Top Christmas market picks
01 April 2020
In the run up to Christmas, the cities of Europe come alive with glittering market stalls offering a delightful array of gifts, crafts, festive foods and hot drinks. With each city offering something uniquely magical to get visitors feeling the festive spirit, we have chosen Europe’s top Christmas markets to help you decide which markets are perfect for your festive escape.
Bruges Christmas Markets
Bruges is well known for its variety of chocolate and beer but during the festive season the city will also charm you with its quaint Christmas Market offering. The warm glow of Christmas lights engulfs the city’s medieval buildings and meandering canals, creating a dream like atmosphere. The Christmas Market takes over the city’s historic Market Square and visitors can expect to find an array of charming Christmas decorations, quaint jewellery, a selection of handmade clothing items and crafts, not to mention the traditional edible delights such as chocolate and biscuits, and to wash it all down… a Belgian beer. To finish off your visit to Bruges, enjoy a boat trip along the canal to take in the atmosphere of this unique, historic city and immerse yourself in the medieval magic of Bruges at Christmas.
Bolzano Christmas Markets
Though you may never have heard of Bolzano in the South Tyrol region of Italy, this small alpine city is home to some of the best Christmas Markets in Europe, and is known as Italy’s Christmas capital. A traditional market at its heart, in the pretty Piazza Walther you’ll find over 80 wooden huts filled with only locally produced gifts and crafts, as well as regional specialities, confectionary and cakes. There is even a dedicated space where you can watch the local craftsmen hard at work! While the delicious mulled wine, apple fritters and Strudel on offer are enough to whet any appetite, it is the setting of Bolzano, surrounded by stunning mountains, that makes the atmosphere truly magical.
Vienna Christmas Markets
Vienna is a beautiful city with fantastic architecture and it has a wonderful Christmas atmosphere in late November and December. The Christmas Markets in Vienna are not just concentrated in one place but there are a few different locations throughout the city, our favourite would be the markets at the Schönbrunn Palace. Here you can sample some wonderful sweet Austrian culinary delights and, of course, warm yourself up with their delicious hot Gluhwein. The city has a great transport system so it’s an effortless task getting from A to B and back again, but the city is great to explore by foot.
Berlin Christmas Markets
The Berlin Christmas Markets are ironically less about shopping and more about socialising. Enjoy a stein of local German beer, keep yourself warm with some deliciously spiced Gluhwein or indulge in some comforting street food, all to the backdrop of twinkling lights and festive music. Berlin has many markets spread across the city so there is plenty to keep you entertained over the course of a weekend break. The Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market is a highlight due to the setting. At night the nearby concert hall and buildings are lit up creating the perfect Christmas atmosphere.
Budapest Christmas Markets
Known as the ‘Pearl of the Danube’, it is easy to see why Budapest is considered one of Europe’s most magnificent cities. The Christmas fair takes place on “Vörösmarty Square”, in the heart of the city. Visitors can browse over 122 stalls displaying handmade gifts and fantastic dishes. An enormous Advent calendar on the facade of the glamorous “Gerbeaud” building, exhibitions, live entertainment and food & wine are also a feature of the festivities.
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