3 Of The Best Christmas Markets In Europe
Christmas markets have always held such an allure for me. When I was in Berlin reviewing the 25 Hours Hotel, we visited the Christmas market at Breitscheidplatz, overlooked by the stunning Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. As we sipped gluhwein and ate gingerbread in cosy wooden huts it was hard not to get into the Christmas spirit. Below are three of the best Christmas markets in Europe:
On a summer road trip to Croatia, I stopped off in the beautiful Black Forest. The campsite was a 15-minute drive from Freiburg, so I headed to the laid-back university city to discover more. Famed for its medieval architecture, historic old town, impressive eco credentials and picturesque brooks that run through the centre (known as bächle), it’s a stunning place that’s well worth a couple of days exploring. And what better time to visit than for the Freiburg Christmas Market that takes over Rathausplatz beneath the imposing Gothic minster? Kids can make candles, bake biscuits and have a go at glassblowing. Adults can feast on rich, sticky ginger cake, giant pretzels, German’s famous Currywurst and spiced mulled wine. Take a trip to this hidden gem in the heart of Germany. 17th November – 23rd December.
Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens are the stuff of dreams. This 19th-century amusement park is one of the oldest in the world, bursting with charm and good old fashioned family fun. Walt Disney was so inspired by the rides, architecture and family feel of the place, he opened Disneyland four years after visiting. This perfectly-preserved park in the centre of Copenhagen is stunning. With lush gardens, ornately decorated buildings and traditional fairground rides, visiting at Christmas is a must. Smaller kids can enjoy a ride on the Elf Train and decorate honey cake hearts, older ones can watch the enchanting parades or get their thrills on the park’s knuckle-clenching rides. Expect music, food, traditional stalls, shopping, lights and plenty of Christmas hygee at Tivoli this Christmas. 19th November – 31st December.
If you don’t want to fly, hop on the Eurostar and experience the Lille Christmas Market. You could also drive if you wanted to keep it really eco (from Calais it’s just over an hour). Traditional wooden chalets pop up on the Place Rihour, selling regional food, drink, toys, crafts and festive gifts. This small but perfectly formed market is a great place to wander and take in the festive atmosphere. When you’re done, take time out to explore this bustling city, home to a large student population. There’s culture galore, excellent food, an enchanting old town and plenty to amuse the whole family. Plus, it’s just 1hr 22mins from St Pancras International on the Eurostar. Now that’s quick. 18th November – 30th December.
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