The holiday season is a favorite time of year to travel for many people around the world, and we are convinced there’s no better way to celebrate the holiday season than a visit to Christmas Markets in Europe.
Thanks to the many Christmas Markets, towns in Europe look like scenes straight out of your favorite movie during this festive season. The snow-capped cathedrals, the wooden chalets, the different twinkling lights, and other street decorations are quite a sight to see. You also can’t miss the seasonal cookies and cakes that are on display in stores all around the town.
People from Europe undoubtedly know how to do Christmas in style, and if you are there during this period, be sure to check out the markets. They often open at the end of November, so we thought it wise to give you a headstart of the best Christmas markets.
Are you heading to Europe this season? Don’t leave before you check out these top 5 Christmas markets.
1. Berlin, Germany
If you are looking for a place to buy some trendy gifts, the artsy Berlin scene should be your first stop. The city gives a modern approach to a long-standing tradition in over 80 Christmas markets. The markets are open from November 25th through December 31st this year.
Covering the 80 markets won’t be easy, so here are a few tips. Spandau is the biggest, so there are plenty of activities to occupy your time. Weihnachtszauber, in Gendarmenmarkt Square, is the prettiest with the Charlottenburg Palace in the background. With the decorative fences and lights in the market, you are sure to enjoy a warm festive glow. Your toddler could even try some arts and crafts in the Fairy Tale Tent at Gendarmenmarkt. That’d make a great souvenir of your adventure!
Are you bringing your kids along? The winter forest, Winterland at Potsdamer Platz, is an excellent place for them. They could get free lessons at the ice-skating rink, head over to the small railway, or the air swing, which are just a few of the activities there.
2. Vienna, Austria
Are you looking to have some magical Christmas time with your family or spouse? Then you should head over to the Vienna Christmas markets.
From 15th November to 26th December, the beautiful squares in Vienna will transform into delightful Christmas markets.
Belvedere Palace will leave you in awe, thanks to the handmade gifts and the traditional wooden toys in the stores around.
The City Hall is home to Vienna’s Christmas Dream and is the ideal market if you are bringing your family along. The kids could have some time in the Ferris wheel or on the ground floor where they learn how to make Christmas candles.
Be sure to visit the market at Vienna’s old general hospital for some lovely Christmas gifts. Try out the traditional Gluhwein while there. You’ll love it.
3. Strasbourg, France
Strasbourg is also known as France’s Capital of Christmas, and it is clear why once you visit. Dating back to 1570, Strasbourg is one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe and is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Christmas Markets began in Strasbourg, so the historic center gives a magical feel. You can get some wooden Christmas decorations in the 300 traditional chalets lining the city’s central square.
The Strasbourg Cathedral is a sight to behold. The Gothic towers and the famous astronomical clock will make your visit worthwhile.
If you want some uninterrupted Christmas shopping, avoid the markets in the evenings and during the weekends. Try out the gingerbread bakery and other delicious treats that are available all around the markets.
Christmas in Strasbourg is a magical event. If you are ever in France anytime between 22nd November and 30th December, visit the place. If you are lucky, you could be part of a street parade.
4. Prague, Czech Republic
Prague’s Christmas markets run into January, so they are ideal for some after-Christmas shopping when there aren’t as many people. Open-air concerts, dance performances, and beautiful Christmas decorations in the streets give the city an unforgettable atmosphere.
The live animal stable scene at the Old Town Square is quite a sight. If you are bringing your kids, this will undoubtedly capture their imagination. The gingerbread cookies will also be a great treat for them.
You can try out some of the renowned Czech Beer from the stalls in the streets. There’s also plenty of mulled wine to go around, but why not mingle with the locals over a glass of grog? The drink, which is made of rum, water, lemon, and sugar, is a favorite for many around here.
If you want to catch the lights at the city’s marvelous Christmas tree, head over to Wenceslas Square at 5 o’clock every evening.
5. Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen boasts of several Christmas markets, but the heart of all the buzz in the city lies in Tivoli gardens. From November 16th to January 5th, the gardens will be lined with Christmas trees and decorations that bring the city to life. The markets create a cozy atmosphere for travelers and locals to enjoy a special time with their loved ones.
The mouth-watering aroma of roasted almonds and mulled wine in the streets will bring you joy as you walk through the markets. Be sure to have some before heading over to the ice rink. For the ultimate spectacle during your visit to Copenhagen, be sure to visit Kronpinsensgade and see the floating ceiling of Christmas lights.
If you need a break from all the festivities, you can head over to the Meatpacking district and spend some time in the bars, clubs, and restaurants.
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Whether you are in Europe for just a few days or the entire holiday season, the Christmas markets are a must-see. Bring back your loved ones some souvenirs from the magical cities and get to experience Christmas in the European style!