Nothing gets you in the festive spirit quite like a trip to the Christmas markets! We’re talking cream -topped hot chocolates, twinkling fairy lights and stalls filled with holiday goodies, a perfect slice of winter heaven! We’ve put together our top picks to help you start celebrating the Christmas countdown…
Starting off close to home, Edinburgh proves that you don’t have to travel far to experience a winter wonderland! Taking place from the end of November to the beginning of January, the celebration grows in numbers every year, attracting hundreds of thousands from around the world. The famous markets span the picturesque Princess Street Gardens and make the perfect destination for a family outing. The exhilarating fairground rides are great for any thrill seekers while the ‘Big Wheel’ gives you the chance to admire the city from the best viewpoint. Not to mention the many stalls filled with unique gifts, handmade decorations, and delicious festive snacks. Entry to the market is free but it can get very busy during peak times so be prepared to queue!
A beloved holiday tradition in Germany, Berlin is certainly not short of amazing Christmas markets for you to visit this winter. Gendarmenmarkt is arguably one of the cities most famous markets, set in a history rich area, it really does boast a magical atmosphere. This year due to construction work the market will be held on the nearby, but equally as beautiful, Bebelplatz. Gendarmenmarkt is a real hotspot for lovers of art as many craftspeople use the space to demonstrate their skills, from wood carvers to candle makers. There are so many unique handmade items to give your gifts an extra special edge this Christmas! Enjoy traditional German dishes from street stalls or visit the temporary gourmet restaurants housed in immaculately decorated tents for true culinary delights.
The city of Budapest really comes alive during the festive months as the doors open to the beautiful Christmas markets! Staged in the square of Vorosmarty, the market includes craft exhibitions, authentic food stalls and live performances. As the scent of cinnamon and mulled wine fills the air, enjoy cheery activities, soulful music concerts and captivating dance shows. But that’s not all as the city also hosts many festivities to get you in the Christmas spirit such as the chance to skate in one of the oldest and largest ice-skating rinks in Europe or watch the famous Nutcracker ballet at the opera house. You can also head down to Budapest’s second biggest, but equally as picturesque, St. Stephen’s Basilica Christmas market. The 3D projection light show displayed on the front of the Basilica is certainly something you don’t want to miss too, accompanied by music and an unbeatable atmosphere.
Bringing you a traditional Christmas, Copenhagen’s markets line the old town streets to accentuate the magnificent architecture, unique stores, and cosy cafes. Christmas spirit is in no short supply with plenty of markets to choose from whether you head to King’s New Square or High Bridge Square. The wooden stalls stock beautiful decorations and delicious goodies such as the Danish festive classic ‘glogg’ – a hot and sweet mulled wine with added spices for an extra kick! The real showstopper is Tivoli Gardens, lit up by thousands of twinkling lights, magical fairground rides and snow-covered trees. You can also expect a visit from Santa and his reindeers as well as the iconic Christmas tree set up in front of the Tivoli Concert Hall.
Step into Christmas as you enter Vienna’s markets filled with seasonal spirit and old town charm. Listen to international choirs singing traditional carols as the smell of baked good fills the air, creating a magical atmosphere for the whole family. Whether you’re a beginner looking for a bit of fun or a pro ready to show off your skills, head the magnificent ice-skating rink outside Vienna City Hall. There are also plenty of photo opportunities around the markets with dazzling lights, wonderful decorations and hanging mistletoe creating a postcard-worthy backdrop. One of the main attractions of Vienna’s markets is the Herzerl tree, a large maple-leaf tree decorated with 200 red glowing hearts, a sight you won’t want to miss!