Tuesday, December 2, 2014

5 European Christmas Markets to visit this winter

Christmas markets are one of my favorite places to be in December. I love going to markets because there's no knowing what you're going to find, but you can be sure there will be a feast for the senses. Christmas markets embody all that is right about shopping (beautiful craftmanship and artistry) without the consumerism of malls and chain stores. It really gives a warm and fuzzy feeling to know that you can buy homemade gingerbread, mulled wine and wood carved figurines and, at the same time, help a small business sustain itself.

The first Christmas markets originated in Germany, and dates back to the 1300s. So it's only appropriate that we start our list with a German Christmas market.

1. Munich, Germany

European Christmas Markets
Source: EuropeanBeautiful

The market at Marienplatz, facing the city's charming Gothic City Hall, is the place that becomes a winter wonderland in the heart of Munich. The origins of this market are though to date back to the 14th century, thus making it one of the oldest in Europe. Enjoy festive live music, cooking workshops for kids and a Christmas Post Office (which will send a letter anywhere in the world) between November 27th and December 24th, 2014.

The official website for the Munich Christkindlmarkt  is here.

2. Prague, Czech Republic

European Christmas Markets
Source: From There to There
The Prague Winter Markets are open daily at Wenceslas Square, Old Town Square, Republic Sqaure and Havel's Market starting with November 29th until January 6th. You can buy the famous Czech glassware and jewellery, visit a mini petting zoo and have mulled wine in the center history-steeped Prague.

Find more information on PragueExperience.

3. Innsbruck, Austria

European Christmas Markets

There really is no better way to shop for Christmas than at a market in the Alps. Innsbruck is the host of six Christmas markets this year, for the romantic, the artsy and the gourmand.

Find out the hours of operation and the locations on the official Innsbruck tourism website.

4. Kerststadvalkenburg, The Netherlands

European Christmas Markets - Kerststadvalkenburg, Netherlands
This is a truly unique Christmas market due to the fact that some of the stalls and displays are located in caverns and caves. Until January 4th, you can visit the largest and oldest underground Christmas market in Europe.

More information, as well as brochures and pictures can be found here.

5. Lille, France

Christmas Markets in Europe - Lille, France

About 80 stalls are displaying Christmas goodies at the markets in Lille in Place Rihour. This small but festive market is surrounded by cafes, bars and patisseries.

Find out more information here

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