Get your boyfriend to take you to a romantic Christmas market – The 10 Best
Christmas: mince pies, mulled wine and binge eating! This time of the year doesn’t have to be all about gorging on food though and you can still find some time for romance. Here’s a short guide to the most romantic Christmas markets in Europe.
10. Birmingham, UK
The city which boasts more canals than Venice, in December hosts the largest German Christmas market outside of Germany. With its over 180 stalls it might feel overwhelming at times, but just walk off the main square and you will find a lot of secluded corners with stalls which serve Glühwein and Bratwurst (pork or beef sausage served in a bun) or traditional handcrafted Christmas decorations.
9. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest is a very charmingcity all year round but in December it becomes even more romantic. The windows of the Gerbeaud House make out a giant Advent calendar and the folk dances, typical food and puppet shows in Vörösmarty Square give a Hungarian flavour to this brilliant market. Make sure you and your better half share a big tredlník: a typical pastry cooked on a skewer on an open fire.
8. Bratislava, Slovakia
This city in the heart of Europe is the capital of Slovakia and at Christmas the Old Town becomes one big Christmas market. Apart from the traditional food and handicraft stalls, you can go for a romantic cruise on the Danube or see this city from the old castle. Catch it before it becomes too popular.
7. Alto Adige (South Tyrol), Italy
This mountainous region in the North of Italy borders with Austria and it’s found a unique way to blend the two different cultures. Each city and little town has its own Christmas market and the fact that in December the whole landscape is covered in snow makes the whole experience unforgettable. Bolzano, Bressanone and Merano are the main market towns where alongside the traditional stalls you can see a variety of Christmas-themed shows and exhibitions for free.
6. Copenhagen, Denmark
Like many other European cities, even Copenhagen’s filled with Christmas lights and decorations in December. Unlike other markets though, this one is much more authentic (also thanks to the arctic temperatures which keep tourists away). Here you can have a taste of the true Scandinavian traditions and try the many foods on offer. A replica of Moscow’s St. Basil Cathedral and an old school roller coaster are the biggest attraction of this market.
5. Brussels, Belgium
Brussels is like Marmite: you either love it or hate it. If you’ve been in the Spring or Summer and you didn’t like it, please give it another chance. In December the capital of Belgium transforms itself into a little wonderland of lights and sounds. Apart from their classic hot chocolate and chocolate truffles, make sure you take in the sights this city has to offer which for the occasion are transformed by moving projections and music and lights shows.
4. London, UK
London has plenty to offer when it comes to Christmas Markets. Winter Wonderland is the obvious choice but if you’re looking for romance make sure you head to the South Bank for a more traditional, and less busy, experience. There’s nothing better than sharing a hot chocolate with marshmallows with the one you love with St Paul’s Cathedral and the Thames in the background.
3. Salerno, Italy
This charming little city is placed at the southern end of the Amalfi Coast, one of the most romantic places in the world, and it’s ideal for a Christmas getaway with a twist. During the day you could go and visit one of the many coastal cities like Amalfi, Sorrento or Positano and at night you can walk around Salerno and admire the typical christmas lights which are designed by Italian and international artists, with new lights and different themes added every year. This year’s new entries are the “Northern Lights” on the main shopping street and the Enchanted Garden which features lights inspired by the stories of Peter Pan and Cinderella. If you’ve got time, head south to Pontecagnano (just a short train ride away) to see what it’s most probably the southernmost German-style Christmas market in the world.
2. Prague, Czech Republic
Prague boasts a number of Christmas markets, with the main ones in the Old Town and on Winceslaw Square. The main attractions of this market are the variety of traditional food available and the amount of Czech beer at your disposal. Walking down cobbled lanes and getting lost in the Old Town is even more romantic when the whole city is covered in fairy lights.
1. Innsbruck, Austria
Probably the most famous “Christmas town” in Europe, Innsbruck has got four main Christmas market, each one with its own character. The market in the historic city offers gastronomic delicacies and handmade products whilst the one in Maria-Theresa Road is more family oriented, with a petting zoo and other attractions for the little ones. A cable car takes you up to Hungerburg Castle where you’ll find a lot of stalls which sell delicious food and many Christmas gift ideas. Unmissable!
What do you think? Is your favourite Christmas market featured? Let us know in the comments below.