmassy as they come. Let the mulled wine warm your belly, the Christmas carols set the mood, and visit a pageant or two because it’s Christmas!

13. Rovaniemi, Finland

rovaniemi christmas

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There is no more festive place to spend Christmas than in Santa Clause Village, also known as Rovaniemi. It has been dubbed Santa’s official hometown, and you can meet Santa every day of the year, dine at the Christmas House Restaurant, and spend a night in his Igloos.

14. Colmar, France

colmar france christmas

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Colmar is one of the best Christmas destinations in France, with six Christmas markets with unique specialties and attractions. You must visit Petite Venise, where the streets and buildings are lined with stunning and festive lights.

15. Brussels, Belgium

brussels christmas

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The light display at Brussel’s Grand Place will leave you breathless. The Grand Place is beautiful year-round but never as magical as it is during Christmas. 


Where indicated, some images courtesy of Depositphotos.com.

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Jordy Johnson

Jordy gave up her home base to travel South Africa and experience more of her country. From that decision, she’s landed work as a travel writer for a magazine that showcases southern Africa and has grown her Instagram travel page, WeTheWests. She enjoys showing locals and foreigners all the beautiful and unique places and experiences South Africa and the rest of the world have to offer.