If there is one thing that Poland, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic know how to do well, it’s Christmas – and their traditional Christmas markets play a huge part in this.
The magic of the festive season is well and truly alive in these fairytale-inspired street markets. Young, old, tourist or townsfolk, there is something for everyone.
While snow is not guaranteed (though highly likely), the early setting sun and crisp winter air set the tone for a cosy evening meandering the market stalls, witnessing quirky Christmas traditions, sipping the local take on mulled wine and nibbling roasted nuts.
Here are five of the most magical Christmas markets and why we love them!
Christkindelsmärik, Strasbourg, France
The oldest Christmas market in Europe, this magical gathering of festivities, crafts and food dates back to 1570. Join the locals and sip mulled wine (vin chaud), eat pretzels, ginger bread and try the many varieties of spiced biscuits.
Wroclaw Christmas Market, Wroclaw, Poland
This market has a fabulous atmosphere, the fairytale themed market is a must for anyone that believes in the unbelievable. The ‘Bajkowy Lasek’ (Fairy Tale Forest) has puppet shows with animatronic characters dancing behind glass for the wide-eyed children in the audience. Relax in the three-level fairytale house overlooking the market and warm up in the glow of the fireplace, drinking hot beverages and admiring the panorama of the Christmas Market below.
Wenceslas Square, Prague, Czech Republic
Located in the heart of the city, this traditional Czech marketplace hosts dozens of wooden stalls; merchants offer typical Christmas goods and accessories such as traditional Czech blown glass balls, pearls, hand-embroidered tablecloths, wooden toys, biscuit cutters and many other things. Both little and grown-up gourmands will enjoy a taste of mulled wine, Czech Christmas cookies, hot roasted chestnuts, gingerbread cookies or traditional Czech grilled sausages and skewered food.
Viennese Dream Christmas Market, City Hall, Vienna, Austria
This market has everything for everyone; romantic ice skating rink, a Christmas World, traditional markets, old fashioned merry-go-round and even a creative workshop. A true winter wonderland; glide on the ice under the glittering tree, wander through Christmas Worlds enchanting alleys, shop-til-you drop, decorate candles and meet Christkindl (Austrian Kris Kringle) as she dances through the crowds.
Friedrichsplatz, Karlsruhe, Germany
During the Advent season (lead up to Christmas) Karlsruhe transforms into a magical Christmas city; the inner city sparkles with thousands of lights, horse-drawn sleighs clatter across the cobblestone streets, imaginatively decorated shop windows invite passersby to browse and shop, and the scents of cotton candy and roasted almonds hang in the air. Find the Christmas Markets to catch a glimpse of the flying Santa Claus as he soars with his sleigh and reindeer every evening over the beautifully decorated stalls and crowds. Additionally, this market also has a Middle Age section which brings back to life the medieval Christmas spirit with campfires, candlelight, jugglers, musicians, storytellers, crossbow shooting, mouse roulette, a carousel and medieval swordsmen sharing information about sword fighting in the middle ages.
For our New Zealand Customers you can find our Christmas Market deals here.
Check out TripADeal’s European Christmas markets packages right here.