Christmas is the perfect time to explore Europe. Venture off to browse the Christmas markets, marvel at the twinkling lights and warm yourself with mulled wine. But where to stay in the festive month of December and where to spend Christmas in Europe? I put together a list of the most festive Christmas hotels in Europe to celebrate your holidays this year and as inspiration for next year.
I was not paid or endorsed to write about these festive hotels in Europe. These are all my opinions and a random selection of the hotels and places in Europe where I’d want to stay over the holidays.
Probe around the Globe does contain affiliate links. If you decide to book your European Christmas hotels via my link, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Esplanade Zagreb Hotel – Zagreb (Croatia)
Zagreb is a newcomer in the Christmas market scene in Europe, but this hip and happening city was named the place to be. With its Christmas market and vibrant alternative style, Zagreb is one of the best places to spend your Christmas in Europe.
Stay at the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel and celebrate Christmas in style. Since 1925, the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel offers art nouveau-style rooms and luxury for your stay in Zagreb.
For Christmas, the hotel has many things to offer, including but not limited to traditional festive food and chill our nights with their in-house DJ.
What better way to wake up on Christmas Day and find a special treat in the form of a visit from Santa Claus, with presents!
Don’t miss it and check rooms and rates: Esplanade Zagreb Hotel
Corinthia Hotel Budapest – Budapest (Hungary)
I think Budapest is always a good idea. In summer, spring, or winter times, the Hungarian capital is lively and always on the move.
During the festive season, the whole city is decked out with Christmas lights, and little stalls of typical traditional Hungarian winter food are waiting for you to taste. Skate at the ice rink at the park or explore the banks of the river Danube.
A good base for your Christmas in Budapest is the Corinthia Hotel Budapest. Over the holidays, the hotel is transformed into the enchanted world of Belle and the Beast with her winter magic.
Experience the in-house spa and devour special Christmas-themed brunches during the month of December. Do you believe in magic?
Book your stay at the Corinthia Hotel Budapest.
The Dolder Grand– Zürich (Switzerland)
We all know Santa lives on the North Pole but I believe his second house is in Switzerland.
Just looking at the mountains, the snow, the cozy wooden houses in Switzerland I immediately think of Christmas.
Zürich is a great place to spend Christmas in Europe, as this big city is beautifully decorated with a small-town Christmas charm. It is not guaranteed, but I’m sure when there is snow in December, Zürich will be the most magical place in Europe.
The Dolder Grand Hotel is located right between the city center of Zürich and its natural surroundings.
You can enjoy a festive dinner at the hotel or relax in the award-winning spa.
But, the secret to the Dolder Grand is their beautiful open-air-ice-skating rink where you can swirl around with the whole family and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa or mulled wine.
For availability and prices, check The Dolder Grand Zürich.
Austria Trend Parkhotel Schönbrunn Vienna – Vienna (Austria)
The imperial city of Austria is charming year-round, but the city turns things up a notch over Christmas. Ride the horse-drawn carriage around the gardens, ride the Ferris wheel, and warm up over Wiener Melange and one of Austria’s famous cakes.
Stay at the Austria Trend Parkhotel Schönbrunn in Vienna, the former guesthouse of the Emperor, only minutes away from the Schönnbrunn palace with stunning views across Vienna.
Book your room now at the Schönnbrunn Vienna Parkhotel.
Grand Hotel Zell am See (Austria)
Austria was made for your winter holidays, especially over Christmas. Picturesque and snow guaranteed Zell am See it the ultimate holiday retreat.
The Grand Hotel Zell am See is located right at the shores of Lake Zell on its own peninsula. Over Christmas time, you can expect special advent events, local Pingzau Christmas traditions, and picture-perfect snow-covered mountains.
Unwind in their local spa, go skiing, or enjoy the local cuisine in Zell am See Austria during December and over Christmas.
Look for availability at the Grand Hotel Zell Am See.
The Grand Mark Prague – Czech Republic
I visited Prague during Easter, but it’s easy to see why Prague is one of the best places to spend Christmas in Europe. Prague is covered in old-world charm with a small center, oozing with history and delicious foods to try. The city seems to have a Christmas market on every corner.
For your Christmas in Prague, I’d definitely recommend the Grand Mark Prague as the best place to stay.
Luxurious rooms, fitted with a unique style. It’s not surprising that the hotel hosts many weddings too.
They have their own patisserie shop where you can get a fresh batch of Christmas Cookies. And their hotel rooms look Christmassy almost year round.
Check for their prices and availability here.
