Imagine yourself wrapped up warm against the crisp cold air, sipping delicious mulled wine and chatting with your friends as you complete your Christmas shopping. The city you’re in is full of beautiful architecture, buzzing bars and stylish restaurants serving gorgeous food. Or maybe it’s a small town you’ve chosen with friendly people, cosy pubs and countryside walks on the doorstep.
Christmas markets are becoming a traditional way to catch-up with friends and family during the festive season. Why pile into a loved one’s house for the weekend making a nuisance of yourselves when you could spend your quality time making great memories somewhere new?
As ever there’s a choice to be made, where to go and what to see? Here the Christmas.co.uk team has created a mini guide to the best Christmas markets at home and abroad.
Prague is simply stunning at any time of the year but winter seems to suit this medieval city the best. It’s the home of Good King Wenceslas and don’t we all have fond memories of singing the wrong words to that carol at school assemblies and concerts? There are daily carol concerts in the city during the festive season so you can, quietly, reminisce.
The jaw-dropping castle and a skyline of ancient church domes are a fantastic backdrop to the Prague Christmas markets. There are several to choose from around the city with the biggest situated in the old town. Czech crafts would make unique gifts for the arty and creative members of your family. While you’re browsing the stalls indulge in a Trdelnik, a Czech treat of dough made on a stick and dipped in a tasty walnut and honey mix.
The Christmas market in Bath was voted the UK’s favourite in 2017. Bath is a pretty Georgian city with a sophisticated feel. There are elegant restaurants and independent boutiques to browse during the day. Then in the evening visit the market where you have more than 180 stalls to choose from – they are all beautifully decorated with twinkling lights and sell all kinds of wonderful things made in the area or sold by local suppliers. We’re sure you’ll find something for everyone on your list amongst the jewellery, ceramics and art.
Indulge in a luxurious trip away to this beautiful city in Austria. Families will love the Viennese Christmas Market which is set up in front of City Hall, a stunning building which looks like something out of a fairy tale when lit up. This market has the joys of reindeer rides and ice skating to delight the children. A smaller market at Schoenbrunn Palace has 60-70 stalls and is a little more stylish with stalls selling handcrafted decorations.
The German Christmas story of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, later adapted into The Nutcracker Ballet, is an iconic part of Christmas tradition and imagery. The Germans also know how to do Christmas Markets and Nuremburg’s Christkindlesmarket is 400 years old and one of the best. The smells, sights and sounds of Christmas are all there to be enjoyed when you visit this historic city. Rum, gingerbread and mulled wine are on every corner to be enjoyed and the noisy, jolly Bierkellers are sure to put you in the mood for shopping and then dancing on the tables.