Take a photo tour to inspire you to visit the Christmas markets in Europe: Chestnuts and sausages roasting on an open fire, warm mulled wine wafting through the crisp cold air, twinkling fairy lights lighting up the dark sky and snow dusting the roofs of wooden huts.
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO THE BEST CHRISTMAS MARKETS IN EUROPE
THE BEST PLACE TO EXPERIENCE CHRISTMAS: THE TIVOLI GARDENS CHRISTMAS MARKET
THE BEST ALTERNATIVE CHRISTMAS MARKETS IN EUROPE…THAT AREN’T IN FRANCE OR GERMANY
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A photo tour to inspire you to visit the Christmas markets in Europe
Where can you feel the Christmas spirit in the world than in the middle of a European town square, drinking Mulled Wine and wandering around the European Christmas Markets?
Across Germany, Austria, Denmark, the Baltic states, Switzerland, Finland, Slovakia, Slovenia, The United Kingdom and beyond, you will find the best and most authentic Christmas markets in the world.
Wandering around a winter wonderland, twinkling lights light up the sky, the aroma of mulled wine and hot chocolate fill the air. The European Christmas markets are truly magical. There is no better way to experience the season than a winter tour through the European Christmas markets.
European Christmas markets are about shopping until you drop and eating until you’re about to burst.
Austria has some of the most beautiful markets. Beautiful wooden huts, animals and ice skating.
Do not miss out on the Schonbrunn Palace Christmas market. The most popular market in Vienna in the Christkindlmarkt Rathausplatz.
With over 150 stalls, you will find something that tickles your fancy.
You must take a trip up to the Baltic states for something more a little off the beaten path.
The Christmas markets in Tallinn will transport you back in time. With your food prepared over the fire in front of you, and woolen socks knitted as you watch, you will feel as though you are in a time gone by. The markets are much smaller in Tallinn than in Western Europe, but they cannot be missed. Just make sure you double check what you’re ordering, unless blood sausage is your thing of course.
You cannot do a proper tour of European Christmas Markets without a visit to the First Decorated Christmas tree in Europe.
In 1510, the first record of a decorate Christmas tree was in Riga, Latvia. The local merchants decorate the tree, danced around it in the main market square and set fire to it. Today, there stands a small tree to mark the spot of the first Christmas tree.
If you are true Christmas lover, you need to do a Christmas Market cruise. There are so many to choose from, but what better way to experience the magic of Christmas!
What to wear at the Christmas Markets in Europe
Make sure you rug up before you head out to the Christmas markets, winter in Europe is very cold. Make sure you are warm and comfortable. I always make sure I wear layers, its easier to take off a jacket if you get too warm walking around than it is to try and get warmer. The Christmas markets that we found less enjoyable were the markets where we were cold!! Don’t let the weather get you down. Remember, it is likely to snow at the Christmas markets and with lots of people walking on the snow it can make the ground slippery so make sure you have sturdy shoes on.
Beanie – make sure it is a double lined beanie. This will keep you warmer than a single lined beanie
Scarf – a huge scarf is a great option, you can use it as a scarf, an extra layer, or to put over your head if your beanie isn’t warm enough
Jacket – a good quality down jacket is a must for those cold European nights
Boots – you need to make sure your boots are comfortable and you have worn them in before your trip! There is nothing worse than having uncomfortable shoes. Waterproof boots are also recommended, if you are visiting Christmas markets you are travelling winter which means rain and snow!!
Visiting the European Christmas Markets on a budget
Christmas markets are great for every kind of budget but if you are travelling on a strict budget I suggest setting yourself a budget for the night (or the day) and stick to it.
If you are in the same place for a few days, plan to go to the markets a couple of times. This way you can take your time to decide if you really want to buy something.
If you are visiting a few cities, plan to buy your souvenirs in “cheaper” cities such as cities in the Czech Republic, Poland or Germany. Christmas decorations are quite reasonably priced and they make for great souvenirs.
While you can buy snacks and meals at the Christmas markets, I suggest picking up a cheaper snack at the supermarket on the way. That way you won’t jump for the most expensive food item just because you’re starving and it’s the first thing you see.
European Christmas Market tours
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My BEST Travel Resources
Here are my favourite travel resources for planning travel like a pro
Flights: To find the best flights I always search on Google Flights or Skyscanner. For even cheaper flights, fly mid week and pack in a carry on!
Accommodation: I always use booking.com (I love their price match and flexible cancellation policies) or Airbnb (if I want a little more space) to book trip. If you prefer hostels, I suggest Hostelworld.
If you are new to Airbnb you can get an awesome discount using this link
Travel Insurance: After a few hairy moments on my travels, I ALWAYS purchase travel insurance. It may seem like a big cost now, but if the worst happens, it will save you a lot of money and heartache. I personally use World Nomads (and love them!), but I recommend that you do some research to find the insurance company that suits your needs.
Tours: While I prefer to travel independently, I do love doing some tours once I’m in a destination. It is a great way to find out history, hidden gems, taste local food and get a local insight into your destination. I always use Viator to book my tours.