3 of Europe’s Brightest Christmas Markets.
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Walking among the fervor of the shuttered Munich Christmas stands, as workers prepared for the upcoming holiday, all we could do was smile and try to imagine the smells of freshly baked Lebkuchen (gingerbread) and soul warming gluhwein that would soon fill the Marienplatz.
It turns out we missed one of the world’s greatest Christmas Markets by just 10,080 minutes (seven days). Even when Beth and I realized our slight misfortune, we still hung to the hope that maybe one or two of the wooden market chalets would open early, but it never happened. So, after a bit of wandering on our last day in Munich, which just so happened to be Thanksgiving, we made our way to the Hofbrauhaus to toast to toast our forefathers and the Christmas future.
While it may be a little too late to plan out a trip for this year’s European Christmas Markets, if you’re in the United States, you could always plan out a trip to New York City or San Diego–both celebrate the holiday in style–by looking at flight information for Virgin American Airlines and other transportation and lodging options on online, but before you do I implore you to read on to get more holiday inspiration.
Yep, we missed out on this one, but that doesn’t mean you should. If you like the sound of 100 foot sparkling Christmas tree on the Marienplatz, tasty sausages, reiber-datschi (potato pancakes) gluhwein and estimated 17 holiday markets, then Munich is for you. Other things to look out for are the early evening carols delivered from the balcony of the neo-Gothic Rathaus (Town Hall) by an Alpine choir and brass band, and a Christmas tram that serves spiced wine and gingerbread.
The city’s Plaisirs d’Hiver/Winter Pret (“Pleasures of Winter”) festival may only be in its 10th year, but this Belgium Christmas Market has quickly made a name for itself with its elegance and theatrics, which includes a nightly sound-and-light show on the Grand Place and a market surrounding the Bourse (Stock Exchange) and along Place Sainte Catherine. Couple that with decadent chocolates, strong brew, a 160-foot ferris wheel that glitters over and an ice-skating ring near the city’s fish market, and you’ve got yourself the fixing for a very Merry Christmas celebration.
What do you get when Tiffany’s head designer dictates where nearly four miles of lights are hung, and then another 1,800 more strands shimmer in lakeside willows? Copenhagen’s Jul (yuletide) Christmas crafts market in city’s famed historic amusement park, Tivoli Gardens. Iced doughnuts with black currant jam (æbleskiver) and gløgg, a steaming hot mulled red wine steeped in aquavit or schnapps with raisins, almonds, cinnamon sticks and cloves are all hallmarks of the Copenhagen’s Christmas Market. There is also an additional crafts market set up in the historic Nyhavn district along a canal.
Honestly, Europe is filled with Christmas Markets so there’s a good chance that the city you may be traveling to, no matter how big or small, has its own holiday celebration. If you are on a tight budget, then flights24 offers cheap flights that may fit your holiday vacation needs.
Did we miss your favorite European Christmas Market? Let us know in the comments.
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