Christmas isn’t far away now and a trip to a European Christmas market will really get you in the mood. Packed with local delicacies, traditional handmade wares and perfect winter settings, check out these Christmas markets;
8. Tallinn Christmas Market, Estonia – Tallinn’s market features some 50 stalls set around the Town Hall Square, Raekoja plats, which is decorated with lights and a large Christmas tree. There are local handicrafts on offer; quilts, woodwork, wool slippers and hats, candles, wickerwork, glassware and ceramics. The food is warming and tempting with marzipan, gingerbread, sugared toasted nuts, sauerkraut, soup and mulled wine available.
7. Berlin Christmas Market, Germany – Germany is home to plenty of Christmas markets and the biggest is probably in Berlin. The Kaiser Wilhelm Gedachtniskirche Christmas Market is set around Berlin’s network of lanes with sweets, toys, cakes and tree decorations on offer. There are also gifts, decorations and tasty Gluhwein (traditional German warm and spicy wine) to try from the middle of November to Boxing Day.
6. Ljubljana Christmas Market, Slovenia – Head to Ljubljana if you’re looking for a traditional, old fashioned Christmas market full of local Slovenian charm. Wander the stalls set up along the riverside and stock up on locally created gifts and crafts and the food and drink of the season such as donuts and mulled wine.
5. Reykjavik Christmas Market, Iceland – The Hafnarfjordur Christmas Market offers visitors a Christmas village wonderland complete with real snow and free entertainment. The traditional gifts of woolly gloves and hats, wood carvings and candles will go down well and the fresh waffles and frothy hot chocolate will propel you from stall to shop.
4. Rome Christmas Market, Italy – The Piazza Navona in Rome is the setting for the local Christmas Market with plenty of stalls and traditional nativity scenes. Visitors can buy holly wreaths, porcelain dolls and carved figurines. If all that shopping leaves you fagging then go for a sugar rush – try the local spiced cookies, pannetone and gingerbread.
3. Bath Christmas Market, UK – The old and incredibly quaint city of Bath in England hosts its own annual Christmas Market. There are 120 wooden stalls selling everything from luxury cheese, fine silk and handmade soap. There are also sweet treats, mulled wine and carol singers in Bath Abbey on offer.
2. Strasbourg Christmas Market, France – The people of Strasbourg certainly know how to host a Christmas Market as they’ve been doing it for over 430 years! It’s the biggest and oldest Christmas Market in France and has always been held by the Cathedrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg and along the Place Broglie. Check out the gingerbread bakeries, skating rink and some 60 festive concerts.
1. Krakow Christmas Market, Poland – Head to Krakow’s Rynek Glowny Grand Square for traditional Christmas entertainment; carol singers, wooden market stalls and a giant Christmas tree. Buy locally made gifts and enjoy local festive delicacies amongst the charming architecture.