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Explore the Magic of European Christmas Markets: Festive Getaways and Easy Drives from England

Explore the Magic of European Christmas Markets: Festive Getaways and Easy Drives from England

Ah, the twinkling lights, the aroma of mulled wine, the joyous sounds of carols - nothing quite captures the essence of the holiday season like a European Christmas market. If you're based in England or Europe and looking to embrace the festive spirit, pack your bags and get ready for a memorable road trip to some of the best European Christmas markets. Not only are these markets brimming with holiday cheer, but they're also easily accessible by a scenic drive, making for an unforgettable seasonal getaway.


Manchester, England - A Festive Starting Point

Before revving up for your European Christmas market adventure, kick off your journey in Manchester, England. This vibrant city sets the holiday mood with its own magical market. Immerse yourself in the cheerful atmosphere, savor the delectable treats, and pick up unique gifts for your loved ones.

Calais friends holidays

Calais, France - A Short Hop Across the Channel

Hop on a ferry or the Eurotunnel from Dover, and within a couple of hours, you'll find yourself in Calais, France. Known for its Christmas markets, Calais invites you to explore its charming stalls offering traditional crafts, delicious French delicacies, and, of course, the finest mulled wine. It’s a perfect stop to experience a taste of France’s holiday traditions.

brussels belgium

Brussels, Belgium - A Gastronomic Delight

A scenic drive from Calais leads you to Brussels, the heart of Belgium. The Brussels Christmas market, set against the stunning backdrop of the Grand Place, enchants visitors with its dazzling lights, ornate decorations, and an array of culinary delights. Indulge in Belgium’s famous waffles, chocolates, and sip on hot cocoa as you wander through the festive stalls.

Germany winter wonderland

Cologne, Germany - A Winter Wonderland

Embark on an enchanting drive from Brussels to Cologne, Germany, where you’ll find yourself in a winter wonderland. The Cologne Christmas markets, scattered across the city, offer an array of handcrafted gifts, traditional ornaments, and festive goodies. The aroma of gingerbread and roasted chestnuts fills the air, adding to the magical ambiance.

Ice Skating

Amsterdam, Netherlands - A Quaint Stopover

Extend your road trip to Amsterdam, just a short drive from Cologne. Although not typically known for its Christmas markets, Amsterdam transforms into a whimsical wonderland during the holiday season. Experience the festive spirit at the Museum Square’s Ice Village, offering an ice-skating rink, charming stalls, and a cozy atmosphere.


Edinburgh, Scotland - A Festive Retreat in the UK

As you journey back to England, don’t miss out on Edinburgh’s Christmas extravaganza. While not in Europe, this Scottish gem offers a fantastic blend of European-inspired markets, festive attractions, and a vibrant atmosphere. Revel in the Scottish holiday cheer as you explore the markets and enjoy the various seasonal activities.


Making Your Festive Road Trip a Reality

Now that you're inspired to embark on this merry adventure, let’s talk logistics. A road trip through Europe for the Christmas markets is best experienced with the freedom of your own vehicle. If you're starting from England, consider renting a car for the ultimate convenience and flexibility. Car rental services offer a range of vehicles suitable for different travel preferences, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable journey.

Tips for Your European Christmas Market Road Trip

  • Plan Ahead: Research the opening dates and times of the Christmas markets to make the most of your visit.

  • Pack Wisely: Bundle up with warm clothing and comfortable shoes to stay cozy while exploring the markets.

  • Taste the Traditions: Indulge in local specialties and traditional holiday treats at each market for an authentic experience.

  • Capture Memories: Don’t forget your camera or smartphone to capture the magical moments and festive decorations.

  • Safety First: Check travel advisories, road conditions, and any necessary travel documents before setting off.


The allure of European Christmas markets beckons, promising an unforgettable holiday experience. From England to the heart of Europe, a road trip to these enchanting markets offers a delightful blend of culture, traditions, and seasonal cheer. With a car rental and a sense of adventure, set forth on a journey filled with twinkling lights, joyful melodies, and the warm spirit of the holiday season. Get ready to make cherished memories as you explore the best European Christmas markets, all just a scenic drive away!