There are so many reasons to plan a winter trip to visit European Christmas markets. The vibe is cozy, festive, and taps into the holiday spirit like few other places on Earth. There’s always at least one massive Christmas tree decorated to the hilt. They’re the perfect place to shake off the feeling of obligation that comes with buying gifts off an Amazon list. And who can resist the warming drinks and snacks (Mulled wine! Warm roast nuts! Gingerbread!)?
But for travelers from North America, traveling in between Thanksgiving and Christmas can feel daunting. And deciding which Christmas markets to visit (since they’re found in countries around Europe) can make it easy to stall out on the planning.
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That’s the joy of European Christmas market tours. Offered by a number of land-based and river cruise tour companies, these multi-day guided trips make it easy to visit three, four, or more Christmas markets in Germany, Austria, Hungary, France, Italy, or the UK. And while you’re there, you can sightsee at a time of year when the crowds are significantly smaller at top sights.
Here’s where to find great Christmas market tours this year and next.
Amazing Christmas Market Tours for 2023 and 2024
- Guided tour online travel agency TourRadar lists hundreds of Christmas market tours from tour companies including Trafalgar, Travel Talk, Avalon Waterways, G Adventures, Contiki, and Uniworld.
- Similarly, tour-specific online travel agency TourHub has a ton of Christmas market tour offerings. The site breaks down its list of available Christmas market tours by countries including Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France, and the UK. At presstime, there were some discounts on 2023 departures.
- CroisiEurope has a great collection of Christmas market river cruises. It also lists cruises that take place over the Christmas holiday and New Year’s cruises.
- Avalon Waterways offers Christmas holidays sightseeing tours with a river cruise, bringing guests from city to city (and Christmas market to Christmas market) via the Danube, Rhine, and Main rivers.
- Cruise Critic has plenty of advice about the best Christmas markets to visit if you’re on a river cruise, and it’s definitely worth a read if you’re comparing different itineraries.
Here’s more Christmas market tours from popular tour companies:
- Contiki: Contiki’s trips are geared to under-30s, making these a great option for students studying abroad who want a fun way to celebrate their winter breaks.
- G Adventures
- Road Scholar: Road Scholar’s list of offerings includes European Christmas market tours and other holiday-themed itineraries to destinations around the world.
- EF Go Ahead