Want to feel like a kid again? Get in the Holiday spirit in these trying times when you are isolated and secluded at home? A virtual visit to these European Christmas markets will make your heart sing and your spirit dance.
Strolling through narrow cobblestone streets in ancient European cities turns into a fairy tale adventure during the Christmas season. Garlands adorned with tiny white lights and delicate light ornaments string across the alleys leading to the Christmas Market.
European Christmas markets are a cherished family tradition in Europe, dating back to the 13th, 14th centuries. From locals to tourists, it seems nobody can escape the magic of the many toys and ornaments, baked specialties, chocolates, candles, and so much more displayed in a golden light. And the aromas of mulled wine and grilled sausages are irresistible.
1. Nuremberg (Nürnberg), Germany
Year-round, tourists flock to Nuremberg for its museums, culture, and historic buildings; among them, the Imperial Castle, the city’s symbol, situated on a rocky elevation overlooking the old town.
But Nuremberg is most famous for its Christmas Market on the large Main Market Square, dating back to the early 17th century. The stunning gothic Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche) dominates the market. At the foot of this church, a star on the thatched roof of a crèche calls young and old.
The market is filled with crafts, ornaments, food and drinks, playgrounds for kids, and let us not forget the delicious gingerbreads (Nürnberger lebkuchen) in their many variations: filled, covered in chocolate, almonds, and many more. But I’ll let you discover this wonderful market at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEDbE8Mri50
2. Colmar, France
Just 40 miles southwest of its big sister Strasbourg, not far from the German border, Colmar is a romantic small town with enchanting colorful half-timbered medieval and early Renaissance buildings lining cobblestone streets. Crossed by the river Lauch, it is affectionately called Little Venice. It is a beautiful town to visit any time of the year, but especially during the Holiday season, when the glow of the lights on trees and stalls and the aroma of food warm your heart and make you feel light as a breeze.
Enjoy this delightful, detailed, and descriptive video of pretty Colmar. And don’t miss Santa and his cute donkey, and even a few goats. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NB-VNUtUbQ
3. Vienna (Wien), Austria
I can’t write about Christmas markets without visiting Vienna, the birthplace of Strauss waltzes, its glorious architecture, and history galore. Not to mention the Danube; ah, to take a boat ride on the Blue Danube…
The biggest Christmas market with some 150 booths is on the Rathausplatz, the square facing the spectacular City Hall. Grab some warm roasted chestnuts or a cream-filled pastry and stroll around. Artisans display their art and handicrafts, other stalls are filled with Christmas decorations, and delicious food is everywhere. And in the center of the square is the giant Christmas tree adorned with 2,000 lights.
Some other markets are the Christmas Village Belvedere Palace in front of the magnificent baroque palace; the Christmas Market at Schönbrunn Palace; the Christmas Market at Spittelberg, a district from the Biedermeier period.
4. London, England
Cheerful Hyde Park Winter Wonderland sparkling in multi-color lights is indeed a wonderland for adults and children.
The time will just fly, visiting over 100 awesome rides and attractions, fascinating shows, London’s biggest Christmas market, Santa Land, restaurants, cafes, and bars. Actually, the whole city is a spectacular extravaganza, as you will see in this video.
5. Zermatt, Switzerland
Who hasn’t heard of Zermatt, home of one of the world’s best-known mountains: the iconic Matterhorn? Millions of people visit this traffic-free small town in summer and in winter.
Zermatt doesn’t have a Christmas market per se due to lack of open space, but its many shops offer whatever your heart might desire. You will surely enjoy this video showcasing the Christmas spirit in Zermatt, and perhaps you won’t be able to resist taking a sled ride. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NenF91NQtGI
Holidays Greeting to You All!
Enjoy these European Christmas markets and Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and a happy and healthy 2021 to you and yours!
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