Yuletide Escapes: Europe’s Top Christmas Destinations

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Stephanie is a cherished member of the Sampling America writing team, dedicated to crafting captivating narratives that transport readers to thrilling adventures across the country and beyond.

People who love traveling often want to make magical memories abroad, even on special occasions. Seeing how other cultures celebrate the holidays can give insight into what makes another country unique or how to bring some new traditions back home.

Europe is well known for being Christmas-crazy. Many Catholic and Christian countries love to celebrate Christmas with special and unique traditions while set against a winter wonderland.

Look inside to see the top European Christmas destinations where you should consider spending your holidays.

London, UK

London Bus
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

Although London is a modern metropolitan city, its history and architecture date back to Roman times, and when it snows in London, the architecture looks especially festive.

The city is well-known for its love of Christmas and all things jolly. If you’re visiting during the holiday, you can expect to see carolers in the streets, tons of festive lights, and many outdoor Christmas markets selling festive treats.

Prague, Czech Republic

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Image Credit: Lachlan Gowen on Unsplash.

Prague might seem like a random location for festive activities. However, the city is full of Gothic churches and medieval architecture. The backdrop of the town has been a shooting location for many medieval movies over the years.

The narrow cobblestone streets look cheery and bright even in the Northern European winter. Prague is a beloved destination for those looking to see stunning architecture and jolly activities.

Budapest, Hungary

Christmas tram in Budapest
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Budapest sits on the Danube River, further down from Vienna, and much of the culture is similar between these two cultures.

The city lights up and opens its doors for travelers to celebrate Christmas and ring in the New Year during the holiday season. Budapest is a dreamy place full of lights and culture. The usual drink of the season is mulled wine or grog to warm yourself on the cold streets.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen Christmas market
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Copenhagen is famous for its Christmas markets and festive holiday food. At one of the many markets in the town squares, you can enjoy a mug of glug, a spiced wine drink with raisins and almond slivers.

The Danes also take their Christmas dinner seriously. Most celebrations take place on Christmas Eve, with a gorgeous stuffed duck, and then most people relax on the 25th.

Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg Christmas
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

Situated in northern France, Strasbourg straddles the line between French and German cultures. This wintery landscape in the mountains is the best backdrop for colorful celebrations.

The Catholic country knows how to have fun during the holidays; the Gothic Cathedrals are adorned with decorations, and the city hosts one of the oldest Christmas markets in France.

Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn Estonia
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Estonia might not be your first choice destination when planning a Christmas celebration, but the city has plenty of fun set against a 15th-century Gothic landscape. 

Estonian culture is well-known for its eastern European dancers who put on stunning shows at Christmas markets. The cobblestone streets are strewn with pine trees and lights to celebrate the holiday. 

Munich, Germany

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Germany is well-known for being a country obsessed with Christmas. During the holidays, Munich brings out its best stuff to decorate the city like you’ve never seen.

The city is covered with angels, stars, lights, and extra-large Christmas trees. The city’s biggest market, Marienplatz, is an amazing place to visit. They have plenty of food and mulled wine available in between the shops, selling fun goodies.

You can also stop by one of their famous beer halls to try an authentic German stout and a bratwurst with mustard and sauerkraut.

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Budapest Baths
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Brussels Christmas market
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