What makes a city a good choice to visit during the holiday season? History, aesthetic beauty, and culture make the top of my list. One thing many people may not be aware of happens every December and is a rich European tradition. Each and every year, many cities in Europe host Christmas Markets. Themed around the holiday season, with decor, lights, and nativity scenes, markets traditionally include vendor stalls filled with all kinds of arts and crafts. Here are some cities that are known to hold some of Europe’s most popular Christmas Markets!
Must-Visit Christmas Vacation Destinations in Europe
For hundreds of years, Christmas markets have been one of the most popular German traditions, held right alongside Munich’s famous Oktoberfest. German cities such as Stuttgart, Munich, and Hamburg hold world famous Christmas markets; but one that stands out is held in the Bavarian city of Nuremberg. Nearly two million visitors flock to this beautiful city to observe the nearly 400 year old tradition of the Christmas market that is held there. One of the great things about the Nuremberg market is that the city has made a serious stance against the commercialization of the month long event, keeping the focus on family activities and displays. There are usually around 200 candlelit booths where local vendors display their holiday oriented food, crafts, and gifts. If you have a sweet tooth you won’t be disappointed, as you will find an ample variety of ginger bread men, sweet mulled wine, and German chocolate. There is even a special children’s market with some old fashioned rides for the kids to enjoy, while parents can partake in baking, candle making, and wreath making demonstrations.
As if the city of Vienna needed an excuse to be more beautiful, every year they host one of the most popular Christmas markets in Austria. You will find a cornucopia of wooden toys, delicious treats, as well as the delicious traditional Christmas punch. Like most cities with Christmas markets, you will find many fine musical performances throughout the festival. This world famous market is not open as long as others, beginning December 12th and ending on the 22nd. Try taking your car rental in Vienna over to some of the surrounding towns, as they offer smaller versions of these beautiful festive decorative celebrations.
Every December Brussels’ Grand Place, (main square, where the town hall is located) is decorated in beautiful lights and the central plaza is filled with lighted trees and an original animated nativity scene. The market contains more than 200 stalls and has more of an international flair than other Christmas markets. While you can get your fill of all kinds of food from around the world, the traditional Belgian food is what many come for. Things like Belgian chocolate, Belgian waffles, gingerbread, cookies and beer keep visitors flocking back year after year. Once you have had your fill of delicious decadent treats, you can visit the skating rinks. There is even a kids rink to keep parents happy. A car rental in Brussels is a great way to get where you need to be this Christmas season.
Prague’s Christmas market definitely takes has a more laid-back approach to this celebration. Peruse the intimate market in search of homemade Czech-made products like wooden toys, beautiful crystals mined nearby, custom jewelry, as well as traditional European sweets. You can even purchase live fish, which is the traditional cooked up fresh for Christmas Eve dinner in the Czech Republic. The songs of Czech school children fill your ears and laughter fills the air at the petting zoo for children. The city of Prague is a great place to spend the holidays!
Whichever city you decide to travel to, a car rental in Europe is a great way to get around and see the sights at your own pace! Do you have a favorite Christmas vacation destination? Leave a comment and let us know!