If you’ve had enough of gingerbread houses, mulled wine, cinnamon cookies and grilled sausages, maybe refuel at one of these great coffee places.
Yesterday we got completely snowed in here in Amsterdam, something we don’t really experience very often in a city with a relatively mild climate. The last time the canals froze over is at least five years past but there is always something truly fascinating about your street covered in a blanket of fluffy snow, isn’t there?
One of this season’s biggest attractions are the continent’s many beautiful Christmas markets and the jolly feeling they evoke in us. From gingerbread houses to Glühwein and from roasted almonds to thick stews, Christmas markets are full of rich scents and typical flavours that you only get in this time of year.
To help you enjoy them even more, we put together a little guide with some of our most favourite cafés in various cities around Europe that are also famous for their Christmas markets.
We wish you a wonderful, festive season.
The Domstadt (cathedral city) , as it is often referred to in German is one of the most popular destinations in all of Europe because it’s easy to reach from places like Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris and because its awe evoking cathedral looms over the city’s main Christmas market like a towering hand of god.
Probably the first specialty coffee roastery in Cologne run by Maren Ernst, one of the country’s leading female roasters. Always good for a visit.
Bonner Str. 56, 50677 Köln
Cozy coffee shop that mainly serves JB Kaffee alongside excellent cakes and some sandwiches.
Hohenstaufenring 19, 50674 Köln
Tragically one of Berlin’s main Christmas markets became the target of last year’s first terrorist attack on the German capital, but the city’s residents won’t let coward terrorists destroy their festive spirit. The city has many beautiful Christmas markets, especially at Gendarmenmarkt, the Gedächtniskirche and Schloss Charlottenburg. Go explore!
Flagship store by The Barn, one of the city’s most renowned roasters. This spectacular and circular café sits on top of a fashion store on Kurfürstendamm and offers sweeping views of the city’s most expensive shopping mile.
Kurfürstendamm 18, 10719 Berlin
At Isla Coffee everything is homemade or recycled, including the coffee cups that are made of coffee grounds and the furniture that is put together from scraps and donations. Needless to say, the coffee is outstanding and so is the service.
Hermannstraße 37, 12049 Berlin
Berlin’s other early pioneer, Five Elephant, recently opened a second outlet in Mitte, close to Alexanderplatz. Here they serve mini versions of their famous cheese cake alongside all of their excellent coffees.
Alte Schönhauser Str. 14, 10119 Berlin
The northern English city of Manchester might seem like an odd choice to include here but Manchester has a lovely and very German Christmas market that adds a whole new level of vibrancy to its city centre every year. The city is a great place to visit in its own right, sporting Europe’s largest inner-city university, the famous curry mile, the alternative Northern Quarter and a great selection of gastropubs.
Inspired by Iceland and serving some of the city’s best coffee, Takk has been an institution since it first opened in 2013. This is where the city’s creatives get together and Takk also proactively gets involved in the local arts and music scene.
6 Tariff St, Manchester M1 2FF
The European capital has one of most beautiful city centres anywhere in Western Europe and plays host to various Christmas markets every year. Many people are in two minds about Brussels, calling it run down and terribly inefficient on but also a real hidden gem at the same time. Only one way to find out really.
Located in the heart of the Belgian capital, Parlor is also one of the city’s leading specialty coffee roasters, offering a wide range of delicious specialty coffees and excellent pastries.
Chaussée de Charleroi 203, 1060 Saint-Gilles
This fine coffee bar also serves our monthly selection of delicious coffees from different roasters alongside breakfast, lunch and pastries.
Place Rouppe 1, 1000 Bruxelles
Probably home to the world’s biggest and most famous Christmas market, Nürnberg is truly one of Bavaria’s most fascinating places. Almost completely destroyed during the second world war, the city was spectacularly rebuilt in the years that followed and its ‘old town’ today feels remarkably ancient, which adds to the charm as you wander around the many corridors of its famous Christmas market.
Nürnberg’s leading specialty coffee roaster is run by the ever-so-friendly Armin Machhörndl and his enthusiastic team. They operate two locations in the city where you can sample their excellent coffees.
Obere Kieselbergstr. 13, 90429 Nürnberg
This friendly neighbourhood café in the city center feels like being in someone’s living room and owner Patrick makes a great effort to prepare every cup of coffee with lots of love.
Scheurlstraße 11, 90478 Nürnberg
Home of The Coffeevine’s co-founder Alex Kitain and regularly picked by leading travel magazines as one of the most exciting destinations of 2017, Germany’s second biggest city has a lot more to offer than just a nice Christmas market outside its stunning city hall. The city’s huge outdoor fun fair ‘Dom’ offers many of the same treats that a regular Christmas has and sometimes the best atmosphere can be found at local neighbourhood markets.
Balz & Balz is probably one of the nicest and coziest coffee bars in Germany and brother sister duo Chris and Kathrin know how to make truly heart-warming soups, cakes and coffee that instantly put a smile on your face.
Lehmweg 6, 20251 Hamburg
Playground Coffee has helped to put the Hanseatic city on the global coffee map thanks to the dedication and creativity of founding team Veljko Tatalovic and Matze Bode. Their newish HQ is in the city’s St. Pauli neighbourhood, a stone’s throw from the pulsating Reeperbahn.
Detlev-Bremer-Straße 21, 20359 Hamburg
Joining the likes of Elbgold and Stockholm Espresso Club in the upmarket Winterhude district, Public Coffee Roasters now operates its second location out of a beautiful brick building in what was a former metal foundry.
Goldbekpl. 1, 22303 Hamburg
The Czech Republic’s capital is undoubtedly one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and bewitches its visitors in all seasons really. But in winter, when the city is carpeted in white snow and the filled with the smell of mulled wine and cookies, its a whole different ball game.
Run by local coffee heros Doubleshot, this friendly and slightly alternative café has excellent coffee and is within easy walking distance of Prague’s center.
Křižíkova 386/105, 186 00 Praha 8-Karlín
Located in the old town, Original Coffee is a cool coffee bar with its own selection of carefully roasted specialty coffees.
Betlémská 12, 110 00 Staré Město
Forget the Sacher Torte and Wiener Melange. During the Christmas season, Vienna offers a lot of other local specialties and foodie highlights than what people commonly associate with the Austrian capital. And there’s also great coffee to be had.
This super cute coffee bar serves a carefully selected range of specialty coffee from some of Europe’s leading roasters in a friendly and welcoming environment.
Zollergasse 5, 1070 Wien
Run by Georg Branny und Veronika Markeová, Caffe Couture is Vienna’s leading specialty coffee roaster, offering a much welcome alternative to the city’s classic coffee houses.
Freyung 2, 1010 Wien