The best Christmas markets in Europe to visit with car-sharing

It's the smell of mulled wine in the cold air, the steam coming off the roasted chestnuts, the spit of roast Bratwurst. Nothing gets you in that yuletide mood more than wrapping up and wandering through the wooden chalets of a good European Christmas Market. However, for urban dwellers, markets in the main city centre squares can often feel too commercialised and cynical. With car-sharing, you can escape the most built-up areas and venture a little further to uncover the real hidden gems of the festive season. Here are the best Christmas Markets to visit with car-sharing in Austria, Germany, Italy, France, Spain and The Netherlands.

Austria: Weihnachtsdorf Vienna

The biggest and most famous Christmas market near Vienna is the "Wiener Christkindlmarkt und Weihnachtstraum". It's located directly in front of the Town Hall Neo-Gothic Rathaus. Whilst it is undoubtedly worth a visit, it can get very crowded in the lead-up to December 25th. Instead, head to the Weihnachtsdorf (Christmas Village) at Schloss Belvedere Palace. It's a little outside the old town, but with a SHARE NOW car-sharing car, you can roll up and enjoy the festivities without worrying about public transport. The Weihnachtsdorf at Schloss Belvedere is open from November 18th to December 26, 2022, 11:00 to 21:00 (weekdays) and 22:00 (weekends).

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Germany: hundreds of years of tradition

Germany is home to some of the world's most impressive Christmas markets. From Stuttgart, try the Esslinger Medieval Market & Christmas Market (Mittelaltermarkt & Weihnachtsmarkt). It's located just 30 minutes from the city centre to the southeast. In North Rhine-Westphalia? Try the Markt der Engel in Cologne for truly magical moments. In Berlin, you'll find more than 80 Christmas Markets, but our favourite is in Spandau Old Town (Altstadt Spandau), just 16 kilometres from Alexanderplatz. Bavaria is spoilt for Christmas Markets, but you can easily reach the five markets around Nuremberg Old Town’s Main Market Square from Munich with SHARE NOW.

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Italy: magical family moments

Whilst Germany and Austria are perhaps more famous for traditional Christmas markets, magical moments can still be found in Italy. For those willing to venture a little further from Milan, the Merano Christmas market (Südtirol) features daily concerts and children's entertainment as well as the usual festive vibes. The Merano Christmas market starts on November 25th and remains open until December 6th from 10:00 to 20:00 daily. From Turin, check out Ricetto di Candelo, also known as Santa Claus village, which is just an hour's drive from the northern city.

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France: Paris and the magic of Noël

Few cities in Europe come alive with a beauty quite like Paris over the festive season. You'll find plenty of "Marchés de Noël" in Paris but we recommend the Christmas market around the Château de Vincennes metro station just outside of the city to the east. It is reachable with a SHARE NOW car in just 30 minutes from the centre of Paris. The Vincennes market runs from December 3rd to December 24th. The Christmas illuminations on Avenue des Champs-Elysées are also worth a look on your way in or out of town.

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The Netherlands: a winter wonderland

One of the great things about car-sharing in The Netherlands is nothing is ever really out of range. Located right in Amsterdam is Het Amsterdamse Winterparadijs. As the name suggests, this really is a winter paradise, with so much to do and see from curling, ice skating, a silent après-ski bar for the grown-ups and loads of activities for kids. Het Amsterdamse Winterparadijs is open every day from December 15th, including Christmas Day and Boxing Day, right up to and including until January 1st. Tickets start from 22,50 €.

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Spain: christmas flavour in Madrid

If there's one thing that's part of Christmas in Madrid, it's the Christmas trees and lights in the city's streets and squares. But that's not all. In a few minutes with a SHARE NOW car you can see the lights and drive to the Christmas market in the Plaza Mayor. From November 25th to December 31st, 2022, the Plaza Mayor turns into a large market where you can find all kinds of nativity figures, decorations, toys and prank items. The market is made up of 104 stalls where you can find that item you are missing to decorate your house for Christmas or where you can have fun if you visit with friends.

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For the true adventurer: Innsbruck Mountain Christmas

Feeling bold this festive season? Innsbruck comes alive at this time of the year. The Christmas market at Hungerburg, situated 300 meters above the city itself, is about as epic as markets come with its mountainous backdrop. It's almost 500 kilometres from Vienna, but with SHARE NOW hourly and daily rates, you can totally make a trip of it if you're feeling like doing something a bit special this year. The Hungerburg Christmas market opens on November 25th and runs until January 6th.

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David McCourt

David McCourt

Sr. Editorial Content Strategist

"Own less, share more."

David is on a mission to improve the quality of life in cities through modern mobility solutions.