Because the Advent Sunday is no longer far away, it would be worth visiting one of the Christmas markets in Europe – it is possible to find special gifts, enjoy great meals, listen to Christmas carols and take in the festive atmosphere.
Booking.com has compiled a list of the most magical Christmas markets in Europe:
Prague, Czech Republic (26 November – 1 January)
Prague is a great destination. It is worth visiting all year round and especially during the Christmas period, when this city’s beauty truly reaches its peak! Prague is a great place for people who enjoy history, architecture and culture, as well as shopping in Christmas. Travellers who visit the old city and Wenceslas square will be able to shop in a wide selection of different market stalls, enjoy great meals and choose from a great selection of goods produced by local craftsmen.
Copenhagen, Denmark (19 November – 31 December)
This city is best described by the word ‘hygge’ – the feeling one gets from enjoying pleasures of life. Copenhagen is home to Tivoli Christmas markets. Here you can enjoy glögg (a form of mulled wine) and æbleskiver pancakes. Visitors can buy whatever they want from one of 50 market stalls and enjoy the scenery. Do be on the lookout for reindeers often seen nearby!
Nuremberg, Germany (25 November – 24 December)
The Christmas market organized in Nuremberg is one with the most ancient history – the first time it was organized to bring joy to locals was in 16th century. The atmosphere there is so pleasant, you can feel the aroma of mulled wine, roasted almonds and gingerbread in the air. The Christmas market offers all kinds of traditional decorative items for purchase, including little angel figurines and zwetschgenmännle figurines made from dried plums.
Bath, United Kingdom (24 November – 11 December)
UK’s largest Christmas market is located in the historic city of Bath. Travellers can find more than 150 market stalls there. More than 75% of goods on offer were made by local craftsmen. Visitors can expect a one-of-a-kind Christmas atmosphere.
Valkenburg, Netherlands (18 November – 23 December)
If you’re looking for a special kind of shopping, Valkenburg caves are the place for you! To create a special atmosphere for the celebration, lights were put in caves to give walls a honey-like tone. This year’s Christmas market will be the biggest one yet, with more than 50 market stalls offering travellers all kinds of goods. The velvet cave will offer visitors not just marvelous goods, but also an excursion opportunity and a look at ancient wall drawings, sculptures and a unique 18th century chapel.
Cologne, Germany (21 November – 23 December)
It is no secret that Germany has the most expansive Christmas market variety. These markets are the best place to be during the celebration, especially if you gingerbread and mulled wine. Cologne is home to five Christmas markets. The close proximity to the Cologne Cathedral gives them a gothic and fabulous atmosphere. A 25-m-tall Christmas tree stands in the middle of the city.
Budapest, Hungary (11 November – 1 January)
Budepest’s most famous Christmas market at Vorosmarty Square is made popular by more than 100 wooden houses, in which it is possible to procure goods produced by local craftsmen. There are comfortable benches and tables set up there to allow visitors to enjoy Kürtőskalács or ‘chimney cakes’ – a special Christmas treat in Hungary. Choir concerts, folk group performances, book readings and all kinds of activities and workshops for children are organized every day. In addition to comfy market stalls, additional Christmas trams are organized in Budapest to provide convenient transportation.
Vienna, Austria (12 November – 24 December)
Vienna offers travellers at least six Christmas markets. If you don’t have the time to visit all of them, the one in front of the city hall should be the first on your list. Here you can feel like you’re in a fairy tale, which is thanks to marvellous architecture and festive atmosphere. Children will be offered lessons on how to make Christmas cookies and other fun activities. Be sure to taste strudel and Sachertorte and Linzer cakes.