What could be more Christmassy than the smell of sausages cooking, the angelic sound of carol singers and a warm glass of mulled wine?
We’re talking about Christmas markets of course – the perfect way to get you in the mood for the festive period. And if you’re thinking about taking a trip to one of these amazing European markets, we’ve picked out some of our favourites to help you choose.
The Winter Wonders Christmas market in Brussels is like stepping into the most festive scene you’ve ever set your eyes on. With marching bands, concerts, an ice rink, a Ferris wheel, rows of quaint wooden chalets and a giant tree, if this doesn’t get you into the festive spirit, then nothing will. Throw in some traditional Belgian chocolates, waffles and beer, and it doesn’t get much better than this.
There are over 20 markets to choose from in Munich, so wherever you’re staying, there should be one nearby. The main Christmas market though is held on the Marienplatz in the city centre, and dates back to the 14th century. The rows of traditional wooden huts sell a range of Bavarian produce including wooden carvings, glassware and food such as gingerbread and German sausages, while there are also daily concerts in the Town Hall, which also acts as a great vantage point to see the market below.
Held in Vörösmarty Square in the heart of the city, the Christmas market in Budapest is one of the most impressive in Europe. One of the highlights of the market is the musical Advent calendar above the Gerbeaud Café – one window is opened at 5pm every day during December to reveal the contemporary art behind it. There’s a huge Christmas tree, an Advent wreath and plenty of stalls selling everything from Hungarian pastries to decorative gifts – don’t forget to warm yourself up with a glass (or two) of mulled wine!
The two main Christmas markets in Prague are situated around five minutes apart at Wenceslas Square and the Old Town Square, allowing you to visit them both as many times as you like. If you’re looking for souvenirs or Christmas gifts to take back home, you’ll find plenty of handmade toys, traditional Czech glassware and festive decorations to choose from. Food stalls here serve everything from sausages to cheese, while there are also street performers, carol singers and nativity scenes to enjoy that just scream Christmas!