Christmas Markets: A Must Do When Visiting Europe During The Holidays
Planning to winter in Europe?? Christmas markets are a must
When I originally booked my round the world ticket I had never intended to experience the cold. My goal for my RTW trip was to experience a year-long summer. Starting in New Zealand and Australia for summer, I was going to chase the sun. Bundling up and wearing winter clothes unless it’s purposely at a winter resort to snowboard, is not my thing. Alas, life happened and I wound up in Europe during the winter. One of my favourite things I experienced during my European winter were the Christmas markets. I love all markets in general!
Around American Thanksgiving, I was in Paris and their Christmas markets started up popping up. I didn’t take photos of the stalls but I did take a couple of the winter scenery:
Galeries Lafayettes – the department store, gets festive
A Karl Lagerfeld winter tribute at Printemps in Paris
DON’T FORGET TO SAVE THIS TO PINTEREST
After Paris, I took the train to Brussels for the day. Their markets were in full swing.
Winter time in Brussel’s Chinatown. Yes, they have one!
A holiday market in Brussels
I didn’t spend much time in Brussels and moved onto Bruges. Here I experienced the best of Belgium: waffles, fries, and beer!
A winter market in Bruges
A Christmas scene in Bruges
Toy soldiers in Antwerp
After Belgium, I took the train to Amsterdam to see my friend Mattijs.
Some holiday-ish plants in Amsterdam
Big ol’ tree in Dam Square
After Amsterdam, I flew to Prague. I stayed with my friend Matt who was teaching English there at the time. While he worked I wandered around the city.
Holiday selfie in Prague
Christmas market by the Astronomical Clock in Prague
Entertainment at the market
Then I took the Eurolines bus from Prague to Berlin. The bus ride was 5 hours long but it was much cheaper than the train. I paid about 15 Euros and it was comfortable and Wifi on the bus. Once I got to Berlin I stayed with my good friends Eric, Ines, and their daughter Mila.
Picking out a tree in Berlin(this photo looks like it could be anywhere)!
Gluhwein at a Berlin Christmas market!
Starry lights at a train station in Berlin
Looking back, I did have a great time travelling through Europe during the winter. Being away during the holidays kept me busy and visiting friends in Berlin and Prague helped. It was my first holiday season after my mother died and I was pretty depressed about it. Travel provided the therapy and escape I needed at the time. Yay, travel!
I have since spent Christmas in Spain but I didn’t find the markets as good. The products being sold were very touristy or pieces for Nativity scenes which is a big custom in Spain. But in Spain, the feast of the Three Kings is bigger than Christmas and that is in January. In the future, I would like to try and go to Austria and Switzerland which I’m sure have fantastic markets.
What Christmas markets in Europe do you recommend?