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The build up to Christmas can be extremely stressful; busy high streets, expensive gifts, rubbish songs on repeat and emotional TV adverts, all culminating into a distinct lack of Christmas spirit. This year why not start the festive season differently, and visit a Christmas Market.
Christmas markets herald back to a simpler time, when Christmas was about great food, great company and handcrafted toys you can really cherish for years to come. Arriving at a festive market is like getting a big Christmas hug – the twinkling lights, delicious food and beautiful gifts reawaken the childhood wonder most adults lose.
If you fancy visiting a European Christmas market this year, here are our top 10 picks for Winter 15/16;
Looking for a real taste of culture and history this festive season? Then Arco could be the winter break for you. The medieval Italian town offers a great mix of Nordic tradition and modern culture, plus it also boasts a Christmas train and petting zoo.
Germany know how to throw a good Chritsmas market, and Berlin offer some of the best in Europe. With over 60 separate markets you’ll definitely need plenty of time to explore, eat and drink your way around. Don’t miss the futuristic light shows and giant urban toboggan run.
Best for chocolate lovers and couples, Bruges is a great chance for a romantic Christmas break. Enjoy a horse and cart ride around the beautiful market square, ice skate, and explore the gorgeous Christmas huts.
When looking for a Christmas market the whole family can enjoy, Budapest should definitely be high on the list. Every year Vorosmarty Square comes alive with choirs, puppets, crafts and amazing treats. The shopping is also amazing – think real leather goods and sheepskin coats.
Looking for some extra special gifts this Christmas? Then Krakow’s main square is the destination for you. Stalls will include traders selling Baltic Amber and Bohemian Glass ware, and you can also buy beautiful Christmas trees made from natural rock.
Running for over 40 years, the Lincoln Christmas market is the perfect place to get a taste of European markets here in the UK. 250,000 people flock to Lincoln each year to explore the 250 stalls and sample local food in the Cathedral Square.
Don’t fancy heading abroad this winter? Then Manchester has a fantastic choice of Christmas markets. With ten different sites across the city, there are plenty of stalls to explore from all over Europe.
There are four separate markets in Prague, but the best is definitely Wenceslas Square. The setting is amazing, beautiful gothic architecture and twinkling lights teamed with an enormous Christmas tree make the square come alive with Christmas spirit.
Vienna has been rolling out festive stalls since the 17th Century, making them heavyweights in the European market scene. The Austrian capital offers 25 separate markets, but the best include Schonbrunn Palace and the Hapsburgs’ simply for their incredible settings.
Winter in Europe is cold, so if the idea of being outside is enough to put you off Christmas markets altogether, then Zurich is the place for you. Every year they transform their main railway station into an indoor market, greeting travellers with warmth, mulled wine and beautiful gifts.
Now that we’ve inspired you to visit a Christmas Market or two, just remember to invest in quality travel insurance before you leave home. Visit Holidaysafe.co.uk for more information on award winning travel insurance.Please note, Holidaysafe's online prices automatically include a 15% discount against our Customer Service Centre prices.
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