Christmas markets have been a winter tradition around Europe for centuries, and can be traced as far back as the Middle Ages in German speaking parts of Europe. The markets started as seasonal stalls which would offer food, drink and products –and they have remained true to these traditions into the 21stCentury.
Nowadays Christmas Markets are readily available all over Europe, and are the perfect way to get into the true spirit of the season. Areas are turned into winter wonderlands with twinkly lights, Christmas trees, and brightly coloured stalls offering everything from hot food and beverages to handmade gifts and decorations. Some markets will even offer fun fairs, Santa’s grottos and ice skating to keep the whole family entertained.
If you’re finding it difficult to find your Christmas spirit this year, or if the thought of heading to the high street to find gifts is filling you with dread, why not combine a short break with a Christmas Market somewhere in Europe? Our top 10 Christmas market destinations include;
- Brussels, Belgium – a great place to really indulge your Christmas spirit. Different events and attractions take place across the city every year, allowing you the perfect opportunity to explore everything Brussels has to offer.
- Budapest, Hungary – hundreds of wooden huts offer an array of beautifully handmade gifts, decorations and treats to the passers-by. The amazing advent celebrations are not to be missed, as each day reveals a new window and live celebrations.
- Cologne, Germany – offers some of the most famous markets and Christmas celebrations in Europe. The city offers a total of seven different markets which all have their own personalities and programme of special events, ranging from rustic and fairy-tale themes to more modern celebrations.
- Copenhagen, Denmark – the perfect destination for families looking for a Christmassy break. The focus of the markets is less about shopping and more about the spirit of the season, including a special appearance by Santa and his reindeer.
- Dublin, Ireland – if you’re looking for a European break a little closer to home, then Dublin is an excellent choice. Although the markets are relatively modern, Dublin truly knows how to celebrate Christmas, with beautiful displays, events and shopping opportunities.
- London, UK – offers several Christmas markets around the capital, including the amazing Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park which includes an ice rink, fun fair, live music and a variety of stalls. Why not combine your trip with a visit to Oxford Street to see the world famous displays.
- Manchester, UK – a great place to celebrate the build up to Christmas. Manchester already has great shopping opportunities, but the many markets add a festive spin to proceedings, selling a great selection of international gifts, plus arts and crafts.
- Nuremberg, Germany – with over 400 years of experience, the markets at Nuremberg will always be amazing. If you’re visiting with young children they have a market just for them, filled with arts, crafts and entertainment. If you’re travelling with adults head for some local mulled wine and gingerbread.
- Prague, Czech Republic – if you’re looking for some unusual Christmas gifts, then Prague is the place for you. Rows of brightly coloured stalls offer everything from handmade jewellery and tree ornaments to scented candles and Czech glass.
- Vienna, Austria – as soon as you arrive in Vienna the lights, colours, sweet smells and Christmas punch will immediately create a magical Christmas atmosphere. Wander around the many stalls and visit the fairy-tale displays for a pony ride.
Whether you’re planning a weekend break or a week-long trip, you must remember to invest in quality travel insurance to protect you and your holiday against a disaster. At Holidaysafe we understand just how popular Christmas Markets are, and that is why we have created a Christmas Shopping Extension which customers can add to their main policy for a small additional premium. This extension has no excess and provides up to £500 towards Christmas purchases made on your trip (with a single article limit of£150) just in case they are lost, damaged or stolen. For more information or to get a quote, call us on 0845 658 0570.
Please note, Holidaysafe's online prices automatically include a 15% discount against our Customer Service Centre prices.