Europe is home to some of the most magical Christmas markets, here is our pick of ten.
The Christmas festivities are fast approaching and we are already in a good mood. Trees decorated with fairy lights, delicious cakes, mulled wine and an air of bounty – Christmas is all of this and beyond.
However, if you’re planning on spending the rest of 2021 traveling, we’ve got a special gift for you. Known for its festive spirit every holiday season, Europe is touted for some of the best Christmas markets in the world.
From colorful rows of decorations adorning the cobblestone streets, lip-smacking food to arouse your palate, cute shops selling figurines, ornaments, wine and more, the mainland’s Christmas markets also offer a variety of activities. for all age groups.
Although Christmas markets were canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries in Europe have opened their doors to visitors. So, don these puffy coats and mittens to experience some amazing traditional Christmas markets in Europe.
10 magical Christmas markets to visit in Europe:
Prague Christmas markets, Czech Republic
During this time of year, Prague is one of the best places to stay if you want to witness the festive spirit amid medieval architectural wonders, such as domes, castles and towers. Here, the Christmas markets will start from November 27, 2021 and run until January 6, 2022.
In addition to enjoying the traditional cribs and outdoor concerts, you can enjoy the markets of StaromestskÃ© Namestie (Old Town Square) and Wenceslas Square. These gorgeous markets are home to melodious choirs, massive Christmas trees, and stalls selling locally made ceramics, embroidered lace, hand-blown glass balls, hats, gloves, and scented candles.
Foodies should definitely try the delicacies available in these markets. Visitors must try trdelnik or grilled pork – a pastry rolled in a mixture of cinnamon-sugar and toasted – sausage, garlic and cheese, flat bread, pancakes, hot chocolate, mulled wine, honey wine and toddy, which is a drink made from rum, water , lemon and sugar.
Tivoli Christmas market, Denmark
Tivoli Gardens are known for their bustling stalls, glÃ¸gg or mulled wine, and adventurous rides. This Christmas wonderland was turned into a market by John Loring in 1997 and is visited by over a million people each year.
From mid-November, more than 500,000 light garlands and decorated trees light up the dark gardens, adding a touch of magic to the surroundings.
For gourmets, the bleskiver – spherical Danish snacks similar to pancakes, but light and chewy like Yorkshire pudding – is a must-try Danish delicacy. It is eaten with jam and icing sugar. Christmas cakes from the famous pastry shop Cakenhagen are something you should watch out for as well.
Tallinn Christmas Market, Estonia
The popular Christmas market started in 2001 and this year visitors can enjoy the festivities from November 19, 2021 to January 2, 2022. Located in the Town Hall Square, there are 60 chic and comfortable wooden cabins, which are popular to sell wreaths, handcrafted lamps, sheepskin rugs, gingerbread, country honey and mulled wine.
While in summer people like to visit various cafes in Town Hall Square, in winter the place turns into a party paradise with outdoor concerts, fairs and much more exciting activities.
During the holiday season, musicians and dancers delight the crowd with their performances. While the decorated snow sculptures look stunning, the highlight is the giant Christmas tree, which has stood tall since 1441.
This imposing tree in front of the town hall is the first Christmas tree to be presented in Europe. According to the visit to Estonia website: “The tradition of celebrating Christmas festivities here dates back to 1441 when the Brotherhood of the Blackheads allegedly erected the very first Christmas tree in the world.”
Edinburgh Christmas Market, Scotland
Christmas markets and Hogmanay celebrations come together to paint Edinburgh in tones of joy and festivity. From mini-train rides and children’s bumper cars to a maze of Christmas trees and a 108-foot-tall Ferris wheel – the Edinburgh Eye – this “Santa Land” has it all to keep visitors entertained.
The popular Christmas Market will welcome people from November 20, 2021 to January 4, 2022 in Edinburgh’s sprawling East Princes St. Gardens.
Along with the incredible rides, there are special screenings, performances, and artwork that bring out local talent. People can also ice skate on Edinburgh’s famous George Street. Kids will love Santa’s Cave, where they will meet Santa Claus and also receive a gift.
