World's Best Christmas Markets

Good Morning America
World's Best Christmas Markets
.

View photo

World's Best Christmas Markets (ABC News)

At this time of year, travelers throughout Europe flock to traditional German Christmas Markets (Christkindlmarkts). If you're looking for delicious food and drink, handmade crafts and lively company, they're worth seeking out. The following markets in Germany, Austria and France are highly recommended by TripAdvisor travelers. Looking to stay closer to home? There's also a fantastic one in Chicago.

Cologne, Germany

Cologne hosts not one but seven Christmas markets, each with a different theme. The most famous, though, takes place right behind the Dom, the city's cathedral. Bring your appetite, because as one TripAdvisor traveler writes, "The food is fresh, hot and tasty." Reviewers particularly recommend the bratwurst. (But here's a practical tip from another TripAdvisor traveler: bring a German/English dictionary if you want to know what you're eating, as English menus aren't readily available.) Also, don't miss the gluhwein, "a delicious hot spiced wine which is a perfect remedy to the damp chill of November/December."

Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg may be in France, but it's close to the German border, and you'll find a strong German influence in many local traditions, including the city's Christmas Market, the Christkindelsmarik. Strasbourg "goes all out in its decoration of buildings and lights along the streets," in the words of one TripAdvisor reviewer. Another spotted "Baccarat chandeliers suspended in cheesecloth enclosures" illuminating one street. This market is also very family-friendly. You might even spot "Father Christmas with his donkey walking though the crowds."

Munich

"Among brightly lit streets and stalls, carolers roam the streets and Munich becomes alive with fun-loving people," wrote one TripAdvisor reviewer who was clearly enchanted with Munich's Christmas Market. Another said, "A real highlight are the drink stalls—they serve an array of drinks I'd never seen before (like hot wine and apple beer)." If you're feeling sociable, another reviewer recommends taking your food and drinks to "the high topped tables near the gluhwein stalls where you can set you glass down and chat with friends or make new friends."

Vienna

"Even in a damp snowless cold, Christmas cheer was all around me," wrote a TripAdvisor traveler who attended the Christkindlmarkt in Vienna. You'll find all manner of drinks to warm you up—in addition to the ubiquitous gluhwein, you can try apfel-punch mit rum, which another reviewer called "one of the best experiences on a cold winter night." There's also a live advent calendar and activities for kids, including cookie-decorating in the city hall.

Salzburg

In the words of one TripAdvisor traveler, "The Christmas spirit abounds in Salzburg and the streets and stores are brilliantly decorated... and are especially beautiful at night." Buy a mug of gluhwein here and get a couple of euros back for returning it at the end of the day—or keep it as a unique souvenir. Lastly, don't leave without tasting some "'Mozartkugeln,' a candy confection that is a local specialty."

Chicago

If you can't hop a plane to Europe this holiday season, take heart—German-style Christmas markets are popping up in cities around the United States. One favorite of TripAdvisor travelers takes place in Chicago. According to one reviewer, "Every turn smells of bratwurst and stollen." Another says visitors will find a "wonderful selection of ornaments, beer glasses/steins, hand carved beeswax candles, European candies and more." And don't worry, you won't miss out on the gluhwein. Try some here in a souvenir boot cup.

View Comments (0)

Recommended for You

  • Several Injured When Air Canada Plane Skids off Runway

    Several people on board an Air Canada flight were injured today when the plane experienced a hard landing at the Halifax international airport. The plane incoming from Toronto skidded off the runway upon landing early Sunday local time, said Halifax Stanfield International Airport spokesman Peter…

    Good Morning America
  • Get your taxes done right this year

    Looking to get your biggest refund this year? File online with TurboTax, and get your maximum refund, guaranteed.

