It’s hard to believe, but Christmas is just around the corner. If you’re stressing over where to find all those perfect gifts, tasty treats and unique decorations, fear not – here is our guide to the world’s best Christmas markets.
Christmas shopping can be fun – imagine yourself in the picturesque squares in some of Europe’s most beautiful cities, full of all the sights and sounds of the perfect yuletide experience. Drink warm gluhwein (mulled wine) while browsing the many traditional stalls for presents and gifts, or for something special for yourself. You may even catch some snow, the perfect accompaniment to any Christmas shopping trip.
Christmas market locations and dates:
Brussels: December 2 to January 1
Europe’s food capital is a great place to visit over the Christmas period and the market, held in the Grand Place, will not fail to impress gourmets. Wander through the imposing guild houses and small chalets that make up the market – each one represents a different European country and all amaze with their delicious foods and beautiful gifts.
Copenhagen: November 11 to December 31
Where better for a family Christmas trip than the oldest amusement park in Europe? The children can visit Father Christmas, ride ponies and ice-skate on the lake, which is transformed into a skating rink, while parents explore the food and gifts stores and sip glögg, Danish mulled wine, to keep the chill out.
Stockholm: December 3 to December 22
Although Christmas markets may be found all over the city, one of the most popular is held in Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s oldest neighbourhood. The streets are all brightly illuminated and each shop does its best to outshine its neighbours with decorations and seasonal window dressings.
Vienna: November 29 to December 25
At nearly 700 years, the Christkindlmarkt at the Vienna City Hall is one of Europe’s oldest and most famous Christmas markets. During the day, the City Hall holds a Christmas workshop to entertain children as their parents wander through the market, located in the beautifully decorated park. Throughout the month of December, choirs from all over the world perform in the festival hall.