From Prague to Rome, via Copenhagen, Europe’s biggest capitals go all-out each year for their popular Christmas markets. Head to one of the best this winter, to pick up a treat and keep you feeling festive all month long.
The Prague Christmas Market
Every year, the Prague Christmas market sets up shop in the magnificent main square in the Old Town. Gathered at the feet of a giant, twinkling Christmas tree, the stalls let Czech handicrafts shine, offering a variety of wooden puppets, handmade jewelry and the regional specialty vánocvka, a kind of braided brioche with raisins. However, it’s the procession of Saint Nicholas – accompanied by an angel and a devil – that really draws in the crowds, as he parades through the square on December 5.
From November 26 2016 to December 23 2016
Staroměstské nám., 110 00 Praha 1-Staré Město, Tel. +420 221 714 444
The Brussels Plaisir d’Hiver Christmas Market
From November 25 to January 1 2017, Plaisir d’Hiveris taking over Brussels’ city center. With a mix of magical shows and a traditional Christmas market, head over to pick up a handmade memento (fairy lights, wooden toys) and explore a world of festive fun. Don’t forget to try the best-selling Belgian specialties while you’re there, such as the apple doughnuts, melt-in-the-mouth waffles and generous cones of fries.
From November 25 2016 to January 1 2017
Grand-Place, Bourse, rue H. Maus, rue Devaux, Halles St-Géry, rue Saint-Catherine, place Saint-Catherine, Vismet, Tour-Noire, rue de l’Évêque, rue de l’Ecuyer, place de la Monnaie.
The Bonn Christmas market
In Beethoven’s hometown, the Christmas market is an institution. Spread out over Bonn’s three central squares (Münsterplatz, Bottlerplatz and Friedensplatz), the place is a veritable winter wonderland with its sparkling Ferris wheel, giant windmill, live Christmas songs and classical concertos. After a show, it’s time to amble your way through the labyrinth, driven by the mouthwatering smell of baked apples, mulled wine and soft golden pretzels.
From November 18 2016 to December 23 2016
Munsterplatz, Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
The Copenhagen Christmas market
Set up in Tivoli Gardens, the Copenhagen Christmas market will bring back all your memories of Christmas past. Stop by for a peek at the snow-covered trees, brightly-lit Ferris wheels and wooden carousels, all surrounded by traditional little huts offering red and white porcelain, Father Christmas costumes, wooden elves and more. Don’t miss the food stands, where the specialty is æbleskiver, a sort of blackberry jelly-stuffed doughnut, ready to be washed down with glogg, a mulled wine cooked with raisins, a stick of cinnamon and fragrant cloves.
From November 19 2016 to December 31 2016
Vesterbrogade 3, 1630 København V
The Strasbourg Christmas Market
One of the oldest and biggest in Europe, the Strasbourg Christmas Market lights up Cathedral Square every year. The market brings all the traditions of a typical Alsatian Christmas to life, honoring regional folklore with bredle, foie gras, and the famous Alsacian mulled wine, alongside artisanal handmade Christmas wreaths, wooden toys and tree decorations. New for 2016, take your little ones to Aubette on Place Kléber for games, stories and shows for a magical Christmas experience.
From November 25 2016 to December 23 2016
67000 Strasbourg, Tel.03 88 52 28 28
The Edinburgh Christmas Market
Discover a winter wonderland at the heart of this historic city, in the idyllic Princes Street Gardens. Considered one of the best in Scotland, Edinburgh Christmas Market caters for everyone, with a huge ice rink, Santa’s grotto, candy stalls, rides and a huge Ferris wheel with views over the city, all along with the traditional Christmas lights.
From November 19 2016 to January 7 2017
Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 2HG, Tel.+44 131 529 7921
The Rome Christmas Market
As the festive season approaches, visit the Christmas Market on Rome’s stunning Piazza Navona, with Bernini’s famous Fountain of the Four Rivers as a glorious backdrop. It’s green wooden market stalls feature nativity figures, traditional figurines from Befana to Pinnochio, hand-painted Christmas baubles and delicious panettone that all make charming Italian souvenirs to take home.
From December 1 2016 to January 6 2017s
Piazza Navona, 00186 Rome, Italy