Where to find the best Christmas markets in Europe

Fabulous spots for festive shopping breaks

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The historical, Renaissance-style Christmas market at...

There's nowhere better than Europe for an enchanting Christmas shopping trip, where you can soak up the festive atmosphere at a beautiful Christmas market. The concept of this rather magical experience started in Germany as early as the Middle Ages when traders gathered to sell their goods before the bleak midwinter set in, but these days most of the western world embraces them for the run-up to the big day.

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Christmas marketsare all about celebrating everything traditional (albeit with a definite German tinge). Think gingerbread and stollen, bratwurst and candied fruit, as well as lots of local arts and crafts. While they provide a haven for shoppers, most people go simply to get into the festive spirit: the little ones can meet Santa and the whole family can enjoy the Christmas carols.

Whether you fancy hopping on the Eurostar or getting a cheap flight to Europe, these are the top Christmas markets for a shopping break this winter...

Europe's top Christmas markets 2017

Europe's top Christmas markets 2017