Conservatorium Hotel Amsterdam – Amsterdam (the Netherlands)
Amsterdam is always a good idea. Whether it is for shopping or to get your cultural fix, or just browsing the little streets and canals, Amsterdam is buzzing with Christmas vibes in December.
Stay at the Conservatorium Hotel Amsterdam, located in the Museum Square district, the true heart of the city. The Conservatorium is an architectural masterpiece that combines a landmark heritage building with graceful, contemporary designs.
Each year, the Conservatorium Hotel celebrates the opening of the festive season by switching on its fabulous Christmas tree during the Christmas Tree Ceremony in the Lounge.
Or go for your last-minute Christmas shopping at the Christmas Shopping Night, where you can buy your Christmas gifts during a festive shopping night in the in-house Van Baerle Shopping Gallery and Lounge, enjoy live music and a glass of Champagne.
The Conservatorium Hotel Amsterdam has joined forces with the Make-A-Wish foundations where donations are handed over to this non-profit that helps make ill children’s wishes come true.
Check for availability and prices, at the Conservatorium Hotel Amsterdam.
Best Christmas Vacations in Nordic Finnish Lapland
If you want a guaranteed white Christmas, you have to head north.
Almost edged against the North Pole, Finnish Lapland is the home of Santa Claus. This place is a magic fairy tale land with crispy white snow, dark nights, and those mystical dancing lights in the night sky (if you’re lucky!) for the best Christmas vacation.
Finnish Lapland offers a whole array of winter activities and a visit to Santa Claus village is mandatory of course. Chaise the Northern lights, ride a reindeer-drawn carriage, and enjoy Christmas in Lapland.
In Finnish Lapland, you will not find the historical European hotels illuminated with Christmas decorations.
In Lapland, it is nature that brightens the Northern Sky. The best way to see it is from your own Igloo!
Kakslauttanen Artic Resort Igloos and Chalets– Saariselka (Finland)
Stay in a glass igloo and admire the starry night sky. Look for the Northern Lights from your own bed or snuggle up to your loved ones!
These glass igloos are a Christmas dream come true.
Be quick, spots fill up quickly and a stay in Finnish Lapland during Christmas is in high demand!
Find an available igloo at Kakslauttanen Artic Resort.
Best Western Grand Hotel Bristol Colmar – Colmar (France)
The sweet little town of Colmar oozes cuteness and small-town charm year-round, but during Christmas, the narrow streets of this Alsatian city are transformed into the charming interior of a snow globe. Read more about the things to do in Alsace region.
Visit the Christmas market in Colmar or just feast on one of the many Alsatian traditional winter dishes.
You can stay at The Grand Hotel Bristol in Colmar. It offers a warm and friendly atmosphere to remind you, that you are in the heart of Alsace.
The Christmas decorations and the Alsatian specialties of mulled wine and Christmas beers will warm you during the Alsatian winter.
Book your stay at the Grand Hôtel Bristol in Colmar.
Christmas in Paris France
Paris, the charming city of lights.
What better time to visit than during Christmas, when the Champs Elysées is decorated with a million twinkling lights, when the patisserie shops dream up the most exciting combinations, and when you feel magic in the air?
Visiting Paris at Christmas is a dream come true. Splurge on one of the best places to spend Christmas in Europe and head to Paris, France. As Paris has some of the best Christmas hotels in Europe, here is a small selection.
Read why December is a perfect time to visit Europe.
Hotel Splendide Royal Paris
Close to the Paris Opera and the Champs-Elysee, this is the place to be during Christmas time in Paris.
Enjoy one of their luxury suites, indulge in a 9-course Christmas-themed dinner, or just enjoy Paris during Christmas. The hotel is by Italian owners, so you might get a real Italian Christmas treat for the suite!
Want to indulge in these grand festivities? Book your room at the Hotel Splendide Royal Paris.
Le Cinq Codet Paris
This top-notch design hotel in the 7th arrondissement of Paris guides you through the courtyard into sleek contemporarily designed rooms.
Spend Christmas in your own private Jacuzzi on the balcony overlooking Paris.
Want this? Get in the Cinq Codet Paris Hotel.
Christmas Markets in Cologne Germany
When you say Christmas markets, you say Germany. And when you say German Christmas markets, there is no better place to spend Christmas than in Cologne.
This ancient city by the Rhine River is host to the best European Christmas markets. The whole city is decked out in festive Christmas decorations and the Christmas market next to the Cologne Cathedral is the most Christmassy market you’ll ever see.
No wonder, the Cologne Christmas markets are a very popular December destination. If you’re looking to explore the best German Christmas markets in Cologne, I give you a few options with the most festive Christmas hotels in Cologne to celebrate the holidays!
