Which other city in the world puts on a more festive December than Vienna? During the Magic of Advent one of Vienna’s prettiest squares the Rathausplat becomes a shining fairy tale land, as it is transformed into a magical Christmas Market to symbolise the beginning of the Advent. All around you wursts will sizzle on griddles, with lights gleaming and festive decorations dangling at booths overflowing with Viennese jewellery and other goodies or edible treats. Situated against the backdrop of Vienna’s spectacular City Hall, 150 small wooden stalls offer the opportunity to browse a wide range of modern and traditional Christmas gifts whilst listening to the enchanting sounds of a well-known brass ensemble, or the voices of famous figures reading stories on the celestial stage. Best visited at night when the extravagant evergreen is illuminated by myriad of sparkling decorations, you can stroll around this charming market with the aid of a free app, which includes tours for a romantic outing with your significant other, or an energetic excursion with the family around Europe’s most children-friendly Christmas market.
This truly Bavarian Christkindlmarkt, situated in the heart of Munich’s city centre, has gained the reputation of being one of the best seasonal marketplaces in Europe. Dating back to the Middle Ages, a trip to the city’s oldest Christmas market is a cosy, bustling experience, whilst the backdrop of the snow-capped Alps makes it the perfect location for a romantic shopping spree. The 100-foot high Christmas tree towers over traditionally decorated booths, which offer everything from traditional Bavarian Christmas gifts, such as wood carvings from Oberammergau, gingerbread from Nuremberg, handmade toys and some exquisite glassware from the Bavarian Forest. Your experience will be full of atmosphere and charm, as you wonder amongst the stalls accompanied by the sounds of traditional Christmas concerts celebrated daily on the balcony of Munich’s town hall. Make sure to take a trip to the city’s unique manger market in Neuhauser Strasse, only a few steps from Marienplatz square. Germany’s largest authentic manger market offers wonderful souvenirs and everything you’ll need to create your own nativity scene, complete with lanterns for the mangers, fodder for the ox and donkey and gifts from the three Magi.
Held within the historic Distillery District, this free annual event displays all of the tradition and charm of a European Christmas market situated half way across the world in the vibrant and lively city of Toronto. Take a walk through the open air market draped in lights, where carollers, choirs and dance groups stand amongst the crowds, providing festive entertainment throughout the day. Indulge in the irresistible goodies, from holiday memorabilia and local, handmade ornaments, to glasses of mulled wine and baked goods that are very welcome on crisp winter evenings. The beer garden tours are a highlight of the market, so rest your feet after a long hard day of shopping and browsing, with a traditional German beer or a classic Christmas time hot toddy to keep your spirits high.
Located in the heart of Budapest in Vörösmarty Square, the city’s largest Christmas market is made up of more than 100 wooden pavilions, attracting customers with the unique Hungarian goods and crafts, homemade cakes and other unusual trinkets. One thing that makes this Christmas market particularly attractive is the focus on the preservation of authentic Hungarian folk art, traditions and heritage, with stalls offering high quality handcrafts rather than your typical kitchy commercialized Christmas gifts. The smells of the typical Hungarian buffets will tantalise your taste buds, offering kürtoskalács (sweet Hungarian pastry), roast chestnuts and other market snacks to satisfy your appetite. After drinking a much needed mulled wine on a frosty Budapest evening, you can take home the special mug it was served in: the Christmas Fair Mug gets a new design every year. A wintery light painting show, situated on the façade of Café Gerbeaud, creates a truly festive atmosphere as you are enraptured by this innovative display of a traditional Christmas story.
The elegant London district of Belgravia is transformed into a miniature Winter Wonderland to celebrate the Christmas season. Walking through the iconic British setting of Pimlico Road, Elizabeth Street and Motcomb Street you can experience this magical annual market aimed at families, residents and visitors alike. Selling festive hampers from Daylesford Organic, bespoke Les Senteurs fragrances and the finest Cuban cigars from tomtom, the 70 stands installed along the street have something for everyone whether it’s a gift for your husband, your children or even a treat for yourself. A chilly winter Sunday can be warmed with the help of numerous delicious food and drink stands, and it is worth the trip to SW1 just for this. Whilst ambling through the market take a look in the shop windows, as this year the Belgravia retailers are taking part in a Christmas window display celebration, so feel free to ogle at all the luxury goods for sale.
Experience the Georgian splendour of beautiful Bath city whilst celebrating the festive season at the biggest and brightest Christmas Market in the South West of England. This award winning market is held annually in the centre of Bath, transforming a shopper’s dream parade into a winter paradise of chalet-style stalls and stands. The distinctively British shopping experience is emphasized by the produce on sale, namely the wide variety of high-quality artisan products. Bath’s market is a very local one too, with more than 70% of the stallholders being businesses from Bath and the surrounding area. The market’s enchanting atmosphere is complemented by a full programme of entertainment including carol singers, children’s entertainers and musicians that all add to the fantastic ambience created within the streets of the Roman Baths and the extraordinary Bath Abbey. There is no need to rush – with the stalls open late most evenings, take your time browsing the stalls under twinkling lights and decorations of this quaint festive town.