toptable's bluffer's guide to … Europe's best Christmas markets

There’s nothing better to get you in the festive mood than a visit to one of Europe’s traditional Christmas markets. They’re held all over the UK, from Bath to Belfast and beyond, but some of the best are further afield in picturesque cities like Prague and Vienna. Here are three of the best, along with some great restaurants to eat at while you’re there.

1) Berlin – Germany’s capital city hosts over 50 Christmas markets every year but we recommend one of the busiest, situated next to Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. The smell of mulled wine and baked cinnamon stars fills the air as choirs, trumpet ensembles and jazz bands take to the stage at the Weltbrunnen fountain. Don’t forget to pick up hand-made decorations and toys for your friends back home.

Where to eat: Go Vegetarian at La Mano Verde or have a romantic dinner at Duke Restaurant or Berlin-Sankt Moritz.

2) Brussels – Every winter, Brussels is transformed into a Winter Wonderland, complete with an illuminated Big Wheel and 200ft long skating rink. It’s perfect for shoppers, with over 240 wooden chalets selling Christmas ornaments, crafts and seasonal gastronomic treats.

Where to eat: Indulge in French bistro classics at La Clef des Champs or Millesime; enjoy old-world charm at Les Petits Oignons; or dive into incredible seafood at La Tortue du Sablon.

3) Vienna – One of Austria’s best markets – the Wiener Christkindlmarkt  – is located in the historic square in front of Vienna’s city hall. From the end of November until Christmas day, visitors can pick up last-minute gifts, take photos beneath the beautifully adorned trees and ride the Christkindl Express train. There’s plenty for foodies too, from mulled wine and roasted chestnuts to waffles and Lebkuchen (gingerbread).

Where to eat: Try Viennese cuisine at Kuchlmeisterei; enjoy historic elegance at Vestibuel; or tuck into hearty Hungarian fare at Kardos.

There are lots more European Christmas markets to choose from – just check out this website and find out about the festivities taking place in cities like Paris, Barcelona and Cologne. Don’t forget to use our world map before you travel to find somewhere fabulous to eat on arrival!

To book your Christmas parties visit toptable.com Christmas party page.