If you stayed home for the holidays, means you are having a great time right now with your family and friends, going for last – minute shopping sprees for gifts (because uncle Jim is so hard to please sometimes), searching for the best Christmas songs to play during the days and cooking some of the most incredible and delicious meals one can think about.
But if you left home to spend Christmas abroad, in an attempt to spend the winter holidays in a less traditional manner (and maybe because you wanted to get away from it all and treat yourself with a little vacation trip), we are sure you already heard about some of the most awesome Christmas markets in Europe and their charm that call millions of people every year to visit them. If you didn’t get to one of those yet and if you happen to roam through the old continent these days, here are ten Christmas markets that will make your trip jolly and beautiful to the extent that you might not even want to come back home.
1. Nuremberg, Germany
Germany has a lot of Christmas markets opened each year in all major cities, but the one in Nurnberg is not only the largest, but one of the most awesome Christmas markets in Europe. They count around 2 million tourists every year and there is nothing you can’t do there, from gift shopping to attending incredible artistic and cultural events. It dates back to the 1600, so imagine that by now, they had time to think about all means to keep you there busy and happy.
2. Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in whole Europe, so imagine how it looks like during the holidays season. The historical center of the city makes room for this awesome Christmas market that entices you not only with hundreds of booths and stands full of beautiful gifts and delicious treats, but with Christmas concerts, theater plays and special surprises for children.
3. Christkindlmarkt, Wien and one of the most awesome Christmas markets in Europe
It is grandiose, to say the least and it has the reputation of being one of the most visited Christmas markets in all Europe, although the Germans might argue against it. Set in front of the city hall, this market is like a magical land for all people to share the holiday spirit.
4. Brussels, Belgium
This is the Mecca of gourmands and the Christmas market here makes no difference, but on the contrary, it makes it even more special. The culinary offers here can turn you into an addict for life, starting with French olives to cascades of Belgian chocolate, sea food delights, pies and cakes that you only saw in movies.
5. Budapest, Hungary
When it comes to the most awesome Christmas markets in the world, journalists and critics have indeed a hard time choosing. So the one in Budapest was scored as number one in 2008, but this doesn’t mean that this year, they won’t have some very nice surprises for you. From cultural events to delicious traditional Hungarian sweets and dishes, this market appeals to millions of tourists every year.
6. Paris, France
They say that everybody should see Paris at least once in their lifetime, but the City of Lights gets even more lit up during Christmas. The dedicated market here is a true spectacle of French elegance, art and culinary masterpieces, not to mention the wines and the sweets.
7. Helsinki, Finland
Now if you want to be closer to the North Pole, capture the incredible Aurora Borealis and see one of the most awesome Christmas markets in Europe, then Helsinki is the destination for you. Vanha Ylioppilastalo – as impossible to pronounce as it is, is the center of all fun and Christmas spirit in Helsinki, together with other attractions you will find there. Don’t be shy in trying the delicious foods they will offer you there.
8. Bratislava, Slovakia
If you visit this gorgeous Christmas market, you make sure you go there on an empty stomach, as you will have to taste a few of their traditional dishes. Learn this well: Cigánska pecienka – a dish you don’t want to skip while you’re there. Don’t exaggerate, however, as traditional Slovak food is a bit heavy, but make sure you come home loaded with gifts.
9. London, Great Britain
This great European capital couldn’t fall behind its sisters in other countries, and it decided to host one of the most exciting Christmas markets in Europe, so if you manage to get there, make sure you attend the carolers concerts and enjoy the light show over the Thames.
10. Copenhagen, Denmark
Last but not least, this market is famous for finding a new theme and a new decor every year, not to mention that one of the most interesting souvenirs you can bring back home are the manually crafted objects, made by the Inuits in Greenland. A feast for the eyes, for the soul and for the tastes, this is what this market is.
There are a few other awesome Christmas markets in Europe, but these may easily fall in “the largest” category. If you didn’t manage to get there this year, start making preparations for the next, as you will find there a fantastical realm that will make you fall in love in a second.