Which European city offers the most wonderful Christmas experience? Holidu, the UK-based booking portal for rental holidays, has put together its list of Europe’s most festive cities in 2022 according to data gleaned from social media.

The Holidu Festive Cities Index was put together by analysing the number of Instagram hashtags, Global Search Volume, number of Christmas markets and also the average number of snowy days in December in more than 100 cities across Europe.

The number of hashtags for ‘#ChristmasinCity’ were counted for each city. The monthly Global Search Volume for the phrase ‘Christmas in city’ was extracted. The number of Christmas markets per city was gathered manually. Finally, the average number of snow days in December was gathered from World Weather Online which considered the weather data in each city every December from 2009 – 2022. Those four individual scores were added together to get a total, before ranking the cities based on this overall, final score.

Austria, Germany and Scandinavia among Europe’s favourite destinations for a Christmas holiday

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the countries which came out on top were Austria and Germany as well as some of the Scandinavian countries. At the bottom of the scale were countries in the Balkans or those located along the Mediterranean Sea.

The number one Christmas destination according to Holidu’s research is Berlin. The German capital is considered Europe’s most festive city. Throughout the festive period the city plays host to 80 Christmas markets. It has also around eight snow days on average although Instagram hashtags reached over 9,000 and the monthly global search volume reached 800.

Despite only hosting 20 Christmas markets and with an average of just six snow days, number two in the survey is Vienna with its Instagram hashtags reaching a high volume of 22,594, with a monthly global search volume of 5,800.

The Czech capital of Prague took third place after it generated 11,296 Instagram hashtags, 1,900 monthly global searches and an average of 10 days of snow.

Munich, Copenhagen, Stockholm, London, Salzburg, Paris, Oslo, Hamburg, Zurich, Budapest, Reykjavik, Milan, Helsinki, Innsbruck, Amsterdam, Dublin and Brussels make up the rest of the top 20.

Vienna the second most festive city in Europe
Vienna came second as Europe’s most festive city (Photo: LC/Cleverdis)

Europe’s most Instagrammable cities, according to the Holidu survey, were London and Paris with each one receiving 231,863 and 62,504 hashtags respectively. The third one is Vienna. Looking at the cities with the highest average monthly global search volume were London, Rome and Paris. The three cities showed respectively a total number of 11,000, 10,000 and 6,700 searches.

The 10 snowiest cities during the festive season are all located in Northern Europe. In the top 10 are Tallinn, Tampere (Finland), Oslo, Vilnius, Helsinki, Brasov (Romania), Vaduz (Liechtenstein), Innsbruck, Riga and Turku (Finland). The number of days of snow fluctuate on average from 14 (Turku) to 20 (Tallinn). By country, Finland is the big winner with three cities named in the top 10.

With no Christmas markets on the events calendar and no recorded snow days since 2009, the Greek island of Rhodes and Dürres in Albania were the two least festive cities in Europe according to Holidu’s research.

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