There is something about Christmas markets that conjure up some of the most vibrant visuals of merry cheer, the colourful flashes of people flitting from one store to the next, the comforting lights and of course the reds and the greens. Christmas markets run in full swing from the first few weeks of November and run well into a few days of January. Such is the popularity of Christmas markets all around Europe that weekend trips are planned around visiting them to ensure that more than one market gets explored.
Suffice to say, there exists innumerable such festive markets in Europe and till the time teleportation gets invented, let’s limit ourselves to visiting a handful of those this year.
Personally, I vote for each and every one on them in the list below. Been there, shopped to my heart’s extent and enjoyed like anything.
Often referred to as a Christmas village by the natives, this popular public space gets soaked in the festive spirit and houses live band performances along with a variety of stalls to solve all your last minute shopping requirements. Not to mention, the ice rink, that doubles the fun for the shoppers, who resort to a spin after a productive day of shopping.
Housed in front of the Cologne Cathedral, the market is a sight to behold especially with the extravagant Christmas tree that is used to greet the shoppers and the traders alike. Step into this wonderland and be swept away by the beautiful Christmas tunes, stalls after stalls of toys, Christmas gifts, delicious wine and the mind-numbing aroma of freshly baked cookies.
Voted one of the best Christmas markets in Europe for years now, the place has everything that you would want to witness inside a market dedicated to the most festive week of the year. The city also has an ice rink that adds to its charm and plenty of fun rides for the young ones to lose themselves in. The market houses some of the best food stalls that sell the local street fare and an abundance of festive goodies that you will find hard to draw away from without making a purchase or two.
It is considered one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe and is often thought of as place from which Christmas celebrations originated. The market takes up a humongous plot of land and leaves no stone unturned to offer the visitors a truly breath-taking experience as they hop from one stall to the next. Prepare to get your senses addled and your wallets lighter as you would definitely not be returning from this magical place empty handed.
Yet another Christmas market of Germany makes it to the list, and this time it is none other than the medieval town’s market that prides itself in being one of the frequented sites in the weeks leading up to Christmas. The area also houses the Cathedral and the setting is what Christmas dreams are made of. The life sized figurines and the bejewelled Christmas are only a few of the sights for sore eyes and the amalgamation of both traditional and new-age Christmassy things will make you come back to the market time and time again.
And there you have it: some of the dreamiest venues to plan a small weekend getaway to rejuvenate yourself before ringing in the festive cheer. Book your tickets well in advance, prepare to be sloshed in mulled wine and make sure to return back to your abode, loaded with gingerbread cookies and a happy heart.