Don’t miss the delicious cinnamon sugar chimney cakes and cotton candy. Plus, the hand-carved wooden candle holders, Harry Potter themed gifts, wooden toys, and tartan Christmas decorations available here will be a lovely addition to any home.
Mulhouse Christmas market, France
One of the most exuberant Christmas markets in the world can be found on Place de la RÃ©union in Mulhouse. The market is very popular for its textile heritage, with Christmas fabrics created each year to decorate the facades of 100 festive huts.
In addition to fabrics, you can also choose from a variety of original gifts at the Fabric Shop or experience a “Christmas of yesteryear” at Ecomuseum – participate in the various activities of Alsace Ecomuseum; Arrival of the Three Kings, where a procession of children walks through the village to collect New Year’s offerings; and Meeting with Saint Nicolas. The market will open from November 24, 2021 to December 27, 2021.
Dresden Striezelmarkt, Germany
Located on Altmarkt Square in Dresden, the market will start on November 22, 2021 and run until December 24, 2021. It was founded in 1434 as a one-day market and is the oldest in Germany. Sparkling lights and delicious food welcome you for a memorable experience.
Shoppers shouldn’t miss the opportunity to feast on buttery fruit cakes, which are wrapped and feature a special seal depicting the city’s former king, August the Strong. Try iced apples and mulled wine as you shop at various prices, display woodcarvings, pottery, and glassware. The market has more than 240 stalls offering local products. But the highlight is the magnificent 45-foot-tall Christmas pyramid.
Visitors will also love exploring the famous wooden houses, Elven Cottages, the Puppet Theater, and Santa’s House.
Winter Wonders, Belgium
In Belgium, celebrate Christmas like never before. From November 26, 2021 until January 2, 2022, the market is known for its sweet treats. Shoppers can enjoy stocking fillers, mouth-blown glass decorations and much more on the stalls.
Spend your time at the ice rink and Ferris wheel before heading to the marching band while feasting on fluffy Belgian waffles, caramelized and seasonal apples croustillons (sugar donuts). The market also offers a multitude of fun and creative activities: concerts, board games, balls, choirs and cartoon projection.
Plaisirs d’Hiver, which stretches from the Grand Place to the Place Sainte-Catherine, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. According to their website: âTo mark the end of the European Year of Rail, we are celebrating travel and the train, themes that are subtly present throughout the journey.
Christmas market in Skansen, Sweden
Located at the Skansen Open Air Museum on the island of Djurgarden, the market remains open from November 26, 2021 until December 19, 2021. Observe the beauty of Skansen as you stroll through the historic houses and farms, all decorated to complement the Christmas spirit.
Those who wish to add a touch of creativity to their festivities can either participate in the traditional dances that take place around the festive tree in BollnÃ¤s Square or create Christmas decorations at the workshop.
Take a break to enjoy smoked turkey, waffles, and toasted almonds, among other delicious market dishes.
The historic Christmas Market, which dates back to 1903, is home to everything from crafts and candy to homemade candles and secret Christmas gifts.
Christmas market in Plaza Mayor, Spain
As Christmas approaches, Madrid’s Plaza Mayor – which dates back to when King Philip II moved his royal court to Madrid – turns into a sprawling market with 104 stalls. These stalls, renovated in the 1980s and resembling small huts, feature nativity scenes, Christmas decorations, musical instruments and toys.
Organized by the Plaza Mayor Christmas Market Association, the market usually starts from November 26, 2021 and lasts until December 31, 2021. This is certainly one of the many Christmas markets in Europe that are should visit.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, United Kingdom
Kick off your Christmas festivities at Winter wonders which started on November 19, 2021 and will run until January 3, 2022. As well as gorging yourself on the many Christmas delicacies of the Bavarian village, you can also purchase trinkets like votive candles, ornaments and crafts.
Ride a variety of rides, including the Giant Wheel and Christmas Tree Ride, and have fun ice skating.
With its merry-go-rounds and party restaurants, Santa Land is a children’s paradise. Without forgetting that we meet Santa Claus himself.
Zippos Christmas Circus and Cirque Berserk are other activities to enjoy.
Main and featured image: Pixel Shaper / Wikimedia Commons