As today marks the first day of autumn, a few people may be taking a cursory glance towards Christmas. But if you plan to visit one of Europe’s fantastic Christmas markets this year, it may be time to have a more detailed look and think about booking to grab yourself a great deal.
There are hundreds of markets throughout countries like Germany, France, Switzerland and the Czech Republic, many more than the major ones taking place in each of the capital cities. So here are a few different options that you may not have considered until now.
Aachen Christmas Market
As well as being set in one of the most charming German towns, the Aachen Christmas market is also one of the easiest to get to. Simply hop on the Eurostar to Brussels before changing over to one of the lightning-quick ICE trains and you’ll find yourself there in little over three and a half hours. The town is famous for its Printen (a sort of gingerbread) which is delicious and should definitely be at the top of your list of gifts to bring home. This year, the market will run from the 18th of November to the 23rd of December.
Ghent Christmas Market
Whilst the markets in Bruges and Brussels receive the most attention when it comes to Belgium, the Ghent Christmas Market is also a fantastic option. There’s an ice-skating rink, a Ferris wheel and stalls upon stalls dedicated to street food. As you would expect from a Belgian Christmas market, there are plenty of opportunities to taste and buy chocolates and you can’t leave without sampling smoutenbollen – a doughnut-like sweet treat. You can visit Ghent Christmas market between the 9th of December 2016 and the 10th of January 2017.
Innsbruck Christmas Market
Although there is only a slim chance of snow falling on the ground in Innsbruck during December, the dusting given to the nearby mountains will provide that festive feeling. More authentic and local than the markets in Vienna, the celebrations in Innsbruck are perfect for those wanting to visit Austria at Christmas time. The most charming market is situated in the Old Town but there are others to explore as well. Don’t miss the trumpeters serenading the crowd from the Golden Roof at dusk and the doughnuts dipped in cranberry sauce, known as kiachln, are a must. The Innsbruck Christmas markets will be open from November the 15th 2016 to January the 6th 2016.
Amiens Christmas Market
It may not be a household name but Amiens Christmas Market is actually the largest in northern France. Famed for its traditional and artisan offerings, such as macaroons, soaps and Angora jumpers, it’s a great place to pick up an unusual but thoughtful gift. The stalls themselves may do a good job of getting you in the festive mood but the light show projected onto the city’s cathedral can’t help but fill your heart with a warm fuzzing feeling – or is that just the vin chaud? The Christmas market will run from the 25th of November to the 31st of December and the ‘Cathédrale en Couleurs’ light and sound show takes place from the 1st of December to the 1st of January.
If you would like to visit one of these underrated Christmas markets or any of the others happening across Europe, contact us for a copy of our latest festive brochure.