It’s finally December, which means that the countdown to Christmas has officially begun! December is the month where billions of Christians around the world celebrate Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ.
Many European countries are world-renowned for holding Christmas markets in their major cities. The Christmas market concept originated in Europe, notably in Germany, Austria, and certain French regions, in the late Middle Ages. Today, Christmas markets are known by several different names, including Christkindlmarkt, Marché de Noël, and Weihnachtsmarkt. Christmas markets are street markets which attract millions of visitors from around the world for their beauty, and span the four weeks of Advent, observed by Christians as the period for waiting for and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
Here are 7 Christmas markets in Europe you should consider attending this year.
1. Cologne, Germany
Cologne’s Christmas markets are my personal favorite. Cologne boasts a whopping 7 Christmas markets scattered around the city. Cologne’s Christmas markets run from November 24 to December 23 this year. Be sure to visit the one near the cathedral, not only is it in a beautiful location, but the booths are arranged so that they create a large Christmas tree!
2. Frankfurt, Germany
Did you know that Frankfurt has one of the largest Christmas markets in Germany? This year, Frankfurt’s Christmas Market runs from November 26 to December 22. Be sure to visit and check out Germany’s largest Christmas tree while discovering the many amazing decorations, food and beverages from around 200 beautifully decorated stands.
3. Paris, France
There are several Christmas markets, or Marchés de Noël, in and around Paris, the most famous one being on the Avenue des Champs Elysées. The Christmas Market on the Champs Elysées runs from November 14 to January 4. Here, you can find beautifully decorated chalets and discover a plethora of items stallholders offer. Try some French and European specialties, pick up some gifts for loved ones, or enjoy the beautiful arts and crafts on show! You won’t be disappointed!
4. Bolzano, Italy
Bolzano’s Christmas market is Italy’s largest Christmas market, attracting large numbers of visitors every year. It Located in Piazza Walther, it runs from November 27 to January 6 this year. Be sure to check out the beautiful Christmas tree with the Nativity!
5. Birmingham, United Kingdom
Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market is the largest in the United Kingdom. It has been around for over a decade and boasts local and international hand-made goods, food, and drinks, including traditional German food such as pretzels and bratwurts, and drinks such as gluhwein and weissbeer. The market is located in Victoria square, and has a wonderful Christmas feel and is authentic German Christmas Market experience right in the heart of Birmingham’s city center. Birmingham’s Christmas market runs from November 13 to December 22 this year.
6. Vienna, Austria
Vienna hosts several breathtaking Christmas markets, the most popular being the Christmas Village at Belvedere Palace. The Christmas Village at Belvedere Palace runs from November 21 to December 23 this year.
7. Strasbourg, France
Strasbourg’s Christmas Market is known as the Capital of Christmas, and runs from November 28 to December 31. It was started in 1570, then called Christkindelsmärik. It is located on Place Broglie, very close to the stunning Strasbourg Cathedral. It is one of the most famous Christmas Markets in France and Europe, and is the oldest Christmas Market in France.
There are so many other beautiful Christmas markets worth listing: many countries have Christmas markets in multiple cities and towns! Where are your favorite Christmas markets? Let us know in the comments section below!