There is a big bonus in traveling around Europe in December, something which should not be missed: the Christmas markets!
Christmas is a huge and very important tradition in most countries in Europe, and people love celebrating it; the streets are lit up with cozy Christmas lights, every city decorated a big Christmas tree on the main square, the restaurants and cafes prepare for Christmas dinners and lunch – but best of all are the Christmas markets.
We have put together a list of three of the best Christmas markets in Europe.
Christmas Markets In Europe
Brussels Christmas Market
What Brussels Christmas market is most famous for is not the handicrafts and gifts you can buy, but the food.
Brussels is in our opinion one of the best food cities in Europe at any time of the year, but during Christmas the city takes food to the next level.
The market takes over Grand-Place square, recognized as one of the most beautiful squares in Europe, and you can smell the mulled wine and hot chocolate drinks a mile away.
From gingerbread and mulled wine to mountains of Belgian chocolate and preserved fruit jars, you can also sample steamed snails and oysters – in other words, this is the ideal Christmas market for food lovers.
Cologne – Germany
Christmas in Germany is unlike anywhere else – every city and village in the country has a Christmas market, and Cologne has four. The most popular one is the market ”Am Dom”, on the square in front of Cologne Cathedral, the most visited monument in Germany, providing a great atmosphere to the market with its Gothic style.
The Christmas markets are a huge event in Cologne, attracting 2 million people every year. The market on the Alter Market is more idyllic and romantic, set in the heart of the Old Town with half timbered stalls and a very traditional style.
London’s Christmas starts a little earlier than in the rest of Europe, with Regent Street ceremoniously switches on the Christmas lights in November to light up the walking parade.
Except for some great Christmas present shopping, there is also the winter wonderland in Hyde Park with a large ice skating rink, a toboggan slide and (if you don’t have the time to visit a traditional market in Germany) a German traditional Christmas market. Christmas in London is great because it offers not just Christmas markets but a lot of events, like Christmas carols, shows and winter festivals.
It can be difficult to find London accommodation during Christmas, especially hotels and B&B’s. A much better option would be to opt for London serviced apartments – less people know about them, and you can create a much better Christmas atmosphere staying in an apartment rather than a hotel.
Cook your own Christmas dinner using the foods you bought on the market and have a family Christmas as if you were at home.