Do you remember wandering around Christmas markets with your parents in years gone by? The feeling of magic and excitement that came as you strolled among the little wooden huts, sampling Christmas treats and breathing in the mulled spices and toffee, looking up at the lights, knowing that this all meant Christmas was almost upon us. For many of us, these first Christmas markets were fairly rudimentary. Selling a few traditional Christmas decorations and treats and lining a street or two.
In recent years these markets have expanded. Every large city and even some smaller towns have their own Christmas market. Stalls line streets, all decorated with lights and filled with Christmas treats. They also often feature Christmas bars and attractions such as ice rinks and carousels. But, not all of these Christmas markets are equal. Let’s take a look at some of the best.
Berlin is perhaps the home of the ultimate Christmas market. Many of our own are styled as “German Christmas Markets”, and are heavily based on Berlin’s own market. Now, Berlin is, of course, a very large city, with many different sections and regions. So, instead of hosting one Christmas market in its centre, it holds around 60 separate markets, dotted all around the city. So, wherever you are, you are never too far away from a festive paradise.
At Charlottenburg Castle, you’ll find stalls, illuminations and fairground rides for the whole family. Then, moving down to Potsdamer Platz you’ll see an ice rink and even a toboggan run for some fantastic festive fun. If you can afford it, it’s a great idea to visit Berlin for a few days or even a week over the holidays, so you’re not rushed when exploring these brilliant Christmas markets. Remember, if you are looking to free up some cash flow to fully enjoy Christmas consolidating debt with a loan can be an excellent option.
If a trip to Berlin is out of reach, why not head to London for a traditional Bavarian style market in Leicester square. There’s stalls, treats, mulled wine, Santa’s grotto and as a bonus, Christmas themed shows to enjoy.
Unlike our own Christmas markets, which as relatively new, those in Vienna date all the way back to 1294, so it’s fair to say that they’ve had some practice getting it right. Well known for its punch and sweet treats, like Berlin, Vienna hosts multiple markets throughout the city, all with varying specialities but the same welcoming and friendly atmosphere.
Budapest is a gorgeous, gothic place to visit at any time of year, with its cobbled streets and imposing architecture. But, at Christmas time, covered in decorations and lights it can really take your breath away. The market itself, like so many others, is set in wooden huts. Around 100 of which line the streets, selling traditional treats and gifts.
Most of these markets run from the end of November until the start of January. But, you should aim to visit before Christmas to really make the most of what they’ve got to offer.