Winter Holidays: Unique Christmas Markets in Europe

By The Gigstarter Team on 29-12-2023 |

'Tis the season to wander through crowded streets filled with snow, where centuries-old Christmas stalls meet modern family activities and delicious warm snacks and beverages. Each market has a special story to tell visitors and a unique atmosphere to share. Join us on a winter wonderland adventure, exploring the careful selection of the most mesmerizing places to visit in Europe created by the Gigstarter Team.

Winter Wonders

Location: Brussels, Belgium
Date: November 24 to December 31

This holiday period, the City of Brussels will celebrate the 23rd edition of Winter Wonders, one of Europe's most popular Christmas markets, filled with hundreds of activities that you won't leave you disappointed. The Belgian capital is known for its stunning architecture, and during the winter months, the city transforms into a magical 360° light show. The Grand-Place, located on the main square and considered a UNESCO World Heritage site, becomes a display for a variety of theme-related visuals. It is incredible to witness this as a family or alone, surrounded by joyful laughter and a warm atmosphere. Music also plays a significant role at Winter Wonders. As a visitor, you can see the diverse artists in many forms, such as street performers with acoustic guitars, united choirs, and even parade music! As a result of this it becomes a truly memorable experience with a strong spirit of the holidays.

chrsitmas stallChristmas celebration in Brussels

Christmas Town Valkenburg

Location: Valkenburg, Netherlands
Date: November 17 to January 7

From the middle of November, one of the most exceptional Christmas markets in Europe, located in the Dutch province of Limburg close to the German border, will be open to the public again. The whole city turns into one huge fairytale with events such as a Christmas parade, local food tours, and a 'real-life' Santa for kids to visit. However, the central point of this town is the Gemeentegrot (Municipal Caves). It is considered to be the oldest, largest, and most-visited underground market across Europe, adding a special touch to the regular festivities. Inside, you can find over 50 stores that sell hand-made Christmas decorations and presents, with the darkest corners illuminated by lights and lovely ornaments. The market provides visitors with accommodations inside the castle and concerts featuring musicians of many genres from Nederpop to children's carols.

Kerststad Valkenburg - Promotional Video

Winter Pride Xmas Market

Location: Hamburg, Germany
Date: November 20 to December 23

The Winter Pride Team describes themselves as following: "We are the Christmas market in Hamburg St. Georg for queers & friends with music, snacks, and mulled wine" and we couldn't summarize it better! Located in the charming German city, this joyful market offers a fantastic blend of a festive atmosphere and pride. Live performances by local LGBTQ+ artists, including DJs, drag performers, and entertainers, add an extra layer of excitement, transforming the market into another world. Every music genre you can think of is possible here. Be ready not only to embrace the traditional joy of Christmas but also to support the diversity of the community around you. Enjoy Winter Pride Xmas Market in Hamburg in the coming weeks!

pride christmasChristmas with Pride


Location: Strasbourg, France
Date: November 24 to December 24

Dating back to 1570, Strasbourg’s Christmas market is considered the oldest in France and one of the oldest in all of Europe. Every year, a thirty-meter tall Christmas tree is brought to Place Kléber and decorated with colorful lights and toys. Over 300 wooden stalls, spread across different squares in the city, invite you to make breathtaking discoveries in a snowy atmosphere! Here, you will find the best food markets, offering fresh pretzels, spaetzle, knack sausages, and crepes. However, the highlight of gastronomy in this part of France is the Alsatian cookies, traditional sweets typically flavored with orange, cinnamon, anise, and other spices. All in all, Christkindelsmärik is not just a market; it's a cultural celebration, confirming the title of Strasbourg as an absolute 'Capital of Christmas.

View of StrasbourgCozy lights enchanting the streets for the Holidays

We hope that these markets will inspire you to immerse yourself in the magical atmosphere and spend the upcoming holidays in an interesting way. As you sip on warm mulled wine or hot chocolate and participate in diverse activities, take a moment to embrace the beauty of winter. May it be bright and filled with joy. Happy holidays from the Gigstarter Team.

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Tags: xmas, markets, winter, activities, europe, traditions, places to visit, atmosphere, family