As the holidays quickly approach us, it’s the most wonderful time of year for wandering Christmas markets of Europe. There’s something truly magical about Christmas in Europe with the glistening festive lights, sparkling decorations, and chilly nights bundled up with a warm cup of mulled wine.
If you’re spending Christmas in Europe, the Christmas markets are a must, with vendors selling all sorts of holiday gifts and local delicacies for delicious treats. These markets often have pop-up bars, entertainment, and seating areas, so you can socialize with friends and family as you take in all of the sights, sounds, and smells of the season.
Last year we covered some of the most famous Christmas markets of Europe in Munich, Germany (my hometown!). So this year, I want to share a few of my other favorite markets in Switzerland and Como, Italy. I now call Switzerland my home, and my husband is from Italy, so I’ve spent a lot of time in both of these beautiful countries, which are especially enchanting during the holiday season.
First, I’ll introduce you to some of the best Christmas markets Switzerland has to offer. Then I’ll leave you with one of my absolute favorite Christmas markets in Italy.
Are you ready to get into the holiday spirit? The best Christmas markets of Europe await you!
Christmas Markets Switzerland: Alpine Holiday Cheer
If you’re planning to spend this Christmas in Europe, Switzerland should be at the top of your list. There are many Christmas markets in Switzerland tucked away in old towns and mountain villages. Make sure to bring your warm winter coats as you enjoy the festive season here!
Here are the most enchanting Christmas markets to visit in Switzerland (and some of the best places for Christmas shopping 2022):
24th Nov – 23rd Dec 2022
The Basel Christmas market on Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz is known as one of the best Christmas markets of Europe. This market is well worth the visit, with the magnificent Christmas tree in Münsterplatz and over 100 traders and artisans to explore. Tall pine trees and glowing Christmas lights with rustic wooden chalets make this traditional market a must-see when spending Christmas in Europe. If you’re looking to try authentic foods, check out the genuine Basel Läckerli (a kind of gingerbread), indulgent Swiss raclette, and hearty grilled sausages. The city itself sits on the Rhine with lovely views as you explore everything Basel has to offer.
17th Nov – 31st Dec 2022
When you think ofChristmas in Europe, Lausanne provides all of the Christmas magic you could ask for! It’s quickly becoming much more than just a Christmas market. This is the first year that the Christmas market events will go on until New Year’s Eve, with a massive celebration to ring in the new year. Be sure to catch the Lausanne Light Festival (December 1-24) for impressive Christmas light displays to get into the festive spirit. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride to feel like you’re a character in a storybook. Enjoy the breathtaking backdrop of rolling mountains and lake views to celebrate the holidays.
1st Dec – 24th Dec 2022
This list of Christmas markets of Europe isn’t complete without a stop in the city I call home, gorgeous Lugano, Switzerland! The city centre hosts the traditional Lugano Christmas market, with the streets and squares festively decorated. On December 1, the Christmas tree lights are switched on for the annual tree lighting ceremony in the Piazza Della Riforma. Embrace the magic of the season by exploring the range of stalls with gifts and handmade crafts. Find delicious foods to try on your way to Piazza Manzoni with a variety of culinary offerings. There’s also a Christmas village with live music and activities for children to enjoy with the whole family.
Christmas Markets in Italy: Magical Lake Como
Nestled near the border of Southern Switzerland and Northern Italy, Como is a spectacular sight to be seen! You’ve probably heard of Lake Como (make sure to visit the best places to eat in Como while you’re there!) –it’s a place that I always knew about but didn’t visit until later in my life. What a fantastic city! And when you add the beauty of twinkling Christmas lights plus the magic of the season, it’s a combination that’ll make your holidays so special when spending Christmas in Europe.
Cernobbio, Como, Italy
27th Nov 2022 – 6th Jan 2023
After almost 30 years, the Città dei Balocchi Lake Como has been changed to now be called Natale a Como (Christmas in Como.) There are sure to be some new ways of doing things this year, but one thing that won’t change is the joyous celebrations of the Christmas season in a magnificent setting. The wonderful Christmas market takes over much of the city centre during this time of year. Como is one of the most beautiful Christmas markets of Europe, thanks to the stunning setting with a wide range of Christmas programming until the New Year.
Start Planning Your Christmas in Europe
Traveling to Europe for the holidays is a must! It’s such a magical time to experience all of the unique traditions and celebrations of the season. Many of these markets have been around for years and are deep-rooted in each city’s unique culture that proudly puts on its annual festive events.
Have you ever visited any of the wonderful Christmas markets of Europe? Let me know your favorite ones in the comments below or on my Instagram!