It’s just about the time to raise the festive mood and Christmas markets are just the best way to help you with that! Christmas in Europe is a magical time – decorated trees appear on the central squares, the streets are lit by the lights of garlands, music sounds, the dizzying aromas of mulled wine, fresh pastries and roast-baked meat are floating in the air. Where to go to fully immerse yourself in the Christmas atmosphere of miracles, fairy tales and magic? We chose 8 Christmas markets which are worth visiting at least once!
Until December 24th (fair near the Vienna City Hall)
The tradition of organizing Christmas markets has existed in Vienna since the 13th century. Nowadays, the fair has been held since 1294, when Emperor Albrecht I ordered a “Dezembermarkt” (fair in December), to which products for Christmas festivals were brought to Vienna from nearby villages and villages. About 10 fairs are held in the city, among which the most important one is located on the Town Hall Square.
Over 150 shops selling miniature wooden houses, dolls, gingerbread cookies in the shape of hearts, leather clothes and woolen hats are on displayed here. Another must-see fair is located in the Spittelberg area near the Museum Quarter. It is famous for its products from glass, silver and ceramics. You can ride on the carousel and enjoy the illuminated trees and pavilions in the park next to the Vienna City Hall.
Until December 31
The Strasbourg Christmas Market is considered one of the oldest in Europe. It has been held since 1570 and annually attracts about 2 million visitors. Fair stalls are located around the city Cathedral, on Brogley Square and Kleber Square.
On the latest there is a 400-year-old spruce, which is decorated every year for the holiday. Visitors should definitely try the local delicacy – Alsatian ravings pies. They come in different forms with addition of candied fruits and nuts. Each year the mayor of Strasbourg chooses a country that becomes the guest of honor of the fair. This year it’s Luxembourg, so a Luxembourg Village is built on Gutenberg Square, where visitors can taste the traditional dishes of this region.
Until December 24
Christkindlesmarkt, held in Hauptmarkt Square next to the Church of St. Sebaldus and the Town Hall, is one of Europe’s oldest Christmas markets (first mentioned in 1628). Its symbol is the baby Christ (Christkind), a charming creature with white curls dressed in golden robes. The local specialty is Lebkuchen gingerbread, baked here for over 600 years. About 70 million of these gingerbread are sold each year in Nuremberg. If you freeze, you will be warmed by mulled wine, which can also be poured into a souvenir mug (its design changes every year). According to statistics, 80% of mugs visitors take with them.
Until January 6
Budapest’s oldest fair is located on Vörösmarty Square. Sweet tooth will like Kurtoskalacs cinnamon baked goods, similar to Czech trdelnik. Meat-eaters will appreciate sausages or goulash in bread, dodolle potato dumplings, langos or roasted chestnuts are suitable for a light snack. Not without traditional mulled wine. In the evenings, you can enjoy a light show on the facade of the Gerbeaud cafe and free concerts of folk, jazz, indie, blues and pop music.
Until December 23
For the first time, the Christmas market was held in Stockholm 500 years ago on Sturtoriet Square. In shops located right in front of the Nobel Museum, various souvenirs from local craftsmen are sold such as glassware, ceramics and jewelry. Adults can try a Swedish drink based on the Glogg wine, the recipe of which is significantly different from mulled wine, and bite it with traditional Christmas cookies gingerbread cookies with pepper and ginger.
Until January 6
There are so many fairs in Hamburg that it can take several days to visit each of them. The most important one is in the square in front of the city hall. In each row, they trade in certain goods: in one – sweets, in the other – handicrafts and jewelry, for example, made of leather or silver. Travelers with children are advised to head to Spielzeuggasse, the so-called Toy Avenue.
Romantics should take a walk around the fair on Jungfernstig Street next to Lake Alster – Christmas presents and a variety of delicacies are sold here. For those who don’t like large crowds, there’s a direct path to the small Genzemarkt fair, where you can drink mulled wine and brandy punch and go on a merry-go-round.
Until December 31
Copenhagen Christmas Market No. 1 is located in Tivoli Gardens, the third most visited entertainment park in Europe. In the days of Advent, the historic park is filled with decorated wooden houses, Santa’s deer, snow-covered trees and is lit by the garland’s lights. There are many cafes, both indoor and outdoor. Try traditional baked Æbleskiver’s – something like donuts in powdered sugar that are often served with jam. This market also sells rye bread sandwiches with pickled herring Smørrebrød, baked duck meat sandwiches, fried chestnuts and almonds.