With the most magical time of the year around the corner, a new study from the UK’s leading perimeter protection specialists, Heald, has identified Europe’s top ten best Christmas markets.

Analysing 50 Christmas markets, Heald’s new index¹ is based on the average number of visitors and stalls, overall Tripadvisor rating, global search volume, length of opening and TikTok views.

According to Heald’s Christmas market index, the top ten in Europe are:

  1. Manchester (UK) 
  2. Vienna (Austria)
  3. Birmingham (UK)
  4. Paris (France)
  5. Glasgow (UK), Frankfurt (Germany)
  6. Cologne (Germany)
  7. Brussels (Belgium)
  8. Bruges (Belgium)
  9. Dresden (Germany)
  10. Winter Wonderland London (UK), Nuremberg (Germany)

The study highlights Manchester’s Christmas market as Europe’s favourite, drawing in an average of 9 million visitors annually. Heald’s new ranking indicates that this festive event has 220 stalls, 13.2 million TikTok views, and an overall Tripadvisor rating of 4.5. With up to 40,500 monthly searches, it’s clear that this is a popular destination among families and groups of friends to get in the festive spirit.

Manchester’s population has risen by 20,571 over the past year², which has naturally affected the number of visitors at public events. Security expert Debbie Heald MBE, advises a heightened awareness in bustling locations like Christmas markets, suggesting practical measures like using temporary bollards to ensure safety.

Vienna is the second Christmas market on Heald’s new index. The Austrian market welcomes around 3 million visitors annually, is open for 45 days, features 150 stalls, boasts a trip advisor rating of 4.5, receives over 8,000 monthly searches, and has 1.5 million TikTok views. 

Most Christmas markets in Europe are free to enter, which can present challenges when it comes to ensuring the highest levels of public safety. Christmas market organisers may consider crowd control measures as a solution, especially surface or shallow mount perimeter protection systems that are easy to set up and take down. 

Debbie Heald MBE says: “Our new ranking highlights the widespread popularity and vibrancy of European Christmas markets. While Christmas markets have evolved massively in these locations, it’s important that we keep in mind the safety aspect of these events. 

“To enhance the safety and overall enjoyment of Christmas markets for the millions of visitors, event organisers should consider measures to ensure visitors’ have a sense of security without the need for anything aggressive.”

Two more UK cities in Heald’s top five are Birmingham, which is in third place, and Glasgow, which ranks joint fifth with the German market, Frankfurt. These festive events draw in over 6 million visitors annually, offering 180 stalls in Birmingham and 50 in Glasgow.

Paris takes the fourth spot in Heald’s study. As one of the world’s top tourist destinations with excellent transport links, this Christmas market attracts around 15 million visitors. The event features 200 stalls and has a 4.5 Tripadvisor rating. 

Also on Heald’s list of the best Christmas markets are cities like Cologne, Brussels, Bruges, Dresden, London, and Nuremberg. 

Debbie continues: “It’s so exciting to see that major cities across the UK are once again putting on fun, festive events for families and friends to enjoy this festive season. We loved making this new Christmas market ranking, as it’s a great way to celebrate what cities are doing to entertain visitors and residents alike. 

“These bustling winter gatherings, like any large public event, can encounter security challenges. With the upcoming ‘Protect Duty’ legislation in mind, we encourage local authorities and event organisers to seek expert guidance in implementing the right security measures to ensure the safety of attendees. 

“We know that many authorities and organisers already place a strong emphasis on safety. This is just a friendly reminder ahead of the festive period.”

To learn more about the best Christmas markets across Europe, please visit:  https://www.heald.uk.com/news/top-ten-christmas-markets-in-europe/

Let's Talk

We'd love to hear about your WILD ambitions, and discuss how we can help you achieve them.

Send us a message