The Top Christmas Markets in Europe
Posted on 10/27/2017
There’s something magical about exploring a European Christmas market.
Perhaps it’s the seemingly endless variety of hand-carved nutcrackers on display or the often-historic setting in which the markets take place (typically in cities and towns that date back centuries). It’s even more memorable if the weather plays along, dusting the whole scene in a fresh coat of snow.
Famous for being home to the Nuremberg trials, this city hosts a renowned Christmas market. In fact, it has been hosting the market since the 17th century. Spread amongst a variety of medieval streets at the city’s center, it’s a fascinating experience. The whole affair is presided over by a Christkind, a local girl aged 16 to 19, who makes regular appearances in an angelic-themed outfit.
The nearby ski slopes, the fact that it is Mozart’s hometown and the Krampus parades–there are a variety of reasons why Salzburg is another top Christmas market experience. For those not familiar, Krampus parades are based on a diabolical figure who looked for bad children to punish during the holidays. There are also choirs at every turn in the city and when you get tired, check out the beer halls.
Located along the border of France and Germany, Strasbourg has been hosting Christmas markets since 1570 (making it one of the oldest known markets). Among the highlights here are crafts sold by Cathedral Square and Alsatian food, which can be found at Place des Meuniers.
Those in the Stockholm area will want to head to Skansen in Djurgarden, according to Forbes. The area is a living museum dating back to 1916. It’s a car-free space that includes 19th-century buildings. Don’t miss a watching glass blowing demonstration. The Christmas market stalls meanwhile feature Scandinavian ornaments and mulled wine.
Christmas market visitors in Vienna will find a fair that showcases more than 150 stands selling gifts, decorations and even warm drinks.
Another incredibly historic city, (known for its Roman-era baths and 18th-century Georgian architecture), Bath hosts a Christmas market that sells a range of British goods ranging from mince pies to holiday ornaments and toys.