Three cities to go walking in a winter wonderland part two
As we drew ever closer to the holiday season, why not get into the right frame of mind with a city break before you make the trip back to visit your loved ones.
Across Europe there numerous cities that will help you get into the mood for a great Christmas day. Here are just a few:
The Blue Mosque
The expression ‘dripping with history’ is perhaps an overused phrase, but here is much to be said of Istanbul’s past. Straddling two continents, Istanbul has gone through many a change due to its proximity, being a gateway to Europe and Asia.
Whilst being respectful of those who do not celebrate the holiday, one can still get into a festive spirit due to the friendly locals and stunning architecture like the Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque and Galata Tower, which looks astonishing during December through the mist, and the snow that occasionally arrives during the season.
Weihnachtszauber am Gendarmenmarkt
As Germany’s biggest city, Berlin caters for over three and a half million people, meaning there is so much on offer. For instance, it is presently home to 400 art galleries and 138 museums, with even an island dedicated to the latter.
Of course, if you are in Germany then you might want to visit one of its charming Christmas markets that look spectacular at night. Weihnachtszauber am Gendarmenmarkt is one of the best, but you have to pay a small fee. However, a mere euro will grant you access to stalls that sell strong pilsner, hot cider, numerous cheeses and many more foods to get you in the spirit.
Whilst many associate visiting the Mediterranean during the summer, Rome is a city that looks marvelous at any time and being a highly Christian society hold Christmas in high importance. Whilst not in alignment with the traditions of colder cities, Christmas trees are starting to become a more popular. What one should really get excited about, however, is the lit up statues, monuments and piazzas which are the makeup of the city centre – which, if you are lucky, will be blanketed by snow.
After you have visited landmarks like The Colosseum, then it’s a good idea to find some hearty Italian food to warm you up, such as pasta-based dishes, pizza or gnocchi.
On December 13th, the Vatican will host its annual Christmas concert at Rome's Conciliation Auditorium, which is set to include performances from punk legend Patti Smith and CeCe Rogers. What a way to get one ready for noël.