Get into the festive feeling this winter with a visit to one of the many Christmas markets in Europe – the perfect excuse for a quick weekend break from London.
Christmas Markets in Prague
During the festive period the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square play host to Prague’s annual Christmas markets. Brightly decorated wooden huts selling handicrafts fill the squares, including an animal stable with sheep, goats and a donkey and a large Bethlehem scene.
Taking pride of place in the Old Town Square, against the Gothic backdrop of this enchanting city, is the impressive Christmas tree from the Krkonose Mountains. The markets are open from 26th November 2016 to 1st January 2017.
Christmas Markets in Munich
The Munich Christmas markets, dating back to as early as the 14th Century, are the perfect way to get into the festive spirit. Located in the heart of the city on Marienplatz, the markets sell a variety of traditional Bavarian gifts.
Much of the activity emanates from the Town Hall, with a daily Alpine Christmas concert from its balcony and the Heavenly Workshop offering children the chance to try out festive arts, crafts and baking.
Make sure you visit the Kripperlmarkt, a short walk from the main square, which specialises in Bethlehem scenes, giving you the chance to create an authentic manger with its large selection of cribs and nativity accessories.
Where to stay? Try the Mandarin Oriental Munich.
Christmas Markets in Vienna
The Christmas markets in Vienna run from mid-November until Christmas, with the main market located in front of the Rathaus, the windows of which display a giant advent calendar.
Many of the pretty Viennese squares are transformed into festive fairylands with twinkling lights, wooden market stalls and aromas of roasted chestnuts and mulled wine.
Christmas Markets in Brussels
The main squares of Brussels play host to one of Europe’s most spectacular Christmas markets. Little snow-covered wooden chalets fill the Grand Place, Place St Catherine and Place du Marché aux Poissons selling an array of festive gifts from all over Europe.
Impressive animations and illuminations light the Baroque façades of the Grand Place, be sure to catch one of the daily sound and light shows!
Aside from browsing the markets for stocking-fillers you can test your ice-skating skills on the outdoor ice rink, take a ride on the big wheel or listen to the brass band whilst enjoying a traditional Belgian beer.
Christmas Markets in Paris
The Parisian Marché de Noël is a festive treat not to be missed. Hundreds of wooden chalets line the Champs-Elysées selling handmade Christmas ornaments and culinary specialities from various regions of France.
Wander this iconic street with a vin chaud and hot crepe, stopping at one of the many food vendors.
Christmas Markets in Copenhagen
The Tivoli gardens in Copenhagen are transformed into a veritable winter wonderland over the festive period. Hundreds of fairy lights illuminate the gardens while bells and decadent baubles adorn fir trees.
There is plenty on offer to keep the children amused, with Christmas themed rides, an ice rink and the chance to visit Father Christmas at the Peacock theatre.
Where to stay? Hotel Nimb.
Christmas Markets in Amsterdam
Amsterdam has some 26 neighbourhood markets that make picking out an original Christmas gift all the easier. The largest of the markets is the Albert Cuypstraat, which hosts a winter market during the run up to Christmas. Leidestraat is a very festive market with handicraft stalls, an ice rink and food stands.
Amsterdam’s beautiful flower market, the Bloemenmarkt, takes on a festive twist during December, selling Christmas trees in all shapes and sizes. Alongside the flower market there is a Christmas Palace, which is a unique emporium of Yuletide goodies.
Be sure to catch the Amsterdam Light Festival, which runs from 1 December 2016 until 22 January 2017. This winter, the light festival has invited artists and designers to create works celebrating Amsterdam architecture, culture and it place in the world.
Book with Bon Vivant
For help with planning your visit to one of the Christmas Markets described above, contact the luxury travel experts at Bon Vivant Travel who can secure you preferred rates, upgrades, free breakfast and much more – contact us here.
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You may also like to read about festive ice skating in London this Christmas.