Christmas Market Delights
You can enjoy mulled wine, roasted chestnuts and local delicacies at most of the top Christmas markets in Europe. All markets have that magical atmosphere that draws people to them. You will find ice skating, festive singing and plenty of Christmas cheer to add to the excitement of visiting the markets. There are even Christmas markets in wine country if you wanted to try something a little different! Here we have picked a couple that seem to be really popular in Europe.
Barcelona - Fira de Santa Llúcia
This is probably Barcelona’s most well-known Christmas market. Dating from 1786, this traditional Christmas fair has expanded to more than 300 stalls selling all kinds of handcrafted Christmas decorations and gifts, along with mistletoe, poinsettias and Christmas trees. It’s a Spanish market and doesn’t have the usual specific German feel. Even if you don’t plan to spend loads of money purchasing arts and crafts this is an essential ‘must-do’ if you are visiting Barcelona at Christmas.
Berlin - Christmas Market at Kaiser Wilhelm
Most find this Berlin market as one of the more traditional market. The market at Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche is the biggest and most popular receiving around 2 million visitors each year who come to peruse the jewellery, decorations and artwork on sale, as well to indulge in the more clichéd seasonal pleasures such as chestnuts and mulled wine. Christmas fairy lights surround the elaborately decorated Breitscheidplatz. You’ll find everything here, from Christmas decorations and ornaments to toys and delicate accessories. And refreshments are also taken care of: the range extends from cocoa, mulled wine and punch, plus glazed fruit up to grilled sausages.
Brussels - Plaisirs d'hiver (Winter Wonders)
Open for five weeks over Christmas, the spectacular Christmas market in Brussels now extends along the streets from Grand’Place to place Ste-Catherine, covering almost 2 kilometres. Each of the many market stalls has little wooden roofs and sells either arts and crafts or food and drink. By the time you reach place Ste-Catherine and the quays beyond, not only are you decently warmed up, but you’re at the heart of the festivities. The quaint stalls continue, punctuated every now and again by a 35m toboggan slope, a big-wheel illuminated with 18,000 lights and, of course, the 200 foot-long skating rink.
Christmas markets in Bruges
Bruges is a magical city, especially in deep winter when its cobbled streets are alive with festivities, glowing with Christmas lights. To add to the atmosphere, an ice rink is built on the Bruges Market Square close to the many food and festive gift stalls, which offer traditional seasonal delights. Many find Bruges have a medieval feel as a lot of the architecture has been lovingly preserved and the streets largely traffic free which allows visitors to explore by foot.