8 BEST Family Friendly Christmas Market City Breaks in Europe
Discover spectacularly Christmassy cities at their most magical time of year. Christmas is the perfect time to enjoy a family friendly city break, as you really get two brilliant breaks rolled into one. Firstly, you can spend time exploring the city’s main Christmas markets in all their festive splendour. Secondly, you can still visit the cultural attractions, incredible cuisine and sublime sights each city is famous for. For classic Christmas market breaks for families, Europe is the king of the continents. From Krakow to Copenhagen, the whole area is dotted with unforgettable capitals and major cities that really up the ante for their festive celebrations. Let’s take a look. If you click on a link in this piece, we may earn affiliate revenue.
Amazingly, there are more than 60 markets across the city of Berlin, so you’re bound to discover Christmas celebrations on almost every corner. The capital of Germany hosts several standout Christmas markets, such as the Berliner Weihnachtszeit. This classic, family friendly Christmas market dates back to the early 1900s, so it’s had plenty of time to get things right! The huge Ferris wheel sparkles against the night sky, while you and your family could get your skates on for gliding around the centrepiece ice rink. It’s also well worth checking out Spandau Christmas Market. As the biggest market in Berlin, you’ll have plenty of chance to pick up handmade decorations, unique gifts and delicious treats like gluhwein (mulled wine) and hot chocolate, across its 400 stalls. It’s a place of sheer Christmas bliss in Berlin.
This stylish and contemporary hotel is placed close to Checkpoint Charlie and Potsdamer Platz, home to the Winter World Christmas Market.
With its sleek, expansive interiors that let in plenty of light, Eurostars Berlin hotel is just 1km from Berlin Cathedral.
This hotel is highly rated for its close proximity to the famous Christmas market at Gendarmenmarkt.
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The capital of Hungary lays on plenty of Christmas charm during the festive season. The main celebrations take place at Vörösmarty Square Christmas Market, which is lined with stalls serving up classic chimney cake (a sweet pastry often filled with ice cream), Hungarian honey cookies and steaming mugs of mulled wine. It’s also well worth visiting St. Stephen’s Basilica nearby. Not only is it an iconic sight, it’s also home to another of Budapest’s family friendly Christmas markets. Here you’ll find a small ice skating rink just in front of the basilica, as well as beautiful festive illuminations and a scattering of stalls selling Christmassy souvenirs.
Placed on Castle Hill, the Hilton Budapest boasts brilliant views of the Hungarian Parliament Building and Matthias Church. It’s also not far from the Vorosmarty Square Christmas Market.
As its name suggests, the Novotel Budapest Danube sits close to the waterfront of the River Danube.
The Crowne Plaza Budapest has expansive interiors and contemporary décor throughout.
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Prague becomes ever more picturesque over Christmas, as the silvery winter skies descend over the classic cobbled streets of the Old Town. Considering it’s the capital of the Czech Republic, Prague is surprisingly easy to explore on foot. It’s all thanks to the car-free setting at the historic heart of the city, which is where you’ll find the Old Town Square Market. With the Gothic splendour of the Old Town Hall’s tower casting a sublime silhouette, you can explore stalls offering delicious treats, hand crafted decorations and unique souvenirs. Across the city, Prague has just as many iconic squares that form the ideal setting for a spot of Christmas market shopping. Why not follow the wisdom of the good king himself and visit his namesake at Wenceslas Square Market?
The Aquapalace Hotel Prague boasts pirate-themed rooms and the incredible Water World indoor water park!
This centrally located hotel in Prague has an understated, modern style with an eco-friendly focus. It’s also not far from the Wenceslas Square Christmas Market.
The Hilton Prague Old Town hotel has a tasteful, continental décor. Plus, it’s just 900m from the Old Town Square Christmas Market.
Oh Vienna, what a wonder the Austrian capital is at Christmas! As befitting for a city with such grace and elegance, the markets here often have a classy twist. The Vienna Magic of Advent Market is a case in point, as the iconic spires of the city hall form a majestic backdrop to the proceedings. Look out for classic candy canes, fragrant gluhwein and slices of sachertorte to sweeten up your Christmas shopping. The market even has a super-speedy ice rink – watch the locals whizzing by! The Maria-Theresien-Platz Market is also beautifully lit when dusk descends, with a huge Christmas tree set as a centrepiece. As an added bonus, this market is placed right amongst Vienna’s best museums and galleries. Be inspired by the Museum of Natural History before your festive foray.
