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MAPPED: Best Christmas Markets to see in Europe – without stepping foot on a plane

MAPPED: Best Christmas Markets to see in Europe – without stepping foot on a plane

Eurostar has rounded up the best 2017 Christmas markets you can get to by rail

CHRISTMAS markets are a must for any seasonal reveller as the year draws to a close, and Europe offers a multitude of choice for the festive offerings. 

Eurostar has rounded up the best Christmas markets you can get to by rail, to save you the hassle of dealing with over-crowded airports. 

From Belgium to France and Germany, there’s a destination for every festive fan. 

Prepare for warm cider, mulled wine, ice skating and delightful sweet treats, all on offer at these iconic locations.


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Christmas markets 2017 MAPPED: Best in Europe on Eurostar

Ghent, Belgium

Ghent’s city centre will be turned into a winter wonderland from early December. Featuring an ice-skating rink under the City Pavilion and a giant Ferris wheel in front of St Bavo’s Cathedral you can enjoy a view of the city from the air. There will also be a Christmas market at Korenmarkt where you can enjoy local delicacies whilst you shop.

Fastest journey time: 3 hours 30 minutes (via Brussels)

Markets open: 8 December 2017 – 7 January 2018

Tickets from: £35 one-way with an ‘Any Belgian Station’ ticket

Antwerp, Belgium

Each year the Grote Markt, Suikerrui, Handschoenmarkt and the Groenplaats are all transformed into a festive market. The Groenplaats hosts the ice rink which is surrounded by various food and drinks stalls. 

Enjoy a hot chocolate and a glass of Glühwein in front of the City Hall. On the Steenplein, there is also a Ferris wheel and tubing slide overlooking the river Scheldt and the city.

Fastest journey time: 3 hours 30 minutes (via Brussels)

Markets open: 9 December 2017 – 7 January 2018

Tickets from: £35 one-way with an ‘Any Belgian Station’ ticket

Brussels, Belgium 

The Brussels Christmas market is hailed as one of the most inventive in Europe. Running from 24 November until 31 December, the Plaisirs d’Hiver or ‘winter pleasures’ market is located across a 2km trail featuring a wide range of chalets and stalls. 

An ice skating rink and a nightly sound and light show in the Grand Place offer entertainment for all.

Fastest journey time: 2 hours

Markets open: 24 November – 31 December 2017

Tickets from: £29 one-way 

Bruges, Belgium                  

The beautiful market square of Bruges is transformed every winter with an abundance of colourful lights and illuminated festive stalls crammed full of Christmas treats. Around 30 traditional stalls sell everything from speciality foods, to sweets and unique hand-made Christmas decorations.

Fastest journey time: 3 hours 20 minutes (via Brussels)

Markets open: 24 November 2017 – 1 January 2018

Tickets from: £35 one-way with an ‘Any Belgian Station’ ticket

Christmas markets 2017 best Europe Eurostar map
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Christmas markets 2017 MAPPED: Europe by rail from France to Germany and Belgium

Lille, France 

Only an hour and a half from London St Pancras, Lille is the perfect place to do your Christmas shopping. 

The main square is transformed into a Winter Wonderland with an 18-metre-high Christmas tree and visitors can enjoy the seasonal sights of the city from a giant Ferris wheel.

Fastest journey time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Markets open: 27 November – 26 December 2017

Tickets from: £29 one-way

Paris, France

From mid-December, Notre Dame will be home to one of the most spectacular Christmas markets in Paris. The Cathedral will be lit up with festive lights and the square will feature over 50 stalls. 

There will also be a giant Christmas tree to gather around with carol singers.

Fastest journey time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Markets open: 15 December – 24 December 2017

Tickets from: £29 one-way

Christmas markets 2017 best Europe Eurostar map

Christmas markets 2017: Head to Cologne in Germany for festive cheer

Strasbourg, France            

The Strasbourg Christkindelsmärik is the oldest Christmas market in France, dating back to 1570 so it is no surprise that the city considers itself the capital of Christmas. 

The market spreads out across the centre of the town, around Cathedral square and Place Broglie where hundreds of stalls will feature ornaments, toys, food and mulled wine to keep you warm as you browse.

Fastest journey time: 5 hours 45 minutes (via Paris) 

Markets open: 24 November to 24 December 2017

Tickets from: £50 one-way

Cologne, Germany 

A quick connection in Brussels takes travellers to the heart of Cologne. Shoppers can indulge in a traditional pretzel while exploring one of the seven Christmas markets on offer. 

The largest market boasts the tallest Christmas tree in the Rhineland.

Fastest journey time: 5 hours 30 minutes (via Brussels) 

Markets open: 27 November – 23 December 2017

Tickets from: £45 one-way

If you’re stuck for Christmas gift ideas, This Morning presenters Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield have revealed the must-have gadgets in the UK for 2017. 

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