Once again, the time has come to decide which of Europe’s most incredible Christmas markets you intend to visit this year. One thing’s for sure though – you should definitely make sure you visit at least one!
While it’s not to say that the UK doesn’t do Christmas pretty spectacularly, it’s always both enriching and enjoyable to see how things are handled overseas. Europe’s Christmas markets have a global reputation for completely redefining what it means to be fabulously festive.
The question being – where to start?
To be honest, it’s actually quite difficult to go wrong. But if you’re looking for what are considered to be the most outstanding Christmas markets Europe has to offer, we’d highly recommend booking a trip to one of the following right now:
First up, the Barcelona Fiera de Santa Lucia has a history dating all the way back to the year 1786. For most people, Barcelona tends to be the kind of city that only makes it onto the travel calendar during the warmer months of the year. Which is a shame, given how simply beautiful and enchanting it can be throughout the winter. The market itself features more than 300 stalls, selling everything from local crafts to some of the most decadent Catalan Christmas delights imaginable. You’ll also find yourself in the presence of the rather unusual character called the caganer or ‘crapper’, who is just as iconic around these parts as Santa Claus himself!
There are three reasons why we’d highly recommend checking out Krakow’s Christmas market this year. The first of which being that it is staggeringly beautiful and set at the heart of the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Old Town. Secondly, not only is it cheap to get to Krakow in the first place, but costs during your stay typically come in about 75% lower than London’s living costs. Last but not least, if you’ve never experienced Poland’s quintessentially hearty and robust winter gastronomy, there is no better time or place to do so!
Of course, London plays host to dozens of outstanding Christmas markets each year. Nevertheless, our personal favourite always has been and always will be the quaint and classical Covent Garden Christmas experience. Well, that and the extraordinary festivities that take place every year in Hyde Park at the Winter Wonderland event. Of course, you could always head over to Jenius Social for a cracking three-course Christmas lunch – we’ll even show you how to make your own dessert!
Despite being one of the newest Christmas markets to join the party – at least comparatively speaking – Brussels already has a hugely established and truly breathtaking event to check out. Named the ‘Winter Wonders’ market, there are more than 240 stalls selling the most weird and wonderful wares imaginable, not to mention a gigantic Ferris wheel and an on-site ice skating rink.
Last but not least, the iconic Prague Christmas Market which takes place every year in Wenceslaus Square is known for being one of the most enjoyable in the world. Local crafts are sold, carols are sung and the air is filled with the intoxicated aroma of barbecued meats, mulled wine and some of the most decadent desserts on the face of the earth. Prague is a simply stunning city at the best of times – the whole place becomes no less than extraordinary during the festive period.
Photo credit: Flickr / charley1965
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