Yes, the season is finally here. Thanksiving is behind us and that means we are all getting ready for the most celebrated, decorated, and festive holiday - CHRISTMAS! One of my personal favorite things to do during the Chrsitmas season is to attend a Christmas market. They are the best places to get a condensed feeling of the holiday, with the best decorations, food, and atmosphere. So just for you we created this review of the world's best Christmas markets. Ready to "tis the season"?
Among the oldest and biggest in Europe, the Strasbourg's Chrsitmas Market is one you cannot miss. It is taking over the entire historic center and makes the whole area look like a magical town. You can find regional produce, crafts, traditional Chrsitmas decorations, hand-made products, and delicious food. Apart from the market, the city becomes a Christmas capital with decorations all around the city and the big illuminated tree as you approach cathedral Notre-Dame of Strasburg. If you are going with your children make sure to check the amazing shows, workshops, and animations all around the city.
Vienna doesn't stay behind when it comes to Chrsitmas and offers a variety of markets, all with the surrounding beauty of Vienna's streets and monuments. The Viennese Dream Christmas Market is locted in front of the City Hall, which makes the whole setting extremely magical. Inside the City Hall you will find an entire area dedicated to children, where they can make candles and cookies. You can also enjoy the music all around, sang by international choirs. If you are into baroque style, check out the Christmas Village Belvedere Palace. You will find special food, christmas decorations, and handcrafted goods. Lastly, if you are after an Austrien authentic Christmas experience, make sure to stop at the Christmas Village Ates AKH (Vienna's Former Genetal Hospital). The market offers a traditional Viennese vibe with the lovely decorated stalls and delicious Glühwein.
Prague, Czech Republic
The beautiful city of Prague offers 2 main markets along with multiple smaller ones. If you are looking for the more grandiose experience, the Old Town Square market is the one for you. You will find many local hand-crafted treats, including ceramics, jewellery, wooden toys, candles, tree ornaments, puppets and much more. And then there is the food. You will find the Pražská Šunka (large roasted ham), Klobása (barbequed sausages) Hungarian flatbread with toppings, pancakes, and the sweet Trdelník. Add the Czech beers to make the exeperience complete. If you are looking for something warmer, try the hot chocolate, honey wine, or mulled wine. For the kids, you can take a stroll through the animal stable, where you can pet the sheep, goats, and donkey. For the music, you will get to hear from school choirs and folk groups dressed in traditional costumes.
One of the most magical cities in Italy, depleted with art and culture, this is the perfect location to spend those days leading up to Christmas. The biggest market is in Piazza Santa Croce. You will find wooden houses, where you will see crafts, small furniture, decorations, and of course food. You can also visit the more traditional market in Piazza Santissima Annunziata. Another good idea is to walk around the small neighborhoods of the historical center and check out the smaller Chrsitmas markets. If you are planning to go beyond the city boundaries, you can also find some nice markets in the Mugello area, as well as in the villages of Chianti and Fiesole.
Copenhagen is the perfect location for the Chrsitmas festivities. Everything is just built as if in preperation for this time of the year. The Freetown Christiania Christmas market offers an unconventional Yuletide experience. Go around the amazing stalls and check out the handicraft mirrors, jewellery, candle holders, clothes, and much more. For a more cozy atmosphere, make sure to drop by the christmas market in Nyhavn harbour. You will find delicious foods and drinks and great entertainment. If you are into a royal kind of celebration, travel to the market at the renaissance castle Kronborg, where you can walk through the beautiful ballrooms and courtyard.
The city of Gaudi and culture has some of the best spots for Christmas market. On one hand the marvellous architecture and large monuments, and on the other hand the magical narrow streets. Therefore, you can find a wide variety of markets for everyone. The biggest and most traditional market is 'La Fira de Santa Llúcia'. It is located in front of the gothic Barcelona Cathedral, where the market opperates since 1786. You will find small nativity scene figures, local products and authentic food. All the streets leading to the market are also decorated and filled with small stalls, creating a Christmas Web around the area.