There is a special kind of atmosphere at Christmas markets. It warms our hearts and fills our souls with happiness: the sound of Christmas songs, the smell of gingerbread cookies and small market stalls standing out on the streets, offering residents all kinds of treats and gifts. The tradition of organizing Christmas markets is a tradition in Germany, France, Austria and other countries in Europe.
«Year after year we see marvellous little Christmas markets in Prague, Vienna, Budapest and Copenhagen. You can also find them in Riga and Tallinn. Foreign tourists adore our Christmas markets and say they are some of the most beautiful ones in Europe. Riga and Tallinn also offer residents a look at animals – Riga has the Bunny Kingdom and Tallinn offers bunnies, goats, lambs and geese,» – says Latvia Tours Director Ieva Keisa.
Here is a list of eight finest Christmas markets in Europe:
It is absolutely impossible to miss the marvellous Christmas tree standing at the entrance of the Christmas market square. Strasbourg’s market is especially panoramic and reminds visitors of Christmas cards. Visitors are offered food and drink in addition to all kinds of products. A special holiday spirit roams the streets, which are illuminated by a myriad of colourful lights. If you want to learn the history of Christmas market tradition, Strasbourg is the first and the oldest in Europe. It was first founded in 1570.
Finland is a place all of us wanted to visit when we were kids. It is the homeland of Santa Claus, after all! At least that’s what the Finnish believe. While other European Christmas markets may not have snow in December, the magical atmosphere takes hold in Helsinki just as soon as the first snow comes to the country. Although warmer clothes are necessary to enjoy spending time in Helsinki, the Finnish capital offers its visitors an unforgettable Christmas in the true birthplace of the Christmas legend.
Historic location, romantic sights of Christmas lights and decorated boats create a unique Christmas feeling that charms more and more visitors every year. Market stalls are full of all kinds of delicacies and treats. Fried almonds, waffles with cinnamon, gingerbread and hot wine are always on offer. Visiting this market will definitely make any family celebration all the better.
Each Christmas market has its own special feature, unique to each region. Nuremberg is nominated as one of the most luxurious Christmas markets in the world. Famous for its Nuremberg sausages, gingerbread cookies and edible figurines made from plums, this Christmas market attracts tourists from all over the world. This particular market opens on Friday every year before the first Advent.
Unlike markets in France and Germany, the Swedish Christmas market’s unique characteristic is the variety of snacks and delicacies on sale. Many people believe this Nordic country offers the most authentic Christmas feeling there can be. We recommend checking this yourselves! Here you can find all kinds of treats, unique meals and drinks.
Czech Republic, Prague
Located in the centre of the city, Prague’s Christmas market makes the capital’s atmosphere all the more magical. To make the visit to Prague more interesting, market stalls are spread all around the whole city. Mountains of meat prepared on the spot and spit roasted ham are the most popular choice of local residents. A glass of hot wine or traditional Czech beer like Budvar, Staropramen and Urquell can help make the evening all the more special.
The Christmas market in Salzburg is a fantastic place to spend a holiday. The market is situated at the foot of foot of Hohensalzburg fortress. This location gives it an even more beautiful panorama view on the city. With nearly 100 market stalls, Salzburg’s Christmas market is very popular among people who like turning their Christmas shopping into a little adventure.
Calling Vienna the birthplace of Christmas market tradition would be a modest compliment. It is more of a Christmas village. Every square of this city becomes a fable during holidays. Start your day at the Dome Square and continue it by walking through many small and wondrous corridors of this special market. The market includes the Old AKH Christmas village, Maria-Theresien-Platz Christmas village, the old Vienna Freyung Christmas market, Schoenbrunn castle market, Am Hof Advent market and Spitt Christmas market. Each location offers something unique with a special Austrian flavor to it. No matter what you want – shopping, eating out, playgrounds or something else – you will find everything there.