Window displays and garland laced metro malls exemplify the commercialized nature of the Christmas holiday. There are few places where traditional Christmas spirit still exists: the holiday markets of Europe-Cologne, Vienna, Bruges, Strasbourg, and Prague.
Check out CNN.com’s full article on the top Christmas Markets in Europe.
Indulge in aromatic baked apples and roasted almonds while shopping the markets of Cologne this Christmas season. Handcrafts, live music, and nativity sets give this city a traditional holiday feel, all commercial undertones left behind.
Listen to the classical music while participating in the citywide party that is the Vienna Christmas markets. Known for their hand-blown glass, jewelry, and candles, these Austrian markets reflects the country’s musical heritage and Baroque architecture.
When in Bruges be sure to try one of the rich ales brewed for the holidays. From Belgian chocolates to Belgian beer, ceramics, and homemade clothing, this UNESCO World Heritage Site comes to life during the December weeks that preface the Christmas holiday.
The Strasbourg markets are the oldest in France and home to numerous luminous lights and holiday trinkets. Renown for the first Christmas tree, the focal point of this market is undoubtedly one thing: the Sapin de Noel, or the Christmas tree.
Be sure to visit the markets of Prague on your holiday market tour. Old Town square is transformed to mirror a gothic midwinter fairytale. Hand-carved puppets, wooden toys, bohemian crystal, and ceramic mugs fill the small wooden huts along these Czech streets. Warm up with some mulled wine and enjoy a traditional Czech delicacy: cinnamon sugar and fried dough.
Visit these European holiday markets and remind yourself of the true meaning of Christmas. ‘Tis the season!