Christmas Markets of Europe

November 20, 2014

Every winter, all across Europe, town squares and plazas become glorious Christmas markets. These markets are the perfect place to pick up unique and interesting gifts for your loved ones, all the while sampling the best local produce available.

Every Christmas, Bruges’ charming cobbled streets and plazas are overtaken by hundreds and hundreds of market stalls, resembling something out of a fairytale. The stalls are packed with traditional wooden toys, confectionery, gifts, jewellery and more, while there are fairground rides, an ice-rink and horses and carts for you to enjoy too. Lastly, if the delicious scent of traditional Belgian dishes such as moules frites, honey waffle biscuits and chocolates in their air around you as you grip a mug of mulled wine doesn’t give you a Christmas feeling, then nothing will.

If you’re looking for something a little bit different, then Brussels in home to Europe’s “most original Christmas market”. The market includes a Ferris wheel, ice rink and a sound and light show to keep you entertained as you peruse the stalls. Brussels in the home of the EU, and fittingly vendors travel from all over Europe to set up stalls at this market.

The beautiful German city of Cologne is home to an equally beautiful Christmas market, which sees the city transformed into a festive wonderland. The Fairytale Christmas Market, known locally as Märchenweihnachtsmarkt, occurs every year. It’s so Christmassy that the street is even called Rudolfplatz! There are stalls selling everything from toys, gifts, food and drink, and also entertainers to ensure you have a good time as you browse. There are also other markets in Cologne too, such as Neumarkt and the Harbour Christmas Market.

One of Europe’s best-looking markets, Bremen has a huge range of around 170 stalls to choose from, as well as a life-sized, walk-through advent calendar on display. The city’s river banks become a mini Christmas village selling everything from good old-fashioned German food and gluhwein to eastern European toys, gifts and crafts.

Holland’s most interesting Christmas market can be found in Valkenburg, just a few hours’ drive away from Amsterdam. The market is located in a local cave, which is transformed into Santa’s Grotto for the festive period. Entry is €5, but that’s a bargain when you consider the unforgettable Christmas experience to be had.

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