Believe in the magic of Christmas by visiting one of the continent’s many famous festival markets and marvel at beautiful Christmas lights, gaze at gigantic Christmas trees and fill up on mulled wine and gingerbread
Venture off the beaten track to explore Moldova’s capital at its Christmassy finest, where you can find spirited fun and warming drinks.
Have fun on the merry-go-round or feast on traditional Moldovan pies and snacks. You can buy handcrafted traditional goods made from leather and wool from the many stalls.
Decorations are spread throughout three areas of the city center: the main Christmas tree is situated in front of the government building, a little family fair is located at the front of the opera and ballet theatre and the Christmas Market is hosted on 31 August 1989 St.
Where: City center
When: 15 December – 15 January
TIP: On weekends there is live music at the main stage, which offers a programme of folk winter songs and modern music.
From hand-knitted mittens to decorations, the markets in Sweden are bustling whether in the small towns of big cities.
Considered a national icon, Liseberg Amusement Park in the centre of Gothenburg is arguably the most famous market.
The fair includes light shows, amusement rides and an ice-skating rink. Try Liseberg’s ‘julbord’ (buffet-style smorgasbord of hot and cold dishes) or tickle your taste buds with traditional classics such as ‘lussekatter’ (saffron buns) and ‘risgrynsgröt’ (rice pudding).
Enjoy a steaming cup of glögg (mulled wine) and a pepparkaka (gingerbread biscuit).
Where: Liseberg Main Entrance Örgrytevägen 5, SE-402 22 Gothenburg / Liseberg South Entrance Getebergsled, SE-412 63 Gothenburg
When: 10-23 and 26-30 December
Tip: The ‘all-in-one’ Christmas pass enables admission and rides at a discount price during Christmas at Liseberg. The cost is 275 SEK. A ticket for Christmas at Liseberg admission only is 120 SEK.
Usher in the festive season by visiting one of the pre-Christmas highlights in the Hanseatic city.
The Lübeck Christmas Market was first documented in 1648 and is situated in the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today, the market includes 400 stalls offering handmade toys, hot spiced wine and gingerbread. You can also feast on roasted chestnuts, sausages and mulled wine.
More importantly, the markets sell the city’s much famed marzipan. Marzipan became a specialty of the Baltic Sea region of Germany and Lübeck offers some amazing shops. From tea to chocolates, this area is great for those with a sweet tooth.
Where: Koberg square
When: 25 November – 30 December. Closed 25 December.
TIP: Visit Café Niederegger for a marzipan cappuccino. Don’t’ forget to stop at Niederegger Marzipanerie, where you can find everything from marzipan teddy bears to fruit.
Spread the Christmas joy by visiting the capital’s winter wonderland.
Check out choirs and folk groups dressed in traditional costumes at the Old Town Square or sample large hams roasted on spits (Pražská Šunka, flatbread topped with garlic, cheese and ketchup (langoš) or pancakes (palačinky).
Alternatively, gulp down honey wine (Medovina), hot chocolate (horká čokoláda) or grog, a mixture of rum, water, lemon and sugar.
Remember to take a look at Old Town Square’s Christmas tree, transported from the forests of the Liberec region of the Czech Republic. The tree’s lights are switched on at 4:30pm every day.
Where: Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square
When: 30 November – 6 January.
TIP; Why not check out the smaller markets at Republic Square, at Kampa Island’s Havel’s Market and St George’s Basilica at Prague Castle.
A perfect day trip from Geneva, The Montreux Christmas market sits along the stunning lakefront with amazing views over the snow-capped Alps.
More than 100 open-air chalets offer traditional Christmas trinkets, snacks and goods.
‘Elves Square’ is a great place to keep children entertained with a variety of workshops.
TIP: Between the Lumberjack village and the Place du Marché you can see Santa on his flying sleigh.
TIP: Board the cogwheel train to visit the Rochers-de-Naye mountain to see Santa Claus in his office and see a Christmas village in Caux. It’s advised to book tickets in advance.
Where: Next to Montreux train station
When: 22 November – 24 December
Get into the Christmas spirit by exploring stalls selling everything from handcrafted goods to punch and roasted chestnuts.
Dating back to 1298, when Albrecht I granted Vienna’s citizens the privilege of holding a December market or ‘Krippenmarkt’, the city now offers 20 official advent markets.
Located in front of the City Hall, the Viennese Dream Christmas Market offers international choirs and cookie making.
There’s also ice-skating boasting winding pathways through the festively illuminated Rathauspark and let’s not forget the reindeer and ferris wheel.
Where: On the square in front of the City Hall
When: 15th November – 26th December 2019
TIP: Don’t forget to explore the Christmas Village at Belvedere Palace, the Christmas Village at Maria-Theresien Platz and the Old Vienna Christmas Market, located at the Altwiener Christkindlmarkt.
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