Every year, the city centre of Cologne is touched by the magic of the festivities in the run-up to Christmas. When the Christmas markets in Cologne open their gates on the last Monday before Advent, millions of visitors from around the world delight at the goods on sale at the quaintly designed huts (or "Buden"). Christmas music, arts and crafts, toys, Christmas decorations and the scent of the Christmas bakeries create a wonderful atmosphere. It is not just children's eyes that light up when pewter pourers, wreath binders and glassblowers demonstrate their art, and the aroma of mulled wine, hot chestnuts and gingerbread fills the air. (via cologne.de)
This winter wonderland in the centre of Budapest is a haven for food-lovers – fresh bread is baked in clay ovens, traditional pastry makers work their magic on glazed delights, and goulash is gobbled by almost everyone. If you choose to indulge in a little gluhwein, each serving comes with a free Christmas market mug for you to take home. (via wandrlast)
From mid-November to Christmas, Vienna’s prettiest squares transform into magical Christmas markets. The aroma of Christmas bakery items and hot punch creates a pre-Christmas atmosphere. Little wooden huts selling hot punch and roasted chestnuts pop up around Vienna in the run-up to Christmas, tempting you to the main event of Christkindlemarkt on the main square in front of the City Hall. Take a stroll between perfectly decorated trees in the city's main park and forgive yourself if you momentarily feel part of your favourite Christmas rom-com. Keep an eye out for Herzerlbaum – the tree with hearts – while you’re there stop-off for a romantic moment under the illuminated hearts.
The Venice Christmas market is the perfect place for something a little different for your loved ones to unwrap on December 25th. The markets known in Italian as Mercatino di Natale are not as numerous or on the same grand scale as the network of markets in Germany. Nevertheless, a visit to an Italian Christmas Market is one to remember, whether it be the Piazza Navona in Rome or one of the smaller Italian Xmas Markets in the Italian Alps, for example the Trentino region.
The Italians pride themselves on the elaborate crib displays and nativity scenes on display at many Italian Christmas Markets. As with any Christmas Market the Italian stallholders will have mouth-watering displays of local food and drink plus of course the usual array of locally manufactured seasonal gift items. (via christmasmarkets)
The Czechs are extremely serious about Christmas and take pride in their chocolate-box style markets that spring up all over the country. The capital hosts a number of low-key, family-friendly Vanocni trh (Christmas markets), which all have folk displays, concerts and carol singers to enhance the festive spirit. The Prague Christmas markets are not the place to find elaborate presents, but there are plenty of stocking fillers for you to choose from. Keep an eye out for hand-carved wooden puppets and Bohemian crystal. (via wanderlust)
Berlin shines in a festive blaze of lights every year in the period before Christmas. There are about 60 Christmas markets to wander round and enjoy. Whether thought provoking and fairytale or trendy and urban - there's something for everyone. Let yourself fall under the festive spell with horse-drawn carriage rides through Christmas tree-clad streets, ice skating at the Berlin Fairy Forest, and carol singers galore. Most bars around the markets have outdoor seating with blankets and heating to offer you even more opportunity to soak up the seasonal atmosphere. (via visitberlin)
If you want to visit one of the oldest Christmas markets, you’d better visit the Christkindl’s Market in Nuremberg. It is located in the city center only a few steps away from the famous castle and other sightseeings. A special thing you can do there is to rotate the ring at the fountain of Schöner Brunnen. The legend says that if you rotate the golden ring one time, three wishes will come true and if you rotate it three times you will be blessed with a lot of children.
Copenhagen’s magical Christmas market sits in The Tivoli Gardens amidst hundreds of Christmas trees and thousands of twinkling fairy-lights. The Garden's main lake is transformed into an outdoor ice rink where you can hire skates. There are plenty of food stalls here too, but the main attraction is Danish glogg – a mulled wine mixed with liquor and spices. Hot apple dumplings also make for a warming mid-shop snack. If you’re travelling with children, they’ll love the pony rides that take place in the market, as well as a jolly Father Christmas who does the rounds of the stalls, posing for photos with visitors. (via wanderlast)
It doesn’t get more fairytale than Tallinn during the Christmas season. The town square is lined with 15th-century buildings, and the underground candlelit bars are perfect for cosying down with a boozy hot chocolate. At the heart of it all - apart from Santa and his reindeers, who are eternal favourites with the kids - is Estonia's most famous Christmas tree, surrounded by little huts selling their wares. Here you will find handicraft specialists and their work, Estonian food and drink of the season, snow sculptures and a mini-zoo for the little ones – including rabbits, goats, lambs, ponies and geese. A cultural programme is held as part of the market every weekend and on special days, with performances by song and dance groups and choirs from different counties. (via visitesthonia)
On the first Friday and Saturday in December every year, the town of Dunster turns off the lights, travels back in time and lights its streets with candles. There is no parking or access to the village by car during these two days, but Park & Ride is an option. However, for a real time-travel experience, hop on an old-fashioned steam train from Bishops Lydeard in Somerset to the medieval village. During the event, there are a variety of street entertainers including carol singers, Morris Dancers and hand bell ringers. Grab a bag of roasted chestnuts, a hot-choc in a paper cup and walk up to Dunster Castle, where the atmosphere and festivities play out in the town below. (via wanderlust)
2015.12.17 16:06 Thu