The magic of Christmas is also its markets, the good smell of gingerbread, chocolate, mulled wine or candied fruit, the stalls of gift sellers, the pretty illuminated Christmas trees... From the end of November, Christmas markets set up everywhere in France and Europe, but where to go to see the most beautiful Christmas markets? Here is our selection !
Strasbourg Christmas Market
In Alsace, the Strasbourg Christmas market is one of the best known and most popular markets, and rightly so. It is one of the oldest and largest in Europe with 300 chalets spread out in the heart of a superb historic centre listed by UNESCO. Strolling through the ten or so Christmas villages of Strasbourg, you can shop for Christmas and enjoy typical cakes, the famous bredeles, very often in the shape of a heart or a star.
Aubagne Christmas Market
Further south, Aubagne's Christmas market is one of the most famous in Provence. It is especially famous for its huge santons market. These small colourful handcrafted figurines, a real tradition in Provence, illustrate different scenes in the Christmas crib.
Each year, before being exhibited, these santons are carefully selected by a jury of experts
In the rest of the market, you can also admire a beautiful panoramic crib and feast on local gastronomic products.
Montbéliard Christmas Market
In the east of France, in Franche-Comté, the Christmas market in Montbéliard is very popular with lovers of crafts and gourmet products. At the Saint-Martin temple, nearly 160 craftsmen open their stalls. Hand-picked by the organisers, the craftsmen present their know-how and some even make objects in front of the visitors' eyes. Gourmets will be overjoyed, as they will be able to taste salted meats, foie gras, chocolates and biscuits, among other festivities.
Brussels Christmas Market
It is mainly on the famous Grand-Place, but also on other beautiful squares in the city such as the Place Sainte-Catherine, that the Brussels Christmas Market, one of the most popular in Europe, takes place every year. There are more than 200 chalets, many of which offer Christmas specialities from all over the continent, as Brussels is the capital of Europe. A real gourmet trip for the taste buds! The market is also rich in entertainment with a Ferris wheel and an ice rink. No time to get bored in Belgium!
Nuremberg Christmas Market
Germany has the largest number of Christmas markets and one of the first Christmas markets in history took place in Dresden as early as the 15th century. But one of the most famous of these markets is the one in Nuremberg in Bavaria
The Christkindlesmarkt has been held every year on the beautiful medieval Hauptmarkt square since 1628! You can enjoy delicious grilled sausages and cabbage, traditional stalls and more than 200 toy stalls. Something to make young and old dream!
Vienna Christmas Market
From mid-November in Vienna, the most beautiful squares in the Austrian capital host enchanting Christmas markets. One of the busiest is the Town Hall Square. Around a huge wreath of a dozen meters in diameter, about one hundred and fifty chalets offer gifts, sweets and hot drinks on a beautiful square illuminated with magnificent Christmas decorations.
In the markets on Freyung Square in the Old Town and opposite Schönbrunn Palace, you can find a wide selection of products from traditional Austrian craftsmanship.
Krakow Christmas Market
In Krakow, one of the prettiest cities in Poland, the Christmas market takes place on the market square in the old town. In numerous wooden huts set up all around, craftsmen display their handmade objects and regional producers offer a variety of Polish specialities. The market is also famous for its nativity scene competition, which takes place every first Thursday in December on the same square. The participants in the competition represent the most beautiful monuments of Krakow and make wooden and paper nativity scenes.
Sibiu Christmas Market
In Romania, the tradition of Christmas markets is quite recent compared to other European countries. The first Romanian Christmas market took place in Sibiu in 2007, when the city was the European Capital of Culture. Other cities such as Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca or Brasov continue the tradition.
In Sibiu, every year, almost 100 exhibitors set up in small cottages on the city's main square, the Piata Mare, which suddenly becomes the most illuminated square in Romania. Here you can buy a lot of handicrafts and taste a large number of Romanian specialities.
Skansen Christmas Market
In Sweden, the Christmas market of Skansen in Stockholm is certainly one of the most enchanting in Europe. It takes place in an open-air museum made up of 150 traditional houses representing every corner of Sweden, from old Stockholm to Lapland, and when it is snowed in, this village simply becomes magical. On site, you can observe ancient Christmas traditions, but also taste many Swedish specialties.
Naples Christmas Market
In the south of Italy, the market of Naples is a must. The capital of Campania has been famous for 600 years for its beautiful santons and cribs. In the streets of Via San Gregorio Armeno and Via San Biagio dei Librai, craftsmen make terracotta figurines all year round, which they sell a few weeks before Christmas at an open-air market held on their street. Walking there means discovering an ancestral art while enjoying Neapolitan delicacies.
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