Walking in a Winter Wonderland: Europe’s Christmas Markets


Townhall Vienna with Christmas Market, AustriaIn the States, Christmas arrives early – really early in fact! Because come late October, the first stuffed reign deer and ample decorations trickle into stores for sale. Thanksgiving hasn’t even passed and we’re already thinking about Christmas decoration, presents etc. We simply cannot get enough of the Christmas spirit these days and that’s OK, because Holiday season truly is an enchanting and rewarding time of year.

In Europe, Christmas comes early too but in its own, rightful and mesmerizing way – namely in the form of Christmas markets. If you’ve never been to a Christmas Market in Europe, you are truly missing out. In my eyes, there is no better way to get into the Christmas spirit than to take a stroll through one of these magically captivating markets (even ever disgruntled Scrooge wouldn’t be able to resist the temptation here.)

Picture a cozy little European town with old, low-rise buildings, cobbled streets and narrow alleys. The air is a cool crisp and decorative lights twinkle all around you. You enter into a little town within a town that fills the ancient streets and squares (usually close to the cities’ town halls.) On these squares, little brown, wooden huts are neatly aligned in rows each decorated with lush green branches and lights, that sell all sorts of Christmas goodies and decorations, traditional arts and crafts, gifts and homemade items.

Some of the most famous Christmas markets can be found in Germany and Austria where this winter wonderland has been in existence for near centuries, commemorating advent, the coming season of Christmas (4 Sundays before Christmas.)

By now, the majority of Europe’s countries have been exposed to this winter-land magic and each exercises its own unique version of the traditional Christmas Market. No matter which one you choose to visit, be sure to sip on a hot mug of Gluehwein (hot wine punch.) It’s like Christmas in a cup!

Knowledge That Travels has selected some of the best Christmas Markets for you to delve into the one-of-a-kind romantic Holiday spirit:

Austria
Vienna
(Nov 14 – Dec 24)
Salzburg (Nov 19 – Dec 26)

Germany

Munich (Nov 27 – Dec 24)
Frankfurt
(Nov 25 – Dec 22)
Berlin (Nov 23 – Dec 31)
Mainz (Nov 26 – Dec 23)

Czech Republic
Prague (Nov 28 – Jan 01)

Copenhagen
Denmark (Nov 20 – Dec 30)

France
Strasbourg (Nov 28 – Dec 31)

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