By Global Travel Worldwide
Christmas is a magical time of year when cities and towns across Europe come alive with the spirit of the season. One of the most cherished traditions on the continent is the Christmas market, where the air is filled with the scent of mulled wine and roasted chestnuts, and the streets are adorned with twinkling lights and festive decorations.
We will take you on a journey through some of Europe’s most enchanting Christmas markets and help you discover the best time to visit these winter wonderlands.
Known as the “Capital of Christmas,” Strasbourg in eastern France boasts one of the oldest and most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe. The Strasbourg Christmas market, or “Christkindelsmärik,” dates back to 1570 and features hundreds of stalls selling handmade crafts, ornaments, and local delicacies. The market typically runs from late November to December 31st, making it an ideal destination for a festive getaway.
Best Time to Visit: The Strasbourg Christmas market is best enjoyed during the first few weeks of December when the city is at its most magical. Crowds are smaller, and you can savour the festive atmosphere without feeling overwhelmed.
Vienna is renowned for its elegant charm year-round, but during the Christmas season, it transforms into a winter wonderland. The Vienna Christmas markets are scattered throughout the city, each offering a unique experience. The Rathausplatz market, in front of the City Hall, is a must-visit, featuring a stunning ice skating rink and a giant Christmas tree.
Best Time to Visit: The Vienna Christmas markets typically open in mid-November and continue until Christmas Eve. Visiting in late November allows you to avoid the larger crowds that come closer to Christmas and still enjoy the festive spirit.
Germany is famous for its Christmas markets, and Cologne is a prime destination for experiencing the holiday magic. The Cologne Christmas market, located in the heart of the city, features over 160 festive stalls, offering everything from handcrafted gifts to traditional German treats like bratwurst and Glühwein (mulled wine).
Best Time to Visit: The Cologne Christmas market usually opens in late November and runs until just before Christmas. The first week of December is an ideal time to visit, as the market is less crowded, and you can fully immerse yourself in the festive ambiance.
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague’s Christmas markets are a fairy tale come to life, set against the backdrop of the city’s stunning architecture. The Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square host the main markets, where you can browse for handmade gifts and sample delicious Czech holiday treats like trdelník (a sweet pastry).
Best Time to Visit: The Prague Christmas markets typically run from late November to early January. Visiting in early December allows you to enjoy the festive atmosphere before the holiday crowds descend upon the city.
Brussels, the capital of Belgium, transforms into a winter wonderland during the Christmas season. The Brussels Christmas market is known for its magnificent Christmas tree in the Grand-Place and its enchanting light shows.
Best Time to Visit: The Brussels Christmas market typically opens in late November and runs until early January. For a more relaxed experience, visit in the first half of December when the market is in full swing but not yet too crowded.
Europe’s Christmas markets are a true testament to the magic of the holiday season. From the charming streets of Strasbourg to the historic squares of Prague, each market offers a unique and unforgettable experience. To make the most of your visit, aim to go in the first few weeks of December when the festive spirit is in full swing, but the crowds are still manageable.
Whichever market you choose, you’re sure to be enchanted by the sights, sounds, and flavors of a European Christmas.
For more information, call us today on 01978 350850
For more information call us today on 01978 350850