Top European Christmas Markets
The nights are drawing in, the temperature is getting steadily cooler, Christmas presents and decorations have started to pop up in shops around the country and the festive period is growing nearer and nearer. If you’re not really feeling in the Christmas spirit just yet then why not take a short break to visit one of Europe’s best Christmas Markets? Here’s our guide to the best places to drink mulled wine and soak up the festive atmosphere.
Prague is a great city to visit at any time of year, but especially in the run up to Christmas when the wonderful markets are set up in both Wenceslas Square and Old Town Square. These Christmas markets are mostly filled with festive food, rather than gifts and decorations. If you visit the Christmas markets in Prague then be sure to try traditional Czech drink of grog and honey liquor and traditional Czech Christmas food – carp.
Many people say winter is the best time to visit Austria’s capital city so why not visit when the Christkindlmärkte begin in the middle of November. The Christmas markets of Vienna were first established over seven hundred years ago and nowadays tourists and locals alike gather at the Christkindlmärkte to enjoy festive drinks such as Glühwein or Punsch and eat Christmas treats such as spicy Christmas cookies and roasted chestnuts. This is definitely one of the most social of the Christmas markets in Europe so it’s the perfect place to visit with friends or family.
Edinburgh’ Christmas markets kick off at the end of November and you can shop for decorations, gifts, drinks and treats all in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. There is also a section of rides and attractions for kids and adults to enjoy and there’s even a dedicated children’s market that offers a completely child-friendly shopping experience with all the toys little ones could ever hope for!
Picture-perfect Belgian city Brussels has the wonderful Plaisirs D’Hiver Christmas market which has a huge focus on gastronomy. There are mountains of French olives, snails, sugar doughnuts and, of course, Belgian chocolates. You’ll also find a whole host of traditional handcrafted gifts, live music, street entertainers and a sparkling ferris wheel where you can look down on the Christmas market from above.
Christmas markets are a dazzling affair in Copenhagen where the world-famous Tivoli Gardens are transformed into a glittering winter wonderland. Almost four miles of sparkling lights are installed in the gardens to create a stunning display. There are also more than fifty market stalls which offer everything from mulled wine to raisins and spices as well as traditional Danish Christmas dolls.
Berlin has become one of the fastest growing destinations in Europe in the past couple of years and their Christmas market is one of the best in Germany. There are more than sixty different markets throughout the city. For a truly different Christmas market experience head to the market at Potsdamer Platz where you’ll find Europe’s largest mobile toboggan run!