With the festive season just around the corner a number of people will be preparing to explore European Christmas markets. Not only do these places offer a wealth of gifts and items perfect for loved ones as Christmas gifts but they also offer a unique Christmas experience for travellers.
To help you navigate these magical areas full of festive fun and frivolity, here is a quick guide to some of the most popular Christmas markets in Europe
Unique crafts and ideal gifts are found in abundance in this region of Italy. With traditional wooden huts housing these beautiful creations, this Italian town becomes the perfect scene for Christmas markets during the winter season.
Carol singing and entertainment is also offered during the festivities, with miniature train rides also available – great fun for kids. To add a further attraction to this spectacular display of festivity a firework display is usually organised at the beginning of December and an advent calendar is projected onto the side of buildings within the town centre to provide a unique Christmas countdown.
Winterland Hasselt, Belgium
The village of Hasselt in Belgium is already known for being the “taste capital” of the country and has furthered its reputation thanks to its innovative Christmas markets. Winterland, as it has been named for the previous couple of years, turns this entire village into a winter wonderland.
Santa’s house is on display for children (and adults) to explore and elaborately decorated ice-rinks and a large Christmas tree ensure this area looks as festive as possible. In terms of the actual market, chalets and tents give visitors the chance to sample some traditional festive treats whilst purchasing some unique and beautiful gifts. For other great Christmas experiences in Belgium, fantastic Christmas markets are also found in both Lille and Brussels – and a fantastic way to do both is via an escorted holiday to both cities
This Swedish village is a popular destination for festive visitors and is said to house the biggest Christmas market in the country. This sees many traditional Swedish customs upheld, allowing for Christmas festivities to mix seamlessly with authentic customs.
This means that visitors are able to purchase some great festive items whilst simultaneously experiencing the traditions of another culture. This is a great way to explore new regions and is especially influential if enjoyed as part of a rail tour of Europe. These tours visit numerous European destinations with lines such as the Orient Express offering a unique and magical way to explore the continent.
Wooden huts and stalls characterise this Swiss village and make it the perfect destination for Christmas travellers. The Old Town of the area has a number of fantastic restaurants which make this area a great place to visit for those after a truly magical experience.
European Christmas markets don’t just take place in town centres and villages and the Valkenburg Christmas demonstrates why. This iconic market takes place in the ‘Velvet Cave’ of Valkenburg aan de Geul. This offers a truly unique experience to visitors whilst ensuring all of their festive needs are met.
Alongside this, the market is also home to a Christmas parade which runs through the centre of the area. The town is also transformed into a Christmas village, in a similar fashion to Winterland Hasselt in Belgium, offering individuals a great range of traditional festive activities to enjoy.