The holidays are here. It seems to come sooner annually, with department stores putting up their decorations and radios blasting holiday music earlier and earlier every year. However, Travelex is here to help you get in the Christmas spirit. One of my favorite parts of this time of year is the Christmas markets that you’ll find throughout cities, both big and small, in Europe. Today I highlight a few of my favorite European Christmas markets.
Frankfurt, Germany. Don’t let the size and significance of some of Germany’s other Christmas markets, such as Munich, keep you from going to Frankfurt. Frankfurt is another city in a line of great holiday markets throughout Germany. The historic backdrop of Frankfurt makes this a Christmas market you’ll want to add to your list, if for nothing else but to see one of the tallest Christmas trees in Europe. Other features of Frankfurt’s Christmas market included mulled wine, a carousel, and traditional marzipan candies known as “Bethmännchen”.
Vienna, Austria. Vienna has long been at the forefront of Christmas market talk in Europe, with markets that date back several hundred years. The Christkindlmarkt is Vienna’s iconic market, sitting in front of town hall. Christkindlmarkt’s famous wooden huts sell everything from candles and ornaments to baked goods and wooden toys. Weekends often bring choirs from around the world. There are also smaller Christmas markets in Vienna, including one in Vienna’s Spittelberg neighborhood.
London, England. With so many great Christmas markets from Paris to Prague and everywhere in between, London often gets overlooked. However, don’t miss out on London because it doesn’t have some of the same history and popularity as some of the other European Christmas markets. Head to London’s most famous park for its own Christmas market experience: Hyde Park. It has many of the same elements of a traditional Christmas market, but with some things you won’t find at every market, such as London’s largest ice skating rink and a toboggan slide.
Brussels, Belgium. Brussels is one of the youngest Christmas markets – it hasn’t even been around for a decade yet. However, what it lacks in tradition, it makes up in swagger. Along with a traditional market, the main Brussels Christmas market includes a nightly sound and light show on the Grand Palace. While the Brussels market features many traditional Christmas market foods, it also features some specialities of its own, such as Belgian waffles and fries.
What’s your favorite destination to celebrate the holidays?