With Christmas just around the corner, here at SkyParkSecure we’ve put together a list of Europe’s best Christmas markets for you to marvel over and get you firmly in the mood for the festive season.
The popularity of Christmas markets is growing year upon year with a record number of travellers choosing to take short breaks over Christmas to visit them. We have composed our top 5 list of Europe’s best Christmas markets to give you a good insight into which one will be the best for you this year.
BERLIN CHRISTMAS MARKET
With the Charlottenburg Palace as its backdrop Berlin was always going to be in our top 5 of Europe’s best Christmas markets, expertly placed lighting bathing the palace, the decorative fencing and the market itself creates a warm festive glow strong enough to brighten the mood of Ebenezer Scrooge himself. The festive atmosphere is lifted even higher once you see what is on offer from the marquees and wooden huts selling a variety of festive treats. Hot chestnuts, crepe’s and Hungarian langos are all available as well as impressive selection of culinary options. Many of Berlin and Brandenburg’s top restaurants offer fine dining in pop up heated tents, a touch which many visitors find impressive.
The winterwald ( winter forest ) is also a brilliant place for children with a nostalgic carousel, air swing and small railway to name a few of the attractions here. There is also a tent called the Märchenzelt (fairy tale tent) in which smaller children can try there hand at arts and crafts doing paintings or creating mini sculptures.
Berlin Christmas markets are a must go to for any lover of the festive period! Here is a full list of the Berlin 2017 Christmas market
Duration : From 25th November to 28th December 2017
LILLE CHRISTMAS MARKET (Marche De Noel)
Lille really does know how to do Christmas Markets, the main square is transformed into a winter wonderland as the big wheel turns slowly in the background lit up like the star on top of a Christmas tree. Standing next to the wheel is an 18 meter high Christmas tree, then as you head towards Place Rihour you can see 83 wooden chalets sprinkled with snow and trees lined with twinkling fairy lights. The aroma of cinnamon spills from the chalets as you walk round and take at all Lille has to offer, why not treat yourself to some new decorations or maybe even a waffle and a cup of warming mulled wine.
Lille also has plenty to offer the children as next to the markets is a winter funfair filled will rides and stalls where you could win a Christmas themed gift. Come on the right day and you may even bump into father Christmas himself as he is known for making a regular appearance around the market or the funfair. Lille Christmas markets are a real treat and definitely deserves its place on the list of Europe’s best Christmas markets.
Duration : From 17th November to 27th December 2017
Find out more about the Christmas Market in Lille by visiting the Lille Tourism Website.
VIENNA CHRISTMAS MARKET
Vienna’s Christmas markets are a truly old aged tradition, the forerunners of the present-day events date back to the Middle Ages when in 1298 Albrecht I granted Vienna’s citizens the privilege of holding a December Market or “Krippenmarkt”. The city hall lit up behind the market creates a idyllic backdrop as you wander through the maze of stalls selling some festive culinary delights. If it is traditional hand made gifts that you are after then head over to Belvedere Palace and you will be in awe with whats on offer as the stalls compete to win you over selling truly beautiful hand crafted items. Vienna’s crowning jewel for us here at SkyParkSecure is the Christmas village situated within Vienna’s old general hospital, the lovingly designed and decorated market stalls located along the many narrow alleyways offer beautiful Christmas gifts as well as delicious traditional Gluhwein ( glow wine ).
Another festive surprise Vienna has to offer is within the citys town hall. Enter inside the City Hall on the ground floor there is an area dedicated to children, where they can learn how to make Christmas cookies or candles. You can also listen to international choirs singing carols with free entrance on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. A visit to Vienna Christmas markets would truly be an unforgettable experience.
Christkindlemarket – At the 151 stands you will find the sweetest treats, most flavoursome punches and the most creative gift ideas. The Christkindlmarkt is the best place to be charmed. This year the offer of the stall holders is more diverse than ever before. Exquisite things can be experienced and viewed at all corners of the market.
Find out more now in the dedicated Vienna Christmas site.
Duration : From 11th November to 26th December 2017
PARIS CHRISTMAS MARKET
Paris is a magical place at any time of the year but at Christmas, its taken to a whole new level with the city’s most famous landmarks twinkling and teeming in decoration, the festive atmosphere is lifted to a level matched by nowhere else in Europe. Head over to the famous avenue of Village de Noel des Champs Elysees and wander down taking in the sights of the fairy lit avenue, sample the gooey cheesytartiflette ( abit pricey but well worth it !!) and sip mulled wine. If it is gifts that you are after then pay a visit to the Alsatian Christmas market which takes place on the forecourt of the Gare de l’Est. You will find Christmas trees hung with decorations from different eras of history, tiny real candles, shiny baubles and yellow stars; making it the perfect place to stock up on your tree decorations. There will also be Christmas theater, storytelling, and free wine tastings, yes you heard us right FREE WINE TASTING!
Looking for fun for the children? Don’t worry as the Paris Christmas markets aren’t all about delicious culinary treats, this year all over the city there are a variety of activities for the children to enjoy. The huge ice rink is sure to have them excited and thats before they will have seen the huge winter wonderland funfair. Whatever festive experience your looking for Paris will have it in abundance.
Duration : 24 November to 27 December 2017
STRASBOURG CHRISTMAS MARKET
A very , very tough choice but our number one spot has to go the incredible Strasbourg. It was in Strasbourg in 1570 that the very first edition of the then called “Christkindelsmärik” (market of the Infant Jesus) took place. Now one of France’s biggest Christmas markets and the picturesque setting in front of Strasbourg Cathedral with its Gothic towers and famous astronomical clock (worth a visit itself without the markets there !). The 300 chalets attract over 2 million visitors a year and you can see why, a magical Christmas tree stands tall and the whiff of the gingerbread bakery is sure to make you fall in love with this place. An ice rink is located within the market, a perfect treat for all the family, and then once you need to re-energize you can top up on some of the delicious culinary options available including sausages and choucroute (pickled cabbages) and the famous three-meat baeckeoffe stew.
Everyday from 10am to 8pm (except on the 25th December), the little chalets will sell decorations, local products and craftsmanship, without forgetting “vin chaud” (mulled wine), Christmas cakes, biscuits and gingerbread. The market’s decorations and illuminations are better than any other Christmas markets. Sometimes, a market will feature street parades, sound and light shows or bands playing Christmas music.
Often described as the ‘Capital of Christmas’ Strasbourg really is something special and offers a true taste of the real Christmas spirit. This is why it is the deserved winner of our Europe’s best Christmas markets list.
Duration : From 27th of November to 31st of December 2017
Other European Christmas Markets worthy of a mention :
We hope our top 5 list of Europe’s best Christmas markets has helped sway you on which one to visit this year, and remember to book with SkyParkSecure for stress free airport parking beforehand to make for the perfect trip!