Christmas markets are now everywhere. You may want a trip to see some, so here are some suggestions, please add your suggestions and pictures in comments below. Our favourite is HAMBURG. The first Christkindlemärik claims to have been held in Strasbourg in 1570. Now markets full of seasonal trinkets, Christmas songs and carols, candied almonds, chestnuts, stollen, fragrant gingerbread and mulled wine have spread all over Europe. There are so many you could go anywhere to see sparkling decorations illuminating medieval buildings and historic town squares, but, there are some that are special.

  • Hamburg is both a destination on 4 day party cruises at Christmas, and on the longer Baltic Cruises. We love this pre Christmas treat. See our film on Hamburg Christmas Market.
  • Oslo in Norway can be on many Christmas market cruises and it is a beautiful city, though very expensive. It is also colder, much colder than the other stops, maybe by ten degrees or more, and expect show. See our Oslo Christmas Market Film.
  • xmas-tallinTallinn, Estonia Tallinn stands out because it is picturesque before you dress it with Christmas. This compact city with many churches comes alive at Christmas. There is a program of song and dance over this period.
  • Strasbourg, Europe. 300 stalls, spread out over 12 locations in the city centre. This city produces a special atmosphere of warmth and generosity, an Alsatian tradition which has been successfully maintained since the first market (1570).
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  • hans-christian-andersen-christmas-market_pr_photo-2Copenhagen Copenhagen, brims with Christmas cheer from Tivoli to a market where all the stalls are  named after Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales, tastefully decorated with thousands of Christmas lights. See our Copenhagen Christmas Market film
  • Zagreb, Croatia. The city streets and squares invite you to let your hair down and partake in singing, dancing, and other kinds of entertainment with family and friends. You can also sample traditional delicacies alfresco or enjoy themed programmes which take you down memory lane. The port of Zadar is always well decorated.
  • header_wismar_pic1Wismar, Germany ***  This world Heritage Hanseatic City might not be on your normal list, but it is a new stop for Fred Olsen this year. Wismar is considered one of the most beautiful and romantic Christmas markets in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
  • Amsterdam has Christmas early, so this is a weird one as if it is on a Christmas cruise, it is likely they will have had Christmas. The decorations will still be up, but, the night time river cruise with a light display is often the feature. Take a look before you book.
  • Colmar, France. Is the third largest Alsace community in the North Eastern region of France. It is a wine route and was formally German. Many traditions and Christmas is amongst them.
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  • Bruges Bruges. Chocolate and Christmas. The cobble streets and squares are an ideal setting for the Christmas markets. There is always an open air ice rink. At this time of the year a ride on a horse and carriage is extra special.
  • Innsbruck, Austria. Against the picturesque mountains Innsbruck Christmas market has the snow capped advantage. It is spread over at least 6 markets with over 200 stalls and a 14 meter high Christmas tree.
  • Here is where the cruise ships are over Christmas if you fancy taking the whole family away. Here Jean also had a bag snatched and the police suggested the report should be made to our police back home, Beware!
  • Gothenburg. Amongst the many cosy Christmas markets there is one at Liseberg Amusement park or 40km away is the Tjolöholm Castle with fireworks and other activities.
  • Bremen, Germany. Is said to be one of the best Christmas markets in Germany. Set in front of the Town Hall with nearly 200 stalls you will be able to smell the sausages cooking as well as the Christmas spirit.
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  • St Petersburg, RussiaSt Petersburg’s Ostrovskovo Square is where the Christmas Market has been held since it started in 2006. It is a five-minute walk from the right side of Gostiny Dvor metro station, a small square dominated by the huge, bronze monument of Catherine the Great where you will find the market.
  • Billand, Denmark. The home of Lego, so this is a family destination. DUPLO land turns into Christmas.

Here is where the cruise ships are over Christmas if you fancy taking the whole family away. Please share and follow….. LOOK before you BOOK. Add your suggestions and pictures below in comments and we will update the page with them and credit you.