Europe’s Top Cities for Christmas Markets
There are few places more festive than Europe to celebrate the Christmas season. With bustling markets, majestically lit trees erected in city squares and often a glittery dusting of snow, Europe has got the Christmas spirit right! Here are some of the top markets to visit in Europe at Christmastime to get you in the holiday mood:
Dresden Germany is home to the first “Christkindlemarkt,” so it’s no wonder that so many of its cities boast incredible Christmas markets. Dresden’s is the oldest in Germany, steeped in tradition and enthusiastically attended by locals and visitors alike. There are plenty of pretty, old-fashioned stalls and traditional foods like Striezel, or sweet fruitcake dusted with icing sugar.
Prague is always one of the promo fares available when you’re checking out cheap flights to Europe. The Czech capital is all Christmas, all the time come December! There are several markets dotted around the city, but the largest is in Old Town Square right around the massive Christmas tree erected in the center. There’s nothing like the magical feeling of being surrounded by the cobbled streets, towering spires and traditional music while enjoying hot mulled wine and Czech pastries amidst a festive crowd.
Vienna The Christkindlemarktis set up in front of Vienna’s Town Hall, one of the most elegant and magnificent in Europe. It is one of Europe’s oldest, having started over 700 years ago! One of the highlights of Vienna’s market is the surrounding park, which is completely lit up in festive fashion. The market itself sells a multitude of handmade crafts and decorations, foods and all sorts of odd knick knacks.
Munich Yet another great Christmas market in Germany, Munich’s main market is held in Marienplatz, the heart of the old center. The market is opened with a tree-lighting ceremony attended by thousands. You’ll find plenty of hand-carved wooden Christmas decorations, jewelry and other handcrafts. Behind the main market is the Crib Market where traditional nativity figures are sold.
Brussels Brussels has a great Christmas market to visit for gifts, but its real standout is the food! Strings of lights cascade down over little wooden huts selling arts, crafts and all kinds of food and drink. Try the Belgian chocolates, mulled wine, gingerbread, jars of fruit preserves and even steaming plates of snails! There’s also an ice rink to enjoy some skating alongside the Christmas market browsing.