The Wonderful World of Christmas Markets
November 28th – December 23rd
Taking place in front of Barcelona's cathedrals, the Fira de Santa Llúcia 2015 is the number one Christmas market in Barcelona. Its origins lie in 1728, where it was designed to celebrate the feast day of Santa Lucia (December 23rd). Today the market has expanded into a celebration of all things Christmas, ending the day before Christmas Eve so families can spend the holidays together.
November 27th – January 3rd
The Brussels Christmas Market is way more than just shopping. At the end of the 2-kilometre illuminated city walk, just past the wooden stalls is where the party really starts. Inside the market is a variety of shopping alternatives such as an ice rink, Ferris wheel, children’s roundabout, concerts and marching bands.
There’s even a light show which is projected onto the city’s Grand Palace (a UNESCO World Heritage site).
November 14th – December 26th
Soaked in tradition, the Viennese Christmas Market is a truly magical experience. Starting off as a craft market in the early 1200’s, the Vienna market only starting selling Christmas items in 1814. It’s a hit with both locals and tourists, with over 500,000 people travelling to see what the 145+ stores have to offer.
November 19th – December 24th
At Zurich Main Train station, you will find one of the largest Christmas markets in Europe (Christkindlimarkt). As soon as you step off the train you’re absorbed into the magic that is the holiday season; thrown right into the thick of the wooden stalls.
Many come to see the 50-ft-tall Swarovski crystal laden tree and stay around for the mulled wine.
November 14th – January 3rd
Just one of the Christmas events in the Danish capital is Tivoli Christmas Market. Nestled inside the Tivoli Gardens amusement park is a miniature Christmas village, with huts over-spilling with delicious treats and trinkets.
Entertainment includes Christmas Cabaret and fireworks or you can skate on the parks frozen lake!
November 14th – January 16th
The city of love opens its heart to Christmas with the Champs Elysees Christmas Village. The street of glittering Christmas lights highlights over 100 stalls stretching from the Champs-Elysees roundabout up to the Place de la Concorde. More than 400 decorated fir trees span the 2.5 km stretch, bordering the crafts and local delicacies.
Prague, Czech Republic
November 28th – January 1st
Vanocni trh (Christmas markets) are a large part of the festive season in the Czech Republic. Head to the Old Town markets for a traditional holiday experience. Carol music fills the air, accompanied by the smell of traditional bqq’d meats, mulled wine and mead. The crafts again look back to tradition such as wooden toys, glass-wares or blacksmith-wares.
November 13th – January 6th
Music fills the air for the Budapest Christmas market 2015. Two stages host a variety of music styles, from folk to house, during the evenings. Open kitchens fill the air with traditional Hungarian treats like honey cookies and these can always be washed down with warm mulled wine or fruity punch (Krampampuli).
November 23rd– December 26 th
The elaborate backdrop of the Charlottenburg Palace gives the City West Christmas market a magical feel. Set up in front of the palaces illuminated entranceway, hundreds of wooden huts decorated in fauna carry on the winter wonderland theme.
For a bite to eat, you can get a light snack from one of the many stalls, or sit down for something with a little more substance in one of the fine dining heated tents.
November 23rd – December 23rd
The entire of Stockholm gets into the Christmas spirit at the end of November. Since 1914, Stortorget square has hosted a market filled with handmade toys, textile crafts and other decorative seasonal pieces. The Stortorgets Julmarknad, as it's known throughout the country.
While you’re there, take a walk down the Drottninggatan, which is a pedestrian street, decorated to the nines for the holiday season.