Last week we were reminiscing on some of the most beautiful Christmas markets in the UK, so this week we thought we would tell you about some stunning ones in Europe.
European Christmas Markets
November 15–January 6
Innsbruck is a small city surrounded by mountains, so you may have visited it before on your way to a skiing holiday.
Altstadt, lined as it is with gorgeous medieval houses, is the most romantic of the half dozen Innsbruck markets. Stalls are piled with gingerbread, wooden toys and delicate ornaments made of handblown glass, and at dusk you are treated to trumpeters playing carols on the 500-year-old Golden Roof.
A must-try are the Kiachln Advent doughnuts, which are served hot with delicious cranberry sauce. And you will have to alert any youngsters with you to the fairy-tale characters peering down at them from the windows on the narrow Kiebachgasse.
Another little market worth visiting is Hungerburg, which is a short funicular ride up Nordkette mountain. The market is full of tasty treats to try before riding to the top of the Hafelekar to admire the views of twinkling city lights and snow-tipped peaks.
21 November – 7 January
If you love good food then Bologna’s markets are the ones to head for. From fruits made from marzipan and citrus peel dipped in dark chocolate to a festive-season nougat made with nuts and honey, there is plenty to delight the sweet toothed.
The markets are also beautiful, with Fiera di Natale sprawling alongside the 12th-century San Pietro Cathedral, and the smaller Antica Fiera di Santa Lucia centring on the cloister of the Santa Maria dei Servi church.
28 November – 31 December
Strasbourg won the title of “Best Christmas Market in Europe” last year and it’s easy to see why. The town is packed to the rafters with Olde Worlde charm that, come Christmas time, explodes onto the streets with colourful garlands and merriment.
The Christkindelsmärik market dates back to 1570, so you could argue they have had plenty of practice! You will have to wander around the 11 different “villages”, and make sure you don’t miss the “bredele”, (special biscuits that come in all shapes and flavours) which are perfect to take home and hang on the tree, then eat them of course!
Have you visited any magical European Christmas markets? Or are you planning on visiting any this year? Let us know in the comments!