If you’re thinking of getting away for a bit of festive cheer before the madness really starts, we’ve got a host of wonderful Christmas markets for you to explore, in our Medical Travel 2019 European Christmas Market Guide.
Sweden isn’t necessarily the top of everyone’s list for Christmas Markets but it’s a serious contender. Gothenberg is the home of Liseberg Amusement Park, which is in turn, the home of one of Sweden’s biggest Christmas Markets.
Now, some of the rides are closed for the winter, but that just leaves more room for rows and rows of festive stalls selling a plethora of seasonal wares. Liseberg boasts enough to keep all your traveling party amused, there’s a Medieval Market, Christmas shows and of course, there’s all the shopping.
This winter wonderland is an absolute stunner at Christmas, with fir trees brought in by the truck load, as well as tonnes of artificial snow and infinite amounts of twinkly lights – makes Liseberg a magically immersive experience.
If that doesn’t give you warm and fuzzy feelings, try the Glögg, a local spicy mulled wine which often features added bourbon – which will definitely make you feel warm on the inside!
St. Stephens Basilica is a picture-perfect version of a European Christmas Market. The fragrant food and drink stalls, wooden nativity scenes and rows and rows of stalls are overlooked by the neo-classical architectural beauty that is the Basilica, all lit up for the festive season.
The square features a large ice-rink, usually filled with locals and tourists alike and at its centre is an absolutely enormous Christmas tree.
Once you’ve explored the stalls and sampled the local delicacies, you can book a cruise down the Danube River where you can spend an evening listening to live music on board and watch the wintery scenery slowly go by – simply magical.
Prague is a popular destination all year round for Brits, but this Bohemian city could have been made to be embellished with fairy lights and filled with the hustle and bustle of Christmas Markets!
Start in Wenceslas Square, the location of one of the most spectacular Christmas Markets in the Czech Republic. Does the name sound strangely familiar? It should, the Christmas Carol ‘Good King Wenceslas’ was penned about the Bohemian King, who was actually only a Duke when he lived, journeying in terrible conditions to give alms to the poor on the feast of Stephen - the 26th of December in the 10th Century. If you’re anything like us, you’ll be humming this for the rest of the day now, apologies!
The brightly coloured wooden stalls of Wenceslas Square are ornamented with decorations and lights to make this historical market an inspiring place to be. There are treasures a plenty with locally made toys, decorations and textiles to take home and enjoy.
This market is one of many that Prague has to offer, if you’re there for a few days, stray a little further to the Old Square where there are regular Christmas carol services, donkeys to pet, and children who come from miles around to be a part of the celebrations to dress in traditional costumes.
Doesn’t the Viennese Dream Christmas Market sound, well… dreamy? It should, this market is full to the brim with trinkets, toys and truly magical experiences!
If you’re looking for a busy family friendly market, then this is probably the one for you. There are activities galore for the youngest in your travelling party, making and baking traditional biscuits, candle crafting and bejewelling their very own money boxes to take home, to keep the memory of this wonderful market alive for years to come.
Ice-skating is also a big part of this festive market with not one but two ice-rinks for you (to fall over on), as well as merry-go-rounds and other romantically old-fashioned rides.
Adults can expect to be kept busy too, there are over 150 stalls to browse and of course the local tipple, Glühwein which is a cinnamon laced mulled wine, popular at Christmas Markets and Ski Slopes alike during the festive period – Guten appetit!
Bavarian markets are world renowned, none more so than Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt. It’s one of the oldest markets in Europe, and it shows in the markets rich culture and local love of this spectacular celebration of all things Christmas.
You can begin your journey exploring the array of stalls selling exquisitely made decorations and just about anything else you can think of, remember to make time to sample the locally made specialty, three Nuremberg bratwurst sausages served in a freshly baked, crisp bread roll. You can wash it down with a ridiculously large variety of mulled wines, hot chocolate and spiced drinks for sale - delicious.
Now, let’s talk about Prune Men… Prune men are as traditional as the market itself, thought to bring luck and fortune to the house in which it lives. There’s a prune man for everyone, with over 350 wrinkly and lovingly made prune men and women to choose from, ranging from ‘naked’ to traditional dress, Santa Claus to Elvis – your friends and family will love them, probably…
And finally, Nuremberg Christmas Market has its very own children’s market too, with crafts, games, songs and fairground rides, including a festively decorated Ferris Wheel, where better to enjoy the view of this Bavarian treasure?
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