Christmas Markets: Embrace the Christmas Spirit in Greece

Chrisa Lepida | Live the World

May 29, 2024

Spending Christmas in a foreign country may sound fantastic, but it is challenging, especially if you have no idea where you should start. If you happen to be visiting Greece during the festive season, you are in luck. Greek Christmas songs, Saint Basil's cake, pomegranates, and the "kalikatzaroi" tradition are some of the country's most well-known customs that will at first have you wondering. All the Greek Christmas sweets will please your palate and fill you with happiness. But where will you find them? Here are some top Christmas markets & activities that should not be missing from your itinerary.

© Istock/Kisa_Markiza

Christmas in Athens

While Christmas markets are not prevalent in Athens, the historical capital of Greece always finds a way to celebrate the holiday in its own unique manner with a wide variety of Christmas-themed events, parks, and fairs. Christmas Factory, held annually in the Technopolis courtyard in Gazi, is Athens' most opulent Christmas market. A giant Ferris wheel and other rides, as well as a selection of European-style wooden stalls selling delicious Christmas market food and presents, make up the highlights of this lively, bustling event.

In the centre of Syntagma Square, a massive Christmas tree is placed each year, and several other activities take place throughout the holiday season. This is also where people in Athens celebrate New Year's Eve with fireworks, music concerts, and live performances.

© Istock/Araelf

Christmas in Thessaloniki 

The city's most prominent Christmas Market is held in the alleys of Aristotelous Square between the Roman Agora and the famous square. Around the last week of November, this famous location hosts family-friendly events, music, and dancing. Christmas Markets usually provide a variety of Christmas trinkets and souvenirs, tree decorations, lights, and tasty treats—Thessaloniki is particularly known for its sweets and pastries! Teens and young guests appreciate the nighttime concerts and other musical acts, while children enjoy the range of activities designed exclusively for them. 

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Asterokosmos (the universe of stars) is a delightful HELEXPO event (the exhibition centre of the Thessaloniki International Fair). This family-friendly Christmas park draws Greek families with small children in the weeks running up to Christmas. The complex has rides, ice skating, music concerts, and kids' activities. In addition, Christmas workshops, acrobatic acts, and the fabulous Santa Claus village let youngsters meet elves, leave wish lists, and be enveloped by magic.

Christmas in Trikala

The city of Trikala in Thessaly has become Greece's most popular winter vacation spot due to its stunning scenery, variety of unique lodging options, abundance of outdoor activities, lively nightlife, and proximity to several other points of interest. What once was a working watermill known as Matsopoulos Mill is now better known as the "Mill of Elves" during the holiday season.

© Istock/Giorgos Kritsotakis

Since 2011, this facility has become a Christmas paradise and candy factory, where Santa Claus and his elves greet people from far and wide, transforming it into a fantasy setting. From the 25th of November to the beginning of January, guests may enjoy what has become a picturesque Christmas theme park, which attracts an estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 people annually.

Christmas in Drama

Oniroupoli (the Dream City), which takes place in Drama between December and January, is one of Greece's largest and most joyous Christmas markets. Unfortunately, only a few people from outside of Greece know about it. The Municipal Garden and downtown are where you will discover the Drama Christmas Market. There are outdoor markets, ice skating, and special concerts. Adult activities like ice skating will be joined by special booths where children can get their faces painted, see Santa Claus, play holiday-themed games, and participate in other fun activities designed just for them.

© Istock/gatsi

​​A visit to a Christmas market in one of Greece's most gorgeous towns is equal parts shopping pleasure and destination discovery. Begin planning your perfect winter break with our list of the greatest Christmas markets in Greece, all of which are suitable for a festive family day trip or a romantic night out. 

Merry Christmas!

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