Addresses and info about the best Christmas markets in Rome: where to go in Rome for festive cheer during the holiday season
Christmas markets have never been a strong Rome tradition.
The city is wonderful at Christmas, and you will see some fantastic luminaries in the city center; however, the markets as such are nothing to write home about and fall in the category of things that are cute to see if you pass by, more than a destination it itself.
However, there are exceptions!
While you should not expect a full-on northern European experience, Rome in December does indeed don festive clothes and you will find nice stalls, Christmas markets and ‘villages’ worth seeing in several locations in the city center and outside.
In this post, I share a selection of the best Christmas markets usually taking place in Rome.
I will update with exact dates and links to official sources and safety regulations once the info for this coming Christmas is officially released.
If you want to know more about what to expect in Rome during the holiday season, find here >>> our free guide to Rome at Christmas <<<
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Good to know! Christmas markets are a German tradition and some of the best Christmas markets in Italy are therefore in Trentino Alto Adige, where the German and Austrian influence is strongest. For a full Christmas experience in Rome, I recommend mixing a visit to the markets below with stops at nativity scenes around the city (the Vatican and the exhibition ‘100 Presepi for instance), an important Christmas tradition in Rome!
The best Christmas markets in Rome city center: locations and dates
Piazza Navona Christmas Market
Piazza Navona Christmas market used to be THE Christmas market in Rome, the one all Romans young and old would go to at least once during the festive period (I used to go with my mom every 6th of January for caramelized apples!)
While the quality of the stalls changes every year, with occasionally disastrous results, it is hard to beat this market for location: where else can you have Christmas huts against the backdrop of masterpieces by Bernini and Borromini?
The market usually lasts from early December to the 6t of January and usually sees Christmas stalls and a merry go round for the kids.
After a few years of disappointing stalls, there is lots of excitement this year for a market that promises to be back to its former glory and I am happy to report that indeed, this year Piazza Navona market is nice!
I was there last Sunday (when I took the photo above) and was pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere and the setup.
The market only has a few stalls and is not a destination in itself: you will see it all in a matter of minutes and it is nothing compared with the immersive experiences you’d have in Germany or in South Tyrol.
however, it is a festive and fun Christmas market for kids that offers a nice carousel, balloon sellers, a nativity scene, several stalls selling sweets, hot chestnuts and a couple of stalls with decorations.
Overall, the reason to come to Piazza Navona is the piazza, not the market, but it is still worth seeing if you happen to be in Rome at Christmas!
Top tip: if visiting this Christmas market with children, make sure you don’t miss the nearby shop Al Sogno. It has spectacular life-size fluffy animals that are a Christmas-dream-come-true for kids!
- Where: Piazza Navona, Rome City Center
- When: 1 December 2022 – 6 January 2023
- What: crafts stalls, treats, gifts, merry go round, children entertainers
- Admission: free
Find here >>> my essential guide to Piazza Navona Christmas market with photos from this current edition.
Christmas markets in Rome near and outside the center
Outside of the historical center of Rome you have several more Christmas markets and events big and small.
Stand by the River – Rome Christmas market on the riverbanks
On the 27th November 2022, the riverbanks of the Tiber transform into a Christmas village for the event ‘Stand by River’ a Christmas market with about 30 stands with anything from handmade crafts to food.
Organised by Baja restaurants and events, this can be a fun place to check out for a bite surrounded by Christmas atmosphere.
- Where: Lungotevere Arnaldo da Brescia (close to Piazza del Popolo)
- When: Sunday 27 November, 10 am to 6pm
- What: gifts, food
Christmas Village at Auditorium Parco della Musica
Auditorium Parco della Musica is a wonderful music venue in Rome with impressive architecture and nice outside spaces that, in December, welcomes a festive ‘Christmas Village’ with something special: an ice rink!
The Village offers several events for adults and kids: this is a lovely opportunity to visit this Auditorium that, as well as hosting a wonderful music program, also boasts architectural design by Renzo Piano.
