Pick Up a New Year Bargain at a Christmas Market.

By Posted in - Featured Post on January 2nd, 2013

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This is a guest post provided by David at Columbus Direct.

Okay so the Christmas season is in full swing but you have entered a bit of a lull. The last of the cold turkey has just been eaten; you have tried out all of your presents and still have plenty of time left before going back to work. Everything is just a little bit too calm and peaceful so what should you do? How about dusting off your passport and heading to one of those European Christmas markets that still run between Christmas and New Year and even on into the first week of January. Not only will you refresh and invigorate that Christmas spirit, but you could also be in for a bargain as the stallholders start to introduce sale prices in the run-up to New Year.

Experienced channel hoppers will understand that the moment you step onto mainland Europe, it is like stepping into an entirely different world. As far as the Christmas Markets are concerned, you don’t have to go far to experience the festive magic that they offer. Think wooden stalls, fairy lights, mulled wine and cinnamon. Think snow-sprinkled streets and warm inviting café bars. This is Christmas revisited – December 25th all over again.

Brussels

Brussels Christmas Market 2009 (18)

Brussels Christmas Market by garybembridge via Flickr.

Staying closer to home, a short hop across the channel and you are in Brussels where the Christmas markets run until January 6th. Brussels center turns into a winter wonderland with an illuminated big wheel, and a 200 foot-long skating rink at the end of the pedestrian route to Marché aux Poissons square. Known as one of Europe’s most original markets with around 250 wooden chalets for stall holders around the Stock Exchange or known in Brussels as the Bourse. T, On sale are Christmas ornaments, handmade craft items, as well as a range of seasonal gastronomic delights to tempt the taste buds. Entertainment to complete the holiday atmosphere comes in the form of Choirs, processions, artists, bands and concerts.

Prague

Prague Christmas market

Prague Christmas market by Marcus Povey via Flickr.

Further afield the beautiful city of Prague in the Czech Republic holds a whole host of Christmas Markets some of which extend right out to the seconds week of January. For real Christmas spirit mixed with style elegance and beauty head for the Old Town Square. This market runs until the 1st of January. There you will find a huge Christmas tree with ablaze with hundreds of lights that illuminate this busy market after dusk. When you have browsed the stalls that are grouped around the Jan Hus statue and picked up some bargains, head for the stage area where open-air concerts and plays are performed.

 

Berlin

Weihnachtsmarkt Alte Potsdamer Straße

Berlin Market by by onnola via Flickr.

Germany is the spiritual and cultural home of the Christmas Market and Berlin could be described as the capital of that cultural home. In sheer numbers of markets, it is difficult to top the fifty or so that Berlin has to offer. Running until 1st January, the market at Kaiser Wilhelm attracts over four million visitors and is the largest of all the Berlin Christmas markets. You can go and soak the atmosphere while you browse the stalls for a jewellery bargain or perhaps an exquisite handmade craft item. Don’t forget to indulge yourself in the seasonal delights of mulled wine and of course roasted chestnuts.

So if you want to keep that Christmas spirit alive right into the New Year, the Christmas Markets in Europe make a great way to hang on to that festive good cheer, have a break, and perhaps pick up a bargain in the process. Immerse yourself in some Continental European culture in some of the most beautiful and vibrant cities in Europe and return ready to face the New Year.

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