The Best Christmas Markets in Europe 2016
It is our favourite time of year again, Christmas. As Aussies who are fortunate enough to be living in Europe during this magical season, we are so excited for Europe’s famed Christmas Markets. Being the seasoned (second year veterans) Christmas Marketers that we are, we wanted to share our top 5 European Christmas Markets that you should visit this year, if you are looking to experience the best!
Budapest is one of our all time favourite cities in Europe. So naturally, combining our beloved Christmas season with this amazing city, makes this Christmas Market an even more magical choice. Although, this Christmas Market is rather small in comparison to the ones in the rest of Europe, it is worth checking out. The usual Christmas market fare and trinkets make their appearance, but with a Hungarian twist that makes the Budapest Christmas Market so much more enticing. Our recommendation is to sip a steaming cup of addictive Forralt Bor (mulled wine) while devouring your personal choice of, Langos, or a warm bread bowl full of goulash, or a deliciously sweet Sekler Cake (the famous Hungarian chimney cake), or for the more adventurous, Kakashere Porkolt, a creamy paprika rooster testicle stew. Or why not try them all?!
When || November 11th 2016 – January 6th 2017
More info || Budapest by Locals Site
Brussels is home to Belgium’s largest Christmas celebration, the Winter Wonders and Christmas Market. Featuring a nightly light and sound show at the UNESCO listed Grand Palace, Brussels pulls out every showstopper for its annual Christmas event. Not only is the magical location setting a major draw, but the Belgium Christmas Cuisine is a bonus in itself, especially if you are a sweet tooth, like Kate. If you want to try something local to Brussels, you have to try the caricoles (or peppery whelk), which is a broth of sea snails or in some variations, moules (mussels) or other seafood of a similar consistency. For the less adventurous culinary explorers, you have to sample the famous Belgian fries and famed sweets such as, Belgian waffles, chocolates, and seasonal croustillons (sugar donuts). Our sugar overload meters are giddy at the mere thought of it.
When || November 25th 2016 – January 1st 2017
More info || Brussels Tourism Site
Mount Pilatus, Switzerland
We couldn’t think of a more perfect setting for a Christmas Market high up in a mountain surrounded by snow, perfect for feeling like you are experiencing a white Christmas inside of a real-life snow globe. At the Mount Pilatus Christmas Market, you will be able to experience that exact feeling, as this is the highest Christmas market in Europe. Imagine sipping Gluhwein and shopping for handcrafted Christmas trinkets as the snow falls gently on your shoulders and skiiers zoom past down the mountains around you. Honestly, we couldn’t think of a more perfect setting if we tried!
When || November 18th 2016 – November 20th 2016
More info || Luzern Tourism Site
Germany is famous for its amazing Christmas Markets and Nuremberg is home to one of the best. The annual festival features many fun ceremonies to attend for people of all ages, including the crowning and meeting of the Christkind, a young girl who is the ambassador for the Christmas Markets based on a longtime Lutheran tradition. As far as delicious Christmas treats go, the Nuremberg Christkindlmarkt features less adventurous but no less delicious options. You cannot visit this market without trying the famous Nuremberg Gingerbread, a personal favourite (and addiction) of ours, and the equally delicious Nuremberg Bratwurst, which is made using a 700 year old recipe and is traditionally served as 3 small sausages (Drei im Weggla) in a bun.
When || November 25th 2016 – December 24th 2016
More info || Official Site
The original and oldest Christmas Market in Europe is in Strasbourg in France. This market is like a fine wine, it gets better with age and everyone would agree that it continues to earn its title as best Christmas Market each and every year. The market is famed for its 400 year old custom of decorating Place Kleber with fir trees, for its intricate Christmas decorations and lights, and its ice rink which tops off all the Christmas magic. Don’t forget the famous food too. The Strasbourg Christkindelsmarik is famous for its bredele biscuits, delicious orange and cinnamon flavoured biscuits which double as edible Christmas tree ornaments, mulled wine in festive boot shaped mugs, and flammekeuche, meaning a flamed cake or pizza like bread topped with bacon, onions, and crème fraiche. Yum!
When || November 25th 2016 – December 31st 2016
More info || Official Site
Which Christmas Markets have you visited or which one is your favourite that didn’t make it to our list?
Safe travels xx