- Where: Auditorium Rome, Via Pietro de Coubertin, 30, 00196 Roma RM, Italy
- When: 3 December 2022 – 6th January 2023
- What: Ice rink, Santa’s House, children entertainers, Christmas stalls
- The event is ticketed, family discounts available
Christmas market and events at Cinecitta’ World – great for kids!
Cinecitta’ World is one of the most famous theme parks in Rome and, this Christmas, it will transform itself into a magical Christmas wonderland.
During the event, the park will host a Christmas markets with festive stalls along Christmas Street, Santa’s Grotto, Christmas shows and festival delle Luminarie (light decorations)
The even is one of the first to open in Rome, kicking off the festive season on the 22 November,
- Where: CinecittaWorld Theme Park
- When: 26 Novembre 2022 – 8 January 2023
- What: Christmas market, Santa’s Grotto, Light festival, live shows, ice skating, nativity scene etc
Christmas shop and events at Luneur – a kids’s favorite!
Luneur is a famous amusement park in Rome, famous for its vintage rides and Ferris wheel (it’s the wheel you see when driving into Rome from Fiumicino airport!) and, at Christmas, it transforms itself into a Christmas village.
While not a Christmas market as such, the event is perfect for families looking for a festive atmosphere and has many of the offerings you’d expect from larger Christmas markets in other parts of the world including encounters with magical creatures (Gingerbread man, elves), reindeer, luminaries and more.
The Christmas shop and many foods stalls take care of all tour festive cravings and can be a nice place to pick up small gifts.
- Where: Luneur theme park
- When: 3 December 2022 – 8 January 2023
- What: Christmas even with shows, kids’ face painting, shops, etc
- Tickets: included in park entrance ticket, check prices and info >>> here <<<
Christmas Market at Piazza Mazzini
On dedicated Sundays during the month of December, the market of Piazza Mazzini also turns festive, welcoming several wooden huts selling seasonal trinkets, gift ideas and artisan creations.
- Where: Piazza Mazzini
- When: 1 – 10 December 2022
- What: crafts, trinkets, gift ideas, candles, scarves
What is nearby: Foro Italico, Vatican, Castel Sant’Angelo, Piazza del Popolo (all about 20 mins walk from the square)
ChristmasLand Vintage Market
ChristmasLand Vintage market is one of the biggest festive events in Rome and hosts over 200 stalls and vendors selling anything from Christmas decorations, to home decor items, toys, plants and anything in between.
Hosted in the large ex bus terminus of Piazza Ragusa, the event also promised to host workshops for kids and adults, including craft making ones where to create hand made Christmas presents.
- Where: Ex Deposito Atac, Piazza Ragusa
- When: 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23 December 2022
- Christmas stalls, kids’ workshops
The Christmas Village
The Christmas Village is one of the biggest Christmas events in Rome. Located in the Tuscolana neighbourhood, the village hosts a Christmas markets with festive stands, ice staking rink, shows and kids workshops, for an all round festive atmosphere.
- Where: Via della Batteria di Porta Furba 29, 00175 Rome
- When: 3, 4, 8, 89, 10, 11, 17, December 2022
- Info and tickets >>> here <<<
Other Christmas evens in Rome for a festive atmosphere
While Rome Christmas markets may not be the best in the world, there are some great locations in the city for Christmas atmosphere.
Three not to be missed are:
Piazza di Spagna – the Spanish Steps are the background so some of the best light decorations in Rome. Climb to the top at sundown and enjoy the views of Via dei Condotti as is sparked in Christmas cheer
Vatican – St Peter’s Square is one of the best places in Rome to tap into the Christmas atmosphere not just for religious significance but because of the stunning tree in the centre of the piazza and the nativity scenes that fill the space.
Botanical Gardens of Rome – this year, the Botanical Gardens of Rome hist a stunning light show that brightens Rome’s dark December nights. While not a Christmas event as such, the atmosphere is magical and seasonal.
I hope you enjoyed this quick overview of some of the best Christmas markets in Rome and it gave you ideas on where to go to tap into the festivities in Rome. Stay safe everyone and happy holidays!
This post was originally written in 2020 and has now been updated with confirmed markets for Christmas 2022/ New Year’s 2023.