What better way to get into the festive spirit than walking around a Christmas market with a warm hot chocolate in hand, indulging in an array of cultural cuisines, and having a drink with your friends in the beer tent where you can soak in the Christmas cheer! CNN released a list of the worlds’ 17 best Christmas markets which Send My Bag has narrowed down to the top 10 for this blog.
1. Strasbourg, France
As one of Europe’s oldest Christmas markets, the Strasbourg Christmas market goes right back to 1570! Walking through the streets and alleys of Strasbourg’s old town will give you a fairy-tale feeling at any time of the year as the town is known for being rich in history from the renaissance, romantic, and medieval eras. Imagine Strasbourg at Christmas time with its picturesque buildings, balconies and bridges twinkling with Christmas lights – a magical backdrop for a Christmas market! As Strasbourg is near the German border, the town celebrates both the French and German culture, meaning you have the best of both worlds to explore at the Christmas market.
2. Vienna, Austria
The first market in the Austrian capital was held back in 1298, meaning Vienna is home to another one of Europe’s oldest Christmas markets. There are many markets to choose from in and around the city but the main Christmas market takes place in Vienna’s city hall square. Here you can indulge in Viennese food and drink and then have a skate on the square’s ice-skating rink. Another attraction is the famous tree of lit up hearts, which is popular amongst couples.
3. Toronto, Canada
Further afield than Europe, Toronto is home to one of the biggest Christmas markets in North America. In its 10th year running, the market takes place in the city’s historic Distillery District – the cobblestone streets, red-brick buildings, and Victorian style streetlamps in the district bring an old-town feeling to the Christmas market. Everyday there are performances from brass bands, carollers, and authentic European dancers. There is also a 100-foot long lighted tunnel and a 50-foot Christmas tree!
4. Prague, Czech Republic
The two main Christmas markets in Prague take place in the city’s Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square but you can explore both as they are only five minutes’ walking distance from each other. Both markets are open every day from November 30th to January 6th including Christmas day. As the Czech Republic is one of the best countries in Europe for brewing beer, there will be copious amounts of it on tap for you to try!
5. Florence, Italy
The Christmas market in Florence takes places in the Piazza Santa Croce, one of the city’s most spectacular squares overlooking the Franciscan Basilica. The square is boasting with Italian art and architecture. Many people visit Piazza del Duomo (the Cathedral Square) for the nativity scene and the Christmas tree, which is set up from December 8th to mark the celebration of the Immaculate Conception.
6. Krakow, Poland
Krakow’s Christmas market is located at the heart of the city’s old town, which dates back to the medieval century and therefore gives the perfect historical backdrop to the market to soak in Krakow’s culture. What’s even better is that it usually snows during winter in Krakow, so you might be lucky enough to get the magical white Christmas you’ve been dreaming of. Don’t worry too much about the coldness because there are outdoor cafes and restaurants with fires and heaters at every corner in Krakow’s old town square, giving you that cosy and Christmassy feel!
7. Birmingham, UK
You don’t have to go to Germany to indulge in the country’s authentic food and beer as Birmingham holds the biggest German Christmas market outside of Germany and Austria every year from November 7th to December 23rd. With over 80 chalet stalls to visit, you can treat yourself to plenty of strudels, schnitzels and craft beers.
8. Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen’s Christmas market is held in Tivoli Gardens, which is the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world, opening back in 1843. There are lots of fairground rides, lightshows and firework displays to add to the Christmas market fun in Copenhagen!
9. Berlin, Germany
There are a variety of Christmas markets held in Berlin, but the most popular one is the Gendarmenmarkt in Mitte. The historical buildings in the Gendarmenmarkt square provide a stunning architectural backdrop for the Christmas market – bringing that added bit of German culture and history.
10. Brussels, Belgium
Winter Wonders, the Christmas market in Brussels is more like a fun-filled festival. As well as the 200 chalets with some of Belgium’s finest treats, there is ice-skating, a Ferris wheel, light shows and lots of other festive attractions bringing a Winter Wonderland feel.
Having originated in Europe, it is no surprise that most of the best Christmas markets are held throughout many European countries. Why not turn your annual Christmas market visit into a holiday and visit one of them? Our luggage shipping service may come in handy when you need additional baggage from Christmas shopping at the markets.
Bringing a dog abroad can create difficulty if you want to move to a new country. Getting your dog abroad and settled into your new home is something that you may be worried about, as a dog tends to become an important member of the family. In this blog Send My Bag has put together a list of things for you to consider in order to successfully relocate your precious pooch.