Historic, traditional, full of character and romance. Handmade crafts, mulled wine, BBQ sausages, and holiday candy. Christmas markets really make this time of year feel special.
There's around 60 Christmas markets in Berlin to wander around. I was in Berlin last winter and the atmosphere was amazing – the fact it was snowing also helped! The market is located on the boulevards and squares, with hidden gems on side streets . You can't help but be captured with Christmas magic. Do not pass the stands selling spicy sausages with tomato & paprika sauce, I kept going back for more!
There's lots of history and great museums in Berlin if you want a break from the markets, but who would want to escape the fairytale wonderland?
This relatively new Christmas market has only been around only since 2002, but has its own elegant atmosphere. A unique offering is the light show at the Grand Place, which is on every night.
Brussels is unmistakably Belgian, with wooden chalets everywhere containing a wide variety of shops selling handmade crafts, Christmas gifts and souvenirs. You'll also find traditional Belgian food, like mussels, whelks, Belgian fries and of course... fluffy Belgian waffles. Let's not forget the big hitters; chocolate and beer. Food heaven!
Denmark's Copenhagen market is set on a fantastic backdrop of Christmas trees covered in lights, as it takes place in the city park; Tivoli Gardens. Five kilometres of lights are displayed in beautiful patterns, and the lakeside willows are dressed in lights, all designed by Tiffany's head designer!
If you want to escape the cold for a break, why not check out the local cafés and get yourself a hot chocolate and iced doughnuts with black currant jam, or a belly warming hot mulled wine with cinnamon and cloves.
One of European great historic Christmas markets, and has been setting out the stalls since 1786. It takes place in front of the Cathedral selling fir trees, decorations, and fine crafts. This includes hand carved nativity figurines and cribs, which is a local favourite.
The narrow streets of the old town and friendly atmosphere make it a great winter destination. The beautiful squares are also generally filled with various markets, offering a great place to stroll around and soak in the atmosphere. Don't expect to see the typical German Christmas market food of Gluwein and Sausages, but the Spanish offerings are just as good!
You'll find the two main Christmas markets at the Wenceslas Square and at the medieval Old Town Square. Old Town is a magical atmosphere, especially for children, where they can discover a large nativity scene and a petting zoo.
The market stalls sell wooden toys, crystal, and handmade jewellery. What Christmas market would be completed without some culinary delicacies? One thing you'll notice is Prague's love of fish – it's everywhere! Next you'll want something sweet, so how about gingerbread with honey or nutty cookies with rum? Hot mulled wine is a reliable choice, but you can also sample the local mead.
What's Santa giving you for Christmas?