Christmas markets in Europe
We headed to Europe in November for six weeks and one of the main attractions for going at that time of the year was to experience the Christmas markets. We found them such a contrast from Christmas here in Australia.
Not just because of the chill in the air, but all the sights, sounds and smell that create a festive atmosphere. The sights of the sparkles and glow of the lights twinkling through the foggy air and the sounds of the music of the carousels and Christmas carols.
Best of all is the enticing smells of gluhwein, ginger bread and bratwurst filling the air. The Gluhwein is served in cute little cups and many give a token. You can either return the token for a refund of around 2 Euro or keep the cup as a souvenir.
People young and old, local or not gather everywhere near the ice rink, the carousel, listening to the magic in the air. To experience the festive atmosphere is like we are walking straight into scenes from Christmas cards.
There are little wooden huts selling everything from hand crafted Christmas decorations, candles, soaps, jewellery all unique and quirky and an impressive selection of culinary delights.
These charming Christmas markets are set throughout the streets and squares, amongst the architecture of cathedrals and town halls. Almost every Christmas market has massive beautifully decorated Christmas tree, a carousel and a nativity scene, we even saw one with a living advent calendar.
Cologne, which has about 5 Christmas markets, has a little train that takes people hop on-hop off style to each of the markets. Several have the traditional wooden Christmas pyramid. These are decorated with angels or manger scenes and traditionally the wooden propeller at the top spins from the rising heat of candles that light the pyramid.
Europe is transformed as the nights are longer, the days are shorter and it’s not just the aroma of gluhwein that warms the soul. These markets bring locals and tourists together to share in the spirit of a true winter wonderland.
Regardless of whether you visit these Yule themed markets for seasonal shopping, wine drinking or indulging in gastronomic delights with a choice of so many European towns hosting these markets, you will find each one unique.
It may be cold but the magic of Christmas and the ambience from the illuminated decorations creates a warm Christmas mood in the heart of many towns. We visited markets in France, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovenia and could not choose a favourite.
Have you been to any European Christmas markets? Which was your favourite? Please leave a comment below and let us know.
We’d love if you would follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or click the StumbleUpon button or other social media share buttons below to share this post. We are also on YouTube, so please subscribe and check out our Christmas Markets Europe 2015. If you want to come back to this post again, pin the photo below.