Tips from the Nest: 6 Festive European Christmas Markets to Visit

A trip to Europe over the festive season isn’t the same without a visit to one of the beautiful Christmas Markets.

The European Christmas Markets, also known as Christkindlmarkt, date back to the late middle ages and originally were a source for the locals to purchase their essential supplies before winter set in.

 

Christmas Markets: An Ancient Tradition

Salzburg Christmas Markets, courtesy of Salzburg Tourism

 

Usually held in the old cobbled stone town centres, the markets welcome local craftsmen, restaurateurs and ordinary townsfolk who set up shop in rows of wooden stalls. On offer are everything from mulled wine served from giant, steaming cauldrons to handcrafted wooden toys, pottery, gifts and colourful decorations to delicious local cuisine.

 

Time to Explore

Nurnberg Christmas Markets, Germany - courtesy of Albatross traveller J. Allen

 

Originating in Germany, Christmas markets are now popular through much of Europe and take on all shapes and sizes and embellish a tradition of towns and villages expressing joy in the heart of the Festive Season.

Each of Albatross Tours Festive itineraries have been carefully designed to provide ample time in at least one of the great European markets such as Nurnberg, Vienna, Montreux, Prague, Munich, Dresden and Salzburg. Travellers can also experience smaller, more unique Christmas markets in towns such as Wurzburg, Bern, Rothenburg and Innsbruck. Christmas markets are best enjoyed at dusk when fairy lights twinkle and candle flames flicker and shimmer.

 

A Few Fantastic European Christmas Markets

Frankfurt, Germany

Frankfurt Christmas Markets - courtesy of Albatross traveller, J. Allen

 

Situated in the Roemerberg, a single fir tree beautifully decorated marks the location of the Frankfurt Christmas Markets which run from 25 November until 22 December. Dating back to as early as 1393 travellers will discover many traditional delicacies, handmade arts and crafts and wooden treasures amongst the scent of delicious roasted chestnuts, grilled sausages and mulled wine.

 

You can experience the Frankfurt Christmas Markets on our German & Austrian Christmas Markets tour, German Fairytale Christmas tour, A Medieval Bohemian Christmas tour, plus on many more Festive tours.

 

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Rothenburg Christmas Markets

 

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a stunning medieval town situated in southern Germany. Running from the start of December until the 23rd December the streets of Rothenburg’s main square come alive with what is said to be the most romantic Christmas markets in Germany.

Situated beneath the town hall tower, you can listen to children singing Christmas carols as you savour the delicious locale fare and buy treasured trinkets to take home. Be sure to try a famed Rothenburg snowball while you are there.

 

You can experience the Rothenburg Christmas Markets on our German & Austrian Christmas Markets tour, German White Christmas tour, German Fairytale Christmas tour, Bohemia & Christmas in the Tyrol tour and many others.

 

Vienna, Austria

Vienna Christmas Markets

 

Home to a staggering 20 Christmas Markets, Vienna is a festive wonderland.

The main Town Hall Christmas Markets will bring the festive spirit to everyone who visits. As an unforgettable highlight you will be transported to a magical world full of seasonal joy.  Featuring ice skating and over 150 market stalls, which are abundant with gifts, tree decorations, crafts and culinary treats.

Be sure to also see the Christmas Markets set in the forecourt of the Schonbrunn Palace, the Christmas Village Belvedere Palace and the Christmas Markets at Spittelberg.

 

You can experience the Vienna Christmas Markets on our Austrian White Christmas tour, A Medieval Bohemian Christmas tour and Bohemia & Christmas in the Tyrol tour.

 

Dresden, Germany

Dresden Christmas Markets

 

The Dresden Christmas Markets, the Striezelmarkt, is Germany’s oldest Christmas Market and date back to 1434. A dazzling and wondrous market, the Striezelmarkt is home to many local regional specialties including pottery from Lusatia and glass blown decorations from Lauscha.

 

You can experience the Dresden Christmas Markets on our Bohemian Christmas Markets tour.

 

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague Christmas Markets

 

Set in front of the impressive gothic town hall, the Prague Christmas Markets will transport you to an enchanted world surrounded by beautiful decorations and traditional market huts underneath the famed gargoyles high above.

With the scent of cloves and cinnamon in the air, indulge in traditional trdelnik (pastry) and a mug of gluhwein whilst you browse the many market stalls and take in the atmosphere of this beautiful city.

 

You can experience the Prague Old Town Square Christmas Markets on our Bohemian Christmas Markets tour, A Medieval Bohemian Christmas tour and the Bohemian & Christmas in the Tyrol tour.

 

Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg Christmas Markets

 

Set in the World Heritage listed Old Town, the Salzburg Christmas Markets are arguably one of Europe’s finest markets.

Wander the cobbled stone streets underneath an abundance of lights strung up above you with the sounds of the church bells ringing through the air. You are sure to find some beautiful mementos from the many stalls selling local artisan treasures, beautiful decorations and delicious treats.

 

You can experience the Salzburg Christmas Markets on our German and Austrian Christmas Markets tour, Austrian Lakes Christmas Holiday, German White Christmas tour, Christmas in an Italian Castle tour plus many more.

 

Albatross Tours are the experts in Festive touring with each and every on of our Christmas, New Year & Winter Wonderland tours bursting with festive activities, adventures and exciting bucket list experiences.

Contact our Reservations Team for more information or order a copy of our 2018/19 European Christmas, New Year and Winter Wonderland tours brochure to experience Europe’s finest Christmas Markets.

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Julia Austin

Julia Austin is the Marketing Executive at Albatross Tours