“Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go”.
This song sung by Michael Bublé is stuck inside my head. Every time I hear this song on Instagrammer’s Christmas posts, I want to play it on repeat mode. One of the many ways I’m keeping my Christmas spirits high, as sadly London has been put into Tier 4 restrictions and a month-long lockdown. 😞
This year, Christmas is not the same as before. Families staying away from each other are unable to spend Christmas together. However, to keep your Christmas spirits up, I am sharing some of the most beautiful Christmas Markets of Europe with you all through this post.😊 You can thank me later 😉. After all, every blogger craves your love, support, and wonderful responses.
History of Christmas Markets.
Christmas Markets are also termed as Christkindlmarkt. The term “Christkind” usually refers to an angel-like “spirit of Christmas” rather than literally the Christ Child.
Earlier it was called ‘December Markets’ and it was first held in the year 1298 in Vienna, Austria. These markets were organized to supply Christmas goods initially to the locals. However, over a period of time, these markets developed.
The first genuine Christmas Market was held in Dresden’s Striezelmarkt in Germany. Founded as a one-day market in 1434, it celebrated its 585th anniversary in 2019. Its 240 stands attract about 3 million visitors from all over the world. The annual market lasts throughout the Advent season until Christmas Eve. Advent is derived from the Latin word adventus that means coming or arrival. Thus, the Christians believe and anticipate the season of Advent as the ‘coming of Christ’.
From the 19th century, the Christmas Markets became even bigger and better than before.
Major Christmas markets.
Christmas in Europe is extravagant. During this time, the city is illuminated with pretty lights and turns into a shining fairy-tale land. Lots of attractions and activities are arranged to welcome people all around the world. Joy rides, ice rinks, Christmas tree decorations, sweets, and warm drink stalls, fun craft Christmas workshops are set up to keep the kids entertained. Here are some major cities of Europe where Christmas Markets are the biggest highlight of the season.
German Christmas Markets are considered amongst the best. With so many Christmas Markets throughout Germany, the most difficult choice is which Christmas Market to visit.
Dresden Christmas Market: This is traditionally called Striezelmarkt, it is also one of the oldest Christmas Markets dating back to 1434. The Dresden Striezelmarkt is located on the Altmarkt Square, in the historic city center.
The traditional Dresden Christmas Market with its romantic and festive charm is an inspiration in itself, a treasure trove for real traditional handmade crafts.
Berlin Christmas Market: If you want to experience winter magic, Berlin is the place to be. It is the capital city of the German Christmas Markets.
Hamburg Christmas Market: One of the largest Hamburg’s markets is celebrated at Rathausmarkt Square against the mesmerizing backdrop of historic City Hall. Old-fashioned carousels bring a gleam to everyone’s eyes, not just the children’s. Hamburg has so much to offer during the festive season: you can enjoy a mug of glühwein on a lake Alster boat tour or you could visit a Christmas exhibition in one of the city’s museums.
Christmas markets are popular Christmas traditions in Austria and are held in Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Linz, and Graz.
Vienna Christmas Market: From mid-November to Christmas, Vienna’s prettiest squares transform into enchanting Christmas markets. The largest Christmas market and one of the most well known is the Vienna Christmas World on Rathausplatz near the Rathaus, Vienna’s historic city hall. Other famous Christmas markets include the Christmas Market at Schonbrunn Palace, the Art Advent on Karlsplatz, the Christmas Village at Belvedere Palace, and the Christmas Village on Maria-Theresien-Platz.
Strasbourg: It is considered ‘Capital de Noel’ (Christmas Capital). This has been voted as one of the best European Christmas markets for years now. It is now set up in the heart of the GrandeIle, a UNESCO world heritage site.
Colmar: It is a town in the Alsace region in France. This small town is illuminated and decorated like a fairytale. In 2017, Colmar was voted as the 2nd best European Christmas market.
Every year, the Colmarians play a major role in the creation of a special Christmas atmosphere via a joyful decoration contest.
There are many other countries in Europe where the Christmas markets are set up such as :
- Leipzig ,Germany
- Zurich, Switzerland
- Prague, Czech Republic
- Krakow, Poland
- Budapest, Hungary
- Bratislava, Slovakia
- Salzburg, Austria
To experience the true Christmas spirit, book your tickets and visit one of these fairylands. I’m sure you will be mesmerized by the beguiling Christmas markets of Europe.
Just to tempt you all, here are some Christmas delicacies prepared and served at most of the Christmas market.
It is one of the warm and must have drinks in Christmas Markets. It is prepared with Red wine, sugar, and spices slowly cooked on low flame to get that perfect mulled flavor.