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Love or hate Christmas it would be hard not to get into the spirit of festivity at one of the many European Christmas markets.
Over 2 million people visit every December to wander the six delightful markets with over 160 stalls offering something for everyone. Here Santa makes a daily visit aboard the floating market of MS Wappen. Markets are open from 25 November to 23 December.
2. Nuremberg Christmas Market, Germany
This IS Christmas. Think snow, mulled wine, local stollen and other festive local delicacies as well as ample live music, over 200 stalls and plenty to do for the kids. Nuremberg is one of the best known Christmas markets in Germany dating back to 1628, many couple choose to leave our half hearted ‘budget’ Christmas and head for festive romance and one of the most charming places to visit at this time of year. Open between 1-24 December.
3. Vienna Christmas Market, Austria
Not for those wishing to budget, these markets are set amongst the imperious surroundings of the magnificent former home of the Habsburg Empire. Vienna’s markets welcome millions of visitors each year eager to soak up the atmosphere as well as sample the delights of the spiced mulled wine and Christmas treats. The market in front of the Town Hall with its intricately decorated trees is a photo must have, especially at night, there is also the Christmas Village of the market at Schoenbrunn Castle, or the historical market at Spittelberg. Wherever you decide chic Vienna will make sure you get the best start to the Yuletide festivities. The market is open from 16 November to 24 December.
4. Prague Christmas Markets, Czech Republic
Prague, famous for stag weekends of boozy men. At Christmas it is famous for one thing…it;s markets. Christmas in Prague is an exciting time, markets throughout the city host to concerts, theatres and even a petting zoo. The most popular market is on the cobbles of the Old Town square and here that you can stroll past the brightly coloured stalls with gifts including handicrafts, jewellery, clothes and plenty of hot food and warm drinks (the stronger the drink the warmer your body!) . This is a magical place to visit at Christmas and if you are lucky there may even be snow adding to the true Christmas feel. Open from 27 November through to the beginning of January.
5. Budapest Christmas Market, Hungary
This market has only been running for the last 6 years but has very quickly gained a reputation as a festive delight. A Mecca for arts and crafts fans as there are many handmade local arts and crafts on display. In the heart of Pest, Vörösmarty Square is transformed into a sea of colourful stalls to wander through until your feet tire when you can then take a seat and watch the central stage with a selection of shows, acts and concerts for you and the kids. Despite only being in existence for 6 years it is reckoned to be one of the most traditional markets to visit!
If you are thinking of taking a short or long break to visit Santa, drink mulled wine or just get downright festive, there are plenty of winter deals about as agents recover from a nightmare summer season of losses, delay, cancellations and ash cloud delays! Don’t’ forget to buy travel insurance, especially if you are thinking of Christmas shopping-you don’t want all your hard earned cash and time lost in your suitcase by some baggage handler! So make sure your possessions and newly purchased gifts are insured and visit Holidaysafe.co.uk where you can get cover for European mini-break for as little as £4.00.
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