The holidays are such a happy time in Europe and we wanted to get you dreaming about some of the fun places to visit during this festive time of the year. From Scotland to Greece, we've chosen our favorite European destinations and a little something sweet to get you inspired to travel to Europe for Christmas. Enjoy!
Edinburgh – Scotland
Enjoy your winter holidays in the picture-perfect Scottish capital that is bustling with traditional markets, pop-up ice rinks and lovely gardens that have been transformed into winter wonderlands. Take part in the season’s festivities in the heart of Edinburgh, where the streets turn into ‘Santa Land’ serving local delights, bespoke and traditional crafts. Admire the huge dazzling Christmas tree and take-in the view from atop the famous Edinburgh Eye Ferris wheel.
Favorite Christmas Market:
Tasty Tradition: Fudge Tablet or Black Bun
The European Market, East Princes Street GardensZagreb – Croatia
Zagreb is not commonly thought of as a holiday destination, yet it is visited by thousands of tourists during Advent – the period leading up to Christmas (Advent means 'coming' in Latin). During Advent, Zagreb puts on its festive face, and invites you to sing, dance, sample traditional specialties, and shop for Christmas ornaments hand-crafted by local artists. The most stunning Christmas market is at Zrinjevac Park; located in the heart of the city, the park is decorated with thousands of twinkling lights and its quaint wooden booths sell everything from mulled wine and food, to ornaments and souvenirs. We highly recommend exploring Zagreb for the Christmas holidays!
Tasty Tradition: Strudel Pastry
Favorite Christmas Market: Christmas Market at Zrinjevac Park
Belfast – Ireland
Celebrate the festive season in one of Europe’s most exciting cities – Belfast! Full of beautifully restored Victorian buildings, an impressive waterfront lined with modern art, and of course its vibrant food and drink scene. Get inspired by the festive spirit as you explore Belfast’s cobblestone streets full of pop-up markets, Christmas carolers, and sparkling iconic buildings. Discover some of the city’s the prettiest Christmas markets within the grounds of City Hall, bursting with ornaments, gifts and delicious food kiosks from all around the world.
Fresh smoked salmon from a smokehouseFavorite Christmas Market:
Belfast Christmas Market, City Hall
Even though Easter is the most celebrated holiday in Greece, the holiday season is also a great time of year to visit Athens. Instead of a traditional Christmas tree, the city of Athens is decorated with the traditional ‘karavakia’ which are brightly lit traditional Greek fishing boats. Although festivities and celebrations take place all around the city, the main Christmas market is held in Syntagma Square; here you’ll find stalls selling traditional sweets and trinkets, a carousel that brings smiles to children’s faces, and a variety of musical events that take place in the square for the entire month of December.
Tasty Tradition: Melomakarona Cookies
Favorite Christmas Market: Syntagma Square Christmas Market
Discover More European Destinations