European Christmas markets are the perfect place to get in the festive spirit. Aromas of mulled wine, the nostalgic jingle of bells, perhaps even a coating of snow. They’re also perfect because they’re close enough to home to be easy and affordable, but not too close as to be right on our doorstep.
At AIRGO-FX, we’ve compiled a tantalising list of the very best Christmas markets in Europe in 2018. Enjoy!
From November onwards, Vienna’s squares transform into magical fairy-tale playgrounds: some of the best Christmas markets to be found in Europe. One of the most well-known and cherished of these is the Vienna Magic of Advent which takes place in the central City Hall square. Here, Christmas trees, carousels, children’s workshops and steaming punch await! The surrounding trees of the park are covered in streams of sparkling lights; a true Christmas miracle.
Christmas spirit is alive and sparkling in Budapest during the Advent Feast at the Basilica, an open-air Christmas market that takes place in front of Budapest’s most magnificent cathedral. Food is one of the main pulls of this market; feast on everything from traditional Hungarian dishes, to sizzling fish, to international cuisine. One for the kids, there are multiple free attractions, including skating in the ice-rink that surrounds a colossal Christmas tree.
One of the things we love best about this Christmas market is its focus on community and sustainability. Guests can enjoy charity-supporting concerts and all vendors use eco-friendly cups, plates and cutlery.
The Erfurt Christmas market is one of the most idyllic and charming in Europe. Located in Erfurt’s medieval old town, highlights include a 12m high pyramid, a huge candle-lit Christmas tree and a manger scene with hand-carved, life-size figures. There’s even an enchanted forest – children’s favourite – with little picture scenes from fairy tales waiting to be discovered. Browse the traditional handmade crafts, savor delicious treats and take in the daily entertainment shows: choirs, fairytale plays and live music.
Often voted as one of the best Christmas markets in Europe and the world, the Tallinn festive market is a sight to be seen. Each year, thousands of people travel from all over the world to take part in the festivities. Snow blanketed stalls, an impressive Christmas tree, – a tradition dating back to 1441 when the city displayed one of the first ever trees in Europe – a ring of picturesque, century-old buildings and houses surrounding the market.
There’s something for everyone at the Tallinn market: Santa Claus in his little house, giving candy to the children; a huge array of handicrafts and gifts; numerous flavours of mulled wine and delightful gingerbread houses to enjoy.
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is a dreamy city at any point in the year; during Christmas, it’s even better. The beautiful architecture of the Old Town Square and the intimate, unique atmosphere, make Prague’s Christmas market like no other. There’s a huge variety of food and beverages; mead and mull, barbequed pork and Czech muffins. It is also the perfect place to buy bespoke gifts for family and friends, with wood-carved toys, beautiful glass-work and hand-stitched garments.
If reading this hasn’t already got you in the Christmas mood, you’d better book a flight or grab a sled and get yourselves to one of these beautiful European markets. We’ll see you there!