Ahhhh it’s that time of the year again… Christmas. As a solo traveller, it can be the one time of the year when it feels a bit lonely but it’s not all bad. While everyone is washing down their roast dinners with wine and mince pies with their family, why not get festive this year by checking out a few European Christmas markets?
What’s so special about European Christmas markets?
With the growing power of technology and the internet, buying presents has never been easier. Just click a few buttons and Amazon will have your product at your doorstep in just a couple of days. That may seem convenient but chances are you’re not going to be buying anything out of the ordinary for your loved ones.
This is why European Christmas markets especially are so great. Take the time to stroll through the various stalls and savour the smells, sights and flavours around you.
Browse the many traditional gifts, which are often handmade and pick out something truly special and unique for your friends and family. Maybe it’s some handmade leather clothing, Christmas cookies or handcrafted ceramics? Perhaps a wooden toy, or even a bottle of Schnapps or mulled wine?
The Festive Spirit
Christmas is all about the magic in the air and there is nothing more romantic and festive than a European Christmas market.
Whether it’s seeing the Vilnius tower in Lithuania turned into a gigantic Christmas tree or listening to Christmas carols over a cup of mulled wine in London, Europe is full of gorgeous Christmas markets that are guaranteed to dazzle you and make you feel like you’ve stepped into a Disney movie.
The Delicious Food
One of the benefits of Christmas is an open invitation for everyone to eat, eat, eat. And one of the best things about Christmas markets in Europe is that they are full of delicious grub.
There are classic Christmas treats to be had all over the continent such as gingerbread, toffee apples, chocolate and seasoned nougat made of local nuts and honey. Nibble on snacks as you wander down cobbled-stone streets and let the backdrop of a European Christmas smother you with its cosy charm.
If you are having trouble deciding which markets to check out, here are a couple of suggestions that are sure to charm your socks off:
3 Great European Christmas Markets
Since this medieval city looks like a fairy tale all year round, you can imagine how it looks draped with Christmas lights. Most of the action takes place around Markt square which is the perfect area to take in the city on foot while you munch on the world’s best chocolates. For those that want to put on the skates, there is a beautiful ice rink in Simon Stevinplein.
Although Germany has many magical markets, if there is one city that is known for its Christmas markets, it has to be Berlin. The German capital is famous for having more than fifty markets spread throughout the city.
While it’s a contentious topic, the Weihnachtszauber at the Gendarmenmarkt is one of the better markets to check out. It is located right in the middle of Berlin which means you won’t have problems getting there and back. The market also sports a huge Christmas tree, delicious treats and live-plays that get visitors from all round the globe into the Christmas mood.
Budapest is a great option for solo travellers who are looking for a more interactive and fun Christmas. The markets here are full of local activities like folk dancing, live music and puppet shows. You can also expect the food to be plentiful and have you salivating.
For the more daring eater, roasted goose legs are a must try here. Budapest’s markets are also ideal for shoppers as the locals offer many different types of gifts ranging from leather purses to sheepskin coats.
Have you ever visited any European Christmas markets or are you planning to visit one this holiday season? Please comment below and share your experience.