Discover wonderful delights at Christmas Markets!
Discover authentic experiences with a visit to the legendary European holiday markets. Christmas markets began in the Middle Ages when towns throughout the German speaking region of Europe began this yearly tradition Going all the way back into the 1300’s, these open-aired markets led the way for new observances, which quickly spread throughout Europe. Local merchants and craftsmen were the only people allowed to sell their wares, which led to unique markets within each region. Typically showcasing local ornaments, decorations, crafts and spectacular food, these markets today are found in over 1,000 cities and towns.
Christmas markets capture the charm and authenticity of an old-fashioned era. They’re usually located in the town market, the center of the old district, and allow visitors the opportunity to indulge their senses with Christmas delights. Stalls feature a variety of handmade crafts, often representative of the area, and can include such items as nutcrackers, hand-painted porcelain and Bohemian glass ornaments, figurines of elves in pointy red caps, wooden crafts, indigo prints, Dresden’s blue-and-white ceramics, toys, Bohemian crystal, handmade jewelry, pewter crafts, Nativity figurines, leather apparel, and beeswax candles, depending on where the market is located.
Feast on the traditional food offerings from the various vendors
Each Christmas market also offers a variety of delectable local food ranging from gingerbread to sausages, which may be a distinct as the town itself. Some cities such as Regensburg, Germany offer dumplings with vanilla sauce. Dresden, Germany makes the world’s largest stollen, a four ton fruit cake (unlike our traditional fruit cake), which is then cut up and feed to visitors and locals alike. Munich, Germany offers potato pancakes while Prague, Czech Republic sells honeyed gingerbread and vosi hnizda (nutty cookies heavy with rum). Many cities offer roasted chestnuts and almonds along with sweet mulled wine, with flavors that vary from village to village.
Imagine the markets of long ago by experiencing them today!
Bring alive the enchantment of the holidays with the sights, smells and tastes of Christmas. Holiday markets are presented in a festive environment, complete with locally decorated buildings, costumed vendors, Nativity scenes and Christmas music to set the holiday mood. Some cities offer horse-drawn carriage rides and even Medieval Christmas markets. You’ll delight in seeing St. Nicholas and his cohorts–an Angel and a demon in Prague, La Befana, the Christmas witch who traditionally brings Italian children presents in Rome, and elves in various costumes, based on the local.
Christmas markets are generally open from the first Friday before Advent (which is four Sundays before Christmas Eve) and end on December 24. Others are open until Epiphany, on January 6.
Make your Christmas come alive this year by visiting a holiday market. Bring along your family so they too can an old-fashioned Christmas tradition. It’s not too late to book your Christmas market trip, but you won’t want to delay much longer as these Christmas hot spots book up early. You’ll also want to be sure to book restaurant reservations, especially for Christmas Eve and Christmas day, which usually have pre-set menus and fill up quickly.
Call us today to reserve your Christmas vacation. You’ll enjoy every moment and come back with amazing stories and memories!