There’s nothing quite like visiting a Christmas market to get into the festive spirit and that’s exactly what I intend to do this weekend. The fairy tale surroundings, the mulled wine and the hearty comforting food are enough to make even Scrooge smile!
It got me thinking about Christmas markets around the world and which is the best one to go to, and so I’ve created a Top 3 list for today’s #FridayEdit.
Strasbourg is the capital of the Alsace region on the border of Germany and is full of history and charm. It boasts a gothic cathedral (the Cathedrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg ) and the medieval streets are a sight to behold. During the Christmas period, however, it transforms into a Christmas wonderland.
Called the ‘Christkindelsmärik’ it is currently the largest Christmas market in Europe with about 300 stalls over 12 areas within the city and includes special Christmas concerts, a circus and merry-go-round that children will love, as well as traditional Alsatian-crafted decorations. The ‘bredele, the traditional Alsatian Christmas biscuit, is particularly delicious and this year, the market also includes an ice rink.
Open: 27 November 2015 – 24 December 2015
Prague, Czech Republic
The Christmas markets in Prague are among the best known in Europe, the main ones to be found at Staromestské námestí (Old Town Square) and at Wencelas Square, with a smaller market at Christmas Market námestí Míru.
Whichever market you choose to visit, you will find traditional Czech food such as barbecued pork, Czech muffins, beer, mulled wine and mead and this market in particular is full of tradition, a glittering atmosphere and plenty of stalls. Expect Christmas decorations, ornaments, candles, candy and gingerbread.
A Christmas tree is the highlight, which is erected in Old Town Square and shipped in from the Krkonoše mountains in the north of the Czech Republic, and it makes a spectacular sight.
Open: 28 November 2015 – 3 January 2016
The largest Paris Christmas market stretches along Champs-Elysées but there are ten other locations across the City of Light too, some of which feature of 100 wooden chalets. Paris and other French cities are places that go to great lengths to make sure that the Christmas shopping experience is something to be remembered – a gala of lights, sounds and old seasonal traditions and even the streets and the big shops in all the shopping areas all vie with each other to produce the most elaborate Christmas decorations and Christmas windows.
Paris is such a beautiful city, especially at Christmas-time, and I for one would still be happy to visit.
Open: 18 November 2015 – 4 January 2016 (Champs-Elysées)
Do you have a favourite Christmas market?