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Many people love Christmas and believe it’s one of the most magical times of the year. From decking the halls to trimming the tree, the end of the year celebration warms the hearts of millions of people around the world.
If you’ve been thinking about or are taking a European holiday vacation, check out the Christmas markets. Not only will you find unique gifts for loved ones, but you’ll be treated to spectacular theatrics, Christmas lights, foods, and more.
Keep reading to discover some of the top European Christmas markets. And who knows? You may start a new tradition by taking the family to Europe each year to celebrate the holiday season.
These Are the Cities with the Best European Christmas Markets
The Brussels’ Christmas market is held from late November to early January. It surrounds the Bourse (Stock Exchange) and continues along Place Sainte Catherine. Over 200 artisans from around the world flock to Brussels to sell their handmade crafts, Christmas souvenirs, and more. As you stroll around the market, you’ll be treated to a nightly sound-and-light show on the Grand Place. If you get hungry, nosh on Belgian fries and waffles and other delectable foods. Treat you and your family to a spin on the 160-foot Ferris Wheel and skate on the 8,000-square foot ice skating rink.
The Christmas crafts market is held from late November to early January in Tivoli Gardens. The Christmas lights span nearly four miles and are hung in patterns in accordance with Tiffany’s head designer. Strands of lights are also draped on the lakeside willows. Hold off the cold with glogg, red wine with almonds, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and raisins, which have been immersed in aquavit or schnapps. Visit Copenhagen’s Christmas crafts market between 5 pm and 6 pm weekdays to catch a glimpse of the town crier.
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If you’re visiting London, England during Christmas, travel to Birmingham and experience the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market and Craft Market, one of the largest authentic German markets outside of Germany and Austria. You’ll find over 100 stalls along New Street, Victoria Square and Centenary Square with products, including Christmas decorations, carved wooden today, handmade crafts, food, beer, candles, quirky items from around the world, and more. Enjoy a ride on the “big wheel” and go ice skating on the ice rink.
According to Ann Petronio, owner of Annie’s Escapes, Inc., “You’ll find traditional Christmas Markets in many European cities, but I would highly recommend Krakow, Poland! You can stroll through their medieval market square (Rynek Glowny) sipping mulled wine and eating freshly grilled kielbasa and fried oscypek (the local smoked cheese) while the snow falls gently around you. There are stalls selling local handicrafts, including unique jewelry made from Baltic amber, and the locals compete to display the most elaborately-decorated “Christmas Cribs” (creches). It’s simply magical!”
Buy Family and Friends Unique Gifts from European Christmas Markets
“What do I get my family for Christmas?” is a question many people ask each year. While it’s easy to give cash and gift cards, you may want to think about the people you’re buying gifts for. Consider what they like or if they’ve mentioned they wished they could have something special.
Imagine giving Christmas gifts that you may not have been able to find in your area or buying that special someone a piece of jewelry that was handcrafted in Europe. The expressions on your loved ones’ faces will be priceless!
Want to experience the excitement of European Christmas markets? Connect with your Travel Planners International agent today and start planning your trip. You and your family will be one step closer to experiencing Christmas like you many have only imagined. You’ll have the holiday of a lifetime!