Dashing through the mulled wine, warm snacks, sweet treats and corny (ahem, useful) gifts…. It’s Christmas market time! It’s funny how some people avoid these bustling and colorful markets like the plague, and others love meeting up with friends here to take in the sights.
For those of you who love Christmas Markets, we’ve recapped our locals’ favorite Christmas Markets this 2015 Christmas season, like the Christmas market in Krakow recommended by Ewelina. If you’re in any of these cities in the next few weeks, check them out!
1. Fira de Santa Llúcia – Barcelona
The Christmas Markets in Barcelona come with a twist of their own, “nativity scenes but with some local flavor. In Catalonia, no nativity scene can miss its “caganer”, a sneaky figure that is actually someone in a very private and scatological position.” Cynthia & Gerard’s favorite is Fira de Santa Llúcia at the Cathedral Plaza and local Bill recommends Christmas Market – Sagrada Familia .
2. Lucia Christmas Market – Berlin
Lucia Christmas Market is quite a hidden Christmas market in Berlin, tucked away in a backstreet. You will enjoy the Scandinavian themed market with 19th century brickwork exterior and cobblestone paving. Don’t leave this place without trying the Swedish Glögg. Highly recommended!
3. Christmas Market – Bratislava
For our Local Eva, from Bratislava, there are many ways to spend your time in the days leading up to Christmas, but some of it just has to be spent at Bratislava’s Old Town Christmas market. “Several stalls offer handcrafted products, cotton, ceramic, glass and wood wear as well as beautiful decor goods. Other ones sell gingerbread and honey wine, which we warm up and drink as aperitif before our Christmas dinner.”
Another option is the Christmas Market underneath the Slovak Radio building, you know…the pyramid building?
4. Christmas Market – Bucharest
Bucharest Spotter Alex recommends to try the cinnamon Kurtos Calacs at the very local Christmas Market.
5. Christmas Fair and Winter Festival – Budapest
The heart of Budapest is full of honey biscuits and mulled wine aroma during the Christmas Fair and Winter Festival. In nicely decorated wooden stalls, you can buy handmade gifts for your loved ones from local craftsmen or simply enjoy Christmas time by tasting one of the Hungarian specialities.
Furthermore, there are two stages where you can see various performances of local musicians and other artists.
6. HC Andersen Christmas Market – Copenhagen
HC Andersen Christmas Market was held for the first time in Kultorvet square in Copenhagen last year and thanks its great success it has returned this year. As the name suggests, the theme of this market is the famous Danish story teller H.C. Andersen and every stalls bear the name of his fairy-tales. Besides buying Christmas decorations, you can enjoy your time by drinking hot chocolate or Gløgg (Nordic mulled wine).
7. Historic Christmas Market – Hamburg
“Feast your eyes and ears on the historic fair organ, and stop by the Viennese art deco café for additional tasty snacks. An old-timer carousel from the 1920s as well as the “Spielzeuggasse” (toy lane) will make this visit an equally memorable experience for children.” And don’t forget about Santa flying over at set times of the day at Historic Christmas Market.
8. Adventsspektakel – Munich
The Adventsspektakel is local Volker’s favorite because he likes leaving behind the fast paced 21st century for the historic atmosphere at this medieval Christmas market. “Here, the sellers in their food-, drinks-, and souvenir-booths are called merchants and the medieval flair is not only found in the way they dress but also in the way they speak. Craftsmen are showing how to forge weapons and jewellery, glass-blowers show and sell their art and experts in heraldry can customize your own coat of arms.”
Also have a look at how our Munich Spotter Kleopatra describes the Medieval Christmas Market from her perspective!
9. Traditional Christmas market – Prague
There is no doubt that Prague is a picturesque city throughout the year, although the spirit of the city during Christmas time is extra magical. Where can you enjoy the Christmas atmosphere more than at the traditional Christmas market in Old Town square. Drink hot (mulled) wine and taste ‘trdelnik’ (rolled dough sprinkled with cinnamon), roasted chestnuts and Christmas cookies whilst listening Christmas carollers. During Christmas Eve you can also taste a fish soup which is a traditional part of a Czech Christmas Eve dinner.
10. Viennese Christmas market – Vienna
Christmas markets have been held in Vienna for hundreds years. The Viennese Christmas Market is located in the charming area in front of City Hall but you can feel the Christmas spirit also in the nearby park. Near the Christmas tree you can listen to concerts by various musicians from all over Austria every evening between November 27th and December 23rd. The air of the market is full of aromas of traditional punch, gingerbread and roasted almonds from more than hundred stalls where you can find handcraft and ceramic decorations. Local Julia mentions several in this article about Viennese Christkindlemärkte.
So there you have it, our locals’ favorite Christmas Markets in Europe! What’s your favorite Christmas market city? If you’re not in Europe, fret not as our other locals have also suggested a few great Christmas markets!