As the holiday season approaches, Europe is beginning its annual metamorphosis into a winter wonderland.
Central and Eastern Europe’s famed Christmas markets are in the works and holiday cheer is already on its way. Christmas markets can be found in several European cities but certain markets seem to have a unique liveliness attracting visitors from all over the world.
To take some of the guesswork out of your Christmas travel plans, we put together a list of our favorite places to experience the holiday festivities. Discover what makes Vienna, Frankfurt, Budapest, and Prague so special in the winter time.
Beginning November 13th you can experience Vienna’s Christmas markets in full swing. Vienna is noted as having some of Europe’s most traditional markets; it is the ideal place to visit if you are in search of gifts and décor that showcase Austria’s heritage.
With hundreds of booths offering handicrafts ranging from ceramics to cribs you’ll be sure to find exactly what you’re looking for. If you visit Vienna’s Christmas markets this year you will have the unique opportunity to experience the 30th anniversary of “Magic of Advent in Vienna”, a market dressed up as a dreamy fairytale land.
Don’t miss: Vienna’s first Christmas post office (with its own stamp!)
Budapest is home to an assortment of charming Christmas markets, each with sweets and traditional gifts that will leave visitors enchanted. However, Christmas in Budapest doesn’t stop at shopping and décor.
Budapest has an incredible range of seasonal activities that bring the festivity to life. Ice skating, winter cruises, folk shows, and more are all available to visitors. Or you can just sip on mulled wine and taste the Christmas delights in Budapest.
Don’t miss: The thermal baths, open Christmas and throughout the winter.
Frankfurt has one grand Christmas market rather than several themed markets. This provides visitors with a great opportunity to visit Frankfurt’s market and a few markets in the surrounding towns. Transportation in the area is generally simple and accessible.
Those looking to see a bit more than one city during their winter travels may want to head over to Frankfurt and spend a couple days exploring Germany beyond its capital. We highly suggest spending the holidays in Munich and Nuremberg, two German city’s that also exemplify the Christmas spirit.
Don’t miss: Quetschemännchen, a centuries-old Frankfurter Christmas specialty.
Prague’s Christmas markets are a sensory experience, tying together the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of a traditional Czech Christmas. The squares in Prague are adorned in beautiful lights and boast Christmas trees that tower over the market.
While traditional gifts are aplenty, Prague’s Christmas markets are also full of fresh sweets, produce, and craft beer. Some booths may even be cooking local specialties on the spot! Prague is the place for all-out Christmas indulgence.While here, catch an exclusive Christmas Eve feast at Prague’s lovely Municipal House.
Don’t miss: The carolers, comprising children from all over the Czech Republic.
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