Top 3 Christmas markets in Europe
As the year races to a close, many people look for that perfect winter getaway to finish off their year with a bang. One deciding factor always seems to be which destination offers the best Christmas markets though, which is why today’s post is all about the top markets that you’ll find across Europe. I hope it helps you in your search for that perfect festive break.
If it’s traditional German fayre you’re looking for, you’ll find a foodie’s paradise waiting for you at the Cologne Christmas markets. There are seven in total, and from the cobbled streets of the Old Town to the Cathedral markets, you’ll find homemade candles, funky tree decorations and intricate lacework or jewellery, not to mention glühwein, traditional German sausages and roasted chestnuts.
If you’re travelling with children, this market in particular is perfect, as you can visit your own fairy-tale village that’s the home of Saint Nicholas himself. Then round off your stay with a trip to the real hidden gem: Neumarkt’s Angel’s Market. Locals flock to this place each year to try the best Stollen cake around.
Vienna’s Christmas-markets date back to 1298, when Albrecht I granted Vienna’s citizens the privilege of holding a December Market or “Krippenmarkt”. Now, from the Rathausplatz up to Belvedere, there are around 10 markets, with more than 150 stalls. From hand-carved wooden figurines and toys, to puppets, elaborately iced gingerbread houses and local artwork for sale, the log cabins decked out in Christmas lights are full to bursting with festive treats.
Or, head to the Spittelberg market near the Museums Quarter for hand-blown glass, silverware and ceramic gifts. You’ll probably be staying for a few days though, and Vienna is in no short supply of things to do. You could check out one of the many museums, head for a contemporary art gallery, stroll around the grounds of an Imperial palace, or reserve your seats via Vienna Opera Tickets and take in a famous aria.
This is an up and coming city in terms of the amount of tourism they’ve received over the last few years. The number of people travelling to Prague increases every year, but thanks to their incredible Christmas markets, it’s during the winter months that you should plan on heading there. Throughout the festive season, Prague’s Old Town Square, known as Staromestske namesti, has a stage-set nativity scene, an enormous central Christmas tree and daily performances by local folk bands and choirs.
There are hundreds of stalls in the square that sell everything from stockings to hang over the mantelpiece, to new ceramics you can use for your Christmas dinner. There’s also plenty of traditional Czech cuisine, from the Polish sausage klobasa, to trdelnik, a crispy, sugary pastry served fresh from the stall ovens.
Do you know of any other top Christmas markets? Let us know in the comments section below if you have any suggestions for readers wanting that perfect Christmas getaway.