    AdChoicesTurboTaxSponsored
  • 7 Injured, 3 Critically, in Panama City Beach Spring Break Shooting

    Three college students on spring break who were among seven people wounded in a shooting early Saturday at a home in Panama City Beach, Florida were "innocent victims," police said. Police arrested the shooting suspect, David Jamichael Daniels, 22, of Mobile, Alabama, and charged him with seven…

    Good Morning America
  • 5 Rights You Lose Whenever You Board a Plane

    That's what got a college kid booted from a Southwest flight a few days ago. Its temporary suspension and loss of other rights is due to safety concerns, plus concerns about passengers getting along on today's packed planes. There it is, in black and white, in Southwest's contract of carriage:…

    Good Morning America
  • 21 Injured When Metro Rail Train Collides With Car in Los Angeles

    At least 21 people were injured Saturday after a Metro rail train collided with a car in downtown Los Angeles, next to the University of Southern California campus, officials said. The driver of the car, a 21-year-old USC student, was hospitalized in critical condition, reports ABC station…

    Good Morning America
  • How a Federal Data Breach Law Could Actually Hurt Some Consumers

    An Even Bigger Problem Than Identity Theft This Holiday Shopping Season

    Good Morning America
  • Seattle Mayor Prohibits City Employees From Traveling to Indiana

    The mayor of Seattle today prohibited municipal employees from traveling to Indiana on city funds, as the backlash spread against the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's decision comes in response to the law signed Thursday by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence that allows…

    Good Morning America
  • Germanwings Crash Co-Pilot Seemed Like a 'Normal Guy,' Fellow Pilot Says

    French prosecutors have said co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately slammed the passenger plane into a mountain on Tuesday. Authorities have since said he hid evidence of an illness from his employers, including a sick note that was found torn up inside his apartment in Dusseldorf dated from the day…

    Good Morning America
  • Decorated Boston Police Officer in Coma After 'Unprovoked' Shooting

    A police officer decorated for his role in the Boston Marathon bombing remains in critical condition in a medically induced coma after he was shot in the face during a traffic stop, the city's police commissioner said today. Boston Police Commissioner William Evans called the shooting of Officer…

    Good Morning America
  • British Police Taser Knife-Wielding Robber in Harrowing Surveillance Video

    Harrowing surveillance video shows police tasering a knife-wielding man as he tried to rob a British supermarket.Wiltshire police released the video Friday, the same day they said James Lewis was sentenced to three years in prison. Police said he pleaded guilty to attempted armed robbery on…

    Good Morning America
  • James Bond Film 'Spectre' Releases Teaser Trailer

    The teaser trailer for "Spectre," the next installment in the James Bond series, picks up right where the last film left off. The trailer opens with the famed 007, played for the fourth time by Daniel Craig, learning some "personal effects" recovered from his ruined family estate and childhood…

    Good Morning America
  • Amanda Knox 'Grateful' Conviction Overturned

    Italy's highest court decided today to overturn Amanda Knox's reconviction in connection with her roommate's slaying, meaning that she will not be sent back to prison. Speaking to reporters in Seattle, Knox said she was still processing the court's decision.

    Good Morning America
  • 5 Things to Know About Taylor Swift's Rumored New Beau Calvin Harris

    Taylor Swift has been spending time with producer Calvin Harris recently, leading some to speculate as to whether they're dating. His stage name may be Calvin Harris, but the 31-year-old deejay was born Adam Richard Wiles in Scotland.

    Good Morning America
  • Germanwings Co-Pilot Andreas Lubitz Never Submitted Sick Note, Airline Says

    Germanwings said in a statement today that they never received a sick note for co-pilot Andreas Lubitz that the senior prosecutor in Dusseldorf announced they had found torn up in his apartment. Get real-time updates as this story unfolds.

    Good Morning America
  • Denise Huskins' Attorney Says She Was Not Involved in a Hoax

    "She is absolutely unequivocally, 100 percent, positively a victim and [there is] no 'hoax,'" said Huskins' attorney, Doug Rappaport. Police in Vallejo, California, said on Wednesday they found "no evidence to support the claims" that Denise Huskins was abducted from a home before she was found…

    Good Morning America
  • Silicon Valley Startup Creates $20 Toothpaste

    In this age of $30 dollar shampoo, $50 sunscreen, and $200 face cream, would you pay $20 for a small tube of toothpaste?

    Good Morning America
  • Peter Dinklage Accidentally Reveals Major 'Game of Thrones' Spoiler

    During an interview with Popsugar, Dinklage was asked if he had any questions for "GOT" writer George R. R. Martin. "Do I die?" Dinklage said.

    Good Morning America
  • 'Home' Movie Review

    Dreamworks’ newest animated feature, "Home," isn’t exactly a world-beater, but it is does revolve around a world invasion. The Boov are intergalactic nomads, who look like the Scrubbing Bubbles and "Despicable Me"’s Minions procreated. The silly Boov leader, Captain Smek, voiced by Steve Martin,…

    Good Morning America