Bucket List Experience: Christmas Markets in Europe!

If ever there was an event that should be on everyone’s bucket-list, it’d have to be attending the great Christmas Markets of Europe. Mulled wine, snow-covered landscapes and the scent of gingerbread in the air – it’s the stuff of childhood fantasies! Here’s three of the best. Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum

Vienna, Austria
The Imperial City pulls out all the stops in creating a magical Christmas Markets wonderland experience. And there are quite a number of them on, so which do you choose? Altwiener Christkindlmarkt in the Freyung is a market surrounded by city palaces and the Schottenkirche Church which dates back to the 12th century. It’s been a tradition since as early as 1772, and a nice alternative to the more crowded markets on the Rathausplatz. This is the place to find traditional mangers, ceramics and handicrafts, with the draw-card here being the organic farmer’s market for sausages and roasted chestnuts.

Passau, Germany
The German city of Passau on the Austrian border is the City of Three Rivers – the Danube, Inn and Ilz. During Christmas, the Old Town and especially Cathedral Square is heavily decorated. The markets take place in front of the green onion-domed St Stephen’s Cathedral, and presents around 70 selected stallholders who display their Christmas arts and crafts. Glühwein (hot spiced wine) and Lebkuchen (gingerbread-like) are the specialties here.

Regensburg, Germany
This Bavarian city on the Danube River in southeast Germany hosts its enchanting market at Neupfarrplatz. Glühwein and Kinderpunsch, a non-alcoholic punch, is the standard offering and offers a welcome remedy to the cool outdoor temperatures. The market boasts over 40 different varieties including apple, orange, cherry, Holunder or elderberry with a shot of rum or amaretto, hot chocolate with or without whipped cream, Feuerzangenbowle or brandy punch, and the Eierlikör or classic eggnog. And, of course, you should try the half-metre-long Feuerwurst sausage. Traditional handicrafts include homemade leather goods, pottery, ornaments, candles made from honey, and even soap made from sheep’s milk.

TripADeal travels to Europe for the Christmas Markets here.

Image: Regensburg Christmas Markets

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