Best Places to spend Christmas in Europe

The Best Places to spend Christmas in Europe. Have you been? Where would you suggest?
The Best Places to spend Christmas in Europe. Have you been? Where would you suggest?

Save or share this post for later

Where to spend Christmas in Europe

Everyone celebrates Christmas differently; some people return home to exchange presents with their families and wear tacky jumpers, others jet off on a festive holiday.  Whatever your plans for the holiday season – at home or abroad – they’re sure to involve some form of travelling. Christmas flights are notoriously hard to find, but if you know where to look then you can grab yourself a deal. With that in mind, where should you spend the festive season?  Let’s take a look at some European destinations you might not have considered for a Christmas break.

This post will include some affiliate links meaning if you decide to click on them to book anything, I will gain a small amount of commission at no extra cost to you.

Christmas in Europe: Dublin, Ireland

Dublin is home to the popular Christmas tipple; Baileys. Why not take a trip to Dublin’s famous Temple Bar and enjoy a glass of Baileys beside a cosy fire in one of the many pubs on the street.

Once your belly has been suitably warmed, head over to O’Connell Street to see the fantastic, fully lit Christmas tree and drink in the festive atmosphere.

image-by-sebastian-dooris-used-under-cc-license. Life Beyond Borders
Image by Sebastian Dooris used under CC license

Christmas in Europe: Venice, Italy

Venice is a lovely place to visit at any time of year and at least a day and night in Venice is highly recommended, but it looks even more striking during this season. The floating city’s many rivers reflect Venice’s Christmas lights beautifully and the Christmas markets here are truly unique. Pick up a hand painted Venetian mask to present to a loved one on Christmas morning, or bring back some of Italy’s best festive food.

Fruit filled panettone, luxurious nougat and local delicacies like balsamic vinegar and olive oil all make generous gifts.

Venice at christmas photo. Life Beyond Borders
Photo by alaindemour

Christmas in Europe: Manchester, UK

Manchester’s Christmas markets are some of the biggest and best in the UK. Plan your route through them all and you’ll get to smell, taste and see everything that the city has to offer. Enjoy Christmas treats like bratwurst, hot fudge donuts and warm hot chocolate before setting off in search of gifts.

The stalls have a whole range of handcrafted presents so you can get all of your Christmas shopping done while enjoying your holiday!

Handcrafted toy stalls at Manchester Christmas Markets. Image by Donald Judge used under CC License. Life Beyond Borders
Image by Donald Judge used under CC License


Christmas in Europe: Madeira, Portugal

During Christmas time, Madeira is beautifully lit up with thousands of twinkling lights all over the island. Funchal is a particularly special place to visit during this time and the stunning New Year’s Eve fireworks are even more impressive.

If what you really love about Christmas is the spectacle and the bright lights, then Madeira is the place you should visit.

madeira at christmas photo
Funchal Christmas lights Photo by Paul Stephenson

Christmas in Europe: Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb may be at the top of your list for a summertime getaway, but it’s also got a lot to offer in the cooler winter months. The city recently won the 2016 title for the best European Christmas market, therefore visiting Zagreb at this time of year is a real treat.

Travellers can enjoy live dance performances, try out ice skating and take a ride on a Christmas-themed tram with the company of Santa and his elves.

Zagreb at christmas. Life Beyond Borders
Zagreb at Christmas Photo by Mr.FF9900

There’s no better way to say “Merry Christmas” than with a special festive trip, so put together your festive plans and you could spend this holiday season in one of these incredible European destinations!

PIN for later

Best Places to Spend Christmas in Europe. Where will you spend yours?
Best Places to Spend Christmas in Europe. Where will you spend yours?

Christmas in Europe – where will you spend yours?


  1. I’m such a cold wimp but these places look wonderful to experience during the holiday season. One of these days, I will definitely have thicker skin to visit during Christmas

  2. The markets in Zagreb are very good. I love the Christmas markets in Germany. Those of Esslingen, Nuremberg and Berlin stand out among my favourites.

  3. I’ve been to Venice several times but never during Christmas season. It must be magical!

  4. So I am a bit intrigued by your list of the best places to spend Christmas time in Europe mainly cause Croatia is of interest to me these days. But I was a bit shocked that you skipped perhaps two of the biggest Countries for Christmas: Czech Republic & Austria.
    Darcee (my wife) & I took our honeymoon a few days after Christmas of 2020 on a Rhine River Cruise and though Hungary was also grand, there was nothing better than the various cities we visited in Austria! Venice is perhaps one of the more beautiful at Christmas time.
    However even with the Austrians doing a grand job, I think Prague in the Czech Republic hands down is the best! After our cruise, my wife has always wanted to see the Christmas Markets. We saw about 6 before on the cruise but there is no doubt that Prague is the KING! They had at least 4 major markets and the main one in the old city of Prague was glorious! Plus what I love is how they along with most of that region of Europe truly celebrate the Christmas season from Christmas Day until the Epiphany.

  5. Wonderful windows, marvellous markets & twinkling trimmings. We totally love how London goes to town for the festive season! With so many options for things to do at Christmas in London, it can be hard to choose. Still, variety is the spice of life and with so much choice, there’s something for everyone.

    Liberty always have a fab range of Christmas decorations, a must-visit if you’re looking for something special to decorate the tree with. Fortnum & Mason have the most artistic and clever Christmas windows – a must visit after dark when the pavements aren’t crowded with people.