8 Enchanting activities you can do on a European Christmas Holiday

Christmas time in Europe is like nothing else on Earth (especially when compared to Christmas in Australia!). From snow-covered fairytale castles, to beautiful Christmas markets and alleyways dotted with choirs singing carols, Europe at Christmas time is something everyone should take the time to experience at least once.

Here are our top 8 favourite experiences you can do on a European Christmas holiday.

1. Take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage

Horse and carriage ride through the snow in Austria

A favourite activity around the world, there is nowhere better to ride a horse-drawn carriage than through the stunning countryside of Austria, Germany or Switzerland. You’ll be able to capture the true atmosphere of your location at Christmas time by travelling in the most traditional way possible. Giddy up!

2. Visit a traditional European Christmas market

Salzburg Christmas Markets

Europe is packed full of beautiful Christmas markets, filling village squares, adorned with lights and selling magical gifts and absolutely delicious food. The perfect way to do your Christmas shopping. The cities of Frankfurt, Prague, Berlin and Salzburg are all famous for their traditional Christmas markets.

3. Savour European Christmas treats

Gingerbread heart (Lebkuchenherz) at a Nuremberg Christmas Market stall

From roasted chestnuts, steaming mugs of gluhwein, super sized pretezels and heart shaped ginger cookies, you will be spoilt for choice with a huge array of delectable foods available from the Christmas Markets. In Germany, be sure to taste the amazing bratwurst, a very delicious sausage.

4. Tour the great cathedrals

Prague Cathedral and Christmas Markets

At Christmas time, the magnificent cathedrals of Europe are decorated to the nines with stunning lights and Christmas displays. There’s no better time to experience these awe-inspiring constructions than when they’re in full swing with celebrations. You might even be able to catch a traditional Christmas service or a stunning vocal choral arrangement!

5. Take a cable car to the top of the mountains

SonnAlpin Glacier Restaurant, Zugspitze - copyright Bayerische Zugspitzbahn Bergbahn AG - BZB

The alpine villages in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and France are riddled with lifts and cable cars that whisk you up the mountains. Relax in a mountain top cafe with a hot chocolate and steaming apple strudel whilst taking in the stunning mountain views that go on forever.

6. Visit a palace or two

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Europe is home to some of the most amazing castles and palaces in the world, whether they’re from the Gothic, Renaissance or Medieval eras. At Christmas time they light up with decorations, festivities and a lively atmosphere, so it’s the perfect time to experience the grandeur and luxuriousness of a time that once was.

We recommend the Neuschwanstein Castle in Hohenwchwangau, Germany for the ultimate fairytale experience.

7. Ride the famous Glacier Express

Glacier Express winter, courtesy of @ Glacier Express

The Glacier Express is one of the most scenic train rides in the world, with panoramic window views that glide through the stunning Swiss Alps. You’ll travel through stunning mountain scenery that will make for amazing photos - no matter the weather!

Christmas is the perfect time to experience unique European experiences like the Glacier Express.

8. Play in the snow!

Bleckanau Hunting Lodge, courtesy of Peta Coles

There is a good chance you will have the opportunity to play in the snow on your European festive holiday. Tobogganing, building a snowman, creating snow angels and walking along snow covered valleys are just a few of the fun activities you can do in the snow. And of course, skiing is an option in many of the European alpine villages.


If you’ve been thinking about the best time to visit Europe, then a Christmas getaway could be the perfect option. Explore Albatross Tours availabilities for our wonderful Christmas, New Year & Northern Lights tours today!

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Michele Zavaglia

Michele Zavaglia