Countless famous bustling Christmas markets can be found all over the continent from mid-November until December. Christmas markets in Europe date back to the thirteenth century, where traders laid out their goods in the streets in cold winter months to add a bit of joy to long winter nights. Nowadays, the old tradition of a meeting place in cold winters is kept alive and has turned into a festive yearly occurrence. Stroll through Europe’s Christmas wonderland with historical backdrops and indulge your senses with edible delights, local handicrafts and beautiful ornaments.
1. Cologne, Germany
On November 21st the city center of Cologne turns into a playground for both children and adults. With its magical atmosphere, delicious treats and famous glühwein (mulled wine), Cologne enchants millions of visitors with their quaintly designed stalls spread out over many unique markets, with the impressive cathedral, Cologne’s landmark, in the background.
Insider tip: Take the Christmas-Market-Express to visit more than one market and truly soak up the atmosphere on a grand scale. Hop on the train in the city center and drive through a myriad of decorated streets. The train departs every fifteen minutes. Please click here to find out more.
2. Strasbourg, France
Strasbourg is already a charming city; so just imagine how magical Strasbourg is during the Christmas season! Strasbourg is the home to the oldest Christmas market in Europe, dating back to 1570 and is said to have the continent’s best Christmas market with its authentic, warm and lavish Alsatian characteristics. This year marks Strasbourg’s 446th Christmas market and starts November 25th.
Insider tip: Free WiFi which is available in many areas and also on the main squares of the city. So don’t miss this opportunity to share your favorite pics with friends and family
back at home.
Plus, Strasbourg’s gothic cathedral is well worth a visit with its gothic towers and world-famous astronomical clock.
3. Vienna, Austria
Vienna is famous for its classical music and architecture, however during the Christmas season there is an extra must-visit on the list: the Viennese Christmas markets. There are twenty Christmas markets to choose from, all with their own charm and character, and slightly different in flair from other regions in Europe. Live performances, fashion shows, art demonstrations and craft activities ensure that the Viennese Christmas market will be an unforgettable highlight of your Christmas cruise.
Insider tip: Try the local delicacy Vanillekipferl: a crescent-shaped biscuit enjoyed by tourists and locals alike. Guten Appetit!
All these Christmas markets can be visited when cruising
the Rhine and Danube with Select Voyages. There are many Christmas markets to choose from, all selling a vast array of seasonal gifts, handcrafted goods, delicacies and mouth-watering drinks. Visiting a Christmas market in Europe will undoubtedly be an unforgettable experience.