Vienna, Austria

20 Nov Christmas Markets in Europe

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Europe comes alive this time of the year, where they dust off the snow globes, unravel tinsel and switch on the fairy lights. Immerse yourself into the backdrop of your very own seasonal fairy-tale and visit some Christmas Markets that are just a short plane journey away. Here are some of our top picks that are certainly worth a visit this winter.

Source: Croatia Week

Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg is the champion of European Christmas markets, in fact it is commonly referred to as: “Strasbourg, the Capital of Christmas”. Better than that, it was voted by European Best Destinations 2015 as the best Christmas Market in Europe 2015 for the 2nd year running.

It is one of the oldest European Christmas market when it first popped up its stalls in 1570 and coined the name as Christkindelsmärik (market of the infant Jesus). So it is unsurprising that it is also the largest Christmas market in Europe boasting an impressive 300 stalls, extending across 12 areas of the city.

This market promises even the modern day Scrooge’s of the world to whistle along to the tune of the angelic carol singers.

When?

From 27th of November to 31st December 2015.

Aachen, Germany

Although Strasbourg practically invented Christmas markets in Europe, nobody quite does Christmas like the Germans. Touted as the Christmas City, Aachen Christmas Market attracts approximately 1.5 million visitors every year from all over the world, both young and old.  With a sprinkle of some magic dust, each year the squares and streets surrounding the Cathedral and the Aachen Town Hall are transformed into a winter wonderland. Wander the stalls, sample some Aachen Printen, a local gingerbread speciality in the nearby Christmas Village and wash it down with some fine mulled wine.

When?

From 20th of November to 23rd December 2015.

Source: Alphacom

Vienna, Austria

Hear the sleigh bells ring and whisk yourself to the Viennese Christmas Markets. The main Christmas market takes place in front of City Hall where the little ones can learn how to make Christmas cookies and candles. The delicious aromas of signature festive punch, roasted chestnuts and other delicacies are sure to lure everyone into the seasonal joy.

Our very own director of consumer affairs, Conor Faughnan recommends trying the local Glühwein. This is a concoction of mulled white wine, a hint of cinnamon, sugar and spice and all things nice which is sure to prepare you for another round of stall gazing.

When?

From 13th of November to 26th December 2015.

Source: Gotohungary.com

Budapest, Hungary

The Hungarian capital’s market is a popular choice for those who want to do a spot of shopping where they can purchase unique gifts and crafts. The main Christmas Market takes place in Vörösmarty Square where you can see the windows of Gerbeaud House transform into a giant Advent Calendar counting back the days until Christmas.

When?

From 28th of November to 31st December 2015.

Nuremberg, Germany

Enjoy a cup of hearty mulled wine to keep warm as you stroll through the traditional markets. Be sure to try the lauded Nuremberg gingerbread, Lebkuchen a local recipe that dates back 600 years. With over 180 stalls, you are sure to find the perfect gift for all your friends and family.

Visit St. Nicholas himself at Santa’s grotto located in the Children’s Christmas Market, which is sure to make a believer out of some sceptics.

When?

From 27th November to 24th December 2015.

If we have swayed you to book a flight to any of the above listed destinations, be sure to purchase Travel Insurance to ensure you have a truly merry trip.

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Linda Pototzki
Linda.Pototzki@TheAA.ie