They say there’s no place like home for the holidays, but Europe certainly tempts people from all over the world with its hip n happening Christmas festivities. The entire continent turns into a giant Christmas Market wonderland, where mulled wine and handicrafts flow freely. So if you find yourself in Europe this holiday season, stop by 1, 2, or all of these 5 Christmas market.
Celebrating the Plaisirs d’Hiver (“Pleasures of Winter”) festival since 10 years, Brussels Christmas Market has quickly made a name for itself with its elegant and gorgeous traditional atmosphere. Located in the Place Sainte Catherine, the Winter Wonderland houses around 250 chalet style wooden huts complete with an illuminated 160-foot Ferris wheel and a skating rink. If you are a food chocolate addict, you should without doubt head on to this festival and you’ve got yourself the fixing for a very Merry Christmas.
There are culinary delights like mulled wine, juicy olives, steamed snails, oysters, forest mushrooms on toast and of course heaps of Belgian chocolates and gingerbread biscuits shaped like Santa. Was this mouth-watery enough? Just wait till you get there and you will find lots more!
When? November 30 to January 6, 2013
Come December and the quaint little city dazzles as it gets ready for its Christmas Market. The Nuremberg Christmas market is my personal Champs-Élysées and the most famous one going in Germany. Some 180 cute wooden stalls, adorned in red and white, line the main square in the heart of the historic old town. There are carved wooden toys, handmade candles, bakery goodies, Christmas tree decorations and bucket loads of the city’s famous gingerbread spicing up the air. The dedicated market for the young visitors, the Kinderweihnacht, is really a complete wonderland in itself, with old fashioned steam trains, merry-go-rounds and much more. Take home all time favorite souvenirs – the “Nuremberg Plum People”.
When? November 30, 2012, to December 24, 2012.
Valkenburg’s Christmas market is very much different from all others in every sense: the Velvet Cave Christmas market, is actually in a cave! You will surely be dumbfounded when you see how beautifully the cave is decorated and how on the insides is market stalls and stands to sell Christmas gifts. Aside from browsing the market, there is another fun element a twice-weekly colorful parade with Santa himself leading the show. There is a host of restaurants cafes to eat which are set in the heart of the Valkenburg Christmas market. Set in the medieval ruins, the Arcadian town’s Christmas market is sure to give you a unique merry Christmas time!
When? November to 23rd Dec 2012
The deliciously romantic Copenhagen Christmas market seems as if it is right out of a fairytale storybook. Designed by Tiffany Co’s design director John Loring, this market is set in the oldest amusement park, the 19th century Tivoli Gardens. It’s beautifully lit and filled with Christmas trees. Iced doughnuts with black currant jam (æbleskiver) and gløgg, a steaming hot mulled red wine are the hallmarks of the Copenhagen’s Christmas Market. You can take a ride in a 95-year-old wooden roller coaster or browse past 60 colorful; hand painted stalls or you can even pose for photos with a Father Christmas in the Pixie ville or the Leprechaun tents. I guarantee you there will never be a single dull moment in this market you will have the time of your life!
When? November 16 to December 3, 2012
Austria practically makes an art form out of its Christmas markets. The Christkindlmärkte” dates back over 700 years and is an early starter, meaning it kicks off in November. Clad yourself in furs, sip on some of the famous glühwein, savor moon shaped cookies called Vanillekipferl and wander through the squares. Here you’ll find traditional events which can make you feel like a local celebrating Christmas the Vienna-way. Wander through the streets and town square which are filled with the aromas of candied fruits, cotton candy, Christmas punch and roasted nuts – surely the perfect way to get you in the Christmas mood!
When? Early November to December 24, 2012
Honestly, Europe is filled with Christmas Markets so there’s a good chance that the city you may be traveling to, no matter how big or small, has its own unique Christmas Market. So if you want to explore Christmas celebrations in nearby cities you can hire a cheap car that fits your holiday vacation needs.