You may think that it is still too early in the year to be thinking about Christmas, but the holidays are always a busy time, especially for travelling. Christmas Markets around the world in particular are very popular. To avoid missing out on the opportunity, it is always best to book as early as possible. But how do you decide where to go? There are too many Christmas Markets to count in Europe alone - it’s not easy to choose. If you’re looking for a stand-out Market however, here are some of the most unique Christmas Markets across the world.
The Floating Market – Vilshofen, Germany
Ever year from November to December on the Danube Promenade in Vilshofen you can find the one of a kind floating market. Stalls are set up in Wurm and Kӧck river cruisers to host a wealth of products from food stalls, handmade trinkets and more made by craftsmen from all over the region who will proudly display their original products and traditional methods of creation. You will find typical market food such as mulled wine and toasted almonds here among many other delicious treats. The air is filled with irresistible smells.
You can enjoy live music across the market on various stages around the market including jazz, folk, classical music and ‘Christmas rock’. There are also Christmas readings and a Nativity playset with the world’s largest wooden crib in the centre.
The real show-stopper of the Floating Market is the mighty Christmas tree, decorated with 1,500 baubles and 4,000 lights. It is truly a sight to behold. This year the market is open from the 29th of November to the 15th of December every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. For a chance to experience the incredible market on the river for yourself, book your trip as soon as possible.
Christmas Market & Turkey Parade – Licques, France
In a small village just 20 km from Calais is one of the most interesting Christmas traditions. Every year the people of Licques watch as hundreds of turkeys- which are famous across France- parade through town under the watchful eye of a seasoned turkey herder. One lucky bird will be crowned the best turkey of the year once the parade is finished. The turkey parade has been going since the 17th century and is a captivating event.
While you admire this quirky tradition you can enjoy locally made delicacies such as cheese, champagne and liquorice flavoured firewater from the market stalls set up around town. The dates for 2019 are yet to be announced but as soon as the information is released you can organise your flight to take part in a Christmas Market that really is unlike any other.
Velvet Cave Christmas Market – Valkenburg aan de Geul, the Netherlands
This year Valkenburg can call itself the ‘European City of Christmas’ thanks to its numerous fascinating traditions and lively markets. The Velvet Cave Christmas Market, the largest and oldest underground Christmas Market in Europe, stands out for its unique location. The cave is located beneath Valkenburg Castle and is filled with galleries containing numerous murals and sculptures that visitors can admire.
The market itself is stocked with handmade decorations and homemade produce. Peruse the stalls and the various local creations which make for fantastic souvenirs. If you need a break you can stop off at the 18thcentury chapel to snack of some pastries and sip on a hot chocolate to warm you up. Above ground, the city holds a parade through town every Wednesday and Saturday evening.
For Christmas 2019 the markets across Valkenburg will be open from the 15th of November to the 29th of December, giving you plenty of time to explore them all. Book your trip now to make sure you don’t miss out on the chance to explore the enchanting underground market. Very few places will offer you the same opportunity.
Christmas Avenue LGBT+ Market – Cologne, Germany
Although the Christmas Avenue Market is primarily aimed at members of the LGBT+ community, anyone can visit what is one of the most colourful Christmas Markets in the world. The market is located in Cologne, one of Germany’s most open cities and grows busier every year.
You can find a variety of quaint and pretty handmade Christmas gifts at the stalls from 12 pm to 10 pm. In the evening while you can enjoy snacks from the traditional food trucks and mulled wine or hot cocktails while you bop your head to the well-known music acts that will be performing onstage.
The dates for 2019 are yet to be announced but Cologne also hosts many other Christmas Markets that you can visit on your trip as well as other popular tourist destinations. Organise your trip to the spectacular city now to make sure you don’t miss out.
Munich Christmas Market – Marienplatz, Germany
Initially, the Munich Christmas Market may seem the same asevery other German Christmas Market. After all, the country is always full ofthem. However, one particular tradition makes this market jump out from others-the Krampus Run.
Every year around 300 people in masks will run through the market dressed as Krampus, the fictional legend who punishes naughty children at Christmas time as opposed to Santa’s act of rewarding nice ones. The market is extremely popular with both tourists and locals and everyone is encouraged to get involved.
This season, the market will be open from the 27thof November to the 24th of December and every evening it will be illuminated with thousands of candles, creating a radiant and picturesque scene. If you are interested in visiting the Munich Christmas Market you can book your holiday now- just remember to stay on your best behaviour.
Fira de Santa Llúcia – Barcelona, Spain
On the outside, Fira de Santa Llúcia looks like a typical traditional Christmas Market. It is Barcelona’s oldest Christmas Market, but the mascot, Tió de Nadal, is what makes this Christmas event different from others in Spain.
Caga Tió is a giant log decorated with a face, hat and legs who-much like a piñata- is filled with delights such as sweets and nuts which can be earned by hitting it with a stick. This is a fun activity for children and adults alike and the reward is well worth it. Small Caganers which also depict the mascot can be purchase at stalls and makes for an adorable souvenir(although the smaller counterparts are sadly not filled with sweet treats). You can also purchase other snacks and souvenirs at the market stalls.
The market is held in front of the exquisite Cathedral on the Plaçade la Seu, making for a great sight-seeing opportunity at the same time. Once the dates for 2019’s Fira de Santa Llúcia are announced, be sure to book your trip for this holiday season quickly to avoid missing out on a fun and family-friendly experience.
As you can see, there is more to Christmas Markets around the world than just wandering around and looking at stalls. To visit these engaging destinations and more, book a holiday with Fred.\ Holidays today.