14 November, 2011

Christmas Markets - get into the festive spirit!

With dark nights and chilly mornings upon us, you can't help but think of Christmas, as it draws ever closer. Forget the panic of shopping; and the stress of cooking, and instead why not plan a last minute trip to the Christmas markets. Some of the most famous markets in Europe have been running since the middle ages, and today they can draw around two million visitors during December. With less than six weeks until Christmas day (apologies to those who haven't done any shopping yet!), I decided to give you three suggestions if you fancy travelling to get some last minute bits and pieces for your loved ones, or just going to enjoy the mulled wine and festive atmosphere!

Basel Christmas Market
A few years ago, I visited the Christmas market in Basel, which is located in the three countries corner of Switzerland, France and Germany. It is a stunning city, and even more pretty when the markets make its Old Town come alive. It has the longest illuminated Christmas street in Europe, and is the largest and most traditional Christmas market in Switzerland. Well worth a visit.

Basel Christmas market
Berlin Christmas Market
Berlin is the capital city of German Christmas markets, and this year the city will offer a choice of sixty (yes sixty!) Christmas markets. The one taking place at Charlottenburg Castle is one of the most famous; and for thirty five days, the castle and its park are transformed into a winter wonderland with around 150 vendors from all over Germany. If you want winter thrills; the city also has an ice rink, and Winter World which guarantees fast fun on the largest mobile toboggan run in Europe!

Berlin Christmas Market
Prague Christmas Market
The Czech capital hosts many cultural events with concerts and theatre performances throughout December. The Christmas markets are low-key but family friendly, and there are several dotted around town. The biggest is in the Baroque setting of the busy Old Town Square, where the main attraction for kids is the 'petting zoo' with ponies, goats and sheep.

Prague Christmas market
Christmas seems to be creeping up very quickly this year, and although I've started my shopping, I never really feel Christmassy until I've visited my own local market and had a warm mug of mulled wine! I couldn't think of anything nicer than planning a last minute trip to a European city to do exactly that.

If you want information on the markets I have featured above, and many other amazing Christmas markets around the world visit: http://www.christmasmarkets.com/

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mandy,

    I love your blog! Recently, I started a travel blog (www.vowstotravel.com) too. One of my latest posts is on Christmas Markets in Europe. They look so festive and fun so we're headed to Prague and Salzburg in a few weeks to check them out.

    Blogging has proven to be fun...but very trying. I would love to get any helpful advice and tips from a fellow newbie blogger.

    Thanks and best of luck!