By Tori vanSambeck
Christmas in Europe is different than Christmas in the States. Back in the States as soon as it gets close to Christmas time the stores are always packed, Mariah Carey Christmas songs are blasted on the radio and the whole holiday is way more focused on gifts than anything else. In Europe, Christmas time has a whole different feel. Imagine charming little European towns all lit up with lights and people strolling through the cobblestone streets with a mug of mulled wine.
As a student, being in Rome during Christmas time was exciting. They had a small Christmas market in Piazza Navona, but I was dying to go to a real genuine Christmas Market, like the ones they have in Germany. I didn’t have the time to fit it into my schedule, but I’d recommend them to anyone who is in Europe for the holiday season. You have to get your holiday shopping done anyways, so why not do it in a festive cozy environment? Nothing gets you in the mood for the holidays more than the smell of gingerbread, hot wine, and carolers singing in the background. Plus, you can score some really great homemade gifts for your friends and family.
Out of all of the Christmas Markets in Europe, the ones in Germany are the best. The Christmas Markets in Munich are beautiful, complete with a giant tree and over 140 different stalls. The market actually dates back to the 17th century, which is pretty amazing. There’s live music, plenty of delicious German food, hot wine and of course beer (no German festival would be complete without it).
So if you happen to be in Europe during this festive time of year, make it a point to cross the Christmas Markets off your to do list. Its getting your holiday shopping done and a mini vacation all in one.
Bus2alps is a student travel agency that offers weekend trips to various Christmas Markets in Europe during November and December including Prague, Munich and Vienna & Salzburg. For more information on Bus2alps trips, please click here.