Europe’s Most Affordable Christmas Markets Revealed
Whether you’re on the hunt for Christmas presents, looking forward to sipping on mulled wine, wish to marvel at the decorations or take to the ice, Christmas markets are a winter essential in the lead up to the winter festivities.
Taking place across the UK and Europe from November until the beginning of January, visiting some of the oldest and most popular markets needn’t break the bank.
Whether it’s a trip to Germany for the traditionalists, an opportunity to explore a new European city for the jet-setters or a chance to visit London’s Winter Wonderland for families, we’ve researched 56 of the best Christmas markets suitable for every budget.
We at Sambla measured a variety of different factors including; the average cost of 3* and 4* hotels, the average daily food costs and the cost of taking a spin on the ice rink, to see which European and UK destinations rank highest for their affordability.
Go straight to:
- Europe’s Most Affordable Christmas Markets
- UK’s Most Affordable Christmas Markets
- Europe’s Most Affordable Ice Skating Spots
- Europe’s Most Expensive Christmas Markets
Europe’s Most Affordable Christmas Markets
|Top 20||Start Date||3* Hotels||4* Hotels||Food costs||Ice skating||Score/10|
|Poznań, Poland||18th November||£66||£89||£7.84||£2.53||9.8|
|Gdańsk, Poland||24th November||£73.5||£109.5||£16||£2.34||9.5|
|Zagreb, Croatia||2nd December||£107||£132||£14||£1.73||9.3|
|Kraków, Poland||24th November||£97||£117.5||£10||£4.87||9.2|
|Warsaw, Poland||25th November||£84.5||£128||£21||£2.17||9.2|
|Zakopane, Poland||8th December||£62||£233.5||£10||£3.90||9.1|
|Montpellier, France||2nd December||£81.5||£142.5||£27||£4.34||8.7|
|Riga, Latvia||3rd December||£55||£93||£28||£6.97||8.7|
|Reims, France||24th November||£76||£150||£35||£4.34||8.4|
|Bratislava, Slovakia||21st November||£93||£136||£39||£3.49||8.3|
|Tallinn, Estonia||1st December||£72.5||£121.5||£31||£7.83||8.3|
|Prague, Czech Republic||2nd December||£103.5||£334||£21||£3.53||8.2|
|Heidelberg, Germany||27th November||£134||£130||£32||£5.21||8.2|
|Frankfurt, Germany||27th November||£140||£107.5||£36||£5.21||8.1|
|Porto, Portugal||1st December||£109||£155||£31||£6.96||8.0|
|Stuttgart, Germany||29th November||£172.5||£132||£32||£5.21||7.9|
|Hamburg, Germany||27th November||£155||£192||£30||£5.21||7.9|
|Munich, Germany||27th November||£146.5||£304.5||£24||£4.34||7.9|
|Stockholm, Sweden||24th November||£148.5||£150||£29||£7.44||7.9|
|Graz, Austria||18th November||£85.5||£138||£28||£12.60||7.7|
1. Poznań, Poland
Ranking number one as the most affordable Christmas market is the Polish city Poznań with an impressive overall score of 9.85/10. The market is located in the Old Town amongst its Renaissance-style buildings. Eating out for a whole day could cost less than £10, while accommodation is priced between £66-£89 a night. Ice skating will set you back £2.53. The International Ice Sculpture Festival is a must see where artists from around the world pick up hammers, chainsaws, and even irons to turn blocks of ice into works of art in front of the audience.
2. Gdańsk, Poland
In second place and consecutive listing for Poland, is the Gdańsk Christmas Fair, situated on the Baltic coast of the country. Hosting 155 stalls with unique gifts, decorations and treats, a weekend visit could cost from £73.50 to £109.50 a night and food costs can be as little as £16 a day. Running from the 24th of November until the 23rd of December, it’s the perfect time to explore this destination.
3. Zagreb, Croatia
Croatia’s capital ranks in third with a score of 9.35/10. A trip to see the Zagreb Advent can vary from £107 to £132 a night, while ice skating costs less than £2. From the 2nd of December to the 7th of January, the city is adorned with thousands of lights and visitors can dine on Paprenjaci – peppery gingerbread cookies and stuffed turkey.
UK’s Most Affordable Christmas Markets
If your calendar is booked up until the New Year or if catching flights aren’t your thing, the UK has a wealth of Christmas markets to choose from, from the famous Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park to the Rambles in York, we’ve ranked each city from least expensive to most expensive.
|Rank||Start Date||3* Hotels||4* Hotels||Food costs||Ice skating||Score/10|
Home to Robin Hood and figure skating champions, Torvill and Dean, Nottingham’s Winter Wonderland is the most affordable Christmas Market in the UK. Accommodation ranges from £79.50 to £146 a night while food costs can set you back an average of £36. With an ice bar, sur la piste and sky skate ice path, there’s plenty of festive activities to tick off.
Glasgow ranks in second place for our affordable UK markets with an overall score of 7/10. Starting on the 18th of November accommodation in the Scottish city varies from £86 to £129.50 a night. With two fairs to choose from, festive goers can visit George Square and St Enoch Square to purchase their Christmas gifts and delight in the festive atmosphere.
Taking inspiration from Frankfurt’s Christmas markets, Birmingham achieved a score of 6.9/10. With average food costs totalling £38 per day, you can feast on turkey and stuffing sandwiches, pretzels and gluhwein and take to the ice for £13.
Europe’s Most Affordable Ice Skating Spots
Our favourite winter sport is a key element of the festive season. Whether you’re taking the little ones for their first spin or wish to impress a romantic partner, our study has revealed the most affordable rinks.
|Rank||Location||Ice skating price|
1. Zagreb, Croatia
Costing less than £2, Zagreb is the most affordable location to ice skate. The Ice Park at King Tomislav Square, features a beautiful skating rink set in front of Zagreb’s oldest and most famous art gallery, the Zagreb Art Pavilion.
2. Geneva, Switzerland
Located in the heart of the city, Geneva’s Parc des Bastions has an ice rink that is perfect for couples, children and families alike. What’s more is the rink is free with skate hire costing as little as £1.81.
3. Warsaw, Poland
The Polish capital ranks in third for the most affordable spot to ice skate. Among the colourful buildings of the Old Town Square, you can skate for £2.17 an hour.
Europe’s Most Expensive Christmas Markets
While our study shares the most affordable Christmas markets this year, we wished to also highlight those markets that cost a little more than the average.
|City||Start Date||3* Hotels||4* Hotels||Food costs||Ice skating||Score/10|
High accommodation costs make the city of love the most expensive Christmas market to attend in 2023. With hotels costing on average between £469 and £555 a night, if you wish to visit the 15-20 Paris Christmas markets that appear across the city, it’s worth being aware of the extra cost.
Second is the UK capital London, with an average score 5/10, accommodation costs can take a large chunk from the budget. Varying from £311 to £400 a night, your daily budget can increase when also considering the average food costs. However, the Winter Wonderland features a huge selection of festive entertainment and activities, from ice skating and circus shows to live music, you won’t be short of activities to do during your visit.
Dublin has ranked third for the most expensive Christmas market with an average score of 5.5/10. Hosting various markets across the city, you can enjoy the novelty of drinking Guinness while you shop for presents in the Irish capital, however high accommodation, food costs and ice skating could swallow a large amount of your budget.