This central hotel has a contemporary approach to interior design with bold blocks of bright colour. It’s also close to the Christmas market at Belvedere Palace.
This boutique hotel radiates elegance, and it’s very close to the historic centre of Vienna too.
This fresh and modern hotel has a fantastic range of facilities. It’s also placed on the famous Ringstrasse.
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Krakow’s Main Square (also known natively as Rynek Glowny) is officially recognised as the largest medieval market square in Europe. That’s why it’s fitting that the Krakow’s biggest Christmas market is located here too. It’s a place where you can discover stalls selling trinkets and toys under a twinkling canopy of Christmas lights. You can fit in a spot of sightseeing at the same time, as the 16th century Cloth Hall lines the square, as well as St. Mary’s Basilica and the Town Hall Tower. Christmas shopping across Krakow has a decidedly festive twist too, thanks to the nativity scene contest. Stores in the city display their own nativity scene in their shop window in the hope of being crowned this year’s winner.
The Novotel Krakow Centrum is less than 2km away from Rynek Glowny Christmas Market, so you won’t have to travel far to reach the festive celebrations.
The AC Hotel Krakow is set amongst the peaceful green parkland of Krakow, yet the Main Market Square is only two tram stops away.
This Hilton hotel isn’t far from all the main sights in Krakow. You can easily reach the Main Market Square, Old Town and Wawel Castle from here.
Christmas in Cologne is often centred around the Cologne Cathedral. This world-famous building is the most visited landmark in Germany and at Christmas its soaring twin spires become ever more spectacular as they overlook the city’s main Christmas market. Pick up a yummy slice of stollen and take in the sparkling lights that complete this epic festive scene. There are many Christmas markets across Cologne so it’s a case of fitting in the best ones around your sightseeing plans. If you’re heading to the Chocolate Museum, a good tip is to visit the nearby Harbour Christmas Market. As its name suggests, it’s located within Cologne Harbour, so it has a majestic maritime theme with some stalls kitted out like the sails of a ship!
This contemporary hotel places you close to all the main Christmas markets in Cologne. The Harbour Christmas Market is less than 300m away, as is the Chocolate Museum too!
The Mariott Hotel Cologne is only 750m away from the Cologne Cathedral and its magical Christmas market.
It’s only a short walk of less than 600m to the Harbour Christmas Market from the Maritim Cologne. The Cologne Cathedral is only 850m away too.
The Danes are credited with coining the term of ‘Hygge,’ which is an emphasis on being content and cosy especially during the winter months. So, what better way to embrace this concept than on a Christmas market break in the capital of Denmark, Copenhagen? Tivoli Gardens is usually lauded as being one of the world’s oldest theme parks, but during the festive season is also hosts an incredible Christmas market. Along with a wide range of treats, arts, and crafts, the stalls here really make a show of their decorations as everything is illuminated in the amber glow of Christmas lights and over 1000 Christmas trees!
This central hotel is mere moments from Tivoli Gardens and its magical Christmas market.
This ultra-luxurious and contemporary five-star hotel has a unique interior design and stunning city views. It’s also just 120m away from Tivoli Gardens Christmas Market.
This modern hotel has an outdoor playground and indoor play area. The Tivoli Gardens Christmas Market is just over 1km away.
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#8. Munich Christmas markets
The beautiful capital of Bavaria has long been known as a particularly Christmassy city. Maybe it’s because there are more than 10 Christmas markets dotted across the city during the festive season. The biggest market is undoubtedly at Marienplatz Square, where you’ll see sparkling stalls, a spectacular nativity scene and more all set against the iconic backdrop of the Marienplatz Town Hall. It also hosts a live folk music band, adding to the authenticity of the experience. As an alternative, how about heading to Winter Magic at Viktualienmarkt? The focus here is more on festive food, so look out for delicious treats such as stollen and mulled wine.
Best hotels for family friendly Christmas market breaks in Munich
This great value hotel is less than 1km away from the Old Town. The Christmas market at Marienplatz Square is just 1.8km away too.
This contemporary styled hotel is ideally located for the Marienplatz Christmas market. Just hop on the S-Bahn and you’ll reach the Marienplatz in less than five minutes.
The Munich Mariott Hotel has a modern sense of style throughout, with fantastic facilities and a range of great dining options.
Now you’ve read our guide, it’s time to decide which is the most magical of these family friendly Christmas market city breaks in Europe!