If you are feeling festive, fancy a bit of retail therapy and want a good excuse to get a way for a day, maybe you should check out one of the many and amazing Christmas markets in Europe. They usually kick off late November, all of them trade until Christmas Eve, some are open Christmas day and many continue trading into the New Year, perfect for a spot of post-Christmas spending!
For Christmas decorations and crafts, choose Fira de Santa Llúcia, one of the best known traditional Spanish Christmas markets. You will find a wonderful array of authentic Spanish and Catalan decorations including the infamous Catalan figure of the Caganer (crapper) a very firm feature of nativity scenes in this part of the world. Well worth the trip for the atmosphere, and of course a quirky gift to take back home.
The Christmas markets held in Berlin promises to deliver Winter Magic, and they do not disappoint, but with over fifty events to choose from during the festive season, you’ll either need to book a long break or keep returning for more. Whether you end up shopping in the grounds of Charlottenburg Castle, bathed in a fantastical light show or you end up at market at Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche, the largest Christmas market in the city – you can be sure that there will be plenty of mulled wine, roast chestnuts and seasonal cheer while you shop.
Gastronomic treats-a-plenty await you at Brussels’ Winter Wonders Christmas market. At over 2km long, packed with stalls selling arts, crafts as well as festive foods you will quickly get into the swing of the season here in Belgium. As well as offering plenty of goods to buy, the Winter Wonders market also has a skating rink, toboggan slope and ferris wheel, and excellent way to take a break from shopping!
There are plenty of Christmas markets to be found during December in Copenhagen, but the festivities at Tivoli Gardens are undoubtedly the most popular with the fairytale aesthetic that dominates the market and endless stall with accompanying fairground type entertainment. Expect Danish Pixies to be bounding about, seasonal food, traditional handicraft stalls and big crowds as the market attracts around a million visitors a year.
Prague, Czech Republic
The Christmas markets in Prague light up the city centre to create a spectacularly festive feel for visitors and locals alike. The setting is quaint in the cobbled square, and you can expect to find local wares being sold from traditionally decorated wooden huts. Above all though is a plethora of fine food and wonderful liquors that will certainly add extra Christmas cheer to your visit!