Five Christmas Markets Yule Fall In Love With
‘Tis the season to be jolly, and for those thinking of travelling away throughout December there’s even more reason to pack your bags as cities all over Europe are putting up their trees, their lights, and most excitingly, their Christmas markets.
Across the continent there are some truly magical markets, all inspired by our good friend Santa Claus, offering perfect trinkets, hearty foods, and the most wonderful homemade crafts. So if you’re thinking of taking to the skies this winter, why not have a fun-filled festive holiday at one of these amazing Christmas markets.
Starting closer to home however is Manchester Christmas markets. The city’s market was recently voted the ninth best in Europe and is spread across 10 sites including Albert Square, Cathedral Gardens, and the beautiful St Ann’s Square.
Open from 10am to 9pm daily, the market has over 300 stalls and chalets each selling gifts ranging from chocolates, to crafts, to jewellery and clothes.
Its food and beer is revered throughout the city and millions flock to taste the bratwurst, hog roast, and other warming dishes such as paella every year.
Germany is widely regarded as the home of the Christmas market, and naturally it doesn’t get much better than in the capital. Berlin is one of the world’s favourite yuletide hotspots with over 170 stalls to browse and enjoy.
Naturally you’ll find plenty of bratwurst alongside ornaments and decorations all in the famous Potsdamer Platz. Elsewhere there are a number of other markets in the city including the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church which is in its 32nd year on Breitscheidplatz, and the Alexanderplatz market, overlooked by the Fernsehturm is one of the best in the city and includes Europe’s largest Christmas pyramid.
A fairground also sits pretty on the square alongside an ice rink making it a real thrill for anyone visiting Berlin.
When winter draws in there’s no city in the world that’s prettier than Prague. With snow on the hauntingly beautiful buildings of the Old Town, it’s the most idyllic postcard picture, and with the twinkling lights glistening across the market on Old Town and Wenceslas Squares it will make quite the ho-ho-holiday before Christmas.
Choirs perform carols throughout the festive period as their beautiful harmonies waft with the smell of barbequed sausages and pastries which the market is renowned for.
At the centre of it all is a huge Christmas tree, imported from the Krkonose mountains in the very north of the country. Away from the market, there’s plenty more to see and do with the month of December a busy month for the Czech capital. It’s the perfect time of the year for the opera, and the city is perhaps the best place on the continent for it.
For just under a month Barcelona transforms from Mediterranean city to Lapland with a whole host of exciting Christmas activities. However, Spain is still very much at the heart of it all. The Fira de Santa Llucia market has been running since 1786 and breaks records on the number of visitors year after year.
Situated next to the cathedral the market sells all sorts of gifts as well as decorations, trees, and even mistletoe for those feeling romantic.
It sells a variety of food including German delights bratwurst and currywurst as well as more traditional Spanish options. And of course it’s also a little bit warmer than most Christmas markets across the world.
The period around the feast of Saint Lucia is the perfect time for visiting, with the 13 December coming alive to the sound of children singing. It’s tradition for girls to wear candles in a wreath in their hair, whilst boys wear white gowns. However, the whole build up to Christmas is incredibly exciting. Since 1914 the Old Town has held a market and sells a range of handmade toys and plenty of food to warm you up on cold, wintry evenings.
There are around 40 stalls to explore, and whilst that may not seem like many, each one offers something different in a market setting like no other in Europe.
Of course there are dozens of other fantastic and spellbinding Christmas markets in Europe with Cologne, Amsterdam, and Brussels all revelling in the flurrying of snow and smell of sausages sizzling in the breeze.
We don’t know about you, but we really love this time of year!