Credit :: Thanks ApproachGuides for these wonderful market ideas. These festive traditions are one of the best reasons to visit Europe in winter. And by the way, this meaty content is exactly the type of teaser we provide our clients in anticipation of their dream holidays! Again, thanks to our partners at Approach Guides.
Every holiday season, Christmas markets throughout Europe bring sparkling lights, festive music and decorated wooden chalets where vendors sell hand-crafted ornaments and tasty treats in local town squares.
The holiday tradition began in medieval Germany with a more practical focus: allowing townspeople to stock up on goods for the winter. However, in the mid-1400s, the markets took on their Christmas associations and today many towns celebrate the start of Advent with the markets’ opening.
1 || German Christmas Markets
There’s food for all your senses at Germany’s famous Christmas markets. Join Deutsche Welle’s Kate Müser as she discovers some of the best: maronen (roasted chestnuts), gebrannte mandeln (burnt almonds) and lebkuchenherz (gingerbread heart).
2 || Budapest Christmas Markets
A tip-filled guide to exploring the many holiday markets found throughout the Hungarian capital. Whether you’re looking for sweet treats like traditional honey cookies or handcrafted gifts, everything is made locally.
3 || Vienna Christmas Markets
From roasted chestnuts to twinkle lights and homemade ornaments, these six markets, found throughout the city, have something for everyone. Find your favorite in this guide.
4 || Cologne Christmas Markets
This guide to the city’s famed holiday markets (all seven have different themes) features tips on what to eat and drink to stay fueled as you explore.
BONUS || What to Watch this Holiday Season
Vienna | Anthony Bourdain :: Season 7, Episode 4 of No Reservations sees Tony visiting wintery Vienna—taking in Christmas markets, going hunting suited like an aristocrat, eating sphincter—and having, surprisingly, an overall really good time. Click here to watch!
Looking for more? We’ve curated some additional features from Travel & Leisure. Here are a few additional blog posts to check out!
10 Best Christmas Markets in Europe
The holiday season is one of the best times to go to Europe, with the festive spirit in full swing and the cold weather just mild enough to walk around. And Christmas markets, found in towns large and small, are one of the best ways to soak it all in. Click here to read more!
10 European-style Christmas Markets in the USA You Can Experience
Bundle up and get ready for Christmas cheer: These festive, European-style Christmas markets feel just like the real thing, but are right here at home in the U.S. If you’re seeking Christmas charm, but aren’t able to hop across the pond to the iconic holiday markets in Europe, we’ve found the best European-style Christmas markets right here in the U.S. Click here to keep reading!
12 Best German Christmas Markets — Including the Oldest in the World
Fröhliche Weihnachten! Nothing beats being home with your family for the holidays, but hopping around European Christmas markets (or even European-style Christmas markets in the U.S.) comes pretty close. These German Christmas markets are filled to the brim with holiday cheer — and flowing with glühwein. Click here to learn more!