Since Halloween has passed, it’s full steam ahead till Christmas. Regent’s Street’s lights are up, Selfridges is decked out and John Lewis’ new Christmas advert is pulling at the heart strings. Time to start shopping and Europe’s Christmas markets are just the place.
There are so many markets around Europe that are worth visiting, it’d be impossible to feature them all in one post. We’ve chosen a handful that we think would make great two-in-one trips. Cities that offer great sights, are particularly pretty to visit in winter and of course have festive markets to visit. Pack your wool socks and thermal underwear, we’re off!
Ludwigsburg – Germany
Germany has some of the best Christmas markets so it’s difficult to choose just one but Ludwigsburg is likely a spot you’ve never visited and the surroundings are really something gorgeous. The Baroque-style market is quite unique with the beautiful churches lit up at night overlooking the square. The easiest way to reach Ludwigsburg is via flights to Stuttgart.
Prague – Czech Republic
There are at least a dozen Christmas Markets in Prague but the best ones are in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. A tall glittering Christmas tree stands in the middle of the square, surrounded by little huts, an authentic Nativity Scene and even a petting zoo for the kids. It’s the perfect place to shop for handcrafted glassware, jewellery, lace, wooden toys, puppets and dolls. For food, have a little taste of carp, the traditional Czech Christmas dinner.
Antwerp – Belgium
Little wooden huts cluster in the city’s main square, surrounded by the prettiest houses. It’s all quite a romantic scene with the trees decked out in fairy lights and classical music floating above the crowds. Right in the middle of the market is an ice rink, the perfect way to spend the evening. When you can’t feel your toes in your ice skates anymore just sit off to the side with a cup of hot cider to warm up.
Copenhagen – Denmark
The Danish capital doesn’t disappoint when Christmas rolls around. The Tivoli Gardens are decked out in four miles of lights in a display arranged by Tiffany’s head designer. 60 stalls are set up selling everything from painted porcelain and wooden dolls to mulled wine and hot apple dumplings. Thousands flock to the park everyday to see the displays so expect large crowds in the run up to Christmas.
Budapest – Hungary
Christmas in the Hungarian capital is a special one. The Christmas Market sets up in the beautiful Vörösmarty Square with the famous Gerbeaud Cafe overlooking 150+ stands. Warm your cockles with a piping hot cup of mulled wine served in a mug that you can keep once you’ve finished your drink.[see]5 strange Christmas traditions from around the world[/see]