From Prague to Vienna and Berlin, the European Christmas markets will definitely bring a festive holiday spirit.
Christmas is just around the corner – and whilst there are fun and festivities to dive into at home, there are also many beautiful places around Europe to brighten up the Christmas spirit. What more can express the joys of Christmas than a festive Christmas market to visit with friends and family, or even to spend as a charming night by oneself?
Czech Republic – Prague
To find the home of the eponymous figure of the traditional carol ‘Good King Wenceslas’, the impressive, mediaeval city of Prague’s markets in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square – a five-minute-walk away from each other – is the first stop. The geography means that both markets can be conveniently toured around in one day. The combination of a klobása (Czech sausage) and a classic Czech larger will be a great start (or end) to a fun day, throughout which there will be carol singing and a spectacular tree, later lit up in Old Town Square.
Austria – Vienna
There are many Christmas markets to choose from in Vienna, but first-time goers should definitely take a visit to the Viennese Christmas Market in front of the City Hall. Not only does this market have infamous Viennese sausages and beer as a perfect combination, but the huge ice rink and reindeer rides are very suitable for children. Nonetheless, if it is a year of leaving the children at home, there are around 60 stalls which boast beautiful handcrafted decorations to satisfy the Christmas spirit, which is shared by children and adults alike!
France – Strasbourg
For a place with tradition and history, Strasbourg Christmas market is the go-to destination. Being one of Europe’s oldest Christmas markets, the time it first opened dates back to 1570 and its tradition and history is emphasised by the scenic Strasbourg Cathedral, which guards the grounds. Tradition and history are not the only things this market offers, however – the various markets each have a different country as its exciting theme each year! What is even greater is that there are 300 hundred different stalls, meaning there are a plethora of activities, ranging from picking out lovely decorations and/or presents, to drinking the local Alsatian wine. For the picturesque Christmas tree, Place Kleber (in the central area) is the destination to head to.
Germany – Berlin
Germany boasts a plethora of homely, festive and fun Christmas markets, the epitome of which can be found in Berlin. Although there are many different markets within Berlin, the Gendarmenmarkt is one which receives much attention. The carol singing and live jazz set a romantic atmosphere, not to mention the magnificent architecture around the market which greatly adds to the charming mood of a warm Christmas evening.
With classic mulled wine and extremely appetising, infamous German sausages, the Gendarmenmarkt offers a range of food and activities, suitable for everyone’s taste.
Hungary – Budapest
The Christmas market of Budapest is a must-go for festive food-lovers since this is the place where one can find the infamous chimney cake (Budapest Basilica Christmas Fair) and a classic wine tasting event! In the city centre at Vörösmarty Square, the Budapest Christmas Fair is the oldest and the most acknowledged market. Aside from the delicious food and mulled wine, there are magical light shows, free concerts, and the notoriously delicate handicraft stalls.