Christmas is drawing near and in case you are planning to sample mouth-watering local delicacies and spicy wine, here is a selection of this year’s best Christmas markets in Europe.
Aside from the traditional German Christmas markets or Weihnachtsmärkte, there are many other European destinations where you can spend the magical Advent time. Europe reveals its most atmospheric side in this season and strolling through festively decorated streets and booths can be an unique experience: you will find not only lovely and inexpensive gifts, but also a true Christmas spirit that has nearly been lost.
1. Nuremberg Christmas Market
Nuremberg hosts one of Germany’s most famous and oldest Christmas markets which draws well over a million visitors each year. At the Christkindlesmarkt you will smell delicious aromas of spicy gingerbread, Bratwurst, cinnamon and mulled wine. The Christmas Market is located in the city center of Nuremberg and is magically transformed by evening into an enchanted fairytale village.
2. Munich Christmas Market
At Munich’s traditional Christmas market you can discover fine handcrafted items, warm yourself with roasted chestnuts and taste delicious Lebkuchen and Glühwein. Nearby, you can visit the popular Kripperlmarkt, one of the largest markets in Germany specialized in cribs and Nativity accessories.
3. Strasbourg Christmas Market
It is the oldest Christmas market in France and there are seven different locations in Strasbourg where the Marché de Noël is situated. The two largest ones are located in front of the beautiful 15th century Cathedral. But If you are looking for something more intimate, the Alsace region presents some of the most enchanting Christmas markets in all of France.
4. Vienna Christmas Market
A Christmas market tour or cruise in Austria cannot leave out Vienna, one of Europe’s most elegant and romantic cities. The Rathausplatz, site of Vienna’s Christkindlmarkt, is often snow covered and you will find traditional vanilla-flavored croissants (Vanillekipferl) and walnut balls with rum (Rumkugeln). Music events, pony-riding, fairytale scenes and more than 100 wooden market stalls await visitors from all over the world. Vienna Christmas Markets is held from mid November to Christmas Eve.
5. Bolzano Christmas Market
Though in Italy the Mercatini di Natale are not as popular as Christmas markets in Northern Europe, some small markets are really worth a visit. Located in Trentino-Alto Adige, Bolzano is home to Italy’s best-known Christmas fair. The main city square hosts 80 little wood houses where you can buy handcraft Nativity ornaments and delicious Christmas treats including the famous Bolzano Zelten. After shopping at Bolzano’s Christmas stands, visit the Enchanted Wood in the nearby Palais Campofranco.
Picture of Christmas decoration originally posted by krisdecurtis