Lindner Hotel City Plaza Cologne – Cologne (Germany)
Located in the heart of Cologne, the Lindner Hotel City Plaza Cologne is the perfect base to explore all that Christmas in Cologne has to offer.
During the Christmas season in Cologne, you’ll be greeted at the hotel by mulled wine and a cozy fireplace in the courtyard. In case you get hungry, you can always feast on the Christmas Eve Menu or sleep in and enjoy the Christmas brunch.
For prices and availability, check Lindner Hotel City Plaza Cologne.
Excelsior Hotel Ernst am Dom Cologne – Cologne (Germany)
Situated right next to the Cathedral of Cologne and thus the Christmas market in Cologne, the Excelsior Hotel Ernst am Dom Cologne is more than a place to sleep. This is where Christmas lives!
Prepare yourself for a traditional German Christmas dinner with the special Christmas goose dish.
You can enjoy more food at their special Advent Brunch or St. Nicolaus afternoon tea.
The little ones can join special Christmas baking classes (why is this only for children!? I want to join!) and the whole family can attend the Christmas Piano Concert.
Check for prices and availability at Excelsior Hotel Ernst am Dom Cologne.
The Shelbourne Hotel Dublin – Dublin (Ireland)
As you might know, I wanted to spend a weekend before Christmas in Dublin.
Although Dublin is not rich in Christmas market traditions, the whole city is one big festive outburst of Christmas charm. I highly recommend Dublin as a December destination and to spend Christmas in Dublin.
Stay at the Shelbourne Hotel Dublin and celebrate Christmas in true luxury style.
The hotel is located in Dublin’s city center and is Ireland’s most iconic hotel since 1824.
Ideal for Christmas shopping, or Christmas bar hopping, the Shelbourne Hotel is a great base to explore Dublin at Christmas.
Or just stay in, enjoy the warm welcome of the hotel’s fireplace, and get excited with the kids on Christmas morning when Santa Claus comes to visit the hotel!
Check for rooms and availability at the Shelbourne Dublin – a Renaissance Hotel.
The Balmoral Hotel Edinburgh – Edinburgh (Scotland)
A bit rough around the edges, windswept Edinburgh might not be your first holiday choice.
But with its festive Christmas markets, Christmas tree maze, and ice skating ring, Edinburgh warms your heart.
But Edinburgh doesn’t stop at Christmas, make sure to be present at Hogmanay celebrations on December 31st. With music, dance, and lights, this is a feast not to miss.
Stay at the swanky Balmoral Hotel Edinburgh, housed in the city’s prestigious landmark, the historic building breaths luxury and tradition.
Go Christmas shopping in Edinburgh or explore Edinburgh Castle. And celebrate the Season of Festive Spirit at the Balmoral, with a Christmas High Tea or magical dinner.
Book your stay at the Balmoral Hotel Edinburgh now.
Christmas Vacation in London (United Kingdom)
As long as we’re in the UK, let’s move over to London.
The ultimate Christmas dream: go Christmas shopping in London and celebrate the best Christmas vacation in a traditional British style.
Christmas High Tea’s overlooking the Thames River, gawking at the Christmas decorations at Harrods department stores, and just take in all that is Christmas in London.
For some options of the best places to spend Christmas in Britain, I made a small selection.
The Savoy London
Go back to Victorian times and dip your nose into the Victorian Christmas at the Savoy. It is all about amazement and fragrances at the Savoy.
A mega-sized snow globe, their tea garden festively decorated, and amazing gingerbread houses. Or what to think of their beautiful vintage steam train with carriages opened up for champagne tasting! The Savoy does Christmas and they do it well!
Reserve a suite at the Savoy London.
The elegant Rosewood Hotel is a great base for your Covert Garden Christmas shopping spree.
Enter into the Edwardian courtyard and forget all about bustling London. At the Rosewood London Hotel, your pet is also welcome to celebrate Christmas with the family via their pampered pet options.
Click to learn more about the Rosewood London Hotel.
The Claridge’s luxury hotel in Mayfair, London is your home away from home in London. Christmas stockings for everyone, traditional mince pies, and horse-drawn carriage rides around festive London.
Check what Christmas at Claridge’s London will be like for you.
Best Places to Spend Christmas in Europe
Do you have plans for your holiday yet? Are you spending Christmas in Europe? I hope I gave you some inspiration for the best places to spend Christmas in Europe that make you feel festive and at home.
Are you traveling to Europe in December? Great idea! All the selected hotels are decorated in Christmas spirit from the end of November and will get you in the holiday spirit right in time for Christmas Eve.
Did you like my selection of festive European hotels? Where would you want to stay? Leave a comment in the comment section below!