Nothing reflects the festive cheer this time of year quite like a Christmas Market. The cheerful Christmas lights, the iridescent decorations and the smells of cinnamon and gingerbread really are the icing on the proverbial Christmas cake! If you’re looking to get your fill of holiday joy this year, then why not discover the best markets Europe has to offer?
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is an exquisite city any time of the year but is especially beautiful during the festive season. The Christmas Market in the picturesque Old Town Square is the most popular market in Prague. With regular flights to Prague, there’s no better time to organise your winter getaway.
Running from 26th November to 6th January, the market is always full of life as people potter around the stalls and the sounds of laughter and live music resonate through the market. The smells of spit roasted hams and mouth-watering freshly baked pastries fill the air. If that’s not enough to tempt you, there is also a wide range of local Czech beers to be found. The market also features an animal stable where children can pet sheep, goats and a donkey. All this with the backdrop of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance buildings make this the ideal Christmas Market to visit.
Running from 25th November to 1st January, the Christmas Market in Brussels, known as Winter Wonders, is located in the city’s central square, Grand Place. The market is surrounded on all sides by magnificent gothic style buildings and opulent guildhalls which are all lit up when it gets dark. The market is spread out over more than 2km and includes more than 200 wooden chalets, a giant Ferris wheel and, of course, a colossal Christmas tree decorated with lights and festive baubles. Winter Wonders is hailed as one of Europe’s most original Christmas Markets so it’s well worth booking flights to Brussels to see it.
Christmas lies at the heart of Austrian tradition. Being the home of the Christmas Market, Vienna in winter is something you need to add to your bucket list. Why not book direct flights to Vienna to enjoy an authentic festive experience this year? The Christmas period in Vienna is a truly magical time with a plethora of different markets held throughout the city.
The Viennese Christmas Market in front of the medieval city hall is definitely the most enchanting and is an absolute must for anyone looking to get into the holiday spirit. This traditional market has been operating for hundreds of years with its origins dating back as far as the 1200’s. This long running tradition has made for the perfect Christmas experience for the whole family. The Viennese Christmas Market runs from 12thNovember to 24th December.
Every year the centre of Frankfurt is transformed into a wintery delight for the whole family. This year the market will be running from 23rd November to 22nd December. The charming market is one of the biggest Christmas Markets in Germany. With its origins in the 1390’s, this long running tradition has grown over the years into a celebration of the weeks of Advent. Throughout the Christmas period the 10 churches around the centre can be heard chiming their bells – over 50 of them – to add an extra element of celebration to the markets.
Why not come and hear the chiming of the bells or the chorus of the Christmas Choir? Fancy some traditional German Christmas cookies? How about sipping a heart-warming cup of mulled wine while you browse through the stalls of traditional, handcrafted wares? Book your flights to Frankfurt to experience this unique market for yourself!
The city of London is very well known for its excellent Christmas Markets. Of course, Winter Wonderland is well worth a visit but you should also take a day to explore Southbank Centre’s Christmas Market too. Located on the banks of the river Thames, this market is more like a winter festival. Along with all the Christmassy goodies you’d expect to find at a Christmas Market there will also be a range of circus performances, live music acts and a Roller-disco that offers an alternative to the traditional ice-skating rink. The Christmas Market runs from 11th November until 8th January while the dates for the added entertainment vary. It’s definitely worth booking flights to London over the Christmas period to experience Christmas with a difference.
Make your Christmas this year a special one with a short break for you and your loved ones. You’ll never feel as Christmassy as you do when you’re surrounded by the sights and sounds of a Christmas Market, mulled wine in hand and dressed in warm comfy winter clothes.