In Europe, You Can Always Visit Your Friendly Neighborhood Christmas Market

Plenty of Christmastime to Go Around

They’re a growing trend in the States, but a staple of Christmas in Europe. A Christmas Market is pretty much what it sounds like:

Markets. At Christmas.

Each year, for about a month before Yule, many towns and cities across the continent set up makeshift marketplaces in their center squares, with food, drinks of all kind, and Christmas-themed trinkets. Lights are just part of the show, including those that adorn buildings and churches (see below). Larger Christmas markets usually have ice skating rinks set up in the middle of them.

Roasted chestnuts are some of the favorites, along with Glühwein and well-decorated cookies. Of course, if that’s not your thing, there’s plenty of other local eats, depending on the country. We’ve visited a number of Christmas markets in Western Europe and found Germany and Belgium host some of the most elaborate ones (perfect places to get chocolate-covered Belgian waffles!). Although we haven’t made it to Switzerland yet, we’ve heard the Christmas Market in Zurich is by far the best anywhere.

And then there’s the Christmas trees. Europe really takes their Christmas trees seriously, putting the one at Rockefeller Plaza to shame.


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