The wind has changed and London has headed into the full swing of Winter. Are you ready for the down low on my 5 best Christmas markets in Europe?
It is that time of year, when we think ahead to Christmas markets and dream about drinking mulled wine (or a hot chocolate in my case), eating roasted chestnuts (my fav) and munching your way through toasted marshmallows, (so dreamy).
Sure London does have some great markets. I have been to the Winter Wonderland market, which to be honest in my opinion is very over priced for what it is. The park is lined with rows of stalls which are always pretty much empty because the rides, the food stalls and ice -rink are what attracts
people tourists here. ”Tourists”, being the reason behind my ‘over-priced’ comment. But despite this, its is still a magical experience, and I do venture here every year.
This year for the first time, they have Paddington bear on Ice. A 45 minutes long show where you can join Paddington on his big adventure as he travels by ship from the jungles of Peru to London! Will he ever get to meet Mr. and Mrs. Brown at Paddington Station? Well you can watch the show to find out for yourself.
I have also visited the Richmond market, which is actually quite cute but a small affair . It is set by the river, so you are guaranteed a lovely view. The Ealing market is even smaller, with stalls arranged ever so neatly in a square.
And that is about as far as my visit to Christmas market goes in London. In terms of Christmas market abroad, I have visited the Berlin Christmas market which hands down, is frickin awesome. Scroll below for the details.
Here are my Top 5 Christmas Market places in Europe.
Copenhagen Christmas Markets
Like Berlin, there are a number of Christmas Markets dotted around Denmark. A few to list, Tivoli, Nyhavn, Nytorv
Every year, they change it up a little, add new rides, new stalls to make it a new and exciting Christmas market. Families, be warned to have a lot of change in your pockets, the rides are not cheap, around £5 and some more for a 2 minute experience. My little one goes on about 10 rides in the space of an hour or so, plus spending on food and buying Christmas treats. So you can see my point.
There is also an ice- rink there but you must book in advance.
They are open from 21st November till 5th January.
There is no better backdrop to a Christmas Market than the stunning Bath stone. Situated at the end of Bath Street next to the Therme Spa, you will find chalets after chalets of vintage jewellery, cutlery, homeware pieces, paper doll collections, not to mention great chocolate brownie stalls and famous cakes cupcakes dotted around. You can pretty much tick off everything from your Christmas shopping list here.
This year they have the ”Christmas Bath experience” which includes wreath making and indulging in a delicious two champagne course meal at the Ivy Brasserie. A must do this year. If you visit here, I recommend the MacDonald Spa hotel which is so luxurious with great spas and swimming pools.
It runs from the 28th November till 15th December
Where do I start? There are about a dozen of Christmas Markets here in Berlin. The Alexandraplatz, The Berlin Town Hall, Gendermenmarkt and Spandau to mention a few. I previously visited the one at Charlottenburg Palace one because the pictures just took my breath away. Situated in front of the iconic palace, there are about 250 stalls offering Christmas gifts and food. I fell in love with the German biscuits and the hot chocolate which was so rich and creamy, it got me going back for seconds and thirds. If you love hot chocolate, you will want to try my special recipe, which is out of this world. It also has a great selection of rides for kids which is great way to drain out their energy before bedtime. Be warned though, it can get very busy.
This market starts from the 25th November right up until the 26th December.
Their Christmas market is known as the ”Viennese market” has the incredible City Hall as backdrop. It is a little chilly, I warn you but if you indulge in their mulled wine and feast on sweet treats, you will soon forget about the chill. The City hall offer candle making classes and cookies for kids just to note making this a suitable destination for kids you want to entertain. To be honest, all Christmas markets cater for kids now, hardly an adult affair now.
They are open from the 16th December till 24th Decemeber
Zagreb Christmas Market, Croatia
No one takes Christmas markets more seriously that the Eastern European countries. From live music to huge illuminated fountains, trees and lanterns, you will seriously experience a true magical Christmas affair here. There is an ice rink to for those gliders out there.
Eating a Strukli, which is their warm cheese pastry is a must when you go out there. It is just the treat you need to have with your marshmallow filled hot chocolate whilst strolling the streets gazing at the glistening Christmas lights.
Markets run from November 29th till 1st January.
So there you have it, my 5 best Christmas markets in Europe.
Tell me about your best Christmas Market experiences below. And who is going Winter Wonderland this year?