It is believed that the first Christmas markets were originated in Germany. Since then, many Catholic countries adopted this beautiful and very profitable for traders tradition. Now, a month before Christmas, holiday markets are opened across Europe. Today we tell about the most interesting of them.
November 26-December 24
Munich Trade Fair in the central town square, Marienplatz – perhaps the classic example of good old German holiday market, which hovers over the aroma of mulled wine and roasted chestnuts, sweet biscuits and chocolate fountains, in which the glazed skewered on a stick fruit. However, if you want to travel back in the centuries, then be sure to visit the open from November 25 to December 23, Munich medieval fair. And children and adults will be interesting to see a fair representation of the original, watch sellers, dressed in ancient costumes, and to try dishes cooked in this ancient recipes.
November 26-December 24
Christmas market in Nuremberg, Bavaria – one of the most popular and oldest in Europe. It has been one of the most popular ones for over 400 years. And this year the central square of Old Town traders wil put more than two hundred stalls that will offer customers not only ornaments for the Christmas trees, but also all sorts of sweets and a variety of delicacies of home production. And while the adults make a purchase, young visitors can ride on a fabulously beautiful carousel.
November 22-December 24
Berlin’s Christmas markets reflect the modern spirit of the capital city. Despite the fact that it is not so traditional, it’s a place where you can buy not only souvenir trinkets, but also a truly valuable things: jewelry, paintings and sculptures by famous artists and designers, clothing and footwear. Even the location of the main market is unusual. It has been destroyed during bombing in World War II and only partially restored the Kaiser Wilhelm Church, which is now turned into a memorial.
Prague, Czech Republic
27 November to 2 January
Old Town and Wenceslas Square are excellent decorations for Christmas markets.Walking through it is easy to imagine that you are in the Middle Ages, because in these places of the Czech capital since those times a little has changed. Although all the Christmas markets are a lot like German, but a grocery shelves you will surely feel the taste of the Czech Republic: the only place to buy cookies vánoční cukroví and try a special festive soup vánoční rybí polévka. Among the unique local souvenirs recommend you to purchase exquisite handicrafts made of straw, wood and crystal. And note: this is a rare fair, which will work after the New Year!
November 27-December 26
In the heart of the Austrian capital before the grand City Hall every year there is a colorful market. The building itself is the city government transformed by local artists in the traditional Christmas calendar: windows help to count the days before the holiday. It is better to go for a walk on the Vienna Fair in the evening, when it is lit by thousands of colorful lights. And no supper beforehand: you can not resist and do not try the tar, hot wine with spices glühwein and special Christmas cookies Vanillekipfer.
November 16-December 29
Copenhagen is not lagging behind other European capitals and also gets prepared for Christmas. It has already opened in the picturesque market of town dock,with tastefully decorated boutiques on the street Strøget, where people usually go for the trendy and expensive gifts. But the most interesting things will happen at the largest fair in the amusement park of Tivoli. Inspired by buying gifts, do not forget a glass or two of mulled wine, which in these places is usually called gløgg, with special apple donuts æbleskiver and roasted almonds.
29 November-7 January
The central area of the medieval old town – the perfect backdrop for the Christmas Fair.They say that it was here in 1441 it was established the first Christmas tree. True, historians argue that it was not a fir, and set it not for Christmas but on Shrove Tuesday, but modern Tallinians prefer not to delve into ancient manuscripts, and to believe that the tradition of the Christmas tree went to put it out of their city. After walking in the cold between the rows, you can go to bask in some cafes situated around Town Hall Square, abound: from local food establishments and pizzerias to unusual restaurants offering dishes exclusively with garlic. Main Estonian Fair will be open till Orthodox Christmas: you will have time to get even to those who prefer to celebrate New Year at home.
St. Moritz, Switzerland
Unlike most Christmas fairs, the market on elite resort of St. Moritz is only open one day. So if you’ll have a plan your trip to be in Switzerland on the eve of December 8 you’ll have time to see how the pedestrian Plazza Mauritius is filled neatly, as if descended from a Christmas card with wooden booths decorated with lights and buy gifts for all the relatives and friends: homemade crafts, dolls, local delicacies .
November 25-December 24
Train to Central Europe, leave a couple of days in Italy, at least at its extreme north – enjoying mountain scenery of South Tyrol. One has only to move to a formal Schengen border, you’ll notice the difference: a tiny brisk “smart” and “Peugeot” will be replaced by snarling scooters, calm distinct German speech – emotional Italian patter, but rather a respectable neat Christmas market awaits the chaos of a real Italian market. And let the local specialties – smoked pork and apple schnapps – so reminiscent of what is served in neighboring Austria and Germany, but try these dishes at a Christmas market, you will feel the difference!
November 27-December 23
Speaking of the Christmas markets we usually forget about Southern Europe, meanwhile the Barcelona Trade Fair came in 1786. Today, you wait about three hundreds of stalls where you can buy different Catalan handmade souvenirs. Like all the other holiday markets in Spain, the entire month at Fira de Santa Llucía will be held with bright loud processions, shows and musical parades. Main dish, must-try in the Iberian peninsula at Christmas – sweet tile nougat with nuts – turron.
As you can see some of the best markets in Europe are located in Germany. If you are planning a visit to Germany and are looking to book one of the cheap hotels available make sure to do that early. Germany hotels are not always available, especially during high season.