Create Your Own Festive Break to Europe
The Christmas celebrations of Germany, France, Belgium and Holland are well established, with people flocking to the markets and festive activities annually. But what about the rest of Europe?
A surplus of winter wonderlands exist all over the continent. It’s just about knowing where to look…
First on your list has to be Tivoli Gardens Christmas Market, this 19th century amusement park boasts 60 stalls that sit under twinkling lights, as well as a choir, fireworks and Danish treats. Experience ‘hygge’ first-hand at Nyhvan Canal. Knowing it was the former home to Hans Christian Anderson only adds an aura of magic. Visit Frederiksberg Runddel for a beautiful ice rink or the Royal Copenhagen Christmas Tables for 6 tables seasonally decorated by artists.
Already an idyllic location, Christmas turns Innsbruck into a snow-globe-esque fairyland with candyfloss architecture set before a backdrop of niveous mountains. Dig into Kiachln, doughnuts laced with sauerkraut which you’ll find at the Old Town Christmas Market. In fact, there’s a total of 6 Christmas markets selling handcrafted Austrian trinkets, as well as a 14m Christmas tree.
A mug of glög is a must, especially when paired with some home baked gingerbread.
Pick some up at the market in Stortoget Square, nearby the magic Royal Palace.
You’ll find some beautiful gifts here, as well as more unusual offerings including elk meat.
Spending Christmas in Catalonia? Look out for ‘fira’, meaning market. The biggest is Fira de Santa Llúcia, a Christmas Market that’s over 200 years old. Sitting underneath the Gothic Cathedral, it’s incredibly atmospheric. There’s the Food Artisans Market in the Gothic quarter, selling local produce including cheeses and Catalonian honey.
The Scottish capital knows how to do Christmas. The General Register House will be displaying a giant advent calendar with images of Edinburgh at Christmas across the centuries. The Christmas Markets of George Street and Scott’s Monument are well worth a wander, especially while warming your hands round a steaming hot toddy. Head to George Street at night, too, for the Street of Light.
You’re pretty much guaranteed a white Christmas in Budapest. Warm up in the thermal baths, making sure you don’t leave your towel too far from the water’s edge. Visit Vorosmarty Square for a Christmas market surrounded by grand architecture, go on a Danube River cruise, with massive chunks of ice passing you by, or visit the Nutcracker Ballet.
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