This year I had big plans to go to a Christmas market both here at home in the UK, and also to one on the continent. A while ago I came so close to booking tickets to Berlin, and then I came close to booking one to Warsaw. Sadly, though, I didn’t and now I’m sure I can actually hear my bank balance screaming at me to just leave it alone so that is no longer an option. *Cries*. I mean, I managed to go to a little, local market and, while I had a great time, it was no Berlin!
Festive markets in Europe are cultural and fun- going to one is definitely a bucketlist thing! You’ll get to experience proper German food, traditional European holiday toys and Christmas lights galore. If you ever get the chance you should definitely go to one- any one- and experience the atmosphere for yourself.
As I was really looking forward to writing a blog post all about the European markets I’d visited this year I decided that, instead of me writing one, I’d ask fellow bloggers to write about their experiences. Here’s what they had to say:
Heidelberg, Baden-Wurttemburg, Germany, by Marisa from Thetravelingstorygirl.com
Heidelberg’s Christmas Market is a hidden gem in the hills of Germany. I lived in Heidelberg last year and was fortunate enough to walk past it every day (and sneak a glass or two of Glühwein) on my way home. The best part was that the market was never too crowded and when it was, Germans filled the streets, not tourists. My favorite part was definitely the ice skating rink. It was right in front of the medieval Heidelberg Castle and made me feel like I was truly a German princess!” I can’t recommend this Weinachtsmarkt enough, it truly captures the Christmas spirit of Germany!
Vienna, Austria by Sarah from Infullflavour.com
What year did you visit?
Why did you choose this market?
We were driven by the trip to Vienna rather than the market itself. We wanted a festive break and Vienna came up at a good price, so we went for it.
Was it busy/too overcrowded or was there a good amount of people?
It was busy but it didn’t feel oppressive or overcrowded. The amount of people created a wonderful atmosphere with everyone having fun and enjoying themselves.
What did you like most about the market?
Being a foodie it was all about the grub and booze! Bratwurst in baguettes, steaming mugs of gluhwein and copious portions of crepes with sticky sweet toppings were consumed.
Anything you didn’t like about it?
No, we thoroughly enjoyed the market, the atmosphere and the city.
Would you recommend it?
Without a doubt! It was wonderfully festive and the city itself is a joy to explore.
Anything else you’d like to add?
We stayed in the Steigenberger hotel and it was incredible. From the location to the décor, and the inclusive mini-bar, it ticked all the boxes. Admittedly we ended up staying there as Expedia hadn’t actually organised a room for us in the original hotel – long story, but a happy result.
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Birmingham, United Kingdom by Georgina from Georginadoes.co.uk
What year did you visit? 2016
Why did you choose this market? My brother goes to uni in Birmingham so it was a great chance to spend some time with him as well
Was it busy/too overcrowded or was there a good amount of people? Very busy day and night! Go first thing to miss the crowds
What did you like most about the market? The food options (you can read more about it here)
Anything you didn’t like about it? Just how busy it got but it wouldn’t be the same without the crowds – it was a great friendly atmosphere
Would you recommend it? Yes, it was a very festive weekend
Lille, France by Hadas from Thefashionmatters.com
What year did you visit? It two years ago in 2014.
Why did you choose this market? I did a semester in Lille as an
exchange student so I attended the market while I lived there. Lille
is a great city to visit all year long, but especially during the
holidays due to the stunning decorations.
Was it busy/too overcrowded or was there a good amount of people? It was
busy actually because it’s a very popular market, but it was also
What did you like most about the market? I liked the atmosphere, the
mulled wine, and being able to hang out with my friends in a nice
festive environment. Also, the Christmas decorations throughout the
city center were so beautiful and special.
Anything you didn’t like about it? As I’m a Jew, and from Israel, it
was in fact the first Christmas market that I ever been to, so I
remember being very excited about it and I loved everything.
Would you recommend it? It definitely had everything you would expect
out of a Christmas market: wide variety of food, great atmosphere, and
big in size.
Anything else you’d like to add? If you get the chance to go to
France, definitely try to make it to Lille and its Christmas market,
as it’s absolutely worth it.
Obviously these are just four of the hundreds of amazing German festive markets across the continent. To see a few more (and to see some stunning photos that’ll make you want to get yourself to one of these cities pronto!), European Best Destinations have released their 2016 list.
I’d just like to say a massive thank you to all the bloggers who took part in this collaboration. They have some awesome blogs so go and check them out!
Has anyone been to any Markets in Europe recently? What did you think? Leave me a comment and let me know!