With its roots based in central Europe, the Christmas market is a traditional must-see in December. Discover which ones will enchant you and your family on a weekend away during the holiday season.
1. The Christmas market in Strasbourg
At the foot of the magnificent Notre-Dame cathedral you'll find the Christkindlmärik ("Market of the Child Jesus" in Alsatian). Established in 1570, it is the oldest in France! With over 300 chalets and 2 million visitors a year, it is the most visited of its kind in the world. Named "Best Christmas Market" by the European website Best Destinations, organizers go all-out to charm the tourists. With its special light displays, Christmas trees and life-size Nativity scene, the atmosphere is so magical you'll want to go back every year!
2. The Christmas market in Düsseldorf
Situated along the river Rhine, the town of Düsseldorf is only 30 kilometers away from Cologne, famous for its fairs. A region full of historical architecture, tourists flock here for its charm and numerous activities. Here, the Christmas market is composed of six separate markets located in six different picturesque areas of the old town. The market at Shadowplatz, for example, is specialized in sweets, whereas the one at Marktplatz displays local artists' work. To top it off, every year an ice rink is installed on the Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz. Get your skates on!
3. The Christmas market in Vienna
In this Austrian city, the market is known as Wiener Adventzauber ("The magic of the Advent of Vienna). From the town hall square, the festive fragrances of gingerbread, almond and honey fill the air. At the end of the day, keep your hands warm with a glass of their famous mulled wine* while admiring the wooden toys for sale. The illuminated facades of the town center make it a magical experience, just a few weeks away from Christmas.
* The abuse of alcohol is dangerous for your health. Consume with moderation.
Pack a winter jacket and moisturizer beforehand, and immerse yourself in one of the most famous European winter markets! The atmosphere of the holiday season will bring you right back to your childhood - for a truly wonderful festive feeling.