It’s that time of year again. People are thinking about the upcoming holidays, and you’re starting to see some familiar decorations in the shopping centres. Many of the public squares in cities across Europe are busy with activity already with people setting up stands and kiosks, getting ready for one of the largest markets of the year, the Christmas Market.
Where can you go? What market is the “best”?
You will find most of the markets are in Germany, but a few of note are in places like Austria, the Czech Republic and Denmark. Picking the best is tough, so instead here are a few that are very popular.
The Prague Christmas Market. There are several markets around the city, but the largest is in the Old Town Square. It comes complete with a petting zoo, and rows upon rows of colourful little huts selling everything you can think of from puppets to jewellery, and even some beautifully crafted crystal.
The Nuremburg Christmas Market. This is probably one of the best known markets in Germany, if not Europe. It’s not the biggest, or the oldest, although it dates back to 1628, but the area below the Frauenkirche is filled to the limits each year with people and kiosks. It is a fabulous place to go and sip some Glühwein (mulled wine) with friends while you enjoy the atmosphere and listen to one of the live bands.
The Vienna Christmas Market. This market is held in the square in front of the Town Hall, and is one of the most popular in Europe. The market dates back over 700 years, conveniently, it starts in mid-November. You can get in your shopping ahead of the crowds and the sit back with a nice warm cup of mulled wine to chase away the cold.
No matter what city you pick and what market you go to, you will enjoy the part atmosphere, and eat some great food.
Don’t wait too long though – the markets close immediately after Christmas.